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Saturday, April 29, 2006

I saw BOTH other Xtracycles today!

Tale of addiction:

I go to bed hoping for the forecasted rain to at least be predictable... hoping not to have to lead my ride. I have a lot to get done.
At 7:45, it starts drizzling for real. Yay! (ride is at nine). But... maybe the radar would show it's just a little blip... so at 8:20 I ride over to that house that has the wireless... nope, don't have the key. Ride back. Get the key. Ride back. Go in.
Radar says green, green, rocky road...
... so I ride on out to Meadowbrook. NObody's there. It's only sort of raining. It's cool, it's SPRING. I keep riding.
... an hour later, I'm NOT ready to stop... but duty calls.
45 degrees and 15 mph winds is my favorite temp... but with a drizzle, 55 degrees and 15-20 mph winds is DELICIOUS.
No, I don't mean endurable... I don't mean you learn to ignore the pain. I mean, it FEELS GOOD. Cycling (and that well-insulated Norse/Celtic/German frame) does that...

Monday, April 24, 2006

How to Start GOing Car-Light - map it out! (Okay, this is a lot like "Friends don't let Friends drive" redundancy allowed 'cause it's my blog!)

And the Rest of THe Links:

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Yes indeed... got it cranking. Not successful at turning ice into slush but the strawberries worked well. I'll have to work on technique and recipes or something!

probably 40+ people on the assorted groups for the Saturday ride. I am thinking that even when we switch to 8:00 I"ll make our ride an 8:15 one so we don't do like today, which was having a 20-odd rider pace line passing another 20-odd rider clump... it took half a mile, annoyed the heck out of a driver, and is just a lousy combination of too many wheels going different kinds of speeds. Okay, it did look a *little* awesome ... and makes me wonder if maybe the Richmond bike club doesn't do their rides over the space of an hour by police request (or because of some other negative incentive)

Hoping to have wheel SOON!!! The black bike is great but ... but. Especially with my amazingly dorky Hi-Viz camelbak, which has ZILCH ZERO NADA cargo capacity, I sitll have to *think* about what I"m going to carry along. No way we could consider using it for the shopping.

Yippee, though, there was a Mom-and-daughter (prob'ly) combo shopping on their bikes.

Okay, I don't want to steal the "Harley Wave" - so how can cyclists ... hmmm... that old-fashioned V for Victory, peace, but moving your fingers...

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Happy Easter!

Plastic Gatorade bottles make great sunflower vases.

Bike: 1400 car: 600

Bicycle Meditations including "Get of the F*ing Road!"

HOkeyspokes are being hokey... one won't turn off and it shouldn't be low on batteries (which is what I thought the mystery factor was). They're a good idea but perhaps not ready for prime time.

BLENDER HAS ARRIVED. Perhaps this has already served an important function, I suspect; I've worn out the brake pads already so I"ll be getting a rear wheel built (a 36-spoker, but don't be staring at my nipples, now!) with a disk brake... so now the bike shop folks know I really am willing to spend money on the thing (heck, if I can "afford" a blender, I should be able to put as much into brakes and wheels, eh?)

Blessing of the Bikes:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Here's a cultural barometer: what are there pages and pages of on ebay, and why?

There are nine pages of camelbaks.

Speculate: why? (I just got a Hi-viz one with tags for $20.22 - they're $53 retail, *and* generally the places to get ' em are survivalist type stores and I'm not sure I'd want to get on their mailing lists, though one was "safety glasses . com".

Are they like treadmills or exercise bikes... except that you *know* you're not going ot use it and you don't even feel guilty about it? Has there been some bad publicity about them that I've missed? (They cause....??? Gerbils are mutilated in their manufacture?) Or are there that many pages of most things... but I am usually cruising through "Schwinn Racer" and other extremely specific entities and just don't realize that?

B;yootiful sight - I looked out side during the break in Parkland Chorus and saw there were FIVE bicycles on that rack. Yes, one is the abandoned Trek, but the other four were folks (including me) who rode to sing. Ya, you betcha!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Xtracycles are starting to show up everywhere... scroll down this set of pics from an aeolian ride in Melbourne, Australia. (It's worth seeing anyway :-))
Regarding blender purchase:
"You *are* kidding, right?"

Welp, I'll be spending about that much on the more necessary new wheel and disk brake. Then I'll have a true utility bike (and if I were to get yet another windfall of life, I could upgrade the frame... but I don't think that's necessary. Cro-moly rocks, no matter what the songs say about carbon fiber frames ;-))

Thursday, April 06, 2006

This morning I raced the storms in, leaving in the rain but arriving before the downright downpours. Would I have left in the wild stuff? I'm not sure. (It's not as if it would have saved time; I have to pump up my car tires if I'm going that way, and I really should have taken care of that already already. No, really, I'll go to GoodYear next week, really. )

Endorphins happen in the rain, too.

I am going to have an "inservice" session on cycling and commuting. This means an email telling people about it. This means links on the email.

People *do* look at you oddly when you are pedaling wildly to get to choir practice, which in the past you'd have seen as a reason to take the car to get there sooner but priorities seem to have shifted, and you feel compelled to warm up your tonsils (because class ends at 7:50, choir practice is at 8:00 and is 5 miles away so they'll have started already).

Singing soprano is a little bit like riding the bike in the rain. It involves changing the odd paradigm. My alto self wanders to the high notes and shrinks, because it assumes I will be less accurate and that the sopranos will take over.

The soprano self, though, has been nudged out of the shadows by circumstances including standing between sopranos - the human animal really does automatically & unconsciously imitate the motor actions, especially those involving the voice, of those nearby. Somehow, if I pretend I'm standing next to Lorna now, it still happens. Muscles relax and open instead of tightening and shrinking. Sometimes something like the right note even comes out. It uses different parts of the brain; it's much more motor than mental and a lot better workout! Kinda like when you get to that point on the bicycle when you can stretch out and pedal **hard** for a pretty long time, and the whole body is in tune... or I hope it will be; there have been moments that hint of it. I'll try not to make the mistake of anticipating it - flow with the go....

Monday, April 03, 2006

Welp, since I'm a bicycle lifestylist I had to ride in this morning, despite the "wind advisory" (35+mph on the open prairie, which I wasn't, but interesting even through town dodging the debris from last night's 75+ mph winds) and the drizzle. Just like the Xtracycle blurb... it feels good to be outside, it feels good to be strong. I suppose the Irish-German-Norwegian heritage is why it feels **good.** (one third of each, if you're asking) I had duly considered driving, p'raps taking the bike into the shop... but the fresh air called me.

Urban moment: It's also garbage day, So there were just a few trash cans rolling around in the streets like some kind of bizarre video game graphics. The round ones were dutifully spiraling in the gutters and curbs, but a cavernous square monstrosity was quivering in the middle of Washington street, requiring all kinds of avoidance reactions.
I pulled over preparing to dash out and reel it in, just as a school bus approached from the other direction, instantly sized up the scene, stopped and put those flashers on, all traffic stopped, the guy in the first car made as if to retrieve it but I beat him :-), placed the plastic safely against a tree on the other side of the road, and they *stayed* stopped until I came *back* across to my bike, and we continued our commute. Good morning!
... It never would have happened without the bike.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Well, I have ordered the blender. Rationale (i.e., rationalization): other people spend frivolous bucks on bicycle gear, eh? This is just **my** idea of frivolous bicycle gear. It's 8 hi-tech jerseys that I don't have.
Now, I am also vowing (or at least intending :-)) to focus those energies on actually making sure that this is part of actions and/or words that will result in more people having good experiences on bicycles. So, now, to figure out how to work this into leading rides!

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