This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Just glad to be a small part.

  Last October I had the pleasure of hosting David Haywood through Warmshowers. He was beginning his attempt to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle. He laughed and said he may just get to LA and say screw it, but he planned to try. I just checked his Live Track Website and he has found his way back to London after France, Spain, US, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

A better workout.

          I've never really been much for the electronic gizmos.  I used to have a Cateye thing and a mileage goal, but when it became obvious that gas would be over $2 a gallon for eternity,I decided to stop participating in the fraud and bought another bike for commuting/utility riding.  I was passing my mileage goal in May of each year and ditched the computer.  Things have evolved and GPS became a part of every spandex hamster's kit.  I think that Strava is great for the compulsive competitor and will probably save many people from gambling addiction, but I've no use for it.
         My son boughta Fitbit for me a few years ago and I do use it.  It's basically a heart rate monitor but it extrapolates a great deal of information.  I like the way it tracks my calorie usage and monitors my sleep.  It also tells me when I have been riding my bike, which brought up an interesting comparison the other day.
         I took a ride on my Sam Hillborne, a 24 lb everyday all purpose ride. and a couple days later rode the same route on my Hunqapillar, a 40 lb all-terrain touring bike.  As you can see from my cute little Fitbit app, I used up nearly 60% more calories on the Hunq.
         The life lesson here is:  If you want a better workout, ride a heavier bike.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Memorial ride for Randy Smolinski

      A couple of weeks ago I had the distinct pleasure of riding with a group to memorialize Randy Smolinski.  He is a regional legend who specialized in producing high quality custom steel frames.  His production was small by most standards but the quality rivals the best.  There were about 12 of us and were all former fans of his or good ole lugged steel craftsmanship.
Basically it was a bunch of old guys riding old bikes.  Those who didn't have a Smolinski rode some of the best we had like Kyle Brooks' fixed gear Mercian.
This lovely refurbished Bianchi was a nice piece of work.  I got away with riding my "faux vintage" Rivendell Hillborne without much flack from anybody.
We had a very pleasant, no hassle ride up the White Pine trail north of Grand Rapids for about 30 miles to Jim Townsend's lakefront cottage for lunch,
where we had a chance to compare all the the Smolinski frames ridden.  They were all beautiful pieces of work but the one that totally overwhelmed us all was the example ridden by Jason Perkins.
It is a stunning road bike detailed to the finest degree.
A luscious cream color off set by a red metallic that just glowed with some gold metal flake finish.  Jason took it a bit further over the edge with the components.
      You are wondering if what you see is what you are looking at, probably not.
Those are not gold anodized in color.  He had the cranks, brakes and seatpost plated with 24 caret gold.  Uh Huh!  Not much else to be said about that except that I wish I had brought my real camera.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Goodwill on an overnight

     Well, life sometimes gets in the way of important stuff.  Not bicycling, that's just a part of everything in the game.  But, the trials of family and maturity get in the way of sitting down and recording the good stuff.  I've still been riding my bike more than most people believe, but it has been mostly utilitarian in nature and just not worth the repetition of writing about it.
        I did manage an overnight to the lakeshore a week or two (been so busy, I can't remember).  Arriving at the nearly full state park campground, I was met by a friendly neighbor who brought dinner over to me.  She must have thought I was living on berries and twigs since I was on a bike, but it was a nice gesture.  She probably wouldn't understand that, although the pasta primavera was great, it wasn't enough after 50 miles on the bike.  After setting up camp I moseyed over to the local bar for nachos and beer as a main course. 
      After  a good night's sleep, I enjoyed a beautiful day wandering along the shoreline of Lake Michigan.  I have never seen the lake as high as it is.  The water line is usually 10-15 feet below the top of the pier in the photo.  We have had an enormous amount of rain, so much the farmers will suffer all over the Midwest.  It didn't quit.  During the night we had a torrential downpour.  My neighbor had moved out and was replaced by another in a travel trailer.  In the morning as I was getting ready to cook breakfast, the new neighbor came running over with a sausage/egg sandwich and coffee.  He looked genuinely shocked that I hadn't gotten soaking wet during the night.  I guess he doesn't understand what tents are.  There are nice people everywhere, but they seem to assume a bicycle and a tent are a hardship not a sport.
      I was glad the poncho was with me.  It rained continually on the route home.  The rain cape was a real advantage since the wind was behind me the whole way and provided a nice sail to boost me along the way.