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 develops 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.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Without a season

      It's like a moment without time.  We have real seasons in Michigan, but the snowstorm  we experienced before Thanksgiving has gone away.  The teasing winter is gone, the leaves are gone, the color is gone the contrasts are not occurring.  We are frustrated in a colorless melange.  Riding can happen, the streets are relatively dry, nothing freezes with regularity, nothing is challenging; it's a bike ride in grey and  white, waiting for winter.

On the news front, things are more promising.  It looks as if there is going to be some justice ahead for the mayor of Sunset Hills, Mo.  The grand jury there is looking at multiple felony charges for Mark Furrer who allegedly ran down a cyclist a few months ago.   The city is adopting policies to facilitate impeachment and his removal from office.  I hope it all sticks.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The stall between faux winter and the real deal.

    Not a whole lot has been going on since the Thanksgiving holiday.  The weather has been a little too cold to be fun, so I've been puttering around in preparation for real winter.  I swapped a couple of tires out, changed some damaged spokes and managed to break a floor pump.  It is strange that things wear out when you use them.  I guess it's a healthy sign that I am biking more than the industry expects.  
 I found the shifters for Nuvinci hub on Byron were freezing again, I took the advice of a reader who commented on a previous post about it.  When I removed the wheels to change tires, I hung the bike up by the front rack and watched water literally dripping from the cables.  I left that overnight,  removed the cables, flooded the housings with WD-40 and let that drain out as well. Not many are aware that water dispersal is one of the few legitimate uses for WD-40.  That is how it got it's name, it was the 40th formula tested as a water dispersing compound to help clean wet machinery. Now with new cables, the shifter is working like a whip in hot butter and I hope it stays that way for the winter.
    I like this time of year, I teach part time in a local school district and people talk about me riding to work in lousy weather.  I love the look on their faces when they ask if I own a car.  I explain that I wash it and change the oil every year whether it needs it or not.  I cleaned it up and moved it into the garage in case I need it during the winter.  The empty stares and slack jaws hanging around the room become amusing.  The other day people in the lounge were talking about gas prices staying surprisingly low since the the election is over.  I said, "Is that important?"  The silence was so satisfying.  
I should probably talk about my underwear.  It's getting cold and I had worn out some of the long johns I had.  So I went shopping for new.   Terramar makes some really nice midweight base layers of Merino wool. They are going for about $25 a pair at the Sierra Trading Post website.  
I got a couple and may get a couple more, 
they're either overstocks
or seconds with blemishes, but at that price, who cares?
The holiday's are coming around and pretty soon even I will be limited to simple and utilitarian riding.   The things I run into are a little scary,
At a coffee shop on the way home.  Take a close look, the earphones are connected to something (Ipod?) in his pocket, he is reading on a tablet, sitting in front of his laptop with his phone sitting next to that.  
 There is barely room for his coffee cup. 
 I don't think he left enough WI-FI for the rest of us to share.
At least he's in a coffee shop and not guilty of distracted driving.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving traditions.

It has nothing to do with cycling but I thought I would share our Thanksgiving celebration. My son and I don't have relatives here, so every year we have dinner with some friends who host the international students and families from Western Michigan University.   
They would otherwise be stuck doing laundry to take up the day. 

This year we had Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Iraq, China, Jordan, India, Iran, and Nepal 
all at the table together.
In the cycling news, we skipped the winter prelude we experienced.  The foot of snow we received succumbed to a couple of days of rain, which turned to ice, then the welcoming sloppy roads and muted colors of late autumn for the post Turkey fest ride.
Blessed normality!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Seasonal review

Snow, so cold, so long 
 freezing temps are a relief.
It is distorted.

First, flowers are shy.
They cozy up to tree roots
quietly coloring.

Summer corn carves
an alleyway across the wind
escorting somewhere.

Sown into order
scents growing, accumulating
 fragrance to harvest.

Trees splatter color

               before littering landscape            
 in the winter wind.

Passion riding ice,
past elated flowers,
through serene harvest.