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.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Not even me!

     Last year in April I missed a day riding my bike and could honestly say I had ridden every day for 6 years straight.  Now there was a lot of bad weather and it can be said that I do learn stuff.   During that past 6 year period I had gone out to ride when in -30F wind chill.  I realized it was the 2nd stupidest thing I had ever done on a bike.  I only rode about 5 blocks (strictly for bragging rights), the snow conditions were rough enough that I actually worked up a sweat, while locking my bike outside Panera I unzipped my coat and my shirt froze solid instantly.  Then I realized the danger.  If anything had gone wrong on that little journey I could have died quite quickly.  This week, when we were polarized to death, I stayed inside and did some cleaning and painting that I had been ignoring.
     I hope nobody else risked it on the streets during that freeze over.  
     The day after, when the temps got into the balmy teens, I took a ride through the streets caked with packed snow.  It was more like riding an MTB trail.  Of course I got a puncture, but since I had Flat Attack tubes I didn't go flat, just lost a little air.  I stopped, added some air, gave the wheel a spin and rode on.  It's good to know that the Flat Attack sealant is still viable after -41F temperatures.
 Yep, that is a shameless plug. 
      I really appreciate using sealant in the tubes.  It's been over two years since I had a real flat on the road.  I know that tubeless is probably the tech turn of the future, but right now the only tires available are a limited selection of  high quality (expensive) competition quality tires.  Not the type an everyday cyclist can use to his advantage.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

       Thanks to Whoopi Goldberg for putting to rest the question of "The View" being a reliable source for qualified opinion or analysis.  She went after the NYC Mayor for creating bike lanes which she claims have strangled traffic.  Of course the one she referred to, the bike lane on 10th Ave, does not exist.  Great research Whoopi!
        It's the best I have heard since the rant proclaiming "death by bicycle" authored by Dorothy Rabinowitz, the WSJ contributor and board member.
So, I am awarding Whoopi the Rabinowitz award for hateful stupidity.
A real photo of a Rob Ford bobblehead.  The deceased Mayor of Toronto hated cycling so much he spent more money scrubbing the bike lanes off the streets of Toronto than it cost to install them.
     In the meantime, nestled safely away in the fly over zone, a local committee of township officials continues to develop a regional network of bicycle routes.

I've mentioned this before and their work continues at speeds that will break the neck of any bureaucratic snail.  Inching forward on a quarterly basis they are craftily conspiring to create the largest cycling network I have ever seen, and they are putting it together so carefully that their jurisdictions will have no reason to say no.  

It will only require the posting of signs in the appropriate places, and cost less than a couple months of garbage collection at their offices.  
       I'm going to make a note to invite Whoopi and Dorothy to perform the ribbon cutting.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The lost holiday.

        I started the New Year with a very fortunate failure.  I was going to the annual "Hair of the Dog" ride sponsored by a local pub, but wasn't prompt enough.  I showed up a couple of minutes after scheduled 1PM start and they were all gone.   I thought about trying to catch up, but that would be too much like trying and I'm not real good at trying, especially when the people ahead are really known for trying, really hard.  I found out later that they took a different route than previous years so I would have been trying real hard at being by myself.
So I took a different route and went to the Museum which was open for the holiday and still had an exhibit of bicycles that spanned through much of the history of our beloved machines.
     I was met right at the door with the fiberglass "moon" cycle which was inspired by our space race back in the early '60's.  It was cool looking but I doubt it would endure much abuse.
No museum display could be without a couple penny-farthings or
steel welded boneshakers.
early attempts at chainless bikes,
later attempts at something resembling something odd,
a Raliegh touring bike which I remember seeing in a bike shop in my own day,
(can anybody explain why this is?),
a real advance in the method and madness,
as well as several steel versions,
of 50's cruisers,
of different brands,
the plastic space bike was based upon.
as well as a penny farthing with some weird pedaling mechanism I didn't understand.  It may have been me, because I felt lost already that morning, but there didn't seem to be any organization to the displays, a lot were displayed drive side wrong, but it was a nice collections of bikes to look at. 
Oh yeah, In another room I stumbled across a helmet,
which they say is special because it has lights in it.  YAWN!  

Monday, December 10, 2018

If you want something worn out or busted, I can get it done.

        For several weeks I was having some newly discovered pain in the nether regions and couldn't figure it out.  The saddle on my Hunq would not seem to stay in adjustment and it was really irritating (in more ways than THE one).  Every couple of days I was tightening the bolts , THINGS got more and more sore.
      I figured it out after the lower plate on the seat post broke.  Oh, we  need that?  So that was a bit of remedial education for me.  It is a Velo Orange Gran Cru seat post and I wrote to see if there were replacement parts available.  I told them when I bought it and sent a photo, unfortunately they no longer have parts lying around for those.  I was stuck with having to replace the whole seat post.  As a consumer I've had experience with this system.  When somebody doesn't support their product, I buy from somebody else.  That gets complicated.  I am an American.  It was an opportunity (spelled "excuse") to spend much more than I needed to fix the problem.  There are a lot of seat posts out there and I could have bought a new one for $55 dollars from VO.   This was the first problem I had had, I am still happy with the one on my Hillborne, but what a great excuse to upgrade.  All this temptation to spend money dangled in the face of an experienced consumer was too much to bear.
     I sprang for the Nitto/Rivendell lugged seat post which is reputedly the strongest on the market and has 40mm of setback as well as the double bolt design which allows true micro adjustment of the angle.  Wait!  There's more! 
     I also thought of getting a black saddle for the Hunq since I had changed the color scheme.  I was tempted to try the new Brooks C series saddles because several tourists I've met really love them.  It is the "latest, greatest and most revolutionary" thing that Brooks has thought of in decades.   I was skeptical since artificial saddles made me unhappy in the past, but here I was with every excuse to spend more money than needed.

      I ordered a C-19 version which is a little wider and modeled after the legendary B-67 saddle which has been making butts happy for generations.  My first impression of the saddle was that it was really hard.  I thought "this can't change, the leather saddles would conform to our bodies and this plastic/fabric thing will not."  Now that I have a few weeks behind me and have compared the ride to the B-17 on my Hillborne, the C-19 is really comparable, it doesn't feel much different than the leather.  The first impression seems to have left and may have been my own defense against change, but I really do like the design, the feel and the fact that it's a weather proof Brooks.  Don't get me wrong, I think the hand wringing worry about getting leather wet is a bunch of nonsense.  Cowboys never came in from the rain and my Brooks saddles have all been sopping wet at one time or another without any ill effects.  I feel good now.
       I made my American heritage proud by spending 6 times what was necessary to effect a repair.