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.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Even for me it's a seasonal thing

I've been riding seriously for about 38 years and average around 150 miles a week.  Most of that is utilitarian cycling.  I started because I had an evening office job as a college student and, having been a good athlete all my life, I couldn’t stand to sit around all day.  It wasn’t a matter of money, I just didn’t like to sit around.   So every day the weather permitted I would choose my bike rather than my car.   As the years have passed, I continued cycling despite the demands of a business career and family.  I have very little time to ride for pleasure and most of the 5 thousand miles I ride each year are recorded on local errands.  A few years ago when it became obvious that gas would stay above $2 a gallon, I decided to use my bike whenever I didn't specifically need my car(I had no idea how often that would be).  To me it was a rational choice any intelligent person would make.  I don't live car free and don't aspire to, but it's obvious that everybody should drive less and cycling is my transportation of choice.
    Winter riding brings on a new set of challenges every season.  And despite loving the weather and being one of those people who appreciate cold as a refreshing change not a problem,  I find my riding is more limited in the winter.  Rather than taking the "scenic route" and putting a few extra miles on, I find my trips limited too getting from point A to B and spending more time inside.  I use one bike in the winter

a Jamis 3. I'm not a big fan of aluminum frames, but they make a lot of sense in the winter here in Michigan and prevent the inevitable problems with corrosion.  Usually my riding is limited to 5-15 miles of strictly utilitarian trips during the winter season, compared to 15-25miles a day in the summer.  Because they are shorter and slower rides I keep the bike "geared up" all purpose and pretty much ignore the weight.  It has a rear rack and folding baskets which will each hold a grocery bag full of goods,
I've added a full chain guard to help prevent ice and snow from building up on the chain, as well as a two legged kickstand to make it easier to mount and dismount when it's loaded,
and a tire driven dynamo and light to navigate the shorter days up here in the north.
Winter riding is definitely not for the "weight weenies" out there, a heavier bike is definitely a plus when dealing with the winter trails and streets no matter how the street dept. tries to maintain them.
This will be the first year I try studded snow tires, but there will be more on that at a later date.

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