Thursday, November 28, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving!

My Brother-in-law Homer spotted this blinged-out fixie (not to mention the amazing blue wall), which prompted a back and forth about how we could bling out our rides in similar fashion. If anyone knows how to add spinners, please let us know. In the meantime, I found a youtube video on painting your rims... a worthy project for this Thanksgivukkah weekend (which won't come again for another 79,000 years - so make the most of it!).

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Autumn Leaves

The trees have grown pretty bare, are no longer as pretty as they were a few of weeks ago. Fall has brought gusty winds, and with it falling leaves. I actually had a blast on a particularly blustery day riding beneath trees that were dropping their leaves in sheets. They were everywhere, sticking to different parts of my bike, getting caught in the vents of my helmet.

I felt like a kid looking up as I passed under the trees. I tried to get some pictures as the leaves fell, but the low light didn’t offer anything for my iPhone to grab on to. So I will just have to keep the moment in my mind.

Yesterday my niece posted the Johnny Mercer lyrics to “Autumn Leaves.” I grew up on and love the Nat King Cole version (a musical taste passed on from my grandfather), and now associate it with wooing my wife. I think the song is actually about missing a lost lover after a wonderful summer, so I will try not to associate it with riding my bike through the falling leaves… as appropriate as that might also be.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Moon Ride


I would have to admit, I probably looked ridiculous today on my ride to work. I was wearing a layer of thermal undergarments, on top of that I wore my normal thermal base layer, track pants, a fleece jacket, fleece turtleneck, scull cap, helmet, mittens and boots. The only thing missing were my wife's pink ski goggles (which I have had occasion to wear on a really cold day).... And today was one of those days that I wished I had fully swallowed my pride, all the way down to pink goggles. It was clear and 17 degrees when I left. And when it is that cold with no clouds in the sky, it feels all the colder. On my way home in the dark it was worse. Though about 10 degrees warmer, the dark and the cold made me aware of every petal stroke. The wind was so strong in my ears that I could hear almost nothing else. There is a certain pain in that type of cold that seems to slow down time, and the only thing you can do is pedal one stroke at a time until you are out of it. It all made me feel pretty alone on the road today, even with the cars passing. Like riding on the moon.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Welcome to Winter

I must be in serious denial about the weather change, given that I am still riding racing slicks on ice. We had our first snow of the season on Tuesday night. It was Election Day and I biked to the polls to vote before the snow started falling. I looked out the window Wednesday morning, relieved to see we hadn't got the 4 inches that were expected. My winter bike isn't ready, the roads liked pretty good, so I decided to give it a go on my road bike. Where the cars were driving, the roads had warmed up enough so that they were passable. Part of my ride was on a separated bike path, and that's where it got dicey, especially near the cemetery I pass every day. I was sliding everywhere and had to ride with one foot down to steady myself. I just about turned back to go home and take my car to work but when I rejoined the main road it was fine again. Cold at 27 degrees, but steady rolling. 

I had been dreading the change if weather. It has been cold, but the first snow has psychological effects. Seems to me our last snow was in May sometime... So to have it snow. November 5 makes for a short summer season. As bummed as I think I have been just dreading it, there have been times out there on my bike in the cold when I have really enjoyed it. Today was one of those days. 30 again in he morning, but ice patches small and far enough between to easily avoid them. Riding, I felt the same stillness that I find cross country skiing at zero degrees. Then, 43 and dry on the way home was excellent! I still hope the snow accumulation stays down and that I can ride the roadie a bit deeper into November/December. We'll see. I had better get the other steed ready!