Friday, June 27, 2008

The One With Fenders

The answer to the question: What bike would be best for your Friday afternoon commute?
Had quite the gully washer this afternoon. Fortunately, almost no thunder and lightening. Hard rain though. I waited a while for it to slack off, but after about 10 minutes I gave up and headed out. It was actually pretty nice. The water was pretty warm splashing up onto my sandals and legs. The o2 rainjacket did its work as well, though it got hot quickly. Once things got down to a drizzle I took off the jacket and was wet but comfortable in just a jersey and shorts. Might have been less fun on a colder day, but today, life was good.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I've been seeing a lot more two wheeled transport around town lately. On today's walk I saw more than the usual folks I see on bikes, even a couple of teenagers working at being hipsters. There is a new Critical Mass advertisement posted around town too. But I also ran across the sign to the left. Carroll Creek Park is about the only traffic free (except at crossings) route across town. Now you have to walk your bike through four blocks of it. Something to think about.

UPDATE: 6/26/2008 Joe reminded me of a conversatin we had about this last year. here is the relevant part of the ordinance: "(d) Carroll Creek Linear Park. Within the boundaries of Carroll Creek Linear Park, an individual more than ten years old may not use a non-motorized wheeled vehicle, except for a bicycle, on any City property. During an event in Carroll Creek Linear Park permitted by the Department of Parks and Recreation, an individual more than ten years old may not ride a bicycle in Carroll Creek Linear Park between Court Street and Wisner Street. Walking while pushing or pulling a bicycle is not a violation of this provision."

It looks like today they are setting up for an event this weekend along the creek, so the fact that this is a movable sign makes me suspect it is only out for events. Maybe it got put out early this week.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fathers Day Weekend

Saturday was hot and muggy, so of course I had a big outside job. I went over to the in-laws to cut up a tree knocked down in a storm a few weeks ago. The weirdest thing happened. While making the cut this reddish fluid started pouring out of the tree. I checked the saw for a rupture of the tank or something, and then my extremities. In the frequent rain since the tree fell, the hollow section filled with water. when I got to the point where the saw cut intersected the hollow part, physics took over. Naturally the chain got gummed up and dull, so I stopped sawing and split a bit. Once home the saw cleaned up and restarted ok, but I need to sharpen the chain.

Sunday the weather was much nicer. Cooler and breezy. I puttered around on the track digging weeds and packing it down a bit, but mostly relaxed in the hammock with the kids, napping and playing banjo tunes, until it was time to grill the steaks for dinner. Nice.

On Tuesday, only Mike came over for Pump Track Night. He was enjoying riding the BMX bike and has come closest to making it around the entire track with no pedaling. Next time PTN may be on Thursday instead of Tuesday due to a bike advocacy meeting conflict. We'll have to wait and see what the Mrs. says.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Jeff Jones Visit

Bike Builder and Designer Jeff Jones gave a presentation at The Bicycle Escape last night. Actually, there was a demo ride up in the 'Shed earlier in the day, which I couldn't attend, and the talk about his designs and a parking lot demo, which I did. It was interesting to hear about his experiences and learning processes in building bikes. He advocates a much tighter cockpit and upright riding position than many bike designs I've seen, for better position and control in technical terrain. Very interesting. I was glad I go a chance to attend. Thanks to Jeff, SSO and TBE for getting this together.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Yesterday, I was over at Lowes, buying myself a Father's Day present, when I ran into Eric. He asked if I wanted to see his new toy. He just got the wheel trued. Wow. I can imagine. 1873. Very cool. Now I want one. Sigh.

Important Research

Just sayin', thats all. It may explain much of my behavior.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Cirque Du Cyclisme

I braved the scorching heat (driving in my air-conditioned truck) and went to Leesburg for the Cirque Du Cyclisme, a vintage and custom bicycle event. The event spans three days of rides and seminars, with and auction, banquet and finally a show and swap meet. There were many wonderful bike people and bicycles there. At the swap on Sunday I was wandering around and ran into a few friends. Jay was there, naturally with cameras in hand, making my feeble attempts at taking a couple of photos look primitive. I also saw Tim, who I haven't seen in a couple of years, and Dan, who graciously hosts a vintage, classic and fixed gear ride from his home every year, with this year's coming up in July.

The variety of bikes was amazing, and I was once again struck by the fact that we are living in the golden age of cycling right now. All the builders I spoke with were glad to answer even my most inane questions, probably for 100th time. Special props to Joseph Ahearne, a genuinely friendly guy who builds beautiful bikes, some amazing racks, and the coolest little flask holder you've ever seen. Gonna get me one of those....

So many bikes, so little money.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Events this Weekend

A few of my friends will be braving the first heatwave of the year and doing the 24 Hours of Big Bear this weekend. Good Luck!

I'll be attending the Cirque Du Cyclisme in Leesburg. Still bike related. Hope to see you there.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Feels Like Summer

Definitely feeling like summer around here. Lots of bikes, scooters, and pedestrians around in town. I don't see many out at the far end of my commute, but there are a few.

Friday's commute ended with a flat literally in my driveway. I think I pinched the tube on some rough pavement in Libertytown and it took the last three miles to lose the air. I really need to get something fatter than 28s on my bike. My Cateye rear blinky is gone too. It's attachment method leaves something to be desired. I though I'd covered it by adding a zip tie to the weak release mechanism, but then the small screw in the post mount came out. I lost it the week before, and I'd hoped that I might come across it this week, but that seems to be a forlorn hope.

On the way to Aikido Saturday morning I saw a couple of Randonneurs out on the DCRANDO Urbanna 200K. They were going to get wet. Lots of cars with bikes in Libertytown for the PPTC ride as well. Coming home at lunch, during and after the showers, the PPTC cars were all heading home. The rando folks were still out on the course, far from Libertytown.

I got out Sunday for my own little ride. I've been neglecting the fixed gear Quickbeam, so I took it to Adamstown for a reasonably flat ride. Good time, but ended up with a bit of knee pain, which lingered into Monday. It took 15 minutes or more for the knee to warm up on my lunch walk. I'm always a little stiff in most of my joints after a morning at the keyboard, but this took longer. Oh well, the weather is great and lots of people out and about in town. I had one of those weird moments where an attractive young lady was riding by on an old road bike and I found myself studying the bike more intently than the rider. The rider in question still probably thinks I'm an old perv. Sometimes you just can't win.