Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Different View of My Regular Route

I watched the bus go by, momentarily mad that it had arrived several minutes early so I regrouped and decided to just start walking the 5 miles homeward. I knew that I wouldn't be able to make it all the way home, considering the two week sinus cold and ear infection that has dragged me down, but rescue was only a phone call away. I have little patience with the bus service as mentioned before and the snow storm was rather lovely.

In spite of slogging the first mile of sidewalk in 6" of mush to cut some distance, I eventually emerged onto the Spear Street bike path and into a quiet wonderland. I smiled. If I can't ride my bike, there's nothing that makes me happier than enough regular snowfall so I can ski. The footing on the path was much better so I continued, chuckling at one point because I noticed a bright bicycle headlight approaching. I stepped aside for the hardy cyclist who barely controlled his bicycle on the slope. But then I was alone again, grinning, marveling at the snow covered trees and fat flakes falling all around me.

I made it about 3.5 miles in one hour - the most exercise I'd had in 10 days - then I called for a ride. The unexpected journey homeward had filled me with hope. Hope for skiing this weekend. Hope for eventually a dry bike path for cycling. Hope that this sickness passes very soon. In the meantime I enjoyed a unique journey on a path that had become second nature on two wheels.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Goals and Thoughts on 2017 Adventures


As has been customary in the past, when the New Year comes, I plan a few trips, especially if they included plane flights and planned vacation time. When my father died a couple years ago the emotional uncertainty left me feeling lost.  I wasn't ready to tackle another bucket list goal, but time passes, and this year I'm ready and excited for a 2017 overseas hiking adventure. Depending upon how it all works out, there could be a cycling component. More to come on that trip.

Since pedaling thoughout many cold winter days in the past two years, I am less anxious and focused on making local cycling plans months in advance. It's as if my cycling equilibrium has been restored. I am content to have general ideas centered around weekends, perhaps another Canadian sojourn with Adele, an overnight using the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, perhaps one in upstate New York via ferry.

I will continue making Miss Clementine tour ready, which includes adding a simple front rack (possibly Nitto, Soma Lucas, or Sunlite version?), repurpose a bag for handle bars, and test hers (and my!) ability to haul camping gear on hilly terrain.

Always in the back of my mind is finding a 20" replacement for my steadfast Ross commuter. If I find myself in Manchester, NH soon (and who knows, our son has been accepted at SNHU which may necessitate  a springtime visit) I will contact a person selling a 20" step-through GT Outpost, that has lingered on Craigslist for several months.

This year will be busy in other ways also: our oldest son goes off to college and we are looking for a new house. The plan is to stay local, but find a place with less maintenance, easier one floor living. It must have a two car garage so we can store our skis, my husband's sports car, and of course our myriad of bicycles.

What's on your agenda this year?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I'm a Tom Hanks Fan

I love the simple red panniers! Photo credit: IMCDB.org
I had the opportunity to see The Man with One Red Shoe recently, a 1985 movie starring Tom Hanks and Jim Belushi. It's a fun flick and if you're a Tom Hanks fan, a cyclist, and lover of older bicycles, it's worth a look. The pair get around Georgetown, D.C. on bikes so there are several scenes involving Hanks's red ten speed (referred to as a "Peugeot Grand Prix") while Jim Belushi rides an old mountain bike, the type that's near and dear to my heart.

Photo credit: Georgetown Metropolitan
I am home today with a stuffy head cold. It's beautiful outside. Fresh snow has fallen with more in the forecast for today. Perhaps I'll discover more Tom Hanks movies on Netflix that I haven't seen!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Another Look at the Selle Royal Brand

Old, beautiful, Selle Royal seat on the left.

I've used a Selle Royal seat on my Miyata for many years - it came stock on the bike - and has held up well. It might even be leather. And considering it is a little wider than a normal men's seat, I wonder whether in today's terms it would be classified as a women's saddle. Back then the style was pretty standard on touring bikes. In the 1980's I covered the saddle with a gel cover, desiring more comfort when pedaling across country. Since then the seat is supportive "au natural" and I've come to measure all new seat purchases against this particular brand.


Fast forward to 2014. I was renovating a Peugeot UO 14 and discovered cork and gel ergonomic grips online by Selle Royal. Those grips turned out to be a wonderful, classy, and functional addition - so comfortable that I switched the grips over to my Clementine. Tested on a 3 day tour, the grips are keepers on this bicycle.

I'm trying out the Becoz saddle on Miss Clementine.

In 2016 I found a discounted Becoz saddle, attracted by the cork and gel style. Later I discovered it's parent company was...you guessed it, Selle Royal! After all these years the company has survived, providing inexpensive saddles, venturing into the grip market, even innovative replaceable "tattoo" style saddle tops. It's too soon to tell whether the Becoz saddle will provide the comfort I need long term on Clementine, but I'm happy to see the Selle Royal brand has survived.

Do you have any experience with Selle Royal accessories?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Beautiful, Iced Landscape


I have mixed feelings about mixed precipitation. Icy mist had fallen by daybreak creating slippery roadways and sidewalks. I wore my spiked traction devices, gingerly walking downhill, ducking beneath heavily glazed trees, afraid to touch their fragile branches as I made my way to catch the bus to my workplace. As it was, while I rode the bus, a crashing sound hit the roof, sounding like shattering glass, which could have only been fallen, brittle tree limbs.

Later that day I walked home, talking care on still treacherous walkways, but all that glittery beauty is a wondrous sight. I know I won't be cycling for a while with more precipitation forecast for the remainder of the week.

Bicycles with icicles on the UVM campus.


Amazingly, a day after the storm, there is no wind to further damage the ice-laden trees. I am hopeful for a gentle thaw so trees can shed their weighted coat of ice. Until then, I will smile and sigh as I walk underneath and beside this special sight.