Many of my summertime rides involve skedaddling home and, more often than not, completing errands en route. It is summer, after all, when we try and fit in as much as possible before cool weather sets in. So, when I find a little free time before sunset, I like to relax and pedal a few miles, enjoying the evening along the lake shore path (with eye wear for bug protection!).
Monday, August 22, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Between the re-striped lanes and addition of flexible delineator posts, I am reminded how simple and inexpensive projects in key areas can make a huge difference to cyclists's safety. Thank you, City of South Burlington.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
It might seem like a no-brainer to most people. I imagine most commuter cyclists have never used toe clips or clip-in style either. Why complicate a commuter bicycle, you might ask? In stop and go traffic, it doesn't make sense, I know. So why all this fuss and angst? Why did I ride for years around town with a finicky, flip-pedals-backward-at-every-take-off style of riding?
The short answer is: it's been a habit since 1983. 33 years! It's how I rode across the country; it's how I rode around the world. It's how I commuted in Portland, Oregon for 10 years and here in Vermont for the last 20. With my feet secured to pedals, it's supposed to be efficient, but as I look back, I wonder if that's technically true. I am not a fast rider - never have been. I average 10 m.p.h. so I presume toe clips were a security blanket, a necessary appendage on all my bicycles.
Removing the toe clips has also become symbolic. Like shedding parts of my past, I am ready for a new adventure, riding mainly step through bicycles, without clips. I have let go of my emotional attachments to the Miyata and Trek, ready to part with one and part out the other.
After one week without the toe clips, I have come to embrace this new style of riding. My sandaled feet can breathe better. I like easily planting my feet on the ground. I feel faster without the extra step of removal or inserting feet inside the clips (nominal increase in speed, I'm sure!). On the flip side, it is awkward unlearning a 30+ year old habit and I'm afraid my feet may slip off the pedal and cause injury to my shin. It is clear I will need wider and/or longer pedals to truly make this transition become more comfortable.
At the moment I am awaiting the arrival of my Rivendell Clementine, a bike I plan to tour with, going au naturel, truly immersing myself into the world of platform pedals. Or that is at least my hope. I will give touring without toe clips a heartfelt try.
Have you ever experienced something similar, something you once considered integral to cycling, but have decided you can do without?
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Stuck in Vermont edition (here now). That means awesome press for Girls Ride Out.
Thank goodness I remembered my bike light.
Thank goodness I remembered my bike light.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
|Camping on lush lawn at Cumberland Head State Park.|
|My partner in last minute mode, stuffing odds and ends in his panniers.|
|Taking a short break to eat.|
My husband and I love this route, a fairly easy 40-45 mile loop that most people ride in one day, but it's also a scenic journey that can be enjoyed as a simple overnight, with easy access midway to a very nice campground. I completed a similar route 3 years ago, then, tacking on additional miles to get in shape for an upcoming longer trip. However, this time we pedaled the direct shoreline road, gazing at calm lake water for most of the journey.
|Our boys would've loved watching this mower.|
However, what a fun little diversion!
|My husband loves to bring everything but the kitchen sink, whereas as I age, I'm leaning |
toward the minimalist approach.
|Cumberland State Park campground borders a good-sized beach, complete with cement boardwalk and swimming area, however, the beach water when we visited, unfortunately, was full of slime...|
hope it's not always so.
|My husband's in the white shirt.|
A sub 24 hour bike overnight is a satisfying adventure, allowing solo time with my husband, doing something that we both love - perfect on a weekend. We arrived home to discover our boys managed quite well without us and the kitchen was clean. Yeah!