Saturday, July 27, 2013

Darree Fields (and some notes on the Soma Oxford bar)

We finally got a break in the rain this afternoon, so after dinner the twins and I headed out to knock off another playground. Our destination for the evening was #16 Darree Fields, tucked away on the far western side of Dublin.

Darree has two playgrounds, so we stopped at the northern one first:

Both kids got a chance to express their musical proclivities:

and then Sam found the dinosaur skeleton:

In between the playgrounds is one of Dublin's public art projects, "going, going gone":

Kate really knocked it out of the park, right through this metal gate:

which led to a very tame nature trail:

From there, we headed to the other playground on the southern part of the park. It had some train whistles, like we saw back at Kendal Ridge:

The usual play structure:

and a lot of stuff for Kate to climb:

Overall, for a big city park, the playgrounds at Darree fields were just so-so. They play second fiddle to all the sports fields here; a place for parents to stash their younger kids while the older kids play soccer or baseball.

You can see I'm running a new handlebar on my Surly Crosscheck. This is a Soma Oxford, which is a copy of the Nitto Albatross bar. It's 1cm narrower (not good), but some $30 cheaper (that's nice). At over $3 saved per mm, I can live with the width. I find I'm liking this bar quite a bit. It offers two really good hand positions: on the grips, sitting very upright, and then on the forward curves, which are nicely shaped for hands. Compared to other bars I've tried for my utility bikes, such as the On One Mary or the Surly Open Bar, the key advantage of the Oxford is that it can run bar end shifters, allowing my hands to range over the length of the bar without the interference of a shifter. That's a pretty nice feature. They're also very nicely finished--I was going to tape the front curves, but I find I like the shiny finish too much to cover it up!

One down, 15 to go.

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