Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 30: Success and Fame in Blogging

Thirty straight days of biking and blogging. They said it couldn't be done. I thought it couldn't be done. But as I write this post, ride done for the day, Wild Turkey close at hand, I'll have biked and blogged for every day in April. I rolled up a somewhat meager 120 miles for the month, which works out to an average of four miles per day.

That's the "success" bit.

Before I talk about the "fame" bit, let's go over tonight's ride. It was another of my famed head-to-head matchups, this time the venerable Cross Check up against the even more venerable Trek 620:

Four laps around Avery Park, two miles each, alternating bikes each lap.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day 29: Happy Birthday Mom

Before I start today's post, I want to tell my number one blog reader, "Happy Birthday Mom!" The kids all wanted to express their birthday wishes as well:

Tonight, we rode up to Moe's to enjoy the beautiful weather as well as the kids eat free Tuesday deal:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 28: One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer

You had to see this coming: the day after I rebuilt my Buzz to a utility bike, I get an email asking if it it's still for sale. In case that deal actually happens, I took it for a quick cruise through Avery Park tonight. Since it was getting dark, and cool, and a light rain was falling, I had the place to myself as I hummed along to Eddie Rabbitt:


When I passed the first giant soccer ball, I was inspired to take each of my road bikes for a lap, and get a picture of each, with a different soccer ball:

It doesn't take much to get inspired for a post on day 28.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 27: Surly Krampus Review

P2 was in good shape this morning, somewhat rare for spring, so I took advantage and headed out for a ride this morning. There were just a few muddy spots, but most of the tread was firm and packed, making for nice riding.

I was riding my Krampus again, and stopped to take a quick picture when I saw this new rope swing someone had installed:

Shortly after, a fellow on a yellow Yeti full susser passed me. There's enough 20 year old racer wannabe in me that I don't like getting passed, and I pushed the Big K to stay ahead of the next two guys that were behind me. In the end, I stayed well ahead of them, but I don't have any other pictures from today's ride for my efforts.

Now that I've had several rides on the Krampus, it's time to offer a quick review.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day 26: Buzzed Again

I started off today with an extremely short ride, just ferrying our stuff over to Avery Park for soccer. Henry had a noon game, then Sam at 1:15, so we barely had time for a quick picnic in between:

Sam got to be the first bulldog in his game, he was pretty excited about it:

I spent the afternoon stripping down my Cross Check and converting it back to a fixed gear, and moving those parts over to the Novara Buzz...again. It's now my utility bike... again: 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Day 25: Road Trip Recap

Just a short hop on my CC today, where, despite the sun, I found I was quite underdressed. So let's talk about instead:

Last week, my brother and I both took a few days off for a road trip. We had set aside this time a while back, not realizing it was Easter weekend, so that ended up cutting our trip short. Then, for various other reasons, my brother Jason had to be back by Friday afternoon. That left us Wednesday, Thursday, and part of Friday to use.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day 24: Beer Run

In addition to biking every day of the month and blogging every day in April (so far, so good), I also made a quiet pledge of no alcohol and no Coke (my pop of choice, by far) for that time. Well, I'm still doing OK on the Coke, but the alcohol thing has fallen by the wayside. That's for the best, as last week's road trip with my brother involved visiting some bourbon distilleries (more on this in a later post). That trip also made me want to pick up some Kentucky Bourbon Ale, so tonight that boys and I hit the road for the store.

We stopped at a giant golf ball for a quick picture:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day 23: Deep Thoughts about City Bikes

Of my core three bikes--road, mountain, and city--the city bike is probably the one that gets the most turnover. Well, maybe it's tied with my mountain bike, but the city category certainly has a lot of churn. It's a bit odd, since I probably spend most of my time these last few years on my city bike, that I never have a dedicated bike or even a fixed bike style that I use for it. I mostly use cast offs from my other categories: old mountain bikes, converted 'cross bikes, etc.

Early on in my blog, I posted some key points for a city bike (see here). Fat tires, fenders, gears, flat pedals, decent standover, etc etc... those all still apply. Within those requirements, though, there's a lot of freedom.

Some oddballs from my past builds:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 22: Comparo Ride, Foiled

I have to work late tonight, so I planned a morning ride before work. At first, I was just going to do a usual run through the metro park. But with the dry weather we've had lately, I thought the small off road loop in the Avery woodlot might be rideable. My plan was to do some back to back laps between the Krampus and the FSR. I rode one bike and ghost rode the other to get there (earning a strange look from a passing cyclist), only to find the trails much too muddy to ride. I walked in, took a picture, and turned around:

Maybe the beginner loop at Alum will be dry enough this weekend for some more head to head action.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Day 21: Soccer Practice

Henry's soccer practice was tonight, which was a good enough excuse for me to get on the bike. Jodi drove Henry and Sam out to the practice area, leaving me and Kate to ride the Cross Check:

Kate, ahead of either of the boys, has mastered trail courtesy on multi use paths. She is constantly craning her neck around to see ahead, and will ring her bell if we come up on other trail users.

Three and a half miles later, we arrived at the practice field to find that Jodi and the boys beat us there:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Day 20: Happy Easter

We worked off some Easter candy with a short ride to Park Place, where we lingered quite a while in  the warm evening.

Henry is getting pretty adjusted to riding his new "24er":

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 19: Buying and Selling Sites

I did a dawn ride through the metro park. Ye Olde Trek meets Ye Olde Truck:

Rather than yet another daily ride report, which can grow as tedious to write as they must be to read, I'm going to discuss what sites I regularly use for buying and selling:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 18: Krampus at Chestnut Ridge

Since I ended up coming home early from my road trip, I had a free, unplanned day today. I guess I could have cancelled my vacation day and gone to work, but what are the chances of that actually happening?

After watching Kate's dance class, I headed south for Chestnut Ridge. It was a warm day and the trail was in decent shape (at least, with use of the wet weather bypass). I soon met a rider walking his bike down the trail. Flat tire, slow leak, no tools. Unfortunately, we found that my patch kit glue was dry, so we dry fit a patch and pumped it as best we could. It was more or less holding air--maybe enough for him to ride back to the parking lot.

I continued climbing up to the barn for a breather:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 17: My Ten Rules of Bike Buying

(I pre-wrote this post as I'm on a short road trip with my brother. Probably no biking today
edit: we got home early. I pulled the Buzz off the for sale rack and did a lap around Avery Park)


I buy and sell more bikes than any reasonable person probably should. Through the years, I've developed a few lessons learned that I've been meaning to pull together. These aren't your typical Bicycling magazine buyer's guide tips (eg, "pick a shop, not a bike", "fit is the most important thing", or "don't forget to budget for a jersey, helmet and gloves!" because God forbid you ride in a T shirt). No, these are specific to me, but perhaps some have broader application.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 16: A History of My 26" Mountain Bikes

(I'm leaving soon for a short road trip with my brother. I headed out for a token ride in the pre-dawn chill, but it was so quiet and pleasant to be out--event at 25 degrees--that I took a longer loop through the nature preserve. I stopped to enjoy the sight of the full moon reflecting on a misty pond. I may have to do more dawn patrol rides)


Regular reader(s) of my blog have probably already seen the history of my full suspension bikes, hardtail 29ers, and road/cross bikes. What, they've probably been wondering during sleepless nights, about the old school mountain bikes? Today we can allow them to rest easy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 15: A Chilly Crosscheck Run, and Selle AnAtomica Notes

Two pairs of pants, long sleeve shirt, two jackets, balaclava, and my warmest winter gloves... this for a ride in mid April. I started out with my second warmest gloves, but turned back after a few hundred yards to get the warmer pair. What happened to our nice weather?

A little patch of snow was left over from this morning's snowfall, up against the blooming daffodils:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Day 14: Deer and Bones

The rain had stopped by dinner time, but that still meant it was too wet for a playground ride. When Henry and Sam realized that, they decided to stay home and play computer games instead. Kate and I had a nice father/daughter ride:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Day 13: Surly Krampus Review and Ride

The trail at Alum Creek was finally marginally acceptable to ride, and my folks had the kids for the day, and it was 70 degrees by 11:00 this morning, making an unusually good day to be out. I loaded up my bike gear, dropped off the kids, and headed for the trail.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 12: Breezes and Breezer

It was a bit of a strange ride today, in that I went by myself, in beautiful (if windy) weather, and didn't stop at a single playground. I putzed around town on the Breezer, covering maybe a dozen miles in a bit less than an hour.

I stopped at Ballantrae Park (no playground!) for a quick bite and a picture:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Day 11: Need vs. Have vs. Want

I had a nice spin this evening around the metro park loop. One of the many great things about our location is that we're less than a mile from Glacier Ridge Metro Park. They have a lightly used multi use path running through the park, and from our house it makes a nice ten mile loop. Especially for afterwork or weekday morning rides, it's a pleasant way to get away from traffic.

I did ten fixed miles on ye Olde Trek, stopping at a vernal pool for a picture:

I was rolling along in a happy mood because I had just sold my Niner frame. With my bike budget solidly in the black again, it was fun to chew through some possibilities:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 10: Avery Park, Again

Another beautiful evening so we hit the road for Avery Park. Kate was once again riding solo:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 9: Two Parks, and Some New Stuff

Coincidentally, perhaps, some of my camping gear seems to be multiplying along with my bike stuff. Although I already have three tents--a big eight person family tent, my trust Eureka Spitfire 2 adult (or one adult + two small kids) tent, and an old three person Kelty tent that is too short for me--I perceived a hole in this tent lineup that needed filling. What if, I pondered, I were to take all three kids on a short, flat, S24O? I don't have a tent for that!

Luckily, REI was there to help me, with a 20% off coupon that applied to their outlet site, and now my fourth tent is fit for four people. We had to give it a test setup... in the living room:

My wife is very patient with me (even if she won't let me hang a bike on the wall above the TV)


Tonight after dinner we headed out to the Dublinshire Greenway Park:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 8: On the Road Again to Park Place

After last night's record low distance (500 feet?), we had a beautiful evening for a real ride:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Day 7: Technically, This Counts

It was somewhat easier to do on my Breezer, but I wanted a challenge. A challenge that didn't involve riding around at night in a thunderstorm, which was the alternative.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Day 6: Donegal Cliffs, and a Trailer Repair

Way back on my first post, I listed out several playgrounds we visited, but only had pictures for a few. Today we patched another one of those holes, by revisiting Donegal Cliff Park, camera in hand.

After trail work this morning, before we could leave, I decided it was time to do some other patch work on the trailer:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Day 5: Books, and 100 Posts!

After the kid's soccer games this afternoon, I took ye Olde Trek and headed to the library in Dublin. I'm enjoying the Trek much more as a flat barred, fixed gear bike than I did as a drop barred, geared bike. It felt good to be out on a stripped down bike, surging with the cranks over the small rises along the way. Does it plane? Maybe, and if I think it does, that's good enough.

I stopped for a quick picture:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Day 4: Against the Wind

Terrifically windy today. Combine that with cool temps, and I wasn't so motivated to get out there. On the other hand, with my nephews visiting, we had five energetic kids in the house. Time to hop on my ever faithful Cross Check and make my exit!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day 3: Puddle Stomping

We had heavy rains all day today. This doesn't bode well for mountain biking at any point in the foreseeable future, but it cleared up after dinner tonight, enough for a road ride, at least. I tried to get the kids to sign up for a bike ride to go find puddles to stomp in, but they outvoted me and we walked:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day 2: Breezer

After one night, my 30 days pledge was already hanging by a thread. I didn't get home until after 9:00 tonight, due to a late video conference (one of the downsides of working for a Japanese multinational company). My first thought was to take a token ride up and down the street, but I decided to take a longer lap around Avery park instead. It turned out to be quite refreshing, which I guess is really the point of this whole "ride every day" pledge: it forces you get out there.

I decided to pull my Breezer out of the garage:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

30 Days of Biking and Blogging

The hip thing to do in April for internet savvy cyclers is to pledge to ride every day in April. Biking bloggers take that one step further and vow to blog every day about it. Because, you know, there aren't enough pictures of bikes leaning against walls out there.

I can't make the pledge: I have a road trip scheduled with my brother over a long Easter weekend, and I won't have the hardware to ride or blog during that window. But, I'll do what I can to join in. Here's my picture of a bike against a wall:

City Bike Update

One post in, and my Fuji America has already gotten a pretty major update. A wave of bike changes cascaded down to it: - I sold my Trek St...