Monday, September 21, 2009

Bicycle Necklace

I couldn't resist this necklace. Mom bought it for me as an early Christmas present. It's a great momento of a fun day spent with my mom.

You can purchase one at: The Vintage Barn
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Vintage Tandem

Country Living Magazine held it's fair in Columbus,Ohio over the weekend. Mom and I went yesterday and had a fabulous time.

This old huffy tandem was at the booth of It was too cute. Love the dice on the tires and the front of the basket has red lips.

Be sure to check her out at
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Random Pic

Just a random shot from the car.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Obama Drama

Much has been made of the President's decision skip the helmet while riding on vacation at Martha's Vineyard. In June, he was criticized for his "nerdy" helmet. What's a guy to do?
So what do you think?
Is this much ado about nothing?
Do you always wear a lid?
top photo: (photo by Alex Brandon - Associated Press)
bottom photo: LA Times (photo by Alex Brandon - Associated Press)
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Monday, August 24, 2009

New opportunities

My last post was about a new opportunity and I told you that I would fill you in. Well, the big news is this: I have been offered a chance to write for a couple of local publications including our newspaper.

It seems this 40 year old (wannabe) writer is being given a chance.

I have a lot to learn. Aside from research papers in college, a couple of essays and newsletter writing, my experience has been limited to blogging and fiction. Journalism is a whole different ball of wax. Thank goodness for a great and patient editor.

I have also been working on my first novel, The Geriatric Prom Queens, and still hope to finish it by the end of the year. Hopefully, someone will want to buy it once it's completed.

I always wanted to be a writer but never had the guts to "go for it". Thanks to one of my best friends, Paul, and my husband, Mike, I realize there's nothing stopping me. Being a writer is a dream come true for me and I'm so grateful for the opportunity.

Sorry that this is all about me today. I'm not really this self-centered:) Just wanted to bring everyone up to speed.

I've posted a link to the most recent article above.

~ Jen

Monday, August 17, 2009

Missing my bikes and all of you

Life has been so crazy but in a good way. I have been offered an opportunity to make one of my life-long ambitions come true. I'm not quite ready to share it all yet. I might jinx myself.

I will tell you that it's exciting, nerve wracking and flattering- all at the same time. The only caveat so far is that I have absolutely no time to ride.

The weather has been so hot and humid (as I write this, I am sticking to my chair). I haven't even wanted to ride to work. I would have to leave early to allow time for the "PTA" bath and I just don't have the extra minutes right now.

I am missing my bikes and all of my fellow bloggers. I miss reading about all of you and your adventures. I wonder if anyone has a new bike, had a crash, or decided to give up their car.

Things will settle down soon and I will restore some balance to our household. At this moment, I have about two weeks of dirty laundry, a garden full of weeds, and a list of other projects that need to be done before autumn.

Just wanted you to know that I'm still here and thinking of all of you.

Monday, August 10, 2009

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This article appeared in the Mansfield News Journal today. I thought I would share it with all of you. Photo and story are from
August 10, 2009
Livestrong honors fundraiser from Shelby
News Journal
SHELBY -- One Shelby man is about to take a ride he won't soon forget.
After more than two years of hard work and dedication, Jack Gray, 61, will participate Oct. 25 in his first Livestrong Challenge Ride for the Roses.
The honor is only awarded to those who raise more than $10,000 in a single year for the cancer foundation.
But that's not all.
Riding alongside the "roses" will be record-breaking pro cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, foundation founder and Tour de France champion seven consecutive years.
"I wanted to do the Ride for the Roses since I started fundraising," Gray said. "This is a huge honor for me."
Gray, who directed the Shelby band for 30 years, was diagnosed in October 2004 with stage four prostate cancer.
After surgery, two months of radiation and three years of chemotherapy, Gray is now coming up on his second-year being cancer-free.
When treatments ended in 2007, Gray decided to do his first Livestrong cycling challenge in Philadelphia. The organization donates millions each year to cancer research initiatives and hospitals across the country.
"Many years ago, before children, I was teaching and I got interested in cycling," Gray said. "I did some serious road cycling and probably rode until the kids were born. Then life got busy and riding got away from me."
When cancer later took a toll on his body, Gray said he got back into cycling to regain strength.
After a friend suggested he read one of Armstrong's books, Gray said he was impressed and inspired.
Then visited the Livestrong Web site.
"I found out about the Livestrong challenge and felt this was a way to give back to everyone who helped me through this," he said.
In order to raise money, Gray has sold T-shirts, held raffles, mailed letters and created a bike rally in Shelby.
In just under three years, Gray has raised nearly $29,000.
"Everyone's life has been touched by cancer," he said. "Every minute, someone dies from cancer."
This month, Gray will participate in the Philadelphia challenge for the third time, then travel to Austin, Texas, in October for the Ride for the Roses.
"I don't ride, but I'm here for support," his wife Chris said. "Wherever he is, I'm there."
Chris said many participants raise money in teams.
"They can't believe he's raised all this himself," she said.
"This is just my way of payin' it forward," Gray said. "This is something I can do to really help the foundation help others."

To donate to Jack Gray's fund, visit or mail a check made out to "Livestrong" to Gray at 162 Poplar St., Shelby, OH, 44875.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bike Trail Pics

I've been out of circulation this week. I've been out a few times on the bikes but haven't had much time to be "The Bike Stalker". As usual, I was driving and saw some very stylish cyclists but didn't have the camera ready...story of my life.

Anyway, getting back into a normal routine but it's going to take me all weekend to catch up on everyone's blogs. Have a good one! ~ Jen
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Library Sighting

This old bike was parked outside the library.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

For Lovely Bicycle

I adore the blog "Lovely Bicycle". Everyday, I turn on my computer to see if Filigree has posted anything new. She's inspired me to write just a bit about my old Schwinn. The discussion on her blog was about getting used to a road bike if you normally ride a comfort or hybrid so I thought I jot down a few of my thoughts.

My Schwinn was a $10 thrift store purchase. I already owned a beach cruiser (we lived on the South Florida coast at the time) and my Specialized hybrid when I found the Schwinn. The bike was in "like new" condition but I changed out a few things at my husbands suggestion. I purchased a new saddle from Performance and had my local shop (Bicycle Sport of Vero Beach, Florida) put on new drop bars and brakes. This year, I finally changed out the pedals to Shimano's M-520's but more on that issue later.

Like Filigree, I was a little intimidated by this bike. If you are used to wide tires and sitting upright, this is a big change. I didn't have a lot of trouble adjusting to the position since I rode a boy's 10-speed during my teenage years but as you can see in the
picture, I have tilted the bars toward me rather than having them totally flat and even with the saddle. It made the transition a little easier. I also added a rear view mirror.

What I love about the bike is it's speed. Even though it's an old steel bike, it's a lot lighter than any of my other bikes. Hills are not really a big challenge when I'm riding it. What takes some getting used to is how it handles road problems such as gravel, potholes, bumps, cracks, etc. I have to be a lot more careful and skilled when I'm on it.

I had my first crash on this bike. The crash happened shortly after I started riding it and I tackled some wet train tracks in a way that only an inexperienced rider would. I was used to the handling of the hybrid and I just didn't anticipate how a skinny tire would handle the track. The back wheel went out from under me and the next thing I knew; I was on the ground. Lesson learned. The arm healed and the road rash went away.

Now I own a fleet of bikes. They all serve different purposes and which one I take depends on where I'm going, road/weather conditions and my mood. It's nice to have that choice and I love them all.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Professional Cyclist for Team Garmin-Slipstream, David Zabriskie, has started an organization called Yield to Life; dedicated to promoting a safer environment for cyclists. Yield to life has a mission to increase public awareness of cyclists and to humanize them to drivers.
Please take a moment to check out the website:
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Feel The Need For Speed!

Christopher's new motorcycle

Not exactly the most flattering picture. It started out as a decent hair day but after the wind tunnel effect, it didn't look so hot.

While attending the party for my uncle's 60th birthday, I asked my cousin to take me for a ride on his new motorcycle. I had not been on a motorcycle in probably 20 years. I know... before you mention it... I wear a helmet on my bicycle but don't have one on while riding a machine that can go well in excess of 100 mph. We were just riding up the road and not very fast (ish). It was fun to feel the wind whipping around me but I think I'll stick with bikes that have pedals.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Do You Feel Guilty?

This is a pic of the groceries that I brought home on the bike yesterday. It was a heavy load for me but I kept thinking of Sara from Full Hands who rides everywhere; toting kids and everything else. She gave me to motivation to keep going. Thanks Sara and all of the rest of my fellow bloggers for all the inspiration.

Yesterday, we had to attend a party for an uncle's 60th birthday. My assignment was to bring fruit to the party. I debated...take the car or try the bike. I knew that the melons were going to make for a heavy load but what the heck. I took Agatha because she's the bike with the basket and rack but she's also the heaviest bike with the fewest gears. The thing is... at some point, I have to practice what I preach and consistently.

I have no problem taking the bike for short distances but at the slightest hint of real exertion, traffic, or weather issues. I hop in my car and off I go. Sure, it helps cut down on car usage and I purchase carbon offsets for my car but I feel like a hypocrite. I know I shouldn't feel guilty about it since I knew it would be nearly impossible to go completely car- free in this location but I do. So I'm going to ask the I the only one who feels this way?

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

View From The Saddle

The pavement becomes a blur along with any stresses that I'm carrying around when I get on the bike. It's a great way to work out problems, clear the head, (hopefully, cure writer's block) and come back refreshed and renewed. One of the things that I love most about cycling is the sense of freedom and empowerment that I feel when I'm riding. Just another one of the benefits of riding a bike. Happy riding :)
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

What's Up With the New Name

If you have stopped by before or you follow the blog, you might have noticed that the name has changed. The address has stayed the same but I have a new title. The reason is simple. I have started to blog on our local newspaper's website and I need to protect my privacy, just a little. I didn't worry about it so much before because most of us "cyclegirls" are spreadout throughout the world and we share a common interest but now some of my readers are in my backyard and may not be so friendly. Thanks for understanding and ride on.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sometimes You Have To Get Off And Walk

I snapped this pic yesterday morning. I was relieved to know that I'm not the only one who has to get off and walk the bike. There is a huge hill on my route from work to home. I can ride it on the hybrid or the touring bike but not on Agatha. Every time I try, I end up getting off and walking her up the hill. It's become my goal for the summer, to be able to make it to the top on Aggie.
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Cycling Through The Weekend

The Psycyclist giving a wave but we weren't the only ones who rode to the show.

Our bikes parked under the stairs.

This bike was parked across the street.

This weekend, the Psycyclist turned 51, a major milestone since the odds were against him making it to thirty. One would have thought that fifty would have been the big birthday since he made it to half a century but it came and went with little fanfare. He's now excited to have made it one year past the halfway mark since he's banking on making it to one hundred.

I took a vacation day on Saturday and we were headed for Shelby's Bicycle Days. The Weather Gods were not in our favor and throughout the morning it grew dark and stormy. As the clock continued inching toward 2:00 (time of the parade start), the storm began to pass. The 51 year old Psycyclist had fallen asleep in front of the television. This is something he never does. Hopefully, it's not a sign of whats to come over the 49 remaining years of his life. I hope these senior citizen naps aren't going to become a habit but he was so peaceful that I didn't have the heart to wake him.

When he finally awoke, I was vegged out in front of the TV watching a chick flick on Lifetime (I'd pryed the remote from his hands) and he was a little disappointed that we'd missed Bicycle Days. Instead he worked on bikes and "pounded some hills". He came home and announced to me, "I still have it!" When asked if he wanted anything special for dinner, he requested one of my home-made pizzas. So that was our evening; catching up on the Tour De France stages that we hadn't watched yet and eating pizza.

On Sunday, he worked on bikes again (I don't know if there is really that much work to be done or if it's just his excuse to hang out in the garage with his bikes) and we picked up his wheel from the bike shop. We also picked up a new rack for his Fuji so he can start hauling groceries on it.

Sunday night, we hopped on the bikes and rode to the Govt Mule concert that was being held downtown. We equipped the bikes with lights and off we went. We weren't the only ones who rode Eco-friendly to the show. We spotted a couple of other bikes parked around the area. It was funny...we parked the bikes under some stairs at the side of the building where most of the people had to pass from the parking lot to the theatre and it was unbelievable how many people remarked on Agatha. I didn't realize she was so cool. Older people smile and wave all the time (I always chalk it up to nostalgia) but this was a pretty young crowd and they thought she was hip. When we left, we just got on and rode. No traffic...just brilliant.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Schwinn Remake

Yesterday, the Psycyclist, feeling a little jealous of all the attention that Agatha has been getting lately, wanted me to take some photos of his Schwinn turned Gios. This has proven to be a versatile bike for him. It was a Schwinn Madison frame that he resprayed. Then was a fixed gear now its a flip-flop. (a fixed/single speed).

He bartered some labor for the frame and wheels. He had a seat post and the saddle. We had the freewheel, brakes, levers and handlebars put on so we think the cost was somewhere around $70. He's been riding it now for about ten years.
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

The 96th Tour De France

Photo from
Everyday, I DVR the tour so I can watch it when I get home from work (at midnight). This means that I have had almost no sleep this week and have fallen asleep on the couch a couple of times before seeing the end of the coverage.
If you haven't been following, you're missing a great show. It's anyone's tour right now and Team Astana has a rather interesting set up with several riders that could actually take the tour. We haven't had cable for five years but I had to get it with a digital sports package in order to get Versus but you can also watch footage on . They also have several contests with some really cool prizes including a trip to the 2010 Tour. Be sure to check out their website. It really is incredible and I am dying to get a poster of the logo pictured above.
I also stumbled onto an alternative way to follow the tour. I sometimes check out a blog called Good Things. It's about someone who aspires to a Martha Stewart type existence. I haven't looked at it for a while and when I went there today, I found that it's author is following the Tour. A map is provided along with regional information but here's the best part... they prepare a dish that is traditional for each region that the Tour rides through. The articles are fabulous and the food is tantalizing. Food & cycling. How awesome. So be sure to visit.

Bikes At LL Bean

LL Bean has a couple of beach cruisers in their catalog along with helmets, lights, racks, panniers and more. Most of the accessories are more sport than chic but I like the messenger bag pictured below. It comes in many color combinations and you can even purchase a stainless steel water bottle to match.

Check them out at the following link:
Photos are from
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Random Pics

I inquired at the coffee shop about the owner of this bike and was told that he lost his license. He rode to the coffee shop to catch a ride to his job. That seems to be pretty common around here. People ride because they have to;not for the sake of riding or some greater purpose.
This can't really be comfortable for transportation but I see them all the time. Reality is... there is no bicycle chic here in Mansfield...yet.
This fellow was riding past the library and as usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short on getting the pic.
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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Should I Be Tempted?

My friend sent me this pic yesterday. He saw this bike for sale for only $50. I just don't know. It's an old Roadmaster and you can see that it needs a little work. Might be ok for the Psycyclist. What should I do?
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