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

Yieldtolife

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 question...am 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 www.versus.com
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 www.versus.com . 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 llbean.com
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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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Bicycle Safety

Yesterday, I heard about an accident where a cyclist was riding on the sidewalk (allegedly due to some road construction barrels and other debris in the street) and a car turning into a business hit the cyclist. That just drove the point home that sidewalks are for pedestrians not bikes. When I said this to a friend (who hasn't been on a bike since she was a kid) she said, "I always used to ride on the sidewalk or against traffic". My heart almost stopped. These are two sure ways to get hit especially riding against traffic. I proceeded to explain to her why this was so dangerous and she said if she was riding against traffic, she could see what was coming at her. "But cars aren't looking for you to be coming that way. Particularly, cars pulling out from a business or intersection", I explained to her.

Occasionally, I have been known to use a sidewalk but always slowly and watching for cars pulling in and out of parking lots, driveways etc. I don't like to do it but it's the lesser of two evils in some cases. I also told her about my handy rear view mirror that fits into the handlebars (I have one on my helmet but I'm not too thrilled about it).

So we've all seen bike riders pedaling the wrong way down a street on the sidewalk. Does anyone else ever get the urge to give them a bicycle safety lesson, right there on the street? It's not a superiority thing...it's just that I can picture them getting hit and quite frankly, it's gives all cyclists a bad name when they are the cause of an accident. What's the answer?
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cycling Decor



Subtle cycling decor. Love it!

These were presents from my sister-in-law, Cathy. She always puts a lot of effort into finding the perfect gift.
The one in middle came from Pier One if you like it!
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Monday, July 6, 2009

Bike Trail Pics

This lovely couple out for a Sunday evening ride has a matching set of Electra Townies.

I love this couple. He's more of a roadie and she's in her street clothes.

The Psycyclist broke a spoke on his Gios on Saturday so we ran the wheel down to the bike shop for repair. On the way back, we checked out the bike trail for any unsuspecting models. Maybe the blog should be called "bike stalker" since I am armed with camera and on the prowl. Anyway, we spotted quite a few Electra Townies so I guess our local shop has sold a lot of them. For me, it's a bike that I like in theory but not so much in practice. I'm sure they're great for people who just want to leisurely ride along the trail. They sure do look cool!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Vintage Pic Of The Day

Gentleman rider
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Friday, July 3, 2009

Around Town

Nice day for a tandem ride. Her partner must have been in the bank.

At the Farmer's Market today. I love his patriotic headband!

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Bike Rack is Top Design

Copenhagen-based designers Ian Mahaffy and Maarten de Greeve’s design, a simple circle bisected by a crossbar, beat out more than 200 entries in a contest to come up with a secure bike rack for New York City cyclists. Almost 5,000 hoops, each costing under $300, are soon to be anchored to the pavement all over the city.—Peter Hellman
Photographer: Scott Gastel


I picked up a back issue of Metropolitan Home's Design 100 and this bike rack was one of their picks. What do you think? I would love to have one at my house for guests to ride up and lock it. It's artful and practical.
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