Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fifty Two Rides in Fifty Two Weeks: Supporting Fetishism and Communing with Campers

Week one of 52 rides in 52 weeks.  Grand total of rides for the week:  3.

Yeah! Surpassed the week's goal.

Please don't give me grief about setting the bar too low.  I know myself.

Wrap up:  Ride 1.  Decked myself out in full rain regalia, complete with mittens.  Unfortunately, on the ride home it was 65 degrees and sunny. Probably why the passing motorists gave me a wide berth.

Ride 2. An ordinary, forgettable commute to yoga school.  

Devotees' shoes outside the yoga room

Ride 3. Best of the week:  sunny Sunday, early morning, misty.

A panhandler with a radiant smile declined to let me take his picture because, he said, he didn't want to support fetishism.  Fair enough.  

Substitute panhandler photo below.

Image Source:  The Inquisitor, "Panhandlers Discover New Stimulous Tactic"
These photos were taken without permission:

Young lovers:


Fishers, both avian and humanoid.

See "Amazing Pictures of Birds" for more like this of a kingfisher
Detergent in the Oakway Mall fountain.  That thing must be really clean.

Maybe it's just from looking through gold-colored sunglasses, but it seems like grass really is greener from a bicycle.
Spring grass and my shadow

Fifty one weeks to go ...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Kingdom for a Hat

Sometimes when I'm cycling I just don't want my head to get wet.  I tried tucking hood under bike helmet, but couldn't see very well; then tried hood over the helmet, but felt like I was in a diving bell.

Yeah, yeah, there are plenty of options.  Take the JAKROO Cycling Bike Helmet Rain Cover Hat for $12:
Dorky.  Complementary shower caps you get at hotels do just as well.

The Novara Thermal Tech Beanie ($20):
Too much of a hair squisher.

How about the Showers Pass Bike Helmet Cover ($40)?

Seriously? $40?  

Now this is more like it: 

Enhanced Bicycle Helmets, Thanks to artist Mattias Adolfsson

Cycling philosopher Emma J has the right idea, re-imagining helmets for every occasion:

From Emma J's Imaginary Bicycle, a wide-brimmed straw helmet hat with ribbon and flowers
Oh but look!  Coming soon:

Airbag bicycle helmet

An airbag for your head that can be worn as a stylish scarf.  This would mean NO HELMET, so you can wear anything you want to keep dry.  See Wired Magazine's Oct. 20, 2010 Gadget Lab for a crash test dummy demo.  

Probably costs more than $40, though.  Maybe better to reconcile myself to wet hair.  

What's your head gear?  Anybody out there tried the Cycling Airbag?  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Flamingos and Fairy Basslets

T minus three days until the launch of 52 rides in 52 weeks, and visiting the island of Bonaire, home of some of the best diving anywhere, and one of four places in the world where wild flamingos nest.

(Flamingo at Gotomeer Lake. Thank you to Mike at Hammocktree, and his windsurfing blog post  from Jan. 2010)

Bonaire, a special municipality of the Netherlands, is about 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela.  Citizens hold Dutch passports and natives speak Dutch as well as English, Spanish and the native Papiamentu.

Since this is part of the Netherlands ...,
(Cyclists in the Netherlands.  Image Source:  http://dc.streetsblog.org/2010/11/18/dutch-planners-school-u-s-cities-on-bikeability/)

... it probably goes without saying that there is decent cycling:
Bike Map.  Image Source:  http://www.infobonaire.com/cyclingmap.html

Visitors and locals are uber-relaxed, but I'm with three hard core bicyclists.  Forget the easy 6-mile rides in chilly weather that I'm used to at home.

We followed the red line route shown above, without the extensions at the north and south ends, about 22 miles.  Sunny, beautiful, hot.  Challenging.  I got off and walked up a steep hill, and it took me all day to recover from the ride.

Me, way back there, through the shimmering heat

It was worth it.  The rewards:  stunning views along the west coast, flamingos wading in Lake Gotomeer (see above), a cold drink at the mini-market in the village of Rincon ...

Rincon, pop. 1800, Image source:  Destination360

... and a dip in the ocean at the end of the day.
Fairy Basslet, Bonaire.  Thank you to photographer Dan Hershman

Biking info:  Mountain bike rental from Bonaire Dive & Adventure, $20 for 24 hours, includes helmet, water bottles, lock.  Hours 8:30-4:30.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mittens and Daffodils

Hail, Hail!
Yee haw.  The daphne is blooming (never mind that it lost all its leaves) and so are the daffodils.  Spring must be here.



However, it's T minus 11 days before the official April 15 start date for 52 rides in 52 weeks.  Get out the rain gear! 

Frog Tog Dirt Bike Rain Gear

... ragg wool mittens

Manzella ragg wool mittens from Campmor

Ready, set ... bike! ...

Well, maybe tomorrow.  

Even Bike Hugger blog writer Byron, a seriously macho and dedicated cycler, waits out hail.  An excerpt:  "I’ve ridden in sideways, full-frontal, deluge, drizzle, mist, freezing, bounce-off-the-top-tube-into-your-face rain. Snow, blizzard, freezing fog, and wet dust storms that spit mud drops. On one particularly epic Mt Rainer ride, a Forest Service Ranger handed me a plastic garbage bag so I could make it down the road a few thousand feet into warmer weather. I shivered so badly, the bike shook.
When the temps dip below 32, I don’t ride. Here in Seattle temperatures that low don’t last long. And I stop for hail too, it’s just really unpleasant. Wait a while and it’ll pass."
Image and excerpt source: Bike Hugger , a great cycling blog. This post features tips on wet weather gear.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

52 Rides in 52 Weeks

Kats Dekker photostream

A friend who read Blog Inspirations: A Path Less Pedaled asked, did you mean to call yourself a "car lover"? Don't you mean bicycle lover?  No.  Well yes and no.

I love cars.  
Image source:  Norton Automotive Group.  See them if no one else wants to give you a car loan.  Or, buy a bike.

I also love cycling...
Get your "I Love Cycling" button from: http://www.bigcheesebadges.com 

...but often opt for the car.  The excuses for not cycling are numerous:  too old, too cold, too dangerous, too late, too wet.  Lonely.  This winter I didn't cycle at all.  Some days I didn't go outside at all.

Image source:  http://www.thekitchn.com, "Best Meals for a Rainy Day"

With spring here, the excuses are starting to sound thin and the reasons to cycle are making the stronger case.

Image Source:  Meghan Telpner, Nutrionista blog
So, how to talk myself back into the saddle, use more muscle and fewer fossil fuels?  Quitting the car cold turkey probably ain't gonna happen ..
"Cold Turkey" by artist Nasan Hardcastle. Check out his blog with this link: "Soft-Shack"
How about this?  Starting on tax day, April 15, a pledge to ride at least once a week:  52 rides in 52 weeks.  A friend has promised to do it, too.

Help alleviate cycling loneliness!  Leave a link to a favorite bike blog, or one of your bicycling stories, or a photograph.  How to follow:  click the little black bar on the right side of the screen and subscribe. Once a week or so, I'll check in, link back and re-post, tell our stories or yours.

Here's the recommended bicycling safety item of the week:

Note: there is a Bike Butterfly website.  Always sold out.