Day 364: Bicycle t-shirts, iPhone decal and other cool stuff

2 01 2011

Some of the cool bike swag Carrick got me for Christmas this year!

T-shirts. (The green one is from Carrick's parents)

L-R: Spinervals Lean & Mean DVD; Backroad Bicycling in Kentucky's Bluegrass; bumper sticker; Bicycle pasta (tiny litte noodles shaped like bikes!)

Decal for my iPhone.

And some of the money I received for Christmas from my parents is going towards buying the ContourHD helmet cam, which I plan to order this week. Stay tuned for a review!

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 360: “Across America by Bicycle” and “Ghost Trails”

29 12 2010

Across America by Bicycle

A couple weeks ago I started reading a book called “Across America by Bicycle: Alice and Bobbi’s Summer on Wheels” by Alice Honeywell and Bobbi Montgomery.  The book describes the adventure of two retirement-age women who ride across country from Astoria, Oregon to Bar Harbor, Maine – a journey of over 3,500 miles. I was about 30 pages into the book when I misplaced it (presumably at work which is where I had it last). I found it odd that I lost it. I don’t recall ever losing a book before. I remember having it in my hand after leaving the cafeteria at work during my lunch break. After that, I’m not sure where it went. I searched my bookbag, my car, the house, my desk at work … everywhere. So far it’s still missing (along with one of my favorite bookmarks my Mom made me). I ended up ordering another copy from a bookstore and I received it last week. I plan to start the book again soon.

Ghost Trails

In the meantime, I just finished “Ghost Trails: Journeys Through a Lifetime” by Jill Homer, deputy editor of Adventure Cyclist magazine. You may be familiar with Jill from her blog Jill Outside (formerly Up In Alaska). “Ghost Trails” is an account of Jill’s experience during the 350-mile ultra-endurance Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska. (The race involves either the 350-mile route or an even more insane 1,100-mile route all the way to Nome.) Jill was relatively new to cycling when she decided to enter the race. The annual race includes not only cyclists, but runners also. While reading the book, I kept thinking, “How can I complain about cold weather when it’s 25 degrees?” Throughout the race, Jill describes cycling or walking in 30-below zero conditions (or worse). Racers faced frostbite, and hunger not to mention the extreme mental and physical exhaustion. One runner in the race dropped out early after becoming blinded on the trail due to frostbite on her eyes. Not her eyelids, mind you – her eyes. She apparently was running into the wind with no goggles. Ugh!

I have absolutely no intentions to ever enter such a race as the Iditarod Trail Invitational, nor am I a fan of winter weather in general. But the book was a fascinating read and well-written. I found it very difficult to put down. If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed.

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 354: Under-$25 gifts for cyclists

23 12 2010

In case you’ve procrastinated too long and you’re trying to find reasonably-priced gifts for that cyclist in your life, About.com’s list of Best Gifts Under $25 (for cyclists) might help. Of course, most of these items would probably need to be ordered online, so you may still be out of luck.

These are some of the under-$25 items I’ve purchased this year that I think would make great last-minute gift ideas:

What are some of your favorite cycling items for under $25?

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 309: Park Tool School – Day 1 of 4

8 11 2010

The Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair

Tonight Carrick and I attended the first of four Park Tool School bicycle maintenance classes. Fellow cycling friend Tom Armstrong is the instructor. (Tom is the Service Manager for Bluegrass Bicycle in Crestwood.) There were 8 people in class and each of us had a bike stand and a copy of the Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair. I’m not really in the least bit mechanically inclined, but I’m interested in learing to do my own bike repairs. I want to eventually get into riding long-distance rides and touring and if I have a flat tire, broken chain or other problem, I’d like to be able to fix it myself instead of waiting around for who-knows-how-long for Better World Club to show up.

Tonight’s class explained workshop basics, tool selection, maintenance schedules, tire and tube changing, rear sprockets and hub adjustments. We removed the rear wheel and sprocket, took off the cassette and put it back together. For someone like me who’s never felt brave enough to just unscrew something and tinker with it, I thought it was pretty cool to see how it’s all put together.

And we have homework: to read several chapters before Wednesday’s class which covers:

  • Wheel truing
  • Pedals
  • Cranksets
  • Chains
  • Handlebars, stems, saddles and seat posts

So far, I didn’t break anything, no one laughed at me and I got my hands grimy and filthy. And I enjoyed it. Tom’s a good instructor and I’m looking forward to Wednesday’s class.

Have you taken a Park Tool School class? If so, what did you think?

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Organic LF yogurt with 1 cup granola = 5 points

Lunch:
— Jimmy John’s Slim Turkey sandwich = 8 points
— Diet root beer = 0 points

Dinner:
— Baked potato (plain) = 2.5 points

Snack:
— Power Bar (afternoon snack) = 3 points
— Skinny Cow ice cream bar (evening snack) = 2 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

         _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( ) 

Thanks for visiting.





Day 298: Bike Snob book

28 10 2010

Bike Snob's book

I recently started reading Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling. If you’ve not read it yet, I highly recommend it. Just like his blog, no one is immune from his ridicule and scorn, but he also offers a lot of good advice and tips on cycling. Not to mention humor (which is probably funny only to cyclists). There have been several times when I’ve been reading the book on my lunch hour, laughed out loud and received weird looks from strangers sitting nearby. I particularly enjoyed his description of the world of cycling:

“The world of cycling is like a big bowl of Lucky Charms — it’s full of lots of goofy-looking figures in different colors and shapes, but they all come together to be delicious.”

Obviously, there’s much more to the book than that, but I don’t want the copyright police to come after me. 🙂 If you’re looking for funny, quick read, be sure to check this one out.

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Strawberry, peach, banana smoothie = 5.5 points

Lunch:
— Grilled cheese sandwich on whole wheat = 7.5 points
— Iced tea = 0 points

Snack:
— Apple = 1 points

Dinner:
— Grilled chicken sandwich = 8 points
— 1 cup potato salad = 8 points
— Iced tea = 0 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 253: Cycling – Philosophy for Everyone

13 09 2010

Cycling - Philosophy for Everyone

As I was looking at Adventure Cycling Association’s Web site, I noticed a recent posted titled, “Biking Books That Have Recently Crossed My Desk.” One book description in particular caught my interest: “Cycling – Philosophy for Everyone: A Philosophical Tour de Force,” a collection of essays by notable figures in the cycling world combined with philosophers such as Aquinas, Socrates and others. The press release for the book describes it as “the first book to cover the philosophical territory of the cyclist lifestyle.” The book includes contributions from the areas of literature, kinesiology, cultural studies, and political science as well as from philosophers. Editors Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza and Mike Austin “use humor, their passion for cycling, and their deep knowledge of contemporary issues, to illuminate us on the ethical issues related to success, women and cycling, and the environment.”

I’ve added it to my ever-growing list of books to read. Too many book and not enough time.

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— 1 cup organic low fat vanilla yogurt = 3 points
— 1/2 cup organic granola = 2 points
— 1 medium banana = 1.5 points

Lunch:
— Grilled cheese sandwich on whole wheat = 7.5 points
— Iced tea = 0 points

Dinner:
— Cheese quesadilla (whole wheat tortilla, fat free cheese) = 3 points
— 1 cup LF chocolate milk = 3 points

Snack:
— Frozen fruit bar = 1 point

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

         _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( ) 

Thanks for visiting.





Day 249: “The Lost Cyclist” author David Herlihy at Carmichael’s Bookstore

9 09 2010

Tonight cycling historian and author David Herlihy spoke at Carmichael’s Bookstore about his latest book, “The Lost Cyclist.” (I’ve talked about this in earlier posts here and here.) Carrick and I planned to ride our bikes to the bookstore, but by the time we got home from work, let out the dog, changed clothes and ate dinner, we didn’t have enough time to get there on our bikes. (Yes, I realize the irony of driving to a bike-related event.) 🙂 I’m very glad we went to hear him speak. He was a great speaker and did a nice job of combining historical details with photos he acquired while writing the book. I’ve not yet finished the book (I’m currently on page 63), but to summarize, here is a brief description of the book. 

It baffles me to think of someone cycling around the world on a high-wheeler, not to mention on roads in the 1890s. Not the nice paved roads we have today. I’m looking forward to finishing the book and was glad that Mr. Herlihy didn’t give away details of the ending during the talk. I bought his other book, “Bicycle: The History” while I was in the bookstore so I could have him sign both books. 

At the end of the talk, Herlihy asked the audience for questions. One person asked the question that I was most curious about: how did he acquire the photos in the book? Herlihy said when he was doing an exhibit on bicycle history. After the exhibit he was contacted on the web by a relative of Frank Lenz’s who saw Herlihy’s exhibit. The relative mentioned a scrapbook of Frank’s that he had and would Herlihy be interested in seeing it. “The Lost Cyclist” book evolved from there. 

It was a great talk tonight and I’m even more excited to finish the book now and find out what happened to Lenz. While Mr. Herlihy was signing my books he asked how I heard about “The Lost Cyclist.” I told him a fellow cycling blogger wrote about it on his blog (thanks, Tim!). He said, “Are you a blogger too?” I told him I am, but it’s not a big-name blog and I don’t have thousands of visitors daily (I wish), so he’s probably not heard about it. He asked the name of the blog and it turned out he saw my recent post about his upcoming talk when he got a Google Alert about it. The blogosphere is a small world sometimes. I also met Kirk, a local cyclist whose name I recognized from one of the local cycling groups. We exchanged contact information and talked a bit about his TransAmerica tour. You can read more about him on his blog

As we were leaving, Carrick recognized one of the people in the audience as the high-wheeler that I photographed on Monday during the Hike & Bike. I talked with him briefly (he was getting books signed) and with a woman who was with him who also rides a high-wheeler. Idiot that I am, I forgot to introduce myself to them both and failed to get their names. 

Here are a few photos I shot during tonight’s event: 

Carmichael's Bookstore on Frankfort Avenue

 

"The Lost Cyclist" author, David Herlihy

 

Items from Frank Lenz's trunk.

 

The last photo taken of Frank Lenz, two weeks before his disappearance/death.

 

David Herlihy signing my book.

 

Signed book

 

David Herlihy's "Bicycle" book.

 

Weight Watchers update: today was weigh-in day. Increasing my workouts paid off. I lost 2.4 pounds this week, reached my 5 percent goal, and have lost a total of 7.6 pounds since I started! 

Today’s food journal: 

Breakfast:
— Whole wheat English muffin = 1 point
— 1 Tbsp peanut butter = 2 points 

Lunch:
— Turkey sandwich on whole wheat = 5.5 points
— Diet Coke = 0 points 

Dinner:
— Weight Watchers pepperoni pizza = 8 points 

Snack:
— Frozen fruit bar = 1 point 

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride! 

          _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )    

Thanks for visiting.