Tuesday, August 24, 2010

LBS Love

Swung by my favorite Local Bike Shop (LBS) this evening. I've had a persistent canti brake squeal and I was hoping to find some shims/washers to eliminate some brake arm vibration that I think might be contributing to the noise.

I explained what I was looking for to shop mechanic. He pulled out three trays of washers and put them on the counter for me to dig through while he helped another customer.

After I found what I was looking for I asked him to write up a ticket for the washers so I could pay for them at the front counter. My most recent (other) shop experiences were having me pay a dollar or so as a token gesture. Mr. Mechanic just said "don't worry about it , you buy enough stuff here."

I thought to myself: "I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been out of town for almost 2 years, and all I've purchased since I've been back is one blinky light." Granted I have been in there a number of times with my little dude looking at all the shiny stuff. So I took the washers, picked up a new brake cable to replace one that's fraying and went on with my evening.

All that to say, I appreciate it, and its good to feel the love. That's the kind of stuff that brings me back again and again to support a good LBS.

To all the excellent LBS's out there, a big THank You.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Todays Commute

I started working again after a couple of months off.
Working=commuting, so it could be worse.

Here's a few photos from today's commute.

I've moved, and I like it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lest I Feel Smug

Sheck and Allman at our lunch stop

Man, there are some rugged folks around here.

Even better than that there are some rugged women around here.

Lest I begin to think to highly of my athletic, and specifically my ability to ride a bike, all I need to do is look around and my pride will be put in check.

I got out for a long ride yesterday. Depending on how you look at it it was the longest single day ride I've ever done (I've ridden further, and on less ideal road conditions, but stopped to sleep a few hours mid-ride. There were no naps yesterday, and I've yet to find the time to ride a century.) I started the day at a reasonable hour with bacon, eggs and coffee after a short ride to Allman's house. Then three of us set out for a very pleasant long day tour.

I ended my ride a long ways from home where my wife and baby met us with the babymobile. Late in the afternoon Mrs. Bike Wrider unloaded her bike, hopped on and pedaled towards home. I don't know that she intended to ride all the way, but she did. And Allman rode the whole way back with her. Keep in mind that she had a baby a few short months ago, and has had very limited time back on the bike since.

She rolled in just before the 1 o'clock hour. No lights, tired, happy and hungry.

Allman and Sheck rolling along

Today I took the little dude to the local cyclocross races to hang out and watch the crazies ride around in circles. Met a friend of a friend there and in the course of conversation she happened to mention that she did the 100 mile mountain bike race last weekend. If that weren't impressive enough, this has been one of the rainiest summers on record. The trail was a ridiculous mud bath of bottomless puddles according to some accounts. 100 miles is a big ride no matter what the conditions, and a hallucination inducing sufferfest on a muddy trail with multiple mountain passes.

The whole time we were discussing last weeks race we were watching national cyclocross champion Katie Compton put the hurt on the local boys. We were there to watch the men's race, and there are some amazing athletes in the this town. Katie Compton was around this week teaching an early season cyclocross clinic and was the only woman in the men's race. She took it easy the first couple of laps and then kicked it a notch.. Not that she was suffering at all, but she smoked the local hot shots. Definitely fun to watch. Hope she has a good season.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Peers

Rode to the grocery store tonight in the rain to pick up a few ingredients for dinner. The sun had been out earlier in the day, but the rain had sent all the car toppers and Lance wannabe's back indoors. As I was locking up at the bike rack a toothless man was saddling up on his Walmart ride.

We had a brief exchange about riding in the rain, and neither of us seemed to mind it too much. Before he rode off he briefly raved about how awesome his ride was this morning. 7am, sunshine and nobody else on the roads, not a victim of circumstance by any means. Seemed to me like someone who had really enjoyed his bike ride.

-bike wrider

Monday, August 2, 2010

SCHWALBEs Start to Finish

I thought this was a pretty interesting look at how tires are made.
Pretty easy to just take them for granted, or only worry about tread patterns.
It was cool to get a glimpse of the whole process.

Yes it's over 10 minutes long, but I enjoyed it.