Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Grand Total is......8138.5 miles

So another year is over and I have 8138.5 miles  ridden to show for it. There were some new lessons learned and some older ones revisited. Here are a few.

1. Buy the absolute best equipment that you can afford. It pays big dividends in both comfort, ease of use  and lower lifetime costs. This is really important in the choices you make in your clothing. I swear by Pearl Izumi but everyone has their own favorites.
2. Take good care of the equipment that you do purchase. Keep up on the inspections and routine maintenance on your bikes and keep your clothes clean.
3. When something wears out or brakes upgrade to the next level of component on your bike. Higher level components really do work better.
4. Get yourself high grade lights. During the day I use Blackburn Fleas in blink mode as a DRL (daytime running light) and at night I use NightRider Technical lighting. DRLS make a huge difference in your safety on the road and if you are going to ride roads at night you need to see AND be seen. Don't cut corners on lighting.
5. Protect yourself from dogs with a Dazer II. You can find it on Amazon. Trust me they work.
6. Ride everywhere you can.
7. Ride in all conditions.
8. Have the tools and spares with you to be able to self rescue. Be able to at least fix a flat tire or a broken chain.
9. Ride with your cell phone and some cash. Both will come in handy sooner or later.
10. Be sure to keep it fun, see you out there somewhere on the road!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

6000 miles!

I hit the 6000 mile mark this morning. It has been a difficult year to get big miles in but I am out there most every morning, chipping away at it.
I have been riding a TREK Transport this year on trips of between 2 and 22 miles. It is a great bike that does an outstanding job of hauling heavy loads. I was pretty happy with the bike as it was built but I decided early on that it would be a great bike with a few modifications. I added a Fizik Arone saddle, a Bontrager rear fender and Avid BB7 road disc brakes. I have been suprised at how quiet and fast the bike is. It does not feel like a heavy cargo bike. If you are looking for a great cargo bike then the TREK Transport should be on your list for a test ride.
One other item I have been using this summer is a Dazer II electronic dog repellent. I read about it in a book called cycling home from siberia. I was a bit skeptical but the price was right so I ordered one and took it on my daily rides. I have to say, I was suprised when I used it the first time and the dog broke off the chase as soon as I pushed the button. His ears went back and he turned away without any time lag. The Dazer II works! Buy one and try it!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What a year!

What a year, and I don't mean that in a good way. I set a goal of 10,000 miles this year and it is becoming increasing obvious that I am not going to make it. At this point I have around 3300 miles in which is about 300 more than this time last year but I have not been able to ride a century yet this year. The weather has been so lousy this spring that I have not had a single day with a 6 hour window with decent weather. What I have been able to do is integrate bicycling even more in to the everyday transportation routine and leave the vehicles at home. It has been a long time since I drove the car to the grocery store!
As I ride around my county I see field after field that has not even been touched yet and it is almost June. The wet and cold spring has kept the farmers out of the fields to a great extent and we are running out of time. It is going to be a late harvest if they do manage to get the fields planted and who knows how the yield will be. That will not be good for anyone. I hope things are better wherever you are!