Where The Bike Takes Me

Continuing this journey of cycling in efforts to get into shape, lose weight, enjoy the outdoors, and save my knees from their arthritic state at 28 years of age.

Fall is Coming! August 26, 2008

I think I blogged about this last year but somehow the days getting shorter snuck up on me yet again this year.  I left the office at 6:45 PM today, stopped at the nearby Wal-Greens (the one in Herndon) to pick up my prescriptions from their drive-thru (I do it all the time) and it was pretty dark by the time I got to the Whole Foods in Vienna.  I still had a ride time of about 25 minutes to go.  There were plenty of people still on the trail but naturally today I had no light and no really bright or reflective clothing.  I did take the one reflective band I keep on the bike and slapped it around my ankle.  It was slim consolation but it was some.  I got home just as it was too dark to see outside without a light.  I was booking it out of straight nervousness.

Anyway, I spent this past weekend going to REI trying to find a suitable handlebar bag to carry my SLR for the Autumn Escape Bike Trek in a few weeks.  The Detours Zoom bag ended up being too small for the body with the lens attached.  Just a wee bit too small but I did like how padded it was.  I was leery of the plastic clip to attach it though.  Anyway, I didn’t find what I was looking for in terms of a handlebar bag at the REI but I did find the high-viz green vest/jacket combo that I was looking for.  Score!

On Sunday I stoppped at Bikes at Vienna to check out what they have.  I figured they had a few of the higher-end handlebar bags.  I was really looking for the black and yellow Ortlieb bag but they had both a small and large Arkel handlebar bag.  The small looked too small for the SLR and the big seemed like it would have more than enough room.  Where’s the medium when you need it?  Anyway, it was a bit pricey but Robert at Bikes at Vienna (who loves to take pictures too) brought up a good point, “Would you rather buy a new body (for the camera) or spend a $100 or so on a nice bag?”  I figured I’d take it home and give it a try. I really, really liked how the mount was metal.  I wish it had come with a raincover though.  I set it up last night and I swear it only took me like 10 minutes to mount and all.  Today I tested it on my ride home.  It feels solid, like an extension of the bike really.  Of course the bag jostles a bit but I was not at all worried about the thing coming loose or anything like that.  My next test will be with the SLR and maybe some clothes or something to help pad it.  I had my bike lock in it today for the hell of it and while I could see it affecting the steering it wasn’t anything to write home about.  The real test will be when it’s full of stuff but so far I’m really liking it.  I plan on spraying it inside and out with some water sealer spray.

I really love the Velo Orange Baguette bag. I love how it’s big enough to actually hold things in there.  It’s kinda smooshed up against my rack at the moment but I love having the extra storage options.  What can I say?  I’m a bit of a utilitarian rider.  I will probably take the rack off for the tour in a few weeks.  I think that with the handlebar bag I should be fine.  I also think that my husband should start carrying some of his own stuff.  😛  So we shall see.  I’ll take pictures of both bags on the bike.  I just need to get it on the trainer so I can do it justice.  Do people put kickstands on touring bikes?


Local coffee shop offers ‘Bicycle Benefits’ – Green Daily August 21, 2008

Filed under: bike,cycling,Cycling Elsewhere,Great Ideas — f8th637 @ 5:59 pm

Because I don’t have time to blog properly. . I’ll just share this:

Local coffee shop offers ‘Bicycle Benefits’ by Laura Malesich Aug 21st 2008 @ 4:51PM

Typical of most days for me I am sitting in a coffee shop blogging. (Thank goodness for Americanos and molasses cookies today!) Enjoying my treats and typing away I look up to the glass window and discover this subtle little sticker that says “At this location your Bicycle Benefits get you: A 12oz Coffee FREE!” Always feeling guilty about my coffee-addiction expenses I stare in disbelief. Racing to type in the web info to make sure this isn’t some mean trick I discover Bicycle Benefits — an organization that promotes those businesses in the U.S. who have made the commitment to offer their cycling, earth-friendly customers a discount. Order a sticker, place it on your helmet, and proceed into the nearest Bicycle Benefits business in your area. (So far it looks like that is limited to British Columbia, Colorado, Montana, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Utah and Wisconsin).

Local coffee shop offers ‘Bicycle Benefits’ – Green Daily

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One Month till 2008 Autumn Escape Bike Trek August 12, 2008

Filed under: cycling,Cycling Elsewhere,Event,Gear — f8th637 @ 9:11 pm

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated. Between work, planning my high school reunion, and life in general it has been hard keeping up sometimes. We did sign up a few months ago for the Autumn Escape Bike Trek thrown by the Lung Association of Massachusetts and we have pledged to raise $1000 as a two-person team. It is our first charity event after all. It’s also our first tour of any kind and we’re really excited about that! If we raise $1000 by August 18th (this upcoming Monday) then we get free valet luggage service to our cabins every night, a VIP pass to cut in line for meals and massages, and a 2008 Trek cycling jersey!! Online we have raised $705. I have also sent them $160 in checks that still have to post. That basically leaves us $130 to the $1000 mark. Can you help us reach our goal? Please check out our team page at: http://www.mrsnv.com/evt/e01/team.jsp?id=1679&tid=832

In other news, the B17S Brooks that was suppose to go on the mixte now has a home on my Sutra instead. My girly bits are no longer being smooshed but I do have a feeling that if I had a regular B17 I would be even more comfortable. I’ve also recently purchased a pair of De Soto Arm Coolers (great especially in the shade!), a Detours Zoom bag for the DSLR I’m considering bringing on the tour, and a VO Baguette handlebar bag because I think it will work better in general with my rack setup and the Brooks. I’ll let you know how the bags turn out when I get them in.  I need to start logging some more miles before the tour. I’ve also noticed that I seem to have gained weight. I blame it on the heat and how it demotivates me to ride outside. :p

Yes, I know I still owe a ride report on the Long Island Harbor Ride. Yet another thing on my To-Do list. 😉