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.

The Holiday Cruiser for Adults November 17, 2008

Filed under: Gear,Great Ideas — f8th637 @ 12:24 pm

A friend of mine pointed me out to this little piece of retro heaven that Gap is apparently toting around this year.  Sweeeeeetttt . . .

A truly original Gap gift, designed exclusively for us by Electra Bicycle Company. In our signature argyle pattern.

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My Bike is Mad at Me October 19, 2008

Filed under: bike,cycling,Gear — f8th637 @ 9:40 pm

I haven’t ridden the Sutra outside since the Wednesday after the Trek (which I know I still have to write about) where I rode in to work.  That was mid-September. Then the reunion-planning got into high gear and well, the riding, fell to the way-side.  The good news is that now the reunion is behind me and it was a great success.  Since not riding, I’m pretty sure I’ve gained some weight.  This past week I put the bike on the trainer and rode it for 30 minutes.  The Sutra was mad that I hadn’t lubed her chain and that I hadn’t ridden her outside in about a month.  In this month, I have attempted a truce with gifts.  I bought her two Knog Frog LED lights: one in Olive with a white LED and one in a yellow-orange with a red LED.  I have mounted them yet they have yet to see the light of day.  I also lubed the chain and made her saddle look like new by picking up a tin of Brooks Proofide and giving the saddle some love after the 3-days of rain from the Trek in Cape Cod.  I have promised the Sutra that I will ride her in to work one day this week so that she can see the Fall foliage that is starting to come up.  I am hoping then she won’t be mad at me anymore and may even forgive me.

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The Awesome People at Twin Six October 17, 2008

Filed under: cycling,Gear — f8th637 @ 2:12 pm

I know it’s been a while since we got our Fat Cyclist jerseys from Twin Six. I have worn mine several times but my husband only got to wear his once or twice before the thread at the bottom holding the elastic started to unravel.  Sadly, the jersey sat in the bottom of drawers for a few months.  I kept meaning to ping Twin Six and tell them the sad plight of my jersey.  I didn’t really expect much but you know how small certain worlds can be.  I actually finally had the chance to e-mail their customer service while they were at Interbike actually and heard back from Molly.  She suggested that I send in the jersey and she could at least have it repaired at a tailor and sent back.  A few days later, I got an e-mail from Molly saying that she was shipping a brand new ’08 men’s orange jersey instead of the frayed one I had sent her.  Said jersey came in the mail yesterday, and it is indeed a brand spankin’ new.  I don’t have a lot of faith in customer service these days and I’m sure I’m not alone in this but I think Twin Six has it right and stands behind their products obviously.  If you haven’t had a chance to check out Twin Six, I’d definitely recommend it.  I really like the cut of their female jerseys.  Thank you, Twin Six!

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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?

 

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. 😉

 

Thanks Elden, Susan, and TwinSix! May 27, 2008

Filed under: cycling,Fellow Cyclists,Gear — f8th637 @ 8:32 pm

I ordered my FatCyclist jerseys (one for me and one for my husband) as soon as they went on sale and a week later they arrived in my mail box.  I must say that I LOVE that woman’s fit.  It doesn’t squeeze me in all the unflattering places (tummy) some other jerseys do. I still have the tag on so that diamond thingy on the front is not there.  It is a beautiful jersey, pink to boot, and goes to an AWESOME cause!  To Elden and Susan, WIN!

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Bike to Work Day May 16, 2008

Filed under: cycling,Cycling in the DC Metro Area,Event,Gear — f8th637 @ 1:31 pm

So I did go to the Performance Bike yesterday to return my Speedplay Frog pedals.  I decided to just stick with what I have (the yellow Crank Brothers Candy C) as they didn’t at all bother me on the very flat century I completed last weekend.  I know I need to get a ride report in.  I didn’t buy the rain jacket that I was thinking about getting last post but I did walk out with a new, cheap saddle and a pair of Pearl Izumi Sugar knickers.  I have been having saddle comfort issues and wanted to see if I could alleviate this some.  I hate being cheap when it comes to buying things but I am learning that you get what you pay for.  Anyway, I installed the Forte Women’s Contour Saddle.  I really liked that it had the cut out and was a bit wider than my current saddle and it was flat.  I wanted to just test that out with my old shorts but I realized I hadn’t done laundry in a few days and was out of bike bottoms.  So I had to wear my new knickers today with the saddle.  Seriously, the most comfortable ride saddle-wise thus far ever this morning.  I am definitely keeping the knickers as they rock but I will have to see if the saddle also makes a difference.

As to the rest of Bike to Work Day, aside from the pitstop it was fairly uneventful.  I hit some rain a few minutes from my pitstop at the Whole Foods in Vienna but it stopped while I was there. I seem to remember that last year there seemed to be more giveaways and free schwag but beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose.  I did talk to some other ladies in the area who stopped at other pitstops and got cool things like chamois towels and even a handlebar bag!  I did get my free t-shirt and had the breakfast I wasn’t able to have before leaving this morning.  I had gotten out a bit later than I had wanted to. I also got my hot-off-the-press Fairfax County Bicycle Map.  There’s a good article about it at the Washington Post.  I took a look at the map earlier.  It looks pretty cool.  My husband and I are always wondering how to get around places by bike in the area.  This should help!  There was a pretty decent turn-out at the pitstop despite the weather. Most memorable to me was the man who was tandem riding his daughter who was probably about 6 or 7 at the most.  She was wearing her backpack underneath an oversized rain poncho and was too cute.  What a trooper to participate even in the rain!

As to the fender issue, It probably would have been nice to have one up front this morning. Definitely a lot of spray but not too bad.  I may consider the EZ Fenders that are fairly quick to detach for days like this.  Since my commuter is my regular bike because of the length of my commute, something I can take on and off easily sounds best. 

I’m working on that ride report for the Knotts Island Century, I promise!

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