What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Tips for Happy Riding (by Rivendell)

When I "grow up" I would love to have a bike from Rivendell. They make their bikes to last a lifetime, not one race season. They also have an attitude toward bicycling that I admire & identify with more and more these days. Here's an article from them titled "Tips for Happy Riding." I've selected just some of my favorites. The complete article can be found here.

Tips for Happy Riding

At least one ride in 10, go without your sunglasses and gloves. Sometime next month, put some double-sided cheap-style pedals on a good bike and ride in non-cycling garb. It works shockingly well, and sends a good message to would-be bicycle riders.

If you're a guy, don't try to be a mentor to every female cycler you meet.

Don't think you'll go faster in a significant way if you and your bike become more aerodynamic.

If you ride in a group, bring food for you and somebody who forgot to.

Go for a one-hour ride underdressed sometime, because it's good to be really cold on a bike every now and then.

Never blame your bike or your health or anything else if you're the last one up the hill or in to the rest stop.

If your brake hoods are black, wrap your bars with a different color tape.

Never let your chain squeak.

If you see another rider approaching you from the rear, trying to catch you, let it happen. Fun is more important than fast.

Shoot photos on your rides and give them away.

Feel comfortable mixing high tech and low tech, old and new parts and technologies, and don't apologize to anybody for it.

Buy the cheapest helmet that fits well.

Don't always shop by price and never ask for discounts at your local bike shop. Every time you go into a bike shop, spend at least $2, and if you ask a question and get good advice, spend $5 (get a cable).

Don't assume your bike shop is making money.

Ride only when you feel like it.

If you know a fast new rider, don't say, "You really ought to race."

If you see a stocky woman rider, don't suggest she race track.

Have at least one bike you feel comfortable riding in a downpour.

Ride in weather that keeps other cyclers indoors.

If you have a normal loop or ride, count the number of times you shift on it; then the next time you ride it, cut that in half and see if it makes any difference.

Learn to ride no-hands and to hop over obstacles, but not simultaneously.

Wear out something.

Don't ever describe any bike, no matter how inexpensive or dilapidated, as "a piece of crap."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sunny with.. SNOW?

I know that you can't tell.. but it was snowing when I took this picture. Wiggly white snow. I know because it was landing on me. In combination with the jagged clouds and shining sun, it made for a surreal moment.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Awareness Test

(Thanks, Brian!)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Xtracycle Lifestyle

Check them out at www.xtracycle.com!

Oh, vanity.

Vanity shot.

Popped collar, overdone tooly glasses an' all.

..I thought an easy recovery ride up Mill Creek was a good time for portraits. :)

It's that time of the year again!

It's collegiate cycling season!! And while I don't get to race for the team anymore (being graduated an' all), I do get paid by Whitman to chaperone them!

Paid to do what I love?

What a deal!!

Above left: For many of the B women, this was their first criterium! I was so excited and proud of them. They not only did great, but also had a great time doing it and that's what we like to see! Above right: There are lots of "bike piles" at race weekends.

My Xtra does it all.

It hauls groceries..

It hauls recycling..

It hauls lawn chairs!

Scene: RJ is at the checkout paying for lawn chairs at the thrift store. She sports her favorite helmet + one pant-leg rolled-up style.

Checkout lady: I see that you must be on your bicycle..

RJ: Yeah.. but I'll be alright. I can fit it on my bicycle.

Checkout lady: ???

RJ: Really! I'll show you.

Checkout lady: I want to see this!

...you can imagine my delight. :)

Getting proactive about bicycle safety!

I ride through this entry way onto the Mill Creek bike path a lot. Lately I've noticed that the poles have been cut down to stubs and are hard to see. These are particularly dangerous to a bicyclist who might not see them! See if you can find them below:

Each time I saw it I would just complain, complain, complain. "How unsafe!" I said. "I can't believe they'd leave it like that!" I said. "Somebody should do something about that!" I said. So then finally I decided to DO something about it instead of just complaining!

Voila. All I had to to was stick a can of spray paint in my pocket and hopefully it will save someone from some bloody misery!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hart Rd.

Hart Rd. blushing with snow in late winter.

Length: 33miles
Difficulty: Medium

Description: A great route for a hill workout. Gently roll for about 10miles until you hit a series of hills on Hart Rd. My max mph record was achieved descending the last hill with a tailwind! This easily turns into a loop if you don't mind riding on highways- but I do, so I usually ride the same way home which is just more good climbin' anyhow!

Ride notes: Head west toward Prescott or east toward Waitsburg to create a loop.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com

Fix a Flat

This is the best video I've seen on fixing a flat, but the best thing to do is: practice! (In your living room, that is- not in the middle of a rainy bike ride!)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Kooskooskie/Mill Creek

Farms and fields along Mill Creek Rd.

Riding into the trees up Mill Creek Rd.
Length: 30 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Medium

This is a Walla Walla classic. If you had time to go on only one ride in Walla Walla, this just might be it. Spin past vineyards and farm yards and then escape into the shade of the cool wooded creek. A top choice for a hot day. It's a very gradual uphill on the way out and you won't be able resist speeding home in your big ring.

Ride notes: Do avoid during icy or bug season. In the morning you might get a headwind both ways, but otherwise the tailwind usually favors the way home. This route follows the Mill Creek bike path. A nice detour is to turn onto Tausick (which you have to cross to stay on the bike path) towards the airport for some locally roasted java @ Walla Walla Roastery.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com

Spring Creek

Smith Rd.

Spring Creek Rd.

Length: 26 miles
Difficulty: Medium to Hard, depending on how fast you climb!

Description: Spring Creek is a favorite place of mine to go on a sunny day. The climb up Spring Creek is about 5 miles long and gradually steepens as you ascend. In herd-like clumps you will find various jagged trees that find creases in the land where water collects the most hospitable. And as the road turns you're always left thinking, "I think the pavement ends around this corner," but to either your delight or your misery, it never does.

Ride notes: Avoid this area during the cold/icy season. Parts are shaded and take a long time to thaw. There is currently a short section of gravel on Smith Rd., but it is so short (couple hundred meters) and there are enough good lines that it shouldn't be a bother. You may notice on the map that Sapolil East Rd. goes more directly to Spring Creek, but it too turns to gravel and for a much longer distance. Unless you're fond of the rocky stuff, stick to Smith Rd. which isn't terribly longer and just as beautiful anyhow. Spring Creek turns to gravel at the top- if you're a good gravel rider you can continue on to a network of other rides- otherwise, be nice to your road tires and enjoy the descent.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com
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