Thursday, December 24, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I have discovered something wonderful.
- An in-house bike shop-- for parts, accessories and service
- Lockers for monthly and annual members
- A workstand and tools for member use
- A vending machine with bike supplies for when the shop is closed
- A warm and spacious changing room
Thursday, December 3, 2009
- Bucket filled with dish soap and hot water
- Rubber gloves
- Degreaser ..chain-specific also available by Park Tool.
- Rubbing alcohol ..the United Bicycle Institute uses this as a general degreaser. I just use it on my rims.
- Windex ..for mirrors
- Pine Sol (not pictured) ..for bar tape. I used Windex.
- Bike-specific lube ..WD-40 is NOT lube!!
- Sponge or rag
- Scrubbing tools
- Medical rag ..commonly used by mechanics. Does not leave lint behind!
- Sandpaper, found in patch kit (oops! not initially pictured) ..for buffing brake pads.
Using a rag/sponge, wash your bike frame with soapy water, top to bottom. Stay away from your drivetrain (chain, derailleurs, etc.) until the end because it will only muddy up your soap water in a jiffy. If you don't have a work stand or kick stand, propping your bike upside-down works well. Also, remove the wheels for better access. Places where dirt likes to collect around:
- Underneath, near the bottom bracket (the axis that your cranks/pedals go 'round)
- Derailleurs (the do-dads that shift your gears, both front and rear).
- Spray degreaser onto a shop/medical rag.
- Run the chain through the rag, holding both the top/bottom and sides of the chain.
- Use a scrubber for tough gunk.
- While you've got the scrubber out, scrub the jockey wheels (see rear derailleur) and chain rings (front cogs).
- Give a good rinse! You don't want degreaser hanging out on your chain, pushing off lube when you apply it.
- Lube! Bike-specific lube. WD-40 is NOT lube. You want the (bike) lube to get INSIDE the chain, not outside.. so after you give it a few spins..
- Wipe off the excess! Lube on the outside only collects dirt.
Friday, November 20, 2009
One of the blogs on my regular blogroll is Cycling Spokane. It's written primarily by a guy named John, whose cycling vibe I like. The steel, wool, and adventuring good times sort. And we both cycle(d) in Eastern Wa, which to me, makes us kin.
Recently, John smartly invited his friends and conspirators to blog with him. A good move, that! I especially love this video. Simply done, but neat and warm (and they are FLYIN'!! at 1:30!!). This course was also one of my FAVORITES last year. I am super bummed that I had to miss out on the cyclocross season this fall, but you can bet that my flying mount is going to be ready come September!!
"Because I think it is a very hard and fun aerobic race." THAT IS SO CUTE! Right on!!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Here is a light comparison of my bike with:
- No lights
- Cheap lights
- Good lights
- Cheap lights work okay (so long as you keep feeding them batteries) front and rear, but have basically no side visibility.
- Cheap front lights drown in headlights.
- Good lights work great front and rear and provide some side visibility.
- Good lights continue to be seen even when flooded by headlights or competing with sign lights, etc.
- The Down Low Glow provides some flippin' AWESOME side-vis and a wide spot beneath you, discouraging cars from getting too close.
- Also note that I wore dark blue jeans and a black jacket for this demo. While I do own neon cycling clothing, I don't rely on it as my (only) source of visibility. It's best to have your BIKE always be visible so that you can wear whatever you fancy.
- Reflective sidewalls on front tire (Schwalbe Marathon)
- Reflective/light-up ankle strap
- Orange reflective tape on frame
- Blue reflective "slap bracelets" on head tube
- Reflective detail on trunk bag
- Reflective rear triangle (with a dowel slid in to hold its shape)
Friday, November 6, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
This summer, my bud Mia and I rode BICYCLES across the WHOLE FREAKIN' U.S. Follow the "TransAmerica Tour" link in the Contents bar to the right to see more photos, read more stories and start planning your own tour.
You're entitled to adventure. So GO GET IT! Stop telling me that you're too old, too fat or too tied-down. We all know that these obstacles have been circumnavigated time and time again.
And please, if this inspired you-- share with others! Whatever your or their adventure may be.
Yes, the show is 20 minutes long-- but it is fast-paced and musical! Stop reading and WATCH!!
By request, the playlist:
- Funiculi Funicula, Andrea Bocelli
- On the Road Again, Canned Heat
- Just a Girl, No Doubt
- One Red Thread, Blind Pilot
- Boy With a Coin, Iron & Wine
- You Can't Always Get What You Want, The Rolling Stones
- Shut Your Eyes, Snow Patrol
It seems that there are a few categories of facial postures in cyclocross. See if you can match the following categories to the faces above!
- WORRIED, fear for life.
- FIERCE, I will destroy you!
- DELICIOUS, my lips taste nice an' salty!
- CONSTIPATION, eeehhhhhh.
- ARE YOU FOR SERIOUS?! That run-up is ridiculous.
- TOTAL SURPRISE. (!!!!)
- Any others?
- What's YOURS?!
Race Across the Sky is showing in theaters for ONE night only, TONIGHT! Go to their website to see which theaters are showing the film. Sure, you could watch it on DVD-- but there are some incredible air shots that are worth seeing on the BIG screen.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
A few weeks ago, I took a 2-day class-- Urban Cycling Techniques-- from the local Cascade Bicycle Club in order to learn how to teach it. And of course, I even learned a few things! In fact, I'm glad I took the class if only to learn those things.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
- Your budget.
- Calorie/energy needs.
- Available resources.
- How many days you've been on the road.
- A) wasn't too heavy
- B) was filling,
- C) had enough protein
- D) was at least half-appealing to eat
- E) was affordable
- F) could be cooked on high rather than a simmer, and
- G) we could agree on.
Eventually we sent just one person into the store in an effort to hurry up! Oh, and we also had fun trying to avoid TBHQ, a frightening preservative found in a lot of cheap, processed foods. Avoiding high fructose corn syrup, which I ordinarily do, would have been impossible (according to our appetites).
- Save money.
- ....uh, save money.
- and to maybe get a few more veggies and a bit less deep fry in our diet.
BREAKFAST--Powdered milk + cereal (sometimes cold oats) + fruit (fresh or dried), we had to eat several bowls of this to be satisfied.--Scrambled eggs, cooked very, very quickly and with great care. (The stove is either ON or OFF.. no simmer!)--Hot oatmeal + fruit, etc.We tried to not cook for breakfast, because it took so much time-- but we (I) would be more satiated after eggs or oatmeal than cold cereal, which meant that we were less likely to have to stop for second breakfast in another hour.A successful tactic that many other touring cyclists used, was to eat a snack when you wake up, ride down the road an hour or two, then stop at a diner to have a hearty breakfast. This got you out of camp much earlier, but required the buck$.LUNCHWe mostly ate 1 of 3 sandwich options, depending on our mood and needs:1. PB&J2. Cheese sandwich3. Cheese, veggie, & sometimes meat sandwich. When we really craved it. This didn't seem to be very cost effective for us.SNACKS--Crackers + cheese--Cheap granola bars--Bananas, other fruit--Snickers, other candy--Ice cream--Gummy worms--Pop Tarts--Donuts--Can you see this list degenerating? :)DINNER--Pasta & beans, & sometimes a can of veggies.--Dehydrated soups when we could find it, plus bread.--Chili & bread.--Breakfast burritos out of the gas station. Oh, delicious. 500 calories each! I would have two, and a few snacks to top it off. Probably some ice cream for dessert.Having the Adventure Cycling maps was very helpful, though-- because we could see that a grocery store was up the road, and count on (most times) buying dinner food at the end of the day, instead of lugging it around all day (and up many hills). We only got sorta screwed a few times. Always keep a lightweight emergency food option in your bag (Ramen and some candy bars).
Monday, September 14, 2009
How did we become so ambitious?
Say, anyone know some good rivers to paddle? Bicycle-rafting has me curious. I think a ride-paddle-ride tour is in the works.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
No, not the blog-- ME-- I'M moving!
This summer (see: TransAmerica Bicycle Tour) we showed up to towns with little to no idea as to where we would sleep that night. But what we did know, was that we would figure it out.
Now I have shown up to Seattle with that same "I can figure it out" confidence.
STEP ONE: Job! Check.
I am so excited to share that I will be working at Gregg's Cycle in Bellevue! I have always, always (well, since I really fell in love with my bike) wanted to work in a bike shop. And another thing I learned on my tour: it's okay to do what you want! HA. Fancy that.
AND, I'll also be working at Cascade Bicycle Club as an instructor for their Urban Riders class! If you've been following this blog, or just have known me, for any length of time at all, you know that this is the PERFECT job for me. I love teaching people to ride.
STEP TWO: A place to live! ..uh, no check yet..
But I've got some options! And like I said: I can figure it out. ;)
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE BLOG?
Well, this is exciting! Bicycle commuting in Walla Walla is, well, pretty easy! Nothing (except wheat fields) is farther than 3 or 4 miles away, there are more quiet streets than busy streets, it's flat and sunny.
But Seattle? Seattle is big, busy, hilly and rainy. But that won't stop me from riding my bike as transportation. I look forward to "solving the problems" of bicycle commuting in a challenging environment, to illustrate that just a little bit of preparedness can make bicycle commuting really safe and fantastic, not a soggy chore.
And don't worry: there are still some TransAmerica Bicycle Touring HOW-TO posts in the works!
Thanks for readin'!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
SCENE: [Mia and RJ peruse a diner menu, calculating calorie to cost ratios, while the waitress approaches the table.]
WAITRESS: Can I get ya'll anythin' to drink?
RJ: Um, yeah. What do you have on tap?
WAITRESS: The usual.
RJ: Uh.. what's that?
WAITRESS: [Her face: are you kiddin' me??] Bud. and Bud Light.
RJ: Oh. Okay, thanks. I'll uh-- I'll let you know. Thanks.
Friday, September 4, 2009
- State parks & private campgrounds
- City parks
- Fire stations
- Someone's yard
- You're more likely to find a homestay if you're actually in a pickle. Such as a stormy forecast or pending darkness. You're not going to get a homestay because you're being lazy or a wimp!
- Take off your sunglasses. People want to see your EYES and see that you're trustworthy.
- First, ask indirectly. "Do you know a safe place, out of the rain that we could pitch a tent?" This allows the person an 'out,' or an opportunity to say 'no' if they're not willing or able to host you.
- If indirect inquiry fails with several people, and you're becoming a bit desperate, be more direct. "Could we just pitch a tent in your yard? It's getting dark and we can't ride any farther. We'll be out really early in the morning."
- Know your customer. For Mia and I, we look quite harmless and as young women are perceived as vulnerable. We're more likely to be helped by a mother who is concerned for our safety. If you're a scruffy guy that could pass for a bum, you're more likely be to be helped by a scruffy guy that kind of looks like a bum.
- Be genuine. Maybe it sounds contradictory at the end of this list, but I don't like to be manipulative, just honest. I just lay my situation flat out there.
· Share my enthusiasm for bicycling to get more people on bikes!
RELATED WORK AND VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
Community Center for Youth, Bicycle Program Manager
· Developed, managed, coached, fundraised, designed jerseys and
advertised for junior cycling team and bicycle repair program.
TransAmerica Bicycle Tour
· Rode self-contained across the country on the TransAmerica Trail.
Trek Woman Who Rides
· Selected as 1 of 5 to represent Trek in the Trek Women Who Ride program.
5 Collegiate National Champion Jerseys
· An enthusiastic leader on the Whitman Cycling team.
· Strong work ethic. Rode off the back in 2004, off the front by 2005.
· 2005, 2006, 2007 Collegiate Team Time Trial Champion.
· 2005, 2006, Collegiate Team Omnium Champion.
Committed to Bicycle Commuting
· Moved out of apartment by bicycle trailer.
· Bought an Xtracycle instead of a car after college.
Self-motivated Bicycle Advocate
· Ride director for Ann Weatherill Cycling Classic.
· Started Bike Thyme, a “spandex-free” leisure ride.
· Co-organized Bikes and Buses are Beautiful contingent for local parade.
· Served on Walla Walla Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee.
· On own volition, designed an improved bicycle map for the Walla Walla area.
· Maintain a blog, full of tips, information, reviews, videos about bicycling.
· Road, touring, cyclocross, commuting, cargo hauling, triathlon, track.
· Fluent in American Sign Language
Lakeside School, Seattle, WA.
The Mountain School, Vershire, VT.
Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA.
B.A. Studio Art
United Bicycle Institute, Ashland, OR.
Introduction to Bicycle Maintenance