Friday, May 30, 2008

Folders, Computers and One MIllion Bikes

Annie and I took our maiden joint ride on our morning loop using the folders. It was great. She is particularly ecstatic about her Bike Friday Tikit. She loved the handling and really probably rode more comfortably than with her Fuji, while I thoroughly enjoyed the Brompton. My only little problem is with the bike computer. It seems that each time I switch to a new one the inexactitude of the settings gives me a different reading for my total mileage. So this morning's ride came in at 12.4 miles, despite the fact that we actually rode a bit extra due to the garbage train blocking the trail access. On my Fuji computer that would normally clock over 14 miles. Well, my policy has always been to go with whatever reading I get, but just so you know that will impact meeting my goals. Anyway, I have the Brompton at work and will work in some extra miles before I'm done.

Meanwhile I wanted to bring this exciting new venture to your attention.

On August 9th 2009!
The cycling equivalent of Woodstock is coming... one day, 50 states, 300 events, and you're invited!
Millions of us will ride and rally for positive change in communities across the nation and give away one million new and used bicycles. (read more)

On August 9th 2009 you'll help double transportation funding for bikes, reduce congestion, dependency on foreign oil, waistlines, carbon footprints, global warming, and health care costs.

What we need is your presence, a $5 registration fee, pledge of a new or used bicycle or recruitment of a new or returning rider with bicycle.
Register Now!

This from their website: is a direct response to Senator Earl B's Bike Gallery event calling for the public to foster a national bicycle
movement. The project is the brainchild of Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie, best-selling author, nationally syndicated columnist,
journalist for Bicycling Magazine, Men's Journal, Outside, Parenting, headlining performer, cycling safety advocate and activist. the
roots of this idea came out of The November 2007 rally held in Portland Oregon after a rash of cycling deaths. That rally helped
change the way the police investigate car/cycling accidents and helped shape the tone and conversations in the cycling vs driving
Check it out at: One Million Bikes

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Couldn't resist stealing the above photo from Bicycle Diaries. I think it kind of says it all.

Also, while trolling around the N.Y. Times on the web this afternoon I came across a blog being written in the "Play" section of the paper about a guy doing the climbs of the Tour de'France. Looks interesting, though I haven't had the time to read it myself yet. Here's the link: Check it out for yourself

As for me, a simple single loop on my own this morning and then a few more miles doing business and personal errands on the Brompton. Final tally to be added to the totals tonight. Tomorrow morning the plan is for Annie to take her Bike Friday out on the trail and I'll take the Brompton again to see how we ride them together.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Think Two Bikes Is Alot

Well what can you say about this shot, taken from the blog How To Avoid the Bummer Life, sponsered by Swobo bikes. this is the collection of one Stevil Kineil, described one by one in the posting. Something to aspire to! :)

Today was as perfect a riding day as they come. I was up early for a change, mostly becausse I really wasn't feeling all that well. I have "pink-eye" or all things and I wake up during the night with my eyes clamped shut. Anyway, I was up and got out before 9 AM not having decided exactly how far or where I would ride. but I just took it really easy and found myself riding through Manayunk, up Umbria back down to the SRT and all the way to Perkiomen Park where I stopped for lunch. I felt stronger and better with each mile and after lunch made the return trip about 25 % faster. Just a gorgeous day, a gift.

I've been meaning to get a picture of this for a few weeks, and this is not the best, but it is a woodedn Indian that someone has in their yard not far from Valley forge. What is interesting about it is that I watched it being carved right there in its spot. Each week the carver worked on it until it is now the finished product sitting in the yard. It was neat to watch and I'd meant to get photos all along, but never wanted to stop especially so close to VF. Today I did.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chocoate and Vanilla

Yes, that's Alberto Contador struggling up the incredibly difficult climbing time-trail yesterday. He came in second and extended his hold on the Pink leader's jersey for now. It is still any body's race among a group of leaders and after today's rest day it promises to be an exciting week.

What does that have to do with chocolate and vanilla? Well, nothing, but that's what popped into my mind today when Annie and I went up to Trophy bikes. Me to get the Brompton tightened up after its first few rides and she to look at what was available. She rode the Brompton a couple of times and the Bike Friday Tikit a couple of times and decided on the latter. I'd done the same thing and decided on the former. Chocolate and Vanilla! So now we are set to travel and you'll probably not hear too much about this until after we return from Los Angeles in July. Although, I must admit, I'm really enjoying riding the Brompton around town. So that may be something I'll be talking more about in the coming days. But definitely enjoy taking the Fuji out for my morning run. Solo this morning because it was raining lightly and Annie stayed in. But it was a different kind of rain, a summer rain, and that didn't bother me at all.

Since I'm still tooling about on the Brompton today I'll give the cumulative daily mileage in the sidebar later tonight.

Beautiful If Boring

I know it gets a little boring to read about our morning rides and when I have the time I try to at least trawl the web for items of potential interest, but that takes time and luck. Aside from the fact that Alberto Contador is leading the Giro d'Italia by a fraction after yesterday's action, and that I watched the race and it was grueling and thrilling, there's not much else to talk about except that we had another beautiful double loop ride early this morning covering just over 22 miles. While yesterday showed that the new Bropmpton will be a great ride when traveling, and of course, has possibilities for commuting around town, it was good to be back on the Fuji.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Brompton Work-Out

Gorgeous weather finally! Memorial Day week-end, often a wash out here in Philadelphia, has been and is predicted to continue perfectly. Annie and I were up early to take advantage of the weather, the Drive closure with no events scheduled on either Drive, and to get in a good ride before heading up the Turnpike to see the granddaughter. A little hesitantly I decided to take the Brompton. We rode over 22 miles at a fairly good clip by our standards, 12-14 mph average and I neither worked any harder than with my Fuji nor had any trouble staying with Annie or leading her up the hills. The ride was exceedingly comfortable, too. The bike needs a few minor tweaks, which is to be expected; a little trouble shifting to the smaller gears on the right hand. The two gears in the read internal hub worked great. I also had to stop once to readjust the saddle, also expected, until I fight just the right height. folded and unfolded in seconds without a problem. I'm very pleased. The search for a hard casse for transport goes on, but should be solved this week. We threw the bike into the trunk and took it with us to New Jersey where my son-in-law got to take a spin and, more importantly, Annie rode it for the first time. She too enjoyed it, but hasn't decided whether we'll pursue getting one for her at this time. A new bike might have to be ordered and we're up against the deadline of our next trip to L.A. at the end of June. so she may just borrow one of the L.A. kids' bikes this trip and we'll look into getting her a folder later on.

Another note on the ride of silence the other day. I've had this picture for awhile but don't remember sharing it. It is a ghost bike, from NY I believe, placed at the spot where a cyclist was killed. Stay alert!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Yes folks, there it is, my new Brompton. I chose it for its comfortable ride, its gearing which seemed more than any others I tried, its ease of folding and transporting. Also, to be frank, because I wasn't happy having bought another bike via the internet. This was purchased from a local and very convenient shop. their service and attention was great, I get two free tune-ups, etc. I took it for a spin and loved it. Of course, I bought it not to replace my Fuji for everyday riding, but to take with me when I travel. We'll see how that works out. Meanwhile, it is a really convenient bike to have around town, so perhaps I'll be using it more than I think.

Between the two bikes I managed 23 miles today. Annie and I had a great ride this morning. The weather has finally turned (may it only last!)

For those of you interested in the Giro d'Italia, Mark Cavendash won today's 13th stage. But it looks like Alberto Contador could very well take over the GC lead tomorrow. I'm really pulling for one of the Astana boys to win. Who knows, maybe that will force the Tour d'France to invite them back in.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Extra! Bicycle-Musings Tops 10,000 HIts

Just a quick note to congratulate myself and thank all of you out there. According to Technocrati Bicycle-Musings has been viewed just over 10,000 times as of this morning. I imagine that that may include 9,000 hits by me, still it confirms that someone else is out there. Thanks!

The Ride Of Silence

Last night was a great experience. Over two Hundred cyclists riding silently through the heart of Philadelphia. So many that on some of the narrower streets we actually had a bottleneck! I didn't get any good photos while riding, though I think Denine did and if you check The Bicycling Chief I'm sure they're either up or soon will be.
but the shot above is at the ceremony that began the event and the shot below shows a bit of the gathered crowd.

The last shot is Denine just before we set out.

My only "complaint" is that the purpose of the ride was not adequately displayed. There was a trailer at the front with a ghost bike and an explanatory sign. But for passers-by who missed the beginning it looked like a critical mass, if they knew what that was, or even a race or some other "fun" event. Somehow, either by clothing, more signage, etc, it would have been nice for people to know what we were up to, rather than cheering us on.

Finally, check out this video of the ride just posted on the Philadelphia Bike Blog:

As for this morning I'm not complaining, though I'm sorely tempted to. Cloudy, cool, damp and windy, but I rode a nice ride and felt good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Shopping...And Ride Of Silence

It feels a bit more like spring today. The sun is shining, though there is still a prediction for more rain later today, but the temperature was only 50 when I headed out, knowing I would not take a long ride. I went down Kelly drive to Forbidden Drive, up to Wissahickon Ave and started up the hill thinking I might go all the way to RRC. But I just don't seem to have the energy for the hills lately, or for riding by myself. So I turned back and took the path back to Chestnut Street and exited to stop at Trophy bikes on Walnut street. I have been thinking about getting another, better folding bike to travel with. this summer I will be traveling at least to LA and Seattle, with other trips possible during the year and I really think renting bikes is both inefficient, expensive and hit or miss as far as what I get to ride on. So Trophy was setting up a small Bike Friday Tikit for me to try and the rain kept me from trying it yesterday. I rode it and thought it was ok, but also rode a Brompton 6 speed that I loved. I rode a few different set-ups and pretty much settled on one. The only problem is that Brompton does not make a hard case as Bike Friday does. So I'm trying to figure out if I can fit it into a regular hard suitcase and if I can I will probably buy the bike. It really rode like a dream. And folds and unfolds incre4dibly easily. Nothing like the inexpensive folder I bought last year (no names, please.)

Hopeful of getting some important work done this afternoon and then will meet up with Denine to go to the Ride of Silence, weather permitting. On;ly rode 19 miles today, but will add a few tonight.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We Beat The Rain...Again

Out at 5:45 this morning, Annie and I rode our loop dry. The rains came only minutes after we arrived home. I hate to be so boring, but I have little time to focus on blogging these days, and the weather really is on my mind. It really is a downer. So much rain, so little sun. We rode and the temperature is still in the 40's; Enough!

I hope it is clear enough tomorrow to ride a bit longer, though I doubt I will ride to Valley Forge or the equivalent. I really need to get some other work done. But weather permitting I do plan to ride in the Ride of Silence tomorrow evening. If you're in Philly, or if there is a Ride of Silence in your neighborhood, I hope you can join in.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Another Post-Airport Ride

Picked up Annie at the airport from another red-eye at 5:20. We were out on the bikes at 6:30 and had a lovely ride despite a number of interruptions. The garbage train was barely blocking the crossing to the trail. Just enough so that we had to dismount and climb over the tracks. Then the West Side Drive was barricaded at one spot because of what looked like a water pipe repair. Had to dismount and get on the sidewalk for a few feet, then back on the trail. And the train was still there on the way home. Still a good day in nice weather which is not supposed to last. More rain later today. Really the worst spring I remember since moving here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another Errant Forecast

No rain. Actually another nice looking day, though they continue to call for rain tonight, tomorrow, seemingly forever. But I rode a loop this morning. Sluggish, I must admit. Usually I'm really strong the day after a long ride. I feel like I may be coming down with something.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Valley Forge...Again

Yes, what was once a real adventure is beginning to be routine, and a tad boring. I tried to think of another route that would give me a good long ride today without necessitating being out in heavy traffic, but I couldn't. So I took off, again a little later than I would have liked, and enjoyed my ride out to Valley Forge. In fact, as I returned to town, I didn't feel like stopping so I did a "victory loop" and thereby brought my mileage up over 56 miles. Passed Jake on the loop and met up with him again riding down Pine Street to our respective homes.

Below is a sign of some of the damage done in yesterday's Nor'easter. This was on the trail along the West River Drive.

The weather was beautiful when I left this morning, but was pretty overcast when I returned. The predictions are for more rain (ugh!) throughout the week-end. We'll have to see how much riding I can get in.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Too Pretty To Miss

I was unable to ride this morning because after dropping Annie at the airport there wasn't enough time before work. I did take my bike with me to work and had two meetings on different sides of town which garnered me about 5 miles. But at 4:30 on my way home the weather was so beautiful I couldn't resist heading out on the trail. I didn't have time for a full loop. and riding in a suit and tie carrying my shoulder bag wasn't totally conducive to a long training ride, but I rode anyway, about 8 miles total giving me the usual 13 plus on the day. But more importantly a fun ride. The trail at that time of day is busy of course, but it was manageable and i just relaxed and went with the flow of traffic.

While scanning some websites today I came across this surprising new web site: Check it out. Oy Velo

Monday, May 12, 2008

Another Forced Hiatus

The monsoon like weather today kept me off my bike. It's just been puring all day and worse than that it is still in the low 40's. I just can't deal with getting on all my winter gear again in May.

Tomorrow I need to take Annie to the airport again for an early flight and will not be home in time to take my morning ride. Those big mileage numbers earlier in the month are fading. I will take the bike for city use tomorrow as I have a few meetings and the weather is supposed to clear, but i won't get in a good ride until Wednesday.

Meanwhile, on the cycling scene, today's NY Times ran a column soliciting questions for their bicycle coordinator Joshua Benson. Reading the comments and questions gives a good insight into the state of cycling in the Big Apple Ask About Cycling in New York.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Double Loop

After three days of rain, some heavy and some just depressing enough to dampen even my biking spirit, and three days off the bike, Mother's Day dawned clear and cool (48 degrees still in May!)and Annie and I were up early enough to take a double loop and make up some mileage. She is in her new toe clips, a first stage toward clipless? I don' think so, but she feels energized by her smoother pedal stroke and is riding a good couple of mph faster than in the past. We covered the 21.1 miles in 1 hour and 40 minutes or so, which I think is pretty good. So good, in fact, that if I'd been more conscious of the clock we could have put another couple of miles in doubling back along the West River Drive. Another pass across the Art Museum and back down Kelly Drive would have been impossible. We just made it that way the first time weaving our way through the gathering throngs for the Mother's Day Rave For The Cure. Good luck to all of them.

Meanwhile Slipstream-Chipotle's Christian Vande Velde, an American, has the Pink Jersey (speaking of the Race For The Cure) after the team time trials on the first day of the Giro de Italia. I will try to keep up with the action but we will be traveling for the day and it will be difficult. It will be interesting to see if Astana can mount any kind of a real race given that they were not given sufficient time to prepare. Certainly Levi and Contador should be in contention when the race reaches the Dolomites.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My Lunch Spot

What a perfect day to ride. I do have so many other things to do that it was tempting to either skip it or take a short ride, but the day was just too perfect. Of course, if I could have gotten out earlier i might have been able to do more things after my ride, and I really thought about that too, but if I don't get some sleep on Wednesday morning and take it a little slower getting started, I really suffer for it the rest of the week. So I hit the road around 10:15 and rode about 4 blocks when I noticed that my rear break was not working. I got off and saw that the break pad mechanism was loose, completely unscrewed. I have an allen wrench in my pack, but since I was exactly on the corner where Bicycle Therapy is, I stopped in and they fixed it up instead of my having to search for the wrench etc. They also informed me that I will need new break pads pretty soon, but since it was not an immediate safety issue I decided to get going.

Rode out to Lower Perkiomen State Park again and stopped for lunch at the beautiful spot pictured above. Then rode home stopping for a quick rest somewhere between Conshohocken and Manayunk and again for a bottle of water on Kelly Drive.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Commuting Day

I picked Annie up at the airport at 5:20 this morning. We were home in time to go for our morning ride together. Pretty impressive for her after a red-eye flight. After taking the car to teach my morning class I returned home for lunch and decided to use the bike to get to two meetings today. One was in Germantown, which is about ten miles from center city Philadelphia where we live. It was a great ride, with some good hills that I need to be working on. Despite riding everyday on pretty flat terrain, my "hill legs" are a bit rusty. I made the trip in an hour an five minutes (not counting a work related phone call that I stopped to take and another phone call to Mindy (thanks, Mindy) to get good directions to my destination. After the meeting I went back toward home but turned off in Manayunk for another meeting. It is basically on the way home, but added a couple of miles to the total of 36.3 for the day. And no gas wasted on the effort!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Big News: Astana Invited To The Giro

According to a report this morning in Italian newspapers the cycling team Astana has been invited to the Giro d'Italia! This is a major reversal on the part of the race organizers. Does it presage a similar reversal on the part of ASO to allow Astana back into the Tour De France? We can only hope. Maybe this picture of Levi on the podium will be prophetic of the future, rather than a reminder of the past.

Meanwhile, despite dire predictions of rain all through the weekend, it was dry and overcast this morning. I awoke at normal weekday time in order to get two loops in and take advantage of the West River Drive closure and did so. That makes 22 miles, but I may get to do some errands later so I'll add the mileage tonight. Granted, it was still a bit chilly for May, around 54 degrees, but I guess within a few weeks I will be looking back wistfully to all this cool weather.

I would rather have been spending today in New York where friend Denine, The Bicycle Chef is riding in the Five Borough Tour. My work schedule just didn't allow it. With what looks like unexpectedly good weather, I know she must be having a ball.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Mental Health Double Loop

I needed a morning off, today. I slept late, which I hadn't been able to do as usual on Wednesday because of getting Annie to the airport. I expected the weather to be lousy, but it turned out to be mildly sunny and spring-like, finally. So instead of not getting in a ride, I rode a double loop before heading into work for the afternoon. Great ride.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Well, we boomers are certainly into bikes now and that means extravagance here we come. Check out this article in today's NY Times Fashion section

Annie is away so I rode the loop myself today. 44 degrees on May 1st; how about a break!? Well, in truth, it was a good ride and despite predictions of rain for later I have my bike with me and intend to ride more for fun and business before the day is out, so watch for the first May mileage post later in the day.
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