Monday, June 30, 2008

A Good Omen

A good omen? This wooden bicycle sculpture was on display as I entered terminal A at Philadelphia International Airport. The bottom photo provides the name of the artist. Cool, no?

I had an uneventful flight and the Brompton sailed through in its suitcase. I did not have an opportunity to ride today (with a brief exception that I will get to below.) That means my June mileage is finished at 659.5. That could be the highest monthly total of my career, or right up there anyway.

While in route I received the text message that Floyd Landis's appeal was turned down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. I must say I was surprised. I thought Floyd had really made a case that the handling of his samples was bungled from the beginning. Whether that means he did or didn't dope we'll never know. But the court disagreed and quite vigorously. So vigorously in fact that they charged him a lot of money to pay the costs incurred by the UCI! While the fairness of the whole system still remains in some dis-repute, the bottom line is that he has exhausted the system and remains guilty. Having read the history of the Tour De France "Blazing Saddles" on the plane ride, I'm more inclined to believe that doping was so pervasive in the peloton that Floyd's story just doesn't hold up. But it isn't up to me, and the authorities of spoken.

We are staying in a wonderful house in Woodland Hills, CA. The views are spectacular. Which, of course, means that we are on the top of a hill. And I mean hill! The car has trouble getting up, let alone a cyclist not trained for the Tour and riding a Brompton. Yes, I know, I managed the Manayunk Wall, but that was only less than a kilometer. This climbs steadily for a good couple of miles. Curious to see how I'd do, I went out and rode down about half way and turned back to climb up. I really couldn't make it. I could have done better but I wasn't in good clothes and I didn't want to kill myself the way I did on the Hill Climb. In other words, I gave up.

So we will have to find another route to ride and probably drive down to it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Off To California

I rode at my regular early morning time today, out of the house by 5:50. I managed to ride a triple loop, almost 31 miles in the time I usually ride a Sunday double loop! I was hammering! I rode steadily at between 15-18 mph for almost the entire ride. Actually, I started off slow and somewhat sluggish, but I didn't push myself and just figured I was warming up. After coming around the Falls Bridge I suddenly picked it up and never looked back. The Drives on both sides were clear and free of extraneous activities like regattas and triathlons etc. Wonderful!

I have just finished packing and will get a few more last minute things done before turning in. I'll be on a plane early in the morning, with my Brompton already safely packed in its suitcase. Can't say whether I'll ride tomorrow afternoon, but seeing that it is the last day of June, I'd love to add a few more miles to the monthly total. We'll see.

And tomorrow morning the announcement from the Court of Arbitration of sport will finally be made regarding Floyd Landis' appeal. I suppose its a little anti-climactic, but not for Floyd!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Update

It is a beautiful, warm Friday afternoon, my last regular workday (not counting officiating at services tonight and tomorrow and at a wedding on Sunday. I really wasn't getting much work done after lunch and couldn't think of any errands that needed running on the bike, so I rode off back to the River and did a loop on the Brompton. Felt good.

Trains And More Trains

Rode out solo this morning. Tired, but revived by the ride, I was hammering away for awhile when I ran into (not quite literally) some sports team or gym class from Temple University hogging the entire path. I'm moving at 17-18 mph and they're spread across the path oblivious of the dividing line, the arrows, common courtesy and common sense. I slowed and stayed slow for awhile not because they were still in my way but just because. I actually passed what appeared to be the teachers or coaches further down the path and almost stopped to ask them to instruct their students in path etiquette but didn't bother. I know, I should have. Anyway I was then riding remarkably slowly until I went over the Falls Bridge and picked up a second wind and hammered home even faster (though Harry passed me during my inexplicable slow phase and I felt kind of dorky.) There had been a train blocking the Locust Street entry point when I started out and I knew from the looks of it that it wasn't going anywhere soon so I expected it to still be there on my return and it was. I rode down to the end of the path anyway and instead of going up the Chestnut Street ramp that I'd come down thought I'd cross at Race street which was open and go home from there. Of course, just as I returned to the Race Street entrance a second train was passing on the other track. Though this one was moving it looked very long and you never know if it is going to end up stopping for awhile. So I just kept going back up to the Museum and shot out onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and took the streets home from there. Ended up increasing the trip to almost 16 miles. Switched to the Brompton for work today. I'm actually looking forward to taking a break from the saddle tomorrow. I'll try to ride at least a double loop Sunday and then pack up the Brompton to join Annie in LA. Her Bike made the journey with no trouble, no extra fees.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

From May To August

The lovely spring weather that provided such a pleasant ride yesterday turned into a hot and humid today. I dropped Annie at the airport early in the morning. She is on her way to LA in preparation for our son's wedding next week. I leave town Monday. Along with her went the Bike Friday Tikit packed snuggly in a regular suitcase that went through baggage, no questions asked. Now, assuming it doesn't sustain any damage, and, hopefully, the suitcase also is relatively undamaged. All will be well. The Brompton actually fits into the same size suitcase a little better, so my trip should be less worrisome. Her Tikit presses more against the sides of the case. We'll see.

Then I came home and rode a double loop, plus another half for a 26 mile ride. The Brompton is with me to get to meetings and pastoral visits. Hopefully the darkening skies will pass quickly.

Finally, I've added two new books to the side-bar: Blazing Saddles by Matt Rendell, and The Tour Is Won on the Alpe, by Jean Paul Vespini. I am reading both now and will report back, but they both look great.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Just Gorgeous

That's what the weather was like again this morning as I headed out for an early ride to Valley Forge. Clear skies, no humidity and temperatures in the high 60's, low 70's. I wasn't sure I wanted to get up at my usual 4:45 AM on my "day off," but since I wasn't really going to get a day off, I did. I was very glad I did, too. I rode relatively slowly on the way out and chose not to try Umbria Street in the morning rush. So I took the tow path again and that was fine. I really wasn't feeling all that strong, so I just rode, leisurely. Left the house just after 6:30 AM and arrived at Valley Forge about 9 AM. Stopped for snack, rest, check-in with Annie and checked my email. Then headed home. I needed to be at work at noon. I started back at a somewhat leisurely pace also, but then something clicked in (actually I got passed...too close and with no warning shout or bell, by some woman on a mountain style bike. She just got my goat and I took off, passed her in a whirl and kept going at that pace) and I rode most of the way home at 17, 18, 19 mph. That's fast for me. Arrived at Lloyd Hall before 11 AM where I saw one guy I passed already waiting. Since I did not take the tow path home and did go up Shawmont and Umbria into Manayunk, I learned that the tow path must cut a couple of miles off the trip. Even though one tends to ride more slowly on the tow path, the shorter distance and the effect of climbing the hills allowed this guy to get in front of me. Good to know. But I caught him on Kelly drive and left him in the dust anyway. Home in time for a quick lunch and shower and off to work. I have the Brompton with me now and will do a few errands to add to the 46 miles I rode this morning. It has been a good mileage month.

Found that Bill Strickland was nice enough to check out my blog and leave a comment on the post :"Author! Author!" Coincidently, I intended to write about his book and Johan Bruyneel's today anyway. Actually I wrote about them in my lost post of the other day, but never included it in the "make-up" post. I did finish "We Might As Well Win" and really enjoyed it. Much more than I expected to. Lots of good stories inside the TDF years of Johan and Lance and well written. That may well be because of Strickland. I went on to re-read "Ten Points" and want again to really recommend it. The whole ambiance and mentality of amateur crit racing was really instructive, fun and interesting. so there's plenty for a cyclist to relate to, but to quote Lance, it's not about the bike. Or maybe it is. The story of Bill's family and childhood is terribly moving and I guess all of us who come to depend on our bikes to work out something, to fill some space or heal some wound begin to realize that while it is about life it is also about the bike. Read it, and let me know what you think. Better yet, buy it through the widget on my side bar from Amazon, then read it and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Lost Post

I didn't have a lot to blog yesterday, and even less time to blog it. In fact, yesterday's post was entitled: "Busy, Busy." But even that much never made it up because blogger was down and I couldn't save the post. So I'll just reiterate. We rode our usual loop but both Annie and I are crazed getting ready to leave for California. She is doing that while also running back and forth to help out our daughter. She returns to New Jersey today and leaves for LA on Thursday. I leave Monday.

So with little enough time to ride, let alone write, I ended by just calling attention to the new listing on the blog list in the side-bar: Le Grimpeur, a great blog about climbing, its history and its wonderful pain. Very nicely done.

As today's tidbit I will just call attention to the Tour of Pennsylvania that begins tonight. I tried to keep my schedule clear so that I could watch the Crit tonight, but it is not to be.

Another loop in magnificent weather this morning and then took the Brompton for errands in town today.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Riding

Nothing special about this photo, just the Cafe at Boathouse Row where I stopped for a bottle of water and a cup of coffee during a rather long and unplanned ride today. Annie is still not home, so I was out early and rode about 28 miles around the drives which was pleasant enough but for having to dodge in and out of a Triathlon that was going on on the West Side. Then I went to morning service. But I took my bike with me intending to take it over to Bicycle Therapy after services. I noticed a couple of little things that I wanted to get taken care of: The front wheel seemed out of true; the gears slipped a bit and the rear brake was a bit sticky. Indeed there were a few adjustments to be made. Anyway, I was done with services at 9:30 and the bike shop didn't open until noon. so I headed back to the river and went around a couple of more times, stopping in between for a nice break at the cafe. Eventually brought the bike in, left in and just picked it back up ready for tomorrow's ride.Ended up riding just over 45 miles today.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Best Laid Plans...

First, I hope you like the new blog picture. I thought it was time for a change.

Next, if you take a look at my cumulative miles and do the math, I have finally recovered enough miles to where I am on the pace to reach my goal of 4500 miles for the year. Considering the really low start I got in January and February, I'm happy to have reached it so soon.

Finally, and most importantly, riding has taken a bit of a back seat. My daughter hurt her back and Annie has been up in North Jersey all week. So not only do I have to ride solo in the mornings, my days are more stressed keeping everything going alone at home and I haven't been able to ride much, or blog. We will have to skip the Iron tour we'd hoped to go on Sunday. Well, their calling for rain anyway. And next week Annie needs to leave for LA to get ready for our son's wedding (I go the week after) and its being my last week of work I could not protect my day off, just too much to finish before I leave, so I will not get a big ride in on Wednesday. but if I get up early I should still be able to do a moderate ride.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

For The Children

A simply perfect day for a ride and a rare chance to ride with a friend. So my regular Wednesday ride was a bit shorter mileage-wise, but it was much fun and many more hills. I rode with Mindy, starting out in Mt. Airy and going through Chestnut Hill which are both quite hilly. Some of the ascents were quite a bit of work, but the descents were exhilarating to say the least. I couldn't really tell you what our route was, but she ended up dropping us back on the SRT at spring Mill and we headed back through Manayunk. A very nice loop of 32 miles door-to-door. And great company and conversation.

Arriving home I quickly switched bikes to the Brompton and threw a pair of real shorts over my cycling shorts and met another friend for lunch. Did some errands and added a couple of miles to the day's total.

Tomorrow I need to bring the car in for service and so will miss my morning loop. But I can throw the Brompton in the car and ride back to work, so I'll get some riding in.

Finally, I came across this new web site that allows you to view and buy children's books. I thought it was cool. They also let you embed an entire book into a blog. So enjoy this one on cycling. You can check it out by clicking on the Lookybook logo or here

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Author! Author!

An ordinary ride this morning before going off to NY for a meeting. After returning Denine and I went out to West Chester PA to hear, meet and get books signed by Johan Bruyneel, Director of Astana and formerly of Discovery and U.S. Postal who guided Lance Armstrong to 7 Tour de France victories and Alberto Contador to one last year and Bill Strickland, editor of Bicycling Magazine and author of Ten Points. Strickland was more entertaining in his under-spoken way then was Bruyneel, but I enjoyed the latter's stories and just his association with the greats of cycling history. I would have liked to hear more about his sense of the state of cycling, specifically the duel between the UCI and ASO over who will control the sport. I can't imagine that he is not potentially a player in those machinations, but he was pretty vague about where he thought things were going, other than to say that cycling will survive.

Here's Johan speaking:

And Strickland signing books:

Both books are available through Amazon and are listed in my sidebar. I've read Ten Points and loved it. In fact will now read it again. the cycling side of the book is great, but the story of a family and of a man and his demons is much better. I have not yet read the Bruyneel book (co-written with Strickland.) I assume it will be more of a celebrity memoir but I'm interested to find out.

Finally, a later addition, a couple of shots that Denine took including the one of Johan and Bill signing my book:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Freedom Valley Ride - 2008

It couldn't have been better. We were at the start (pictured above) by 7:15 AM and registered, received our bib and prepared to ride. We settled on the 40 mile route to Valley Forge. Exactly how they calculated the mileage is a bit of a mystery, since I do that ride frequently and know it to be at least 46 miles and in this case, since we went into the park and rode some on the park trail before reaching the rest stop, it was definitely not a 40 mile ride. In fact, our round trip mileage from home was 52.8 miles.

Be that as it may, we had a great ride. For me it was the old familiar path to Valley forge using the tow-path rather than going up Umbria. It seemed the wisest choice for Annie's first ride out there. She did great and had a great time. We met lots of folks we know, as we are getting to know more and more of the regulars on the bike scene. Henry the breakfast guy was there; Mike from Trophey, Al Gilens, the photographer; David Finger, the Braffs, Seymour Cohen, a few people we see in the morning on the path like Lee, and Steve Masters. It is nice to begin to feel a connection to folks in the hobby.

The service of the Bicycle coalition was terrific. We hit our first rest stop at Spring Mill, only about 10 miles out.

In the past I had never actually ridden around the park. It was really nice to see some of the actual history exhibits as we rode. We stopped to view these soldiers barracks before we reached Wayne's woods for lunch

This is a shot of the lunch crowd.

The return was uneventful. The weather stayed good, a bit muggy but the clouds kept the sun from baking us. Home in plenty of time to enjoy the rest of Father's Day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gearing Up For Freedom Valley Ride

Another good bicycling weekend looms ahead, with good reports vis-a-vis weather. This Sunday Annie and I will do the Freedom Valley Ride of the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia. I'm not sure which of the rides we'll do yet. Maybe just the 22 mile to see how we like it. Or the 32 mile "vigorous" ride, whatever that means. But it sounds like it will be fun.

Also considering the French Creek Iron Tour the following week, but haven't decided yet.

This morning I rode solo. Just a regular 13.5 mile loop and no more biking today as my schedule does not allow it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If You Haven't Seen this One Yet...Obama

It's making its way around the web, but if you haven't seen it yet here is the picture of Presidential candidate Barack Obama going out for a leisurely ride with his family. Somehow I think this is for real, and more, that Obama is the kind of guy who could seriously get behind cycling as a transportation/health/environmental alternative worth putting some big Federal bucks behind. Let's hope.

Meanwhile, Annie had to stay home on a rare Wednesday because of work commitments, so I got up early on my day off and rode a double loop of 20 miles with her. She peeled off to go home and I did three more loops for a 48 miles ride. A pleasant ride with no destination. I will take the Brompton to do some of my own errands later, and add the mileage then.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Philly Race Day

For starters, here's the Jersey I "won" for climbing the Wall on Friday. Neat, no?

Annie and I left the house just after 7 AM and met the hundred or so other riders in today's Philly Family Fun Ride. That is the ride around the Pro race course. The 14 mile loop started at 22nd and The Parkway, up Kelly Drive into Manayunk, up the infamous Wall (again,) and then through the back of Manayunk back to Kelly Drive, up into Fairmont Park a bit in the Lemon Hill area and finally back to the Drive and onto the Parkway. Of course, the highlight was the Wall. It was my second attempt in three days and Annie's first ever. She made it about half-way up, stopped and walked another quarter of the way to where I stopped. We walked a bit together and then re-mounted and managed to finish the climb. For me, pretty much the same results on Friday and I didn't feel the climb was made any easier by being on the big bike. In fact, I actually think the Brompton was a tad easier. But I made it in almost the identical mix of walking and riding. It was a great ride and we had a lot of fun. Denine met up with us near the end of the ride and we spent some time together. I met her at various points along the course throughout the day as we both watched the race and participated in some of the other goings on surrounding it. Met lots of other folks I'm coming to know in the cycling community as well. Definitely a day for the Philly cycling community to turn out in force. Here are Annie and Denine after the ride.

After we rode and hung around a bit, Annie took off for home. Lots to do. I stuck around and moved from one vantage to another, catching both the men's and the women's races various times. It was exciting and I took a load of photos, only a few of which are posted here. If I can figure out how to post a separate album of these photos I will do so.

At one point, as I was leaving the festivities at Lemon Hill, I found myself in just the right spot to watch the peloton coming down the hill. At the bottom there is a pretty hard right turn and I captured a rider going down. I couldn't identify him, but it was a miracle that there was not a pile up. The road was wide enough for everyone to swing around him. He was not hurt, but blew a tire and called his team car for a replacement wheel and was on his way

I left before it was over also. Jewish holidays begin tonight and I had things to do to prepare. But was home to catch the exciting end of the race on TV and to watch Matti Breschel win it for team CSC.

A couple of days off the blog now for the holidays. It was a great cycling weekend. Next Sunday is the Freedom Valley ride, so another good one coming up.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

CSC Manayunk Hill Climb Time Trial

It was quite an experience! I arrived at the starting line about an hour early and registered for the race. Had to purchase my one day racing license from USA Cycling and then register for the race. I had no idea that it was going to be a time trial. I thought there would just be a bunch start and everyone rode together. Instead each person went off individually. They held your seat while they counted down and you had your feet on the pedals and I was number 72, the number proudly affixed to the back of my jersey. There were 16 folding bikes among the hundred plus riders. I came in number 14 out of 14 in the men's category. The two women beat me also. But I made it up the wall. If I had actually found it the day before when I was looking for it, I probably wouldn't have even shown up. It is an incredible climb. I made it about 3/4 of the way up and felt like throwing up. I had to stop and walk about 10 feet to get my breath back, but then I got on my bike and made it the rest of the way up. I felt quite good, like I had accomplished something. I was dog tired by the time I rode the seven miles home after the race.

But it was really exciting. One of the photos below shows the arrival of the Mavic car, the neutral race mechanics who are always at the pro races. There was a lot of excitement and curiosity at this first ever sanctioned folding bike classification at a USA Cycling event. The other photos show the start gate, the folders lined up ahead of me, some of the folder guys milling about before the race.

Rob English, riding a titanium Bike Friday finished in first among the folders with a time of 1:35:22 (my time was 5:35:99) which was only about 9 seconds behind the race winner on a regular bike. Pretty impressive. Nice guy, too.

This afternoon Annie and I walked over to Walnut Street to watch the folding/unfolding contest. It was a gas. And I was given my Jersey!(picture tomorrow.)Also met Alvin Gilens, a professional photographer who was taking pictures at the race and got one of me going up the wall.

Tomorrow its PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP FAMILY FUN RIDE. We'll ride the course before the pros do, including the wall again. This time on the Fuji! Then we'll watch the race.

This one shows Mike from Trophy Bikes, the genius behind getting the folding classification and booster/sponsor of the race.

Friday, June 06, 2008

I Did It (Mostly)

No time to blog. More pictures and complete wrap-up of the Wall climb tomorrow night.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Wall

The highlight of the Philly Race on Sunday is the climb up what is known a The Wall in Manayunk. It is about a 1 kilometer climb, I think 17% grade, perhaps more. On Friday afternoon there will be an amateur hill climb up The Wall including a classification for folding bikes. I have been thinking of giving it a try with the Brompton, mainly because if your make it Trophy Bikes is giving away a neat looking Jersey. So today I decided to have lunch in Manayunk and take a closer look at The Wall. I turned down Levering as the course map says to, but then wasn't sure where to go. I went up quite a hill, but that turned out to be Gay Street, not The Wall. Then I turned up Baker Street and took it To Green. In the distance there appeared to be something that might have qualified as The Wall, but as I wasn't sure and didn't feel like climbing yet another hill just to find out I was wrong, and I was hungry, I bagged it and headed for lunch. I think I'll skip the Folding Bike Hill Climb and wait until Sunday morning's guided ride of the course to find out exactly where it is. Then maybe I'll give it another try with the Brompton. Though I must say, if it is the hill I think I saw in the distance, I have no confidence I will be able to climb it on the Fuji, let alone the Brompton.

Meanwhile I was able to tack on 15 miles to this morning's 13 miles for another good day before coming back to work.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Riding With The Pros

So I went out this morning at around 10:30 committed to staying on the loop rather than risk being too far from home in the rain. Actually, except for about two minutes of drizzle the weather was fine. The sun peeked out for about 30 seconds, but it was a pleasant cloudy day. And it turns out sometimes staying close to home can be more exciting than roaming. As I made the first of my four and a half circuits of the loop (44.2 miles) I passed what appeared to be the entire Highroad cycling team coming the other way on the path. As best I could tell they and I were going about the same speed as we passed. How cool is that? Later I saw a lone CSC rider out riding the course and a group of riders from one of the U.S.Continental teams,(kind of minor leagues for those of you not into cycling)DLP. In addition the tents were going up around the Parkway and it looked like construction crews were working on cleaning up parts of the road. All very exciting and a good ride...longer than I'd anticipated being out.

Well, you can't please everybody all the time. In the interests of fairness I'm sharing this blog link to bike snob NYC who takes a very dim view of Mr. Mackey's L'Etape du Tour exploits.

Getting Ready For Race Weekend

Philadelphia Championship Bike Race

The racers pass by the Logan Circle fountain in Center City. (Daily News file)

Though I haven't seen it in the print edition yet, the Philadelphia Inquirer web site has been running this special feature on Sunday's upcoming Pro Tour race all week. You can read all the features here.

We're getting ready for the weekend in our own way. First of all, in combination with race weekend, Trophy Bikes is sponsoring its annual folding bike round-up:

6th Edition!
ROUND UP USA FOLDER FEST-- America's biggest little bike event.
Look for new challengers to Brompton's "fastest fold" title, more imaginative bikes from Pacific, some refinements to the classic Brompton folder, all set against the backdrop of the Commerce Bank Cycling Championship.

Bike Friday is sending hot rider Rob English,
Read about the custom TIKIT Rob will ride in
hill climb here.

see below for details

PLEASE NOTE changes as of
May 10, 2008!:
Noon-4:30pm FOLDER DEMOs and informal talks
. Trophy Bikes, 3131 Walnut Street.

4:45 pm sharp FOLDER RIDE to Manayunk to watch hillclimb. Meets at Trophy Bikes.


If you're a good climber, please enter this event. TROPHY BIKES is sponsoring a FOLDER CLASS--with cash prizes for the top male and female folder bikers.

Click HERE to register.

OR... ride out with us and cheers as folder bikes from Swift, Dahon, Friday, Brompton (and more) take on the Manayunk Wall


7 am TIME TRIALS Art Museum, 26th & the Parkway. Cheer Swift Folders (and maybe others) racing against the big bikes in the Commerce Bank Time Trials along the MLK Drive.

10 am sharp -- FOLDER BIKE ON RAIL EXCURSION. Meet Trophy Bikes--we'll take the SEPTA 10:20 R6 at 30th St. Station, then ride back from Norristown along the Schuylkill River Bike Path.

ALL DAY –Informal folder demos and test rides. –Trophy Bikes.

Think you're pretty fast, pardner? Then bring yuhself and yuh folder to the FFS and ride/fold/sit/unfold/ride. Schuylkill River Park at Market Street. SEE THE '07 FAST FOLD HERE.

SAT EVE approx. 6pm --Evening folder gathering and ride . Bridgewater Pub, 30th St. Station. 30th and Market Sts. There may also be a informal video screening, TBA.

8:30 am FOLDER RALLY at COMMERCE BANK TRIPLE CROWN race start, Logan Circle, 19th and the Ben Franklin Parkway. Watch race start, visit bike expo.

10am-Noon FOLDER DEMOS and informal talks. Trophy Bikes.

3-5 pm MUSICAL FOLDERS variety ride. Test ride the max number of folder bikes in the minimum time. Schuylkill River Park at Walnut Street.

6:00 pm FOLDER FROLIC. Ride to a classic pub for a good meal.

I hope to get over to Trophy for some shmoozing Friday afternoon. Annie and I will walk over to the River park to watch the folding competition on Saturday afternoon. But the best part of the weekend will obviously be on Sunday. We have registered in the charity fun ride in the morning. We will ride the course of the entire race, including the Manayunk "wall" beginning at 7 AM. Then we'll hang around for much of the day watching the race and participating in all the hoopla surrounding it, including the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia picnic, the bike expo, etc.

The weather forecast for the weekend is good. Unfortunately it is not so good today. Cloudy with rain on and off. I'll ride but not too far from home.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Brompton Photos

Despite the pictures below, Annie and I have returned to a regular morning ride on the Fuji. We really still love those bikes. We have proved to ourselves without a shadow of a doubt that we will be able to use the Brompton/Bike Friday for exactly what we bought them for:to travel and have a decent ride when we get somewhere, particularly by air.
But thanks to Deneen I wanted to share this two shots of me using the Brompton to get around town yesterday. The best of the three shots she took I've added to the (semi-) permanent place on the sidebar.

Meanwhile I wanted to just remind folks of the really interesting blog that Robert Mackey is writing for the Play section of the New York Times that I've mentioned before. He is 41 years old, and having a "mid-life hobby" crisis that not only brought him to cycling, but to signing on for the L'Etape du Tour, the chance for amateurs to ride the same route as the pros for one of the stages of the Tour de'France. In this case a stage that includes climbing the Tourmalet, one of the hardest climbs in the tour itinerary. His blog is charting his training as well as interesting other tidbits about the tour. Check it out.

This morning we had a fast ride in perfect weather on the Fuji. I have the Brompton with me for town use and will fill in the mileage later.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sunday Supplement/Contador Victorious

After folding up the bike for the day I did some work on the Fuji, just lube and clean and also replaced the fancy VDO computer that has not been working for me with a plain old Strata Catseye. Simple and easy to install and reliable. Then I took the bike out to make sure the computer was working and did another loop around the Drives. The mileage on this computer was 13.5. A bit higher than the VDO, even, let alone the readings I'm getting on the Brampton (also a Strada Catseye.) I'll see what I can do to fine tune the settings on that one, but I don't care that much and the differences will be "margin of error" kind of stuff as far as I'm concerned.

The Drives were busy but not really annoyingly so. Wonderful to see so many people out. So many different kinds of bikes and cyclists! A Recumbent tandem was a first for me, I think.

While I haven't watched the race yet, the results are in: Contador is the winner of the Giro D'Italia!

May Mileage, June Beginning

Despite some bad whether during the month of May, I still managed my best monthly mileage yet, which is as it should be. 546.4 for the month bringing the yearly total to 1811.1. That's only 63.9 miles short of the requisite monthly average in order to reach my 45,000 mile goal for the year. Given the poor number in January and February I'm satisfied.

Now we begin June. Today Annie and I did a Brompton/Tikit double loop. The weather was perfect and we love the bikes. With some shopping later in the morning I managed 23.9 miles today, a good start to the month. We will ride the Fuji bikes tomorrow morning, though I must say I'm satisfied to ride only the Brompton.

Ready to watch the finale of the Giro later tonight. Looks very good for Contador.
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