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Archive for the 'Philosophy' Category

An informal poll

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

I should set up a proper poll, but I have other demands on my time. I have, until now, mostly avoided riding the Trucker in rain or snow. It’s the nicest bike I have, and I worry about subjecting it to those conditions. However, I put fenders on it not long after I bought it, fully intending to ride in the rain/snow. And if/when I eventually go on tour, I’m sure that’s something I’ll have to deal with. So my question is, should I ride the Trucker through the winter, or revert back to my old mountain bike? The old mountain bike is nice in that I can put big knobby tires on it, and I don’t mind if it gets road gunk/salt/etc on it, but it’s heavy (even compared to the Trucker) and it doesn’t feel as good to ride it.

Poll: Should I ride the Long Haul Trucker through the winter?

Options:

  1. Bikes were made to be ridden! Ride it in any and all conditions. The bike will love you for it, anyway.
  2. No way, are you crazy? That bike is too nice to subject it to that kind of abuse.

What are your thoughts?

Badi-Da

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Sarah and I went up to Green Bay, Wisconsin this weekend for the wedding of a couple of friends from college. We drove up to Chicago last Thursday night after I got off work to stay at another friend’s place there, and give them a ride to Green Bay.

Now, there’s a saying that Chicago has two seasons: winter and construction. And there’s a lot of truth to it. Last time we were there, it was winter and the high temperature was hovering around 0 degrees. This time, the drive up there, which is usually about 4 1/2 hours, took over six hours. We hit major construction and traffic on the way there. In fact, every leg of our trip was plagued with traffic jams. The drive back from Green Bay, which was supposed to be about 7 1/2 hours, took more like 10 1/2 hours. Yikes!

I’ve lived in Chicago before, and I have a lot of fond memories there — but this trip served as a reminder of just how much I prefer living in a smaller town. A place where parking isn’t an issue and the roads aren’t packed with vehicles all the time. A town that sleeps. And, a place where getting out of the city doesn’t involve driving for an hour or more. I have re-adapted to a much slower-packed lifestyle, and I love it. During some more frustrating moments, I found myself thinking of the Fred Neil song “Badi-Da:”

I get so tired
Hanging round this town
Oh this old city life
Sure brings a fella down

ba da da da da da
ba da da da da da da
ba da da da da da
ba da da

I sure get tired
Trying to sleep at night
Oh these old city lights
They keep on burning bright

ba da da da da da
ba da da da da da da
ba da da da da da
ba da da

I get so tired
Hanging round this town
Oh this old city life
Sure brings a fella down

ba da da da da da
ba da da da da da da
ba da da da da da
ba da da

On a positive note, Chicago was absolutely crawling with bicycles. I don’t remember seeing nearly as many bicycles when I lived there a few years ago. Was I not paying attention, or has bicycling exploded in popularity in Chicago in the past few years? Even late at night, we saw tons of cyclists.

It seemed like, based on what I saw, Chicago is probably a good place to ride, if you can somehow stay safe amongst all the insane drivers (and there are a lot of them).

I wish I had something to say about Green Bay, but we saw very little of it since we spent almost all of our time on wedding-related activities. It seemed like a nice city, much smaller than Chicago but big enough that it seems to have a lot going on.

The wedding, of course, was fantastic. This couple was the first of my close friends from college to get married, and I couldn’t be happier for them. Sarah and I will be next, in just over a month!

The Ride

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

The other night, I realized I hadn’t done a purely training ride for quite some time, so I decided I ought to do that. Recently, my pace has become increasingly laid back, and while I love that, sometimes a good hammerfest is in order. This was one of those times. So, I rode a familiar training route (the Water Works route), didn’t take a camera, and really focused on riding, pushing myself to ride fast. It was a beautiful day, about 80 degrees, sunny, and a bit windy.

It was fun to just ride for a change, without any distractions. And it was certainly a good workout, riding 21.82 miles in 1:13:53 (17.72 mph average). Not the fastest ride I’ve done, but probably the fastest this year. I had fun, and I was glad that I got to ride, but I don’t remember many specifics from the ride, except that … well, I was really hammering. It’s good to do rides like this sometimes, but for the most part I prefer riding a slower pace, exploring, and stopping to smell the proverbial roses.

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