Friday, October 23, 2009

Obsessive Compulsive Poseur

I know it's wrong, yet I couldn't stop myself. Let's be honest; I didn't even try to stop myself.

When I saw water bottles that matched my Kestrel RT700 I bought them. What color can you put on a copper-colored bike? Blue? Yellow? Green? Red? Nope. White is OK, but stands out too much. Black heats up the water, and is impossible to find anyway. Copper bottles are really the only option, so when I saw these I knew I would be buying them.

Polar has had orange bottles for a while, but they didn't really match. Then I saw these. They are just enough darker that they work.

Yes, I know they won't make me faster, or more cool. They won't make the water taste better. My old bottles were still functional. Still, I now have bottles that look better on my bike, and when I take a good long look at the crazy world I can't help but think it's a better place because I have copper-color water bottles on my copper-color bike.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Foxy's Fall Century

Foxy's Fall Century, put on by the Davis Bike Club, is a beautiful ride through Solano and Napa counties. Tricia and I joined a group form NorCal for the one hundred mile ride and had a ball.

The ride starts out meandering through the very very flat farmlands of California's Central Valley. Some find it dull, but I loved the early morning light and drafting behind Chris and Deborah's tandem.

After we'd ridden under the just-launched hot air balloons and past a large whimsical bicycle sculpture we finely got to some hills, though nothing too hard. We rode through the aromas of California laurel, sage and tar weed.

After lunch there's a bit of a climb near Lake Berryessa. It's called "The Wall," but mostly it's an optical illusion. It looked intimidatingly steep, but when we rode up it, it wasn't nearly as tough as it looked from a distance. From there it's a long, ever so slight downhill back to Davis. There's nothing like an invisible downhill and a drafting a tandem to make you feel really fast. A grand time was had by all. Here's a short Flickr slideshow. I had a reasonably good day with my point & shoot.

By the way, I'm very happy with the photo at the top of this story. I'm thinking of making a poster from it. Click it to see the large version.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Smack! New helmet time

I was actually looking forward to my first rain commute of the season. Despite dire warnings from the fear-mongering weather folks I started out with a wet but delightful tail wind, and was feeling pretty good in my rain clothes.

Then, riding through an area I ride every day, I caught my front wheel on a cement lip running parallel to my path. I'm guessing that because it was so wet, and it was the first rain of the season, the road was extra slippery. I didn't do a slow fall like in the movies, I just went boom. i smacked right into the pavement and whipped my head onto the ground.

As crashes go, it wasn't that bad. I got a bloody elbow, a big headache, and I'm sure I'll have impressive bruises. But nothing on the bike broke.

When I got to work I ordered a new helmet. I'm upgrading my Bell Sweep to a Bell Volt. The Sweep isn't cracked or anything, but I'm being a proper cyclist and replacing it anyway.

UPDATE: The Volt is here, and I like it even more than the Sweep! It has a nice adjustment for the back that let's me dial in the fit better than any helmet I've ever had.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Official: I am old

I am old. It's been coming for a while, but on this day it is official. I have a compact crankset. I have a gray goatee and wrinkles. But the thing that makes it official: I now have a Grateful Dead inspired jersey, like the ones that all those beer-belly riders have. I worry I am but one step away from a recumbent. Heck, I've seriously contemplated a triple, even though I know it's just a gateway drug toward becoming a 'bent rider. I know there is no reprieve from the steady tick of the clock and turn of the calendar page. But I hope I won't sink further.
If I start talking hybrid, recumbent, or breakfast cereal jersey please come and stop me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

WTF Cyclists?

Indeed, WTF cyclists?
I thought we were better than this. After all, we enjoy being outside, and I thought we all had some common understanding that trashing the environment is a bad thing. We rail enough about broken glass that we should be able to make the leap and realize that we shouldn't be contributing to road side garbage piles.

But I guess not.

I ride Empire Mine Road as part of my short local loop. It's a sweet road that's closed to automobiles that runs through some ranch land. Lots of cyclists use it, either as an out and back, or a back road between Antioch and Brentwood.

Last week I picked up two 700c inner tubes and two C02 cartridges. (I guess the mountain bikers are off the hook on this.) This week there were several gel packs at the top of the hill. Yech.

Just as a side note: If you need to stop at this little rise to power gel up, you are too much of a wimp and poseur to be out in the world on a bike without training wheels.

I don't think those litter-cyclists will read this because I don't think they know how to read. But if you see those jerk wads littering, feel free to stick a frame pump in their spokes, or snap a quick photo of them for me to post.

If, by some chance I'm writing about you, cut it out. Put that stuff in your pocket and stop being such a wiener.