Thursday, November 27

Passes

I drove up to Berthoud Pass with my kids this morning while mom worked on Thanksgiving dinner. I must confess that an ulterior motive was to scout it out for the possibility of a ride in the spring to train for the Triple By-Pass.

And then on the way down I saw an old guy, gray beard and all, chugging up to Empire. I wanted to be riding today. Up the pass and maybe down the other side.

Soon...soon. Even if it is in the spring, it'll be soon enough. I'll start by riding Deer Creek, Bear Creek, Lookout and Flagstaff Mountains. Then maybe Evans once the road is open.

Sunday, November 23

New Loop Ride

I got out today for a nice 20 miler. Mandy and I were going to take the kids and ride a loop, but Boone acted like he wasn't feeling too good so we decided I would go ride and then when I got back she would go walk at the park (but she is riding up to the King Soopers near Boone's school for groceries right now).

I decided to go ahead and ride at least part of the loop we were all going to do, so I headed east on the Cherry Creek to Bayaud, hit Alameda and took the Alameda Bikeway just past Havana to the Westerly Creek Trail.

The northern terminus of the trail is Exposition Park at Alameda and right off the bat the trail surface is fantastic.

I rode south on the trail all the way to Iliff, but at that point there was trail construction and it was closed beyond. So I took Iliff west to Lima and then that south to Yale and took Yale back to the Cherry Creek.

I blasted back northwest on the CCT and was back home 21.6 miles and 1:32 hrs later.

It was a good ride, a bit chilly and very little bike traffic (except on the CCT). I didn't have any run ins with the Jersey Guys, they must have been terrorizing Wash Park or some other trail (like the South Platte).

All in all a great ride...

Best of craigslist Proves Fixies are Bad News

Came across this posting (edited for language):

Please buy this fixie wheelset. My battered heart implores you.
Date: 2008-08-21, 10:53AM EDT


Back in the halcyon days of our budding relationship, my now ex-boyfriend and I decided to start fixing up bikes. He was an old-school steel fan, so we started with his Schwinn Varsity---he converted it to a beautiful fixed-gear, and I contributed support, encouragement, and the impetus to apply that second coat of signpainter's one-shot. Thrilled with the result, we picked up more frames, parts, and wheels.

And then tragedy struck.

My [deleted] ex-boyfriend decided to end our relationship when he got a temporary gig in New York, citing (believe it or not) the fact that he just "loved me too much" to fearlessly invest time and energy into a long-distance relationship (even if just for three months). He took the half-stripped Varsity frameset we'd recently started (it was destined to be mine) and left me with a wheelset, some vague promises, and a broken heart.

Those wheels, my friends, are now for sale. They've been languishing too long in the darkest recesses of my one-room efficiency and now it's time for me to get it into my head that my [deleted] ex-boyfriend is never coming back and, more importantly, he is never going to finish building my Varsity fixed-gear conversion.

So help me mend my broken heart. Buy my wheels so that someday, after a long, slow healing process, I can ride off into the sunset with a new boyfriend. On matching Bianchis.

Thursday, November 20

So Much for Hiatus

Oh well...I thought I could take some time off from ranting about this stuff, but I find that the longer I've gone without riding the more I want to ride.

I am truly impressed with how many people here continue riding for transportation despite the cold, shortness of days and increased traffic at times. In Kentucky no one rode, much less rode when the conditions were less than favorable.

I wish I could get back to riding more. It's just this rotating counter shift thingy makes it hard to maintain a routine and be consistent.

I haven't ridden to work in so long I can't remember the last time.

We're talking more about moving to Golden once our lease is up in the spring and if we do I think we may go to one car. If that happens then I'll ride a LOT more. But for now I am a slave to the car. But I have full intentions of liberating myself from it for daily travels in the near future. I can and I will!

Freewheel Choices

So I just wanted to share this absurdity I came across on the way home the other evening. It was mostly dark, I was traveling south on Bannock around 3rd or 2nd and as I approached the four way stop a guy on a fixie blasted through the intersection at full tilt, no reflectors or lights and wearing dark clothes. I didn't see him at all until he passed through the light of my headlights.

My question is this: would it have been my fault if I had hit him as I moved forward from the stop sign? If I had been moving through the intersection before he did he would have hit me without me ever having seen him. And since he was cranking away on a fixie, more than likely he didn't stop because he didn't have a freewheel and couldn't stop.

Natural selection hard at work...

Oh! And did I mention that the guy was NOT wearing a helmet? But you knew that didn't you?

SO MUCH FOR HIATUS!!!

[edited 2:45pm 11/20/08]

Sunday, November 16

"Community" Ditch Trail

I guess I should have worn one of my jerseys and my bike shorts today. Things might have gone better.

The temps were nice today so we decided to get out of the city and do something. I suggested we go ride the Community Ditch Trail in Boulder Open Space. From the road it looked like a nice level ride where we could take the bike trailer.

So I loaded everything up and we made the 45 minute drive over there. I opted to park along 93 as opposed to driving on down to the TH near Eldorado Springs. As soon as we got out of the car we were stunned by both the view and the wind. It was howling.

But soon we were on the trail and the wind was not quite as strong. Unfortunately the trail (ditch access road) was chocked full of big ole rocks. Boone was bouncing off his bike and Lily was crying from the trailer. They were miserable.

We went a little way and I looked back to see Mandy and Lily far behind. We went back and she said Lily was just miserable. So we decided to go back, but Boone wanted to go on. So mom said she and Lily would head back and take their time if we wanted to go on, so we did.

Mistake number one...we left all the repair gear in the trailer.

Mistake number two...I left my cell at home.

Anyway, Boone and I rode all the way to the Doudy Draw trail and then down the paved section to the TH along the road to Eldorado Canyon. From where we started it was about 2.25 miles. We had a pretty good ride to that point and we then turned around and headed back toward the car. Within 100 yards I noticed a weird sound and looked back to see that Boone's rear tire was flat (I was pulling him with the tow bar).

He had three goatheads that he must have picked up somewhere else because he also had some in his front tire which was held up off the ground by the bar and none of the other tires on either of the other bikes or the trailer had any goatheads.

At the time I didn't know how far we had to walk back, but I knew it was going to be a long walk. At that moment I realized my two mistakes (see above) and began kicking myself for them. Boone complained that he didn't want to walk, but after a little bit he didn't say anything else and he was actually quite a trooper. He told me a little while ago after we got home that he had a great day today.

We also tried out riding with him on my handlebars for a bit. That made up a good bit of time, but roughed up his rear end too much to go too far.

What really annoyed me about the whole thing was this: I have always heard how great the cycling community is. I've heard that most cyclists will stop and help you out if you have a flat and that they always look out for each other.

What I discovered instead was that most cyclists will barrel by a five year old pedestrian with no warning and without slowing down and will NOT stop and help someone with a flat. Dozens of Jersey Guys and Gals flew by without so much as an "On your LEFT!" Some did at least yell out before screaming by.

About two thirds of the way back a guy slowed down and offered a tube, but we could see Mandy and Lily and the car by then and then three guys asked if we needed anything as we reached the parking area, but of all the people that cruised by us, they were the only ones that gave any pause.

I suggested to Mandy as we were loading the car up that it might have been different if I had been wearing my jersey and bike shorts and riding something besides my fixed frame 14 year old Cannondale.

Oh well...it would have been a nice hike if not for having to drag the bike with a flat along or if someone had offered the use of their tire tools, a patch and a pump.

I made sure to talk to Boone about how it is good to stop and at least ask if someone needed help. Mandy said while she and Lily sat alongside the trail playing only one person asked if they needed any help.

[Boone-ism follows]

I explained that none of the people that had passed us had been considerate enough to stop and ask if we were ok and how it is nice to offer to help people and how now we know how it feels when no one does offer to help. I stopped my "lesson" as another bike spun past.

Boone said quite loudly: "He didn't stop to help us either."

Monday, November 10

Triple Bypass

No, not an upcoming surgery, but a ride next summer...

I want to get in shape. I want to stop being 200 lbs. at 5'9".

I used to be rather fit, in HS I was actually considered skinny. So I made a goal of 15 lbs lost by Christmas. HA! Probably won't happen, but I am going to give it a noble effort.

I want to feel better and have more energy and gosh darn it! I want a flat stomach!

So my ultimate fitness goal is to ride the Triple By-Pass next summer. And I want to look good in the jersey.

Saturday, November 8

That Balance Thing

So we were on our way to Castlewood Canyon earlier and we were in Castle Rock at an intersection. I saw two Jersey Guys in the left turn lane opposite us and they were doing that balance thing, but they both looked like they really, really had to go to the bathroom.

They were pulling it off, but it was taking way more effort to do the balance thing than if they had just unclipped from their pedals and then reclipped when they took off. I was really afraid that the wingman was going to eat it when he finally lost his balance and then couldn't get his shoe loose.

Finally the lead guy dropped a foot to the pavement, but the other guy kept balancing, graceful as the wreck of the Hesperus.

Finally, mercifully the light changed and they went on.

Friday, November 7

Photo Break

Here is a photo I took on the same day as the Geriatric Jersies attacked us:



We love riding on Marion to the park because it is relatively low in traffic and it has bike lanes along a really nice tree lined avenue.