Sunday, January 31, 2010

Randonneur cross-training?

Not really. We got about 4 inches (10 cm) of snow here in central North Carolina on Friday night and Saturday morning. All non-essential travel stopped. I even started doing tax forms for last year.

Cars finally resumed driving today, and quickly packed down the snow hard enough to go sledding. Behold a 1-minute video taken on the sled in the daytime today:

But the best part was that the sun melted some of the snow this afternoon, and it rapidly re-froze tonight. Rock solid ice. Terrible for cars. Great for sleds. Behold a video from tonight:

It really wasn't cross-training. Walking tenuously up the icy hill over and over didn't count. But it was like biking tonight. I put some spare bike headlights and red blinkies on the sled. I grabbed an ankle reflector for good measure. I enjoyed going fast downhill. And I didn't get tangled up with any of the drivers I surprised on the ice, hehe.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Showdown at Black Creek 200K

I rode this RUSA permanent in the cold and wind today.

Here is my animated ride report, just under three minutes long. It is absolutely true, and absolutely snarky. I hope you enjoy it: (or here: )

And here are a very few still photos:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Magic Rubik's Cube

Although not bicycle-related, here is an adorable short love story video, created by a friend. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Why do I bike-commute in cold weather?

It's certainly not for fun, fitness, cleaner air, reduced dependence upon foreign oil, or to save money. The risk of skin exposure and frostbite is very real. Extra clothes are a nuisance (both on the bike and hanging unprofessionally in my office to dry). I carry an extra coat (in case I have to stop to fix a flat). Visibility is an issue (foggy goggles). Car drivers don't expect to see bicyclists as much in the cold, and cars have their own visibility issues (ice on the windshields). So why do I ride? It could be that I love being outdoors, and the 10-mile ride renews my saddle calluses a little. But that's not enough. There must be something else.

Perhaps it is being able to park my bike on the rack outside my office building before everyone else arrives, and the resulting comments I get throughout the day. Or perhaps it is the ability to post blog entries like this one, along with snarky thermometer photos. Could I be grandstanding? I wonder...