Saturday, September 25, 2010

Snaps of the Commute

My morning commute is once again completely in the dark, thanks to the nights getting longer here in the northern hemisphere. It's my favorite time to ride.

Here are two photos of an almost-full moon from yesterday morning.  Photos

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yard Sales on Permanents

I bought this trike at a yard sale today (click the photo for a bigger view).  That wouldn't be so unusual if it weren't for the fact that Jayjay and I were riding our bikes on the RUSA Showdown at Black Creek 200K, from Raleigh to Black Creek, NC and back.

Saturday mornings are 'Yard Sale Heaven' around here, and we have been known to stop once or twice during our rides.  But those times, I was looking for something small, light, and easy to transport, like a red plaid skirt to use as a kilt in a costume.  I hadn't ever considered buying something big, like a lamp or bookshelf, nevermind a bike.

However, today I made a quick U-turn as soon as I spotted this thing on display.  The seller was happy to demonstrate and expound about it, I have wanted one for a while, and I had the cash with me.  I just hope he doesn't sell it a second time to someone else before I drive back tomorrow to pick it up!

Oh, and in other news, the Black Creek 200K was great.  Photos and more witty tales are here:  Photos  

PS: I brought the trike home on Sunday.  Here is a brief video

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Name That Creak...

...and other commuting tidbits.

* I am really happy the Tobacco Trail was repaved this summer, but not for the reason you would expect. The construction closures forced me to look for alternate commuting routes. I found a great new route on a nearby two-lane road with courteous traffic and a 35mph speed limit. Plus, my it cuts one mile off my commute distance. I am hooked. I wish I had explored sooner.

* Cyclists often complain about car drivers' bad behaviors, but rarely note the good things. Yesterday, a car slowed and waited behind me to pass through an intersection before turning right. Wow, no right hook. In the dark this morning, a car driver yelled an apology to me when he didn't see me initially in an intersection. Double wow. And finally, a disabled car with matte dark paint and no reflectors was parked completely off the road, rather than blocking part of the travel lane. Triple wow. Thank you all!

* I may have found and fixed the latest noise on my bike. It's been crunching and grinding when pedaling, but very intermittently, and impossible to isolate. I started working on it last night (and I like working on the chain up at eye level!). I tightened and lubed things, and replaced the chain which was stretched and needed to be replaced anyway. Then I noticed big clumps of grit, grime, and road schmutz stuck to my chainrings and guardrail. I had to chisel it off. It rode much quieter today. All I heard this morning was the squeak of my Fine Soft Corinthian Leather saddle. Fingers crossed it stays quiet for the Black Creek 200K on Saturday.

Here is a video of the sound beforehand. 'Crank' up the volume halfway through: video

Monday, September 6, 2010

Path Less Pedaled: Butterflies, Trains, and Fishing for Mailboxes

Laura and Russ, from The Path Less Pedaled and FB, visited us this weekend as they passed through town on their amazing bicycle journey across the country.

We had glorious late-summer weather all weekend.  On Saturday, we biked from home to the farmer's market, then to the butterfly house at the Museum of Life and Science.  Here's a quick video and some random photos.

Back home, we did a little hula hooping.  Laura and Russ are naturals.  Laura spun double hoops immediately.  Video.  Russ wowed us by playing harmonica at the same time he spun doubles.   Behold:  Video

On Sunday, we biked south to Bonsal, and rode the train at the New Hope Valley Railway.  Here are a few photos.  Enjoy the awesome steam whistle halfway through this video riding on the train.

Monday was a quiet day.  Russ entertained our neighbors by fly-fishing for mailboxes on our street.  Later, we fashioned a rubber mud flap for the back of his bike.  Here is a fishing video, and a few photos.

It was great meeting Laura and Russ, hearing their experiences and insights, and sharing fun activities.  We wish them the best as they continue on their journey.