Sunday, December 30, 2012

This Is An Amazing Blog!

Without a pause or moment's hesitation, every reader needs to take a long look at A View from the Cycle Path. This blog describes what bicyclists in the USA, like me,  must think is cycling nirvana!

I can't even get my mind around what if must be like to live and ride in an environment like David Hembrow describes in his blog based in the Netherlands.

There is someone close to me who is going to school this spring in Amsterdam. Today, I make a promise to myself to save every penny, so I can afford to go see him (and bring my Brompton!) and ride around this place.

What if we all lived in a place that believed in and planned for cycling as much as this?

Read this blog!

Thanksgiving Day Ride

November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving day in Central New York. The sun shined, and the sky held only a few fluffy clouds. While some Thanksgiving days around here can be cold and snowy, this year we have been very fortunate. And a bicycle ride called me!

The turkey cooked in the oven. The potatoes rested in water ready for boiling. Pies cooled. I had time for a ride on a beautiful day.

I wasn't really sure where to go. Everyone else spent their time with families. Very few cars traveled the roads, so I just cycled until I found this great truck for sale not half a mile away.

A study in contrasts :)

This is a view I have seen before and shared before. It looks over the Syracuse Inner Harbor as part of the Creekwalk trail. I thought I had done a post showing the whole trail, but I looked. That will have to be a future post. In the distance one can see the two towers of the Church of the Assumption.

Then at another place along the creekwalk trail, I found this old e-type jaguar. I think the Brompton looks just right next to another fine piece of British engineering.


Brompton in front of a sculpture near the Everson Museum. I should have stood the bicycle more in the sun light. I'm not really much of a photographer and only using my iPhone.

This shows the back side of the Everson, designed by I.M. Pei.

Seeing the city so empty felt odd. There were only a few people around, and those that were looked like they didn't really have anywhere else to be. Knowing that warm family and a special meal waited at home made me very grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Two Bromptons on the Road

Two Bromptons means that when I have a friend available, we can both take a ride!

Most of this fall has been cloudy, and that is no deterrent to a bike ride, especially when the ride goes along the lake and there is a pub at the end.  

Here you can see a couple of Bromptons tucked against the wall away from the bar. The gentlemen at the table nearby were quite taken by the little bicycles.

Two peaceful Bromptons look over the Canada geese on the lake. This photo doesn't show that I set mine down in a small pile of dog scat that later stunk up my car.

Great fun to have an extra for a friend to ride!

Touring Bag!

Here's proof of the usefulness of the Brompton T Bag!

In the US it is rare to see someone ride a bicycle to the liquor store (unless there has been a loss of license to drive...), yet I did the other day and can provide evidence that three bottles of wine and a bottle of bourbon will easily and safely fit in the T bag.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

SP Double Century Jacket and Rainlegs

November 10, 2012

Today I took a rainy ride through the city of Syracuse just to show myself that I can. I made a point of buying the right kind of gear to ride in reasonable rain while staying mostly dry.  I've followed the blogs and forums pretty closely to see if one can ride in heavy rain and stay dry, and it seems like it is possible with some careful preparation.

This was not a ride in heavy rain. This time of year in Upstate New York, the rain is not usually heavy, just mostly persistently light. I have a  Showers Pass Double Century (the link is to the EX 2013 version) that is a shocking shade of orange for visibility and a pair of Rainlegs in black. I thought that since both pack small, they would be a good choice if I were caught out with rain. And today was the day to try them out.

This is a view up North Franklin Street. It's kind of gray day.

This view is down North Franklin Street in the distance you can see the very attractive federal building. You can see it's damp and drizzly. I was a little concerned for my brooks saddle. 

This view highlights a must-visit location in Syracuse. The Dinosaur Bar-B-Q is a rockin' rib joint that is very colorful. The food is the best b-b-q north of the Mason-Dixon line and there is live music there, I think, 5 days a week. The bar has 30 ales on tap. This was a slow day for the Dinosaur; you can tell because there was no line out the door. In this photo it almost looks like the sun is coming out. It was a lie. It rained on and off for the entire ride. 

I've mentioned the Creekwalk in other posts. This is the lower end starting point. 

The Creekwalk is a series of paths and sidewalks that lead from downtown to the big mall on the lakefront. It's really the only safe way to travel this section. I'm learning much more about riding in traffic, because Syracuse does not really have an bike sense. I'm pretty sure there are sharrows on only one stretch of road in the city. 

My double century jacket performed very well. The front zip works both directions, so I could cape the jacket for ventilation. I stopped partway through to open the pit zips and loosen the velcro at the wrists for more ventilation. The jacket keeps the water out completely. The length is right, which is important for my shape. I'm long in the body. If the temperature were higher, the jacket might have been steamy, but in this case it was just right. 

The rainlegs worked like a charm. While they are odd looking, they keep the top of the thigh and knees dry in the light rain, and since they do not encase the entire leg, they do not make the whole leg wet with sweat. 

Although the rain meant that my brompton was a mess when I got home and needed a cleaning, I'm certainly not afraid of the rain!