Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year's Day Ride

January 1, 2013

New Year's Day!

While the snow had stopped falling and the wind was light, the temperature stood at 9F (-13C). So this meant some wearing serious kit to ride. Showers Pass Portland jacket, long sleeved tee shirt and a wool/cotton base layer. Tights under hiking-style pants. Gloves and buff. My family thought I was crazy.

Right now I'm working out of town, dark to dark, so daytime cycling is limited, meaning that I take advantage of every opportunity I have to get a ride. I used a trip to my bank to deposit some checks as an excuse this time.

The roads had been mostly cleared. I stopped here to make sure I had actually brought the checks with me. I had not, so before I rode back for them I snapped this shot. This street is actually pretty bike friendly; it's wide and one lane, so there is plenty of room for a bicycle even when avoiding the door zone. Traffic travels at mostly 30 mph (50kph), a reasonable pace. Still the conditions for bicycling here  don't look much like what I have been avidly reading about in Assen, Netherlands in David Hembrow's blog.

One stretch of the ride goes along two parallel one-way streets separated by a narrow park. Again, the width of the road and limited traffic makes this .5 mile section a pretty nice ride. Although today, you can see it covered with snow and ice.

One advantage of the location of my bank is this business located across the park. This is the Middle Ages Brewery, a micro-brewery that specializes in small batch, hand crafted strong ales. Growler fills are available to the left, just inside the main entrance. The T bag fits 3 growlers easily. :) Unfortunately  it was closed today.

I had thought to see if I could find a cup of coffee downtown before I headed back home. Both Starbucks and Freedom of Espresso were open, and, to my joyful surprise, so was the Empire Brew Pub. I enjoyed a quick pint of the winter warmer and headed back...

... into the fading sun. Any day I get to ride (and find a good beer!) is a good day.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Day Ride

December 25, 2012

Christmas day turned out to be a lovely day! The sun shone and the roads had been mostly cleared by the plows. At 25 F (-4 C) I didn't have to bundle up too much to ride.

The snow doesn't bother me as much as the salt and grit that gets spread on the road. And any day I can take a ride is a good day.

Bright sunshine low in the sky.

Santa brought me some very cool cycling gear.

Showers Pass Portland Jacket! This is last year's model purchased for almost half off. While being totally focused on biking, it doesn't have a totally bikey look. It's made of a heavy waterproof fabric that cuts the wind completely. The sleeves are long and have a zip closure at the wrist to control ventilation. The piping is 3M reflective fabric. There's zippered slash pockets, very convenient, and a zippered breast pocket with an internal opening for earbuds. I don't think I'll use it, but the iPhone fits really well and is accessible for photographs. 

You can just see the open hidden pit zip on the left side. The tail drops down to reveal more reflective fabric or can snaps up to be more stylish. I'm a huge fan of Showers Pass jackets. This one is not really packable like the Double Century I have for rain, but it's great for cold riding.

Santa brought a work stand!

The Park Tool PCS-10 has the easy spin feature and is foldable. As you can see, that is a necessary feature in my crowded laundry room/workshop.

I like how it can fold up and hang on the wall.

And it is so great to get the bikes up off the floor for cleaning and service.