Wednesday, June 30, 2010


So I have this theory that, after you clip your finger/toenails, they exist in an acceptable state for a certain amount of time until they arbitrarily decide to start growing at some accelerated pace... you know, one day they are totally fine, and the next you are accidentally plucking out your eye or inadvertently drawing your co-workers blood because somehow these swords have issued from your fingertips...  and though my fingernails and toenails were (at one point and for as far back as I can recall) on the same schedule; somehow they have recently fallen out of sync...

...anyhow, enough of this nonsense; a blog post soon about the Cape Cod Getaway I recently participated in.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I "spoke" too soon...

...ha! get it? no?? well nevermind, then ;)

So my trusty Specialized Tri-Cross Singlecross that I have been using as my commuter/daily-driver has developed a bit of a problem... a few, actually. First of all, I started hearing a knocking coming from somewhere!! I checked the fenders, the racks, the basket, anything that could have been loose... to no avail. I even brought it to the LBS -- one of the mechanics took it for a ride and could not quite pin-point what it was. He ultimately suggested that I start by repacking any part of the bike with bearings (BB, headset, hubs, etc...) till I found it; well, I did, and thankfully it was the first thing I pulled apart... the front wheel-hub. A rusted or ruined bearing of some sort; well, I can't afford a new wheel or new decent hub, so I just repacked it (but I will be replacing the bearings in the not-too-distant-future).

So nearly as soon as that problem was diagnosed...

...the other day, as I started home from work, I heard a sound I have not heard since before I got this bike, a sound not heard since the days of riding the old Fuji every day...

...the crack and bang of a spoke breaking.

Now, I know that I have probably (does a few quick calculations) put around 2000 miles on this bike since I bought it in November of last year ('09, for the record) but I wasn't expecting to start hearing spokes break... well, I went and got a new spoke and replaced the broken one... and not a day later another one breaks!!
I got the Tricross because it is technically a Cyclo-cross bike and I wanted something that could stand up to both the harsh New England Winters and the terrible pot-holes and ruts of the Metro-Boston streets.

Here are a few pics from last Winter:

Considering I am 6'1" and hover around "Clydesdale" weight (200lbs) I guess it's stood up pretty well for having been ridden nearly every day for the past 8 months... not to mention the fact that a good 90% of the time I am riding it I am hauling around 20+lbs in the basket... As a matter of fact, during my semester at school , I was carrying sketchbooks, clothes, shoes, paints, and other various art supplies on a daily basis...

...perhaps a bit much for the poor thing, eh? 

I guess that a little maintenance was inevitable... hopefully it won't be every week like my old Univega got to be!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

a lovely pair...

Normally, the 2 bikes that are locked to the racks outside my local supermarket are the same 2 that have been perpetually locked there (and I suspect, abandoned ) since last Fall:

It's really too bad, because the bike in the bottom pic (a Fuji Sagres Mixte of unknown year) is actually quite nice... well, it was before the chain rusted solid... (on a quick side note; if anyone knows what the policy for abandoned bikes is for the city of Cambridge is, let me know.)

...But as I was saying...

...I was presently perusing pathways of produce, potables, and perishables, when I saw a young(ish) couple shopping together. The gentleman was wearing a t-shirt that said "Seven" in the Seven Cycles font (as both a art&design geek AND a bicycle geek, I tend to notice little nuances like that). I didn't actually think much of it until I got outside and saw the following:

I put 2 and 2 together pretty quickly at that point ;) They look like they are set up as "daily drivers" -- the smaller bike with straight bars and cantilever breaks, the larger with disc brakes, and both with touring rather than "road" size tires -- except that there aren't any racks, fenders, or other peripherals to aid practicality... just so you know, I am NOT placing a value judgment on the owners of these bikes... I would not deign to sully such beautiful frames with such items... them. :)

and they look so lovely together, don't they?

oh the weather outside is (not) frightful...

...but it is incredibly delightlful! So much so, that it seems like everyone and their mother is out on the streets in some form or fashion. I have stopped riding the CRBP (Charles River Bike Path) for my daily commute, since it has become overrun with joggers, runners, dog walkers PLEASE put your dog on a leash, please!! I love animals and would feel horrible if your pet dashed in front of me and was hit because of your negligence., and any number of people wandering around aimlessly on foot or bike with various types of electronics inhibiting their senses... 

So yeah... by comparison, Mass Ave through Central Sq is preferable... and I was hit in Central a few weeks back! (just a bump into someones mirror who pulled into the bike-lane to park without signaling...and by some good grace there was no injury/damage )

So... diatribe and digression aside, I came across this interesting sight while waiting at the lights at River, Prospect, and Mass Ave the other day:

Yes, that is a roving gang of Segway's... SCARY!

Monday, June 7, 2010

It's been a while...

...since I have made a bike related post, but now that the bustle of the semester has subsided, and the cycling season has officially gotten into full-swing, I really should take a few minutes and do that!

You may or may not know that, even though I have not been blogging about it, I have been riding -- everyday, as a matter of fact! Well... I DO bike-commute, and I also tend to ride around as my primary means of transportation AND ride my mountain bike (more soon, I promise!!) and road bike for pleasure, fun, and fitness!!

So that's a lot of biking I haven't been talking about!!

What can I say? Over the last few moths there have been close-calls, yelling, honking, a "bike-to-work" week, a few broken spokes, a mysterious knocking from somewhere on my bike (traced to a bad bearing in my front wheel hub), thunderstorms, lovely rides, sun, things being lost (and found again) out of my basket, "fixter" encounters, and a myriad of other velo-related (some bad, most good) goings on... far too many to really rehash here today, and most are minutiae lost in the shuffle which only had relevance in the immediacy of their occurrence. 

Coming up there are a multitude of local biking events, and I am participating in the

Cape Cod Getaway to benefit Multiple Sclerosis

, 175 miles over 2 days, in a mere 3 weeks!
(If you would like to donate, please feel free to click the above link!)

Well... onto a few recent things:
The photos above are the Southern edge of the storm cell of a thunderstorm we had last week, while the images below are about 3 blocks North, over the Charles... I saw several lighting bolts but was unable to capture any "on film".
We here in the Boston area have been experiencing a pretty impressive amount of Thunderstorms as of late -- this makes biking a little more exciting than usual... now, I don't much care for rain or riding in said rain, but when it's 90Âș+ and oppressively humid, a little water can feel pretty damned good on the face... though I can do without the hurricane force wind gusts and booming thunder and lightning!
A day or two later, I come out of work to find that someone has used my bike as a trash receptacle. Now, you may be surprised, but this happens at least once a week! Normally it's a soda can or piece of paper trash tossed in my basket, and not something standing on my front rack.

What baffles me the MOST, is that there is a city trashcan (rarely full) not 10 feet from where I park my bike... so these people are either specifically choosing to deface a bicycle, or they are the epitome of LAZY... either way it annoys me no end...

So, over the weekend we had yet another round of thunderstorms, and also 2 days of tornado warnings!! We here in New England rarely get these... but this weekend there was an actual tornado in New Hampshire! So I guess it was warranted... Now micro bursts and downdrafts are often confused with tornadoes, are far more common in New England, and often still rather destructive...

...after watching the news last night, and riding to work this morning, I think the area was hit with more than a few of these; here are some pics from my ride into the City along the Esplanade:

And all this is after all the clean-up from the Winter!