Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Saddle wisdom

It’s raining lightly today, and in the upper 50s outside. Just been enjoying a spring catalog from Terry Bicycles, full of fashionably wearable women’s bike clothing, accessories, and equipment.

Terry’s website has some interesting blog posts. Found Georgena Terry’s take on 650 vs. 700 cc wheels “The Wheel Debate Continues” very helpful.

As one of the 8.2 percent of Washington State residents currently looking for a job, I need to control discretionary spending, so being a bike fashionista is out. The hard plastic and Velcro boot I wear these days to protect my healing left ankle doesn’t really go with much, anyway. I’m not into the snowboarder/astronaut look.

I use Terry saddles. I wore the leather out on a “Liberator” many years ago, and my “Butterfly” is still going strong on my road bike.

Cutout saddles work. Also use chamois butter and teach yourself to hover above, as much as sit on, a saddle while riding. Bingo! That’s how to survive long distance riding.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

3rd annual APBP webinar on women and bicycling

I attended the 3rd annual Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, APBP webinar: Empowering Women to Bicycle for Transportation (and Fun) on March 28, 2012. Always an inspiring event.

The slide show is available here.

I was particularly inspired by Kim Cross, founder of Magic City Cycle Chix, a Birmingham, Alabama-based group that puts together women’s local mountain biking trips and group rides that are heavy on encouragement and light on competitiveness. I wished these gals were in my neighborhood.

Having recently “discovered” mountain biking via a few of New Zealand’s Nga Haerenga bike routes, I’m gonna look into what’s available specifically for women like me hereabouts. I know a number of mountain bikers, and 100-percent of them subscribe to the “if your head isn’t bleeding, and you haven’t got a tree branch wedged in your front wheel, well, you’re not trying hard enough” school of thought.

Most riding is out for me currently. Last week, I swapped my non-weight-bearing awkward cloth “boot” for a sturdier, weight-bearing, equally awkward Velcro-and-hard-plastic number that’s the next step (pun) in regaining my ability to flex my left ankle and walk without pain.

While I don’t think I’ll be practicing jumps off elevated wooden platforms anytime soon, my PT just told me I could set up a bike on an indoor trainer, and get back in the saddle.

It won’t be pretty, but it’s a start.