Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chilly Hilly 2pm ferry from Winslow

Weather today is breezy and cloudy with sun breaks. Starting at 6:30am I volunteered as a cashier for this year's bike season opener, then rode a piece of the Bainbridge Island route with all the happy customers. Definitely chilly and I've done it enough times to know how to avoid the "hilly", but, hey, it's dry, it's February, and you take what you can get, especially when the bike's been in the shed for a few weeks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's All About the Bike by Robert Penn

This charming and illuminating book by a British rider, subtitled "The pursuit of happiness on two wheels," is just the thing for the long evenings of winter.

Had I known in 2010, when I bought my Brompton, I'd have sprung for the Brooks saddle. I was feeling less anxious about money in those days. Still, not to worry. Penn's book wasn't published in the US until 2011 anyway, so I didn't know. I love Penn's description of visiting Chris King Precision Components in Portland, in search of the ne plus ultra of headsets:

"The employees were sitting down to lunch. They looked more like a chapter of Hell's Angels than a light engineering workforce.
'Ah, yes,' Chris said. 'The Portland look. The longer you live here, the more tattoos you have. It works a bit like oak tree rings.' "

After I finished the book, I found it so easy to convince myself to go out and order a custom made bike. Here in Seattle, there are a bunch of handbuilders who'd happily help me part with my dough.

One day. For now I'm sticking to my three bikes. I really shouldn't complain.

I just had ankle surgery to remove some of what I now call my "souvenir of New Zealand" hardware.  I managed a 7 mile spin to Golden Gardens on Sunday, and later this month I'll risk my cleats again. It should feel wonderful to be rid of the ankle tweaking I've endured all year.