Monday, October 30, 2006

Trek or Treat

halloween bicycle pumpkin
It looks like Ms. Witchy traded in her broomstick for something a little more exciting. Possibly with carbon fiber. Happy halloween from all of us here at Velocipete!

Date: October 25
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 291
Year to date mileage: 2891

Date: October 30
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 311
Year to date mileage: 2911

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

D'oh, a deer!

I had a bit of excitement last night on the way home. As I was riding down Highway 13 a car passed me. So far, nothing out of the ordinary. Cars pass me on Highway 13 all the time. It's after it passed me where things got interesting. The car was about 100 feet in front of me when suddenly the driver hit the brakes, hard. The car skidded and left long black skid marks on the pavement and created a huge cloud of blue smoke. As my brain registered this it also figured out what was going on. A deer had run out of the ditch in front of the car.

I saw two things happen almost simultaneously. First, the car hit the deerand the deer flipped over onto it's side. At the same time, I saw a second deer in the ditch that had been getting ready to follow the first onto the highway. As soon as the first deer was hit, the second reversed course and headed for the hills.

The car pulled off to the side and the passenger got out and walked back to the deer, where I had stopped my bike. The deer was alive, but it didn't look good. She looked sort of shocked by the whole incident. Her husband was looking at the car, which appeared to be undamaged. Because I was less than a mile from home, I offered to call the Highway Patrol for them. They were dressed up and looked like they had someplace to be. They accepted and I went on my way.

I got home and called the Highway Patrol and told them what happened. They said they would send someone out to "dispatch" the deer. This morning on my way in it was still lying on the shoulder. I wasn't looking forward to riding past that corpse every day, but by the time I came home tonight it was gone.

Date: October 23
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 251
Year to date mileage: 2851

Date: October 24
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 271
Year to date mileage: 2871

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Note to Self: Don't Bike to the Airport

I saw this story in today's Star Trib about a man who parked his bike at the airport, only to return and find it destroyed. I won't post the entire article here, but please read it here:

Leave your bike at the airport? Not a good idea, rider says

I am first going to start out with the unpopular position that the cyclist had a small part of the blame here. I say this because he locked his bike up inside the terminal. Not including the underground parking garage at my work and Jim's shop, I can't think of a single place where I can lock my bike up indoors. Locking your bike inside of a building is asking for trouble. But, this is a very small part of the story. If I had done this, I wouldn't be entirely surprised to come back after four days and find my bike had been removed. I would be incredibly surprised to find that my bike had been cut in half. It's a bit like parking in the handicap spot, only to find that instead of being impounded your car has been sent to the crusher.

The saddest part is that no matter the outcome, this man has lost a bicycle he's owned since 1957. Nearly 50 years. Each scratch on the frame had a story that is now gone. Every small modification made by the owner to increase his satisfaction cannot be duplicated. Another Raleigh 3-speed, while the same bike in theory, can't come close to replacing what has been lost. Every time Paul rode this bike, he was likely reminded of a lifetime of biking and adventure. He will never build this type of connection again, and that is the true crime here.

Date: October 10
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 130
Year to date mileage: 2730

Date: October 12
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 150
Year to date mileage: 2750

Date: October 16
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 170
Year to date mileage: 2770

Date: October 17
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 190
Year to date mileage: 2790

Date: October 20
Mileage: 10
Ride type/Bike: Fun Ride/Jamis
October mileage: 200
Year to date mileage: 2800

Date: October 21
Mileage: 31
Ride type/Bike: Hiawatha Ride/Raleigh
October mileage: 231
Year to date mileage: 2831

Monday, October 16, 2006

Oh Merry Men!

First of all, let me say that this post is long overdue. The the most overdue part is a big thank you to Michael from For it was Michael's generousity that makes this post even possible.

Way back in May, Michael posted that he had an old Raleigh Robin Hood that he wanted to give to someone who would appreciate it. At the time, I felt I was that someone. Michael drove out to my place one morning and dropped of this beauty, my first foray into the world of English Three Speeds.

When I got it it had two brand new tires on it, but the front was flat. I didn't want to take pictures of the bike with a bum shoe so I waited. I finally got a couple of 26" tubes since the front was completely blown and went about replacing the tube. I pumped it up and all was well.

We went for a spin around the block and I noticed the seat was really loose. So I decided to tighten up the bolt that holds it together. Apparently I don't know my own strength, as I snapped the bolt in two. So the bike was hung in the garage again. And at some point while it was hanging, it blew the front tube again.

Fast forward to October. It's been a busy summer for me, and I'm behind on the scheduled maintenence on the bikes I ride regularly, let alone keeping up with the Hood. But after a cold snap that brought some light mid-October snow we had a gorgeous 60 degree Sunday afternoon. So I pulled the bike down again and replaced the front tube again. This time I sanded down a couple of burrs inside the front rim. I also found a bolt that fits the seat, pulled out the dremel and spent some time re-grooving the seat supports that were worn down and causing the seat to slip.

I took it out for a short ride yesterday, and I can see the allure of the bike and why people enjoy riding them. I think the seat needs a little more love, but I could possibly be ready for Lake Pepin next spring.

Monday, October 09, 2006


The forecast is calling for snow on Wednesday. This means I need to start wearing long pants. And socks.

For the record, I will not be biking on Wednesday. I have an early meeting. Nothing to do with the forecast.

Date: October 4
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
October mileage: 54
Year to date mileage: 2654

Date: October 5
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 72
Year to date mileage: 2672

Date: October 6
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 90
Year to date mileage: 2690

Date: October 9
Mileage: 20
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 110
Year to date mileage: 2710

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Another great day

I was pulling the early shift today so Yon Saucy Wench can attend her Tuesday night class. Between the early hours and the forecast calling for rain I was planning on driving in. When I got to the car I noticed that the dome light was on, dimly. The seat belt catch was caught between the door and the jamb, preventing the door from closing all the way. I tried to turn it over, but there wasn't enough juice in the battery. So, quick change of plans, grabbed a different bag and some clothes and hit the road on the Schwinn. I was about 20 minutes late to work, which wasn't bad considering about 15 of those were due to oversnoozing the alarm. It worked out well because today was another October smoker.

After the bus dropped daughter #1 off we grabbed their scooters and headed to the school to pick up daughter #2, who had Mad Science after school. The two of them scootered home while I hoofed it. The sky was darkening up with every step, but I never did get rained on. Nice.

Date: October 3
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
October mileage: 36
Year to date mileage: 2636

Monday, October 02, 2006

Perhaps I really do like Mondays

I'm sure us Minnesota folks are starting to sound like a broken record by now, but it was just absolutely gorgeous out today. It's not often that I ride home in October in shorts, short sleeve shirt and sandals. I realize it's only the second day of October, but I'm not going to quibble over the details. It's October, it counts.

I was riding home on the Greenway thinking that this day just really couldn't get any better. And because the universe loves to prove me wrong, it did get better. As I slowed down to cross 26th Ave a guy on a bike passed me. I rode along behind him for a bit thinking "That bike looks familiar." I finally put all the clues together and realized I was riding behind Kevin. So I pulled along side and we rode together for a few miles. He peeled off toward home at Lake Street and I continued down Minnehaha Parkway.

I decided to stop and get the above picture of the parkway sign with my bike leaned against it (bike dork picture #8). As I was doing so, a friendly guy walking along offered to take my picture so I took him up on it. Hence, the shot of me in my majestic glory you see before you.

And to top it off, once I got through Minnehaha Park I saw Kevin's wife Linda on her way home. We exchanged smiles and waves. I should get some kind of prize for spotting the two of them on the same day.

Date: October 2
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
October mileage: 18
Year to date mileage: 2618

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Add on

Here's a photo from Friday's commute. I had meant to add it to my prior post, but couldn't find the ferschluggin' cord to upload pics from the camera.

We also made some beer this weekend. And tonight I made bread and rolls from the leftover brewing grains. Is there anything better than fresh baked bread? Especially when it's made from beer?