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Archive for the ‘cycling’ Category

Jamieson Front Lake along Route 316 near Cole Harbour

My first day of spring was great. I managed to spend a good chunk of it outdoors. I went for a ride on the motorcycle, walked and later in the evening went cycling.

Jamieson Front Lake along Route 316 near Cole Harbour

Jamieson Front Lake along Route 316 near Cole Harbour

When I left home I intended to go for a short ride to Guysborough for milk and gas but on the way home I decided to keep going on Route 16. The kilometers quickly accumulated and before long I found myself in Half Island Cove. From there I figured it would be just as well to circle around through Port Felix and on home. Only a little further along I could feel the air growing cooler. Fog. I could see a fog bank in the distance above the trees. Lower Whitehead was completely engulfed. By this time I was cold. Usually I like fog but I hadn’t dressed well enough and decided it would be better to keep on heading home.

I made only one stop. I couldn’t resist the rotting ice you see in the little lake above. Normally I don’t ride around on my motorcycle for the sake of riding around but I made an exception on this very fine first day of spring.

Later, Carol and I walked and a little later, once it was dark, I took the bicycle out. The thermometer indicated fourteen degrees at 9 pm. The air felt warm. The clear sky was perfect for star gazing when I stopped where there were no home or street lights.

I played tennis a little while ago – the earliest ever for us. I wore shorts and a T-shirt and worked up a sweat. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to cycle again later tonight. There may only be a few of these nice days and I do not intend to take them for granted. I hope you are finding lots of ways to take advantage too.

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Marv and the box

It has taken two weeks for my new saddle to make it’s way from Wisconsin to Guysborough. I’ve thought about it off and on during that period but mostly the order was not on my mind. Now that it is here I am quite excited and won’t be wasting time getting it installed on my bike. I may or may not get out for a test ride. Doing so depends on ice. I won’t be going anywhere if conditions are like last night. At 8 pm I checked and the pavement was a solid sheen of black ice from side to side. I could only do a tentative shuffle as I walked and there was no chance I was going to ride my bike.

First impressions: this saddle is larger than I imagined but it is a high quality product, very nice. Of course the true test and verdict will be delivered via my buttocks.

Minimal packaging - nice to see

Side on

Straight on

Underside

The large screw is used to adjust the tension of the leather since it is expected to stretch with use.

Cost? $143 delivered. That’s a bargain if it delivers the comfort I’m seeking, a sizable waste if not…we’ll see.

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Cycling: A New Seat

I’m no longer a gear junkie, no longer need the fix of newer, bigger, better, lighter, faster…Basically, I don’t consider myself to be as easily sucked in by marketing claims. When I spend my money I want to ensure I’m getting something that will truly benefit me.

If I limited my outdoor activities to walking I could escape the need to buy gear. If. The fact remains that I like a variety of activities with cycling at the top of the list. To really enjoy something it’s essential to reduce or remove the obstacles that detract from participation. Over the last few years I’ve been acquiring products to improve my experience of cycling. Good shoes, good shorts, a few bags and compliments of Jacko, some nice tires. The one thing that continues to be a bother is my seat. Jacko rode my bike during the summer and said it was as comfortable as using a piece of 2×4. (more…)

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Every now and again things come together very nicely without anything to detract from the experience. So it was last night. I had to do a little eenie meenie minee mo to chose between skiing and cycling but ultimately decided on cycling because snow conditions weren’t quite as good as road conditions.

A light flurry of snow crisscrossed my headlight beam. I began the ride feeling a little apprehensive about the pavement. The temperature showed minus one which meant there could be ice. After a few kilometers without encountering any sinister glimmer on the road I relaxed and increased my pace. I ended up with some tire spray soaking through on my shins but I only noticed it when I undressed after the ride. (more…)

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One evening last week I was eager to go cycling. The temperature hovered around zero and I assumed the roads would remain wet until the temperature dropped a few more degrees. I changed into my cycling stuff and attached the light to the bike then walked out to the pavement, the shiny, ice-encrusted pavement. Hmmm, that looks slippery, I thought to myself, and when I walked on it my boots slid all over the place. A sensible person would go back to the house, change their clothes, and do something sensible. I, on the other hand, decided to go against every grain of common sense and launched off on the bike.

I fully expected to go SPLAT!!! within a very short distance. You would think skinny tires with no tread would have no traction on an icy surface but it turns out they work pretty well. At first I was totally unsure. The entire surface of the road glistened with ice. I pedaled gingerly at a very slow pace but gradually sped up as my confidence grew. I actually covered fifteen kilometers before wiping out.¬† (more…)

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Guysborough

Winter cycling is, for me, still very much an experimental and completely optional pursuit. I am not required to travel from point A to point B out of necessity five days a week. I don’t have to train regularly or grit my way through miserable weather due to some unavoidable obligation. Basically I can do it when and if I chose. The problem is if I only chose the finest and fairest days I could end up going weeks without riding. Part of experimenting is going out in less than ideal conditions. Doing so allows me to learn, first hand, what is and is not a limitation for me. I draw the line at ice. Unless I purchase studded tires there is no sense messing about with poor traction. I also avoid heavy rain though it is possible to remain dry for modest distances with modest energy output. I also avoid strong wind. In winter wind not only makes it hard to hear approaching cars, the chill factor can be very difficult to dress for and/or tolerate. (more…)

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Cook's Cove

January is, statistically, the most depressing month. A lot of people struggle to get through this time of the year. I’m not immune to this phenomenon but generally I get through the winter without need of medication, alcohol or therapy. My coping strategy is based on remaining active. I think it makes a difference. I think exercise and fresh air and daylight help physically as well as emotionally. I don’t think I would cycle in winter if this wasn’t the case. (more…)

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