Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

Serious readers appreciate word of mouth. I like when someone tells me they’ve just read an enthralling book. More than any ad or review I am likely to consider another person’s opinion valid. When it comes to the internet it isn’t quite the same but now and again I come across a list of links someone has compiled. It’s often worth checking out what has caught someone else’s eye since they have probably sifted through and eliminated lots of mediocre stuff as their recommendations were narrowed down. For what it’s worth here are a few things that caught my eye recently:

http://www.paddlinglight.com/  I recently found this site and like it because he combines coverage of gear as well as paddling.

http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2012/03/preparing-for-long-distance-rides.html  My favorite cycling blog – in this entry she talks about her approach to riding longer distances.

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/HikingCamping/Lighting/Headlamps/PRD~5026-869/petzl-tikka-plus-2-headlamp.jsp  This a link to MEC highlighting a product I’ve had and used for about five months. I’ve been wanting to mention it. It is an excellent value. For anyone who wants to try walking at night a headlamp is far superior to using a flashlight.

http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/Beyond-Belfast-Will-Ferguson/9780670069156-item.html  Carol received this book as a gift at Xmas. Early in the New Year I happened to begin reading the jacket blurbs and became interested enough to open it. From there I was hooked. One of the blurbs says the book is wildly funny but I wouldn’t go that far, he sprinkles lots of humorous anecdotes but he doesn’t go overboard, it’s not wild or obnoxious. In addition to being about the geography his book is also a tour through the minefields of Irish violence which I found quite insightful. What really impressed me about the book was his overall style. This is a very well crafted book. The descriptions of landscape features are first rate and a pleasure to visualize.

http://seakayakphoto.blogspot.com/  I always enjoy following the trips these guys make along various Scottish coastlines. They’ve been experimenting with small sails which is something I would like to try at some point. If you scroll down a bit you will see he has a good review of Adobe Lightroom 4.

http://www.lenscratch.com/  I recently came across this photography site. There is an extensive list of photographer links on the blogroll which provide links to a wide variety of contemporary work.

http://simon-willis.blogspot.com/  A superb kayaking and cycling site. The writer is a semi-retired guy demonstrating that vigor is not just for jocks in their twenties. He has a mix of equipment reviews as well as accounts of his outings.

http://landscapist.squarespace.com/  My favorite photography site. In my opinion it is always worth checking. Scroll down to yesterday’s entry for a photo of Marv’s distant cousin who is the Big Boss of Asgaard Farm.

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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


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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Tidal estuary of the Salmon River, W. Cook's Cove

Writing about outdoor activities is a contrived business. I usually have to have a plan (no matter how loose), adequate time, and get a significant distance from my house in order to generate material. Cycling is a great way to combine exercise with a clearing of the head but when I am required to write about what I’m doing I cannot disengage my mind and still hope to retain impressions of the ride. In other words, I don’t get to relax.

Today, I did my best to relax on a short ride but I couldn’t rid myself of the nagging voice in my head that continued to chide me for dereliction of duty. “How can you call yourself a blogger if you don’t write anything?” it said.


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New Harbour

It always seems odd to transport my bike using the car, however it is necessary when I want to cycle in new locations when time does not permit a long ride. Yesterday afternoon I decided I would go to Larry’s River. I did not decide beforehand where I would go from there. I parked the car at the post office in Larry’s River. The large lot at the Community Center would also be suitable. As I detached the bike from the carrier two female joggers went by. (more…)

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I’ve talked a few times about winter cycling. In addition to being properly dressed my lights permit me to ride at night. Usually, at night, there is less wind. I love gliding along in the hush of dark winter stillness.

Light mounted on handlebar

Battery and light mounted on bicycle

You can see in the photo above how small and discreet the battery is. I find half power provides more than adequate light. At that setting the battery has enough charge to last more than ten hours.

Is winter cycling at night the next big fad? Probably not, but I thought one or two readers might like to see what the lights look like on my bike. The front light is amazingly bright for its size. The rear light is a legal requirement though I don’t think enforcement is especially strict.

Rear light

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