Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ponds and fixed gears.

So.. the forecast all last week called for snow all of this weekend, from last Wednesday up to today. Well... that didn't happen, so I decided today was a good day for a ride. Yes, it was muddy on the trails, but at 55 degrees it wasn't that bad at all. in fact, it was nice and relaxing. But I'm sad... I wanted snow. But, in my latest exploration of Flagstaff...

And then, while I was riding around, I noticed I was having a harder time than I anticipated maneuvering around stuff on the trail. I realized I've gotten too used to my fixed gear bike (Named Bi.) that I ride back and forth to work on. In short, you get a single gear, and if you aren't pedaling, you aren't going anywhere. Because of the nature of it, you can't coast, but because you can use your legs to regulate your speed, I've found it's a lot easier to position the bike exactly where you want it. So, I think one of my next projects will be to build a fixed gear wheel to put on my mountain bike as an experiment. Offroad fixies have been done, but they're rare.

Yes, it was an eventful ride. I swung by Absolute Bikes on the way home for bar ends and brake cables, since the mountain bike needs both. (Bleh stiff brakes.) They jokingly mentioned that it's been quite some time since I've been in there to replace parts from a crash, then wished me a safe ride home as I left, saying they'd feel bad if I ate it on the way home. I'm contemplating calling to let them know I made it fine.

Mileage: 18.1

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Commute

So someone asks me "Hey, why don't you write about your rides every day?"

Well... it's boring. No, not the writing, I mean the commute to work and home. Thankfully, most of the time my commutes are pretty uneventful. I say thankfully because that means I didn't get mashed by a car, or blow my knee out sliding across a parking lot. (Happened once.) I guess I could write about the near misses, but there are like 3 of those a day.

On the flip side, I could also say unfortunately too, as sometimes, I just don't see anything or do anything out of the ordinary. Or if I do, it completely slips my mind when I get home. I need to remember to keep my camera with me again.

If I had to pick something to write about todays ride though, I would have to write about how cool Bi looks with a full load of groceries loaded in the panniers and bungeed to the rack. As Jack said: "LIKE A TANK!"
Mileage: 5.5

Friday, November 21, 2008


Having just got home from riding through town, I figured this would be a good time to say how much I love riding at night. It's 11:34 pm, and it's only 23 degrees outside my window. I must be crazy.

I met up with TC when she got off work, and we ended up riding around on Observatory Mesa again, only this time we were on roads. The stars were out and we both were using our headlights before we decided to turn around. It was a nice cruise. Then, after hanging out at her place, I rode home.

Despite the fact that it was almost 11 when I left, and ~30 degrees, and I was going to be riding in the narrow downtown streets past all the bars, I felt safer, warmer, and more awake than I would have if it was daytime.

Safer, I can chalk up to there being a lot less people to deal with, and if there was some drunken maniac trying to kill me, I'd have more escape routes.

More awake, because I focus more on what's going on around me, because I can't see farther than my little beam from my headlight.

I can't explain why I feel warmer. It's not really a temperature thing... it just feels right when I'm riding at night. I dunno... I just like it, and thought I'd share.

Mileage: 15.2

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gone Mudding

I took a different route home today, sort of an exploration to mix things up some. Usually I ride the urban trail out to Fort Tuthill, across the bridge over I-17 to the airport, then through the nearby residential area to home. It's a nice 7.5 mile route.

Today I cut through campus to the urban trail off Lonetree road, rode that out near the turd farm, and looped back around to Lonetree again by Coconino Community College. I think I'll add that to my list of possible round-about ways home, as it was fun, scenic, and had a good variety of types of trails, from paved roads, to maintained gravel, to singletrack.

However... since it snowed on Monday, and most of it thawed, but hasn't quite dried up, there was a lot of mud on parts of the trail. I usually avoid mud as I don't like getting it all over me (Though the bike is fine if it gets dirty.) but this time, since I was on my commuter with full fenders, I decided to bomb through it and test it out. The fenders worked wonderfully, so well in fact that almost no mud got on the bike, let alone me.

So no muddy bike pics for you! (Aww snap!)

Mileage: 9.3

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Spiders and pancakes

So Josh decided that it would be a good day for a road ride, and he was indeed right. We rode out to the upper end of Lake Mary and back... he rode 10 miles further than me, since he rode to my apartment to start the ride, then back home to his to end it. It's really nice weather for November, and the spiders were out in force.

Big-arse spiders spotted: 3. (They were bigger than half dollars)

From one end of Lake Mary...

To the other.

Rocking the Fat Cyclist Jerseys.

Mileage: 33.7

Friday, November 7, 2008

What you say?!

Fall definitely be here... it was chilly and windy today as TC and I rode across town against the wind to pick up her car... where we promptly discovered that two bicycles with my custom built racks will not fit on her trunk rack.

So I rode home, which was a nice quick blast, considering the wind was at my back, which brings us to the event that made today a "blogable" day.

So, riding along the MUP that runs along Route 66 through Flagstaff. I'm rolling about 20 mph most of the way and having fun, heading west, which means that the road is to my right, and I'm facing the oncoming traffic. The speed limit on the road is 40. So the cars 15 feet away from me are essentially moving at ~80+ mph past me. Now that the scene is set, the event.

Someone in an oncoming car leans out their window... ...and yells something at me.

Given the speeds, the wind, the distances, and planetary alignments, I didn't exactly hear what he said, though it sounded something like this: "GGHHUUURRRRRGAAAALLAAAAA~!!!"

I honestly can't tell you why... but I had a big stupid grin on my face for the next 10 minutes.
Mileage: 25