Posts tagged ‘Trailhead Bicycle’
The essence of the reddest of red-heads … I am calling her Lucy.
Six months of collaborative creating which began with my bike fitter, Eddie at Cycology, to the actual fabrication of her bones by Natalie Ramsland at SweetPea … and finally home for the final build and “dressing up” by my most awesome local bike guy, Charles at Trailhead – who knew exactly what she needed to become the thing of my dreams. There was considerable tweaking along the way, a few hiccups, several re-do’s (some easy, and some not-so), but in the end I have to think she is my perfect bike. She fits me like a hand tailored Little Black Dress, for sure. And yeah – she loves me back as much as I love her.
I love that she is a perfect mixture of function and aesthetics. She rides like a dream, she is lovely to look at (and photograph, of course), she is a little sassy and a lot of serious; she will go the distance, yet has enough practicality for commuting and camera-toting adventures.
Each piece of her was thoughtfully and deliberately chosen, and I am very proud that most things were chosen from smaller and US-based independent designers – Chris King, Paul Components, White Industries, Bike Thomson, Velo Orange, Sugar Wheel Works, and of course SweetPea.
Drivetrain selection ended up being one of the biggest headaches, and the biggest challenge in trying to put together a bike from across the country without seeing it. Aesthetically, the Shimano group I originally had chosen ended up looking wrong. In the end, at home, we stripped the Ultegra group and dressed her up with some divine Campagnolo – which is exactly what she needed (and will always take me back to the bike I rode in Italy).
We topped things off a Brooks Ladies saddle, a set of Pitlock locking skewers, a Light and Motion pairing of lights, and a very sweet Tubus Titanium rack which will will hold my wonderful custom designed and hand-sewn North St. convertible pannier (thank-you Curtis), the perfect custom home for my camera gear and other “stuffs” I schlepp around. More about that bag to come; it’s amazing. Still doing some decision-making on fenders (or not) … we’ll see.
So these are some of the first of what I am sure will be many, many glamour shots of Lucy – some of her beautiful details, and her charming RED personality. She certainly won’t get lost in the landscape.
And speaking of Lucys … for any of you old enough to remember, did you know that there was an old episode of the original I Love Lucy (i.e., Lucille Ball), where she convinces Ricky, Ethel and Fred to ride bikes from Italy to France? I kid you not. Lol. The best part is the comedy of mishaps at the border crossing – and, of course, seeing Fred and Ethel on a tandem. If you’re up for a dose of 50’s sitcom humor, it’s worth a watch (heheh) – viewable for streaming online here, or this clip on YouTube.
Utilitaire 6.12: it began as a trip to the bike shop, #8 on the control card (for the second time). And then transformed into a fun family-friendly community ride on the Greenway, and finally a quick stop for dinner – along with picking up a few boxes of girl scout cookies. Mmmm. 🙂
Dillon is home from school for a quick weekend visit, and we took a ride to the bike shop. Our shop owner, Charles, had also gotten a small group of us together at the end of the day for what is hopefully the first of many more family fun rides on our local Greenway. The idea is to bring families together for some easy and kid-friendly rides, promoting a little more bike friendliness within our community, and working on building/strengthening an advocacy network. I think there is also a leaning toward trying to fill the rides with “bicycle variety” – fixies, cargo bikes, and other non-typical bicycle”oddities”. As the weather warms up and the days grow longer, we hope to include other activities like themed rides, bike picnics, frozen yoghurt stops, maybe even a wine-and-cheese type of stop for the adults. Who knows? We’ve also talked about incorporating some of the Utilitaire-type destinations and goals into the mix, but ultimately to appeal to a wide range of cycling abilities and interests, and get more people out on their bikes.
We left from the shop, rode the Greenway from end to end, and stopped to a few minutes of discussion and planning within our fledgling start-up group. I think we all had fun; I know I did. Mostly, I hope we can grow the group and the idea … I would love to see more of my local friends join in the fun. I took a lot of photos and am posting a few – hope these friends don’t mind, as I didn’t really get permission.
After the group ride, Mark, Dillon and I headed back, stopping for a quick bite on the way. I didn’t manage to get a full-fledged night ride in as I had hoped … but we did get home before it started to rain. Night rides will have to wait for another day.
We didn’t get rained on. Of course. Because we brought rain gear.
Number 2 in the Utilitaire Winter Cycling games … and I’m having a hard time deciding how to log this one, but will settle on #6: Any Store That Is Not A Grocery Store. Basically a run around town, from hardware store to bike shop (yes, again) to coffee, to groceries to cupcakes (!). Mileage: 21-ish. Rain: none.
It began with a trip to the hardware store, because we needed some new axe handles. We do a lot of chopping around here, you know. Well, maybe not me as in we … but still. Can’t have those ax heads flying off the handle.
Then we got to head over the bike shop because I had forgotten a thing or two when I was there the other day. It was exciting. We got to witness a really amazing explosion … (Charles, my bike guy has a great sense of humor with these things; he made the video).
From the bike shop, we stopped and met Grant for coffee. He was killing some time before heading to work, and we were just … killing some time. And trying to test our fate with the rain gods.
We hopped on the Greenway and stopped for some groceries, and then headed over to Chattanooga Cupcakes for some desert for later on. And while I doubt that I burned enough calories to even eat the sprinkles off of one of these things, I just cannot resist …
We got home just as the first drops of rain arrived. Perfect timing.
When I thought about today’s ride, I often wonder what the bird’s-eye view of our route looks like. We wind our way on less-traffic’d roads, hopping on the Greenway whenever it works out, and taking what sometimes feels like a rather circuitous route. I know I could go on Google Maps or Map My Ride and officially map this thing out in an accurate way, but I decided to just doodle it. Obviously not really to scale or accurate, but close enough. Surprisingly, it doesn’t look as chaotic as I thought it might.
So two of twelve completed, ten remain. Bikes: 2. Rain: 0.
I love creativity and fun – especially when it involves bicycles. From #30daysofbiking to #cyclingcaptuesday, I have always enjoyed the fun of bicycle games, the conversations they start, and the enthusiasm they kindle. And when the bicycle games get more people, new people, out riding their bikes more of the time, it’s even better.
My Flickr/blogger/Twitter friend and radonneur extraordinaire, Mary G, who has an excellent cycling blog, Chasing Mailboxes, cooked up a grand idea for some winter cycling fun. She is calling it the Utilitaire 12, and you can read all about it here and here. My own heads-up for this project first came from another great cycling blogger/friend, the “Old Guy” (and don’t let that moniker fool you – this guy can out-ride most 20-somethings) – and he’s already a few steps ahead of some of us on the Utilitaire challenge. Of course.
I won’t try to repeat all of the guidelines to the challenge which you can read for yourselves, but basically it involves making at least 12 destination trips by bike over the course of the next six weeks. There is a very do-able minimum mileage for each trip, and you can’t simply make the same trip over and over (like go to the grocery store 12 times). I think this is what I love about it most – it’s going to make me mix-up my destinations, maybe bike to a place or an event that I might not normally bike to, head to a variety of locations for different reasons. Go to a concert, attend a meeting, cycle to breakfast … and lots more (with a little wiggle room for a substitution if you need it). You can only officially log two trips per week, spreading the project out for some consistency, and you have to photo-document part of the journey. Cool beans, eh? Good for everyone, good for cycling advocacy – and I hope everyone will give it a go.
Today I got to log my first trip for my control card – a trip into town to the bike shop. Also stopped for coffee and to my optometrist to fetch some new contacts, but my project destination was the shop.
I love my bike shop – it’s kind of like a really great coffee shop, only with bikey stuff rather than caffeine. It’s got a certain “ambiance” – camaraderie, color, and conversation. And I had a great conversation with my bike shop guys, Charles and Andrew, had them looking over the Utilitaire project in the shop. We enthusiastically decided that this would be a fantastic advocacy tool for local cycling in our little town, and it looks like plans are into work to make a modified community event sponsored by the shop. How great is that?!
Meanwhile, got my errands done on what began as a foggy-soup morning but turned into an incredibly beautiful day – still no sign of winter, cycling in a tee shirt. Checking off one on the control card. Hope you will join in the bicycle game fun. 😀
On a day filled with rain and thunderstorms, I think there is no nicer place to be than inside your favorite bike shop. Friendly conversation, camaraderie, beautiful machines …
Finally got in to pick up my road bike, which had been in the shop having a front derailleur-ectomy – or transplant, actually. A few weeks ago while out riding, I managed to have the perfect storm of mechanical failure. (Please forgive me here, if I don’t use proper bike lingo/terminology – I don’t know this stuff). I was down-shifting, and my shifter cable broke … which caused my chain to make a sloppy transition, splaying one of the links … which, in turn, caught on the front derailleur and totally bent it out of shape. Charles, my most-awesome bike guy/mechanic, tried valiantly to repair it – but in the end, it needed to be replaced.
So today’s ride was a quick spin on my newly repaired-and-good-as-new bike … basically up the road and back. Oh well. Ross and I had talked about trying to take an evening ride, but thunderstorms and winds are rolling through and I don’t think it’s going to happen.
Since there are no nice riding pics today – you shall get some peas. LOL. And an easy(-peasy) summer recipe.
Right now, the garden is full of lettuce and peas. Late yesterday I finally crossed the pea-picking off of my to-do list, and came in with several bowls of sweet green peas along with a few bags full of lettuce. Tonight’s #projectdinner was a very easy Japanese Mame Gohen (rice with green peas), some roasted mixed mushrooms, and ginger-dressed garden lettuce. Light, perfect for summer … and basically no effort; throw it in a pot/rice cooker and let it take care of itself.
Mame Gohan — Cooked Rice with Green Peas
- 1 C Sushi rice
- 1-1/2 C green peas, shelled
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs sake
- 1/2 tsp Katsuodashi – or 4-5cm piece of Konbu (dried sea kelp)
- 1-1/2 C water
Rinse the rice and place into a rice cooker. Add sake, salt, water and Katsuodashi (or Konbu). Place peas on top – don’t mix. Turn on the rice cooker, and when finished, turn into a bowl and toss the peas with the rice. Serves 4 as a side dish.
ap pur te nance |ə-ˈpərt-nən(t)s| noun (usu. appurtenances)
An accessory or other item associated with a particular activity; accessories, trappings, equipment, paraphernalia.
With memories of February’s “snowmageddon” starting to fade, the promise of springtime, warmer weather, and sunny roads gets alot of us dreaming of appurtenances … OK, bike stuff. New bike stuff. Maybe a new set of tires, new rims, a new pair of shoes, a new helmet, or even a complete new beautiful bicycle. (You guys know who you are … finish the thesis & you get the Salsa! 😉
To be clear, I don’t exclude myself from this Spring Fever. Thinking that my favorite bike shorts have seen better days, my brake cable should be replaced, a colorful new jersey would be nice … Anyone who steps into the colorful wonderland of a bike shop in the grey days of late winter knows the feeling.
Lately, I have also added camera “stuff” to my appurtenance cravings. Deciding to participate in a 365 photo project (a photo each day for a full calendar year) with ShutterCal, was big impetus to get a bit more serious. In the somewhat futile attempt(s) to improve my photography skills, I have spent a lot of time – and yes, admittedly, money – in recent months taking classes, reading books, attempting to master new post-processing software – as well as buying a few pieces of equipment I “really needed”.
I have to admit that I struggle with that inner voice that keeps whispering, “it’s not about the equipment…”. I believe this: it’s not. I know there is not a bike on the planet that will magically make me a super-human cyclist, yet I also know how pleasurable it is to ride beautifully equipped bike – whether an ultra-light road bike, an Xtracycle, or some stylish balloon-tired cruiser. The bike does not make the rider – but good equipment can make the ride divine.
And just as with the bicycle, the camera does not make the photographer. I’ve seen spectacular photos shot with a camera phone, or a cheap point-and-shoot. An artful and skilled eye will always more-than-compensate for lack of technical equipment; yet good equipment (and the knowledge to use it) can enhance the results for those of us who are considerably less talented, and make the process much more enjoyable and productive. Just like riding a beautifully equipped bicycle, shooting pictures with a good camera and lens can be an inspiring experience.
I’m not sure where that leaves me in the end? There is so much I want to learn, and improve upon – both in cycling and photography. It will likely require appurtenances. I don’t need to win races, ride around the globe, win awards or exhibit my photos – I just want to reach some personal level of accomplishment. I’m trying to find the right balance; I don’t want the desire for appurtenances to get in the way of the actual work. I need to climb more hills, I need to take millions of photos. Yet I also know that sometimes, appurtenances can help pave the path to getting there…
Spring is almost here…. dream on! 🙂