Sunday, January 30, 2011

Of Warmer Days and Dryer Roads

The photo above is of a solo tour I did back about 13 years ago. Heading North on a recumbent for an adventure was something new for me and Exactly what I wanted to do.
Although I ws sure that it had been done before, I had never heard of any customer or friend doing such a crazy trip. This was about as extream as I could think of for use of my new style of bicycle and sport.
Getting info about what I might getting myself into from normal touring was imposable, but as you might guess, nothing special was needed except the nerve of doing something differnt and the risk of being thought of as a nut!
Packing for a trip like this is like any other, put everything you want to take on your bed, then put 3/4 of it away. Every trip I have done I have over packed and end up ether throwing stuff away or mailing it home while on route to lighten the load.
That said, I packed 3 cameras, rain gear,a change of clothing shaving kit and headed out. Two weeks on the road, 3 states and an experance of a lifetime.
I had done the ride before on other styles of bicycle but for the first time I actually saw everything as I rode. Thiigs I never noticed on the first trip. The heads up style of riding had me sold.
Meeting new people along the way, I had drivers pass me and stop ahead to ask where I got the bike and was it hard to ride.
There is nothing like the thrill of 45 miles per hour downhill with an "Under Seat Steering" Recumbent!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Just Following Orders

posted by Danni

So, yesterday I saw Mr. Chamberlain who insinuated that I've been remiss in my blog writing duties and he requested that I get back on the job. I must admit, I have been more than reluctant to post anything. You see, my worst fears for the winter have been realized - I've become addicted to riding my bike so, of course, we have had record breaking snow accumulation. And as I had speculated, not riding my bike is an extremely bad thing. I have been getting grumpier and grumpier by the microsecond. It has gotten so bad that even my cat runs and takes cover when I enter a room where she is lounging. So I knew if I were to write I would just whine, complain, and be grumpy which just isn't very pleasant. (See, I was right – I’m whining!)

However, Scott gave me yet another mandate yesterday. After spending a very short while with me and suffering my ill humor he became very insistent that I purchase either snow shoes or cross country skis (or both.) It was very clear to him that I needed to get out and get active. Moreover, it is his claim that if I were to purchase outdoor snow equipment the weather would change just to spite me, and we wouldn't get anymore snow. To that end I am asking if you, or anybody else you know, has some snow shoes or cross country skis to sell. If so, PLEASE let me know as soon as possible. I need to purchase some quickly so I can get back to riding my bike!! ;-)

Wishing-you-crocuses-tulips-and-daffodils-soon'ly yours,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Vision and Photos of a Warmer Day

Here are some photos I found yesterday of warmer days with the recumbents. Aero Cycle and a Vision R65. Please note the shot of Pinto with ice on the pond, a very rare shot indeed!
Twelve inches of fresh fallen snow last night has me really looking forward to green grass. At lunch yesterday at the Eagle Brook Saloon, there was a shot on the TV of a lawn, We all laughed pretending that we didn't know what it was.
One of our favorite spots to stop for lunch on a BOSRUG Adventure, the women at the bar said she recognized us even though we were not in cycling clothing, but I think she was just being nice.
Oh what we wouldnt give now for a warm New England day with a sunny sky and clean street like the one at the bottom!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Perfect Tool for the Job

Riding in snow is a hoot as long as there are no cars. The sound and the track the bike makes is a difference only experienced at this time of year.
As long as the cars haven't made a packed down track with their tires, a bicycle will do just fine in most types of snow up to 3".
Although thoughts of Fat Tire Bicycles come to mind when you think of snow riding, quite the opposite is true. Fatter tires trap the snow between the street and the tire and make it hard to steer and control the bicycle in a straight line.
Skinny is Better, with a few things as well as snow tires. If our roads were perfect, a one inch tire would work best, but because of the hidden hazards known as pot holes, You will need a tire tall enough so when you hit one hidden by the snow, you wont flat.
The Perfect Tool for the job is always best. One can cope and adapt with the tool in hand,(A Claw hammer makes a good scraper if that's all you have) But having the best for the job make things better.
In all the years of riding in the snow The best bicycle I can remember for dealing with the deep white stuff was a Raleigh DL-1.

The choice of the Chinese, DL-1 is a 28" wheeled 3 speed with rod brakes and fenders. The angles of the frame are such that you lean to steer. The tire cross section is 1 1/2". Perfect for the job, the bicycle is also the choice of the Police in the UK as the "British Bobby Bike" and a similar version for the Swiss Army. God knows how much snow they have to deal with. (I thought for years that Swiss Chocolate was invented to deal with the Swiss snow.) When I hear the word "Swiss" I don't think of "White sands or Mega Tans!"

We will be over this someday soon. Clearly at this time and this mornings dumping of snow does not have me wanting to go out and make Snow Angels,that's for sure.

Till then we will just have to dream of The Perfect Day for the Perfect Tool.

PS: Rod Brakes do work great, as long as you know how to adjust them.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nothing nice about Ice

I never liked Ice. In a glass or under foot. It always takes me by surprise and when it does, most of the time, it hurts.
I remember years ago carrying two cinder blocks across a driveway on wet ice. The rest of the story is obvious, My feet came out from under me and I landed in the water on my butt with two cement blocks on my hands. Laying in a puddle on ice doesn't last long, You stand up.
One winter day about 14 years ago, I fell through the ice and went under water over my head with the bike. I didn't stay in long. Racing home I hit a patch that had pebbles frozen in and went down fast. Ask Jerry Slack, He saw the whole thing.
Except for black ice, most of the time its in water. Crashing on ice leaves you floundering in the puddle giving drivers something to talk about and having them feel better about driving a car. Bloodied knees and torn clothing as a result of ice, is not nice. Studded tires work when there is ice, but like winning the lottery, you need to buy a ticket to win, maybe. Studded tires for most of the winter ride poorly. That's if you can get them to fit your bike. Only made in certain sizes and fat, you may need a special ice bike for your special ice tires.
Years ago while Winter off road riding in Haverhill, Mass had me encounter a section of road where the ice has formed in a sloped band around 20 feet long. The ice slopping from left to right dropped over the edge 30 feet to Kenoza Lake. Riding and falling would have you finish with a drop into the water.
After assessing the road, I figured the best plan of attack was to slide the bike across on its side and then run and "Superman" across up to the high spot so when I came down I would be on the other side. It worked. A week later with a group of friends, it was decided that we turn around and find another trail.
Adventure starts with risk. Ice is not everywhere as is risk. As with the group, risk can sometimes be avoided. The fear of "what might happen if" has a way of changing everything and repeating itself the older we get. Common sense with some people comes with age. You can see it in there eyes. Living another day is good, " Life Is Good" as long as your alive to enjoy the goodness, but the age old question comes to mind, "Is the fear of adventure and its risk, controlled by the fear of dieing, or just the fear of really being alive?"

Think about that one next time your laying in a icy puddle!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Snow mixed with slush is Snosh. Good for nothing, this mixture of useless part frozen, part liquid mess makes looking out the window from a warm house, sport enough. Snosh sets the mind wandering about warmer dryer days.
My friend Brad was going on the other day about how winter is flying by and soon we will be back on the good bikes enjoing clean streets and sunny stops. He's in San Francisco. Its true that if you find something to do with the winter its easier to deal with, but Snosh? What could you possably do with it besides chill beer. Mabe a Snow cone or Slurpy.
Something I hope it never comes down to having to try. Hungry enough and out of water, maybe, but im afraid that the only good thing about Snosh is that, if you wait, it will, someday, go away.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Trestle Time Again!

Shots from the Trestle, 1-11-11

Monday, January 10, 2011

Consider this,

After finding the camera glasses last week and having a blast using them, I have gone back on line and found many more designs that not only take photos but video.
Most of them are under $100.00. Most of the cameras I have found have 8g allowing the user to take up to 4 hours of video. There battery's will work as long and in the cold. I'm not sure about low light.
It is now possible for a rider to head out for a ride and grab their eye protection that will video the whole ride. This is valuable as a safety device and will record the entire ride in case of any driver altercations.
After returning home, by plugging the glasses into their computer, the cyclist can either save or deleate the ride as well as recharge the glasses for the next ride.
Never before has it been so cheap and easy to document on video your ride and have evidence of inconsiderate driving habits.
If the word gets out that most riders are using such a device, things may get safer for cycling with the drivers fear of video evidence of their poor driving habits.

Here are some of the glasses I have found:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Boston's Haymarket Square`

Like going back in time, Haymarket Square is simply put, something to see and another Bosrug cold weather destination.
Only open during daylight hours on Friday and Saturday's, Meat,Cheese,Seafood and Vegetables can be purchased for about half of what it costs in your local grocery store.
Everyone we have dealt with while shopping are super nice. Loving there jobs and happy to help, the vendors talk to each other and direct you to stands that are likely to have what your looking for that they don't.
People from all over Boston can be seen shopping. The real American "Melting Pot" of shoppers that want fresh food and know a bargain.
Best by bicycle, parking is expensive and spots hard to find.
The view and the color is one to remembered nice to repeat weekly. Anyone on a bicycle is smiled at and adds to the color of the square. Take the time to see Haymarket. Finish your ride enjoying dinner with friends loved ones with the fresh food and stories you brought home from Haymarket, on your Bosrug "Cold Weather Destination."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Minox Camera, MP3, Eyewear

First things first, This is at least my 20th sound system for my bikes. After a day of playing with this new gadget, I'm sold!
It turned out, the only thing that said Minox was the box. Clearly not made by Minox,but made for Minox, the sound is first rate. Super low bass and great highs. (20Hz - 20 KHz) A real treat. The camera lens is wide enough to get everything your eye sees and with enough extra to crop later for a better photo. 1G of memory, the glasses will have enough space to hold 10,000 photos at 1.3 mega pixels each. Battery life is around 6 hours for music and a little less while taking photos. Charging time of the 240 mAH/ 3.7Vmacromolecule polymer li-ion battery is about 2 hours.
There are 3 multi control buttons on the glasses and two on the remote control button for operating the camera discreetly. The on-off is on the left ear stem. You hold it down for about 2 seconds to turn the unit on. Music starts after a short while. songs can be advanced by pushing a button on the top, front of the right ear stem and moved back in their order with the button at the back, top. The music fades out at a nice speed when you change from song to song. Nice touch!
The Volume increases by holding the front right button down for 2 seconds and decreased by holding down the rear.
The remote control button pauses the music with a side button and shoots the photo with the center button. There are 3 audible beeps while taking photos. After the third, you know the photo has been taken. Pressing the side button on the button, resumes the music. Photographs can not be taken while music is being played and music can not be advanced or made louder/softer with the remote.
I am very impressed by the quality of the sunglasses lens, sound of the recordings and the photos. Photos can be shot in very low light, but no movement of camera and subject is important. Thirty dollars for all three is a bargain. I don't expect the deal to last, so get a pair soon if you think it will suit your fancy. This truly a "Techno Weenie's" dream come true! 40 years ago, these would have cost at least $10,000!
One of the nicest things about this, is to not be tied down with a headphone wire to a system in a pack.
The glasses come with an extra clear set of lenses, a hard shell case and a lens cleaning cloth. The remote control button has a little lanyard, to small to fit around a normal sized wrist.

Here are some photos taken with the camera. The first two were at speed with the bicycle at 18 mph second and third, while standing and just looking at what I wanted and the last at 25 mph.
This thing is great!

A steal at $29.99!

PS: Funny thing though, having to plug a pair of sunglasses into a wall outlet to get full use of its design just doesn't seem right!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone.

One more year to add to the list. 2010 was interesting to say the least
Its sometimes hard to remember all the things that changed my life this year in slight and subtle ways. There were so many big changes that sometimes the little ones that have sometimes the most impact get lost in the shuffle.
It was a year to remember, One of my best.
New friends and old alike made my life full and loaded with smiles. The riding was as good as I could ever expect.
New places and new memories of beautiful spots and wonderful times.
Lets all hope that the new year is even better. Always room for improvement using past experiences as lessons to make new experiences easier and better.
Happy New Year Everyone!
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