Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

26 April 2015

A Nice Way To Recover

Another ride to Point Lookout today.  Trust me, I'm going to do other long(er) rides soon.  But I think I had good reasons for doing the ride again today after doing it on back-to-back days last weekend.

Actually, I hadn't planned to such a long ride (about 105 km, or 65 miles).  I'd been feeling a bit under the weather for the last couple of days.  Today I felt a bit better and the weather was nearly perfect:  sunny, with some wind, 15-17C (60 to 65F).  So I started off down the street from my apartment and down a few more that could have taken me to the Rockaways, Coney Island or other points south in Brooklyn or Queens.

When I crossed Atlantic Avenue on Woodhaven Boulevard, I knew I was headed to the Rockaways. If I pedaled just to Rockaway Beach and back, that would be about 50 km.  I got there, feeling good, and took a left out toward Arverne and Far Rockaway.

Now, there isn't much noteworthy in Far Rockaway except for the beach, where the dunes are lovely but the water is still too cold (about 7 or 8 degrees C) to swim.  Going to the Rockaways on my bike usually means one thing:  crossing the bridge into Nassau County--Atlantic Beach, to be exact--and riding along the South Shore.

Mind you, on my way down to the Rockaways I rode into a wind that buffeted me on my right side as I rode along the coastline.  Still, I was feeling much better than I expected, so I kept on riding.  

The Point was quiet today, but the tide had come in.  So, where I saw sandbars last week, I saw this:



The water must have been rough because I didn't see anyone sailing or windsurfing.  But when you're on a bike, it doesn't matter.  Especially mine:  they always ride great.



On the way back, I felt something go "thump" and heard a clank. I was imagining the worst:  a flat tire and some part fallen off my bike.  But I couldn't imagine what:  Everything is tight and well-maintained.  I looked back and found this:




Most of you have a tool just like it. I have two or three.  It doesn't hurt to have another, as it includes the allen key sizes (4, 5 and 6mm) most commonly used on bicycles.  So I'm going to hold onto it--or give it to someone.  After all, the ride was a fine reward.  I feel good now.

25 April 2015

I Can Get Absolutely Anybody Onto A Bike. Really!

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, sometimes my biggest obstacles to riding my bike are Max and Marlee.  There are times when either or both of them will jump into my lap or circle around my ankles when I'm about to go on a ride. Or they pose on the table, in front of my bikes. They just know what I'm about to do.

So I got this idea that maybe if I got them to ride with me, they wouldn't try to stop me.  Let's see...I tried that with an ex or two...and how did that work?  But, at least neither Max nor Marlee has--as far as I can tell--any of the issues my exes (or, for that matter, I) had.  And they're certainly playful cats.  So maybe I can channel some of their energy into pedal power.

How is it working.  I think this note says it all:

funny cat
From The Journey

24 April 2015

Ride The Lane: You Are Traffic

Three and a half decades ago, John Forester's Effective Cycling was published.  To this day, no one (of whom I'm aware, anyway) has done a better job of elucidating what needs to be done in order for the bicycle to be seen as a viable option for commuting and other purposes.

Essentially, he said that in order for the bicycle to be seen as a vehicle, and not merely a toy, we have to ride as if our bicycles are indeed vehicles.  In explaining what that meant, he showed the folly of bike lanes and other planners' attempts to "accomodate"  us.

In the ensuing years, not much has changed, save for the number of cyclists.  If anything, the situation has gotten worse:  more and more bike lanes are being built and lots of neophyte cyclists believe they are safer in them, and that said lanes are a sign of their city's "bike friendliness" or simply its "cool factor".  

Here is an example of how, not only bike lanes, but prevalent notions of how cyclists ride in traffic, put us in more danger than taking a lane and thus making ourselves more visible to motorists:

change-lanes-01
By Keri Caffrey