Monday, September 28, 2015

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Obviously, I can't write about everything I've done for the past 3+ years, but I can share some neat stuff I saw while I was on vacation with my family this summer.

We went to Washington DC, which to me means

That's right - the charcuterie at RFD Washington. This was as tasty as it looks, with some Vermont Duck, Washington Salami, cheese, and etc. 

Until this trip I had never been to DC, and that trip was truly the other part of getting me back into cycling; at rush hour, the bikes were weaving in and out of traffic, and it reminded me how much fun bikes were. I didn't really see any "good" bikes chained up in DC the way I did in Ft Collins Colorado last summer. This VanMoof was chained up in Ft Collins on a random Thursday night. 

I didn't see much of that in Washington DC, but I did see bikes everywhere - and people riding them. I guess those bikes fanned the embers of my former bike obsession. I even took photos of some of the bikes in the Smithsonian.

This Tiffany bicycle was incredible. This was in the Museum of American History.

Or this very rare Wright Brothers built bicycle in the Air and Space Museum.

You don't know how badly I wanted to straighten those cranks out. 

So even though I still wasn't riding in June, I wanted to. Sort of. Even though I knew it would hurt, I could feel the ache in my legs, telling me to spin some pedals. I would wait a while longer to actually make it happen, but I was starting to feel that ember glow again. 

Bad news though - it's still unsure if I am dead after my Friday ride - I actually wrote and scheduled this post at the same time I scheduled my pre-ride post. That means that I could still be deceased from my Friday ride, but because I am relentlessly efficient and wrote this in advance, you will have to wait to see if I never show up again. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

I'm Riding Home on Friday Afternoon

Woah, woah - strike up the band. I'm going to ride home this afternoon. Last time I posted a photo of my Univega in the office, set up in the trainer. It's here because I have storage issues, of a sort; I have a lot of bikes. As of this writing, here are the bikes in my garage, some of which I have pictures of; 

1968 (?) Falcon San Remo Single Speed
1968 Schwinn Twinn single Speed
1973 Raliegh International

1974 Schwinn Suburban

1978 Peugeot Super Competition

1986 (?) Ross Mount Whitney with a Nu-Vinci CVT hub

1986 (?) Suteki Mixte (My wife's) 

1992 Univega Ultraleggera

1999 GT Force

2010 Dahon internally geared 8 speed folder

Plus my daughter's two bicycles, and my tools, and my 1901 Oldsmobile Replica. 

As I said before, I took on a car hobby as I fell out of bikes; cars move under their own power and I can be relatively lazy. 

Back to the beginning of this entry though - Friday, I am riding my Univega Home. I posted my Peugeot snag on Bikeforums, and one of the members contacted me to see if I could get my bike to Southwest Frameworks here in Dallas so they could match the color, as he is restoring the same model.  I talked to David from Southwest today, and we are going to hook up next week so he can take a color match. In the meantime, I need to get my Peugeot up here, and take the Univega home. I hate to haul bikes on the back of my car, because it is hell on my paint, so I'm going to ride the Univega home and then ride the Peugeot up here on Saturday. David is going to come here and take me and the bike to his shop one day in the next couple of weeks. I've met David before at some of the "retro picnics" he throws, and I am looking forward to seeing some of the bikes he is working on in his shop. I will report back here with plenty of photos. 

I'm writing this entry in advance of my ride, so if it is published and I never show up again, there is a good chance that I expired on my ride home, or just got lazy and gave up cycling again. Or maybe just gave up blogging. Or went blind. Actually, I guess you can't jump to any conclusions if I never show up agian, because there are many things that could happen to me that could prevent me from making my next entry. 

Cold comfort, indeed. Let's hope I make another entry soon. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Indoor Training

It's awful. Every year, I pull out my trainer (a 1 UP USA sent to me by the company for review - which you can read here) and set the bike up, pretending I'm going to ride it. There was a time when I did so, when I was at my lightest, in my best shape. It was all of one season, for maybe six weeks.

I actually brought my trainer up to the office, again pretending that I was going to do some riding at lunchtime, but as of yet, I have managed all of five minutes. Maybe ten minutes, but that's being generous.

Why is it so hard to ride inside? When I got my bikes out, cleaned them up, and did some longer rides of labor day weekend, I was able to knock out 25 miles without being too beat, even after a 3+ year break.

I plan to get some real riding in this weekend, and I guess I will take the Univega off of the trainer - and actually put my gear on and go for a lunchtime ride instead of trying to sweat it out in my office. There is a path at the end of the street my office is on that runs quite a ways, so 30 min won't be too bad. I'm hoping to work back up to commuting soon. Since I stopped commuting, the cycling landscape around Dallas has changed considerably, and I may have a much more direct route to the office, which would be a really good thing. This Saturday I plan to do a mock route to both see how much time it will take me, and what the best, most direct route is. I love riding paths, and I believe Richardson has built a few more paths along my route so I don't have to ride so far out of the way anymore. I used to have to cross 75 twice during my ride (both on dedicated paths) but it put my miles out of my way - I will report next week with the new route findings, and regale you with tales of adventure.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Where The Hell Has The Time Gone?

So here we are. The second post in nearly four years, thank you very much.

It's good to be relatively back. Both on two wheels and on the bloggiverse, here.

I guess we should do some catch up, you and I. What have I been up to? Lots. I have been working hard over at my Pro  gig, taversing the USA in the hot rod milk truck my brother and I put together. We do a lot of classic auto insurance, and we go to lots of classic car shows, so we thought it'd be best to do it in something supercool.

This photo was taken on our first trip in the truck - this was in the New Mexico mountains. It was an amazing drive, and at the time of writing this we have driven our DIVCO Lightning to California, Colorado many times, Kansas, Missouri, and all over Texas. As we have been doing that, we have been building a team to make our company great. Frankly, that's been the hardest part. I stopped riding because I hurt my hand a couple of years ago, and the habit of riding fell to the wayside. I did hang a bike in my office to remind me what I was supposed to do, but all of my bikes just hung in the garage gathering dust.

It also got hard to find good bikes worth repairing on craigslist - everything was going for way too much money - nothing was $50-75 anymore, and those that were were just cheapie mountain bikes from Wal Mart - disposable goods, never meant to be kept for a long time. So things got dark in the garage, and I moved on to cars, as you see above.

Then I found my Peugeot, and everything in me came alive again. I had flirted with the idea of selling some bikes for a while, as I have way too many. After the Peugeot purchase, I sold a bike to a friend who contacted me looking for something good, as he was going to a car free lifestyle. I dug around in my stock and decided to sell him Hubbard's Schwinn World Voyaguer. I love the bike, but with the acquisition of the Peugeot, it didn't make sense to have that many drop bar 1970's roadies. Plus, I knew Brandon would take care of it and appreciate it. So on down the road it went.

I have, since finding the Peugeot, actually gone on some rides - lots of path rides, as I am in a great city with many miles of paths very close. I even got out my GT Roadie, my old commuter, and took it for a 20 mile spin. I forgot how good it rode.

So I'm back, in a way - I have made some grandiose plans for 2017, but I'm going to keep those under my hat for now, but unlike my Tour de BBQ days, I don't have to raise money to do it.

As they say on the street, I'm "back in the cut" - see you soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

We Peek Out Our Head

Should I start up again? I have started riding again, not because I want to get back in shape, but because I found this. Much like my Raliegh International, I found this bike under someone who was just using it for transportation - I have heard them called "hobo bikes" before.

This is a 1978 Peugeot Super Competition. When I was a kid, my first "real" bike was a Peugeot - not a Super Competition, a lower model. It was "real" enough that it had downtube shifters, though, and I rode it all over Rowlett and Garland. When I got into old bikes, I put a Peugeot on my list - and to find this one was incredible, especially considering the condition it's in. I had to tune it and clean the hell out of it, but it's beautiful and rides wonderfully - though the fat old engine pushing it doesn't help.

I know that I will at least do another post about the bike, but I dont' know when. I am in the process of liquidating some of my old collection, because I love this bike so much (and my garage is full of dusty bikes.

I will be back - probably not regularly, but I will try to post again. I lost my way a few years ago, and have literally not ridden much more than a few miles for the past couple of (3!) years. It's good to see you again, and hopefully, I can regain your trust as a mediocre bike blogger.