Drive My Bike


And Now For Something Completely Different…
November 17, 2009, 4:29 pm
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Here’s something you don’t see every day… a peloton of sumo wrestlers!

SumoPeloton1

My daughter and I were driving around on Halloween day and came upon one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen when it comes to cyclists. There was a whole group of riders dressed in funny sumo suits. We were actually going the other way when we passed them the first time, but it was so cool that I had to get pictures, so we turned around and passed them again, grabbing some pictures out the window as we went by.

SumoPeloton2

There were probably at least twenty riders, and they were creating quite a stir. Folks were honking and cheering, but they seemed oblivious. I have no idea who the group was, and if the traffic hadn’t been so crazy around them I probably would have tried to make conversation out the window to find out.

SumoPeloton3

It made our day!

In other news…  We’ve had some unseasonably cold temperatures the last few days, which means it was 16-18 degrees (F)  when I left the house in the morning, making for a brisk commute! The temperature has climbed to the mid 30s for the ride home in the evening, and that has felt almost tropical compared to the morning.

The bike commuting herd gets pretty thin when it gets this cold, but I’ve seen more riders still out than I saw last year, which is pretty cool. (No pun intended)

I’ve got my cold weather commuting wear figured out pretty well these days, so I was comfortable. Layering and coverage is everything. Maybe I’ll do a post in the near future to review my current outfit choices.

Thanks for stopping by. Ride Safe!

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Only 7 Degrees, But What A Difference!
October 10, 2008, 6:19 pm
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Today’s ride was the coldest yet. My previous record for coldest commute was 41 degrees (F) a couple of weeks ago, and today the temperature was only 7 degrees colder, at 34 (F), but wow… this morning’s ride was COLD!

Thermometer34

Our first real winter weather of the season is rolling in, and it is supposed to be cold and snowy all weekend. I was excited about this last night because I was anxious to try out some of the changes I made to my cold weather gear based on that ride a couple of weeks ago. I decided that I would add some long thermals as a base layer on my legs, since I just had shorts and bare skin last time. In addition, I know that I said I didn’t like beanies, but I found a lightweight Novara beanie at REI that had some Thinsulate type of material around the ears, but was thin enough to comfortably wear under my helmet, so I decided to try that. My wife and kids cracked up when I put it on because it sort of gives that gangster look. I figure that just allows me to keep up my rebellious bike commuter image.

What were the results of this new outfit? I was cold for the first mile or so, but I figured that was to be expected. My core was generally warm, so that wasn’t a problem. My arms were a bit cold, and it took a while for my hands to warm up, but they did eventually. The biggest problem was my face. My head was hot, and my ears were okay, but my face got so cold that it was almost painful. I think my face finally started to acclimate just about the time I got to the office. When I got in the building and started to cool down the rush of blood to my head was so strong that it almost gave me a headache.

Boy, I think this winter riding is great! 🙂

Seriously, it is a fun adventure, and I’ll continue tweaking things until I get the right formula. Based on what I’ve read from other winter bike commuters it seems like everyone is different, and it takes a little while to get things figured out. I’ve read that others have kept a log of their winter riding, noting their outfit for the day and how well it performed. I’m going to do that as well, and will share that info with you as it develops.

Ride safe and stay warm out there.



Bike Commuting In Cooler Weather

The backyard thermometer indicated it was 52 degrees (F) this morning when I was checking my tires and getting ready to leave, which makes this the coldest morning I’ve experienced so far in my bike commuting adventure.

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I have a lightweight, breathable windbreaker that I’ve been carrying around in my pannier, and today was the first day that I actually chose to wear it. Even though I chose to unzip it after I got warmed up, I was glad that I had it on for the first couple of miles. I wear fingerless biking gloves, and with this morning’s cold I also noticed that my fingers were starting to go a bit numb. All of this got me thinking… what am I going to wear when it starts to get REALLY cold? We get lots of snow here in Utah, and it’s great for snowboarding and skiing, but the idea of riding my bike in that kind of weather is something that is completely new to me. I’ve read some other blogs out there, and folks like Warren T make it sound like they actually enjoy winter riding. I’m looking forward to the adventure, but I want to make sure that I’m warm and safe. Just like when I snowboard, I know that the right outerwear makes the difference between a great experience and a miserable experience.

So… I ask you, my readers… do you ride in the winter weather? If so, what do you wear?

UPDATE: I just found a great article with some very practical winter riding tips… The Gear Junkie: Winter Bike Commuting, 10 Tips to Ride Safe… thanks Gear Junkie!

UPDATE: Read about my 40 degree commuting here and my 30 degree commuting here



Nice Cool Morning!
August 22, 2008, 9:13 am
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The weather has started to change just a bit here in Utah, and that means we are leaving the dog days of summer behind, and getting just a hint of cooler temperatures. This morning’s ride in was in the lower 60’s, and it was wonderful. It was actually a little cool for the first mile or so, and I even thought about a jacket, but then I got warmed up and the cool air just felt great.j0289387 (No, that picture is not me, but I thought it captured the essence of the day)

I bought a new cycle computer the other day, and got it installed last night. Nothing fancy, just a cheap one from WallyMart, but it does tell me how far, how fast, and how long… which is what I wanted to know. It was fun watching that on the ride in today… but I don’t think it helps with my obsession with speed. Oh well.  I’ll probably put some pictures of it up this weekend.

I also “slimed” my front tire… you know, the good kind of slime… that green gooey stuff. Yeah, I haven’t had any more flats since I installed that heavy duty tube with slime in my rear tire, but recently I’ve had some legitimate flats on my front tire. By legitimate, I mean real road hazards… you know, thorns and stuff. I’ve patched the front tire twice recently, but I figured that the slime wouldn’t hurt. I actually was going to put one of those heavy duty tubes in the front as well, but the store was out of them. In fact, the store was out of a lot of biking stuff… it looked like they’ve been selling a lot and hadn’t been able to restock yet. That’s great!

Have a great Friday!