Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Two Things I Got Today

We're getting the first significant snow of the season tonight: 4" - 8" of heavy, wet snow. Maybe not so great, but it's making everything look pretty.

Ah, what better to do on a cold, snowy night than read about bikes in the latest BQ?

Stay warm and dry.

Happy riding!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Big Oak Bike Shop

This morning, I spent a little time in the workshop, gluing up a laundry cabinet door that came unglued. I picked up handlebar tape yesterday for the tricross, and screwed up some courage and decided to try wrapping it on.

I've had this tape on for some time, and it's come loose a few times. Each time I re-wrap from the brake hoods back toward the middle, a little tighter. Wrapping handlebar tape makes me nervous - trying to evenly space the tape so I have enough, but not space too far so there are gaps, keeping proper tension so it doesn't separate, and on, and on. I was a physical and emotional mess the last time I tried this.

But yesterday I was passing my LBS, and was magnetically drawn in. Without trying to look like a dithering idiot, I purchased some bar tape after the third different sales person came up to me to ask me if I needed help. I instinctively nabbed some bar tape, even though I hadn't planned to buy anything.

Fortunately, I grabbed the relatively cheap Bontrager tape. The Specialized Phat Wrap that I like, is up to $30! Some of you may be able to justify this expense because it lasts longer, provides superior cushioning, blah, blah, blah. But $30 is too much for me.

Earlier this summer, Jon told me the key to putting bar tape on is to keep it uniformly tight as it's being wrapped. Hugh instructed me on cutting and taping the end in one of his blog posts. As much as I seem to screw up perfectly good projects, one half of the bar doesn't look too bad, eh?

And the other half looks pretty good, too. It looks even better if you back up from the screen a couple yards, then squint.

Two cats in a corner. Nothing related to cycling, but how could I resist taking a photo of these brothers in fur?

Last weekend, Alex and I went up to Chain O' Lakes State Park for a long walk. Most of the leaves are completely gone from the trees, and, once again, I am frantically searching for a SARATS entry. This Euonymous was lovely, but it is a small shrub, so it's hardly a tree worthy of entering.

And this bug-eaten black oak leaf (one of my kin) caught my eye also.

A bitternut hickory bud. A dendrologist's treat, the only tree in these parts which has sulfur yellow buds.

I took many pictures of several different lakes on the walk, but this is the photo I liked the best. I forget which lake this is, maybe the largest of the Finster Lakes?

I haven't ridden to work for a while. But very soon, like 1 week from tomorrow, I'll have no excuse to not ride. I've been reassigned within my agency to the area office, which is 2.5 miles from our new home. I'll post more about that new commute as it unfolds. I took a trial run to my new office this afternoon. There are a couple of very busy intersections which have me concerned. But I'll figure out a strategy.

Happy riding!