The Brewvet starts today. Details on portajohn’s blog.
Thinking about PBP? Here’s an excellent article from the Central Florida Regional Brevet Administrator to help determine which start time might be best for you.
It was a tough go at Trans Iowa V11 this year. Six Coopers has a report of her attempt, and ImagineGnat took some incredible photos.
The annual Monument to Monument century ride from Baltimore to D.C. is still a go for May 3. There will be another edition later in the summer. Details on the Rando Ramble.
Vintage Steel Mountain Bike Rider has an interesting write-up about Amazing Mountain Bike Innovations that Didn’t Stand the Test of Time.
Almost forgot! Bike to Work Day, also known as Friday, happens May 15. If you’re in the D.C. area, sign up for free here.
CycleStuff, Father Christmas Doesn’t Do Drops. A father-daughter chat on a bike ride.
Self-Deprecation and the Female Cyclist. Machines for Freedom writes about why women cyclists put themselves down and how it can affect their riding.
Ironjen and Muskrat, Our Walk in the Woods. A formerly D.C.-based couple who also ride bikes are tackling the Appalachian Trail this year. They just made it through Georgia.
Do What You Love? Urban Adventure League considers the way his work at a hostel in Portland has changed over the years in light of the emergence of alternate forms of lodging, and ponders what’s next.
Semi-Rad shares 11 Truths About Riding Bicycles.
Ghost Bikes. Mashable remembers riders we’ve lost.
The Written Ride, Voices In My Head. “In fact, there is a constant stream of little, flitting thoughts running through my head that really don’t amount to much at the end of the day. It is kind of like a dream state where the mind runs free and is not held accountable for its thoughts. Honestly, it is one of the great things about cycling.”
ARTCRANK @ Antennae. “Charles Youel, creator of ARTCRANK, recently came to Antenna to talk about his wildly successful poster show about bicycles.”
Tin Lizzie Rides Again, Into the Woods. “The implications of children not knowing the outdoors are well documented; you only need to spend a bit of time on the Children & Nature website to see some proof. But beyond the individual development of nature play, there is a greater concern that children who have no connection to nature will grow into adults who see no value in national parks, state parks and local green space.”
The Bicycle Story, Lauren Trout: The One Woman Show at Saila Bicycles. “There’s something appropriate about a relatively unknown frame builder working under the name Saila (that’s alias spelled backwards). But though she’s not a household name, Lauren Trout’s got nearly a decade of experience under her belt building some of the world’s nicest titanium bikes.”
Stoychev Randonneuring, 2015 Fleche Report. Team “Not Lost Yet.” “I then heard a strange clicking noise. As if something was rubbing against the fender. Before you know it, I heard a loud bang. Flat tire 5 miles into my 240 mile ride!”
I used to do a “Link Love” every so often. This feature is simply sharing some of the posts or articles I’ve recently read that I think might be enjoyed by Chasing Mailboxes readers.
Today I brought Link Love back with the gems that follow:
Endless Velo Love, Transportative Bicycle. “Bicycles are an interesting machine. They have the power to transport physically, emotionally and mentally. Such simple contraptions, yet if open to the experiences, utilizing one regularly can provide an overall sense of well-being.”
Tales From the Sharrows, Rides 4/6 mice. “At the cost of ten minutes (no cost, really) I went out of the way to see things I wouldn’t normally see and at the cost of ten minutes later in the day, I went back, but a different way still. Because I could. Bicycle commuting makes things possible.”
Bike Like Crazy, Not Without a Fight. “Winter, though, never surrenders. Today it summoned all the strength it could to cover the countryside in snow, knowing that the effort is in vain.”
Have a great weekend, everybody.
Happy Friday, everyone. We’ve made it through another week. Go team.
It’s been quite a while since I did a Friday Link Love post, but this week I’m bringing it back. Without further ado, here are some of the good things I’ve been reading of late.
While I can never imagine riding the Tour Divide, I have a fascination with the event. This year, two riders who previously completed the Tour Divide on single bikes endeavored it on a tandem. Caroline, the stoker, wrote a fantastic post about what riding the Divide is like on a tandem. See it here on kurt’s going nuts…
In addition, the first female finisher and new female record holder of the Tour Divide, Eszter Horanyi, wrote about the gear she used for the adventure. Eszter’s writeup is on Gooney Riders.
‘Tis the 1200K Season
It may not be a PBP year, but randonneurs are still out riding 1200Ks and some are even sharing the tales of their journeys.
Shenandoah 1200K: Wisconsin randonneur Dan D. headed out east earlier this year for the Shenandoah 1200K. Being that the Shenandoah 1200 happens so close to home, I read his report with interest. Read all about the ride on his blog, Dan’s Rando Adventures.
Cascade 1200K: The Road Pixie, who I met last year at PBP and I believe calls Minnesota home, returned to Washington state to take on the always challenging Cascade 1200K. This year’s edition involved rain and cool temps and some personal issues with asthma, but the Road Pixie persevered through it all. Find her story on her Road Pixie blog.
Colorado High Country 1200K: Dave C., of Massachusetts, traveled out to Louisville, Colorado, with hopes of completing his first 1200K. He gives a full account of the Colorado High Country 1200K, as well as the highs and lows of a multi-day randonneuring event on his blog, Velocio.
That wraps up this weekend’s recommendations. I guarantee you will read a post or two and then be gripped by a desire to run out the door and hop on your bike. Enjoy!
Hope you escaped outdoors to enjoy some of the amazing weekend weather. Yowza! Welcome Spring!
I’ve been doing a little blog catch-up reading and found some good things to share. I couldn’t wait until Friday so they’re going up today. Please enjoy.
- Biking in Heels, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, just happened to be walking by as Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington was getting under way. Perfect timing! This ride starts in Massachusetts and ends in D.C. for the National Bike Summit. Our own #bike DC commuter and Surly Troll owner, Pete Beers (Pedro Gringo), is participating in the ride, and he appears in one of her photos. Like I said, perfect timing!
- Tales from the Sharrows shared a few ideas about behavior to consider while commuting. I’m on board with all of them, though I’m still mulling over his comment about the overuse of bullet points. What? I love bullet points!
- Will Bike for Change (or Pie) recently blogged about the failings of Street Smart, a pedestrian and cyclist safety campaign in the D.C. area. Good stuff here.
- A helpful piece from Commute Orlando about how and where to cycle when trucks are in your midst.
- Sue Macy, the author of author of Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flats Tires Along the Way), is the keynote speaker at the National Women Cycling Forum in D.C. on March 20. I wish I could attend, but I’m hoping to attend the reception at Busboys and Poets. See you there?
- Photographer Gregg Bleakney recently had some of his aerial cycling photo work published in Paved magazine. (Some of you might remember Gregg from The Daily Randonneur Randonneur Photo Contest.) Super cool shots.
I don’t know about where you live, but the commutes in the District are a little bananas lately. Breathe deeply, take time to smell the flowers (achoo!), and ride safe!
Hi, everybody. Great day out there today in D.C. The moon keeps showing its cheery crescent self and the stars peer brightly, even downtown.
Found some good stuff to share with you, too.
- Check your bone density, but don’t freak out. Randoboy writes about a recent trip to the doctor and the adverse effect endurance cycling can have on bones. He’s still pursuing his bliss, though.
- More haircuts! Porta-John impressed me with his 11-destinations outing this past weekend. That’s a lot of stops! I was additionally excited to see he a haircut in the mix. And on a sidenote, what is all the fuss about Downton Abbey?
- Pugsley World Championships. Oh yeah, and guess where they took place? Decorah, Iowa. Photos of the event here.
- Too hot (or cold) to ride? Capital Bikeshare stats man JDAntos is at it again with another post about CaBi’s usage and its relationship to temperature. Good stuff coming out of this blog, and I don’t just say that because he’s also doing the Utilitaire 12!
- Day at the museum. Speaking of the Utilitaire 12, shebicycles recently crafted a beautiful post of a recent visit to a museum.
- A little more history for you. An 1891 love song on the topic of bike racing. Excellent illustrations on the back cover of the piece, too. Thanks to Rambling Rider for finding this one.
- Cycling and fear. Some good analysis about what keeps people from adopting bikes as a form of transport from Girls and Bicycles.
- Eyebombing. I thought it was all about yarnbombing these days, but apparently eyebombing is finding a place on the urban landscape, too.
That’s all from Chasing Mailboxes D.C. headquarters. Have a great weekend, all!
What fantastic weather this week. Made for some lovely night riding. The sliver of moon illuminated while you could still see its fullness in shadow, suspended over the Lincoln Memorial on a clear night? Stunning. I only took a photo with my mind cam so you’ll have to trust me on how gorgeous the scene was.
Things worth checking out on the interweb this week:
Continue reading Link Love: Another Day in Paradise Edition
I blinked my eyes and the now the weekend is upon us. I like weeks like that.
Hope all is well with all of you. I’ve been spending some evening hours perusing the utilitaire posts. Thanks to everybody who is taking the time to write up and tweet their trips. They make for such fun reads!
That’s not all I’ve been doing. I read a few other bike-related posts and took in a couple videos I think you’ll like:
- PBP 2011 Video. For those of you who have not yet seen the official video of Paris-Brest-Paris, campyonly put a copy up on YouTube for your enjoyment.
- Make your Life Awesome. This post about 100 People Doing Extraordinary Things provided hours of inspired reading. I didn’t see any randonneurs on the list, but it does note some athletic endeavors.
- Sew Your Own Bike Accessories. 2wheelerme decided she wanted some accessories for her cycling. Rather than purchasing them at a store, she has started sewing hats, caps, and sunglasses cases to use on the bike.
- Bike- and Pedestrian-Friendly Cities. The Mineta Transportation Institute of San José State University recently issued a study analyzing what cities can do to better integrate bike and pedestrian traffic. Based in part on case studies, interviews, and surveys, you can read the full shebang or choose the summary version.
- An Alternative to #FridayCoffeeClub. Is #FridayCoffeeClub too early for you? Pedal ‘n Purl is coordinating a couple of evening get togethers for the #bikeDC crowd and wants to know if you can attend.
- I can do that. Wait. No, I can’t. Mickael Dupont took a vintage step-through bike and turned it into an agile stunt machine. I was especially taken with his forward flips off the bike. I wish I could do that. I would really impress people at my office.
Looking forward to finishing the work week and heading for the country. Hope you can get outside, too. Good weekend, all!
How was your week? Did you get in some good riding? I mixed life up by throwing in some run-commutes. It made for a nice change of pace. Also, my perspective is lower to the ground when I run, which makes me feel like I’m in a booster seat when I transition back to the bike.
I’m sure you’re happy to know that. Now, on to the links.
- Our Velocipedes, Ourselves. This week, I learned of From Wheels to Bikes, a blog that covers the history of bicycling. Articles, photos, books, reviews of books about bicycle history. It’s a treasure trove of bicycling’s rich past. The author, who is a librarian by profession, wrote about how he finds the great stuff he does in this post.
- Ringing Your Bell is Ok with Miss Manners. Can you believe it? Miss Manners weighed in on the acceptability of dinging your bell around pedestrians. Verdict? It’s perfectly acceptable!
- Vegan Ultra-Athletes. Peter, over at Ready for Plan B, has been inviting people to share their stories of becoming or being vegan. In this post, an ultra-runner talks about how he became a vegan and the benefits he’s reaped from it.
- The Civil War. This week, The Atlantic released a special edition of some of its writing from the Civil War. Included in the issue is a riveting piece by William Parker, a freed slave who escaped from Anne Arundel County, Maryland, to Pennsylvania. His story of his flight and the slavecatchers who pursued him took place on familiar terrain to those of us who regularly ride and/or live around this area.
- Women and Bike Fit. Bina Bilenky recently wrote an article for Embrocation Cycling Journal about the secrets to women finding a comfortable fit on the bike that also maximizes power. It made me want to get out my tape measure and overanalyze my saddle setback.
Life’s been pretty good in this neck of the woods lately. I even had some time to do a little blogosphere reading. Here are the highlights:
- Local Blogger Turns One! Tales from the Sharrows, who regularly taps out two posts a day– one to document his commute in to work and another to capture the return home– celebrated his first full year of blogging this week. Imagine how tired those fingers must be! It’s been a treat to follow his velo adventures through Washington, D.C., this past year.
- Bikes, GPS, and Art. Yes, you can have all three in one. A Baltimore-area cyclist and teacher proves it with his rides and GPS tracks. Could one of our brevet routes ever resemble one of these tracks? Pretty creative.
- Sprung Saddles and Leather Grips like you’ve Never Seen Them. Apparently, they’re not just for bikes. They work on teeter totters, too!
- Shebicycles and the Utilitaire 12. I’m starting to see Utilitaire tweets and posts, which makes me so so happy! Shebicycles wrote up a lovely summary of the challenge and started her Utilitaire 12 quest this week with a visit to the local bike shop.
- Our Cities and Our Well-Being. The Atlantic Cities blog had a thought-provoking piece this week about a study that examined how cities can enhance our well-being/happiness. Places that foster social connectedness correlated to happier people living there. The study didn’t mention #fridaycoffeeclub, but then again, I only read the abstract.
Time to get the pedals turning for one more day of work and then… the weekend!
It’s already mid-January. How are your 2012 resolutions coming along? One of my resolutions is to read more in 2012, and while I originally intended that to refer to books, I am currently applying it more to blogs. Here’s what’s been on my screen of late.
- Mining the Capital Bikeshare Data. Coffeeneur and local cyclist JDAntos is taking full advantage of the usage data Capital Bikeshare recently published on its site. I’m quite impressed with his distillation of the data into visual explanations of how people (“regular riders” and “casual users”) use the Bikeshare system. So far, JDAntos has assembled two posts, one that deals with various facets of Bikeshare use, and another that discusses CaBi in terms of trip duration. Thanks for helping us make sense of this information, JDAntos!
- Around the World on a Bicycle. In the late 1800s, Thomas Stevens became the first person to ride around the world on a bicycle– on a penny-farthing! Currently, you can read his tale for FREE via Project Gutenberg. Thanks to Vélocia for alerting me to this one.
- Touring and Taking Photos. Go Bicycle Touring posted a list of some of their favorite touring blogs that also include beautiful photography. I like seeing how people capture their touring experiences and, as Go Bicycle Touring notes, seeing others’ photos gives me ideas for my own pictures, too.
- Sew Your Own Bags. Errin, over at Frontage Roads, bought a sewing machine and has been making bags for himself as well as his cycling friends. His most recent post is about a frame bag he made for brevets. It’s tailored to fit his Kogswell. I look forward to his report of how his self-sewn bag works out.
That’s a wrap on the links.
Are you riding this weekend? I’m hoping to do so, and trying not to obsess too much about the area forecast and terms like “wintry mix.” The weather people aren’t always right.
It’s been a great week out there in creative writing cyberspace, and I have some excellent content to share. What are you waiting for? Read on!
- Reflective Vests. Gypsy by Trade, who currently calls Alaska home, writes about the importance of the reflective vest. He even made his own. Reflective vests– so critical to wear, so hard on my vanity. Gypsy by Trade put a new spin on it for me, though.
- Reflections on a High Mileage Year. Mellow Yellow Bent rode over 14,000 miles in 2011 and logged more than 10,000 “official” kilometers through RUSA rides and his completion of Paris-Brest-Paris. Yowza! All amazing accomplishments. Mellow Yellow talks about the fun he had as well as what he missed while pedaling to complete his 2011 goals.
- The Long Journey of Recovery. The first time I saw the Hudson Valley Randonneur, he was doing final preparations on his bike as we readied to start the Endless Mountains 1000K. The next time I saw him, he was being moved onto a stretcher and into an ambulance after a car rear-ended him and left him with 24 broken bones in his body while his bike lay crunched in the middle of the road. George wrote about his amazing journey of recovery from this horrific accident for the latest issue of American Randonneur, and has now published it on his blog. Thank you, George, for sharing your incredible story. PBP 2015– I’m in!
- Police Officer, Cyclist, and Plaintiff. Remember when Girl on a Bike was struck from behind by an aggressive driver? Girl finally had her day in court. You can read all about it, as well as the judge’s sentencing decision, here.
- Rawland rSogn Eye Candy. Just for the record, I DESPISE the term “bike porn.” EWWWWWW, I hate it so. That said, flickr member bmenutti posted some lovely shots of his Rawland rSogn, some with an Ostrich front bag on the front, and some with an Acorn saddle bag on the rear and a Sackville bag on the front. Like!
- My Friend’s Randonneur Bike. Rando-buddy Alec talks a bit about his VO Rando bike and the places he’s ridden it. Conclusion? Anywhere and everywhere is a good place to take your bicycle!
Thanks to everybody who took the time to write these fine posts. Now, make sure to turn off your computer and get out for a ride!
It’s been a couple of weeks since I did a link love post, but the blogosphere has been busy in the meantime. People have posted some good stuff for us:
- Bike Find. Spokes of a Wheel writes about a lovely vintage child’s bike from the 1970’s that found that found its way from Switzerland to his bike shop in Vienna, Virginia.
- Disrespect in the Bike Lane. Pedal ‘n Purl‘s recent ride up the 15th Street Cycletrack was interrupted by a car that parked in the bike lane. Sigh. Turns out it was a member of the D.C. Council. Double sigh.
- Bike Stories from 2011. The end of 2011 brought a lot of year-end posts. I read and enjoyed many of them, and found this rundown of stories from Artcrank worth a read.
- Holiday Toys. Growing up a tomboy, I fondly remember playing with little cars and trucks. This holiday season, Carfree with Kids decided to balance out the car-centric gifts their kids received and discovered some toys featuring the bicycle. Well done!
- Solo Bike Touring Around the World. I’m not sure that I would be up for it, but Chic Savvy Travels‘s feature of Loretta Henderson’s fearless solo bike tour travels inspires me.
- New Year’s Resolutions. January’s just begun, and it’s not too late to add one to your list. Bike Style Spokane suggests writing down your bike mileage as well as the days you ride. Read more of her piece to find out why it’s a good idea.
- Bicycle Art in Motion. Artist Katy Beveridge created cool bike wheel patterns based on phenakistoscopes and zoetropes. What does that mean? It makes your wheels in motion a mobile movie. See a short video of her work and read a little about how she does it at the Atlantic Wire.
And one final link for the road. This week the Washingtonian Well+Being blog posted an article titled “5 Local Cycling Blogs You Should Follow,” and featured Chasing Mailboxes as well as fellow blogger buddy Tales from the Sharrows. I felt honored to be featured, although obviously, five is not an exhaustive list of the fine cycling blogs in the District. Thanks to everybody who takes the time to read Chasing Mailboxes and to those who write about their rides.
Have a great weekend, all!
Hope everybody is doing well as we head into the holiday weekend. I’m currently drying out from an evening rain ride that was more than I bargained for. Now please do not make any remarks in the comment section if you claim to be one of those people who just loves riding in the rain. That is, unless you want to help me wash my now-dirty bicycle :).
OK, back to what I really am here to post about. LINKS!
- Winter Solstice 200K. Our very own Bill Beck and Chip Adams ventured out Wednesday evening for a Winter Solstice permanent. They started at 7 p.m. and finished at around 5:30 a.m. These are what I like to call “concept rides,” i.e., they sound great to me in concept, but pulling them off is a different matter. They did it and it looks like they had fun, too, judging by the ride description and the photos.
- Reporting Road Rage. Local blogger, Pedal ‘n Purl, endured an awful altercation with a driver this week, and smartly reported it to the police. Thankfully, she is ok, but still rotten to read about these kinds of things happening on our streets.
- 2011 Through the Lens of an Endurance Athlete. The amazing Jill Homer reflects on the last 12 months in photos. Both an ultra-cyclist and ultra-runner, her photos and reflections from the year captivated me.
- Bicycle Art. I stumbled across the cycling artwork of Magical Octopus this week. I enjoy the quirky illustrations and captions, and hope you do, too.
- Embracing the Suck. In Over Your Head interviewed Leo Babauta about his experience at a running-based endurance event (the Goruck Challenge). I saw parallels to randonneuring. I also found the discussion about the need (or not) for goal-setting thought-provoking.
- Reflections on Randonneuring. Iron Rider looks back on some of the people he’s gotten to know through randonneuring the past couple of years, and what he learned from them about being a randonneur.
Time to sign off and wrap a few presents. Happy Randonneurmas, everybody, and thanks for reading!