Monthly Archives: December 2011

Holidaze

Day 112
28 miles since last post

Season’s Greetings!

I took a little holiday vacation from b(ike)loggin’, but I’m still at it. These past few days here in Denver have been absolutely beautiful with temps up in the 50s and sunshine abounding, and that forecast continues through next week. (Best. Climate. Ever.)

I’m not sure that you all know the story of how I came to write this blog. Long story short, the Tour de Fat rolled into town and compelled me to sign over the title to my car in exchange for a sweet Black Sheep Bike.

But I wasn’t the only one who made this commitment in 2011. The first brave car-for-bike swapper, Steve from Durham, has been pedaling since June. Onto Chris in Nashville, Dave in Chicago, Mark in Minneapolis, Katarina in Milwaukee, Matt in Boise, Jim in Fort Collins, then me, the Denverite, in September. Westward Ho to Susannah in San Francisco, Alison in San Diego, Jessica in Los Angeles, Nicole in Tempe and, finally, Mike in Austin. There are 13 of us in total. (Links to their blogs are down below, under “Fellow Car-4-Bike Swappers”)

It’s incredible having solidarity with 12 other folks on the same mission — and on the same bike. We’ve formed a Facebook group (I think all but two of us are on there), where we can swap ideas about bike improvements, Black Sheep maintenance, essential gear and gadgets, and so on. It’s also a place we share pictures of our victories and discoveries, articles of a Right On, Ride On nature and foment a meetup/summer ride.

Recently, we discussed how we were managing holiday shopping on a bike. Most of us took advantage of shipping, shopping locally and multiple trips. Also, a lot of us have sweeties that drive, and we hopped in the car with them to pick up trees and other holiday sundries. Now that the gift-giving holidays have passed, it’s clear that once again we have all prevailed.

 

 

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Everything’s relative

Day 102
7 miles

As I was leaving work today, the folks who saw me geared up to ride home in the snow gave me a look of consternation. Be careful, they warned.

We’re supposed to get several inches tonight here in Denver, but it was perfect snowglobe weather when I went outside — large flakes falling slow. None had really stuck on the road yet, so the only thing I was battling was the sting in my eyes (goggles! one of these days I’m going to pack the clear ski goggles my dad donated to the cause).

As I’m riding up 16th, I come across a fellow biker. Unlike me, wrapped in goretex and wool, this guy is wearing shorts. And people thought I was bold! I couldn’t resist saying something.

“Shorts!” I exclaimed.

“Yeeaaaaah,” he answered.

Only in Colorado? Probably not. But it’s why I love this place.

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Biking through a blahzzard

Day 100
10 miles

[Technical difficulties…Thought this had transmitted last night.]

After another weekend spent riding along in a car, I was so happy to get back on the bike today. Not even a snow forecast could keep me down. Sure enough, the snow came, and earlier than expected. When I went out at lunch, I thought ‘Brrrrrr.’ And when I got offered a ride home, I pondered it.

But in the end, I rode the bike, with no regrets. It took me about 20 minutes to cover 10 minutes of ground to meet a friend on Broadway, but I joined a pack of four cyclists cruising in solidarity down Sherman together. Nice how inclement weather gets us to all stop racing and stick to safety in numbers instead.

Coming home from Broadway, it took about 40 minutes to cover 25 minutes, but it had stopped snowing by then. I sought out secondary routes instead of backroads. When I was crossing Speer on Downing, I thought maybe I’d made a mistake. But once the cars (and the visions of me splayed and run over) passed, it was the place to be.

So yeah, feeling pretty righteous about stepping up and stepping out in the wee snowstorm there. Hope y’all fared as well.

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