Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pick Up a Copy

If you haven't had your fill of my sporadic rambling about topics loosely associated with bicycling you might want to your local bike shop or news stand (do news stands really exist anymore?) and get your hands on the November 2011 issue of BIKE magazine.

(The cover looks like this)

I've enjoyed BIKE magazine for years, but only once before have I been moved to actually write to them and express my thoughts. Well I wrote them again recently, mostly because I had something more important that I should have been doing and it seemed like a great way to put it off for a few minutes more. I sent my letter thinking that was the end of it. I had gotten what I needed to say off my chest, and I assumed my words would likely end up in the trash without even so much as a glance from the editors at BIKE.

Apparently that was not the case. As I was flipping through the new issue this evening I began to read the Letter of the Month in the letters section. The first sentence sounded vaguely familiar. I glanced down at the name of the author of the letter and low and behold there was MY name, in print, in BIKE magazine! It's probably the closest I've ever felt to being a rock star (lame I know, but that's the way my life goes).

Not only did they give me credit for the words I had written, in bold ink even, but they informed me that they were going reward me for sharing my thoughts with them. Supposedly I am to be the recipient of a Garmin Edge 200 cycling computer compliments of BIKE magazine.

Maybe they don't realize this, but they probably shouldn't be encouraging me with gifts and bold ink unless they really want to be bombarded with more of my meaningless prose.

If the Garmin thingy ever arrives maybe I'll find myself feeling self-important enough write up a critical review. If I do you can be sure that I will share my strong opinions about a piece of equipment that I have no business using right here on this very blog.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Defender of the CrossCheck

I put studs on the CrossCheck this weekend. The last of my three bikes that will get studded this year. I also tossed the Bridgestone in the shed seeing as it won't see pavement until next spring. Now I just need to get studs on one or two of Mrs' bikes and we'll have completed our seasonal change over.

While I had the wheels off I decided to pull the fenders off the CrossCheck for the time being. Riding this past week in temps that were in the neighborhood of 15 deg below zero splashing water and spray seem like they will be of little concern for at least the next four or five months, and its nice to see cleaner lines on the bike for a while. Besides I still have the rear rack on to prevent a mudstripe up my backside if I do get caught out in some sloppy conditions

Friday, November 4, 2011

Learning From Others

One of the great things about the internet is that millions of people are able to quickly and easily share their opinions or experiences. Obviously results may vary, so you have to take these things with a grain of salt. Just because crabon fibre valve stems got 631 negative reviews at JensonUSA doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't the perfect way to spend $243 to save 7 grams on your new build.

What I learned this morning from the internet is that, while the Surly Big Dummy is a very strong and rugged bike there are situations where possible shortcomings may be revealed.

Clearly the Xtracycle freeloader bags are not as fire resistant as they could be.
I mean what happens when you are forced to flee from a raging wildfire on your BigDummy with only the most precious of your belongings and a few pieces of survival gear and your freeloader bags simply melt away? (Believe it or not I have considered the fleeing a fire by Dummy scenario in the past.)

Hopefully Xtracycle will see these photos and begin working on fire proof freeloaders, ultimately making the world a better and safer place.