Thursday, December 24, 2009

What Ice?

Kinda wild to realize that I feel safer on my X than on my feet or in my car. With the studded tires and long wheel base, ice just hasn't been a problem. What's crazier: driving at 30 mph on an icy road in a car weighing over a ton, walking on icy/snowy sidewalks with no studs or "trax" on my shoes, or riding down the road on my X? The X wins as safest - at least it sure feels that way!

Rode to work three days this week through cold weather and snowy/icy conditions. Of course, I pretty much HAD to do so 'cause the Saturn sedan was in the shop with a bum starter and the shop was overwhelmed with emergency work. Pretty much got me back in shape and enjoying the ride, despite the conditions.

Friday, December 11, 2009


As in, my muscles feel slack. My back did the spasm thing last Saturday and I've had a slow recovery. I'm at about 95% today and hope to ride again next week. Since I last rode - almost two weeks ago - the temperature's dropped about 20 degrees on average. Time to get my layers prepared.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ready for winter?

Climitts are back on (as seen below). Getting assorted layers figured out again. Studded tires are back on. Not ready for the extra drag from the knobby/studded tires, but look forward to secure riding during snow and ice. Really looking forward to taking them off when I'm in much better shape after riding them for the next 6 months. Glad I got 'em after not one fall all of last winter.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Replaced my front fender this afternoon. Planet Bike made good on their warranty and replaced a front fender after a metal flange failed for no apparent reason. As I was removing a bolt by the drop out on the left side of the fork, I managed to break off the top, leaving most of the shaft well embedded in the fork. After a run to the hardware store, I set to work with hardened drill bits and a bolt remover. The first bit worked well and I drilled out the bolt. Moments after inserting the bolt remover, it torqued off cleanly, flush with the newly drilled hole. AAARGH! Back to work with the hardened bits to drill things out, including the bolt remover! Then used standard bits to ream out the rest of the bolt. Thankfully, I managed to keep bits well centered and the bolt eventually shredded out leaving the original threads usable for a replacement bolt. Whew... Didn't get to putting on my studded tires. Those will wait till tomorrow. Yes, I know it seems early, but it did snow in late October last year and things seem much cooler up here this year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Climitts - hand protection for the winter

Here are some photos of Climitts on the X. These do a great job keeping my hands warm and dry through winter. All I usually need are a pair of liner gloves under my fingerless bike gloves and I'm set.

Edit 12/7/2010: these are now produced by a company called Bratwear. I know nothing about the company. Here's a shortened LINK to their site and the CliMitts:

More Snapdeck mods

Here's a saddlebag mounted under the front of the Snapdeck. Mounted with small, short wood screws.

Snapdeck mods

Here are some photos of how I mounted a Planet Bike Superflash to the rear of my Snapdeck.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Catching up

So, it's been quite a while...

Biking continues to play a big role in our family's day to day life. I continue to bike commute most days of the week. We continue to run errands by bike when we can.

Tonight, my wife and I rode to our daughter's preschool for an open-house and pre-registration gathering. We know this place inside and out, given that our son went through their entire program a few years earlier. It was pleasant to see other parents of young children our calls her friends. On the way back, we stopped at the South Side Soda Shop and split a chocolate malt. Mmmmmm... good! It was great to be out together on our bikes and enjoy one of the last days of summer before the start of school - and to do it without our kids! Tomorrow I'll be spending most of the day with our son as a "day with Dad" before school starts on Friday. I hope we can get to most places we want to go by bike. We'll see how the day develops. :-)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cross Training

I wanted to take a moment and recommend Si-boards as a way of getting in much better physical shape for biking. While I found using a balance board was fairly helpful, taking the next big step and learning to ride a Si-board has had some great results. I have much better stamina, much better sense of core strength, and much stronger legs overall. My shins and calfs haven't felt this solid in a very long time. I really like the overall workout of riding the Si-board on the solid urethane ball. It's unlike anything I've tried before and I'm totally sold on it. Our daughter gets the benefit of use by trying to copy what we do by using a Si-board. This is very important, given that she has Down Syndrome and anything that helps her develop better core strength will pay back great dividends later in life. Below is a video of some advanced riding skills. I'm still very much a beginner, but really enjoy the workout, the ride, and the physical benefits!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Winter's Wear

I took some photos of the rubber tips I put on my KickBack for Rick over at Xtracycle. While doing so I got a good look at just what a mess things have become. My chain is full of rust, there's mud and sand all over my bike (despite an attempt at a night-time bath) after a run-in with a mud-bog-field at night. Sheesh! The winter has been very cold, very snowy, and very intense in general. I've hardly biked over the last several weeks due to single digit mornings, weird snow, and fierce wind chills. As I type now, wind speed is 37 mph from the NW. Zoiks! I'm looking forward to more bike friendly weather...