Saturday, September 18, 2010

DFL: better than DNF

Day One of the Green Mountain Cyclo-Cross weekend was rough. There are just some times when a single speed is a poor choice. Like when this is the course:

That's a hill.

I got a terrible start, as it was uphill, the gearing on the Brown Machine was too steep and I'm in less than race-shape. I ended up in the back of the pack 8-10 seconds into the race, and that's where I stayed. It was a little discouraging. I can't say I didn't think about how I could get a mechanical and drop out. But really, my bike was dialed, as that is my profession, so a mechanical failure was unlikely, and probably more embarrassing than just straight up quitting, which I was not going to do. Long story short, someone has to come in last place. Right? So you're welcome Cat3/4 Women. You're welcome.

Day Two was a little better, thanks to the 20t cog I picked up in Burlington. Desperate times call for desperate measures- so I paid retail.

Those two extra teeth bumped me up two places, from DFL to third from DFL! I also think the course on Day Two was a little more fun, so that helped, too. All in all, I had fun. Really. The weather was great. The spectators did an appropriate amount of encouraging/heckling. Vermont is easy on the eyes. And I finished. It sounds a little 'after school special', but it's important to put forth your best effort, even if there's no chance in hell that you're going to win.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Slow up.

I love fall. Not too warm, not too cold. The unpredictable weather makes the nice days seem that much nicer in comparison. Today is one of those nice days.

A lovely little three speed was dropped off early in the afternoon for some shift cable attention. Beautiful weather, nice upright handle bars, comfy seat- I was pretty excited for test ride time. As I got rolling down Willow St I realized I needed to make the most of being outside, so I rode my usual test ride route very slowly. Sunday drive style. I found it to be surprisingly enjoyable. Most of the riding I do is purpose driven. I don't ride fast, but I'm usually riding with a mission- to get from A to B. One reason I choose cycling for transportation is that it's faster than walking, so what would be the point of riding at a walking pace?

There was something very satisfying about riding deliberately slow. It gave me extra time to pay attention to the details of the bike, the road, and the neighborhood. It was like bike meditation. I think it really helped set the tone for the rest of my day.

While I was writing this post I looked up "slow bicycling" and found this. Although, it's not always possible to take a nice slow ride, I'm really looking forward to incorporating more slow rides into my life.

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's September. And then October.

Here are a few shop closures I'd like to tell you about:

Sept. 11- CLOSED for the Maine Lighthouse Ride... conveniently combining my love for bikes and nautical architecture.

Sept. 18- CLOSED for cyclo-crossing.

Oct. 16- CLOSED for more cyclo-cross.

Oct. 24- CLOSED... and more cyclo-cross.