Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Monday, February 24, 2014

New Fender Day

Last year our friend, @the_wilcox (who recently moved out to Portland, possibly in an attempt to get even more use out of his fenders), showed off his beautiful Full Metal Fenders from Portland Design Works and raved about how well they worked. I must admit to admiring their looks, with the simple elegant stays and lovely anodized finish. But more than the aesthetics was the fact that they worked so well and held up to abuse over the long term, unlike many of the lightweight metal fenders we've tried over the years. Fear Rothar has cracked or broken pretty much every type of lightweight metal fender out there (Honjo, Berthoud, Velo Orange), to the extent that I've now bribed the folks at Harris Cyclery to stop ordering new ones for him to break.. the bank!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cycling in Ireland - shot in the arm

The snow is coming down - yet again! - as I type. We joined the Ride Studio Cafe gang for part of their cafe-to-cafe ride this morning and early afternoon, before heading for home more directly when flakes started floating down. The good news is that leaves me with some free time to finish up a long promised post on my cycling adventures in Ireland at the end of 2013.

We originally had a trip to Ireland pencilled in for October last year, but Pamela's contretemps in September put that plan on hold indefinitely. To make a long story short, she had recovered sufficiently by late November to make air travel viable. And while late November and early December might not be the time that most people plan a trip to Ireland, we both really needed a change of scenery and I needed to use up my time off at work. Thus, carpe diem!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Epic Goals and Courage to Fail

First, I want to express sincere thanks to everyone for all the well wishes and positive energy. The comments and emails mean so much and really contribute to my recovery.

A few well-intentioned folks seem worried that I may set some epic goals for this year.

I don't really know whether folks are worried that the never-say-die spirit of randonneuring will cause me to push myself too hard or if they are worried about my psyche should I fail to achieve some goal.

One of the first lessons a randonneur learns is to suppress the imagined voice coming from within (or the actual utterance of some well-meaning observer) that suggests the option of quitting. It's too hot, or too cold, or too wet or too windy. The hills are too steep. The legs are too tired. The saddle is too hard. The eyelids are too heavy. The belly is too empty. The mind is overwhelmed.