Thursday, December 29, 2011

Where's My Winter!?: Coping with Seasonal Unexpectedness Disorder

So, if you're at all like me, winter isn't just another season to ride in- it's an exciting, challenging time of year that raises many questions.

Among them are "How much snow will we get!?", "Should I put on studded tires!?!", "Is it cold enough for long underwear!?!?", and "Will my beard and/or hair freeze up so I can take an awesome picture for the facebook!?!??!?"

So far the answers are "hardly any", "nobody knows!", "no", and "not in the foreseeable future", and to me it's all a little unsettling, but everything's gonna be okay.

How're we supposed to have fun in a snowless winter!? you ask.. well, I'm still trying to figure it out, and I think it has to do with what I'd call an "attitude shift". For example, I was really excited to do some of this:

but since there's little to no white stuff on the ground anywhere, I tell myself, "Cool! Guess I'll do some riding in this!":

"and heck! maybe I'll even ride this thing, which I wasn't expecting to bust out again 'til April or May at least":

"Gee whiz, that thing sure is fast."

See what I mean? Just like charging headlong into a blizzard requires a shift in attitude, expecting that and getting 40 degree weather and the occasional flurry can really throw you for a loop if you don't step back and adjust the way you take it all in.

Another, more immediate example- Instead of being toe-numbing icefests that are fun in their own regard, both this and this have the potential to be downright moderate in temperature and conditions. Dig it.

Now quit reading and get a good ride or two in before 2011's gone forever, mmkay?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Monster Machines Issue #1: Chinatown NYC

A few months back I was in NY for a spell. It was hot, muggy and stinky as the city is in the summer. Also, our toddler was along, complete with nap and meal schedule regimen. So for the most part we hung around our hotel near Wall Street, observing the early days of the Occupy movement and the ongoing reconstruction of the area known as ‘ground zero.’ One day we took to foot on a journey to secure sustenance.

The walk featured some excellent examples of Chinatown delivery bike customization.

Ahh, ingenuity! Note: I never saw any of these in ‘action’ so cannot comment on their utility and/or safety.

Also spotted this clever fix of a 26” mountain bike with suspension fork replaced by 700c fork and wheel. Weird looking, may not handle great, but thanks to the bmx bars it features upright posture and with that wide and somewhat knobby rear tire a fat skid patch!

The donuts were good, too.