Archive for the 'Outdoors' Category

Warning: Knuckleheads on bicycles, others on foot

You may recall reading here that it’s best to assume all drivers are drunk and stupid when you’re out on a bicycle.

trail cycling

After reading a story on dallasnews.com this morning (thanks for the link, @beautifulbicycl), it seems appropriate to add:

  • When you’re running, assume that someone fully capable of ruining your day (or worse) is closing in on you – a knucklehead on a bicycle, for example. Some will warn you, and you might hear them, and some won’t.
  • When you’re riding a bicycle and about to pass someone else, assume that person is not paying attention and is very likely to walk, run or pedal right in front of you at the worst possible moment.

Don’t assume that everyone else on the trail is courteous and alert.

In other words, be ready for anything.

Tales from the Front Range: Return to the Poudre

When someone offers you a free rafting adventure, as my friend’s daughter’s river guide boyfriend did the other day, what else can you do?

You go, especially when it’s June on the Cache la Poudre River near Fort Collins.

You do this even if it’s just an hour after a hike to the Greyrock summit that was a good bit more strenuous than you expected. (I have a few pictures of my own, but the ones at that link are better.)

This video isn’t of our group but is on the same stretch of river.

If you have a chance, do this sometime – even if you don’t get it free.

Some friends and I had a similar adventure a few years ago (documented here on my website). This time around, the Quinn sons wimped out on the rafting, so Dan and I went with his daughter and her friends. (Mrs. Quinn will have to go next time.)

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On the edge of a thrill…

Come on down, Mikey! It's not that steep...

Hey, what’s with the cargo shorts on the road bike?

A Seattle blog post that I’d read just a few days earlier must have been on my mind. Maybe that explains my inexplicable behavior on a Madison cycling weekend with friends and family.

Serious cycling legs

Image by richardmasoner via Flickr

In that post, Josh Cohen said most cycling magazines “are dedicated to racing and the latest, greatest equipment—perpetuating the false notion that you need a race bike, cycling shoes, and a full-spandex kit every time you ride.”

Not having read most cycling magazines, I can’t say if he’s accurate about that or not, but he raised some good points about cycling “culture.”

I didn’t make a conscious decision to wear a T-shirt and plain old shorts on a couple of rides last week, and on my road bike of all things. I really didn’t think much about it at all until one of my friends asked me why I was dressed that way.

I shrugged and said something like, “Seemed like the thing to do.”

She was concerned enough about my odd behavior to ask Mrs. Smith about it again later.

Not to make too much of this, but I was a little bit amused. Yes, on most previous rides I’ve worn the “spandex” because the specialized cycling stuff is especially comfortable for spending a couple of hours or more in the saddle.

If “cyclist” somehow has come to mean, however, that you wear “full-spandex kit” and so on every time you ride, maybe we should work on redefining the term. To me, it doesn’t really matter what you wear, especially if you are simply a person who rides a bicycle.

What I really like about the cargo shorts, by the way, is having all those pockets for stuff I carry around. You can even wear them over those padded cycling shorts, too.

This is not all that complicated. Just get out and ride.

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Why bicycle? Here’s why…

A brand new video for National Bike Month

Get out and ride!

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Water bottles will help pave Cedar Valley Nature Trail

Updated 4/21/10:

You need a new water bottle. You probably need more than one. Hydration, very important.

water bottle artSpecial deal: Buy a special “I Paved the Trail 2010” Specialized water bottle from Northtowne Cycling & Fitness and your $5 for each bottle all goes to the Linn County Trails Association to help pave a section of the Cedar Valley Nature Trail.

Through the Specialized Dealer Grant Program, the bicycle company and Northtowne made up hundreds of 500  “I Paved the Trail” bottles. At $5/per, that’s $2,500 Sales could generate more than $2,000 to help make the trail more accessible and more usable in wet weather.

Friends were just telling me about a bone-jarring bike ride they had on that trail, which apparently took a beating this spring. Good reason to go buy some new water bottles.

You’re thirsty anyway, right?

Drink up and pedal on.

* * *

Full disclosure: Your blogger helped write the grant proposal (a particularly fun one for a cycling/trails-advocating grant writer) and is hoping to be able to celebrate another win or two before long.
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A Colorado “adventure” story

It’s off the bike…

…But I hope any of you outdoorsy, adventurous types will enjoy my tale of soaring peaks and raging rivers and how all were conquered by a few Des Moines guys and their offspring:

Far-flung classmates reunite to raft the Cache La Poudre

Paddle on.

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