Last night was gorgeous. By gorgeous I mean temperatures close to fifty degrees, and a mostly clear sky with a full moon. A night like that calls for one thing: Bike ride. A couple friends were summoned, some “essentials” were loaded into the HaroX, and off we went down the trail.
All three of us had lights on our respective bikes, and also headlamps, but once on the trail, it was unnecessary. The moon was out in full effect, casting a gentle glow over the entire bike path, enabling us to let our eyes adjust and ride on without using any artificial light. This was not the longest or most extreme ride that I have done this year, but quite honestly it was one of my favorites. Around fifteen or so miles in around 2 hours, the pace was light, with a few stops and conversations. After the ride it was winter seasonal beer sampling time:
The beers on the agenda for the evening were two highly enjoyable brews, 21st Amendment Brewery’s Fireside Chat, and Cincinnati’s own, Rivertown Brewing Company’s Winter Ale. Both beers were heavy on the spice, and both had a nice winter beer flavor. After a few of these, I didn’t mind the cooler temperature.
I think that a ride like this should happen a little more regularly, maybe when the weather starts turning warmer again. Hopefully this was not the last of the nicer weather, but looking out the window today says otherwise…
It’s funny how things change a bit once you start getting older. Granted, I am no old man by any means, but things are WAY different now at thirty than when I was twenty. My life has made a complete 180 degrees in those ten years. But I am starting to get off track, that is a totally different topic altogether.
Let’s just think about bicycle time at thirty rather than twenty. Gone are the days of thirty mile epic mountain bike rides that last all afternoon. Gone are the road rides that last all morning from coffee shop to coffee shop. But in their place are new rides, that for me are just as exciting. Rides with my daughter to the playground, or just around the block are a couple new rides that I find absolutely amazing. Another interesting ride that I have been doing more and more of is the grocery ride:
Thanks to the Xtracycle, I am able to squeeze in a ride to our local grocery to pickup a weeks worth of “life supplies.” Tonight was one of those nights, a nice little jaunt to pick up a few of the daily essentials that we so desperately needed. Not a long ride by any means, but fulfilling nonetheless. These are the types of rides that I am starting to enjoy more and more as I get older.
By doing this type of cycling though, you are spending more time on the bike, and that is what it is all about.
Every now and again I get to fit into my schedule an epic ride, but the grocery run has become a staple in our household.
Just some thoughts, just riding along…
Since the overnight bike camping trip, I have been putting in quite a few miles on the HaroX on all of the local roads here in the Cincy area, and I am starting to think that a road bike would fit the bill a whole lot better than the cargo bike for these type excursions. No way, am I talking about selling the HaroX. I am just starting to realize that putting in a bunch of miles on the cargo bike takes a lot out of you. It is amazing though, climbing on the HaroX, but I feel that I would have fresher legs for more miles at a time on a standard road bike. I guess I should not say a “standard” road bike, I have always fancied a Rivendell. Too bad they are WAY out of my price range. Some of the other bikes that I think would be pretty solid are:
Surly Pacer/Long Haul Trucker
Older Kona Honky Tonk (1st version if I remember right, powder blue w/down tube shifters)
See a common theme here? Steel. Clearance for wider tires. Mounts for racks and fenders. More upright riding stance. In no way am I looking for a racer type bike on skinny skinny tires. That is not how I get down.
Anyway, just thinking…
And here is a short video I did the other day of my cargo bike:
On Wednesday, I set out on my first bike camping trip. My plan was to ride from here in the Milf, up to John Bryan State Park in Yellow Springs along the Little Miami bike path. Just a basic bike path overnighter. I finally today mapped it out on the website Map My Ride, Click to see the route. Overall it was a great experience. Lots of miles, thunderstorms, friendly people, beautiful surroundings, etc. Such a great learning experience. Hopefully this is the first of many. Here are a few pictures from the trip, I didn’t take too many, forgot that I had the new camera with me…
So what did I learn from the trip?
1. Putting in this many miles for me was very humbling. My knees are a little tender as I write this.
2. Always practice setting up your gear at home before you leave, that makes setting up camp in a thunderstorm a little easier.
3. Recumbent bicycles are everywhere, and they are a little creepy.
4. People love the Xtracycle. Even if they do not understand what it is. I should get paid for how much talking about my HaroX that I did. Lots of people wanted to stop and chat to try to understand just exactly what was going on with my bike.
Cant wait to head out on trip number 2!
Spending lots of time on the Xtracycle here lately. I have been putting in quite a few miles, loaded and unloaded, trying to get ready for my upcoming bike camping trip next month. Still not too sure on my route, but it will be a 2 or 3 day journey. I have never done anything like it before, so I am really excited about it. Anyway, I have been trying to tackle all of the tough hills in the area, and last night, I conquered probably one of the best hills in the greater Cincinnati metro area. Cunningham Rd. from Camp Dennison going into Indian Hill. The photo below does not do it justice. Very steep.
Today, I scored a new bike. Technically, just half of a bike. Finally bought a unicycle! I have been wanting one for quite some time now, and I found one on the local craigslist for $25, so I bought it. Quite possibly, one of the hardest things that I have ever tried to do. Tonight, I spent around 40 minutes just trying to balance on it, to no avail. I did end up going as far as two pedal strokes, but man is this hard. I will be lucky if I can ride around the block by the end of the summer. But, that is my goal, baby steps with this bike. I will say though, in just that short amount of time, it wore me out. Crazy.
Nice commute today on the HaroX. I will be the first to admit, that it is WAY overkill for my daily commute. All I ever really carry is one of my SealLine dry bags loaded with my clothes, toiletries, phone charger, and lunch. I could easily fit one of those bags on the rear rack of a “normal” bike. But seriously, what fun would that be? It is pretty amazing how nice it is to know that I am ready for whatever. Find something cool being thrown out? Strap it down to the back of the bike. Need to stop for groceries? Roll on in. Give a lift to a homeless person? No problem. It is an amazing setup, and I really wish that I would have done it sooner. Just an example of how it is ready for whatever: I get home from my 15.5 mile (one way) commute, and my wife needs some things from the grocery. So, I unload my dry bag, and head on over to the grocer. Good stuff. Thank you Xtracycle!
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I have to admit, Cinco de Mayo was quite different for me before I had my daughter. I would have been a day full of drinking, doing something outdoors, and probably more drinking. Granted, I did have a few brews yesterday, but nothing to the proportions that have been consumed in the past. Here is basically a run down of what happened yesterday:
The day started off with Goose and I taking the XtraHaro down to the local doughnut shop, Ms. Cheri’s, to get a few pastries to start our day. Quite a few people were intrigued, and also confused with the entire family bike/van setup. Very comical to try to explain it to non cyclists, but at the end of the trip, I think most people got it. I guess that is the draw back to being only one of a few Xtracycles in the great Cincinnati area.
After spending the morning tooling around on the cargo bike, the afternoon brought some sitting on the patio, enjoying some Hudy Delight. This is a local Cincinnati beer, or was since it is now brewed in PA. I do believe that they will be producing it here in Ohio once again in the next couple of years. Anyway, just a light beer. Nothing fancy. Since the weather is getting warmer, it makes me want a lighter beer, and this one does the trick. Plus, it is cheap, and has more flavor than a Bud Light. Works for me.
Once the evening set in, I retired to my garage to work on a few bicycle related projects that I have needed to do. The first was to get Big Red back up and running. I ended up putting on a set of Maxxis Crossmark 26×2.1s front and back, and a new Wippermann single speed chain. The Crossmarks do fit in the back, and in the front there is a little bit of rubbing, but for this town cruiser, I do not mind. It was nice to take a little spin on it last night.
After that was finished, I started to add some protection to the Xtracycle frame. Basically, I just cut up some old tubes, and zip tied them to the frame, to act as a chain protector. It is not flashy, but it will do the trick. I think after all of the miles that I have put on, that gave me a decent idea where I am getting chain rub. Also, it was free. It pays to stockpile old tubes for this reason!
Since the V Racks were off of the HaroX, I decided to clean it up a bit. I don’t normally wash my bikes all that often, so I made sure that it count. Also cleaned up the Haro Mary SS, since she might be leaving this weekend. We shall see. All in all, a very productive, awesome day!