Saturday, June 26, 2010

Crowded Parking

So, I ride up to the grocery store and, just before I park Hardiboi and lock him up, I snap a picture of the bike rack:

I go in, jaw with the security guard for a bit (hint: so he KNOWS who that Hardrock belongs to and will keep an eye on it), do my shopping, come back out and ...

More bikes, different bikes ... my gosh! Doesn't look like it'll be too long before the rack is packed. And then ... what's next? Fist fights for the plum parking slots on the end of the rack? Nasty little notes wedged between your cables and your frame telling you how you're taking up more than your fair share of rack space?

This has gotta stop!! Gonna haveta figure out some way of discouraging other riders from taking their bikes on errands!


Poor Man's Front Panniers

My wife picked up some of these black "green" recyclable grocery bags from Fry's Food and Drug. They're made out of polypropylene and have a aluminum foil inner liner which acts to insulate the contents somewhat. A plastic zipper serves to further protect the contents.

I needed to run an errand to pick up some Kleenex, paper towels and toilette tissue. This stuff was too bulky to all fit in my sling bag, so I popped a couple of these Fry's bags into the sling bag; figuring I could just fill them and hang them on the the Trekking handlebars of Hardiboi for the ride home. It worked out better than I had hoped:

By putting the loops of the Fry's bags closer to the handlebar stem, as you can see with the bag on the left, I could have the aft portion of the bag kick out farther away from the wheel. Moving the loops farther out, away from the stem as you see done with the bag on the right, moves the rear of the bag closer to the wheel.

Depending upon what the bag contains, and how it causes the bag to move in the wind coming by it as I ride, I can fine tune where I put the bag loops on the handlebars so there is no chance of the bag getting fouled in the wheel ahead or behind the front wheel fork.

Pretty neat, eh?

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Living Desert

I remember, back in the 1960’s, when my folks got their first color television set (yes, children, the ‘Cat is OLD), one my family’s favorite programs was Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. Two of MY favorite episodes were the consecutive Sunday broadcasts of the 1953 full-length True-Life Adventures film The Living Desert.

The Living Desert has been both criticized and honored down through the years, but there is one thing about which both its detractors and fans agree: it showed that the deserts of the American southwest are teeming with life, not barren of it.

Growing up in Arizona, hiking and backpacking here since I was a kid, I have always been aware of the abundance of wildlife. I remember riding my English Racer to school one week and almost running over two different rattlesnakes on two different days. At our current house in central Phoenix, we have encountered all manner of critters: from snakes and scorpions to spiders and squirrels. About ten years ago, I discovered a Colorado River Toad making his home beneath a dripping hose bib on the side of the house.

The most populous desert denizens are the birds, and I was reminded of that last Friday morning as I took a Dawn Starbucks Patrol.

There’s all the chattering of the sparrows, finches and other nameless small birds; the multi-lingual voices of the mocking birds, who will dive bomb the neighborhood cats; the cooing of the Rock Doves (better known as Pigeons or, to me, Flying Rats). The best sound of all, though, is the plaintive cry of the Mourning Dove, which to me is the signature sound of the desert.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Ride Was A Bust

I wound up with some CAR errands to run, didn't get back to the house until evening, and was too pooped to pedal.

Today, had a great ride in the morning, temp was 84°F. Did an errand pulling the trailer behind Hardiboi in the late morning, temp was 93°F. I may do a Tour de Starbucks this evening, after the temperature sinks below the magic 105.

Temperature right now is 107°F.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Waiting for ... Godot?

Okay, so I had a marvelous Saturday morning ride and the temperature didn't go over 81°F. It is now 105°F according to the Weather Service, 106°F according to the News and Weather applet on my Droid. I'd like to start an errand up to Target while the sun is still out, but my personal advice to myself has always been to stay out of the heat if the temp goes north of 105°F. Sooo ... I'm waiting ... waiting ...

Should be down below the magic number around 7:15 PM. Sunset is at 7:34 PM, so I have a chance!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Calling All Arizona Bicyclists

ADOT is conducting a survey for the State Highway Bicycle Safety Action Plan. Go to the ADOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program page and make sure you fill it out!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Keira Discovers Bicycles

Here's what happens when your Mom and Dad are sitting on the couch about ten feet away, and you have learned to crawl on all-fours really fast, and Grandpa's recumbent bicycle --- with that nifty double-length chain --- is in the other room not five feet away:

Looks like she did a dandy job of making sure there was plenty of chain lube on it:

She was so happy, spread it around on the carpet, and on herself ... made her Grandpa so proud she's obviously really into bikes!