Friday, April 18, 2014

Excellent Friday


I always associate Good Friday with the beginning of the road cycling season. It’s a holiday and spring time—who wouldn’t try to get out for a ride on Edmonton’s post-glacial roads? But last night I was bummed. The forecast called for 5 cm of snow overnight with a chance of freezing rain. Road-riding was definitely out. That’s when I remembered: Hey, I own a fat bike! Thank you, Jesus!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Studlier


I really need to get studlier. I’ve been thinking this for a while. Time, gravity, friction—they all take their toll. My wife hasn’t said anything, but I know she’s been thinking it too. I don’t mean “studly” in the chest-hair-muscle-mass-Sex-Panther-Viagra-Speedo-package way. I’m talking about the tires on my winter bike.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Whistler Gran Funds, Oh!


I have a philosophical problem with paying for two things: drinking water and bike rides. Doling out money for either just feels wrong somehow; I sometimes think it should be illegal to even charge for them. Drinking water and cycling are basic human rights, as far as I’m concerned, like access to the air we breathe or the right to go to the bathroom (which, come to think of it, I have had to pay for in some airports of the world. So make that three things I don’t believe should ever be monetized.)  I’m not a cheap person—really. I have no problem spending freely on lots of things. Ask my wife.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Vélivre: A Canterbury Pilgrimage

The history of cycle-travel literature—I mean Literature with a capital L, as opposed to arid itineraries of cycle trips—begins with the Pennells—the husband and wife duo of Elizabeth Robins Pennell (writer) and Joseph Pennell (illustrator and writer), from Philadelphia. In 1884, they settled in London, where they would stay for 30 years, producing countless books and magazine pieces about art and travel and food. But in their early years abroad, their shared passion was cycling, and they wrote extensively—both together and individually—about their cycle-travels in England and Europe, producing five books and dozens of magazine articles about cycling between 1884 and 1905.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Moon Rules



Full moon this weekend—Sunday, to be precise. That means a moon ride is in order.

We here at the DM made a New Year’s resolution to go on a night-ride every full moon of 2014. Moon runs are something we’ve done on occasion in recent years (like this time and this). Don some lights, find some quiet roads or trails, and go for a spin under the primal lunar light: it can be magical. But now that we’re making a more systematic effort to do this regularly, it would seem that some establishment of moon-ride rules is in order. So here goes:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dust Cloud


There’s a dust cloud brewing to the south. Over Nebraska, above Iowa. Kansas, Idaho, Montana, Oregon. Wheels are turning and dust is flying. Gravel-road cycling is exploding in popularity in the mid-western and western USA as more and more wheelmen and women discover the freedom and joys of going gravel.

Used to be, only a few years ago, gravel riding “events” were rarities, oddball gatherings. Think Dirty Kanza, the TransIowa,  the Cino Heroica, and a handful of other hardcore races which you had to dig deep into the web to find out about. (Gravel riders have long depended on gravelgrindernews.com for the latest race info.) But now gravel races and rides—not to mention blogs and forums and stories about gravel riding—seem to be popping up all over the web and the west.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Fat Acceptance Movement


It was a mistake. I knew it almost immediately.

Heading home from a fatbike ride on the North Saskatchewan River, I decided to take a shortcut through the Laurier off-leash dog park, something I would not normally do. But I was tired, and  it was the most direct route home. I knew that bikes were prohibited in the dog park, but I figured I could zip through it quickly; maybe no one would notice me.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bicycletiquette: Cycling Caps



Dear Jasper,
What are your thoughts on wearing a cycling cap when not actually cycling? Is it kosher or uncouthe?
Sincerely,
Cap Curious

Dear CC,

Ah, the cycling cap—my good friend! That simple, elegant design is exquisite—a flimsy cotton headcover with a bit of elastic at the back and a budding semi-brim at the front. (I can tell you, CC, it’s an improvement over the loose cabbage leaf, nicked from my mother’s garden, that I used to wear on my head when I was in short pants on my first push-bike.) Then, as now, what the French call a casquette is a classy look almost anytime, anywhere, on or off the cycle.