Monday, April 30, 2012

Paul's Ride for Life & Cyclefest

This past Saturday was the fourth annual Paul's Ride for Life and sixth annual Cyclefest Expo in Reston, VA. Since we were riding the twenty mile route, we took our time getting ready and hit the trail just before 8:30am for the five mile ride to Reston Town Center via the W&OD. The skies were sunny when we left the house, but the clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped significantly before we even got to Herndon. Check-in at the RTC pavilion was smooth and as we snapped photos of each other, two members of the Bike Me DC club joined us and we hit the trail.

This was the least blurry photo.
Yes, we dress to match our bikes.

The ride itself was pretty easy -- I mean, a third of the route was my usual commute and we've both traveled the entire route many, many times -- and everybody from volunteers to ride participants were enthused and high-spirited despite the chilly temperature. Most people alerted a pass with a "Good morning!" rather than the standard "On your left!" Lots of families joined the ride with kids on trail-a-bikes, in baby seats, or in trailers. One man even had a chihuahua in his front basket. Poor little guy looked chilly despite his fluffy jacket.  The rest stops were nicely appointed, but some hot cocoa would have been a nice touch. I was so cold when we left the second rest stop and headed back towards Reston that I suggested we stop by our house and get some warmer clothes. Mother Nature must've been listening, though, because the temperature shot up a few degrees and the wind dropped enough that I actually had a good sweat going by the time we got to our jumping-off spot. We decided to continue without stopping.

Rest stop #2 at W&OD and Claiborne Parkway.
When we got back to Reston Town Center, the Ride for Life volunteers were in celebration mode and the Cyclefest Expo was in full swing. We visited for a long while with a couple of women representing Tri Team Z. Scott's interested in triathlons and this looked like a great group with whom to get involved. He signed up for more information and will probably attend one of their next meetings.

I chatted with a representative of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling a bit. They've organized a ride from a Reston Park-n-Ride to the Udvar-Hazy center this coming Saturday (available to WABA members only for insurance reasons). I'd love to participate, but I've already committed to another ride out to Purcellville. The rep said that this was the first of what will hopefully become a regular ride; I hope he's right because it sounds like fun. We also discussed the issues that we suburban cyclists have which differ from our urban counterparts such as faster-moving traffic, limited access roadways, and scarcity of cyclists which means that drivers aren't as aware that we're on the roads. I also stopped by the Friends of the W&OD tent and asked how one becomes a friend of the trail. Seeing as how I use it for business and pleasure, I feel like I should give back, you know?

By this point, Scott's and my teeth were chattering and we decided it was time to head home. We'd been given coupons for a free water bottle from The Bike Lane and we swooped by the shop for swag before hitting the trail to go back home where there was hot showers, fluffy PJs, and lots of napping with warm cats.

According to an email sent out by the event organizers, 460 riders participated on Saturday and by all accounts, everyone had a pretty good time. I know that we enjoyed ourselves and will be back again next year. I may even feel comfortable enough riding one-handed on Circe that I can take some pics on the road.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Jersey girl

In my hunt for a way to carry belongings on my road bike on solo journeys, I overlooked the most obvious and universal portage solution: the humble bike jersey. My main reason for not considering this garment is that, up until very recently, I had only one jersey.

Looking like a pumpkin at last October's "Great Pumpkin Ride".
It's a cute jersey and does a fairly good job of fitting my non-standard cyclist body. But it's so specific to a certain time of year that I didn't even consider wearing it in winter and spring. Which is weird since I wear Halloween-themed PJs year round; my deeply-closeted goth must be extremely closeted when it comes to jerseys. At the time I wore this garment, I didn't really use it for holding stuff since I had a trunk bag on the back rack so the pockets were kind of superfluous.

My typical road bike ensemble has been a Ruu-Muu with a long sleeved shirt or windbreaker. The Ruu's back pockets are good for holding a hankie, my iPod, and a camera. I could probably stuff more in there, but it would start getting uncomfortable and bulky underneath the overshirt/windbreaker.
Post ride, front.

Yesterday, though, I decided to wear my new jersey from HillKiller Apparel for a short ride and I discovered the joys of honest-to-goodness cycling jersey pockets. Hankie, ID, cash (you never know...), phone, iPod, and keys all fit comfortably with lots of room to spare. I could stuff extra powdered drink packs and waffles and a banana back there if I'd wanted, plus my camera. So this is how it's done...

 My deeply-closeted goth is beyond delighted with both the form and function of my adorable purple jersey. Their plus size actually FITS which is not always the case. I'm going to contact the HillKiller guys and ask if they'll make some of their men's designs in a women's cut because I want more of their jerseys. In the meantime, I'm champing at the bit for my jerseys from Scudo Sports Wear (they made the Halloween jersey) to arrive.
Zombie Girls do have more fun.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Comedy of errors

The weather promised to be beautiful and I had no directly-after-work obligations so today was the perfect day for this fair weather cyclist to commute. Unfortunately, those after work obligations and weekend laziness -- okay, I wasn't entirely lazy; I did clean the house, after all -- caused the MUCH-needed cleaning of my beloved Lily the Ariel to fall by the wayside. Her chain and sprockets are filthy and have been making terrible grindy noises for a while. At this point, I'm kind of afraid to ride her until I've given the chain and cassette some TLC. With those considerations, I rode Circe the Dolce to work.

This is the second time I've commuted by road bike and I find the departure preparation is more intense than the hybrid's. Mainly, Lily is outfitted with a basket and shopping pannier. I dump my purse in the basket and clothes bag in the pannier and hit the road. I typically check the tire pressure every few days or so because she's got a fairly wide pressure range and when I top off, I go to the top of the range. Not so with Circe. She has no basket and no rack. I had to  scrounge up the hub's backpack and stow my clothes in a plastic bag within the backpack -- he keeps some of his martial arts gear in there and it's kind of stinky -- and dump my purse necessaries into the pack. Where are my gloves? Where are my helmet and glasses? Yes, I wear a different helmet and glasses on the road bike. Oh! Tire pressure. Circe's a fickle beast and her narrow tire pressure range requires my checking every time I take her out. Yep, low again.

Is it just me, or does everyone work up a sweat using a little pump to inflate tires?

All right. Got all the gear. Got the bike outside and the front door locked. Ready for take off and I realize that I had taken off the front reflector so I could attach the handlebar bag. No worries, Virginia law states either a front reflector of a headlight and my little wo blinky is on the front fork... except it isn't. Drat! It must've fallen off in transport at some time. Good thing those lights are cheap. Back into the house to find the reflector... crap, where did I put it when I cleaned? After a fairly quick and unsuccessful search, I said screw it and decided to go with a headlight. I dug through the basket in the coat closet and found a suitable light. Good thing I checked to see if it worked, though, because it had no batteries. Good thing I have a stockpile of rechargeables in the kitchen drawer. It took another five minutes or so to actually attach the headlight to my surprisingly thick handlebar.

Is it just me, or does everyone work up a sweat when attaching a headlamp and discovering that they are now running pretty late for work?

After that, the commute itself was a snap aside from the rusted out pickup truck nearly running me down when he tried to make a U-turn at the opening of the neighborhood as I approached the stop sign. Oh, and the indecisive groundhogs who slithered across the W&OD trail and then couldn't decide whether to proceed or retreat as I approached at speed. Oh, and the cars passing me so closely on that last stretch of surface street before the campus that their side mirrors would have grazed me if I'd stuck out my elbow. At least the weather was nice and I was only two minutes late for the conference call.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Paul's Ride for Life

This coming Saturday is the fourth annual Paul's Ride for Life in Reston, VA. According to the event's website, this ride is dedicated to the memory of a cyclist, Paul Rossmeissl, who died in June 2006 from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident on the W&OD. Paul's unfortunate death allowed three organ recipients to live. All proceeds from the ride go to the Washington Regional Transplant Community

If you're localish, this event might be of interest. It looks like Saturday is going to be pretty nice for cycling with overcast skies and a high of 55F. Well, it'll be nice for me as I prefer chillier days. Scott and I are being punks and riding the twenty mile route, but we are going to ride our bikes to and from the event which will put another ten miles onto the day for us.

In addition to the ride, the sixth annual Cyclefest Expo will be going on from 10a-3p in Reston Town Center. "Multiple vendors"? Oh, yeah; I'm there. Although, I'll be on the Dolce which doesn't have much in the way of cargo capacity... Hrm. I suppose putting Lily's metal or Kate's wicker basket on Circe would be the peak of silliness.

Monday, April 23, 2012


A friend in Ashburn hosted a Girls Night In Friday night and, after checking the mileage from my house to hers, I decided to bike over. There were two route options: 1) 8.5 miles which was half bike trail and half not-so safe 35+ mph surface streets with no shoulders or sidewalks and 2) 10.8 miles which was almost all bike trails and 15-20 mph neighborhood streets. Being a big ol' chicken, I chose the longer route and enjoyed the relaxing ride up and down a twisty path to my friend's neighborhood with a basket and pannier full of my offerings for the evening's potluck.

I tried to go slow to keep from overheating and being all sweaty when I arrived, but I appear to be incapable of doing so. I'm hardly the fastest rider out there, but I can't stand riding slowly. Even on the single speed cruiser, I do a pretty good job of keeping up with Scott on his hybrid and keep fighting against the urge to get into a more aggressive posture on that upright bike. Competitive much? Oh yeah.

My girlfriends were shocked and amazed that I had ridden over. On the one hand, I felt pretty chuffed by their awe. On the other hand, it was only ten miles or so which, of course, made them even more awed. False modesty? Maybe... it's more like I enjoy the approval but I'm also embarrassed by it. It would be noble to say that riding my bike to a social engagement is no big deal and could be accomplished by any able-bodied person, especially considering the bike infrastructure that I am privileged to live near. But the reality is that in my circle of friends it is a big deal and my commuting and transporting by bike is amazing to them, if not also kind of kooky.

Now, I did punt on biking back home at midnight-thirty and got a lift from a friend who keeps a bike rack in her trunk.

Friday, April 20, 2012

On a less whiffy note

A couple of bike bloggers I read have recently asked if their readers sing or talk to themselves while riding their bikes. Based on the answers, it seems like a lot of us do. I'm not much of a talker (to myself anyway) when I'm out riding but I will utter a -- usually breathless -- "c'mon... go... c'mon..." as I'm climbing a hill or a panicked "GO! GO! GO!" if I'm crossing a street too close to oncoming traffic.

Singing, on the other hand... Well, I love to sing. I blast the radio or iPod in the truck and sing along. I sing a capella while doing house- or yardwork. I even "entertained" the participants on a multinational conference call I host Wednesday evenings by singing "The Girl from Ipanema" while waiting for one of the Sydney engineers to join. (The guy in Melbourne told me I was in the wrong line of work and should go on one of those talent TV shows. Awwww. He's my favorite.)

Anyway. When I'm on the trail by myself, I'll wear an earbud in my right ear and listen to music. For a while there I listened to my Road Trip mix and would croon along with Kermit and Fozzie's "Movin' Right Along" and John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads". Lately though, I've moved on to an instrumental playlist for my longer distance training. My preferred mix at the moment is as follows:

Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" - I love starting with this because it's nearly seventeen minutes long and I feel like I've really gotten somewhere by the time the song ends.
Khachaturian's "Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia" - This bit of music was used as a common theme throughout "The Hudsucker Proxy" which is one of my favorite movies.
Schubert's "Death and the Maiden"
Saint-Saëns' "Danse Macabre"
Williams' "Raiders of the Lost Ark" - What's not to love?
Elfman's "Batman Theme" - Bat bike, ahoy!
Williams' "Main Title Theme from Star Wars" - I feel like I'm on a speeder bike on Endor. (I've never said I'm not a nerd.)
Williams' "The Imperial March"
Kondo's "Legend of Zelda: Suite"
Beal's "Rome: Main Title Theme"
McKennitt's "Marco Polo"
Jarre's "Lawrence of Arabia"
Mussorgsky's "Night on the Bare Mountain"
Paganini's "24 caprices op 1 no 24 in A minor"
Bach's "Toccata and Fugue"
Bizet's "Carmen: Overture" - Nothing like big and bombastic for ending a playlist.

How about you? Do you have preferred music for riding/running/climbing trees?


I may need to break down and purchase some Febreeze for the office. My cube, specifically my chair, is beginning to smell like a gym thanks to sweaty workout clothes. :/

I'm so sorry, coworkers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Two unexpected sights

I was pouty that the space shuttle Discovery's final flight would happen too far east and south for me to see since my office campus is directly north of Dulles International Airport. As it turned out, we got a fly-by when Discovery reached Dulles airspace and flew over the airport before continuing to DC proper. After Discovery flew around DC, it did a final fly-by of Dulles and flew RIGHT OVER my building. Goosebumps.

If you squint, you can see Discovery's nose and tail.

And here I thought that the most exciting thing I'd see today was the tortoise that crossed the W&OD as I rode to work. The shuttle was cool, but I'm still pretty jazzed about the tortoise. It startled and hissed after I snapped the photo and I backed of quickly as it retreated into its shell. Didn't mean to disturb you, little guy.

It wasn't much bigger than my foot.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Oh, and...

The Detours Metro did the trick! It kept my snacks and accessories in place and close at hand. I could grab and stash my hankie and my lip balm as necessary and had plenty of room for all the extra gear that I didn't need to bring. Two pleased thumbs up.

Training ride #2

I hit the trail at the crack of 1pm on Saturday (so not a morning person) for another training ride. Just like last weekend, Scott met me at Idylwood Park in Falls Church, but this time we continued east along the Washington &Old Dominion Trail until its junction with the Custis Trail and rode that to Rosslyn. Since I'd ridden that route before, I called out to him the blind corners ahead of time -- for which he was grateful -- and gave him a heads-up on potentially troublesome intersections as well as the switchback ramp leading down to the Roosevelt Island parking lot. The ramp was much less scary my second time down but he found it terrifying. He kept one foot unclipped and extended the entire ride down just in case... but we made it to the base safely.

(Yes, there are commuters who face that ramp just about everyday, but we live in the sticks and don't have to deal with switchbacks... except for the one just west of Clarke's Gap which is especially fun in autumn when it's blanketed in leaves. But anyway...)

Sterling to Falls Church to Arlington and back to Falls Church.
On the W&OD, you can easily ride two abreast. Source.
I wouldn't try that on the MVT. Source.

I realized something as we pedaled along the Mount Vernon Trail: that multi-use path feels about half the width of the W&OD. It seems like the MVT could almost fit in one lane of W&OD. I find passing other cyclists and pedestrians fairly harrowing. I always feel like a jerk because I'm passing too closely, following too closely to wait for an oncoming cyclist to pass, or nearly running oncoming peds and cyclists off the trail. Suburban trails, like suburban streets, are wide expanses compared to their more urban counterparts, I guess. Yes, I'm generalizing a bit.

Okay, so the photos don't show that great a difference, but note how much space the W&OD guys take up compared with the MVT guy. Maybe I'll take my own comparison photos; that would require my taking my life into my hands by being even more of a jerk and stopping on the trail.

We stopped for a short picnic break between the Memorial Bridge and Lady Bird Johnson Park where I marveled at the Washington, DC skyline. I still feel a flutter in my chest when I see the monuments and Smithsonian castle across the river and realize that I live in the nation's capital. Okay, I live twenty-five miles northwest of the nation's capital, but you get the picture. The hubs, who spent most of his years in Annapolis, is less impressed seeing as how he had field trips there all the time. But for me, despite living in Virginia for sixteen years now, that skyline still gets to me.

We hopped back on our bikes and reached Gravelly Point Park -- which was CLOGGED with people -- easily. The ride to and past National Airport was harder because we were beginning to tire and the wind from the south kept getting stronger and stronger, but once we turned onto the Four Mile Run Trail, it was smooth sailing again. I have to say that I was very glad to have Scott with me at that end of 4MRT because the isolation creeped me out pretty badly, but I eventually relaxed and enjoyed the scenery. We returned to civilization fairly quickly and panted our way up to the W&OD trailhead in Shirlington.

Oh my goodness, I had NO idea how pretty the trail is up there. Well, once you get out of the urban part, that is. I want to explore the paths down along the stream. I guess that's still Four Mile Run? Somewhere along the way, I called out to Scott that we needed to stop. He was worried that I'd hurt myself, but I was scrabbling through the bush of the side of the trail trying to find the plant that smelled like the plant that used to grow in the bayou near the farmhouse where I grew up in Arkansas. I love the scent of whatever it is, but I have no idea what the plant is and I can't remember what it looks like. But gracious, does it smell sweet and it send me right back to my childhood.

Back on the bikes and we pushed to the meeting point of W&OD, 4MRT, and Custis. I began to tire and was nearly done by the time we got to Shreve Road. I bargained with myself, promised myself that I could walk Circe up the formidable hill that is Virginia Avenue (like last weekend), told myself that the truck was less than a commute distance away, and I didn't have to ride fourteen miles against the wind back to Sterling. The ride up Virginia Avenue was hard and I pushed myself to "get to the next driveway" and then I could walk and just as I thought I couldn't climb any more, the street leveled off and I could get ready for the downhill into Idylwood Park.

Route elevations
I wound up with just under forty miles with the ride. I'm trying not to be disappointed in my stamina and reminding myself that I'm still adjusting to the road bike and new posture. Scott stressed that I'm riding faster than I could on the hybrid and I'm able to go farther with each ride.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

And we're back

I missed you guys. My experiment on changing the blog's URL didn't go as well as I'd planned and I'm back in more familiar digs. Training ride #2 happened today, er yesterday, and I'll post about that later tomorrow, er today.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New gear

Lily is great for road trips thanks to her basket and pannier. I can (over)pack whatever I might need for a longish ride such as snacks, extra beverages, an assortment of gloves, extra jacket, speakers for the iPod, etc. Even the larger pump can fit in either the basket or pannier. Circe doesn't have that storage capacity. Even her seat post bag -- the Detours medium Guppy -- is smaller than Lily's.

I love its wee flowers.
I've crammed a spare tube, CO2 cartridge, tire levers, multitool, handi-wipe package, a tiny amount of emergency cash, and a couple of band-aids in the Guppy and that sucker is PACKED. I might be able to wedge my house and bike lock keys in there, but no way could I stow my phone or snacks.

Detours Mighty meh.
My first solution was a Detours Mighty Midge stem bag, but I was never completely happy with it. I couldn't fit much in the way of snacks in there and it wound up getting pretty full with phone, cash, ID, and keys. Plus there was no good place to stash my handkerchief. Despite trying to use and love the bag, the final straw was when it fell out of the mount no less than three times during the solo portion of my training ride last weekend. Thank goodness I was stopped each time. When Scott arrived at the park, I ripped the bag off my bike at threw it at the backseat of my truck in disgust.

However, that wasn't the only bag on my bike. Oh no. I also had a Bell handlebar bag which DID contain gloves, headband, PB&J, banana, camera, and the contents of the stem bag after it was removed. It, however, also had drawbacks. It unzips in the front and, if not opened carefully, will dump its contents into an unseemly pile in front of the bike. It also doesn't play nice with the brake and gear cables and I was nervous that the velcro straps would come undone since they were so tenuously clasped in order to make room for the cables. It was close, but not right.

I'm hopeful that the Detours Metro is the final solution to my portage problem.

My aesthetic needs are satisfied.
It's roomy without being overwhelming. It has multiple openings for stashing items of different sizes and shapes. And it matches my saddle bag and the colorway of my bike. (Shush.)

The cover flips up to reveal mesh pockets and a deep front pocket.

Headband and bag strap, check. Windbreaker, check. There's room left over in the deep pocket for extra gloves, sport drink powder packs, and a marmoset or a small lemur. When its cover is flipped open like this, the inside of the cover has a clear pocket which could hold a route sheet, but I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving the cover open like that. On the other hand, the marmoset might like feeling the wind in its fur.

Can't go anywhere without my HoneyStinger waffles.

The top zips open to reveal deep storage which will easily accommodate a sandwich, banana, waffles, and my camera. The zippered inner pocket will easily hold my phone, ID cards, and cash, and the key ring will do what key rings are supposed to do.

No attachment anxiety here.
The attachment mechanism does a fairly good job of playing nicely with the cables and keeps the bag pushed out from the handlebars enough that I can wrap my fingers around the flat portion when I want to give my hands a rest and/or sit uprightish for a bit. The bag is removable from the bike by pulling on the ring on the back of the bag. Be careful of jostling the small mammal in the front pocket.

The hubs and I are taking a training ride tomorrow and I will report back on how well (or not) this bag performs on a modified Arlington Triangle route.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I believe that I have reached my personal saturation point for bicycle acquisition. The hubs and I stopped by REI last night and I didn't gaze longingly at the adorable Electras. I did give a sideways glance at a mixte-esque bike but then continued on to the accessories aisles for replacement gloves -- my original pair bit the dust during Sunday's ride, ouch -- and Smartwool ankle socks.

The other saturation I've noticed is how many cyclists have come out of the woodwork since the calendar officially proclaimed that it's spring. Some days have felt chillier than the weather we had this winter and yet there are still more cyclists out and about on the trails now. I'm seeing a LOT more cyclists on surface streets as well. I don't know if that's a function of being more cognizant of cyclists due to my own time in the saddle or if there really has been an explosion of folks eschewing their vehicles for bikes. I'm certainly more likely to spot bike racks than I was even six months ago.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Training ride #1

I've been moping about how much solo cycling I do. While I cherish my alone time on the bike, I do occasionally get a little lonesome putting in all those miles by myself. With that in mind, I jumped at the chance to ride on Sunday with friends who are also training to ride in the ADA Tour de Cure in June.

Bel, Bob, Scott, & me with our trusty Specialized steeds.

My route was slightly shorter than my planned fifty mile ride, but I still managed almost 37 miles by riding from Sterling (mi 22.5) to Idylwood Park in Falls Church (mi 8.5) , backtracking to Hunter Mill in Reston (between mi 14.5 & 15) with Bel, Bob, & Scott then riding back to our meet-up spot in Falls Church (mi 8.5) and continuing with Scott up to the spot in Arlington where the W&OD meets the Custis (~ mi 4), and then back to the park in Falls Church where the truck was waiting to carry us back home. I am so thankful that Scott drove the truck to meet me at the park. While an easterly tailwind got me to Falls Church in an hour, that same wind was a killer going westbound. My legs were killing me on the final leg of our ride and I wouldn't have made the slog back to Sterling in that headwind.

Elevations from Shirlington (0) to Sterling (22.5). Source.
During the ride, I took my first clipped-in spill. I unclipped on the left and promptly fell to the right on to a, thankfully, super soft patch of grass. Also thankfully, I remembered to leave my right foot clipped in so I wouldn't possibly sprain it or worse. Bob and Scott were horrified, but I threw my arms in the air -- after crawling out from under the bike -- and hollered "Whoo hoo! I'm a real cyclist now!" Circe was fine and I was merely covered in chain grease from my knees down. My pride wasn't even bruised; I was too jazzed that the fall wasn't anywhere as painful or scary as I had imagined it would be.

Scott took his Crux off-road and disappeared in the bush.
The training ride shook my belief in my being able to ride a metric century, much less a full one. But I have to keep reminding myself that this was the first longish distance ride on my new bike and I have six more weekends of training -- I'm out of town Memorial Day weekend -- before the big event. There's plenty of time to continue training and the ride will be okay.

Friday, April 06, 2012


It's T-minus 58 days to the Reston, VA, edition of the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure and I am at 61% of my $1,000 fundraising goal. Based on promised donations by family members, I'm going to get pretty darn close to my goal and may actually have to ride the full century plus the ten mile round trip to and from the Tour starting/ending point. This mileage calls from serious training because, at this point, I've put only twenty miles in one trip on my road bike.

Luckily, the weather is supposed to be gorgeous tomorrow and I will take advantage of that blessing by getting my booty in the saddle and taking a long ride. My goal is to ride to Rosslyn/Arlington and back which is about fifty miles round trip. Should be fun!

Eastern half of the W&OD. Source.
I've thought of doing something additional for my charity ride for the American Diabetes Association. If you have donated to my effort and have someone you would like for me to ride in honor of (including yourself) or in memory of, I will write your/their name on a ribbon and attach it to my bike for awareness of just how many people around us are touched by this disease.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


In less than twenty-four hours and within fifteen miles of riding with combo clipless/platform pedals, I decided that I'd rather have dual-sided clipless pedals. Luckily, based upon my enthusiasm for the new pedals, Scott decided Saturday morning that he wanted a set as well. En route to the shop, I asked Scott if he'd like my pedals on his bike and I'd get the new pedals for mine. Since both sets of pedals use the same style of cleats, switching them around wouldn't be an issue. He thought that was a great idea and the Spokes, Etc. mechanics were only too happy to set us up.

Circe at rest.

Oh my gosh but the dual-sided pedals were even easier to use than the combo pedals! Scott used the platform sides for the ride home and I coached him through clipping in and out Sunday morning and he took off to practice with his new pedals and shoes on the W&OD. He came back all grins.

When he's ready to change his combos out for standard clipless, we'll move those pedals over to my Ariel so I can either clip in or wear regular shoes on commutes and shopping trips.

Kate's a natural against cherry blossoms.

In slower and lower news, I love my cruiser so very much. I've decided to name her Kate because she's so spunky and all the Kates I know are overflowing with personality. I love that everybody smiles at her. Little girls gasp as I cruise by and even the two ten-year-old boys I pedaled past yesterday let out a breathless "Cooooool". Her only drawback is that my cable-and-string-eating cat Oreo wants her tassels so badly.

Ima eat your tassels.
Apparently plastic tassels are made of noms.