Tuesday, January 22, 2013


55F, sunny, 23mph wind gusting to 35mph: Yeah, sure. I'll happily -- well, maybe not happily, considering the wind -- ride in that for miles and miles and miles.

19F, sunny, windchill of 8F: Oh HAYELL no.

Call me a wuss. I can take it. I can also keep my toes, fingers, and nose.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Women in Cycling Series: "The Bike: How It Works and How to Buy One"

Kathy Rosen of Upon a Bike presented a lively and informative introductory seminar on the bicycle's parts and choosing the right type for one's planned activities. Kathy had a bike on a stand and detailed every part so that we'd know what to tell a mechanic when there was a problem to be fixed. She then asked each person whether they currently had a bike (and told me I was too "advanced" for the class when I answered with "four", heh) and how she planned to use that bicycle. The answers ranged from commuting to exercise to playing with the kids.

I felt that the lecture part of the class focused primarily on using road bikes for activities, but that might be my own prejudice flaring up since I'm still afraid of my own road bike. A few women seemed apprehensive about that choice, but Kathy took us around the Vienna Spokes, Etc. to show us the wide variety of bikes available. She outlined the pros and cons of each and that relieved the more timid in the audience.

Because Kathy had called me a "ringer", a few women asked me more about my bikes and my opinion on what would be good for them. I pretty much echoed Kathy's suggestion that they borrow a bike from a friend and test ride lots of bikes to see what felt good to them. While I LOVE my hybrid, that doesn't mean they'd love it as well.

I wound up talking one on one with Kathy about riding for weight loss because she'd mentioned that she'd lost forty pounds thanks to cycling. My experience has been nearly completely the opposite because I get so hungry when I ride. She asked if I was riding for distance and said that I should try interval riding instead. Happily, the February seminar will focus on nutrition and weight management. I'm looking forward to that. The following classes with deal with confidence on the open road and roadside maintenance.

Monday, January 07, 2013

One does not simply bicycle into Lego Mordor*

The husband and I enjoyed a Lego-filled Christmas what with him gifting me two sets from "The Hobbit" series and my gifting him with two sets from "The Lord of the Rings" series and the video game. We've been playing a lot of the cooperative version of the game and I've been cavorting through a Lego Middle Earth as a single player even more. Like obsessively, embarrassingly even more. (Which is yet more confirmation that I was right to never join "World of Warcraft" despite my brothers' pleading and cajoling...)

What does this have to do with bicycling? Hang on, I'm getting there...

So last night, as I drifted off to sleep, I began dreaming that I was riding Beatrix the pretty loop-frame bicycle through the landscape of Lego Middle Earth. It was a pleasant and picturesque trip until my tires skidded on some scree around Mount Doom and I lost control. I awoke with a full body jolt when I crashed. I think my friends summed it up best with both "I think that's about time we have an intervention for you..." and "You can't even ride a dreamcycle without crashing."

Obviously, I should have ridden Lily the hybrid.

*Yet another friend's input. This is my new motto.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Women in Cycling Seminar Series

DC-area cycling ladies and those interested in bicycling:

The Vienna branch of Spokes, Etc is hosting a series of seminars focused on women and bicycles. The Women in Cycling classes are free, an hour long, and open to an unlimited number of attendees. I've registered for the three classes which are as follows:
  • The Bike: How It Works and How to Buy One - Thursday, Jan 10 at 7pm - "Knowing how a bike works and what its parts are called will make not only your buying experience easier, but also will help you troubleshoot mechanical problems and will enable you to speak in the same language as your mechanic. What's the difference between a mountain bike, a hybrid, and a road bike? Why would you want one over another? How do you decide what size bike you need? Come find out! Short lecture and a lot of time for discussion."
  • Cycling, Nutrition, and Weight Management - Monday, Feb 4 at 7pm - "Many run, bike, swim, etc to lose or control their weight. But do you know the facts? We'll discuss calories and food groups as well as how nutrition and eating ties into cycling and weight management."
  • Ride the Roads with Confidence - Thursday, Mar 7 at 7pm - "Ask many new, aspiring, or even experienced cyclists what they most fear and the answer will often be 'riding on the streets.' But the fact is experienced cyclists have fewer crashes despite riding far many more miles--and actually have a lower crash rate on the streets than on bike trails. Why? Because they know how to properly negotiate and ride with vehicular traffic. But you don't need years of experience to do the same. Through education you can learn how to ride and where to ride on the roads to maximize your safety. You can also learn what are the most common pitfalls that lead to crashes and thus avoid said pitfalls!"
You can register for just one, two, or all three, and registration is FREE. Come and join me in getting more knowledgeable about bicycles!