Reassembly

Four years ago I took apart my cargo bike. I had gotten a used mountain bike and bolted on the Xtracycle freeradical. I think that was the third bike I’d used as the donor. Took it on a couple of tours, hauled hundreds of pounds of groceries, took in the recycling and trash. It’s a useful tool. But times change and someone I knew needed a mountain bike. So I took the freeradical off, put the bike back together and off they rode.

Then they left the country and the bike came home and sat in the shed. We were busy with putting on tours and events and I hadn’t thought much about it until we adopted the big German Shepherd. I can’t fit those big bags of dog food on my Fargo, and they are too heavy for the old trailer I bought. So I pulled the bike out of the shed, cleaned it up and started working.

It’s about done. Some new cables and chain and I’ll have it ready. It’s funny how much easier it’s gotten over the years. I guess it’s generally true, the more you do something, the easier it gets. Messing around with bikes over the years, it’s gone from an esoteric mystery to a pleasant task. Centering the disc brakes, adjusting the derailleur, swapping cassettes. A nice way to spend a little time.

But there are instances when things get harder no matter how many times you go through them. We’ve had over a year of drastic change, people leaving our lives, some gone long distances away, some gone forever, chances lost and opportunities gained. The business is changing. Right now we are back in the cocoon of planning and figuring and sorting out ideas. We still love to ride, still think this is the best place to ride, and plan on staying for at least a little longer.

 

In the meantime, we plan on riding. If you see us, say hello.

Hearing

Bicycle Tour Blue Ridge ParkwayIt was on an Adventure Cycling bicycle tour along the Blue Ridge Parkway when I first heard a vireo. At least, the first time I knew that what I was hearing was a vireo. I had stopped alongside the Parkway. It was in the middle of a long climb; shaded, fortunately, and I was tired. Tim, one of the Adventure Cycling leaders on the tour, caught up to me as I stood by the roadside. I was resting a bit and listening. The trees were tall, creaking quietly with the wind, and the canopy was dense and dark and it felt at the time as if I had entered a concert hall. To the left the mountain rose up out of sight; to the right, it dropped away towards the east; any view obscured by forest.

Continue reading “Hearing”

Why take a bicycle vacation?

break in a sculpture garden while on a bicycle vacationPeople who choose to go on a bicycle vacation aren’t always uber cyclists. There are a lot of benefits to a cycling vacation beyond the exercise you get. If you have any sense of wanting to learn about the area you’ve chosen to vacation in, a bicycle vacation will satisfy that curiosity in a way that no other mode of transportation can match. You tend to notice sites that would have otherwise been overlooked, and if you see places where you want to stop and take a closer look, it’s easy to do that on a bicycle, whereas in a car you may have driven on by the time you realize what you’re passing, if you see it at all.

Top 3 reasons people choose to go on a bicycle vacation

1. Cycling tends to bring you closer to the local culture

When you’re on a bicycle, people will naturally see you as more approachable and open up to you in a more relaxed way. When we stop somewhere on bicycle vacation, people are always curious as to who we are, where we’re from, where we’re headed, etc. Often times people will share  Continue reading “Why take a bicycle vacation?”