Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Delay of Game

Well, there's been quite the delay last week because my back has been giving me some trouble. I probably could ride, but I don't want to push it. If it keeps up, I suppose it will mean another visit to the doctor's office and more Xrays and who knows what. I can tell you honestly that I'm probably going to put it off for as long as I can. I hate the doctor that much.

So, the bike sits in the garage waiting on me. I'm ready mentally to start this thing up - and I'm at 278-279 right now and still eating right about 95% of the time. I'm hoping when the pedaling starts I'll be able to drop more per week because of the increased activity....but that will all depend on what my back decides to do.

So for now, if you're reading along......it's a game of hurry-up-n-wait.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thinking about Transport

In the middle of all this thinking and touching and contemplating about things like lights, gloves, pumps, etc. I've also been thinking about how we're going to transport at least one bike - maybe two, to our riding path destinations. I have no doubt that later on we'll be doing some back-roads street riding, but for now it's going to be paths and that will require some sort of rack in the truck.

This concept is pretty neat, and should be fairly inexpensive I would think - but sadly, it's not available yet. Still, it's a pretty neat video and the "rider" they chose to highlight the process of using it sure doesn't hurt it any. Although, they really should use a short, fat guy like me to connect with real-world riders. hahaha. Who am I kidding? Every time I see someone on a bike they're skinny as a rail. Which is what I'm hoping to be in a year or so.
Anyway, here's the video:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Is there anybody out there?

We took the bike out tonight and I let my wife ride it around some more. She rode for about 20 minutes and then it got too dark to be safe so we called it a night. I got to ride for 15 minutes before that.

I'm always amazed when I first get on it that the little tubes of metal and the rubber tires only 2 inches wide can hold me. Part of it is my weight, of course - but the other part of it is motorcycling. I'm used to a big tank, heavy metal everything and an engine. Riding the bike feels more like an exercise in faith at this point because it looks so spindly and frail.

The last bike I had, my SV 650. I miss it. Yes I do. 
After we got home, I felt ill again. I've had some sort of bug for three days now. I slept most of the evening and now I'm back up. Awake and looking at cycling websites and blogs.

I've yet to find anything out there that held my interest for more than a few seconds. Out of 100 blogs (from a list I found) probably 50 of them weren't updated or current, another 40 of them were far-left tree hugger type blogs and the other 10 were road racing blogs.

I also checked out a couple of forums based here in Georgia. They were pretty disappointing.

So once again I'm thinking about just creating what I can't find. But unlike the movie "Field of Dreams," I'm not sure anyone would come if I built it. Apparently recreational riders just aren't that passionate about their bikes.

Me? I'm passionate about everything I do. In with both feet. Full throttle. And right now.......I love bikes. :)

But I don't like Granola...

As I told you in the introduction post here, I'm apparently not your typical bicycle enthusiast. Looking around the internet and youtube and vimeo, it's clear that the many (if not the majority) of cyclists out there today are what I like to affectionately call "eco-nuts."

Now, don't get me wrong - I don't think there's anyone on the planet that doesn't like clean air and water. I do. I love clean air and water. As a fly fisherman - heck, as a human being - that's really important to me. But as someone with some common sense, I don't think chaining myself to a nuclear plant, trying to ban commercial fishing, or supporting a ban on cars is a good idea.

I'm also not into Bob Marley, weed, alternative music (unless you consider 80's rock and bluegrass "alternative") or recycling. Not a big fan of solar power schemes, windmills or electric cars, either.

So, is there even a place for me in the "bicycle culture?" I think so. Here's why: I just watched this video and I think I agree with almost everything in it. I'll never be a granola eating, tree-hugging eco-nut.......but I do think that my newly acquired love of bicycles is leading me down a path to better fitness and a new outlook about the concept of "community." Watch for yourself and tell me what you think...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I know, I know...

...three posts in one day is a bit much for my two readers right now. But I just found this cool video about why a bicycle can "ride itself" and not fall over ( given enough speed )! Check it out!

Stuff I think I may need?!

I'm trying to compile a list of stuff that I think I need and it just gets longer and longer. While I understand that some things are important, it's actually all that little cool stuff that I like so much that keeps growing my list. Things like:

  • Bike wheel lights
  • Headlights
  • Blinky red rear lights
  • tools and a tool bag
  • hand pump and patches ( ok, I guess I should actually "need" those things..)
  • better prescription sunglasses ( wrap around style)
  • protective gloves - because it'll look that much cooler when I signal a turn
  • reflective gear/clothes
  • fenders ( hey, I don't mind getting dirty but my wife does the laundry and ...well,...)
So when I'm looking around the internet for this stuff, I run across alot of it on Amazon.com, which I've used in the past with great success AS LONG AS I ALREADY KNEW the product and it's qualities. This bike accessory stuff though? I'm just going to have to trust the reviews there I guess. And I'm going to see if I can find the same products here in my local stores. Maybe they'll match Amazon's prices to get my business? 

Anyway, it looks like we'll be breaking out the credit card a few more times in the next couple of weeks to buy some of this stuff. It's getting to be fall now, so the lights can probably wait, but the reflective clothing and gloves, the pump and patches I probably should go ahead and buy. 

And, if her rides go well later this week, another big purchase with the acquisition of our 2nd Trek Navigator.

My journey begins?

Research. I'm doing it right. The problem though, is that I'm constantly coming up empty. Local cycling club? Nope. Not unless you're on a road bike. Semi-local cycling club....say, within 50 miles? Well, there is one - but I'm a little perplexed about the need to pay dues to join an online bicycling club. Do I get free inner tubes or a pump each year or something? I'm just not sure.

And why does their header for the website have a "BMW" logo on it? Must I own a "Beemer" too - to join this pay-per-view club? Sure, I know that North Atlanta has alot of wealthy citizens, and many of them probably ride ( in addition to their $4500 road bike) around in "Beemers" ...but isn't there anyone out there with a forum or a website or something dedicated to folks who ride to stay in shape or commute?

If there is, I can't find it. Not a local site anyway. So much for "bike culture" in Atlanta. I mean, I'm pretty good with Google...but for three days now....nothing. Not one single local cycling club that's not dedicated to road racing or hard-core MTN biking. It just occured to me that maybe the reason there's not a "Weekender Bike Club" around here is simply a lack of passion by those who aren't into racing or riding real trails? I mean, if you only ride your bike in your own neighborhood twice a month, what good would a "bike club" be?

Sponsored by BMW perhaps???

So anyway, who knows - I might just have to actually start the club I can't seem to find out there. What's another website/blog to monitor and admin. right? right. Hopefully one day this week or this weekend we can get down to the closest bike trail to us and try to meet some people. Maybe we can ask other rec riders why there isn't a rec rider club online - or maybe they can direct us to the super-secret URL of one that actually exists!?

And finally, since I couldn't find any cool videos about cycling here in Georgia to show you.... trust me, I looked....I found two that were sorta cool if you're into downhill riding at 60 mph ( I'm not.) but other than that all I have today for you is this: 

Lame, I know. Still funny though. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome to Rec Rider. Wait...What's Rec Rider?

Hello wide-world-of-the-interwebz. My name is Owl Jones and I just bought my first bike. Ok, it's not my very first bike, but it's the first bike I've ever bought. It's also the first bike I've ridden since I was about 16. That makes for about a 24 year absence from being on anything with two wheels that didn't have an engine.

While it's true that you "never forget how to ride a bike" it's not true - at least for me - that you never forget how to ride a bike well. I was a bit shaky at first, to say the least. But, after about 10 minutes of wobbling around in a mostly empty parking lot, things started to feel familiar for me. I don't know if this happens to everyone who gets on a bike after a long absence but I started having flash-backs to the last time I rode a bike.

I mean, not the last day I rode....just in general. I remembered getting that Huffy when I was 12. The one with the very un-cool "banana" style seat. ( Un-cool or not, I rode the wheels off that thing! ) I remember getting my first "ten speed." I remember it was tan, and also pretty un-cool for 1984. Then, I remember my first road bike...a Raleigh that cost around $300. Not alot of money in 1984, but not peanuts either. I remembered a friend and I rode about 27 miles one day and I was so tired when I got home that I went straight to bed and slept all night. I hit the bed at 5 pm if I remember correctly.

So anyway, I'm back on the saddle again after a long, long absence. Why? Well, that's a long story involving the need for more exercise and doctor's visits and too many late night pizza runs. I'm sure I'll get into that at some point...but for now I'll just tell you a little more about me and we'll call this first post a success.

My name really isn't Owl, but it's what I answer to the most, and the fastest. Feel free to call me Owl here, too even though I'm normally hailed by that moniker when wearing waders and a vest and holding a fly rod. I run a somewhat successful fly fishing blog called OwlJones.com and by golly you can feel free to stop in anytime over there and check it out.

Since buying the new bike a few days ago, I've been trying to find resources for all kinds of bike related stuff and I've come to the conclusion that I'm a bit of an oddity in the "cycling scene." I'm a conservative. A "tea party" guy even. I know, I know, the shock must be overwhelming. It seems that most of my newly acquired biking brethren are mostly liberals and granola geeks. I don't have a problem with that - but if you stumble across this page and think " hey, cool - another socially conscience, politically correct cyclist" I'm afraid you might be very, very disappointed. :)

So, that's it for a first post. I'm hoping to get out on the bike tomorrow and try to take a few photos of it. It's no $3000 road racing machine, but I'm hoping as my ticket to losing weight and outdoor recreation it'll do the job just fine. I'm also hoping to hook up with others in North Georgia, USA that feel as lost as I do around the Lycra Warriors for some slower-paced path and road riding in the near future. I've tried for three days to find a "bicycle club" for folks other than road racers and MTN bikers and haven't found any. So, another reason for starting the blog....for recreational riders. hence...well,...you know....


9-24-2011 Me, my wife and the new Trek Navigator.