Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sadly, Bo Diddley is still dead...

But life goes on, as someone said. So here's a little newsy post. What's happening with our blogger there in the Mile High City?

I'm feeling better on my bike, I'm delighted to write, than I have for years. I have to give the credit to Denver's marvelous bike path system. I ride it nearly every mile I ride. The road will grind me down and take the sunlight from my days. So I avoid mr and ms America and their self-obsessed urgency in favor of one or several of our paths. I can ride and ride but not despair and despair.

Because I'm enjoying my riding, I have been staying out longer on the bike. During the last year or so Tamar and I lived in Tucson, my rides got shorter and shorter, more and more predictable. I chose routes that minimized my exposure to traffic; such routes were limited in number and scope. You couldn't just go anywhere.

Here, I can ride 50 miles and hardly see a car. I see lots of drivers though, drivers disguised as cyclists, pedaling bicycles on our paths. So the paths are not as safe as they might be, especially on weekends when drivers-on-bikes infest the paths and the nice loop in Washington Park.

Scary as those folks are, down on their aero bars or towing the twins' trailer down the center of a narrow, traffic-y bike path, they're not nearly as scary as they WILL be when they load all that stuff back into the Volvo Cross-Country for the four-mile trip home.

The pedaling drivers, skaters and dog walkers on our paths are frightening no doubt but they will probably not kill you. Until they get back in their cars to drive home. Then... Well, you know.

As you will recall if you are a faithful reader of this space, your blogger has retired from writing about bicycling, except for... Well, except for a couple of exceptions.

I wrote a piece some months ago for VeloNews that was to run in a new department in the paper, a space for guest opinions. In order for the piece to run, I was asked to stop by the offices in Boulder and get my picture taken. I will do that soon and I am told that the piece will run.

That's exciting for me; I enjoyed my four or five years as a regular contributor to VeloNews. It'll feel good to get a foot back in their door. But that's just one piece...

Grant Petersen at Rivendell has asked me to reconsider my decision to stop contributing to the Rivendell Reader. We're talking about a couple of articles per year here, not a dozen. And some of the pieces I write have an "Oh, the old days...weren't they wonderful" kinda feel, perfect for the Reader's readers.

I'm going back and forth about continuing my association with Grant's magazine. I love Grant as a guy and I mightily respect his way of presenting his ideas. I know he is not responsible for his flock, with whom I am often and fiercely in disagreement.

I'm secretly afraid that they are Proud Rivendell Owners, not Frequent Rivendell Riders.

I've been writing for Grant since his Bridgestone days, in the late '80s maybe. I've ridden his bikes for years and flown the Bridgestone and Rivendell flags. I may have my most loyal audience in his publication. I'm going back and forth, as I said. Write me if you care about this at all. Thanks.

I have felt attracted this last year to the prospect of touring on my bicycle. I have also been using my bicycle as an urban tool more than as a training tool. My needs have changed, I guess you'd say. So I'm replacing a bike or two - with bikes of broader utility.

I've traded my Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro frame with Bike Friday for a clean, used Bike Friday Pocket Crusoe frame. It's a light touring frame with wider wheel rims and a longer wheelbase than a Pocket Rocket. I can put panniers on it, for groceries or touring, and not hit my heels on the bags.

The new frame is the same color as the old one. You will hardly see a difference when I post a photo. I hope it will be nearly as responsive and fun to ride as my Pocket Rocket. I'll let you know.

This is Tamar's birthday weekend. We plan to do something celebratory, perhaps fly to Paris for dinner or ride on the motorcycle to Boulder for tea and lunch at the terrific Dushanbe tea room. If I fail to post another sparkling letter like this one on my blog for a few days, that's why.

Arlene took me by my hand,
And she said ooowee Bo, you know I understand.

Who do you love?

2 comments:

Rom Lee said...

Maynard,
Nice to read your articles again. It's been a long time! After exchanging messages with Chuck Ibis about orange jerseys, I decided to give the blogosphere a whirl and see if I could find you. And here you are.

Reading about Grant and Velonews brought back mid-90's Berkeley: Peet's, the bike club and alot of other good stuff. Not all great but nearly all good.

You sound and look great!

Best Regards,

Rom

Jay Rochlin said...

Hi Maynard -- It's Jay Rochlin from Tucson.

You mentioned travel by bike and loving to ride with no cars -- Gail and I (with two other couples just ride from Pitt to D.C. -- moe than 300 miles -- without cars on our Pocket Cursoes. I think you and Tamar woould love the ride. Here's a (too long) slide show that will give you a feel for it.

http://jayrochlin.com/Photography/Travel/PITT2DC/index.htm

or you can get to it and a couple of links through the Bike Friday "what do you do" page.

Glad you guys are loving Denver. I'm planning to ride BTC way slow later this month.

Best wishes to both of you.

Jay