Saturday, May 30, 2020

Ride to Visit Little Free Libraries

In early May, seeking another motivational ride challenge, I visited registered Little Free Library boxes in Burlington, VT. The map displayed 16 locations. I found 12; 3 were missing; and one I could not visit one because of it's location inside a closed university building. During these strange times, many sites are offering cleaning wipes (with little trash cans for waste), puzzles, food items, stands offering local newsprint editions of Seven Days, bee polinator plants adorned one lawn complete with educational material, and another place even cataloged clothing for those in need (see yellow boxes in next photo). Each box was uniquely designed, the only commonality was their official labeling as a Little Free Library. I restrained myself to carrying home two books.

What became clear, after stumbling onto other non-official sites since my quest, is that there's an equal variety of undocumented sites with their own flair that are bright spots in our community. 

Little Miss Sunshine library is also a community resource for clothing and food.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Bike Blog Love - 8th Edition

Every year I seek out new bicycle blogs to follow. Here's my annual ode to a new (or at least new to me) batch of two-wheeled bloggers. Spread the link love!

I discovered this blog while researching possible upgrades and pannier solutions to my Dahon, Boardwalk, but have since followed his thorough evaluation of other projects. Check out how much work he put into his Boardwalk.

Super Biker Woman's Bike Touring
Colleen lives in the Pacific Northwest and loves to bike tour alone or with friends. I admire that she sets out with a general route idea and let's the days evolve from there.

My Life on Two Wheels
Heike travels the world and is an amazing photographer. She writes from the heart.

Adventure Cycling Blog
Some thought provoking material and good advice for those new to bike travel.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Bye Bye Trek 830 Antelope

Trek 830 Antelope
Too small frame, no longer fitting anyone in our family.
Over several sessions, I broke down my once beloved Trek 830 Antelope, kept parts that might come in handy on our other old mountain bikes, and donated the frame to Old Spokes Home, where magic happens and they will rebuild it back up again for someone to use as transportation. 

I haven't seen this bike without a rack since 1985.

 Deore LX derailleur looks to still be in good shape.

Letting the crank and sprockets go with the bike.

In 1994 all the original Suntour components were replaced with the recommended Shimano group set, in preparation for our around the world journey.  As I lovingly dismantled the bike, I noted that the only thing still original were the stem and handlebars - a testament to how long these old mountain bikes can last and why they still make wonderful commuter bikes.

I have no regrets - how liberating to part with an ill fitting bicycle!

I'm now down to a manageable 4 bicycles.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Moving on from Bosco Handlebars

Soma Oxford (upper, darker version) vs Rivendell Bosco. Comparison, using
I know I'm not the only one who dislikes Rivendell's bosco bars. While Miss Clementine is suited to upright riding, I've always felt that sitting like a queen with all my weight on the seat wasn't right for me, especially my intended purpose, which is for long rides, overnights, and touring. Also, though the grip position on the ends of the bars are quite comfortable - stellar, really - however, alternative hand positions on the bar are just awkward. The height and reach difference is too dramatic. After 3+ years of experimenting, I'm ready for a change.

I have long admired the svelte, sexy look of the Albatross bars. Soma's version, the Oxford, is a more affordable option.

The slightly wider Granola bars compared with Oxford and Bosco.
At the same time, I'd been advised online to try the VO Granola bars, which I'm also attracted to. I was all set to order both bars (I want options and may have a place for the unused one) because I want the nail down the perfect bar this summer. In addition, I have a shorter, removable faceplate stem, which might come in handy to get my desired body position.

But then I discovered both stem clamp diameters are 25.4 and the Granola bars require a 31.8. Ugh.

Bosco vs VO Curvy. Would this bar work with shorter stem?

Needless to say, I'm overwhelmed with bar options. I may need to go down the rabbit hole of searching RBW Google Group - someone must've posted a similar question. But I thought I'd also throw out the question to my readers: Does anyone have suggestions for an aluminum bar that can handle thumbshifters, brakes, plus give alternative hand positions without too much reach? And how wide is too wide for a bar on the Clementine?