Monday, July 19, 2010

Exploratory surgery got Christiania

I've been using the Christiania a lit this summer - taking the girls
to camp, on excursions.... Last week we loaded it up with 4 folding
camp chairs, a cooler, and various picnic provisions for a jazz
concert at our local park.

Anyway, while I did get the front disc brakes replaced last year, it's
really time to get the hub looked at. The coaster brake screeches like
a banshee, and you can practically feel the shards of metal inside
when pedaling.

So on Saturday afternoon, I rode it to Landry's on Comm Ave and left
it. The'll have to open up the hub before deciding what yo do about
it. Repair or replace? We'll see. I spoke to a couple helpful and
knowledgeable dudes, and I'm confident that they'll do a good job with

The really nice thing too was that they gave me a loaner bike! I would
gave been screwed without it. But as it was, I zipped right home in a
half hour! The question it left me with was: why does an older Globe
commuter bike shift better than my "racing" bike and feel much faster
than Thorny?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

More fun in the Berkshires

Another week in the Berkshires is coming to a close already - sigh.

Due to various family comings & goings, this visit has been a bit
frenetic, but great fun nevertheless.

I've managed to get some great cycling in too. My Beartown Mtn ride
was wonderful, a big improvement on last year when I managed to get
turned around and lose the paved road (though that was fun too). The
interesting thing that struck me this year was that there's a ton of
climbing initially, but the downhill payoff doesn't really happen
until much later on the approach to Tyringham....

Last night, though, was a different affair all together. I met my
friend Simon at his house in Pittsfield and went for a quick ride of
30-something miles into NY State and back. He knows the roads around
here exceptionally well, so we had a great route. And while Pittsfield
itself isn't terribly picturesque, there are beautiful, quiet roads
all around.

So last night's route was gorgeous, and once you've crossed into NY,
everything seems much more peaceful & pastoral. And the hills - man!
Nothing terribly steep, but there's lots of em, and many do go on for
ages. Here, though, the descents almost seem more plentiful than the
climbs for some reason, and they're consistently smooth, sweeping
roads that make it easy to work up to 40mph+. Fun!

So it looks like this probably won't be the summer I conquer Mt.
Greylock. But we did go for a wonderful hike with llamas yeasterday
and do tons of other fun family stuff, and I wouldn't think of
trading any of that for an hour of uphill torture, no matter what
excitement the subsequent downhill would promise.