It’s been a quiet couple of days here on the blog. The previous week was completely devoid of any bicycling adventures. Between the loss of my kitty, a strange flu-like bug I got, and the fact that it rained for about 10 days straight, we didn’t spend much time on our bikes at all. I was pretty bummed about that, but what can you do? Yesterday I rode to work for the first time in days and it felt great to be out on my bike again. It’s also completely obvious now that summer is long over. We went from high 80′s to the 60′s literally overnight, and then had 10 days of rain. Thankfully the leaves are still hanging on to the trees though. I’ve noticed this trend in the past few years that it’s horribly hot well into September, then the leaves start to change, and it’s beautiful for a day or two, then it rains like hell and all the leaves fall and it looks like winter a month too soon. I really hope that doesn’t happen this year. Seasons in Michigan have all but disappeared. Spring and autumn used to feel like real seasons that lasted for weeks. Now they last 5 or 6 days. I’m not exaggerating and I’m not the only one that’s noticed this. Our climate here is pretty much turning into overwhelming heat and humidity or non-ending winter.
But this is my first real experience riding in the fall (as an adult at least). There was obviously no discernible changing of the season when I lived in southwest Florida, and so I am really appreciating the cooler weather and the changing color of the leaves. It even smells like fall. The word that keeps coming to me is “pleasant” but it’s more than that. It’s quite wonderful really. I hope we get many weeks to enjoy riding in cooler weather before our neighborhood turns into a pile of slush.
Despite it being kind of a slow week for us, here are a few things I’ve been thinking about:
- Tracking miles. Who does this? Do you feel a need to keep a general count of how many miles you’ve put on your bike (or a tally of how much you ride certain bikes, for those of you with more than one?) We have been keeping track, mostly because I think we are both nerds and find this kind of stuff interesting. We have been using Map My Ride’s iPhone app for this purpose. It has been ok, but not great. We both find the web interface extremely confusing and non-intuitive, and this is coming from two geeks. We also have had problems with the app giving us errors saying the GPS isn’t working on our phones, but it still shows our route anyway. I’m thinking about getting a wireless bike computer instead, but frankly, I don’t want to ugly-up my bike attaching a bunch of junk to it. I also don’t neednine hundred different stats – I basically want to track mileage and that’s it. (Though I have to admit, I kinda like the computers that show the temperature too, that would be nice to know.) The one nice thing about the app is that it gives us a historical total as well as ride-specific data. But there doesn’t seem to be a way to mark which bike you are riding.
- I emailed Basil after posting about the bottle baskets, suggesting that they add rubber feet to the bottom of these baskets – as they are designed to be taken on and off the bike. To my surprise, I got two replies and they seem very interested in my feedback! It’s definitely cool to know a company takes their customer’s ideas seriously. I am still loving those baskets, by the way.
- I picked up one of these wrist wallets from REI last weekend. I am hoping this solves two problems, one is the GPS issues I’m having with my phone and MapMyRide seems to happen more often when my phone is buried at the bottom of a pannier basket or in a pocket. The second issue is that we have two private parks in our neighborhood that you have to show a credit card-like pass for. I realized the first time we rode there that trying to dig that thing out takes forever, and I don’t trust it not to fall out of a pocket. So it’s usually tucked in my wallet, tucked in a bag, inside my basket. So that means a lot of fumbling at the gate, which is annoying enough when there aren’t cars behind me waiting to get in. So this little wrist wallet thing should make that much easier. Tonight we are going to bike to one of the parks to see a movie (yes our park has a movie theatre!) so I’ll get to test it out.
- There’s a new bike in my future, but I’m going to hold off on talking about it until closer to delivery. But I’m super excited.