Thursday, July 30, 2020

Butterflies, 2 High Guys & a Near Dognapping

The fat bike I've been enjoying for some time now has become my #1 commuter, even in summer. While not as fast as some of my bikes, it is comfortable and fun. Given my remaining balance issues, it also erases most worry arising from cracks, potholes and uneven surfaces. However, as I get older I'm finding my neck and shoulders are giving me increasing grief no matter what bike I'm riding. I'm not even in the saddle for long these days, mostly just doing about 14km each weekday on my commute. Maybe I just need to ride more. Hmm. Perhaps. But buying "solutions" is so much more fun!

I have long been intrigued by trekking / butterfly handlebars. I'm thinking these might offer enough hand positions, including a much closer and less wide position that will give my neck a break.

How I cover these bars remains up in the air. Do I want to get my old bolt-on grips on there somehow? I have some good bar tape that's just been sitting around for a few years... or what about FOAM? These bars came with FOAM to cover them. I can't think of FOAM for handlebars without thinking of the gawdawful super puffy porous foam on some doofus' drop bars during my youth that looked like this:

Thanks to Cafiend for naming the actual product, Grab-On Handlebar Foam. The stuff I remember was an even cheaper and more easily destroyed version I think.

They were worse than what came with these bars, which was more dense and less ridiculously puffy:

The bars did not come with the sram tape, just those foam tubes. I just don't know if I can get my head around FOAM use. Thoughts?

Now, on to the 2 High Guys. I watch a depressing amount of CNN, which means I've seen a commercial about a certain car insurance product for older people from a certain insurance company many many times. You can tell what generation of people are joining the AARP crowd by how they behave. Most attendees of Woodstock, for example, are 65-75 years old now. You can tell:

You tell me these 2 guys aren't high as fuck. Go ahead. Tell me that. Tell me.

Lastly, have you ever seen a dog tied up outside a place and felt a strong urge to simply take it?

As you can see I saw this little dog months ago, when it was cold and snowy, which only made my yearning to dognap him stronger. Instead I took a picture and waited for a loving owner to come back, which happened in due course.

That's it for now. Stay well, enjoy everything you can in these whacked out times and I'll attempt to touch base again soon.

Yer Pal,

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Holy Cow, Has It Really Been 6 Months? That's Crazy!

Although if things are gonna be Crazy, now's the time I guess. I hope any and all weirdos still reading this blog are doing all right and have not been dealt anything too painful in this strange time.

Strange indeed, but in some ways not so bad. Putting a kink in our constant rush to consume is not an entirely bad thing. I've also read some good stuff about reduced pollution and rebounding species. While I strongly suspect a rest is not as good as a change in these areas, good news is still good news, you know.

I have perceived one other positive change, but I need to check with you to see if I'm imagining it. I think people, learning to change their ways and maintain distance in public, on the sidewalk, in stores etc., are doing it with their cars while passing me on my bike. Is it all in my head, or is social distancing translating into more considerate drivers? Perhaps less traffic just means more room to give me room, but I like to think it is an actual change in driving behaviours brought about, by all things, a virus. If true, how wonderful would it be if it became a good habit that stuck? A man can dream, right?

In other good news, geese still like hissing at me:

I don't have good video to show it, but I have also learned that a "honk" from my disc brakes (they are rather honky) will make a whole gaggle of geese look up at the same moment like a bunch of meerkats.

With a bunch of fuzzy goslings around in the last couple months it has been fun and adorable.

I've been working this whole time and commuting on bike path and street as usual. When I come across another person on the path, I give them a wide berth by hugging the extreme edge of the asphalt or go out on the grass when necessary or if it might help them feel more at ease with my presence, especially if they're old. As these two approached, I kept waiting for them to go single file:

As you can see, they did not and I did not like it, particularly because like it or not, I'm pretty old looking with my extra weight and mostly grey beard. I even sigh like an old man at the end, sounding just like my dear departed dad.This is just one example of close passing by cyclists that has happened several times at time of writing. So, short version, I think cars are giving me enough space while some cyclists are not. It is most definitely an upside-down kind of time.

Be Safe and Stay Well,