Bikes and Biking 2017

May 2, 2017 – New Beginnings

I didn’t bike much during 2016, about 360 miles, but I did experience a big change in my life. Toward the end of the summer I met a new biking buddy and life partner, something neither of us expected to happen in our mid-70s.

Paula used to run the Falmouth Road Race and biked a lot with her late husband, but had not ridden for a few years. We took a couple of short rides last fall, but didn’t ride all winter, due to strong winds and weak knees.

She has a nice bike: a Specialized Vita that fits her well and is perfectly equipped for the casual riding that we enjoy on rail trails and along the Cape Cod Canal service roads. After our initial rides, I replaced her seat, and added a set of Ergon grips and a Crane bell that I had on hand.


When we ride together I use my Jamis, which is perfect for sightseeing and casual rides. For the new season, I added a stem head clock and replaced the cheap pedals I had been using with the Velo Orange Sabot pedals I took off my VO Camargue.


The Surly Cross-Check is still my favorite bike and the one I use for fitness rides. With its 180mm cranks, toe clips, and drop bars, it feels almost self-powered. For the new season I added a Surly chain tensioner to take up the recurring slack caused by the irregular shape of the Shimano Biopace chainwheel.


0501171627-1I also replaced the brakes with a VO Gran Cru Zeste set that I bought four years ago but never opened. These work much better than the Tektro brakes, which were dangerously ineffective. The new brakes even have blue pads that match the bike frame.

I’m considering removing the VO alloy mudguards. They are good for riding through puddles, but rattle, dent, and reflect the sun. Since I use this bike only for day rides in good weather, they really serve little purpose.

June 14, 2017 – A Surprise on the Canal

There were a whole lot of people with cameras lining the Cape Cod Canal today waiting for el Galeon Andalucia, a wooden replica of a Spanish trader, on her way to the tall ship gathering in Boston this weekend.

Tall Ship in Canal

She was moving fast on an incoming tide, despite a brisk east headwind that made cycling feel like an uphill climb heading to Sandwich. It made a nice coast back, though.


%d bloggers like this: