god rest ye merry gentlemen

I’m back. Yes, it’s been a while. I suppose Travis is justified in wondering whether I even remember my password to the blog. Well, it turns out, I do. And rest assured, I haven’t lost any love for bikes or cycling, even though my bike-commuting has waned (to say nothing of riding for fun), and I’m putting on winter pounds, much to my chagrin.

On the contrary, I registered for GOBA earlier this week, spent the weekend tidying up my shop space in the garage, bought the most recent issues of VeloNews and Bicycle Times at the newsstand last week, procrastinated on work yesterday by reading a month’s worth of Yahuda Moon comics (boy, did today’s, “Warming Up at the Grill Roller”, ever hit the proverbial nail on the head, capturing precisely my ambivalence toward winter riding) and surfing some of my favorite blogs, like this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and others. And, of course, I’m still dreaming about new bikes and new parts and new accessories.

What can I say? It’s hard to keep a blog going, especially during the semester. But I’ll try not to be such a slacker. Besides, I just can’t take the ragging I’m getting from everyone. I’m so fragile and all. Of course, it’s nice to know there are people out there who care enough to notice my radio silence. Meanwhile, as always, guest contributors are always welcome.

Last night’s Second Annual Yuletide Ride was downright swell. The turnout out wasn’t as grand as last year’s, or even as large as I was expecting. A number of folks who had indicated they might be there were nowhere to be found, but Daniel, Chris, Mark, Travis, and myself had a fantastic time pedaling about town, checking out the Christmas lights. No route was mapped out beforehand this year, so we made it up as we went. I liked this approach, and we might well exercise the same option next year. At Mark’s recommendation, we decided to ride 10 miles for 2010, which means we’ll have to lengthen the ride by a mile next year.

Speaking of traditions, Daniel showed up to this year’s event on a 20-inch Schwinn Stingray, which had handlebars decked out with tinsel. So it was decided that at least someone should ride a 20-inch bike every year, and that some if not all of us should decorate our bikes, perhaps even going so far as to outfit them with dynamo- or battery-powered Christmas lights.

A big shout out to the ladies and gents who’ve been working on the co-op. The bike on the exterior looks wicked cool. I didn’t have my key with me, so we weren’t able to take a peek inside, but I’m very eager to check it out. I don’t know when everyone is planning to be at the shop again, but I promised to post info on the blog. If nothing definite is on the calendar, then I plan to be down there myself one day this week or next (or both). Stay tuned.

Thanks to Daniel for the marvelous photographs. Hey, what do you expect? We were riding and shivering. Enjoy the slide show.

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Alas, upon arriving home, I received some rather crummy news. While we were enjoying post-ride tea and crumpets (seriously, one of the guys ordered tea), my little brother had called my house to say that he and his family wouldn’t be making it out for Christmas because his youngest is  still struggling with a nasty bought of pneumonia (the p is silent). What a drag. I was really looking forward to a wintry ride together, and to showing him the co-op and a couple of our local bike shops. Let’s keep Connor and the whole family in our thoughts and prayers. Get well soon, little guy.

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UPDATE: The doctor thinks it would be good for Connor to sit upright for a few hours, as one is prone to do when strapped into a car seat. So my brother and his little tribe at one their way.

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In other news, I’m recruiting hard for Team Hadrian and the 2011 Tour de Cure. Only two three have signed on so far (including myself), but I know of at least a dozen others who are thinking about it. Click here if you want to join the team. We would love for you to be part of the fun. If enough folks join the team, I’ll take a poll to see if there’s sufficient interest to get t-shirts again. Last years shirts were a big disappointment, in my humble opinion. So maybe we’ll have better luck the second time around.

Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope Santa brings you something nice for your bike. And I hope you log many, many miles on two wheels in 2011.

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13 responses to “god rest ye merry gentlemen

  1. I’ll let you borrow the sting ray for the pound shedding- I’m beginning to see why Bendix made overdrive hubs for these bikes: “The blue band has 1:1 low gear, and high is overdrive: 1 sprocket turn for 1.5 hub turn. These are used on bikes with 20″ wheels and 36-teeth sprockets to go further on flat roads.” http://www.trfindley.com/pgbndxhbs.html

  2. That pic of you guys outside the co-op is straight gangster.

  3. Nice ride guys, true wheelmen! Yep, the shop at 216 South Center is looking good and I am eagerly anticipating your comments when you see the inside. Bill, Gary, and Dennis have really done a great job. We have the second half of a huge bicycle /parts/tool donation coming on Monday and we will open the doors from 12:00 – 4:00 PM on Weds the 29th. I think the black / chrome bike on the champion yellow wall is very cool. Have a Merry Christmas. Remember, wise men still seek Him.

  4. OK, I have family from out of town arriving Monday and leaving Wednesday, which makes both days a long shot for me. Nevertheless, I’ll try to make it to one or the other.

    Do you happen to know, off hand, whether you have available (for trade, sale, charity, whatever) a left side brake lever along the lines of this? It’s for a 70s era Schwinn Suburban. I don’t actually need an entire lever. What I actually need is the little plastic bushing inside the lever that keeps the lever within easy reach when your hand is on the grip.

  5. A great place to find old Schwinn parts is here: http://www.schwinnbikes.com/schwinn-life/forums/ in the classified area or here : http://www.schwinnbikeforum.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=e2a834521fde6539fb541ca29473c312;www classifieds as well.

  6. http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/26300738 Link to the map of the ride. (hoping it works- still trying to figure out the bugs on the new mapmyride site!)

  7. http://classic.mapmyride.com/route/us/mi/adrian/196129306843846188 sorry, try this link. I’m still trying to figure out how to work the site.

  8. Both work fine, Daniel. Thanks for mapping out the route.

  9. Sorry I was unable to join all of you, as I was working to support my bike fetish. I wish I could have been…

  10. You guys are braver than me. I wimp out at 40 F to go bike riding

    • Well, as chagrined as I am to admit it, my poor bicycle was abandoned to a corner of my garage shortly after this ride, and we’ve done nothing but glance at one another from afar since. I decided 30 F or 35 F was going to be my cut off.

      Man, I miss riding. And I am positively sick of winter.