Wednesday, April 4, 2018

New Outside Column!

Just ducking in to let you know I've got a new Outside column about the importance of cycling route curation:


It's a light-hearted, whimsical little piece that doesn't invoke the fraught car/bike dynamic at all, though I'm sure people on Outside's Facebook page will still figure out a reason to use it as more evidence that cyclists deserve to die.

You'll forgive me if I have routes on the brain, as schools are in spring recess this week, which means that in order to get my stretchy-clothes riding in I must head out in the ungodly pre-dawn hours.  Furthermore, because it's dark, I've been opting for well-lit streets, which basically means staying in the city and riding in Central Park.  And while I love riding in Central Park (especially in the early morning when the tourists are still sound asleep in their Airbnbs and rising sun gives the skyscrapers a pinkish aura) I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pining for some decadent midday out-of-town riding.  However, I can take solace that in a week and a half I'll be getting some out-of-town-and-then-some riding at L'Eroica California:


Hold on, let me fix that:


That's better.

Hopefully I can force-grow an old-timey mustache by then.

32 comments:

Al said...

My first podium! I owe a case of beer for this. I hope ya'll like Lone Star.

Anonymous said...

Podii?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to join that ride. I'd bring my 1961 Follis (and I'm the original owner). I'll wait for the official BSNYC official recounting of the event to exieriemcce it vicariously.

Billy said...

I do the ol' daily out-and-back to the soulsucking fluorescently lit cube farm for my standard ride. Sometimes I add in a jaunt to the grocery store or the sailing club on the river and then it's a "short ride" of a sort.

deepbrook said...

You give the out-and-back too hard a time. I never fail to be amazed by how visually different the two legs of an out-and-back end up being.

UpTheGrade said...

You put the t in the middle of Eroica, even without the handlebar moustache.

bad boy of the south said...

what ol'timey jersey do you plan to wear at this years eroica?

It Is Cheaper Then Restoring Old Cars said...

Wildcat;

Speaking of L'Eroica, in the depths of winter I rescued a L'Eroica suitable vintage bike from the local Craig's list, which I just finished restoring this week. While I am the sort of guy who has 10s of dollars to blow on my hobby, I don't have what it takes get my new vintage beauty to Tuscany. Maybe one year I can get to California, but not this year. I could, however, easily get it to the northern part of NYC anytime, and in additional to being L'Eroica suitable, this bike is Fondon't suitable. (Even Pre- or Post-.)

Not to put any scheduling pressuring on you.

Phildefer said...

Another Outside column eh? Such a hipster.

Dooth said...

Oeuvre... my rides’ oeuvre surpasses its gestalt, but not by much.

1904 Cadardi said...

Living at the base of mountains: spring is time to start hitting the canyons and low climbs getting ready for summer, which is for riding the high mountains and doing the big loops, with autumn comes exploring new roads when all of the spring and summer rides have become boring but the snow hasn't yet fallen and the temps are still warm. Winter is for cake.

Some guy from upstate said...

I wondered what the hell was going on with the sudden switch to zero-dark-thirty rides. Presumably once the Snoblings are back in school you can return to normal human hours.

I'm with Billy - my out-and-back comes with a nice 10 hour break in the middle.

Steve Barner said...

Great article. You put a name to what I've been doing for half a C now -- the "modular ride." My commute is the "short ride," but it is a fine one, starting on gravel at the top of a mountain, dodging deer and rednecks on the sceaming descent, then riding all sorts of roads before ending up 18 miles later in a small city. Even the commute is modular, with four different ways in, and several times that many ways home when time is not an issue. Otherwise, it's longer rides, preferably a hundred miles or two, or a tandem ride. With temps climbing into tha balmy 40s, I did a century over a couple mountain passes just Saturday. It was tough this early in the season, but fun.

I don't do laps, but one doesn't really need to, here in Vernont. There's always a road more interesting than repeating the one you just rode. Aerobars are like recumbents to me -- I rode them once, but not enouģh to ever want to, again

HDEB said...

Hooray for dragging your bike through a thicket because you were trying a new way : )

Scott B. said...

What bike will you be using for Eroica? I don't think any of the bikes from your stable featured on this blog qualify, do they?

der blaue Reiter said...

Hey, nice shout out to cul-de-sac hell; i grew up there!!!

Spokey said...

just realized the altered pic with snobbie still shows the shadow of the cyclist in the original picture. sloppy, sloppy, sloppy

Anonymous said...

speaking of routes, which route are you doing at L'Eroica?

1904 Cadardi said...

@It's Cheaper:

I did sort of the same thing. After telling a friend he should do L'Eroifornia, he complained he didn't have a bike. A quick craigslist search found a nice '83 Trek 970 with full Campy Super Record in my size for not too much money. Unfortunately it had been converted to a single speed so it was really a frame and a box of parts. But that just made tear down and rebuilding easier!

@Scott B
The pink Faggin could work.

Brendan said...

Good column, but you need a greater warning in the "Exploration" portion about the risks of ending up in swamps or bogs. It's a big problem. I've wrecked a lot of shoes.

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head with that Outside article. And you did it in old school Snob style. Ahhhhh, the joys of wayfinding. I let the vernal odors of pine sap and manure guide me away from town.

blunchbelly said...

What I always enjoy is when a new route brings me and the missus to a bridge no longer there. Either abandoned road where you ford or some planks the construction guys will always let you cross, it fills me with smug satisfaction.

Bikeboy said...

I expect a non-cyclist or three will show up with leather and/or latex, and lament, "I thought I was signing up for Erotica California!"

JLRB said...

About a year ago I was on a route to work I had ridden 100's of times. I stopped for a nature break - ventured into the woods off the MUP and discovered someone(s) had curated a decent single track. So yes, I agree, venture off the beaten path, even on the perpetually time constrained commute rides.

New goal for the summer - double my current 7 standard to work/back routes to 14.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Enjoy L’Eroica CA! I go to Paso Robles every year around this time and have been there during L’Eroica a few times but this year it will be a week later. Lots of great riding around Paso. Our group leader curated this year’s routes with lots of modularity!

Spokey said...

ultimate in modularity

one day last year i flatted on the way back about 3 mi out. even without snobbie there to fix my flat, i thunk, "no problem". pulled out the spare and "oh shit", it's a schrader. no problem, heh, heh, i come prepared. i usually carry two, sometimes 3 tubes. put out the other one and "oh shit" it's a schrader too.

so i just popped a brand new module in to my route and walked to municipla building where spousy takes old fart exercise classes or something and while i waited, disassembled the bike enough to toss it in the trunk.

two lessons learned

1 - keep your thinking out of the box for new and exciting route modules

2 - maybe start carrying a patch kit in addition to spare tubes (no. of course i haven't learned that lesson yet)

Ki Ho'Alu said...

Check the weather...may need your rubbers as well. Old-timey goulashes...

Anonymous said...

Great post on Outside but boy you gotta have a lot of time on your hands to do all these wondrous rides you're talking about. I used to be unemployed, and I explored all over the Hudson Valley, the Catskills, and of course the usual NYC and Westchester and Bergen/Rockland rides. What a lot of fun, but now that I run a business I'm lucky to get across the GW to Henry Hudson for an "Out-And-Back" once a month (though that ride is a far cry from riding indoors).

Paul Heckbert said...

The best rides are the long loops that include an unexplored tenuous connection about 3/4 of the way into the ride. If the connection (that looked plausible in satellite pictures but you don't really know until you get there) works out (road not overgrown, fence has a gate, bridge completed, or stream fordable) then your ride is almost done, and if it doesn't then you need to turn around and go back the way you came and your ride becomes 50% longer than planned. The suspense and uncertainty makes the whole thing more enjoyable.

Seattle lone wolf said...

Google maps used to not differentiate between paved and unpaved bike trails. Got burned by that once while exploring a new route on my road bike. Good times.

E-Scaper Jones said...

Looking forwards to seeing your Lobness in Paso next weekend!I'll b on a Schwinn!

E-Scaper Jones said...

Look forwards to seeing your Lobness in Paso next weekend! I'll b on a Schwinn!