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Tuesday, May 23, 2017


I was shocked to discover a crack in my seat post clamp today. I thought Thomson products were more or less indestructible. Or at least of some of the highest quality parts available. But I guess everything can fail. Strangely, too, it doesn’t seem like a part that would have much stress put upon it through normal riding conditions. I rode home hoping that the seat clamp would hold until I got there (it did). I removed it. It didn’t seem to be overtightened. It seems to be the right size. So strange. Thomson offers a three year warranty on seat post clamps. I don’t remember exactly when I got it but I think it was a little longer than that. So I’m back to the original quick release clamp on Mindful Mule. I got the Thomson clamp after my seat and seat post were stolen a few years ago while using the quick release clamp. I generally don’t park my bike in compromised settings anymore so maybe I’ll just stick with the old clamp. Too bad—I thought the Thomson looked sharp. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hooray for Oury

I bought these grips a few years ago. It was one of those situations where I needed a few extra bucks to reach my Free Shipping threshold. I’d always had a bit of a crush on Oury grips. They seemed like the cool kid grips of MTBers. As I recall these were also on sale. Probably because no one wants boring brown grips on their bike. It’s all about flash. Right? But what color would a mule choose? Aha! Add to cart. They’ve sat in the shed ever since. I liked my old grips and they weren’t quite falling apart yet. They were my second pair of Ergon grips. Now, finally they’re ripping apart and getting pretty gross. And I felt like I needed a fresh new feeling in my life. As directed on the package label I used rubbing alcohol to slide them on. That worked really well. I think they look pretty sharp…

Friday, December 2, 2016

Strava (almost) killed my blog

It used to be that I would go out on a run or ride and I’d think about things. I’d distract myself from the fatigue, the pain, the monotony, the cars!, as well simmering in the joys, the uplift, the enlightenments… A title would come to mind as a marker to recall and retell these thoughts through the blog… But then I became an addict—addicted to Strava… which soon led me on to fitbit, etc. Soon my thoughts were converted into GPS files and segment times and numbers and graphs and steps and data, data, data… What was left of my thoughts, those titles, were whisked quickly away from the blog and posted to Strava where I might gain a few Kudos from followers. The Kudos being the new form of acknowledgment of existence and worth. It’s a strong addiction, this cyber side world to fitness and activity. And, honestly, not one I’m willing to give up. However, I do also recognize that there is a lot of value here in the blogspot - and a community of support and inspiration that has given me so much more than KOMs or PRs ever could. So I am still here… riding, running, dreaming… 

Friday, September 30, 2016

bicyclist transcends time, space

I’m reading a book right now called Time and Again by Jack Finney. In it, the main character slips back in time about a hundred years and experiences a wintery New York City of 1882. It has reminded me that, although things keep changing everywhere as we move forward in time, there still is a lot remaining from the past all around us. Old buildings and views of mountains, and such, of course. But states of mind, as well. We all experience different layers or ratios of this perception or interpretation at any given moment. Sometimes we are rocketing along with the wave of the future and sometimes we may be quietly reflecting in what could be any era. H.G. Wells (may have) said, “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” I would have to agree—and add a pedestrian element as well. Bicyclists and pedestrians experience a little bit of the world from the past. A world without air conditioning… a world where effort turns into distance… where geography and time are linked… where nothing—and especially not everything!—is 5-minutes away… a world that is grounded… aware… patient. It’s a wonderful space. I’ve been soaking in it as much as possible. And I see others experiencing it, too—and then I understand H.G.’s sentiment. 

There’s a house up the street from me, just about at that point on my walk to the train where, if it’s a hot day, I’m starting to flag a bit, to lose that wonderful space. There are wind chimes hanging in the covered front porch. I hear them… and then I see the tree leaves flutter in the wind… And there I am… right there… no place else to be… again. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

like running in flip flops

More on running form. But isn’t that what we’re here for? 

Do you remember that moment when you first tried to run in flip flops as a kid and it was nearly impossible—they either flew right off and you burned the soles of your bare feet on the hot blacktop or they tangled up and tripped you, skinning your knees… Then you tried squeezing your toes together as you ran and that helped a little—keeping the flip flops on but making it hard to run. Maybe that’s as far as you got that summer. Maybe it took a few more hot summers in flip flops to let go—to spread your toes, to reach out with them like the claws that they are, to set your feet free—and the flip flops stayed on—and you ran…

I had that feeling again on a recent run—that claws out feeling. Strangely, maybe, I was wearing my running shoes. But they’re appropriately not too tight and they’re just stating to get broken in nice and cozy—around 300 miles so far. 

Just another joyful running epiphany… (epiFootny?)