Thursday, February 23, 2012

Half and Half's

Somewhere along the line I thought, well I'm a "cyclist", I should get some real cycling pedals. These Shimano M324 half platform, half clipless pedals seemed like a good place to start. You don't need to change into dedicated cycling shoes, you can wear your regular everyday shoes or sneakers, too.

But they can be annoying.  I'll be stopped at an intersection, with my left foot ready to go. Start across the street, and the wrong side of the right pedal will be facing up.  Gotten used to riding through intersections with the right foot not quite solidly on the pedal.

Friday, February 17, 2012


My wife cringes a little bit sometimes when she sees me ready to leave for work. I don't know why - brown socks with blue shoes and banded leg. Looking at the picture, the band reminds me of those leg bands that wildlife biologists attach to bird legs to track their movements.

These Skechers are actually good for riding in the winter as they're thicker than canvas sneakers and have kept my toes warm on the chilly days. It snowed a little Tuesday, so I took the studded tire bike on Wednesday. It has platform pedals on it, which meant I had to wear regular sneakers which meant I put on the first pair I saw which were these - my backyard shoes.  They're in worse condition than they look here.

And once I lose that reflective leg band, I'm never buying any more. Going back to rubber bands.  I had some narrow yellow bands for awhile, but managed to lose those over time, and then bought these wide black ones at $4 each. The first time I wore one of the black ones, I didn't get halfway to work before I felt my pant legs flapping and found it had fallen off somewhere. Then one of the lost yellow ones appeared out of nowhere a few months back and I started using it. But the velcro was going bad and finally lost that one somewhere in downtown Spokane last week.

I'm looking forward to warmer weather and hope to start leaving early enough so I have time to change out of shorts or knickers into work pants. My wife will like that.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Forgot it was winter

Last few weeks just been riding back and forth to work. Hadn't even felt like going out on the weekends. But last weekend my knobby-tired bikes were calling out to me and wouldn't be denied. Most of the snow in town was gone, and I forgot it was winter so I headed out to Albi/Merkel Sports Center/Complex (whatever it's called) again and found other bikers had the same idea:

The view from the bridge at Riverside Park:

Maybe it's a little too early in the year to be riding this trail. I forgot we actually had a couple good snowfalls this winter:

Saw about 4 or 5 deer crossing the path. You can barely see one in the middle of this picture. I really oughta carry a better camera.

I made it up to the Centennial trail and found another new-to-me trail to take back down. Saw other bike tracks. Mentally noted other trails for exploring in the future. It was a good ride.

As I write this, there's a little fresh snow on the ground. Thinking of heading out again next weekend.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A close call

I'd left for work early one day last week and it was a little dark and and cloudy outside. While going down Alberta near Driscoll, I got a whiff of skunk. Whew!

The next day as I rode by the same spot I saw something straight ahead in my path. Got closer and realized it was a dead skunk. Must've been the one I smelled the day before, and had only missed running over by inches! Sorry, no pictures. It was there for a few days, but I never managed to stop and get one.

I've had a few close encounters with squirrels, and even ran over one poor little guy's tail, but am glad I missed this critter. Don't think I could've brought my bike into work like I usually do, and folks probably wouldn't appreciate me parking it in the rack out front of Madeleine's.