Friday, September 28, 2012

The Karl Kronicles

"This is a book of American roads, for men who travel on the bicycle."--KK

There’s still plenty of good riding to be done this fall, but as the leaves drop, I'm beginning to think ahead, to plan some over-winter projects, one of which is to finally read—and I mean, full-on, cover-to-cover read, read—Karl Kron’s 1887 eccentric cycling classic Ten Thousand Miles on a Bicycle (TTM). For those of you who aren’t familiar with this text, here’s the backgrounder.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bicycletiquette (Gloves)

Dear Jasper,

My husband’s cycling gloves are disgusting. They’re dirty and snot-covered. Plus they kind of stink. But here’s the weird part. For some reason I can’t fathom, he refuses to wash them. What’s up with that?

Baffled Spouse

Dear BS,

I’m afraid your husband is absolutely right on this one. Under no circumstances should cycling gloves ever be laundered. Occasionally they may—and really should—be rinsed with rain water, perhaps while riding on a wet day, and then hung up to air dry. But that’s the extent of it. Whatever happens, one should never allow even a drop of laundry soap to sully the glovey fabric, lest the gloves be ruined.

Friday, September 14, 2012


The crash happens—as always—so fast. One second I’m riding along a range road behind my 12-year-old son, the two of us chatting away about the drunken yahoos at the campground the previous night. I take a quick peek over my shoulder for traffic (good, no vehicles in sight). Then boom. I’m lying on the pavement, tangled in my bicycle, a bit stunned. My leg is bloodied, my front brake lever a little bent, and my left hand kills. In fact, I can’t move my fingers. The pain courses through me in distinct waves as I try to make sense of what just happened.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Vélivre: Travels with Rosinante

"Hey! Hobo on a bike!” That’s what my 12-year-old son said when he looked at the photo on the cover of Bernard Magnouloux’s classic Travels with Rosinante: 5 Years’ Cycling Round the World. And the boy is bang on. Bernard Magnouloux (BMag) does, indeed, look like a hobo on wheels, what with his grizzled beard, patched up mish mash of a wardrobe, and beat up bicycle loaded with all manner of suitcases, ratty sleeping bag, and what appear to be the pelts of several wild critters. All that’s missing is the pole with a red kerchief wrap.