Monday, October 29, 2012

The Importance of the New Revisited (Pt 2)

In last week's post I told, at length, the ordeal of my various tire failures during my tour down the Pacific coast.  Taken at face value, that post would seem to be a refutation of my original position on the importance of buying all new running gear before setting out on an adventure. In reality, however, while it cost me a fair amount of extra coin, the whole affair solidly vindicated my position.

Friday, October 26, 2012


“The pleasure of ‘riding alone’ depends very much on whether or not a man takes good company with him.”—Karl Kron

As any 5-year-old can tell you, the key to riding a bicycle is balance. Once this is mastered, it rarely requires any conscious thought. As a 45-year-old, however, I’m finding myself thinking about balance of a different kind when it comes to my bike-riding life. I’m talking about a kind of social balance, riding sometimes with friends and other times alone. I like doing both, but it’s not always easy is to strike the perfect balance of the two.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Importance of the New, Revisited

Just before leaving on tour, I wrote a blog post about the importance of overhauling your rig before the departure date hits. In retrospect, after all of that preparation--and preaching about it--it almost seems like I was asking for some sort of divine punishment.  So for the follow-up post, I'll just start by saying that I didn't finish on either of the new tires that I set out with. But despite what seems like an existential rebuke, I stand by every word I wrote.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tricycle Dreams

I can’t stop dreaming about tricycles.

For the second time in the past two weeks, a tricycle has figured in one of my dreams. The latest one happened a few nights ago. In my dream I was walking along the road near my office going where-I-don’t-remember when a very old but very fit-looking woman, a svelte granny, you might say, appeared before me on an adult tricycle (the kind you see codgers slowly pedalling along the sidewalks of Florida), booking it across the road in front of me. She hopped over a curb and disappeared around a corner, turning so sharply that one wheel lifted right off the ground.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Code of the Semi-Serious Cyclist: Part 7 (Team Kit)

The Semi-Serious Cyclist doesn’t wear professional-cycling team kit. No Garmin-Barracuda jersey, no Lampre bib, no Team Sky cap. Why not? Simple. He’d feel like a knob wearing it.

That’s not to say that the SSC doesn’t have a casual interest in pro cycling. He does. In fact, during Tour de France season, he even gets to know which of the main GC riders are on which team. But the SSC knows that he’s not actually a member of any of those teams, nor is he likely to get picked up by one of them any time soon.

So, for the SSC, wearing that Sky jersey while out riding a bicycle in public only invites unflattering comparison. It shouts out, “I think I’m fast, like Mark-Cavendish fast.” Or it implies a kind of unselfconscious game of make-believe: “Look at me, I’m pretending to be Chris Froome!” (Admittedly, there’s something naïvely sweet about enacting this kind of cycling, dress-up-in-public fantasy—at least, if you’re twelve.)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, DM

The Dusty Musette is one year old this week. It was on a grey, early October day 12 months ago that Val offered up this found-graffiti image of a mini-rocket as emblem of the low-key launch of this blog. Our goals when we set out on this 3-man mission were modest: to offer an unpretentious buffet of considered, more-or-less literate commentary on our idea of cycling—without taking ourselves (or anything, really) too seriously. We hoped we might find a constellation of readers, start some conversations, provoke a few smiles, and celebrate, in our small way, our twin passions of reading and riding.