Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Eve 2012

Well, there you go: another year down.  All the idiots who don't understand the Mayan calendar can breathe easy, though, because it looks like there's still at least one more  year in the chamber.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Xmas Eve Is Upon Us

Hey Kids,

Just a quick message for you. If you haven't asked Santa for that new bike yet, you may have missed your shot. BUT MAYBE NOT.


The Dusty Musette Crew

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bicycletiquette: Stocking Stuffers

Dear Jasper,

I’m looking to buy some inexpensive gifts for cyclist friends and family. I see your colleague, Val Garou, has suggested gifts to avoid, but do you have any recommendations for stocking stuffers that I should buy?

Happy Holidays,

Miss L. Towe

Ah, Miss Towe, I have fond childhood memories of rising early of a Christmas morning, starting a blazing fire in the grate, slaughtering the family goose, and unpacking my Christmas stocking. 

What small wonders I recall digging out one by one: a lump of coal, a bent stick, a few linty bon-bons, a vial of cod-liver oil, and, in our more prosperous years, a firm parsnip or rutabega in the tippy toe. Of course, Santa always included something for my bike, be it sparkly handlebar tassles or a homemade reflector fashioned out of a turkey wattle. Such, such were the joys!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Dusty Lens (#6)

Autumn Nights

Blurry, out of focus, but glowing. That's mostly how I remember the end of the riding season, so this shot from the discard pile is actually the best one for the job.

Monday, December 17, 2012

All I Don't Want for Christmas . . .

This is the time of year when both gifting and gifts occupy a significant amount of mental space. I'm a bike guy, and, naturally, I know a lot of bike guys, so I've been thinking about bike-centric gifts a bit lately. What I think, mostly, is that I am afraid of them.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Code of the Semi-Serious Cyclist: Part 8 (Camera)

The Semi-Serious Cyclist likes to roll with a camera. In a back pocket, in a handle-bar bag, around his neck, mounted on his helmet—anywhere handy and ready to point and click in a flash, from the roadside, or even, dare I say, from the saddle on the fly. 

No matter where he is riding—be it on a tour in an exotic land or on a well-worn loop in his own backyard—interesting, weird, beautiful, tacky, bizarre, photo-worthy shit abounds. There’s something magical about the perspective from the saddle: the lovely and strange details of the world around us are just so noticeable when cycling. So why not take a moment to capture these sights?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Dusty Lens (#5)

Not all photos are great, and this is really just a snap shot.  But it's an evocative one for me--especially this time of year. This is a road trip in-progress, a mobile base about to deploy, an escape from here and a ticket to there. Sleeping quarters; bikes and backup bikes; food, water, and a kitchen.  This is road biking, emphasis on the road.

Friday, December 7, 2012

“White Flannel and Nickel Plate”

That’s what Karl Kron, author of Ten Thousand Miles on a Bicycle

(1887), gives as his answer to the question he found himself frequently bearded with in the 1880s: “What’s the best costume to adopt for touring on a bicycle?”  While this question may be almost as old as the bicycle itself, it remains now, as it was in Kron’s day, a “tremendous subject of cycling” discussion. Check out some bicycle touring forums, and you’ll see what I mean. Today’s debates tend to be about comfort, utility, and style, but in Kron’s day, cyclists had to consider much more practical needs when selecting a “costume:” namely, finding a place to sleep.