Friday, June 29, 2012

Team Type 1

With a bit of prompting from Val, I’ve found myself paying some attention to this year’s Tour Divide bicycle race, which is in the course of wrapping up. In particular, I have been tracking the story of one rookie participant from Colorado, Jarral Ryter. You see, Ryter (what is it with these names? First, Ryder Hesjedal, now Jarral Ryter?), like me, is in his mid-40s and has Type 1 diabetes, so I find his story especially intriguing. For the last few weeks, I’ve been periodically checking his progress on the Tour Divide tracking website, marvelling at his progress up the leader board and trying to get my head around how he’s managing his diabetes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Every Day May Update

Folks, May has come and gone.  So has most of June.  But I don't want to let our experiment with getting aboard a bike every day for a month fade into the Summer air without comment.  What I'd like most is to hear from those of you who tried it in the comment section below.  There's no praise or shame here, just the dispassionate reporting of scientific endeavor--so cough up the details.  I will, of course, have to begin the whole thing with my own data. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bicycletiquette #5: Libations

Dear Jasper,

I have some cycling friends who occasionally drop by my place in the summer. Can you recommend an appropriate, refreshing beverage that I can serve them mid-ride on a hot day?


Curious about Beverages

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Notable Run

Three Alberta wheelmen completed a century run of 101 ¼  miles on June 15, making a grand circuit between South Cooking Lake and Lamont, Alberta.

Once the gentlemen had mustered at the Twin Island Airfield, Captain Jasper Gates sounded the starting bugle 7.17 o’clock. During their run, they took a leisurely lunch at the Elk Island Inn and two other rest breaks of 20 minutes each, including one where they enjoyed the fortifying contents (sardines and Oreo cookies!) of a mystery cache prepared by Secretary Val Garou. The trio, accompanied awheel by their club mascot monkey, Bernard, rolled across the finish line at 3.45 o’clock in the afternoon.
Roads were hard and smooth, with the exception of one two mile stretch of soft gravel. Conditions were fair to good all the way, with favorable winds on the homestretch. No other wheelmen were encountered on the road. The only hardship of the ride occurred when Dr. P.C. Reveaux made a small header on a slippery rail crossing and was thrown violently to the ground, bruising his hand and bending his brake lever. The good doctor mounted again and rode on without further incident. It was a splendid run.

The next day, all three wheelmen declared themselves ready for more wheeling, though Reveaux said he couldn’t move his hand and Garou and Gates reported that their asses were sore. Bernard was feeling the ill effects of too many Oreo cookies.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Century

The date has been circled on the calendar for weeks. The route has been carefully, no, meticulously, selected. The chains have been lubed, the tires pumped. The mystery cache is prepared. The legs are as ready as they’re gonna get. The buttocks are primed. Today, we ride a century.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shaving the Cat

(Warning: graphic pictures are included in this post)

I fell off my bike:  wiped out; body slammed the pavement, slid across the bitumen.  Cycling on one of the oft-ridden stretches of road on the periphery of the city, I swerved on to the edge where the gravel and pavement blend: a trompe l'oeil. The road appeared to be flat and solid but covered with fine gravel.   When my front tire touched the grit, I realized (not soon enough) that there was a ridge and the fine gravel was deep, so down I went.   I was not going fast, and I was not seriously injured.   I did receive fine road rashes on my leg and arm, and good blue bruises on my left shoulder and hip.   

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tour Divide 2012

Photo Credit to's mtngirl
I know that Jasper normally provides our race coverage here at the Musette, but I'd like to call some attention to a little-watched event going on even as we read.  We are, as of Monday morning, on Day 4 of this year's edition of the Tour Divide's Grand Depart.  On the 9th of June, over 100 riders took off from Banff, Alberta on a 2,745 mile (4,418km) dirt-road trek to the Mexican border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.  The race recieved a lot of press last year, and the field is made up of a record number of riders, but I'm guessing that it's not yet on a lot of people's radar.  So here's a little bump of attention for our readers.

Friday, June 8, 2012

No Exit Ride

I’m pretty sure that at one time or another I’ve ridden my bike on all the country roads (paved and gravel) southwest of Edmonton, as far as the town of Devon and a bit beyond. With one collective exception: the No Exit roads, the dead-enders that bump into the North Saskatchewan River, some of them only a few hundred metres long, others a few kilometres. I’ve tended to pass by these No Exit roads without much thought, since, well, they don’t go anywhere. Why would anyone take such roads, unless you actually lived on them?

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Taste of the Fatbike Life

The swollen tires of the fatbike are good for more than just traction in the sand and snow; they're getting some real purchase on the pages of this blog.  Jasper has wondered if they're too much bike for the average rider, but I think their appeal mainly lies in their bulk-packaged simplicity.  It's true, of course, that they not only let you ride places you might not have otherwise ridden but actively dare you to do so.  And yet the dare they offer isn't an adolescent Red Bull-fueled adrenaline festival, but a child-like exhortation to poke your nose into all the places that you're not supposed to be.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Big Canadians

One bonus of this year’s Giro coverage on U.S. television, for me anyway, is that I think I’ve finally figured how to pronounce “Hesjedal.” Until a few weeks ago, I had just sort of guessed that the three syllable approach was the way to go: Hes-je-dal. (Like the only other Norwegian name I thought I knew how to say: Thor Heyerdal.) Then I noticed the American announcers went with a two syllable pronunciation: Hezh-dal. I assume they must know, that they checked with Ryder himself, so I’ve decided to make the switch.  It’s taking me a while to get used to that shorter “zh” version, but I have to say that I kind of like it. It makes a name that’s pretty weird to start with sound even more exotic, slightly Russian somehow. In fact, I’m thinking of changing my own handle to Jazper Gates—sounds more Euro-chic.