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Scrap Metal

Posted by Eric (April 23, 2007 at 12:43 pm)

Click for larger imageI like to ride off-road early in the morning. Nothing sets you up for the day like an hour on the trail at the crack of dawn. Unless you happen to crack your bike frame.

Last Tuesday morning, I was coasting along about 15 minutes into my ride when I noticed something funny about my pedaling. Wobbly on the right side. I clicked out of the pedal and saw nothing amiss with pedal or shoe. But looking a little closer I saw cracked paint just above the bottom bracket. Uh-oh.


Posted in Bicycling | 7 Comments »

Unbroken Chain of Weirdness

Posted by Eric (December 30, 2006 at 10:29 pm)

Eric in PAThanks, Matt. Seems I’ve been “tagged” and now I have to tell six weird things about myself as well as “tag” six friends—that is to say, six people who will have been my friends up until I impose this sort of “chain letter of weirdness” on them.

So, six weird things about me:

  1. The first weird thing about me is that I’m not all that eager to reveal weird personal things on in public. That is, as far as I’m concerned, a normal thing about me, but not so in the blogosphere. From that, you might conclude that the five weird things to follow are not the very weirdest things about me.
  2. (more…)

Posted in Bicycling, Photos & Art, What Not | 6 Comments »

The Seat of Scoffers

Posted by Eric (August 22, 2006 at 9:14 pm)

Saw Wee Kee trail, Oswego IL

Blessed is he who sits not in the seat of scoffers.—Psalm 1:1

In my last post I said I was going off on a 30 mile road ride. I decided instead to go mountainbiking at Saw Wee Kee park, a woods grown over an old strip mine, filled with miles of tight, hilly, rocky, sandy and very challenging singletrack.

This was my first mountainbike ride in almost a month—it isn’t only the blog I’ve been neglecting under the demands of this exceptionally busy summer—and it was a real challenge. I’m at the point where I can knock out a thirty- or even forty-mile road ride and then carry on with a busy day, but Saw Wee Kee really took it out of me.

There are some among my associates who delight to scoff at the notion that there is any serious mountainbiking in the Chicago area, and never miss an opportunity to sniff when I mention a grueling climb or wicked descent, or employ the word “hill.”

“There are no hills around here,” they tell me. “If you want a hill, you’ve got to go to [insert home state here].”


Posted in Bicycling | 3 Comments »


Posted by Eric (February 14, 2006 at 2:26 pm)

[Muddy MTB Drivetrain]Last Saturday I had the rare opportunity to mountainbike for a couple of hours in the afternoon. (I had to drop my sons off at a party about 20 minutes from the trails; not worth it to go all the way home!) With the mild winter we’ve been having, I had my eyes on the weather forecast for days ahead of time—it was supposed to be just at freezing, so the trails would probably be fine. (more…)

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Back in the Saddle

Posted by Eric (February 10, 2006 at 1:51 pm)

Last Saturday I went mountainbiking for the first time in nine weeks. I don’t think I’ve gone that long without a ride in a couple years. A combination of bad weather (not cold enough), illness, a great deal of work and just plain laziness kept me away for way too long.

The ride confirmed what I already knew, that I’m terribly out of shape. It also reaffirmed my belief that there is no better all-around workout than mountainbiking. Maybe squash, but I don’t play squash. In any case, it’s way more intense than the other sports I do: XC skiing, swimming, running, weight lifting and road biking.

I had been on the road trainer for a couple weeks before venturing out to my usually riding spot, Palos Forest Preserve, but I might as well have been prone in a vat of salt water for two weeks for all the difference it made for my mountainbike conditioning. After about three minutes I was giving serious thought to packing it in; after about six minutes I was just waiting to puke. (more…)

Posted in Bicycling | 4 Comments »