Sunday, September 20, 2009

Where the sidewalk ends.


So we pressed north on the Monon, some eleven or twelve miles from Roseholme Cottage to the workface of the trail mine, where jets of high-pressure tax dollars are used to hew bike path out of raw native railbed.

All told, it was a respectable twenty-four-ish miles for me; considering that I hadn't ridden more than a fraction of that in one day before, I was pretty happy. The thing that amazes me is that I could have kept going, too; it may be a fairly modest entry-level Trek, but it sure did ride nice, and compared to my previous steed it was like pedaling a cloud.



As an aside, one thing that amazed me while I was bicycle shopping is the continued existence of the drop-frame or "girls" bicycle. I mean, I guess I can see it on a town cruiser, but on a mountain bike? Who goes blasting down forest trails in a skirt?

22 comments:

Cossack in a Kilt said...

Who goes blasting down forest trails in a skirt?

Guys in kilts?

Sean said...

Either that or you just invoked the rule & somewhere out there someone is filming skirt-wearing mountain bike porn....

Joseph said...

Hey, I wonder why they sell mountain bikes in Indiana. I keep looking for mountains and in all my 40 years, haven't seen that first one.

staghounds said...

Even Lance Armstrong likes to feel pretty now and then.

Tangalor said...

"Hey, I wonder why they sell mountain bikes in Indiana. I keep looking for mountains and in all my 40 years, haven't seen that first one"

Same here in Florida.. A mountain here is a large Fire Ant pile.

Anonymous said...

"Hey, I wonder why they sell mountain bikes in Indiana."

Ummm, so we can hide them up and down hills, like in the Badlands, Hilly 100, Knobstone, inter alia. Besides mountain bikes are just the thing for urban biking as they can sustain more damage from potholes, curbs and banging into newspaper boxes or fire hydrants.

And not one of you snot-nosed kiddies better comment on how old my funky-coloured Cannonball is.

Glad you had a good time, Tam. The right gear makes all the difference, but you knew that.

It was a pleasant ride. I got exercise and an info dump of every byte of info on the 'net on bicycling and bikes.

Shootin' Buddy

Joanna said...

My new apartment (three more weeks! three more weeks!) is right close to the Monon, which means we'll be within pesterin' distance of each other. Woohoo!

I think the drop-frame bikes persist because they give the impression of femininity, even if the difference is only cosmetic.

alath said...

Re, drop frame bikes - some people, particularly in the "comfort bike" set, don't like stepping over the frame. You will notice even some of the men's bikes have bit of a drop in the top of the frame.

Another very nice ride from where you are: pick up the canal tow path in Broadripple and ride along the canal. Riding along the canal is like a bit of Venice in central Indiana; very pretty. There are two very nice spots to picnic along there: one is a bit of the Butler campus that has a big garden and a statue of Persephone. If you go at mid day your meal may be accompanied by the carilion. A bit further is the art museum campus, also with very nice gardens, the former Lily manison, and a fountain.

og said...

I don't know about drop frame, but I'm damned sure I like a bike with a low bar. When I was learning to bicycle, I WISH I'd had a drop frame bike. Or at least the jewels do.

westofthewest said...

I notice more and more guys are riding the girl's frame.

Quit that snickering

Roberta X said...

I like bein' able to step through -- my usual dismount involves gliding up and stepping off the bike at a walking pace before it has come to a stop.

Plus, sometimes I do wear a skirt. So sue me.

Don Meaker said...

Women have crossed the boundless prairie, and climbed the Matterhorn in a skirt. In those happy times an active woman was content to be active in her normal attire, something one did as part of one's normal life. Today it is normal to have specialized clothes and acouterments for each set of activities, and never shall one get caught in one uniform when in pursuit of a different activity. An extreme case of not wearing white after Labor Day, or having a different holster for each gun.

Tam said...

Don Meaker,

"In those happy times an active woman was content to be active in her normal attire, something one did as part of one's normal life."

I was active in my normal attire; I biked twenty-four miles in blue jeans and combat boots. No spandex required! ;) :p

Andy said...

Unless you're going to combat... once you've got some time on the new metal steed, try some actual bike shoes. You don't have to plunk down serious dinero for serviceable bike shoes, but the stiffer soles make a considerable difference in your pedal stroke.

A ride sounds very pleasant if it hadn't been raining in the ATL for 40 days and nights... wait...

Rabbit said...

I bet Tam doesn't even own a skirt.

Rabbit.

mycrofth4 said...

We had to special order a bike with an XS frame for my wife. That's the main reason she went for a "women's" bike. She didn't want to dismount every time she came to a stop.

Argie said...

Ok Tam,

After all the reading, can you please advise me as to which holster I should be using with my red Trek 3500? I want to make sure I'm styling if I have to pull the .45.

My longest trip so far has been a 30 miler round trip. Keep us posted on your adventures.

Roberta X said...

Rabbit: Does, too. I've seen it. Have you not ever seen her other pages?

WV: "quecibel:" the questionable deciBel! Ask for it wherever loud noise is offered!

Stretch said...

Mountains? You want mountains for your mountain bikes. Check out this trail: http://www.atatrail.org/maps/map2.cfm
I brag on it 'cause my Dad supervised the restoration of the Meyersdale Despot into the rest stop.

reflectoscope said...

Cycling shoes (and the implied clipless pedals) are great, once and only after you get up the learning curve.

Jim

On a Wing and a Whim said...

I love drop-frame bikes - now that I am older and only possessing 75% of the body I started with, including a cane for the really bad days, I like not having to swing my leg over that bar - it makes getting on and off a lot easier.

When I was younger and commuted by bike, it meant I didn't have to worry about my feet or legs getting caught by the bar when pushing up and ditching the bike in a hurry so I would roll over the top of a red-light-runner or left-turn-with-traffic car while the bike went under the wheels.

The latter reason may help explain the former. Hmmm.

John B said...

Like bald headedness, and a few other things I'd never considered in my reckless -and affectatious- youth, I'd ride a girls bike now. I rode one in the past when there was no other alternative. I kinda like the look of Roberta's bike. Staring down the barrel of the big five-oh, I definitely wanna lose the Huffy from Wally-ville.

With my body, maybe I better go rockhopper......


WV: lardne Fatty Bashing are we?