Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Icicle Bicycle

When I got off of work this afternoon, I got a rather... hilarious shock. Apparently something either on or above the awning that I lock my bike up under started to melt in the sun, and dripped all over my bike and re-froze, incasing most of my in ice.

It was covered from handlebars to just past the saddle. I'm still uncertain as to how the water got on as much of the bike as it did. I've ended up with wet grips before when it rains, and with the last snow and ice I had just one frosted grip from something dripping on it, but nothing like this!

I had to spend a few minutes chipping the ice away so that I could at least work the rear brake and the shifter. My saddle was also coated, but it took just one elbow to the leather to break the ice off. It seems to be just fine, and in fact appeared to be dry underneath. Aside from ice breaking off and flying out of the wheels and the various noises accompanying that, it rode home just fine.

I've got her thawing out and drip drying over some towels in the kitchen tonight. I guess this means that I ought to start bringing some sort of tarp with me!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I finally got to ride to the barn again! The snow started melting off a bit and the roads cleared up. It was really cold, in the low 20's during the day and low teens to single digits at night, but since the sun came out on Wednesday that helped melt slush off the road.

These horses that I pass everyday were happy to see some grass in their pasture again.

On Tuesday, while it snowed, the Donkeys apparently decided to stand out in it all day. They still had snow covered backs on Wednesday.

Then, on Wednesday night we got an ice storm. It was very pretty, seeing everything covered in a shell of ice, but it made travel and work outside very difficult. The boy donkeys didn't even dare leave the barn because their dry lot was like an ice skating rink! The girls were a bit braver. Or more determined to eat their hay.

Monday, December 13, 2010

First real snow!

Today we woke up to our first real snow for this year. Now, granted it was only about 3 inches, but every little bit counts! This means that this morning I got to go on my first real ride in the snow.

The only bicycle I have to ride right now is my mixte, Hedwig. She did fine, with a little slipping where car tracks that had re-frozen where. I had to walk her down one hill that is very steep. It was covered in ice, but on the whole, the ride was uneventful and quite fun. My Kool Stop MTB brake pads work really well!

Once I got home this afternoon, I realized something that I had not considered. All the snow that I went through was now packed up in my fenders, and frozen to my wheel, and I needed to bring her in through the living room into the kitchen.

I tried to brush it all off with the broom, but that just barely got it off. Does anyone have any suggestions for cleaning up a bike before bringing it in? I ended up just wheeling her through as per usual, letting her drip dry on a rug in the kitchen and going back through to clean up the snow that came off on the trip through.

Despite the mess, I really enjoyed this short trip in the snow. The only thing that I wish was different on Hedwig for this kind of riding is her tires. She's got these skinny little road tires that don't have much for tread.

One more reason I'm looking forward to my Pashley! I'm really excited to try her out in some snow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Just some pictures...

Of tractors with Holiday lights.

I'm hoping to catch photo of the glow-in-the-dark manger scene that someone has set up in the back of their pick up truck. Ah... rural TN.

And frosted cows.

I caught some nasty cold this past week. It was one of those colds where you're probably too sick to go to work, but you tell yourself that you can make it and go anyway. I managed to ride my bike to my AM job (since it's only a 5 minute ride from my house), but I just didn't have the physical strength to make it the 5 miles through the mountains to the barn. So I drove out there all week. Better luck next week!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Ever since I brought Hedwig home, I have loathed the rubber Schwinn branded grips that came on her. I suspect that they were not original to the bike, and were added to her at some point by one of her previous owners. They felt gross, and were too long and hung over the ends of the handlebars by about half an inch. They had to go.

Many moons ago I bought a small tooled leather wallet. It kind of looked like someones scout project, with plastic cording stitched around the edges. I found it at a local thrift store, and liked the tooling enough that it had to come home with me. I knew it was destined for some craft project, I just didn't know what yet.

Today that little wallet became new grips for Hedwig. I cut the wallet in half, along the crease unstitched the plastic cording so that the insides would come out. After I had just the two front halves, I sprayed a little 3M Spray Mount on the backsides of the leather, so that it would hold still on the handlebars while I stitched them on.

Once they were stitched on I rubbed a little Proofhide in, to darken them up a bit and stuck a cork in the end of each side the the handlebars . Lookin' good so far! I'll find out tomorrow how well they work out.