For the past 40 years, I have used paraffin on my chains. In the past 10 years or so, I have started mixing in some beeswax which is intended to help it adhere better. At home, I have a small crockpot that is dedicated to wax. While on the road on tour, I plan a tuna meal once a week so I can use the can for melting the wax and running the chain…[Read more]
From where I sit in rural Vermont, physical distancing is the norm. During the winter months, through mud season, I regularly get out for daily walks along the dirt roads that encircle my homestead (after which I’m able to get back on the bike). Rarely do I see an automobile or another human. Today, however, I noted three humans in the course of…[Read more]
That reminds me of an experience I had on one of my X-C trips while overnighting in Salida, Colorado. I was aware of the sprinklers in the park, which prompted my wife and I to set up our tent on a bandstand along the edge, hoping that it would be out of the way of the spray. On warm summer nights when there is no rain in the forecast, I…[Read more]
I am a veteran of the infamous “Soggy Monday” (1981’s RAGBRAI IX). Most of the riders did not complete that day’s ride (pouring rain, hills, headwinds, and highs in the upper 40’s). Somewhere past the first pass-through town, my wife, my 2-year-old daughter, and I were picked up by a local with a pickup and taken to the gym in Lake City, which…[Read more]
I don’t like riding in the rain, especially when surrounded by thousands of fenderless bikes!
What works for me is to keep a close eye on weather forecasts and plan accordingly. With today’s easy access to forecasting tools, I can plan my day to avoid riding in the rain most of the time. (On my two cross-country bike trips, I vowed not to ride in…[Read more]
We (Team Roadshow) did our darnedest to win this year (by being the last ones into Keokuk), but the last day was so long that, even after waiting near the end for our unicyclist to catch up, there were still hundreds behind us.
I’ve often told people that bad weather makes for the best stories. Slogging through the rain and cold on “Soggy Monday” with my 2-year-old daughter on the back of my bike (1981) is a tale I’ve often told, but for the majority of days, blue skies and sunshine prevail. I carry a lightweight rain jacket and pay close attention to forecasts,…[Read more]
It’s unfortunate that the last day of RAGBRAI is so different from the first six days of the ride. After looking forward to the ride so much every year, I’ve never been able to understand the desire to rush to the end. I like to savor the last day as much as the first day.
It’s been a similar weather story here in Vermont (although not as severe as what the mid-western states have been experiencing). After finally emerging from the winter that wouldn’t end, April and May have been very wet and cold. Many fields are still covered with standing water in the river valleys. It’s going to be a challenging year for…[Read more]
One of my very favorite things about RAGBRAI is that the ride is UNLIKE most other organized tours. Whereas many rides are fully supported in a way that includes everything set up and handed to the riders along the route in such a way that riders hardly need to think for themselves, RAGBRAI, on the other hand, is a ride that allows for full…[Read more]