Yeah, it's Easter, but it's also birthday weekend for my boys. Each is 'Boss' on his respective day.
'New' bikes were distributed, so each kid got the next size up from his older brother and we ride out to Herrell's Ice Cream for Dashiell to get his free birthday medium sundae. And we continued on for a very pleasant picnic/soccer play at a local park. Lego presents were opened and assembled. Friends came over and baseball was practiced. Mint frosted chocolate cake was made & eaten while we watched some vintage (new to us) Three Stooges. So damned funny, those guys!
This morning it's an outing to Look Park, per Huxley's orders. But first we had a waffle bar: sliced strawberries, nutella, pear, maple syrup and whipped cream of course! (BURP!) We even made 'sandwiches' of sliced strawberries, a shmear of nutella and a dollop of cream.
With the warm temperatures finally sticking around it's a perfect spring weekend in New England.
For the first time in over two years (at the very least), I'm snowshoeing again.
The first and last time this season to wear those mammoth winter
slippers, after we welcomed another six inches of snow yesterday. (I
feel so foolish assuming each snow storm will be the final one of the
season. I wonder if I'll be right this time?) I'm so glad I hadn't
cleaned out the back of my van - so glad i put the snowshoes there in
the first place, in February.
Welcome first day of spring. Mother of Nature, it is always a refreshing surprise to remember we can expect anything from you. All this new snow, what a fond, final farewell to winter - out with a bang!
Those bright sprigs of greenery will punch through that rapidly melting snow in no time and WHIZ! KERPOW! spring will be racing through the land again!
I started by looking at a few bike sights I like, seeking out bike reviews: Let's Go Ride a Bike: More about style and lifestyle with a bike with a smattering of reviews. Lovely pictures. Lovely Bicycle: Very gear oriented with language that is above my head, but sometimes very straightforward and I feel like I'm having a one-on-one conversation. But, as I spend more time with it, I am beginning to understand it better. More reviews. Never condescending.
I started here to find out what exactly I should be considering for a commute/transportation bike.
I also looked up bike forum discussions: Public C7 vs Linus Dutchie 8 Giant Cypress
I've found that even when the topic is about bikes WELL out of your price range, you can learn an awful lot about other options you might not have otherwise considered. And there's always someone who mentions another make of bike that you can then look up as well. (Of course, that's the way of the internet, there's always a link that will go on forever and ever.)
I have a bike by the name of Herb. I procured it when we did a walk through Hampshire College after their move-out in May, geez, maybe in 2005 or so.
Yes, I dumpster dive. I left a beautiful white Peugeot 3 speed that I will forever regret not giving a home. But that's a story for another day.
Herb is shiny green and has all sorts of attached bells & whistles that broke long before it came home with me. And sometimes the gears just, you know, shift without warning and the
angle of the bike versus me on it, usually ends up in an achy back by
the time I'm done. I think the knobbly tires are working against me as
well, as I primarily bike on concrete and not on mountain trails.
This bike has pulled two different laddies on their bike trailers and, as of last August, has taken me on a 20 mile round trip commute 2 days a week from August 2012-December 2012 and starting up again this week, when the snow finally receded enough for it to be safe for me to ride. (And man, was I ready to ride!)
But now, now I know I'll be commuting regularly. Not every day of the week, but at least twice a week, if not more.
I love getting some physical exercise first thing in the morning and seeing the landscape change through the seasons. Being slower than a ride in my minivan and closer to the ground, I have seen rare or early season sightings of turkey vultures, sharpshinned hawks, bunnies, chipmunks, turkeys and and AND a fisher cat last week!!! (Not technically a cat at all, but a member of the weasel family.) Biking also gives me ample opportunity to keep up with my favorite podcasts.
But it may be time to retire Herb and move up in the world of biking. Now it may well be time to invest (aack, spend money?!) in a commuter bike. Going to do some research and find out what I can on upright commuter bikes that won't put me in debt. While I realize the more you pay, it's likely the better the components, etc. But my budget isn't going to allow me a $1299 bike that I'll be afraid to leave alone on a bike rack. More to come soon!