Monday, July 26, 2010

Macho Bicycle Bill

Last Saturday, I went to the local hardware store to purchase some U-bolts to attach a front rack to my commuter bike. Tim “The Toolman” Taylor from the sitcom Home Improvement made it especially cool for guys to go to the hardware store. There’s so much stuff to look at, projects to dream of, tools to lust after….(insert barking sounds here).

Unfortunately, I failed to take pictures of the trip to the hardware store. However, my daughter came in from Hawaii (vacation, she doesn’t LIVE there) and offered to buy a pedicure for me. At this point I should probably lie and say I’ve never had a pedicure before, and I only went because I had not seen my daughter in a while and she BEGGED me to go. That would not be honest. I’ve had several pedicures, the first was on a cruise about four years ago.

Frankly, I really enjoy having a pedicure. My feet have never felt better, and after they finish with the toes, they massage your feet and legs…(insert barking sounds here)…and I did take pictures at the nail salon.

So here is Bicycle Bill's daughter, Mrs. Bicycle Bill, and Mrs. Bicycle Bill's mom. Who sang that song "Macho, Macho, Man"?

Fat Tires

If you go back and read the early history on this blog that tells about my first foray into bike riding since I was a kid, you’ll see that I started out with a mountain bike. After a couple of long rides on the mountain bike, I soon desired a road bike for the long rides, and maybe became a bit of a bike snob about it, because I had been told that the mountain bikes were “wrong” for the rallies, even though I had done away with the knobby tires in favor of road slicks.

Well I haven’t exactly abandoned the skinny tires, but I have fallen in love with my hybrid bike in just a few weeks of riding it on my morning 7 to 10 mile rides in town and for commuting and errands. It is not just the width of the tires, though that is part of it. It is more the lower tire pressure that the wider tires require. I generally run 100 psi in the skinny tires on my road bike. That tire pressure is necessary for a clydesdale rider like me to avoid pinch flats and possible rim damage from hitting pot holes and other road hazards in town.

The wider tires run about 70 psi, so they absorb more of he bumps in the road. If someone asks me what kind of bike I’d recommend they consider for their first time back on a bike in a while, I’d probably suggest a hybrid today. If they really want to get into riding long distances at rallies and such, then the road bike is the way to go, but if most of their riding will be done in the city, I’d have to say the hybrid is the bike of choice.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mrs. Bicycle Bill's Birthday Bike Ride!

Today is Mrs. Bicycle Bill's Birthday! She did not HAVE to ride her bike to her birthday dinner, but she wanted to! Plus, she wanted to get a few miles in before we stopped to eat, so we road North from home, then back South to Don Jose's for delicious Mexican Food. We try to eat light on bike rides, but that's kinda hard at Don Jose's. We made a total of about 8 miles, had a wonderful time, and no, I don't think we broke any speed limits on the way home!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Road ID

I would be remiss if I did not tell you about one very important piece of "equipment" that I always have when I'm on my bicycle, and, since my recent experience, I have it all the time. It's called a Road ID, and it gave the doctors in the emergency room my wife's and son's phone numbers so they could get in touch with them while I was having my recent heart attack. I think the picture speaks for itself. Click on the picture to make it bigger if you want to read what I have engraved on mine. You can get one at

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Spinning and Coasting

Back on the bike again two weeks after the heart attack.

Two weeks ago, I left the Cow Creek Country Classic Bike Rally in this helicopter for a quick, ten minute ride to Baylor Hospital in Dallas.

Spinning on the bike refers to staying in a low, easy gear and spinning the pedals rather than hammering down in a high gear. Everyone knows what coasting is, and so went my ride today for the first ride of any distance since the heart attack two weeks ago.

Early this morning, while the streets were still damp from the rain, I “spun and coasted” to Starbucks for the typical breakfast of oatmeal and and bold, black coffee. I stayed there for a while and worked on tomorrow’s Sunday School lesson, then leisurely rode home.

Hey! I’ve got a new old bike! I purchased this bike just to get the 700C wheels for the Trek 510 that I recently rebuilt, but the bike is so relaxed and comfortable, I put my fenders and rack on it and plan to use it for my commuter and errand bike. It is a 1993 Trek 700 Multitrack. This bike has wide tires that are very comfortable, although it would not have been considered a “high end” bike when it was new. It has a very basic 18 speed drive train with twist grip shifters. I’ll never ride it 100 miles in one day, but for commuting and errands, I really like it.

I left the house again around 11:30 to get a little more spinning and coasting in.

It was good to get back on these two local streets, Preston and Sleepy Hollow. I've ridden on them so much, they seem like old friends. Dirty, wet, bumpy old friends!

Today was humid, but not unbearably so, and the cloud cover is keeping the temperature tolerable.

I put in another 7 miles, stopping for lunch after about 5 miles at Los Aztecas Market. I had the chicken quesadillas with rice and beans, and it was muy bueno! Mrs. Bicycle Bill and I have stopped there to eat several times, and we have never been disappointed.

So I'm feeling great! I have a followup visit with my cardiologist in early August, and I expect him to order a stress test to see how the old ticker ticks, but as far as I am concerned today, Bicycle Bill is BACK!