Adventures | Bicycles | Equipment | Daphne |
Links | Biking Routes
I enjoy many different physical activities but of all them, bicycling is probably what I do worst. Still, I enjoy it very much. It allows me to explore and do a kayak or hiking shuttle when I don't want or can't do a car shuttle.
I'm not a mountain biker. I suppose most of the bicycling I do now is suited best for a hybrid. Eventually, I'd love to get into serious road bicycling...maybe someday.
Click on one of the below links to see trip reports of previous adventures.
Bicycling Adventures 2018
Bicycling Adventures 2017
Bicycling Adventures 2016
Bicycling Adventures 2015
Bicycling Adventures 2014
Bicycling Adventures 2013
Bicycling Adventures 2012
Bicycling Adventures 2011
Bicycling Adventures 2010
Bicycling Adventures 2009
Bicycling Adventures 2008
Bicycling Adventures 2007 and prior
Prior to May 8, 2008, I rode a dark purple paint splattered 1990 Yukon Giant mountain bike. Though I didn't do any mountain biking, I found it rugged and reliable. Certainly not fast or lightweight but certainly good enough for the kind of biking I did. I rode it to college every day.
On May 8, 2008, the bottom bracket of my Yukon Giant snapped. Now that I use my bike to commute to work twice a week, I figured it was time to retire old reliable. I salvaged the parts I could, using them on other bikes or just giving them away.
At the Crofton Bike Doctor, I bought a new Trek 7200 15 inch hybrid bike. I got lots of accessories too, including fenders, parallel handlebar end grips (not sure what they're really called), front and rear lights, rear rack, saddlebags (left and right), front basket, pedals to accommodate riding shoes with clips, cleaning gear, extra tubes, and a new helmet. Hopefully, this bike will last me another 17 years.
Garmin GPSMAP 76S: A bicycle mount allows you to keep it attached to your handlebar while riding.
Swagman Trailhead 3 Bike Fold Down Bicycle Hitch Rack: My previous bike rack was a hitch mounted Yakima. It was sturdy but not well suited for my low Subaru Impreza. It stuck out too far and hung too low so that I had to inch my way down the driveway or over speed bumps for fear of it bottoming out. A roof rack or a rear window mounted rack was not suitable since I wanted to be able to also carry two kayaks. First, I tried to modify my rack by shortening the part that sticks out of the hitch. I tried to saw off about 6 inches so it wouldn't stick out so far but the steel was much too hard. I ended up ruining several metal-cutting blades on my power saw before I gave up. I looked for other rack options. There weren't many out there. But eventually, I found something that met my needs. I purchased the "Swagman Trailhead 3 Bike Fold Down Bicycle Hitch Rack" in 2013 from eTrailer.com for $153 after shipping. The part that enters the hitch curves up to increase clearance from the ground. It is sturdy and sticks out far enough so I can still open my trunk hatch without having to lower the main vertical bar on the hitch (though I could if I wanted to). It isn't often I am really excited about a piece of gear but this hitch rack has made me worry-free when I transport my bicycle(s) via car. The only thing I don't like is that it is advertised as being a 3 bike carrier but it only fits 2 hybrid bikes. Maybe it will fit 3 skinny racing bikes but for the average rider, don't expect to fit on more than 2. But my experience is that is the case for all bicycle racks.
In January 2018, Daphne became a huge part of the lives of Norma and me. I wanted to find ways to include her in the outdoor activities we love so much. I looked at commercial dog bicycle carriers. There are several for toy dogs where they are turned perpendicular to the direction of travel. There are also carriers that get towed behind the bike. I wanted one where Daphne could face forward. I found none and decided to make my own.
First, I bought a heavy duty metal front rack that would easily support Daphne and whatever carrier I designed. See first photo.
Next, I drilled an extra hole in the front rack so I could run two bolts through that would secure a platform. The platform is slightly longer than a typical corgi. See second photo.
Lastly, I designed a cage that would accommodate the height of a beagle. It is secured to the platform with four bolts/wingnuts and can easily be removed. The cage attaches to the low walls with a long hinge. The other side is a clasp to allow for one-handed opening. See third photo.
Here is the dog bicycle carrier I made (fourth and fifth photos). Carmen appears in the latter photo. Other than sitting in it on March 10, 2018, Daphne never got to go for a ride. I deemed it unsafe. On a test ride, it was fine as long as I went straight or made very wide turns. But the carrier extends too far forward, making steering difficult. It barely stands up by itself with the kickstand. Not all my engineering endeavors are successful. But as any researcher knows, we learn from our failures. I also learned why I couldn't find anything I wanted commercially...it just isn't feasible.
I ended up purchasing a Sepnine 2 in 1 Small Sized Comfortable Bike Trailer Bicycle Pet Trailer/Dog Cage. Norma installed it on March 29, 2018 and later that day we took Daphne for a short ride around town. She didn't much care for it but we're hoping she gets used to it over time. See sixth photo. It seems well built and I like the fact that it has suspension and plenty of ventilation to make the ride a little smoother for Daphne. I like the way it looks. My biggest complaint is that it is very heavy. But that's incentive for me to get stronger on the bicycle.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.