Can you think of anything better to do…
No, I didn’t think so.
I’ve spent the last month making adjustments and adding accessories to the Bianchi Camaleonte Uno with the intention of making it my primary ride to work and around the community. With the addition of fenders yesterday, I’ve now got her where I feel comfortable with moving ahead with that idea. Here’s what she looks like at the end of this adjustment period:
2011 Bianchi Camaleonte Uno
Topeak Super Tourist rack
Deuter Rack Pack Uni Panniers
Planet Bike Hardcore Fenders
Kryptonite NY 1210 Chain & Evolution 4 lock
I got great deals on all of these items from my local bike shop (Truly Spokin’) or Amazon. As always, the guys at my LBS have been fantastic, making suggestions, adjustments, and helping me solve a number of smallish issues.
It’s been more money than I had intended on spending, but even just riding the bike 3 days a week to work will pay off the bike in a year. Using it 5 days a week for work and for all local driving (errands, shopping, etc.) will save even more.
- Replacing the stock tires with a pair of Continental Gatorskin Tires
- Replacing the stock saddle with something a bit more comfortable
- Putting a bike computer on her
She’s a LOT of fun to ride – a very different ride than my 2004 Klein Aura V, but they were made for very different purposes! Looking forward to what this next year of cycling brings!
The 2011 South Bend Urban Adventure was a blast! For the 2nd year in a row, my cousin Christine and I ran / cycled / swam / rafted / slip ‘n slided / shortcutted / bullshitted / videoed / commented / connived / contrived / schemed and had an incredible time completing 24 checkpoints, biking 20+ miles, and attempting to win fame and glory on the streets of South Bend, IN.
We’re already planning for 2012 – watch out!
It’s been raining the last 4 days off and on. I’ve been doing a test ride of a 2011 Bianchi Camaleonte Uno this weekend and wanted to get it out as much as possible. This morning, sitting dejectedly in the living room watching the continuing rain, I thought, “I can’t go out on the bike and ride! It’s raining! I’ll get wet! The bike’ll get wet! I’ll look silly! Dang!”
At some point, I started thinking, “Hey, dumbass! When you were a kid, did the rain stop you from wanting to go outside & play? What’s wrong with you? Are you gonna melt? Is the bike gonna break? Don’t you remember the fun of riding your bike through the biggest puddles? Good lord, what’s happened to you?!?”
That was about as much fun as I’ve had riding a bike in a long, long time.
I’m reminded that there’s nothing wrong with childlike thinking.
There’s nothing wrong with getting wet.
There’s nothing wrong with getting dirty.
There’s nothing wrong with doing things with abandon.
I don’t need to worry about what others think.
I don’t have to color inside the lines.
This may seem like a stretch for a guy who already pushes the envelope as much as possible, but even I get into a rut. An hour out on the bike in the rain, careening through puddles, feeling the water against my face, not worrying about my clothes, the bike, my hair, what others might be thinking… that was a refreshing reminder.
Sometimes I just need to stop. Breathe. Relax. Focus.
This was shot out at Gulf Islands National Seashore / Ft. Pickens, FL on 10/9/10 using a Flip UltraHD camera. The music is something I frequently use while doing yoga – every time I use it, I feel relaxed and transported to the beach. To view in HD / full screen, click on the link to youtube.
So stop. Breathe. Relax. Focus.
What did they find? What did they eat? How does it end??
Well, click play and find out.
Stick around – it gets rather silly at the 4:00 mark…
It was an incredible evening out on Pensacola Beach.
Dark black clouds. White fluffy clouds. The sky was black. The sky was blue. It rained. It didn’t rain. The surf was flat and the beach was clear of people.
We brought Dolby, our black lab, out with us. The oil spill was on its way to Pensacola and we didn’t know when the next time was we’d be able to bring him.
As we walked out to the beach, the rain started sprinkling, and a rainbow popped out to the East. We got ourselves settled on a blanket, Dolby obviously unhappy. He and rain don’t mix. He loves getting wet and swimming, but if the moisture comes out of the sky, this displeases him. Lise went to hunt for seashells and the dog and I stayed behind.
I sat marveling at the rainbow, the dichotomy of light and dark in the sky, at the beach that we so love, how the light reflected off the water, and how we might be losing it all to the oil spill, slowly gushing its way to us.
That’s when I saw him.
Off to the East. A Great Blue Heron.
He was a good 50 yards away from where Dolby and I sat. He was framed against a beautiful backdrop of those mixed clouds, the rainbow, the shimmering water, and the sugar-white sand.
The photographer in me instantly started calculating how close I would need to get, at what point I would need to stand, what settings I would need to put into the camera, in order to get a shot of those clouds, the rainbow, the heron, the reflection, all into one frame.
The one thing I didn’t calculate was what it would take to get Dolby to stay on the blanket and not scare the heron away.
Dolby’s a good boy. We’ve been very lucky to have a big dog who stays close when off his leash, and almost always comes back when called. Almost always.
As I started changing my camera settings to take into account the distance, the lighting, my subject, and walking slowly towards the heron, I realized that Dolby was with me. What’s more, his ears had perked up and his tail was straight out. He started moving faster and next thing I know, he’s 5 yards in front of me.
What to do!? If I yell, Dolby would come back, but the heron might take off!
I risked it. “Dolby! COME!” and he did. And the heron stayed in his spot.
I continued walking, started taking some preliminary shots to see how things were looking, but knowing I needed to get much closer than I was to get the heron big enough to make it all worthwhile.
I forgot about Dolby again as I shot and made adjustments, walking quickly and, hopefully, stealthily towards the shoreline and my quarry.
The next thing I see in my camera viewfinder?
Dolby has taken off. Not a full gallop (yet), but the Labrador Retriever Hunting trot.
I called again in the most commanding voice I have, “Dolby! COME!” knowing it was futile. Once he’s locked himself into this mode, there’s nothing I can do to stop him. I had two choices: Chase after him and hope I could catch up to him, and grab him by his harness, or…
Or, I could get the camera ready and shoot what was sure to be an interesting, if not funny, scene.
Dolby has chased after pelicans in the past, to much disappointment. He has chased after black skimmers and come away shame-faced. He goes after slow, bumbling pigeons, but the results are always the same no matter what he chases: they get away.
This night was no different. As he got closer, the Great Blue shifted slightly. I could see him eyeing this big galoot who was now coming at him at a gallop. I could also see that the heron was going to shame my dog by letting him get close, closer, closer…
And it was a fantastic shaming. That Great Blue waited until the last minute to unfold his large wings and gracefully take flight against my goofy dog. He flew perhaps 50 yards to the West, landed in the water, and resumed his search for dinner, keeping a wary eye in our direction.
My big dog got this shameful, silly look on his face as he trotted back, almost as if to say, “Dang it! I knew that was gonna happen, but shucks, I just had to give it a try!”
As the oil slick continues to grow, and as we find more and more oil out on the beach, this is just one of the many things we are growing sad about losing.
It’s been many, many years.