Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Bike Ride

Unseasonable weather continues, and after all the gifts were exchanged and opened, I got out for a traditional Christmas bike ride.

This was the most Christmasy-looking scene I could find on my ride in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on this decidedly non-white Christmas. That's the historic Jonathan Hale Homestead, built in 1825 - part of a whole "living history" village in the heart of the national park. 

Mid-40s and cloudy, but no rain in the forecast, it was another nice day to ride. During my ride, I encountered a few hikers and a jogger or two, but surprisingly no other bicyclists apart from some guy on one of those extra upright "comfort-hybrid" bikes (you know the ones -- with totally unnecessary suspension forks and seat posts) who didn't even return my hello wave. Oh, and there was a guy on a Harley Davidson dressed like Santa (the guy was dressed like Santa. The Harley was dressed like, well, you know -- a Harley).

That's the old Everett Road covered bridge in the national park. I remember when it used to be open to car traffic, but it's been bikes and pedestrians-only for at least a couple of decades now.
I took the Rivendell Long-Low for the rides yesterday and today. It's just such a perfect bike for these little rambles through the country. Its long wheelbase and large-volume tires (33.3mm Jack Browns) soak up bumps and keep the bike planted. And the low bottom bracket gives it a nice, low center of gravity. If I could best describe the feel of this bike, I would say that it feels like I sit IN it, not perched ON it. It handles corners smoothly and predictably. The bike is no lightweight (28 pounds, fully equipped as shown), but on the road it feels a lot lighter than it is. Lastly, the aluminum fenders (hammered ones from Velo-Orange) keep me dry when the roads are wet, and look great too. It's a real joy to ride.

That's all for now. I hope wherever you are, the holiday is a nice one for you.


  1. I couldn't get out for a ride for fear of guest who ramble so slow would want to join. Plus, it's humid to all heck here in Florida. Instead, I set up the Craigslist to refresh and kept watch for some finds. There were lots of great $50 options that lasted all of an hour, Super Sports, Internationals, R series Cannondale, mid range Raleigh models, and even a few Ross mountain bikes. I like to buy and give them away to folks I see walking about. It's always cool to see those people weeks later smiling and thankful to have a good free bike.

  2. It's been unseasonably warm, with almost summer-like humidity, around here. We've also had more rain in the past week than we had during the preceding months of Fall. I did, however, get out for a short ride on Christmas.

    On Christmas Eve, I visited a friend in the hospital. We watched the PBS sepcial about Bing Crosby. It was ironic, to say the least, to see and hear him singing "White Christmas", given the weather we've had.

  3. I hit the "send" button too soon. Happy holidays!

  4. We must have just missed each other. I dropped down into the valley on Everett at about 11:10 or so on Christmas, crossed the valley on Bolanz, rode up Akron-Peninsula to Truxell, climbed to the top of Truxell, then reversed course to go home. I did see another cyclist on Truxell.