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Rides and cycling related

North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2014

nahbsThe North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2014 (HAHBS) takes place in Charlotte NC this weekend.  Being I am a cycling aficionado, I could not let the opportunity pass to visit the show.  In past years, I’ve seen only pictures of the different hand made bikes in the pages of cycling magazines.  So I made the trip today to the Charlotte Convention Center to check the event out.

I was NOT disappointed.  I had a chance to see some really nice bikes, paint jobs and some very interesting  ideas.

Rather than show picture and a bunch of text, let me just post a few comments and then you can check out the gallery of some of the most interesting bikes!

  • There were many manufacturers with wood bikes.  The frames were all wood and while not exactly my cup of tea, they are nevertheless amazing.  I must say I have never ridden a wood bike before, so who knows…  If I were to try one out I might like it.
  • Same for bamboo.  There were quite a few bamboo and hybrid bamboo bikes.  They were all equally amazing.
  • There was a vendor there that had a technique to take a mold in plaster of your feet.  He then would use that as a mold to create a hand-made carbon fiber shoe!  The shoes were pricey but looked awesome.  The manufacturer said he obtained his knowledge from making custom ice skates.  These shoes were amazing.
  • There was one manufacturer that made a carbon bike with a honeycomb open air weave of carbon.  Most unusual.  I have seen pictures of a dude in Europe that made something similar but this was over the top.
  • Several bikes had alternate power supplies – electric motors that is.
  • Tandems.  Many tandems.  In all kinds of materials.  Interesting that many had belt drives instead of chains.  Incidentally, my cousin Bob has been using a belt drive on his Seven tandem for many years now with very successful results.
  • Pay close attention towards the end of the gallery – there is a red bike with some really intricate details.  The builder is from Japan and the bike had a $20,000 price tag.  Certainly very artistic and the details had many, many hours’ worth of work written all over them.

An so, here is a full gallery of the photos I took today.  Yes, some of the pics are not exactly great since I took them with my iPhone.  But you get the idea…

Well – what do you think?  Comments are welcome!

Yard Birds

Yard birds.

Yard Birds, you know… Chickens!

Well…  With the kind of weather we have had lately, getting a chance to get on my road bike today was a real treat.  Just a few days ago we were in single digit temps; yesterday was rain, thunder and lightning (yes in January); today the sun was out, not a cloud in the sky and amazing blue skies.  Temps were in the mid 50’s.  Go figure.

You never know what you are going to find on a bike ride.  I suppose the chickens were just like me out to enjoy a sunny beautiful day.  I’ve written about this chicken farm before (click here) and today we add the above picture.  Nice view indeed.


IMG_1816On a completely different note, on one of the roads I ride often, I found a great deal of “patch” road work today.  The type of repairs like this were found in the stretch of about 3/4 of a mile on both sides of the yellow line.  The reason this struck me was because of the poor quality of the repair.  Not very well packed and far from level and smooth.

Today, roads riddled with potholes seem the norm.  It is sad because the state of South Carolina used to have very good roads.  Not anymore.  Finally, what just adds icing to the cake is that any initiative to find new funding for road work is immediately turned down by politicians that are more concerned with votes than in doing the right thing.

IMG_1814And here is some of the high-tech equipment being used to do the repair work.  There were a couple more pieces including a road scraper but I could not get a good picture of them.

So how did the patchwork feel?  Not smoother than what used to be there.  Furthermore, with the poor quality of the work it will be no time before this starts to disintegrate. I suppose we get what we pay for…

Old House…

Old House...

An old house on the side of the road (click for larger size)…

Got up this morning and after watching the recorded (thank you DVR!) Formula1 Qualifying telecast from the Shanghai International Circuit I headed out on my bike and enjoyed an awesome ride on a glorious day.  Today’s forecast called for severe clear, mild Spring weather in the Upstate of South Carolina; however when I left the house, it was in the low 60’s – just perfect.  It was during today’s awesome ride that I came across this old house…

I am very lucky to have some of the most amazing rural two-lane roads in what is basically my back yard.  These are very low traffic country roads with rolling hills and some pretty awesome sights.  On days like today though, things just take a special “look” about them.  The old house in today’s featured picture is on one of these rural roads and I’ve passed it hundreds of times.  Today though, there was something about it that called for a picture be taken.  I captured today’s picture – mind you – with my iPhone so that might account for the grain in the picture, but oh well – I though it was pretty cool.

What I thought special about this old house is that it sits in a very nice piece of property, with a wooded area in the background and a slight hill.  Makes you wonder how old the old home might be?  Who lived there?  How was day-to-day life when the inhabitants of this structure called it “home”?  How many cold nights were heated by that fireplace?  What did a summer rain shower sound like on that tin roof?

Life was different then…  Then again, was it perhaps better than today?  Simpler times, indeed.

Muscadine Vineyard, South Carolina Style…

Headed out on today’s bike ride, and not far from my house is the following muscadine vineyard.  The following gallery shows what I’m talking about…

What makes this so special though is that if you “stop and smell the roses” you can certainly smell the sweet aroma of the berries ripening in the late summer sun.  Certainly a Southern thang…  🙂

Things You See Along The Way…

Today was an interesting Spring day.  Started out cloudy and overcast, then it turned into a “typical” Spring shower.  Sun came out after that at which time I decided to hit the road and put some miles on my bicycle.  About a dozen or so miles from home it gets overcast again and stays that way for a few hours.  Later in the day a thunderstorm moves in,  rains like hell, along with pea size (and larger!) hail.  Hmmmm…

Must be some of that 2012 Mayan Calendar stuff and the planets getting in perfect alignment…  BTW, today is:  12 Bak’tun.19 K’atun.19 Tun.4 Winal.15 K’in.

At any rate, I’m pedaling along on my titanium SevenCycles bike and I see this:

The photo makes no justice to the beauty of the moment…  I have no clue as to how to raise chickens but this all struck me as very special.  The two mutts in the foreground were not all too happy to see me there, but by the time I retrieved my iPhone and pushed the button to take the picture they had calmed down and their tails were wagging.  Needless to say, they were there to protect the yard-birds which incidentally did not get all too excited when these two K9’s started barking.  How about that arrangement?

There must have been a time in the history of this great nation of ours where folks raised a bunch of chickens, had fresh eggs for breakfast and fresh poultry for supper. I remember my Dad telling me stories about how farm-life was like during the days of The Great Depression – they did not have much, but there was always food on the table.  Somehow this moment made me think about him.