A chamois on August 22, 2015.
A chamois on August 22, 2015.

miscellaneous (6)

Patrick

January This And That

Cycling garments for 2022.

In 2021 I rode 128 times or 234 hours, totaling 4'218 kilometers and climbing 119'885 meters. I spent 87% of the rides on my Nordest Albarda allroad bike and did a single mountain bike all year. That's very unusual for someone who got into cycling on a mountain bike. 2020 and 2021 have been very unusual years, not just due to the continuing pandemic, but because our two old cats have chronic kidney disease. Maintaining a good quality of life for our two bugs has become the first priority. So, whenever I left for a ride, it was a 1-2 hour road bike ride, sometimes with a bit of gravel mixed in. My wife and I stayed home to take care of them at all times, and if one of us had to go out of town, the other stayed at home with them. We never left our cats alone for more than a few hours. A weekend trip or vacation? Impossible.

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Patrick

New Road Front Light

Magicshine MJ-906S front light.

Since I don't Zwift during the dark season of the year, time had come to look for a new front light. I've been using Magicshine lights since I bought a Magicshine Racer's Special from GeoManGear in 2009. I got two more MJ-808E lights in 2014 and have been using them ever since for mountain biking, road cycling, and most often for nightly fat-bike rides in the snowy Jura.

The MJ-808E series of lights are not super ideal with their rubber O-ring that wraps around the handlebar, particularly on the road. Over time, the lights tend to rotate out of position and have to be re-adjusted. So, for the past few years, I've kept an eye out for new lights but never actually pulled the trigger.

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Patrick

A New Mountain Bike Helmet

A hot chocolate on  cold day. Taken on November 27, 2010.

Back in the early days of mountain biking, bike helmets used to be bike helmets. Road cyclists were only just starting to put lids on and there were basically no sport-specific helmets. An XC mountain biker wore the same helmet as a road cyclist. Things have changed a lot in that regard. Mountain bikers today have a huge plethora of helmets to choose from; from lightweight XC helmets to full-face downhill helmets. For the three and a half decades I have been riding, I have primarily owned visorless road cycling helmets except for two Giro Exodus helmets, which were popular mountain bike helmets in early 2000. After those, I owned two Giro Atmos, three Aeon, and one Giro Synthe helmet. All of those are lightweight, well-vented lids you mostly see on the head of roadies.

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Patrick

Cycling And My List Of Don'ts

Chasseral crest trail on a rigid single-speed.

With every hobby there are things we love to do, things we have to do, things we can't do and yes, there are also things we simply won't do. There are a bunch of things I don't and won't do. In cycling, there's no right or wrong; some folks prefer one bike type over another, some live to bomb downhill, others rejoice in hitting hard climbs, some love to be rattled while others want squish. Ultimately it's about doing what's fun and we all achieve that in different ways. The way I roll is simply the way I roll.

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Patrick

Small Steps To Fight Climate Change

Some rare powder on December 9, 2017.

Our climate is heating up rapidly; even more rapidly than climate scientists predicted. Droughts are causing mass starvation and displacement of millions in large parts of the world. Other parts of the world are going up in flames. In October 2017, large areas of the city I used to call home for ten years were incinerated and three more wildfires brought smoke and destruction in 2019 and 2020. Hurricanes are growing stronger and more frequent. Switzerland, which I call home again, is getting hotter year after year. It's not uncommon for February to feel like May. Summer months see more frequent and grueling heatwaves. Swiss summers used to be the best time to ride. Now, summers are the first season during which I often take a break from cycling.

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