Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chilly mornings

It's starting to get nippy in the mornings- I'd guess it was in the high 30's as I headed out the door.  I wore regular heels instead of boots, as I think pretty soon it's going to be all boots all the time.
There are a (pleasantly) surprising number of cyclists still out.  I counted 10 going by in one light cycle on Mass Ave at Sidney last night at 6pm- not bad.  And all except one had a light, and three of them were patiently waiting for the light to change when I arrived...

This morning I saw a a bike with really interesting frame geometry, but couldn't get a photo-  I spoke to the owner briefly as we climbed over the Longfellow-  He said it was a "Semi-Recumbent" .  He had a european (Germanic?) accent, so I asked him if it was an Import, and he said, no, it's from Kansas.   Google led me to RANS bikes (and airplanes!?!)  of Hayes Kansas.  I'm not sure if this is the model he was riding, but it was characteristic of the style-  with a super laid back seat post.  My Dad rides a Vision 'bent, and has flirted with this idea, but he's worried about falling over and breaking a hip or collar bone.  Based on what I could see, it seemed like you were in a much less tippy position than a "regular" recumbent,  and it would be easy to put a foot down.  It also seemed like it would be peppier up hills.  Anyone out there have any experience with them?

I also ran into my co-worker E.  who was biking in a jaunty kilt. (over workout pants) She thinks it may be getting too cold soon for her to keep biking, although she, like I, had shed her outer layer by the time we got close to work.   

It is tough to get out there on chilly mornings,  but you warm up so quickly, even with light layers, that I end up shedding my scarf and usually my coat still. Good gloves are key,  and while the faux shearling ones I'm using are great so far,  I suspect they're reaching the end of their temperature range.


  1. Ski mittens are ALWAYS an option!

  2. I haven't been shedding my coat, but my gloves were certainly not relevant today. I am loving this warmth, bring it on!

  3. Yeah, it was the third day in a row this week that I had shed coat, neck gaiter, and gloves half-way through the commute. I still need it all for the rides home. Temperature really drops when it gets dark.

  4. Interesting that he called it semi-recumbent. In recumbent circles, we call those bikes "crank forwards" since the seat doesn't at all support a recumbent position.

    If somebody ever asks, "How can I make a mountain bike comfortable", a RANS crank forward is the answer.

  5. If you are interested in a crank forward bicycle, I have one I was just getting ready to post on Craigslist. It is a 2008 Electra, 21 speed derailleur model with fenders, lights, dynamo hub, rear rack and I am throwing in the new Axiom panniers as well. It has only a couple hundred miles on it and I need to make space desperately. Too many bikes! It is a candy apple red and in like new condition. If you are interested at all in looking at it, tell me how to contact you and I will send pics and all specs. I am located in Plymouth.

  6. @ Anon- That's an interesting thought that the Electra "flat footed" geometry is an extension of the "crank forward" genre.
    I've ridden an Amsterdam Electra, and I think it must be an acquired taste- the handling was so different from any of the other more conventional bikes I ride regularly. It wasn't precisely uncomfortable, because it's a very relaxed ride, but I just wasn't very comfortable.
    I'm not personally interested in your bike, but others might be- if you want to put a link to the CL post in a comment, I'll pass it along