Bicycle Stories Month | Final Recap and Round-up

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

And we come to a close…

It is now June, and the sun has set on both National Bike Month and this little blogging event. This was the first time I hosted an event and I am glad I did, I got to meet some new people, discover some new blogs and write a few stories that wouldn’t have seen the light of day otherwise.

Though engagement wasn’t as high as I would have liked I am happy I didn’t just give up on the event. Three great pieces were submitted in the last stretch of the month, you can find the links to them below. I’d like to thank those authors and everyone who even just expressed interest in participating. I’d really like to say thank you to all of you who stopped by to read this month.

The Round-Up Portion

This weeks participants, in order of date of submission.

Bicycle, Tiger, Thief, February Street

Her Bike, Charlottesville Winter

The scraped knee… A childhood rite of passage, Meaningful Mommy

 That about sums up the week

If that isn’t enough bicyclelyness for you, take a peek at My Bicycle Diary for some extra reading material.

I am not sure if I am going to be hosting this again next year, we’ll just play that one by ear for now. In the meantime Happy Biking and happy blogging.

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Bicycle Stories Month | Week 4 and not quite 5

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

It’s Almost Over

We are going into the last nine days of May and, therefore Bicycle Stories Month is coming to a close. If you are still interested in participating you have until Saturday May 31st to share your adventures in cycling. To avoid any hang over posts we’ll be skipping this Tuesday’s round-up and recap, instead a final one will be posted on Sunday Jun 1st.

How Does this event work?

  1. I’ll make an Event post each Thursday in May that I’ll stick to my home page for one week (Note this is the page for this week). It will be posted at 8:00am EST.
  2. You create a post for your bicycle story
  3. Use the tag Bicycle Stories Month and/ or include a Pingback to the weekly event post (again that’s this page)
  4.  On Sunday June 1st, I’ll post a a final round-up of participants.

How do I participate?

If you’d like to participate then  just get out on your bike and then post about it. That’s it, no prompts no specific challenge to it just lets tell stories about bikes for a month. Your post can be in any format your comfortable with and just needs to be broadly about cycling.

  • A story or journal entry about your day out biking.
  • A photo essay showing places you visited on your bike (it’d be nice to include some pictures of your bikes).
  • A journalism piece about a bicycle event in your community.
  • The tale of teaching you child or sibling how to ride
  • When you got your first bike
  • Tell us why you hate riding a bike.
  • A how to on bike repairs
  • Anything you want just as long as it involves a bike, even a complete work of fiction.

Do we get a badge?

Absolutely, if you want a badge to include on your blog or in your post then feel free to grab a copy of the logo for the event, and stick it anywhere it makes you happy. Here it is again in case you missed it at the top of the page.

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Don’t have a Blog? We got you covered.

If you want to participate without a blog you can make a short post or share your photos on this blogs Facebook page to share your biking stories this month. I’ll be sharing bike related links there all month.

I hope that you’ll join in and have some fun with this event.

 Have any questions, or need additional information?

Please leave a comment on the Event Page or Contact Me through the myriad of options available.

Happy biking, and happy blogging.

Bicycle Stories Month | Week 3: Recap and Round-up

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

The Recap

Yes I am just a glutton for disappointment

At this point I really should not be surprised by the lack of involvement in this little project. Which is cool, I mean  it’s not like anyone’s holding a gun to your head… Would that work? I mean it would be a good way to bring the stats for my sites up… ah but then I suppose everyone would be doing it.

Oh well life goes on and so does the month of May. Since the month is  so close to an end I will be including week 4 and 5 in the next round-up and that will be posted on Sunday June 1st, so there won’t be one next Tuesday, for those scant few who are still paying attention.

What in the name of… Wait What?

I’m doing this made up little thing I’m calling Bicycle Stories Month. It’s to get people riding their bikes and sharing their experiences. Since you showed up here you might as well join in.

If this is the first you’ve heard of Bicycles Stories Month you can check out the details on the event page.

 

The Round-Up Portion

My submission for this event is Memory Lane but, if you’ve already been by once today you already know that

 

Aaaand that about sums up the week

If you’re currently on the toilet and staring at your phone (c’mon you know you do it) you can take a peek at My Bicycle Diary for some extra reading material.

That’s what is passing for a round-up this week. If you are still interested in joining this project remember anything posted after the rest of today and all of Wednesday will be eligible to be included with next weeks round-up, and a next and final  event post to link to will be up on Thursday May 22, at 8:00am EST.

Happy Biking and happy blogging.

Memory Lane

He pushed down on the pedals, and the cranks turned the gears went round and round. Forward through  the streets of the old neighborhood. Past the old house with the tall chain link fence, where the old man sat on his stoop all day, gospel music floating out through the front door;  where his nephew stood in the street all night, drugs floating out through the front door. Once, in a bad storm, an old friend from school now a cop gave him a ride home his cruiser. As they drove the officer pointed out all the houses that were dealing, weed on this corner, cocaine on that one, crack all over. The police knew about it all, but were too busy “investigating” to make any arrests.

The cranks turned the gears went round and round. Onward still turning left down the road where the old duplex apartment sat, the garden they planted overgrown, the rosebushes turned to briers. The windows still boarded. They had such big plans, a future, a family. Making do in the meantime with what they had. Then the people in the next apartment passed out with the stove on. Every stitch of clothes, every stick of furniture gone; the fire burned through their entire lives. They were out celebrating their anniversary that night. The next morning they had to start all over again.

The gears went round and round. Farther up the playground where the bus dropped off the elementary school kids each afternoon. The slides and jungle gym covered in tags and pseudo gang signs drawn by thugs and wannabes each, depending on the time of day, claiming ownership of this insignificant corner of the world. They all had guns but were all afraid of being shot, so provided they ignored each other there was rarely a problem. In the end they could have it, the whole pile of garish plastic, cigarette buts, shredded rubber, broken crack pipes and sand.

Round and round. The new job afforded a better area of town to live in, but each evening as the sun went down he pedaled his way through the old neighborhood, and it’s ill repaired roads. Past the drunken overly friendly people he came to know over the few years they lived here. The old folks who always had the time of day, whether he did or not. Who always asked about how she was doing, and if her tomatoes had come in. The handful of neighbors that made the place tolerable. He waved to the last of them and turned up the ragged bike path towards home.

This story was written as part of Bicycle Stories Month

Bicycle Stories Month | Week 3

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

And We’re Still Going…

Third week of Bicycle Stories Month is underway, so it’s about time you got involved. You still have until Saturday May 31st to share your adventures in cycling, even if they are completely imaginary. Seriously, how would I know the difference.

How Does this event work?

  1. I’ll make an Event post each Thursday in May that I’ll stick to my home page for one week (Note this is the page for this week). It will be posted at 8:00am EST.
  2. You create a post for your bicycle story
  3. Use the tag Bicycle Stories Month and/ or include a Pingback to the weekly event post (again that’s this page)
  4.  On the following Tuesday, I’ll post a round-up of and/ or  reblog some of my favorites. (entries made after the round-up is posted will be eligible for the following week’s round-up)

How do I participate?

If you’d like to participate then  just get out on your bike and then post about it. That’s it, no prompts no specific challenge to it just lets tell stories about bikes for a month. Your post can be in any format your comfortable with and just needs to be broadly about cycling.

  • A story or journal entry about your day out biking.
  • A photo essay showing places you visited on your bike (it’d be nice to include some pictures of your bikes).
  • A journalism piece about a bicycle event in your community.
  • The tale of teaching you child or sibling how to ride
  • When you got your first bike
  • Tell us why you hate riding a bike.
  • A how to on bike repairs
  • Anything you want just as long as it involves a bike, even a complete work of fiction.

Do we get a badge?

Absolutely, if you want a badge to include on your blog or in your post then feel free to grab a copy of the logo for the event, and stick it anywhere it makes you happy. Here it is again in case you missed it at the top of the page.

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Don’t have a Blog? We got you covered.

If you want to participate without a blog you can make a short post or share your photos on this blogs Facebook page to share your biking stories this month. I’ll be sharing bike related links there all month.

I hope that you’ll join in and have some fun with this event.

 Have any questions, or need additional information?

Please leave a comment on the Event Page or Contact Me through the myriad of options available.

Happy biking, and happy blogging.

Bicycle Stories Month | Week 2: Recap and Round-up

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

The Recap Portion

Don’t make me beg now

Week two comes to a close and I have to say I’m a little disappointed. I suppose I could have decided to run a cat stories event this month and you’d all be stabbing each other in the neck to be the first to post for it. Damn it I should have made it about cats shouldn’t I.

Seriously though, I get it, we all have lives and our own publishing schedules and such. Mine has been kind of hectic lately so I haven’t been able to spend as much time as I would have like checking out other people’s blogs this week myself.

Oh well life goes on and so does the month of May.

Wait I swear I didn’t know anything about this! What’s going on here?

I’m doing this made up little thing I’m calling Bicycle Stories Month. It’s to get people riding their bikes and sharing their experiences. Since you showed up here you might as well join in.

If this is the first you’ve heard of Bicycles Stories Month you can check out the details on the event page.

 

The Round-Up Portion

My submission for this event is Reconstructive. It’s kinda fun you should check it out.

Also I’d like to thank February St. for mentioning this event in the post Coming Fiction and Laptop Death. My condolences about the departed computer and I hope you are still interested and able to take part in Bicycle Stories when you get it sorted.

Aaaand that about sums up the week

If you’re currently on the toilet and staring at your phone (c’mon you know you do it) you can take a peek at My Bicycle Diary for some extra reading material.

That’s what is passing for a round-up this week. If you are still interested in joining this project remember anything posted after the rest of today and all of Wednesday will be eligible to be included with next weeks round-up, and a new event post to link to will be up every Thursday at 8:00am EST.

Happy Biking and happy blogging.

Reconstructive

Once, an early spring day’s boredom found me roaming the neighbor’s yard in search of body parts. I had known him for a few years, through various residences, and he always maintained a well stocked bone yard in back of his house. I had taken advantage of it just once before that morning, back when we briefly lived together. But then I was looking for something that was more or less intact. This time I had a more complex set of procedures in mind.

As I wandered through the piles of unsorted fragments, and components it didn’t quite occur to me what an asshat my former roommate was for having all this strewn around his yard. Strictly speaking there wasn’t anything wrong with what he did, I suppose. You could concede that his collection was more of an aftermath industry. This would be the same rationalization some vegetarians and vegans use when they buy leather shoes from a thrift store. Mostly he rode around town with a set cutters and  just took loose parts, and what abandoned bodies he could find; those were mostly stripped down to begin with. Sometimes, after the college kids would leave for the summer, he’d stake out the apartment complexes and see what strays could be had. He considered it a public service, he was keeping the city clean in a way. I wasn’t really concerned with any of that. I didn’t care about where they came from, whose they once were, or the legality of the whole matter. I only wanted the parts, this wasn’t a moral issue.

I needed a bike. At least that morning I decided I needed one. Given the time of my life it would be safe to assume that I, was in some way, wasted when I came to this decision. I had a set of wrenches, a fair amount of mechanicalaptitude, and the better part of the day on my side.

Digging through the carcasses it seemed the largest variety of frames were for children, or at least people much shorter than myself, second on the list were those crappy stunt bikes that had been so popular for last few years. Nothing seemed quite the right size, so impatiently I settled on a slightly undersized Diamondback as the base for my creation.  Luck was with me in locating handle bars and a set of fairly straight set of forks. Neither came from the same bike, but the colors were close enough that it didn’t bother me too much. The hellish part of this process was the wheels.

Trying to locate to rims that weren’t bent to shit in a yard full of  discarded and scavenged parts was hard enough. When you need them both to fit a mountain bike increases the challenge. The requirement for one of them to be a rear wheel with gears that also aren’t bent means you’ll be spending a couple of maddening hours searching for, fitting, and then rejecting several specimens. You can only imagine my joy when the ones I finally selecting had viable tubes and tires.

Brakes were in abundance, and though this was a new field for me a few minutes with a wrench and a pair of needle nose pliers sorted this out. The area that I woefully could not get the hang of at all was the rear derailleur. So I removed it, shortened the chain I had found, and fixed the whole mechanism into a mid range gear that would be just fine for riding about town. Hills however were going to be a problem, it would probably be best if I didn’t go for any ambitious rides.

A few bolts were tightened, a set of cargo baskets were slapped on, and the frankenbike was ready to go grocery shopping. It was heavy, sluggish, and nearly impossible to steer or stop, but I liked it because I had built it with my own two hands. I am glad I did it. Spending the day sweating in the blazing sun, tinkering with parts had gotten me back into riding a bike after many years, and got me started doing all my own repairs as well.

I’ve owned, and had stolen from me my share of bikes since then. I am sure many of them have wound up as skeletons in some other scrap heap. I never bothered to ask why this person I once knew obsessively collected bike parts only to pile them up in his yard. There was a lot I never bothered to ask about him, he was kind of crazy to start with.

This post is part of Bicycle Stories Month. I hoped you enjoyed it and maybe find time to participate.
Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Bicycle Stories Month | Week 2

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

Welcome Back!

This is the second week of Bicycle Stories Month, so if you were interested last week but didn’t quite get around to taking part you are in luck. You still have until Saturday May 31st to share your adventures in cycling. Why wait though you can enter as many posts as you like throughout the month.

How Does this event work?

  1. I’ll make an Event post each Thursday in May that I’ll stick to my home page for one week (Note this is the page for this week). It will be posted at 8:00am EST.
  2. You create a post for your bicycle story
  3. Use the tag Bicycle Stories Month and/ or include a Pingback to the weekly event post (again that’s this page)
  4.  On the following Tuesday, I’ll post a round-up of and/ or  reblog some of my favorites. (entries made after the round-up is posted will be eligible for the following week’s round-up)

How do I participate?

If you’d like to participate then  just get out on your bike and then post about it. That’s it, no prompts no specific challenge to it just lets tell stories about bikes for a month. Your post can be in any format your comfortable with and just needs to be broadly about cycling.

  • A story or journal entry about your day out biking.
  • A photo essay showing places you visited on your bike (it’d be nice to include some pictures of your bikes).
  • A journalism piece about a bicycle event in your community.
  • The tale of teaching you child or sibling how to ride
  • When you got your first bike
  • Tell us why you hate riding a bike.
  • A how to on bike repairs
  • Anything you want just as long as it involves a bike, even a complete work of fiction.

Do we get a badge?

Absolutely, if you want a badge to include on your blog or in your post then feel free to grab a copy of the logo for the event, and stick it anywhere it makes you happy. Here it is again in case you missed it at the top of the page.

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Don’t have a Blog? We got you covered.

If you want to participate without a blog you can make a short post or share your photos on this blogs Facebook page to share your biking stories this month. I’ll be sharing bike related links there all month.

I hope that you’ll join in and have some fun with this event.

 Have any questions, or need additional information?

Please leave a comment on the Event Page or Contact Me through the myriad of options available.

Happy biking, and happy blogging.

Bicycle Stories Month | Week 1: Recap and Round-up

 

Bicycle Stories Month Badge

The Recap Portion

Off to a Slow Start

At the end of week one it seems that I am the only person who was able to write a post for this event, however I am still encouraged by the amount of interest I have seen in the project. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks to come there will be more entries.

I am a hard-headed, stubborn bastard at heart so we will carry on none the less.

What on the once green earth are you babbling about?

I’m doing this made up little thing I’m calling Bicycle Stories Month. It’s to get people riding their bikes and sharing their experiences. Since you showed up here you might as well join in.

If this is the first you’ve heard of Bicycles Stories Month you can check out the details on the event page.

 

The Round-Up Portion

Since I was the only active participant this week feel free to check out my post, Back in the Fold just for kicks.

Around WordPress

Even thought these folks didn’t officially enter, here are a couple of posts I liked, and thought fell into the spirit of the thing. So if you’re needing inspiration for next week you should check them out.

Day 4 Ride: Trails and Alligators – National Bike Month, Endless Seeker

Bicycle, My Photo Space BA

I Don’t Know Shit About Bicycles, Too Busy Hating Everything

The Rules Rewritten, The Human Cyclist

GROCERY SHOPPING: OVERSIZED LOAD ON A NOT-AT-ALL-CARGO BIKE, The Back Pack Objective

Fountain Ride, Bettie Takes Some Pictures

i know no bigger bastard than a bike thief, Otherwise Empty

And if that’s not enough to get you going you can look into My Bicycle Diary for more ideas.

So that’s it for this weeks round-up. If you are still interested in joining this project remember anything posted after the rest of today and all of Wednesday will be eligible to be included with next weeks round-up, and a new event post to link to will be up every Thursday at 8:00am EST.

Back in the Fold

Forgive me bicycle for I have sinned… I think as I disentangle my ride out from the dusty, cluttered garage. I check the tires for air, and pump the brakes. It’ll be several hours before my ride home, so I flash my headlight across hand to test the batteries before fixing it to the handle bars. With maintenance excuses eliminated, I roll my bike through the gate to the driveway.

…It’s been over month since my last riding session… That was only once too, on our anniversary the wife and I spent the afternoon biking, we ate Indian food for lunch and shopped at the farmer’s market. The Goat Vindaloo was spicy and delicious, I had the Chicken Marsala. That was a nice pleasant ride, easy with all the time in the world. Before that I’m not sure when I rode last. I can’t say at all the last time I rode hard. I retrieve my work clogs from the cab of the truck, and I drop them into my panniers. I wonder how I have let this fall into such a state of laxness.

 It only took getting caught in a few downpours to put me off riding during the long dreary and wet winter. Weeks would go by without suitable weather. I felt somehow I had betrayed my bike, through neglect. On the rare occasions when I did go riding I would no longer use the fitness tracker, with its encouraging, metallic, feminine voice that would urge me on with reports on my time and distance. I grew more and ashamed of ignoring the notifications on my phone letting me know how much she missed me, until I finally deleted the app from my phone.

I would sometimes feel guilt towards my blog and its readers as well. So many of my early followers seem to come from my posts about cycling. However, as I continued to write my interests evolved elsewhere. Still those early readers gave me the confidence to keep writing and to stretch myself, to work towards my larger goals. I must owe them something, even just an explanation.

I strap my helmet on and I have tighten down the ratchet on the back to make it fit, I had removed nearly a foot of hair since last I wore it. I check my time and breath, if I’m going to do this I have to start pedaling if I am going to make it to work on time. I climb onto the saddle and commit to it. I turn the crank over awkwardly, stiffly and move forward.

The rain earlier in the day has loosened the grease and grit on the road, and my rear tire fish tails as I turn out onto the narrow bike lane painted along the highway into town. I reach the first mile and already I feel the stiffness in my legs and the extra pounds on my out of shape butt, gained through months of sedentary living and several holidays worth of eating.

Halfway through my ride and I begin to struggle. A short shower falls again onto the hot pavement, the heat of the afternoon evaporating it quickly driving the humidity up.Sweating and wheezing I crest the last of the hills and paused for water from my canteen. The trip I had grown so accustomed to over the spring and fall, now seemed to be too much. Pushing on I wonder again, how could I have let this happen.

Finally, after taking much longer I expected, over heated, dehydrated, and my knee aching, I roll to a stop in the alley outside work. Wearily dismounting  I stagger around the back lot for a moment, sipping from remainder of my water. Sweaty and tired I made it through my commute for the first time in months, I had have pains but it is nothing a little ibuprofen won’t fix. Now I just have an eight hour shift before I can start my ride home.

It’s going to be a great season.

This is my contribution to this weeks portion of Bicycle Stories Month. I hope you’ll join in and share your stories.
Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge

Bicycle Stories Month Semi-official Badge