Monday, March 14, 2011

Business Embraces Cyclists

I love where I live.  The Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts provide some of the best cycling routes I've ever experienced.  They take you through and past farmland, challenge you with some heavy rollers and, best of all, let you ride in an area that, for the most part, welcomes and encourages cycling and cyclists. 

Last week, I read a great piece on the Active Travel section of, "Growing number of bike cafes gear up to serve cyclists."  It talked all about how bicycle cafes are cropping up to serve a niche audience - welcoming us “weird alien space creatures.” Yes, when we go from fueling stop to fueling stop, or meet up pre- or post-ride for a coffee, lunch, and/or beer, we look weird.  We wear spandex, yes.  Our shoes make weird noises when we walk around.  Some of us might even shave - only to be more aero, right?  Either way, we are doing what we love.  And then, we keep the money in community, so we eat/drink where we ride.  Welcome us with open arms!

This article made me extremely happy.  For one, I love the fact that someone wrote it.  Two, I love the fact that this is a real that is cropping up across the country in some pretty interesting places.  I mean, I expect this to happen in Portland, Boulder, San Fran, Boston, etc., but  You go Steel City, you get yours.

As for me and the folks that ride around the Pioneer Valley, we've got The Lady Killigrew.  This place wasn't made for cyclists and they don't have all of the other amenities that some of the Cycling Cafes have, but, they have a great staff, they welcome cyclists (read, they are nice to us and let us use the phone if we have a flat and then pinch flat our spare as we are heading out) and the food and drink is great. 

How about you?  Do you guys have a favorite?  Did you see the article?  Let me know!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday Ramblings

Hello, February?  Where did you go?  After coming back from a fun ING Miami Half Marathon vacation, I have been incredibly absent from my blog.  Maybe it was the ever-growing snowpack on my front lawn or the fact that I changed gyms…heck, it could even be that I just feel somewhat unmotivated.  Most likely, though, it is a combination of all of those along with the typical stress that comes with commuting two hours round trip everyday and having not yet signed up for an A race.

Regardless, I’ve been lurking.  I’ve been reading your posts, catching up on what is going in your world.  I was reminded about my own successes and remaining body issues by reading about where Patrick, over at the The Road, has come from and where he's headed.  Caratunk Girl shared her excitement about IMLP by posting the IMLP 2010 swim start video - you can find me in there somewhere - yeah, I did that.  Other Jeff at Dangle the Carrot - well, let me just say that, while my day will come, I definitely do not want to crash like that.  Also, maybe shaving isn't such a bad idea after all.  And Kovas, found at Midwest Multisport Life, provided some stellar endurance gear reviews and provided an interesting three-part guest post series with Barefoot Charlie.  This came right as I was finishing Born to Run (a fantastic book and a great read)!

There are countless others of you out there that kept me informed, up-to-date and entertained.  Thank you for helping me get through a tough five weeks.  The stress of life is not going to get any easier - especially for the next few weeks/months.  I hope to be able to report back more here the interim, know that I will continue my running and swimming and tonight, tonight baby, I promise to be back on the bike.  The pain cave beckons and I must (Must.) heed its call. 

Train hard, race happy.