It’s My Blog-aversery!

12 01 2011

Apologies in advance for a self indulgent post.

I’ve been blogging for a year! How time flies!

It's ice lantern making weather (meaning it's freakin' cold but I'm sick of complaining about the cold so I'm going to concentrate on how quick it is to make ice lanterns when it's this cold, instead).

Huge thanks to everyone who’s read, commented or linked to Breaking Chains and Taking Lanes! I feel humbled that so many of you folks like to read my little cycling ditties. Stay tuned for many more bicycle adventures to come, which may or may not include bike-boganning, riding Porta Bike on the roof of a certain E-town landmark, and both riding and skating in a pink tutu.

Porta Bike alight! The ice lanterns slid around in the basket A LOT.

One thing that I’ve enjoyed is seeing the search engine terms that people stumble onto my blog with. Here are the top five most popular:

1 – “breaking chains taking lanes” – Aww, shucks (blushes). You’re really want to read me!

2 – “cygnet bicycle” / “arvon cygnet” – The Cygnet is an amazing bicycle by local master bicycle builder Arvon Stacey that I had the privilege of test riding last summer. More information on Arvon Cycles can be found here and here and here. Recently, Miss Sarah of Girls & Bicycles got to borrow one.

Trying out the Arvon Cygnet on a day that was 55 degrees celsius (that's 100F for those in the states) warmer than it is as I write this.

3 – “green caterpillars” – After making one short post on some unwanted hitchhikers, I’ve discovered that there seems to be such a dearth of information on mysterious green caterpillars that people from all over the world are looking to a bike blog for more information. O-K. This is all I know. But if you’re looking for this information in January, I’m going to assume that your climate is so much different than mine that it won’t be helpful. Unless I’ve unwittingly stumbled upon a green caterpillar conspiracy to take over the planet – that would explain why people everywhere are looking for information on identifying them.

4 – snow storm / winter cycling – Ahhh, now let me tell you about winter cycling

Bike vs blizzard. You may have won this round, blizzard, but I will win the war with my mighty snow shovel, studded tires and angular momentum!

5 – dumpster booty – Aaaarrgh! I hope ye mateys be fellow dumpster pirates, and not just dirty wankers who forgot to turn off safe search.

Some of my other favorite searches from the last year:

“can I bike on shrooms” – Um, yes, you CAN bike on ‘shrooms, but a more pertinent question would be “should I bike on ‘shrooms?”

“folding bikes assholes” – I sure hope I don’t become one of those.

“wd40 poplar sap” – NO! Don’t do it! WD-40 is evil! It won’t remove sap – it’ll just make it more permanent!!

“woody woodpecker bells” – YES!

“how bad is edmonton for cycling” – It’s better than Calgary.

“marjorie stewart baxter hoodie” – Was that you, Chris?

Anyway, thanks for reading, everyone, it’s been a blast! Stay warm and ride on!

The Cygnet, an Antique Design Revisited

22 06 2010

Last weekend was the annual Bikeology festival, and this year it included another component, Park(ed), that closed down 4 blocks of downtown streets. As cool as that sounded, I was more excited about seeing some of the work of local master frame builder Arvon Stacey after super-mechanic Keith tempted me with this picture of a Cygnet (complete with skirt guard!) and a promise that there would be one at the festival.

The Cygnet, this one purple, sans skirt guard.

Here’s the skinny:

A little background on the back of the single sweep frame.

When Keith told me I could take it for a spin, I was so ecstatic! I’d never ridden any bike quite like this before.

What a sweet ride!

The Cygnet lived up to it’s promise of an elegant, cushy ride, and the only hiccup I had involved getting used to it’s slightly longer turning radius and coaster brake. With such an ingenious design that simply & stylishly integrates fender, chain guard, skirt guard and suspension, it’ll be no surprise if more bike makers revive this style of bike in the future. I’m trying not to covet this bike, as it is out of my price range by an order of magnitude, but I can’t help but imagine taking her on a ride on an autumn day, in a frock with balloon sleeves, long split skirt and big hat to an idyllic rural picnic straight out of an impressionist painting.

After the test ride, I realized that that test riding a different bike was also one of the tasks in the Let’s Go Ride A Bike Summer Games. Double sweetness!