Friday, October 2, 2009

Leaf Season

Having returned to Boston from our stay on Cape Cod, we were greeted by the "Leaf Season" in full effect. It happens so fast! This is very new for Eustacia Vye, who has never seen Autumn before. I had to keep reminding her to pay attention to the road, as she continuously got distracted by the leaves. She thinks that the Fall season matches her colour scheme very nicely - I agree!

This is the fist time I have ridden my Pashley in over two weeks, and the absence made me hyper-aware of the differences between her and my Motobecane mixte. To my surprise, the upright sitting position took a bit of re-adjusting to: To be completely honest, I was somewhat frustrated with the bicycle's composed and stately demeanor after having grown accustomed to the faster and more responsive mixte. Also, I do not have a front rack or basket on the mixte, so another thing that took some re-adjustment on the Pashley was the enormous basket obstructing my view of the front tire.

Mulling this over as I went on various errands, I did not really begin to enjoy the Pashley again until our trip to the grocery store: With the basket and saddlebag fully loaded, the Pashley truly shines - a super stable, super comfortable, utterly luxurious ride. I would have been miserable trying to do this on the mixte.

It was a crisp Autumn day, and it felt oh so cozy to glide through the streets in my soft, flowing cream sweater upon the nicely broken in leather saddle.

I tried to capture the sweater here, but this wasn't my day for successful self-portraiture. Wearing it made me feel as if I were officially acknowledging and celebrating Autumn.

Tweed hat, bought at the Provincetown Army/Navy store - my current favourite cycling cap.

And an attempt at a "Panda shot". Not very informative I admit - but hey, it captures the moment. Happy Autumn cycling!

12 comments:

  1. Eustacia Vye looks like she really belongs in autumn. Something about her shape and whole demeanour suits the cooler weather.

    Fully laden she would have been very stable and lovely to ride - I've found the same with mine after a grocery shop. My mixte, with a full front and rear basket, is a bit wobbly, but the Pashley takes it in her stride.

    I do love your cycling cap. You're lucky that helmets aren't compulsory in the US. They are here in Australia, and when they were made compulsory in 1990 a lot of people simply stopped cycling. I hate the wretched things, and get cross at the idea of having to ride one for a cycle in the park or down to the shops etc, mostly offroad or in back streets with little traffic. I know it's for my own safety etc but it's still annoying that we can get fined if we don't wear one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My mixte was designed with a road bike (rather than touring bike) geometry, and maybe this is why it feels "weird" when overly loaded. It is fine with a full saddle bag on the rear rack, but could not comfortably handle a full week's worth of grocery shopping.

    Helmets are a bit of a hot topic that I do not want to open up for debate here. I respect and support people's choices to either wear or not wear them, but I do think it should be a personal choice and not the government's decision.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What is the silver and red item in the third picture from the bottom? For the life of me it looks like a seat belt buckle.

    Our big leaf drop doesn't amount to a lot compared to yours and it's still ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I completely agree on the switch between the Pashley and other bikes! It is absolutely perfect at what it's meant to do. (haul groceries, toodle around, get coffee on a weekend) But trying to make it go the same speed or feel the same way as a bike 15-20 lbs lighter is a real exercise in frustration. I am so glad we have options!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I so enjoy your view of the world from your bicycle. It is very different then mine, even though I am car free. This not a bad thing! It is good to get a different perspective.

    I am always tearing along, pushing the pace. And I enjoy it. See? Different.

    Thank you for sharing some of the things that go on in that pretty head of yours!

    This is a good place to remind everyone that wet leaves can be as slick as ice, so beware!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fall in the city, plus a bike! Very cozy post, I must say. And I love the hat. I just found a similar one I purchased last year in my scarf and glove basket. Bring on the chill!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Eustacia really is a leafy lady. Yes, she does belong on a side street or a path on an autumn day. I've always felt this way about all of the British three-speeds, but even more so about Eustacia.

    I love the sweater. Unfortunately for me, it's a colour I never could wear: It would wash me out.

    And I love the cap. Eustacia seems to like tweed, too. And it goes with autumn. Hmm...Are you turning into some kind of fashionista or something? ;-)

    As for your Motobecane: What you describe is normal for road bikes. They're really not meant to be loaded, and the really high-end racing bikes are actually more stable at high than at low speeds. (More years ago than I'll admit, I raced.) That said, I've gone on hostel-to-hostel (or pensione-to-pensione) tours on road bikes. Because most of my riding has been on road bikes, I anticipated the handling difference even with the relatively light loads I was carrying. But there's no way I would have used a front basket: Putting anything on the handlebar, or anything on the front that's not on a low-rider type of rack, will make the bike significantly less stable, as road bikes have more sensitive steering than bikes like Eustacia.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Steve A - It's a Chrome bag buckle (see here). The bag is super-duper-wonderful, but I am not a fan of the branding. This reminds me that I really need to cover it up with something.

    Chip Seal - Thanks for the PSA, the leaves are slippery. They can also hide sharp objects and broken bottles, so I try to resist the temptation of riding through piles of them.

    Justine - My fashionista days are in the past; these are the leftover coffee grinds.

    Re loading the front end of road bikes: I do see a lot of mixtes being treated as cruisers, with baskets on the handlebars and everything. This can't possibly be comfortable - A Motobecane Mirage was never meant to be a cruiser and does not behave like a cruiser even if fitted with North Road handlebars. Not sure why people do it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ah Pashley ~ why do you taunt and tame us so?

    ReplyDelete
  10. If your fashion sense is now only 'leftover coffee grinds' you must have been a real trend-setter when you were the 'whole bean'.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gorgeous fall colors. The outfit is sumptuous!

    I like Sigrid's "taunt and tame us" statement. My bike is the same way. Pashley is still on my wishlist, too :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Bicycling and fall and are like peanut butter and jelly. They both taste okay separately, but together they're absolutely terrific!

    ReplyDelete