2 Cycling eBooks on Sale – Just 99¢ Each

6 06 2014

Beginning today, June 6th, and for a limited time, both of my cycling eBooks are on sale for just 99¢ each at the Amazon Kindle Store.

Regular Price: $2.99 Now just 99¢ each

Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling at the Kindle Store

Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling #2 at the Kindle Store

Both of these cycling eBooks are packed with valuable information that will help the beginning or returning cyclist with the choice of the right bike, how to save money when buying a bike, making sure your bike fits you, essential equipment and accessories, bike maintenance, where to ride safely, how to include the family, and so much more.

Praise from readers for “Rediscover #1″…Bicycles Cycling EBook on sale

“The Kindle is great for this information. Everything is practical; Richard Conte doesn’t talk down to beginners with lots of riding jargon and the topics make a good check list for professionals who can forget some things.

This book is about pedal bikes — the machines. The various types of popular bike use are referenced when describing different designs, but there isn’t discussion in depth about those uses — including bike touring, mountain biking, transportation biking exercise biking and everyday, joyous biking. Spinning was a new term to me.” ~ JudyAnn Lorenz, Author, Ozarks Missouri, USA

eBook Sale Price good through June 12th

High praise for “Rediscover #2″…Bicycles Cycling EBook 2 on sale

“This book is full of practical and helpful advice from the best time to purchase a bicycle and get the best deal to upgrades that will help commuters avoid punctures. I enjoyed the information about the tandem and tag-a-long bikes for families.

Highly recommended! I was glad to pick this up during the free GAW. Thanks for making it available!” ~ J. Robideau “Rob” Bhaisipati, Lalitpur, Nepal

Wow, “Rob” is a Top 1000 Reviewer at the Kindle Store, having reviewed 479 books for them, and he’s in Nepal. Gotta’ love this one! Thanks Rob.

Free Kindle Reader Apps for All Digital Devices

Did you know that you can buy and borrow Kindle books, as well as download free Kindle books, even if you don’t own a Kindle Reader? It’s true. All you have to do is download one of the many Free Kindle Reader Apps available for your PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad, Tablet, or Android device, and you will be able to read anything Amazon has to offer for a Kindle reader.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Thoughts on a 4000 mile Bicycle Tour…

24 10 2011

It’s always interesting to read a piece written by someone else who seems to describe a similar experience in terms which illustrate your own. The following is just such a piece, A Man, a Bike and 4,100 Miles, by Bruce Weber of the New York Times.

In the piece, Weber writes of his 4000 mile bicycle tour across the USA this summer. He doesn’t dwell on the day-to-day challenges, nor does he dwell on the pain and doubt he experienced along the way, though it certainly gets a mention. He also does not write in overly descriptive terms of the beauty of the country, or the people he met. No, he writes from the perspective of a man of 57 years experiencing something few of us ever do; for the second time in his life.

As he comes to the close of his ride, reflects upon the internal changes which have taken place, as well as the memories of the experience which, perhaps surprisingly, are not so easy to recall. Yet, when he does recall them, they are incredibly vivid.  What I like most about this piece is the sense that no matter how many times one takes a long distance ride, and this is the second time Weber has ridden cross-country, it is a completely unique experience.

“This isn’t to say I don’t dream about crossing the George Washington Bridge with my arms raised in triumph (and then putting away my bicycle for a winter’s hibernation.) I do. But my visions aren’t terribly convincing; they generally engender despair, causing me to sigh out loud and give off a lament that begins with the words “I’ll never. … ” It makes me more than a little nervous to write this article now, about 300 miles from Manhattan. It may be easy to expect that someone who has already pedaled 3,600 miles can do 300 with his eyes closed, but I don’t think so. In order to own those miles, I have to expend my energy on them; in order to live those days, I have to work through all their hours. I’m as daunted by the next 300 miles as I was in Astoria by the first 3,600.”

This is something I too encountered on my own 800 mile trek from Phoenix to Denver. Until I arrived, I never quite believed I would make it and, even when I did, I couldn’t really grasp the fact that I had done so. Even today it sometimes amazes me that I was successful in my first-ever bicycle tour. But the memories linger, as proof that it is true.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. So many of the things we experienced were similar, yet very different, due to the unique perspective each of us brought to the experience, I believe. It brought back many memories for me, and for that I am grateful. I think it has also begun to fuel the fire for my next long ride.

Later





Bicycle Touring Magazine…

2 10 2011

Found this in my inbox recently…

For anyone who has the lest bit of curiosity about bicycle touring, you should check out this new digital magazine, Bicycle Touring Magazine. You’ll find stories and pictures from around the world, from people who travel our planet by bike.

The images alone are dazzling, but the stories can inspire as well. While the idea of travelling third world countries by bicycle, or any other means, have never held much appeal to me personally, I can certainly appreciate the devotion of the folks who do. And, their stories are awesome.

Later





Welcome to Colorful Colorado, a year ago…

7 04 2011

What a great day for me, one year ago…

After eight days on the road, my bike and I crossed into Colorado at about 1:00 in the afternoon. This was a watershed moment for me. I was back in Colorado, my previous home for 18 years, and I had gotten there the hard way. Though my legs had felt tired all day, and though I had climbed a few thousand feet to get there, I experienced a great rush of adrenaline and excitement. At that moment, I felt as if I could pedal all the way to Denver without stopping.

Circumstances would soon conspire against me however, as the heavily travelled road narrowed dangerously. With cars, pick-up trucks, SUV’s, and 18-wheelers blowing by at 85 mph within inches of my left hip, I decided to stop and call my friend Kim, in Durango, and ask her to come and get me. I had only travelled 28 miles this day, but I was exhilarated by what I had accomplished. I’d made it to Colorado, and it felt like coming home.

 April 7, 2010…

Holy crap…look where I am!

My favorite pic from The Ride, April 7, 2010.

 April 7, 2010…

One of the best people I have ever known…

My friend Kim…

 

Later





51 miles, heading north, a year ago…

3 04 2011

After two nights in Flagstaff, AZ, I hit the road again, heading north to the Hopi Indian Reservation, a desolate place, yet the most direct route to Colorado.

Leaving Flag provided some great scenery to enjoy.

 I was riding at about 7000 feet now, a real challenge for a man who’d spent the last two years riding below 2000 feet. I didn’t seem to feel it all that much however, for I was very focused on the ride this day. I was also feeling pretty strong after two nights of rest in a Motel 6 which, by the way, at only 25 bucks a night had seemed like a five-star resort to me at the time.

One of my favorite shots...30 mis north of Flag.

I stopped about 30 miles north of Flag for a banana and OJ breakfast, and took the above pic, one of my faves from The Ride. The gas station/convenience store was in the middle of nowhere, as are most things on or near the Res.

After 51 miles, a relatively easy ride due to the rolling terrain, I’d made my goal for the day, a small stop on the road called Cameron, AZ, about thirty miles east of the Grand Canyon. A hamlet of about 1000 souls with a gas station, convenience store, and a tourist trap of an artifacts store, as well as a small camping area, I paid my $17 to pitch my tent on a small patch of grass behind one of the buildings, in an effort to shield myself from the wind (which was only moderately successful).

My rig vs theirs.

As it turned out, I was not the only camper there that night. Two RVs pulled in a bit after I’d set up camp and wow, was I jealous of the rigs they were driving. Very plush accommodations, with satellite dishes and automatic levelling of the rigs, these folks had it all. Is that camping? lol

The wind would definitely become my nemesis over the next couple of days. It can truly howl across the Res, with little or nothing to slow it down. As I settled into my little tent that night, listening to the wind grab at my tiny portable home, the forecast was for winds to 60 mph on the following day. The only saving grace for me was that it would be coming from the west or southwest, while I would be riding east and north-east. I was hoping to finally find a tail wind! Here is a link to Google maps, showing just how desolate this area is: Cameron, AZ.

Most of the ride through the Res looked like this, unless the hills were bigger!

I have to admit, I was very proud of myself this day. I had ridden further than ever before, and at a good pace. I’d only had to push the bike uphill for about a mile, and had reached my goal for the day. It was a very good day on the road. “I can do this,” I was thinking. That put a smile on my face, believe me.

 

April 3, 2010…

Day 4…

30 mis north of Flag. Got a good start on the day. Only had to walk about a mile on one climb. May have found my climbing gear! Hope so. Nice weather, a bit windy. Rolling terrain now, so should make better time. Will post pics later.

Day 4…Cameron, AZ

Well, I made it to Cameron today, a little hamlet on the Hopi reservation, 51 mis north of Flag. This was my goal for day 3, with a rest day today. Since I rested yesterday instead, I figure I can say the schedule is OK. The riding was good today. Mostly good roads, not too much traffic, not too many climbs. I feel pretty good. Tired but not wiped out, but also a little bit raw–down there. Hope to sleep well tonite, but very windy, so will see. Will also check the warmth of my bag. Gonna get cool tonite. Looking forward to another good day tomorrow, should have the wind at my back all day.

Later





2 Days to go, a year ago…

29 03 2011

The countdown continued a year ago today. I was working hard to get everything done and really wasn’t riding much at all. This was probably a good thing however, even so, my legs were not really getting much rest.

You can’t believe how busy I was at the time. I remember this much, all I wanted to do was finish the work and hit the road. Riding a bike 800 miles simply had to be easier than moving house.

 

March 29, 2010…

2…

I’m nearly packed for the move now.

I’ve done a much neater job than usual. There are cartons and boxes all over the place. Knowing that I had to pack for the future drive to Denver meant that I had to take more care. Many times in the past, when I was merely packing for a move across town for instance, I would just throw a bunch of junk into a box for ease of carrying, not worrying about transport. This time, I had to bear in mind that my stuff would be in a dusty storage unit for months before I would load it into a truck for the eventual drive to Colorado. This has forced me to be much more organized and careful. This is a good thing, right?

Packing for the ride is also pretty much settled.

I’m a bit worried that I am taking a little too much stuff. My riding clothes are lightweight and easy to pack but, even so, I’ve probably planned on too many pieces. All I really need is one outfit in my bags and one on my body. Trying to pack for all possible contingencies, such as weather and remote locations where it might be difficult to clean things, has forced me to choose more clothing than I might otherwise do. I’m going to play with the packing and unpacking a bit today and make a final decision. I really don’t want to get on the road and feel like I didn’t bring enough, yet I also don’t want to carry anything I don’t really need.

Since this is a “future post” I can’t tell you how the camp out on the floor went last night, but I’ll try to post from my phone later to let you know. I hope I didn’t wake up too sore this morning. lol

Later





Does all that junk really make a difference?

20 01 2011

Many people seem to think I’m crazy for buying and using the cycling gear I do. “It’s soooo expensive, and you look like a clown,” they say. “Jeez, it’s just a pair of shorts. How can they charge so much?” “Holy crap, $69.99 for a tee-shirt? These guys must be out of their minds.”

Of course, it’s true, cycling gear can be quite expensive, and sometimes embarrassing, running around in spandex all the time. However, for me, it’s all about comfort while riding…and I look for deals…ALWAYS.

I can not ride in jeans. The seam through the crotch alone, for example, is so thick that it really hurts me…down there. Plus, they’re heavy and do not wick away moisture. Even cotton tees, in which I live when not riding, are very uncomfortable when I’m sweating and panting for breath.

What it comes down to, really, is how much one rides, as well as how hard one rides. If you only ever ride your bike a mile to the corner store for an energy drink now and then, it makes no difference what you wear. However, if you’re going to head out for a 20 mile ride three times a week, plus a 15 mile daily commute, you’d better invest in some decent gear. If you want to ride 800 miles, as I did in April 2010 on my first bike tour from Phoenix to Denver, you’d better believe you’ll need some special gear.

I have a saying about bicycles and the gear that goes with them and, even though it sounds counter-intuitive, I believe in it firmly; The better quality your gear, the easier it is to work hard.

What do I mean by this? If you have a quality machine, i.e., a bike which fits properly, which rolls smoothly, which shifts cleanly and stops properly, it is easier to pedal the miles you wish to ride. If you are also dressed and shod properly, in items which prevent discomfort, and even pain, you can also put in the miles you seek.

Cycling-specific gear is designed to help you accomplish these things…well designed, actually.

There are certain articles of cycling gear which I believe are essential to anyone who rides regularly. A pair of padded shorts is essential to a comfortable ride. They don’t have to be skin tight spandex; these days there are some very cool and stylish baggy shorts with padded inserts which can easily replace the tight shorts look. A good pair of shoes with a stiff sole is also essential. They do not have to be made for cycling, necessarily, but a stiff sole actually does improve power transfer to the pedals remarkably well. A jersey, with pockets in the rear, is very handy. They are made of wicking material to help keep you cool, and are surprisingly comfortable.

In order of importance:

Shorts: Avg price $65-$165; can easily be found for $35-$45. Padded shorts, shorts with a somewhat kidney shaped pad in the crotch, also called a chamois, go a long way to relieving pressure on the pirenium and the sit-bones. The tight spandex type os shorts also provide compression to the thighs, and are designed not to ride up the legs to expose unmentionables. They are designed to be worn directly against the skin with nothing beneath them.

For example:

Canari Paceline Cycling Short...$24.99 @ http://www.buy.com

Shoes: Avg. price $75-$175; can easily be found for $35-$65. Shoes are crucial to comfort and efficient power transfer. Soft-soled shoes, such as sneakers, are designed to absorb energy thus denying the efficient transfer of energy from the legs to the pedals. You should find that a stiff sole is actually more comfortable on long rides as well. (Besides which, specialty shoes are often the most comfortable shoes you can own. I once owned a pair of golf shoes which I also wore to work at my old sales job.)

For example:

Exustar SM602 Mountain Shoes...$29.99 @ http://www.nashbar.com

Gloves: Avg. price $25-$45; can easily be found for $15-$25. Padded gloves, half-finger or full-finger, also go a very long way to improving comfort on a long ride. They also help to keep your hands soft and sexy for your mate.

For example:

Nashbar Epic Gel Glove...$14.99 @ http://www.nashbar.com

Jersey: Avg. price $70-$100; can easily be found for $25-$45. While it is possible, if not easy, to ride comfortably in a tee-shirt made of modern wicking material (I did it for 2 1/2 years in Phoenix, after all), I have found that a real cycling jersey makes a huge difference in comfort as well as portability. In other words, it’s easier to carry all my crap with me when I ride. Plus, most wicking tees do not have a zipper down the chest which comes in very handy on warm-weather rides.

For example:

Nashbar Earth Jersey…$19.99 @ http://www.nashbar.com

I’m not here to push any one website which sells cycling gear. Bike Nashbar is one of the best, though. We also like to buy from these other sites: www.Pricepoint.com, www.niagaracycle.com, www.bike.com, www.bizrate.com, plus, of course, amazon.com and eBay.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the best BEST, BEST, way to buy cycling gear at a reasonable price is to look for CLOSEOUTS. I  have also found some wonderfully priced and versatile items at Wal-Mart and Target which I have been able to adapt to cycling. Doing this can save you a ton of money.
The best answer to anyone who thinks you overspend on cycling and cycling gear is…the fact that you are riding and enjoying doing so; especially since, in all likelyhood, the last time they rode a bike was when they were in junior high.

Later








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