Archive | biking

Zoom, crash, boom…

A very fun triathlon.  Despite my brilliant hand-off, I am not deterred.  Our team finished 4th with a total time of 55 min, 32 sec.  I think I rode the 12k in just less than 30 minutes.  Very nice.  No broken bones, but six stitches on my left palm and some bruises and scrapes.  Thank you to Minas and Vangelis from the Paros Rescue Squad.  Can’t wait for the next event…

You know it's fun when someone is bleeding...

You know it’s fun when someone is bleeding…

 

Look! Nothing broken!

Look! Nothing broken!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# 67...Not damaged in the crash.

# 67…Not damaged in the crash.

JDCM

 

1

The weather turns towards autumn…

I woke up this morning to blustery, grey clouds and very cool temperatures.  Last night, before laying my head on my pillow, I switched on my electric mattress pad for the first time since March.  Yesterday’s Aegean Center for the Fine Arts Friday hike was sunny, brisk and invigorating, yet not the stuff of late spring or summer.  Cries of “Wow!” and “This is amazing!”  punctuated our oregano, sage and thyme-scented walk above the hill town of Lefkes.  The air was so clear that looking north, I counted the houses on Syros and the already narrow channel between Paros and Naxos seemed a mere stone’s throw.  In New England or northern Europe the leaves are currently a brilliance of fiery tones.  It is autumn in the Kyklades so we inhaled the blue skies, dark evergreens, golden underbrush and brilliant light spilling around us.

Tomorrow I compete with a team in the Paros Autumn Triathlon.  I will be bicycling 15km while my two teammates will be swimming and running, respectively.  It is not a competition so much as a community event.  The only race will be against myself.  I am looking forward to this event and am very excited.  It is important for me to realize that here on Paros I am more than just a man with a camera, or an ex-pat American in Greece.  I am more than a summation of my parts, and that whole grows exponentially if I allow myself to be drawn to the larger, communal rings that ripple through my parochial nucleus.  There was a time when I craved a closed system for necessary self-preservation. This attitude is self-defeating and limiting.  I have been increasing my orbit over the past couple of years and this event will signal a shift in my personal trajectory.  Excited, nervous and looking forward to it.

Lefkes, Paros, October 4, 2013.  Leica M8, Voigtlander 28mm, 1/125, f22, ISO 320

Lefkes, Paros, October 4, 2013. Leica M8, Voigtlander 28mm, 1/125, f22, ISO 320

 

 

1

Bike-hiking and new gear…

I have been exploring the island these sunny, warm days.  I have found a couple of small, very rocky and rough beaches on the north side of the bay, facing Syros, north along the coast from the cave of Archilochos.  They are all but inaccessible unless one rides a bike, hikes or has 4-wheel drive.  A few days ago I went back to one of them with the goal of not returning the way I arrived.  From a decent height I could see smaller paths and a narrow road.  I knew I couldn’t bike it, and that I would have to push/carry the bike a certain way uphill, over rocks and walls, before I reached the road.  According to the map, the road wound about until it reached the Delion of Apollo, one of the higher points on the island and an ancient temple site.

So that’s what I did.  I biked down to the beach area, went for a swim, then packed up my panniers (more about them) and pushed the bike up the hill.  There was some real problem solving involving a small gorge, some backtracking, plenty of thorns (shades of Sikinos!) but I eventually made it to the road.  It was a pretty easy ride to the Delion after that and then a downhill ride back to town.  It was only about 8 km but with all the uphill struggle and 15 kilos of bike and gear, I’ll add another few km to that count.  A nice day, and fun.

I bought panniers for the bike.  Now I don’t have to wear a day-pack anymore.  This was making me top-heavy.  The center of gravity has been lowered and I am finding them convenient and efficient.  Below are four incarnations of my current mode of transport.  There is enough room for all kinds of gear.

Beach Bike

Beach Bike

Mountain bike

Mountain bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiking bike

Hiking bike

Shopping bike

Shopping bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JDCM

2