Tag Archives | biking

The busy island…

Paros becomes busier daily.  The tourists come through, then leave.  I stay.  My friends and colleagues stay. We live here and thrive in our respective communities, circles within rings.  I have to admit that I am amazed at how life is working for me these days.  I suit up, show up, don’t push, breathe and keep things light.  I take my pictures, ride my bike, etc…Here are the bullet points:

–I am working towards a small solo show for November, centered around, and exhibited in, the small cafe in which I am currently tapping away on my Macbook.

–My Macbook is in fine running order.  Fully cleaned, reseated RAM, etc…No overheating.  Thanks to Pararam in Naoussa for that, and only 20 euros!  In the US it would have been three times that amount.

–I had a nice discussion with a friend the other day about working and showing your work, i.e. “putting yourself out there.”  On being prolific.  We cited the author Michael Chabon.  He is my age, more for less.  He has published a lot of books.  Not all of them are Pulitzer Prize winners, but he has published a lot of books.  That’s OK.  If people want to know what you are doing, you should show them.  Once a year, big or small, grand or humble.  It all matters.

–I rode my first long road race last weekend.  The Circle of Paros, 61km around the island, began at 17:40 Saturday.  It was my first long race, first road race.  I rode the course on my mountain bike last Wednesday and made it in 3 hrs 15 min.  That’s with fat tires, 5 stops for water, and not being exactly sure of the route.  Afterwards some more experienced riders advised me to load slick road tires on my MB and ride that way.  So I did it.  I just wanted to knock off 16 minutes.  My final time was 2:37:48.  And I had a puncture that delayed me 6-7 minutes.  Here is a Youtube link.  It’s in Greek but it’s fun to watch…

–There was a moment (fleeting!) when I almost quit. I was only 6km into the ride.  But I decided to push it anyway.  Not give up.  I overtook many and made it to the big hill-climb towards which I was looking forward before the race officials closed it.  I made it.  My “Franken-Bike” worked well, but an actual road bike would have been better.  I now have my eye on one.  A friend is willing to sell me his Boardman road bike.  It is essentially new, but the frame is too large for him.  We shall see.

–I would be unable to thrive, enjoy life or otherwise be part of these circles, these rings of communities, without the support and advice of many.  For me, I can trust my instincts only so far.  Even the wisest and experienced turn to others for guidance and direction.  It is best to not pretend you know what you are doing.  That would be arrogant folly.  Hubris.  That’s a Greek word.

The "Franken-Bike."  I took the 26x2" mb tires off and replaced them with 26x1" road tires.  Not ideal, but it did the job.

The “Franken-Bike.” I took the 26×2″ mb tires off and replaced them with 26×1″ road tires. Not ideal, but it did the job.




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