About Me and This Blog

george.jpgHi, and welcome.  This is a biking blog, where I like to write about my thoughts, adventures, and quite often, just journal my rides.  But Ialso will wax philosophic about such things as the meaning of life, politics, religion, and family.  But mostly, you’ll see that I write about bicycles and biking.

Now I need to clarify.  I kind of follow the Tour de France, but that’s pretty much the extent of my interest in racing.  I’m a recreational cyclist with interest in country biking, and bike camping.

Country biking is mainly a state of mind, but it can be explained:  You see, I don’t ride to go fast.  I ride because it’s fun.  My main bike, a Surly Long Haul Trucker, has a heavy leather saddle because it helps keep my bum from getting sore; and it has big puffy tires because they soak up the potholes, stones, and other discomforts when I go exploring on the local roads and trails.  It also has fenders so I don’t get mud splattered up my back; and it has lights so I can enjoy the cool evening air on an otherwise hot summer day.  Finally, it has a big canvas bag on the back where I carry a few tools, some spare change, a camera, and

Playing with the tripod and timer - it clicked before the smile...

Playing with the tripod and timer – it clicked before the smile…

anything else that I might need for a day in the country.  I rarely wear lycra and have never worn cleated shoes.  In fact, my favorite biking shirt is an old cotton dress shirt with green armpits.  It’s comfortable, keeps me from getting sunburned; and  I’m an old fart who doesn’t care what other bikers think of my appearance.  It’s not that I have anything against technology, but rather, there are a lot of “tried and true” products made of leather, wool, and steel that technology just hasn’t improved much over the past century.

april 10,2010 041

4 different cooking systems at work here: canister, white gas, alcohol, and Esbit.

Bike camping is a hoot.  Pick up some basic gear that you can strap on a bike, call up some friends, and then head out on a slow paced ride to a camp site not too far away.  You don’t need the lightest or most high tech gear, because you can fit more on a bike than you can in a backpack.  It’s not hard nor expensive to find the right balance between weight, price, and comfort.  Just make sure you’ll be warm enough, have enough food, and won’t get lost. Throughout this blog you’ll find some write-ups of camping trips.  I encourage you to make it an adventure!

Traveling lite.

Traveling lite.

So back to me and the blog…

Your comments are welcome, provided you’re the civilized type, not selling anything that I don’t want, and generally feel that I’m not a threat to your way of life.  I’m particularly opinionated; but that shouldn’t stop you from joining the fray.  On rare occasions, I have been known to change my mind.  Other topics that might get a rise out of me (and a peek into the window of my life): cutting firewood, rowing as in crew, soccer, home repair, firefighting, Winston Churchill, American History, Military History, European History, education, taxation, 1970’s-80’s music, playing the drums, talk radio, and popular culture.

Other than that, you should know that I live in Lewisberry, PA; and work in Harrisburg.  My political leanings are conservative libetarian, but I’d just as soon throw all of the bums out.  I am very active in an evangelical Christian church, and I will respect your views as long as you respect mine.011

Beyond that, be warned that I have a sarcastic wit that easily offends people if I don’t watch myself.  It’s nothing personal.

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24 responses to “About Me and This Blog

  1. btw: the rather accurate portrait was drawn by my youngest son, Ian, during a quite boring “meet the teachers” event. I have since trimmed my nose hairs.

  2. Hey man,
    Thanks for listing me on your blog roll (and thanks for letting your readers know that I’m hardcore). Incidentally, I’m not from Bergen County NJ, I’m from Queens NY where the only thing rougher than the roads are the bikers. It’s good to see other bikers letting the world know how we roll.

    Keep Pedaling,
    The Road Scholar

  3. Hey Josh,
    I corrected the location, thanks for the kind words. I enjoyed your post on “training by the numbers”, and hope to read many more. Take care, George

  4. Hi doc!

    Thanks for including me on your blogroll too. I’ll have to add that to the list of reasons why I’m not allowed to give up on this two-wheel-ing thing!

    Cheers,
    Bikegirl (a.k.a. Queen of the Granny Gear)

  5. Howdy,
    Thanks for listing our blog on your site. I dig the super clean lay out and the rad illustrations. Formal invite here: if you have time, come to our may 19 ramble up here in scenic state college. We’ re getting a number of random relaxed bloggers who we’ve never meet but are on the same steel/leather/wool boat together for a 50 mile mixed surface ride. Anyway, if your interested shoot an email, or check out the site for details.

    Cheers and Ect.

    -James Johnson

  6. Hi, George. What a surprise … thanks for the link.

    (And how do you do those separate blogroll things? Pretty cool.)

    I sent your blog URL to our resident P-N cyclists, and it’s fun for me to read even if my hard ride is cranking around Pinchot.

    Best,
    Pat

  7. Hey Pat,
    Everytime I read your blog I get cravings for stuff that isn’t good for me. If you ever want company on the Pinchot loop, give me a yell. If I can make it up Pleasant Hill Road, the rest is easy.

    George

  8. Hi Doc
    I like the blog and would like to invite you to Local Cyclist. We are int he process of creating a nation-wide network of local cycling sites and blogs. Our goal is to provide national cycling coverage from the local perspective. Take a look at the site http://www.localcyclist.com. Let me know if you are interested in participating.
    Mike

  9. Sweet, there’s actually another christian libertarian cyclist out in the world!

  10. Where did you find the image of the bicycle chariot?

    Kind Regards.

  11. You’ll need a language pack to read it, but it came from this web site for a bike shop in Yokohama: http://www.arrow.ecnet.jp

  12. Sweet site… I came across this as I was searching the web for local bike routes/trails/etc. Out of curiousity, what church?

  13. Hi Seth. Thanks for the comment. We attend Redland Valley BIC.

  14. Ted from the bike shop

    Upon waking 6:30 Saturday, October 10, and taking the dogs outside, I saw a cyclist with an excellent light kit go past my house. One dog barked enough that you might have noticed. I just had to ask.

  15. It wasn’t me Ted. Once the drizzle cleared off it turned out to be a nice day, but I wasn’t fortunate enough to get in a ride.

  16. Wow loved reading your article. I submitted your rss to my blogreader.

  17. If you decide that you are brave enough to make the Great Allegheny Passage trip, make sure you get the Trail Book which will be helpful in planning it all out. I also recommend an overnight at the Hostel on Main in Rockwood — clean, new and inexpensive!!!

  18. Hi,
    I was just wondering if it would be possible to tell us how you fitted your headlight to the front of your Nashbar? We’ve just bought two Nashbars and don’t want to have to move our lights. Thanks!

    • Hi David, Click on this link: https://gspiess.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/lht-fall-09-002.jpg
      and then again to zoom in. I use a standard steel wire mount, typically for the fork crown, and turn it flat. There is a bolt running through the plate of the rack (can’t remember if the hole was pre-drilled or if I did it), and then through the mount where is curves. Note that the mount runs under the plate. Place a regular washer over the mount, and then tighten up the works with a ny-lock nut.
      I have thought about, but not yet tried, inverting the mount so it is below the plane of the rack. That might protect it more, but make it harder to reach the switch on the Cyo.
      Cheers,
      doc

  19. Definitely off topic, but I didn’t know how else to get it to you: http://tinyurl.com/3tujfjw
    The blog Begin To Dig is excellent on training and flexibility, and the featured post is (nominally) about kettlebell workouts for old people. Hope you enjoy it.

    Pat

  20. Hi Doc,
    Thanks for listing me on your blog roll!
    I enjoyed reading your description of bicycle camping (so true: easy to get started & so much fun). I’ll have to poke around more as time and internet access allows.
    -Sean

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