Wednesday, August 20, 2008

tour de bibliotheque


The Endeavor will be a study in how long it may take to visit each branch of the Denver Public Library by bicycle. The study of The Endeavor is the reason this blog was created.


Bikes and books: two of the most liberating things of which one can partake. Books are free if you join a library. A bicycle may require an initial investment, but your escape and freedom from there on out is guilt and cost free. Both can be enjoyed privately or in groups, according to one's taste. To both, there is a sense of bettering oneself and improving one's quality of life.

Enjoying one does not necessarily mean you will enjoy the other, but followers of the two do seem to run in the same circles.

I was also kind of inspired by this dude.


At the moment, the only "rule" concerning The Endeavor is one that defines "visit." (As in "visit each branch of the ... Library.")

A visit must be productive, and must involve a transaction that results in a receipt.

A string of visits would probably entail checking out an item at one branch, getting a receipt, and then returning it and checking out another item at another branch. Repeat as needed.

How Not To Lock Your Bike.

Found this photo on craigslist. It is an epic failure of securing your bike. All a would-be thief needs to do is remove the front wheel and lift the fork out of the U-Lock. Done. All you need is a wrench, and about sixty seconds.

When securing your bike, please make sure your lock runs through the wheel and around the frame of the bicycle, and lock it to a bike rack or something else with a "top," which means make sure that nobody can just, say, life the bike, lock and all, up and over the top of a post.

Some not-so-obvious things I have locked my bike to:
  1. A handrail.  The last time I went to the barber shop, there was absolutely nothing to which I could lock my bike. Except for a handrail attached to the brick building, alongside a short flight of steps.  I hooked my handlebars over the handrails, and locked the wheel and frame to the bar.
  2. A chain-link fence.  I stopped at a convenience station to buy some doughnuts and a newspaper to take to work, and could not find anything suitable to lock my bike to, except for a chain-link fence behind the store. I again hooked the handlebars through the chain so the bike was suspended in mid-air, and then looped my chain through the front wheel and around the frame, and latched the whole thing to the fence.
All I use to lock my bike is a bike chain that I found lying on the ground in a parking lot in San Diego, and the padlock I bought to secure the U-Haul that moved us to Denver. It's a simple set-up.

Most, though, suggest using a combination of locks. A chain and a U-Lock, for example. Use your own judgement.

Sloan's Lake to Chatfield Lake

Big ride today! Map.

My daily commute takes me from Sloans Lake to near Stapleton, about 8.5 miles, and that is the distance I'm used to, and really the farthest I've ever gone at once.

Until today.

I had been thinking about a ride down to Chatfield State Park for a while now, and decided that today would be the day. It was about 36 miles round-trip.

I'll go ahead and say for the record here and now, that electing to go for a ride over four times longer than what had previously been your longest ride, is not a super great idea.  I'm kinda hurting. I mean, the ride whupped my butt.

I had a lot of fun, and I'd do it again. I'm just saying that maybe I should have done a 15 miler between the 8.5 and the 36. I've been pretty worthless all afternoon. 

So here are a few comments and observations from the ride:
  • Yet another reason that I will continue to wear my helmet, even on the comparatively "safe" bike path: a grasshopper, mid-flight, crashed into my face and got stuck in my beard. The bug and I both freaked out so hard. Went into the Death Wobbles and nearly dumped over before recovering.
  • Discovered Hudson Gardens' ( cafe facing the bike path. It was delightful! A great little stop for refreshments, water, or bathrooms. There were a lot of cyclists there, enjoying the shade and each other's company.
  • By the time I got back home, it was hot and I was overheated. Stopped at Confluence Park behind REI and dove into the river to cool off. It was here that I saw an older man on the REI side of the river drop his hybrid-style looking bicycle into the river. I stood and watched for a few minutes as he sat on the concrete ledge and kicked his feet as his bike sat in the drink with the water covering the hubs of his wheels.  He then jumped in himself and attempted for forge the river, pushing his bike along the river bed. When he got to the point where the water was so deep that just his handlebars and seat were showing, and the current starting to push him around a little bit, he started shouting and gesturing wildly to no one in particular, turned around, and headed back to his "shore," where he shoved the bike up and out of the river, and then clambered after it. Wow.
And I guess that's all. I haven't done much but sit on the couch and rehydrate since getting home, but what a fun ride.