About

Hey! I’m April and I like bicycles. I started this blog because so I’d have a place to talk about bicycles!

I’m 32 and I’m from Portland, Oregon, which is a pretty good place to ride a bicycle.

I don’t own a car and do the majority of my getting-around via bicycle, with occasional assists from public transportation, including Amtrak.

I also love social rides, especially the kind hosted by the loose collective known as Shift.

And! I do bicycle touring and camping, especially with my boyfriend Shawn Granton.

6 Responses to About

  1. Janice in GA says:

    I’m interested in what you find out about your handlebar/brake levers. I looked around to see if I could find any pictures of the Salsa Poco bars mounted on a bike. In my quick search, I didn’t really see any good pictures. :(

    I have a 2010 Novara Randonee (picture here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/archergal5129/5309683049/in/photostream/). It’s the first bike I’ve ever had that was comfortable to ride in the drops. I find it’s also pretty comfortable on the brake hoods too. I do occasionally think I might be SLIGHTLY happier if the bars were a little higher, though. They’re set slightly below the saddle.

    Mine came with the Shimano Tiagra brifters. They’re handy, but as they wear out, I may go to bar-end shifters. I ride by myself a lot, and would prefer to have something that’s a little more road-serviceable.

    BTW, if you really want one of those stem extenders, I have one in black that I bought from Rivendell and never used. The head tube on the bike I wanted to use it on is actually too short for it. O_o I’ll be happy to send it to you, no charge, since it’s just taking up space in my parts box.

    • The handlebars on your Novara look a lot like some that a friend was recommending to me, the FSA Compact. I also some handlebars I really liked today, Soma Junebugs. They’re meant for mountain biking, but they put your hands and wrists at a super-comfy angle when riding either the hoods or the drops. They’re meant to help people ride drop bars on a mountain bike but still feel comfortable/stable descending, and descending is something I have problems with to start with… I can go downhill much faster without being afraid with upright bars, so that makes sense to me. Although I wonder if my higher comfort descending with upright bars is due to the wide braking stance, or because it’s easier to reach my brake levers, or because my weight is more on the back wheel so I don’t feel like I’m about to endo when I use the front brake. Probably a combination of the above!

      Hilariously, every time I look at new handlebars, they don’t fit my stem…unless I’m looking at the “budget” version. It would appear that almost every handlebar manufacturer makes a stronger and/or lighter one for more money that only fits threadless stems, and then a cheaper heavier/less strong one that fits threaded. Works out in my favor, but still amusing.

      I plan to get bar-end shifters. Although, my Miyata has down-tube shifters, and I actually like them, even though it’s a reach for me from the mustache bars on a super-tall stem. My main worry with bar-end shifters is that I’ll bump them getting on/off the bike or moving the bike or whatever. I can see myself doing it, is all I’m saying. My Novara has the braze-ons for downtube shifters if I want them. It’s something else to think about. Chances are I’ll stick with friction shifting. My only time on an index-shifting bike was a crappy rental, and in one gear it just rattled like a maniac. I figure that friction shifting is less complicated, and I’m familiar with it.

      I can see the advantage of brifters, but….no. I don’t know why, but no. Maybe because I have a thing against index shifting. *lol*

      You would totally be my angel for sending me the stem extender. I was seriously just about to order one, like, tonight. I can see your email (’cause it’s my blog and they show me commenter’s email addresses!) so I’ll send you my address. My email is alder.tree at gmail.com so it’ll be coming from there.

      Speaking of your email…do you play harp? I have a Sharpsicle that I almost never play but refuse to give up. I took lessons about, oh, seven years ago, for most of a year. I keep telling myself I should start again, because I don’t bother to practice without some accountability/help, and I really miss being able to play, even if I only ever got to the “advanced beginner” stage…with a little practice I can still play The Ash Grove and Brian Boru’s March, but it’s sheer muscle memory.

  2. Paul Kramer says:

    April,
    I’d love to reprint your post about women and bikes (Freedom Machines, March 25, 2011) in my next issue. Could you contact me so I can ask permission in a more detailed fashion? Thanks, Paul. (you don’t need to post this comment–I just didn’t know another way of reaching you)

    Cheers

  3. Hi, April! I found you in my quest to compile a list of women’s bike blogs, which I then feature via Twitter (@womenbikeblogs) and Facebook (facebook.com/WomenBikeBlogs). I’m tweeting you as the featured blog today and hope it brings you new readers.

    The full list is on my own blog at http://bit.ly/WomenBikeBlogs. I update it every so often so the links aren’t always up-to-date but I do clean it up periodically. Let me know if you ever add a Twitter account or Facebook piece to what you do.

    Happy biking and blogging!

  4. Connie Ross says:

    After riding vicariously with you on your big trip, I got to thinking about other bikes. My POS mtn bike got ripped off so I ended up buying a Craig’s List bike on the cheap. It’s an early 80s Sterling Sportlite. The guy at Performance Bikes told me it was a mixte. I’ve replaced a lot of wear & tear items on it and I’m getting ready to go on my first short ride. I know you’ve talked a lot about mixte’s but what is the allure? I bought it primarily because of price and because it was a good bike to learn repairs on (unless you want new parts and then you’ve got to get a good grasp of vintage bike stores which are luckily easy to find here in Pdx!). When he said “mixte” though I thought of you!

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