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'New' bike arrives

Excitement abounds! I have another bicycle. Actually, I don't, but it feels like I have some new wheels. Let me explain ...

Two years ago, I purchased a 2020 Trek 920 adventure/touring bike. The primary purpose for obtaining this sturdy, yet efficient machine was for my "Reunion Tour," a multi-week ride from Maine to Michigan. It was planned for last August/September, but — for various reasons — it didn't happen.

A new look for my Trek 920.

Well, I'm ashamed to say, something else didn't take place. Despite registering more than 7,000 miles throughout the 2021 season, not a single spin was done with the 920. I couldn't let that type of behavior continue, so I decided it was time for a conversion. A kind of spark to get me on that bike, because I truly wanted to pedal this particular beast.

Here's what I ended up doing:

— Removed both the front and back cargo racks.

— Swapped clipless pedals for platform ones, allowing for the use of regular-sole shoes. I went with Crankbrothers and their Stamp 1 pedal, in the color red to match my bottle cages.

— Switched saddles, going with the Specialized Power Comp, like I did with three of my other bikes.

I kept the 40mm Bontrager gravel tires and added a mount for my Garmin computer. The "new" bike is definitely lighter, but with its sandstorm-colored aluminum frame, it still outweighs my all-carbon Specialized Crux cyclocross model. So, basically, the 920 has gone from touring usage to what I would describe as gravel, off-road, a quick trip to town mode of transportation.

The changes weren't monumental, but I know — for sure — that the 920 and I are going to be sharing the road together more often this year ... and into the future.

Monthly report

So how did I do in May? As far as cycling was concerned.

I got on my bicycle 24 out of the month's 31 days. A dismal footnote would be the fact that they were all of the solo variety. Pedaling with others is so much more fun. The total number of rides since the start of the year adds up to 102. I utilized four different bikes during the month: my Schwinn Circuit, my Trek 920, but primarily my Trek 2.3 and my Trek Domane.

My mileage for May came in at 701, and for the 2022 season, I now have 2,714 miles.

'Wild' ride

You never know what you might observe while out riding, which is one of the reasons why I love being on a bicycle.

One of my favorite routes here in Maine, which I've done hundreds of times, features a section of country road surrounded by a large marsh. Hidden amid the grasses are two beaver lodges — an old abandoned one and new "digs" that appeared in the last few months. But no one was ever home.

Finally, after all these years, I spotted one of the resident rodents the other day. He — or she — was out for a swim. But once aware of my presence, there was a "slap of the tail" warning and it was quickly gone.

It could be a long time before I see another beaver. But it was a neat wildlife moment, experienced from the world's most practical freedom machine ... a bicycle. Stay safe!

An abandoned beaver lodge on the left and a new one on the right.

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