Notes from the saddle

Cycling and my other passion ... flower gardening. My peonies are doing well this year.

Shimano surprise

I've won! I was notified the other day that I have earned the chance to purchase the "Shimano 100 Works" photo book, a publication commemorating the Japanese manufacturer's 100th anniversary.

Truth be told, I'd completely forgotten about the whole matter. I'd applied for the worldwide lottery sale back in March, thinking it would be neat to have in my library collection a special book that tells the story of Shimano's 100 years of progress through the description of 100 products, which include its renowned and groundbreaking cycling components.

Limited to just 2,000 books being printed, and only available through Shimano's centennial website, I felt the odds were pretty slim of getting the opportunity to obtain one. My order number was 2,501 and, with the application process open until late May, I'm guessing there was quite a bit of interest in acquiring the 264-page coffee-table book.

I believe the last time I won anything occurred during my college years, when I snagged a pair of sandals through a contest put on by a radio station in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

Anyway, I have until the end of June to complete the purchase order, which I plan on doing. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the cost was 10,000 Japanese yen, but that works out to about $91 in U.S. currency. I should receive "Shimano 100 Works" in September, and I'm already looking forward to perusing its pages.

Only the lonely

Cycling this summer has been a lot like last year's pandemic pedaling ... all by myself. And for the most part, I don't like it.

My usual two road companions have been otherwise engaged, I guess with something more important than riding a bicycle — imagine that — and also nursing minor ailments. In fact, Jon had surgery on his foot this past week, so he will probably be off his bike until late summer or early fall. In fairness to him, this season's "non-competitive" mileage competition has been called off.

I did do a 34-mile cruise with Scott just recently, so hopefully he and I can connect more often. And we have chatted about doing a century ride in the near future. It's just more fun being with other cyclists.

More danger

There's an additional hazard currently confronting cyclists here in Maine. It's been a bad year for brown-tail moths, an invasive species found only in Maine and Cape Cod. When these devilish insects hit the caterpillar stage, their tiny poisonous hairs — which can cause skin reactions similar to poison ivy — float through the air, dive-bombing anyone who happens to be in the area.

Arriving home after recent rides, I've had a few itchy spots ... but not enough of a bother to keep me off my bikes.

'Thought for the day'

"The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community." — Ann Strong, cyclist (quote from 1895 in the Minneapolis Tribune)

From "Words To Ride By ... Thoughts on Bicycling" by Michael Carabetta (Chronicle Books, 2017)

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