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Radio 'star'

I had an opportunity the other day to meet a kindred spirit. His name is Ron Staschak and, I dare say, he's one of those cyclists who derives a great deal of joy just by simply pedaling his bicycle. I can definitely relate.

Ron invited me to his home in Rockland, Maine, to interview me for his radio program called "On The Road, Again." His specialty is bike touring. In fact, after an upcoming trip that will take him from Missouri to Oklahoma, Delaware will be the only state that Ron hasn't ridden a bicycle. Forty-nine out of 50; not too bad.

Ron Staschak at his home in Rockland, Maine.

Ron and I chatted for nearly an hour, covering almost every aspect of two-wheeled machines and why we ride them. We also talked about my blog, events I've planned to participate in this September and October, and working at Mathieu's Cycle. I believe most people would find it entertaining.

Ron's radio talk show is on WRFR 93.3, out of Rockland. You can listen live on Wednesdays at 7 a.m. As would be the case for most of my blog followers, it is also available online at My interview with Ron will be broadcast on Wednesday, Aug. 25. So get up early, grab a cup of tea, and enjoy!

'Tis the season

I often mention the term cycling season, as a matter of reference. There also is the cycle of seasons and, as a rider of bicycles, I believe one becomes a very keen spectator of the slight — but subtle — changes that mark the upcoming arrival of the next one ... whether it be spring, summer, autumn or winter.

That said, I'd like to share two "seen from the saddle" observations made in the last week or so, as we spin our wheels toward fall, my favorite of all the seasons.

Firstly, the game of dodging acorns scattered on the pavement has returned. Not that they could puncture a tire, but I try to avoid them anyway. These cup-shaped little nuts — which are actually the fruit of an oak tree — have even clunked me on the helmet a few times over the years as they dive-bomb from above.

The second seasonal change involves the reappearance of the woolly bear caterpillars, those great predictors of winter weather. The ones I've noticed creeping across the road — you'd think they would be faster with three sets of legs — have all been rust in color. No black bands yet, so it's hard to forecast the severity of the upcoming cold months.

A fun fact about the woolly bear (Pyrrharctia isabella): It was first formally named by James Edward Smith in 1797.

'Thought for the day'

"You're moving through a wonderful natural environment and working on balance, timing, depth perception, judgment. It forms kind of a ballet." — Charlie Cunningham, mountain bike fanatic

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

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