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Riding reflections

That time of year again ... remember to share.

Bicycle bloopers

Needless to say, the attic is bursting at the seams at Mathieu's bike shop. Two-wheeled machines galore — of every description. Road. Mountain. Gravel. Old. New. Rusted. Muddy. Broken. Cheap. Expensive. I could go on and on. All in need of a little tender loving care before their owners can go for a ride.

As most of you know, before our mechanics work their magic it is up to me to get these trusty steeds as clean as possible. Which isn't always easy. Because of prior experience, I always make it a point to gaze in the mirror before leaving for the day. More often than not, areas of my handsome face are decorated with what looks like blackheads. But it's actually grease — from dirty bikes.

Anyway, because of the up-close and personal duties of my job, not much goes unnoticed. Which brings us to my annual "weird words and phrases" listing. These terms are displayed on various parts of a bicycle, meant to convey some sort of message. But to me, the offerings I'm presenting — in my humble opinion — don't work and don't make sense. Or are just plain goofy. And if their purpose is to help convince a customer to purchase the bike, I think the mission is lost. I believe it leaves people more confused, if they even notice them.

So, here's what I've seen plastered on bikes and, in parentheses, the brand from which they came:

— FSR (Specialized) ... absolutely no clue as to what this means.

— Special Teeth Profiles Shifting (Trek).

— Torque Transfer Design (Bianchi).

— Finest (Fuji).

— Simply Better (Fuji).

— Atomic 13 (Raleigh).

— Reparto Corse (Bianchi) ... I hope you can read Italian.

— Element Racing (Mongoose).

— Triaxial Hourglass (Cannondale).

— Portage Formed Top Tube (Jamis).

All about April

We all know April showers bring May flowers. But fortunately for me, there wasn't much rain in Maine during the fourth month of the year. So for April, I rode a bicycle 24 out of 30 days. Freedom machines utilized were my 2017 Trek Domane and the brand-new 2023 Trek Domane road bikes, plus my Specialized Crux and Trek Checkpoint gravel beasts.

Highlights of the month were participating in the Frost Heave Fondo; riding with my longtime cycling buddy Scott, and the first cruise on my 2023 Trek Checkpoint. Total miles for April were 636.

For the 2023 season, thus far, I've climbed aboard a bike for 98 outings, while only missing 23 days of riding. The odometer reads 2,451 miles after four months of having fun. By comparison, at the end of April of 2022, I had reached 2,000 miles and pedaled a bicycle 78 times.

Huxley update

The latest report out of Pennsylvania from Gigi, who is Huxley's grandma and my sister, is that the little guy — the son of Kacey and Gabe — has progressed to a pedal bike with training wheels. She indicated that he had a bit of a struggle at first with steering while pedaling, but he's zooming around pretty good now.

She believes the training wheels won't be on the bicycle for long. Not bad for someone turning three in October. Stay safe, Huxley!

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