Archive - August 19, 2016

Aww, now I want to meet a skunk family while cycling! (Sort of.)
Walt Whitman says…
Review: Big Agnes Seedhouse 2
Adventurous women pee in strange places – a comparison of urination devices (and other useful info)
Yes. Correct. Exactly like this.
Anaïs Nin says…
Yoga en route – 3 easy stretches without putting your bike down


“I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.”

Walt Whitman

Review: Big Agnes Seedhouse 2

Big Agnes Seedhouse 2This little tent has done a marvellous job in many climates. It has seen blowing snow in Alaska and heat blasts in Hawaii.

It’s technically a 2-person tent, but as a touring cyclist, I would not like to share the storage space unless there’s a safe place for gear elsewhere. It’s a tight two, so to speak, and a perfect 1+gear. As of August 2016, the Seedhouse 2 is not listed on the Big Agnes tents page. They now make a Seedhouse SL, which I gather is the sexy next gen.

I would have to agree with the copy-writers at Big Agnes when they say “Like a gin martini or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Seedhouse SL tents are simple, efficient, and classic.” Frankly, anything like a gin martini when I’m covered in sweat and dirt sounds like a good time.

This tent has been reliable, good value for the price, great in bad weather, easy to set up and lightweight.

One thing I’ve had to be careful of is pegging out the fly for good airflow. In cold weather, condensation can build up and in hot weather it’s, well, hot. But the all-screen tent does a good job with airflow and if you don’t need the privacy or weather protection, the openness is divine. The vestibule is big enough to provide a bit of rain shelter which putting shoes off and on and allowing a little storage on each side.

Adventurous women pee in strange places – a comparison of urination devices (and other useful info)

When first we wander

I started using a ‘pee funnel’ while on a bicycle tour in Alaska. It was late fall with crisp days and cold nights. There are many reasons to not hang a bare butt out for a pee and freezing weather is chief among them. Since then, I have used a number of brands in a variety of situations – there are definite pros and cons, depending on your needs.

Situations? What situations?

Cold, yes, is a great reason to pee without de-panting. Not just as you adventure through your day – being able to pee while in your tent (even mostly still in your sleeping bag!) is a major gift in the night-time. Keep a plastic pop bottle or other well-sealing container handy and simply kneel up for a moment. Your feet stay cozy in your sleeping bag and there’s no wake-up shock of chilly night air on your bits. Recommended: a bottle with a narrow top to decrease the chance of spillage in the dark.

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“Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.” 

Anaïs Nin

Yoga en route – 3 easy stretches without putting your bike down

Like any repetitive activity, it’s important to unwind whatever you wind up. Cycling is particularly rough on the upper back and quads. Frequent stretches tucked into the day will go a long way to preventing more serious strain later.

1. back stretch


Use the bike to stretch your body long. Relax your upper body into the stretch. Relax your shoulder blades. Let go of every muscle not needed to stay up.

2. upper chest and shoulder stretch



Stand up straight – feel yourself into a strong line, hanging in gravity like there’s a string from the crown of your head. Do not stand military-tight. Just stand there like you believe in yourself and you’re cheerful to see the world ahead of you. Grasp the seat behind you and let your upper chest streeeeetch open. Let your shoulders relax into the stretch.

3. quad stretch


This one is richer than it looks. When you stand, feel yourself into a straight line, and notice where your hip bones are. Make them parallel with each other (neither higher than the other). Notice your butt. Unclench it. Notice your whole self. Unclench it. Life a leg and let the quad stretch out – now readjust your hips back to level with the horizon. Don’t let one rise up. If you have swiveled an arch into your back by tilting your hips forward, swivel them back (tuck your tail under). See how much more stretch you get in your quad and iliopsoas