Apr 12, 2009

Test Riding the Rawland and the 2009 Commuting Opener

After taking a sick day on Friday and laying around like a slug on Saturday nursing this cold. we were able to salvage the weekend with some outside recreation today. 

I was just too under the weather yesterday to ride the new bike, but made up for that today with a leisurely ride around South MPLS. The Rawland passed the first-ride test with flying colors. I like the handling/fit a lot better than my Cross Check. It's agile but stable, handles really well at low speeds, and when I took it off the pavement, it was hands-down better than the Cross Check - very, very capable on single track/grass. It's not sluggish, though. I'll take it on a group ride here soon and see how it keeps up compared to the Cross Check, but I suspect it will be at least as good at higher speeds. It climbs well, too. Maybe the magic is in big tires, maybe the compact geometry, maybe the Rando bars... maybe all of the above; who knows? 

The high point of the ride was spotting a Great Horned Owl being hassled by some crows behind the VA hospital. That's the second GHO that crows have found for me, and we both had pretty good looks at him. Shortly after the owl sighting, a VA cop cruised over to us and rolled down his window. I figured we were going to get yelled at for biking around the VA (hey you kids, what do you think you are doing?). No such bad luck - he was looking for a loose dog and wanted to chat a little.

Tomorrow's the 2009 bike commute opener for me. I have ridden in to the office a few times this spring, but on Saturdays; so far no rush-hour rides. I have previously admitted to being a fair weather rider, but with a good weather ahead, better day light in the morning and a new bike in the garage, it's now time to get back on the saddle again. Marquette Ave. is again devastated by the cursed Marq2 project (and will be for all summer, apparently), so the last two blocks will be a major pain in the neck, but otherwise the route looks good. Hopefully it will be a good, safe season.

That's it. I hope you all had a great Easter and enjoyed the weather. Gird your loins for another week and be careful out there!

Edit - the photo is Guilford harbor and has nothing at all to do with this post.


  1. Coming home Thursday night, we saw a Great Horned in our neighborhood. It flew across the road and perched in a tree for a minute, but took off again as soon as I stopped the car. Very cool.

  2. It's like there has been eruption of GHO's recently. A coworker in Richfield emailed me today to tell me he had a GHO in a tree in his yard that was being harassed by crows today, too. These are territorial birds, so they may well be the same one, just moving around.