Pajulahti, Finland Gallery

My Finland trip was filled with so many different experiences and aspects that not everything fit neatly into the daily trips logs prepared as part of my academic summary.  The additional photos found below either expand on the topics discussed or introduce places and sights not included elsewhere.

This gallery contains photos from Pajulahti Sports Institute in Finland.  Pajulahti is a vocational high school specializing in athletics and serves as both an Olympic and Paralympic training center. Continue Reading →

Surly Straggler: 1,000 Mile Review

Last year, after much research, consultation, and deliberation, I purchased a custom built road touring bike.  I recently completed my first 1,000 miles on this creation and have decided to mark the occasion with a review of the bike, the build choices, and the resulting performance.

This was spurred by two factors:  First, being an unconventional build, I’ve often fielded questions about the choices made and their effects.  Second, much of my research prior to starting this build was based on others’ first hand reports of similar projects.  I am grateful for the wealth of knowledge shared and want to contribute back to the cycling community. Continue Reading →

Project: Christmas Bike

Last Christmas, as my father and I hung the exterior decorations, we pondered what could be added to the house.  It was a simple but elegant setup of candle-lit wreaths in the windows, icicle lights hanging from the awning, and a small green wreath with a red bow on the door.

After staring at the open space next to the door with the white backdrop, we decided it needed something more.  We considered giant wreaths, illuminated boxes of presents, and mechanical reindeer, but nothing seemed quite right.  Then the idea came:  A Christmas Bicycle.

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Muddy Angels Day 8: Closing Ceremony

For those who may not know, the reason we participate in the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride is to honor those EMS providers whom we have lost during the past year.  Each of the cyclists ride in memory of one of the fallen.  We carry metal dog tags around our necks inscribed with their names.  These tags stay with us for the duration as we ride.  At the end of the event, each rider gives one of the dog tags to the family of the lost and keeps the other as a personal reminder of the person whom we memorialize.

While this is a week filled with camaraderie and friendship, it is also a solemn reminder of the sacrifices we all make in order to serve our communities and our nation in so many ways.  It is a reminder of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice who are now remembered by those of us left behind. Continue Reading →

Muddy Angels Day 7: Towson to Alexandria

On this, our final day of riding, we gathered in the morning sun to be briefed on today’s course.  This route will start along the neighborhoods in which my mother grew up.  We were all eager for the day ahead as we prepared to ride through D.C. before arriving at our final destination in Alexandria.

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