Cycling Велопрогулки The School of English in Pushkino
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October 14th, Pushkino, Russia
Wow! I have been living in Pushkino for more than 60 years and I can’t remember so beautiful autumn as we have now. In the middle of October the temperature is around 15C.
I am at the river and I can see happy children with parents.
Childhood! Everyone remembers it and everyone would like to make a journey back there again and again. How was my childhood? Amazingly great! Yes, we didn’t have all these modern gargets but we had a lot of free time and we knew how to spend it (in both good and bad ways).
And nowadays children? What about their childhood?
Of course they have it. Better or worse than ours? I don’t have the answer and I don’t want to compare. I think their childhood is better.
I just think that something is wrong when I look at their enormous schoolbags filled with all those thick books.
Here’s a big difference between our and their childhood!
We went to school with a thin briefcase and tiny notebooks and books.
And they are in a hurry to do their homework all the time.
But what is childhood?
They say in England that the term “childhood” came out to life somewhere in the middle of the 19th century. Before that there was hard children’s labor. Children started working at 4 (no laws to protect them). And the most popular job among them was a chimney sweep (a lot of fatality, illnesses).
So, we are lucky that at least we live in the 21st century. Still the question remains: Do we improve children’s education OR just proclaim it. It’s not question to Russian education only. Everywhere in the world it is more or less same and it seems that they will start teaching kids mathematics straight from the first group in kindergarten while they sit on the pots. And they explain their parents that it exactly what they need to have their bright future.
But I still think that something is wrong. Because bright future for kids is a lot of free time when you are really free!
Life is short. And the happiest thing in it is childhood!
Let’s make it longer a bit!
School of English in Pushkino
What is comfort?
Is it more comfortably to drive a car or to ride a bike?
Well, here is a lot of specific. I have no car so I can talk about riding only.
Oh yes! It can be comfortable even in a rainy day as we had today (November, 3). Even you can ride and enjoy listening to music. BUT you ride out of car roads. What a pleasure to listen to the silence!
For riding bike comfortably you need:
-comfortable bike (watch a video)
-comfortable clothes (loose, warm, waterproof)
-comfortable rucksack (light and strong / not necessarily to be waterproof because you can use plastic bags in case of rain and it’s lighter and cheaper)
-comfortable waterproof trainers
-good radio receiver with USB
You are always welcome to the cycling trips with the School of English in Pushkino!
November 03, Pushkino
Winter cycling versus cross country skiing
You can much better understand nature with age. You can understand its beauty more and more getting older. At least it is so for me. I think it is a natural and mostly common thing as your interests and focuses change crucially with your age.
I was shocked with today’s beauty of nature. I was very much lucky today. It’s a day off and the weather is exactly right for a winter cycling: crusty paths covered with hard virgin snow and a lot of sun!!!
And made a couple of videos right in time as you know it gets dark very early now. In videos I talked about clothing for winter cycling and compared winter cycling with a cross country skiing.
So enjoy long Christmas nights!
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas!!!
December 15th, 2018
I tried to find some information on bikes on YouTube and understood that people were talking mostly about mountain bikes or bikes for racing. It’s understandable because the most profitable segment of the bicycle market is exactly those types of bikes.
But there are a lot of people who are not fit enough or not young enough for these categories (or on any other reasons). And that’s why I would like to talk a little about very simple and probably the oldest type of a classical one speed road bike.
I just would like to share some ideas which doesn’t mean that you have to agree with me or follow my steps.
How do you choose your bike? What are your purposes?
During summer we organize trips on bikes in the countryside for children, woman, and elderly people. What criteria do we need to follow for theses category of cyclists? They are reliability, simplicity, comfort, price…
We don’t need shifts, high speed…
Let’s start with a frame. The cross bar should be as low as possible to get on and off the bike easily.
The seat should be wide with springs. We should have fenders on the wheels to protect a rider from mud and water. A rack is a nice thing too as we take a lot of things. Caliper brake on the front wheel and a coaster brake hub on the back wheel. Comfortable steering bar with curves for gripping (not a straight one).
You can save a lot doing some maintenance by yourself. Maintenance for modern multi speed bikes is very complicated and you have to go to service and pay a lot for it.
In the picture you can see a bike which I restored two days ago. It’s a soviet era classical bike. I would like to mention one more thing. In the USSR we had spare parts which fit to different types of bikes (hubs, brakes, tires… everything was unified). The maintenance was cheap and simple and my restoration was cheap too. And besides I just love old bikes.
So judging by your goals you have to find a balance between reliability, simplicity, comfort and price!
Enjoy your cycling!
Join us in summer!
Pushkino, Moscow, January 5th
Where is that symbolic cup of coffee, that elixir of life of which returns you back to the normal stage of life? We are all under pressure of life. We are social creatures but on the other hand we sometimes need to escape from society. How to relax? How to calm oneself down? How to refresh yourself?
For me, and I would like to underline it, it is escaping into nature. Nothing new!
And in a slogan “Moving is life”, which is on the fron wall of one building in our town, is nothing new too. But it is my favourite one!
Why do I underline the word FOR ME?
Well, it is age of course and many other reasons…
I doubt that at twenty I would prefer that type of relaxation I am going to talk about. I do not want to teach anyone or to give any advice how to relax and how to get rid of stress which follows us daily…
It was a gorgeous day today…
Yes, it was rather cold with some snowflakes in the air but…
But the paths in the fields were dry and I got to the lake easily.
Riding a bike in the silence of nature, listening to nature – that is my style of relaxation now!
I just want to warn you that if you are going to follow my steps PLEASE be careful.
Everything can happen on the path! Travel with friends not alone and be cautious!
Save nature! Keep it clean!
Pushkino, 14 April, 2019
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Well, my post about bike restoration has attracted some interest and I have decided to continue writing about bikes.
And there is a great opportunity to it now as I have been rewarded with such a great cycling today.
I am mostly writing for people who are not young and I won’t write about mountain bikes and racing bikes. I am writing about cross country riding on a very simple and usual (standard) bike of a soviet era.
So first thing first – you never know to dress yourself properly for the weather you have outside.
My general recommendations:
-everything should be loose – you have to move part of your body freely and stay warm
-a several layers of loose clothes (t-shirts, sweaters, thermo clothes)
-loose type of mittens or gloves
-loose winter trainers with several socks
-perhaps you should take some spare clothes with you too
-reliable which is a synonym for simple in the case of winter riding
-I wouldn’t like to say anything wrong about modern bikes (I just do not know much about them)
-you have to test your bike somewhere near your home before you go on a long distance trip (or you can just ruin your life if something serious happens to your bike somewhere in the wideness)
-in my case I have a V brake on the front wheel (which is probably better than a disk brake considering possibility to be broken or to be covered with ice). And I have a coaster brake hub on the back wheel (which might be better than a disk brake as it can’t be covered with ice or snow as it is inside a hub)
-see the video. I am talking a lot about differences of coaster brake hubs
So the trip took two and a half hours there and back.
I was blessed to make it safely and comfortable.
Enjoy your cycling!
Pushkino, Moscow, Russia
Jan 6, 2019