Day 4 (Saturday, March 14)

Happy Pi Day! (it’s “3.14” for those who order their dates that way). Slept in a bunch this morning. I think that staying up to match some times in the US is skewing my internal clock too far.

After I finally got out the door a little before 10, I decided to do a full dry-run of my commute. So, bike to the train station, train from Lund to Hyllie, and the bike to the office. There’s a lot of construction in the last leg of that, so i had to do a bit of wayfinding, but I figured it out, and then got the better path on the way back to the station. On a Saturday morning train hitting all the local stops, it was ~40 min. On a weekday express train that only stops in Lund, Malmö, and Hyllie, it will be a lot faster. Still easy to leave by 7 and be settled at my desk by 8. Given that most people roll in between 8:30 and 9, I should be set!

Rolling back into Lund, I decided to take a different way back to the hotel and went thru Lundstadsparken (Lund City Park). Discovered some interesting things. It’s a really nice park. There’s a waterpark:

And there were casualties to the wind that we had, as this tree (and others) were totally blown over. I wasn’t crazy to be paranoid about that crane!

Oddly, just to the left of the frame on this pic was an older woman in an electric wheelchair sitting alone in the middle of the grassy area. She was calling out something, but I couldn’t figure out what or to whom. Then I could see that her chair had bogged down in the muddy grass and was stuck. So, I went over and asked if she needed help (Behöver du hjälp?), and then pushed her out to solid ground. She motored away without a look or a wave. I’ll bet she was a little embarrassed.

After dropping the bike back at the hotel, I went for a walk around town. Holy Jeebus did I walk!

But I checked out a lot of things. The Library was really cool. It’s not huge, but I’ll bet we can figure out how to use the university library as well. In any case, they were flying all the right colors!

There’s a Botanic Gardens in the middle of town with a little cafe, so I went and had a coffee and a stroll around the greenhouse and gardens. It was very cool, and I will be back in different seasons to check it out. Oh, and BTW, it is literally across the street from the school that the kids are going to. So, they will probably get to enjoy it a lot more than me!

Civilized commuting again?

Ever since I moved to St Paul, I’ve missed a key part of my routine – stopping at Canteen coffee on the way in to work on the bike. The new route is almost all trail, which is nice for the ride, but there’s basically no coffee along the way. So after a lot of google map searching, I decided to change the route to try Precision Grind Coffee

I’m sitting there now. And it’s not as good as CG. :-(. The latte is just frothed and dumped in a paper cup. No feather. The coffee is scalding hot, and oddly flavorless.  The scone was moist and doughy. Not what a scone should be. 

So, no, not civilized. Simply barbaric. 

And, yes, I know I’m being a HUGE snob. Canteen was just that good. 

Knickers, Round 1

Some first impressions. First, both of these are not sized to go over cycling shorts. they are generally true to size. If you want to put them over regular padded shorts, expect them to be tight.

Movement. The Bicycle Fixation knicks don’t have a gusseted crotch, and bind pretty badly trying to swing a leg over the bike. It’s surprised and annoyed me every time that my leg smacks the rear rack because I didn’t hike up the pants. This is not a problem with the Swrves – which have more stretch and a gusseted crotch.

Features. The Swrve’s have really nice pockets and the reflective belt loops are nice (albeit, hidden under a jacket all winter). The Bicycle Fixation have closing cuffs. The Swrve’s have just a seam. It’s not an oversized opening, but I find myself wishing that the Swrve’s had a drawstring to cinch-up the cuff a little more. The BF knicks have a very nice button arrangement that can get snug – but is a little tedious to get done/undone each trip.

Warmth. I’m not really going to compare them this way. They simply aren’t designed for the same temperature ranges.

Warm Cycling Knicker Shootout!

So, my adored Swobo woolens are starting to fray. I did some research and picked up a pair of Bicycle Fixation Classic Wool Knickers (link) and a pair of Swrve Winter Softshell Knickers (link). Both at the same (steep) price point of $125. I’m going to ride them all winter and tell you all what I think.

Right off the bat, however, I can tell these two are apples and oranges. The BF knicks are like suit pants, and the Swrve knicks are like body armor. Very different heft and robustness. The Swrve knicks are tanks. First blush, the Swrve’s are a lot better constructed. The BF knicks are constructed well, but seem like they were made by a competent amateur seamster. The Swrve’s are clearly a professional job. For the same price, the Swrve’s are (out of the packaging) clearly in the lead.