Sunday, August 29, 2010

Caring Bridge Updates on George's Progress

Dear Followers,

To keep you up-to-date on George, I created a CaringBridge website. You can follow George’s progress and show your support.

Visit George’s website in two easy ways:
  1. Visit the CaringBridge website by clicking the link below.
  2. Enter the website name, georgeswain, at

When you visit you’ll be asked to log in, because I’ve chosen to keep the site private.

Show your support for George
  • Visit and keep up to date.
  • Leave a message in the guestbook.
  • Receive e-mail notifications when the journal is updated.



George's first DNF

Hi Friends,

This is George's wife, Jessie, writing for George. George was hit by a car during the Endless Mountains 1000k brevet in PA on Thursday morning (within the first 30 miles of the start of the ride). He has broken many bones, which will take time to heal. He has endured 2 successful surgeries and many tests. He will be off his feet and in rehab for quite some time. He has a very good prognosis. We are grateful for the many messages and all the love coming our way. Close friends and family have been incredibly supportive and helpful. No other help is needed right now, but thank you to those who have offered. We may take you up on it later! Don't worry about him. We are in a fantastic trauma center with excellent care. And, I never leave his side!

Love and thanks to all of you.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Endless Mountains 1000K - Here I come. . .

After four weeks with my arm in a sling and seven weeks off the bike, I'm off to ride in the Endless Mountains 1000K. I've been on the trainer a few times and the ride this morning out on the road felt good. It will be slow going for sure, but the weather looks great and the company will be good. I'll be posting updates through Twitter and rider progress will be tracked by Tom R., the organizer, at this link. Madness I suppose, but wish me luck.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The European Grand Tour: 2010

The family Grand Tour of Europe was a great success, with the small caveat that I was unable to even sit on a bicycle seat the whole time. While the orthopedist gave me the green light on stationary bikes, I could not find one along the way. So instead of riding, I opted to photograph bikes instead. Spending most of our time in the cities, I saw surprisingly few road bikes. What I did see, in great abundance, were urban commuter bikes of all shapes and sizes as well as bike sharing programs in almost ever city we visited. 

Since moving out of NYC, I've long missed the ability to use a bicycle as my primary means of transport and looking at pictures of Amsterdam and Copenhagen usually make me drool. I was amazed to see how many people (of all shapes and sizes) use the bicycle to get around Barcelona, Paris and Munich. Munich especially impressed me as a bicycle city. Unlike New York, though, there was an utter lack of affected coolies hoping to be seen riding their bikes through town. I saw only one poseur on the whole trip with his tricked out fixie complete with sawed off handlebars and tarot card shoved in his spokes. Instead, the roads were filled with mild-mannered people of all ages using their bikes to get to work, shop, eat, etc.

With raised bike lanes (in Munich) who needs helmets?  
Even the postal workers use bikes to deliver the mail!
Police bikes (unlocked!) in Versailles
The other thing I noticed immediately in Germany is how seriously the Germans take their lights. No wonder most high-end headlights come from Germany! It's against the law to ride after dark in Germany without front and rear lights so the bikes you see are equipped with nice lights and many with dynamos to power them. Most bikes also have fenders.

So my fantasy of urban living and cycling continues.

For now, though, I'm eager to return to my road bike for some long miles. I returned to the studio yesterday and spent an hour on the trainer. After a month away, my quads were feeling it a bit, but with a little luck, the orthopedists will give me the green light on Tuesday to ride on the roads again and I'll be off to enjoy the Endless Mountains 1000K on Thursday.