What’s so special about winter? What are people looking forward to when winter time is around the door? Are they excited about the scenic mountain views, they see in the movies? Spending the evening in front of a cozy chimney, drinking hot chocolates and watching some of those scenic mountain view movies?

Being a Dortmund native, I mostly consider winter as the cold, dark, wet and grey time of year. Winter is dirty and ugly. The closest scenic mountain view is 750km away (42hrs on a bicycle and a horrific climb to the finish line, I checked that…). The coziest chimney feeling comes up, whenever someone in the neighborhood decides to burn rotten wood outside in a fire bowl and last but not least, there’s no such thing as snow in Dortmund. There’s just grey and yellow mud. Winter is a nightmare in Dortmund, trust me!

However, I still needed to take some nice winter pictures for the seasonal content page on this website. So, when the weather forecast predicted snowfall in Dortmund a few days ago, I knew I had to come up with a plan to make the most of it. It was supposed to snow in the middle of the night, so the plan was pretty simple. Get…out…of…bed…early. That was it!

And guess what, it worked! I found myself outside, slipping through real, brand new snow in my not so brand new sneakers at around 9 am. It didn’t get any earlier on a sunday morning, but it was early enough. I was pretty much the only person outside. It was just me, my camera and the vehicles of the city road service, dashing through the snow in a hurry.

I knew where I wanted to go, so I fought my way through tons of snow, covering the sidewalks and finally arrived at my destination for the day, the campus of the university. I was lucky to discover some nice spots, took a few shots on my camera and got back home at around twelve. Two hours later everything was gone. Five hours of snow, that is all the winter wonderland Dortmund has to offer. But I still had the pictures on my camera as a prove, that there really was actual snow in Dortmund…

-Dennis

Visit the seasonal content page on my website for more winter pictures from that day:

Seasonal Content on DennisTheCyclist

Hey everyone,

I spent a decent amount of time during the last few weeks working on my “everyday” bicycle, the Creme Cycles Vinyl Solo Black. I’m using this bicycle since two years to go shopping or visiting friends or whenever I’m outside with my camera, looking for the next great picture…However, the longer I kept riding the bike, the longer got the list of things, that I’d like to change about it. Parts like the saddle or the rear hub and the backpedal break suddenly used to freak me out everytime I took the bike out for a ride.

It was about time for a little customization…

I had something like a clear plan in my head. First of all, I wanted to change the internal gear box in the rear hub against a singlespeed hub…a loud one to be exact. Second of all, the saddle basically felt like a wooden plate, which is not quite comfortable when the streets of your hometown are a best-of collection of the greatest potholes ever.

It was clear that those changes would cause a couple of additional changes. Adding a singlespeed hub for example meant I’d no longer have a backpedal break, which was a good change, I just needed to add a second rim break.

The most difficult thing about all of this was looking for new parts that would fit the bike. Some measurements on the Creme Cycles Vinyl seemed a bit extraordinary to say the least, but after all I got lucky and found some singlespeed bike parts by a local BMX brand / shop. Great looking parts and effortable at the same time, it didn’t take long to decide whether or not to buy them.

Another quick fix was the saddle problem. My order at the BMX shop brought back memories of my old bmx pizza saddle… I instantly knew I had to add this saddle to the bike, though it proved to be some extra online research time until I found an adapter that would fit the 25,4mm bmx seat post to the 26,6mm bike frame. For some reasons these parts are rare…

Adding a new rear rim break was another difficult part about the whole work on the bike thing, as I never did that before. Figuring out the right length of the cable and how to make the break actually stop the wheel took some time. All in all, I installed the whole rim break system about a dozen times until it finally worked out pretty well.

What I like most about the customized version of this bike, beside of the pizza saddle of course, is the sound of the rear hub. Adding a singlespeed hub to the bike, finally got me a roadbike, that not only looks like one, but sounds like one, too. Plus, I don’t need to use a bell or yell at people anymore, which is definitely a huge advantage…

I could write a lot more about this bike build, however, I thought it would be fun to make a video about it, too. And that’s exactly what I did. Of course, talking to a camera and looking for a nice angle extended the whole process of the bike build even more, but making videos is something I enjoy a lot, so taking some extra time for the camera was not much of a big deal…

So, in case you’d like to actually watch me working on the creme cycles vinyl, too…

What do you think about the result? Would you like to know more about the bicycle? Feel free to tell me in the comments below…

-Dennis

Hey everyone,

here’s just a quick reminder, that dennisthecyclist.blog is still alive. Over the last couple of weeks / months, I spent a lot of work developing a new layout regarding the content as well as the design.

The plan looks something like this: I’m going to focus on displaying my photography a bit more than I used before, because personally, this is the most fun part and something that I really like to share.

However, of course there will still be blogposts, just like this one, to make sure everyone of you will not miss out on new content and the latest news…don’t forget about your roots, right?

I’ll be posting about the new categories on this website in the following blogposts. In the meantime, I’m really curious to find out what you think about it. What’s your first impression of the site? What do you think should still be added? These are the things I’d like to know more about, because I can’t answer them myself. So, every feedback is welcome and appreciated!

Oh yeah, before I forget, I wanted to credit Laura from Squaremeat a lot. Your reaction to my first comment on one of your articles after months of absence inspired this title. Thanks for that, Laura…

-Dennis