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Old 04-22-11, 03:18 AM   #1
MichaelW
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Cycling vs gardening

Are the two activities compatible. Is gardening a waste of good cycling time?

We have had some fantastic warm, sunny weather for the past week and Ive been doing a lot of gardening and some DIY. I still use the bike to get to the gardening and DIY shops but no longer rides.

When I'm on tour I really enjoy seeing well kept gardens and vegetable patches. Now Im back on home turf I feel I have to do my bit. I'm starting to enjoy it. Does this mean Im an ex-cyclist. Where can I find gardenforums ?
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Old 04-22-11, 05:01 AM   #2
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Of course you're not an ex-cyclist. If you use your bike to get to and from the garden sales centre, you're still riding, and combining the activity with something else you like.

If you can get right into vegetable gardening, you've got the best of both worlds... growing your energy for cycling purposes.

Maybe you should look at investing in a trailer that can be used to transport pots and large packs of stuff.

Gardening is part of my day job, so I don't have to worry about losing cycling time to it. But using low-maintanence techniques enables you to have an attractive garden and still have time to cycle. The biggest consumer of time in a garden is lawn -- you can look at the time behind or on a mower as being meditation time, or a waste of time.
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Old 04-22-11, 05:07 AM   #3
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I do both gardening and cycling. We use the square foot method so once the gardens are set up time spent on maintenance is minimal and can be spent riding. Seldom ride to the garden center...the closest one is now over 12 miles away on unfriendly roads.

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Old 04-22-11, 06:44 AM   #4
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The only interaction I have with the soil is via the tires of my mtb, or my face or various parts of my body when I crash on said mtb.
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Old 04-22-11, 07:55 AM   #5
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Assuming that neither gardening nor bicycling is how you earn your living I'd avoid turning either into a job. Try to find the mix that keeps you from wishing you were in the other place.
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Old 04-22-11, 11:14 AM   #6
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ride some, garden some. seems simple enough. if you're touring for extended periods, just ask a friend/family member/neighbor to do the basic tending.
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Old 04-22-11, 02:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I do both gardening and cycling. We use the square foot method so once the gardens are set up time spent on maintenance is minimal and can be spent riding. Seldom ride to the garden center...the closest one is now over 12 miles away on unfriendly roads.

Aaron
As far as I am concerened Square foot is the only way to go. Lettuce is starting to come up along with spinich, endive, onions and radish. Brocoli and cabbage plants are in and peas should be up any time now. All that and no lost riding time.
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Old 04-22-11, 04:32 PM   #8
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As far as I am concerened Square foot is the only way to go. Lettuce is starting to come up along with spinich, endive, onions and radish. Brocoli and cabbage plants are in and peas should be up any time now. All that and no lost riding time.
We are a bit behind the frost curve this year... But should make up for lost time pretty quick. We had to relocate most of the gardens due to a property line oopsie.

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Old 04-22-11, 10:52 PM   #9
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two blackberry bushes in my rear pannier:

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Old 04-23-11, 12:00 AM   #10
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I love both cycling and gardening and I don't consider one taking away from the other. Mostly I figure the gardening grows the food I need to cycle, and cycling let's me stretch and look at other people's gardens. It's win-win.
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Old 04-23-11, 04:49 AM   #11
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two blackberry bushes in my rear pannier:
In a country far, far away, we've just sprayed myriad blackberry bushes because they are a noxious weed that invades everything in its path.

Michael, I am from Tasmania, and now I live in Victoria. Both regions have a very strong English influence when it comes to gardens. Especially Tasmania because it is 42 deg South and the weather is... well... conducive to plants with an English origin. English Country Gardens proliferate.

A huge national media personality here is a guy called Peter Cundall. He is Tasmanian, and was a prisoner of war in the Korean conflict. He's in his 80s now and still active in promoting his gardening techniques in the media. He is worth looking up. He certainly had an influence on how I look at gardening, mainly because I used to edit his written material way back in the 1980s before he made it big.

Cundall is one of those vegetable gardeners we'd all like to be -- take 10 minutes to prepare the ground, plant the seeds and seedlings without a line, and spread around prolific layers of mulch such as straw and manure. Oddly enough, the almost blase attitude works!

Another major Tasmanian personality in gardening, and more broadly farming, is Bill Mollison, who is regarded as the father of biodynamics. I don't subscribe to it, but you might...

The key certainly is mulch to prevent water evaporation, to create future nutrient, and to smother out weed growth. It doesn't matter if it's vegetables or ornamental gardens... they all benefit. And you can create your own compost heap so things become almost selt-sustaining. Just don't be afraid to use lime to stop the acidity from becoming overpowering and to keep the soil "sweet".

I mentioned bicycle trailers before. I built one using the security mesh designed for front doors. The key dimensions were based on a bale of straw (the small ones, not the big rolls). It worked extremely well... and ended up doing things like transporting three for four bikes at once, and moving my goods and chattels into storage when i vacated my unit.

It can be lots of fun!

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Old 04-23-11, 09:27 AM   #12
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I've found that the deer, rabbits, and woodchucks have never eaten one of my bikes yet, as I look at all the tulips mowed to ground level overnight.
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