It wasn't until the last few weeks that the serious thought of a new bike even entered my head. I've talked about it a lot, probably driving everyone crazy with my demented parrot chatter about various bikes, but the idea of buying a new thing usually froze my brain.
I have owned 1 new bike ever. and I gave it away.
I have owned many used bikes, most of which have been given away. Eight of them if I am not mistaken (in fact only three are retained). But I haven't close attention to how they rode.
Sir Walter rides completely differently from Frenchie. In fact, riding Sir Walter like Frenchie is terribly uncomfortable.
For one thing, going over hard bumps on Frenchie I have to lift off the seat and bring my weight forward slightly. The same maneuver on Sir Walter makes for wobbling and mwa-ja-ja-ja *waving arms.* By lifting and shifting back over the rear wheel though, the bump is smooth.
Also Sir Walter tracks nicely. But steering is more in the leaning than turning the handle bars. I think those handle bars are just something to cling to. But I've only ridden it for 26 miles, so what the hell do I know.
As I think about it, more and more, I have no idea how many miles I have actually ridden so far this year.
Last year Shannon and I rode exactly the same number of miles. This year I have been commuting half the way to work since the beginning of the summer alone. I have gone on rides on Monday mornings without Shannon deep into Minneapolis. And she has been going biking with other people too. Since the computer is on her bike, the computer gives me nothing for guidance on the number of miles ridden this year.
The current estimated figure is around 4-500 miles. I know I have biked roughly 150 miles commuting, and over 300 dinging around miles. But I haven't really kept closer track than this. It feels funny to have so immediately participated in an activity and not know the amount of the activity I have been involved in. It is easy to look at an odometer and say "the van has been driven x miles" but I really have no idea of the milage on Frenchie.
Maybe I should get a computer to keep track of this stuff, maybe it doesn't bother me enough to buy another thing. (besides I'm trying to save for a bike remember)
I've been riding my trusty french bike for so long I think I don't notice how quirky it really is.
Shannon thinks it is squirrly. She hasn't used the word squirrely, but the handleing is kinda...*waves arms.*
Tonight I test-rode a Long Haul Trucker. And it was not squirrely. When I turned, it turned; when I went straight it went straight. Which leads me to two conclusions:
1. The Peugeot is sick
2. A LHT is sick (as in cool)
3. The cat has found catnip and is very clingy.
perhaps a new bike is somewhere in the future. But I have new questions.
I have been using 27in tires and like the larger wheel, maybe, should I try out another bike with 27in tires and see if I like them better than the 26in tires I rode today.
What about the Pugsley I test rode last year? I seemed to be pretty gaga for that too. what the hell, am I just excited to buy something new?
How am I going to come up with the extra thousand dollars.
The difference in size of wheel might be enough so I don't feel like I am buying a modernized replica of what I already have, or like Jim said in the shop: "you could make it [Frenchie] a single speed." tempting.
The trouble with me buying an expensive mountain bike is: I don't mountain bike. winter commuting by bike might be just as easy with Nokians. (I dunno, but thats what I hear).
First we watched Star Trek: Insurrection, which I am convinced is the worst of all the movies, even worse than the one with "Rich Corinthian Leather"-man (which wasn't so bad, as I can't take him seriously).
Now we are watching Hang em High, and Clint Eastwood has just woken up in a brothel, and been served breakfast including coffee from a tea service with a bakelite handle.
somebody missed the memo about the history of bakelite. And I'm a dork.
I have been reading over old posts in an effort to keep fresh material appearing in new posts. And got back into the posts about the trip to Duluth and I got to thinking about that growler we bought at Fitgers which was really tasty. And then I got to thinking about how tricky it is for someone who works on Saturdays to get a growler of beer from Surly. And then I got to thinking about Irish whiskey verses Tennessee whiskey, when I remember I poured a glass of beer an hour ago.
IT WAS SITTING NEXT TO ME ALL ALONG.
now I have a mostly flat glass of warm beer.
mmm warm beer.
I wonder why I got to thinking about whiskey though...
Two years ago I was given a tool wedge for Christmas. And I carry it always. On You Just Don't Want To there was recently a post about what a commuter must have, and while I certainly haven't been commuting long enough to have anything approaching authority on what a commuter should carry, I do have opinions on what tools a cyclist should carry.
Specifically everything necessary to repair the bike in the event of the worst.
In my tool wedge, in addition to the multitool which is awesome and the handfull of other handy tools it came with; I carry a 1/4 drive ratchet for 8mm, 10mm, 11mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 15mm, and 1/2in sockets and a 6" crescent wrench for good measure (the 14 and 15 actually are 3/8" drive sockets for which I carry an adaptor). This is because between Sir Walter and Frenchie I have at least one bolt to deal with in each size. For example: Sir Walter doesn't have quick release on the back wheel and guess what size bolt it is...thats right 15mm.
I also carry a few spare parts. Like a spare bolt for locking the seat post. Guess why.
I'm not really trying to set any land speed records so I don't mind the extra weight (923g or the exact same as 26oz of water in a 1l nalgene bottle. (yes I just weighed them on the digital kitchen scale for this post and I knew I was a dork)).
I did that I did that that's my fault...Too bad the table didn't break my fall.
Over by Caribou, they resurfaced the parking lot with oil and gravel. Which it needed.
Coming in I thought I would do a powerslide, but traction was too poor to get a controlled skid in. After coffee, I forgot how much loose gravel there was and I leaned into the turn.
My knee took most of the landing, my elbow the rest and I stopped on my right shoulder.
For the first scrape of the season: not bad I say. I still biked home after work. I think it really comes down a bit of holding myself responsible for the series of events. And I feel that if I am going to commit to biking home from work two or three nights a week, then I should be prepared to do so regardless of how stupid I have been or how crappy the weather is. That weather thing might need tweaking--I always feel exposed on the Mendota bridge.
I tried to just shrug it off, but a whole bunch of people from outside the coffeeshop jumped up to make sure I was okay. Which was very nice of them.
Not actually that long...but after a days work, it was a bit of work.
Also, I forgot water. Anyone surprised?
I made it home in about 45 minutes, but the ride to the Mendota Bridge only took about twenty minutes, and riding in Eagan is much crappier than the rest of the ride. But without water, I started flagging on the bridge and by the time I was past the Fort I was in rough shape.
Around 54th I got a fresh wind, and kept it going for a bit.
On the bridge I had been damn near clipped by a mute. So when I saw him coming up the trail from the river side of the Fort I put some heat under it and held the lead as best I could. He turned off at the round about and I stopped for water and a dizzy spell. It's one thing to keep up with someone, another to be the one lugging panniers too.
I crept the rest of the way home and pretty red on arrival.
Tomorrow: Again! (hopefully people will have a sense of etiquette...)
I forgot the camera at my folks, so pictures tomorrow.
The brakes were a pain in the ass. Compared to the front derailleur though, they were a walk in the park on a moderate and sunny day.
This is because it was missing. Somehow I missed that...and then the SBR lacked a front one that fit. So I tried to make one fit with a nylon shim which worked at first. And then every time I changed gears, the derailleur would wriggle down the tube. Till it hung up on the large chainring and went crazy wonky.
After two hours of fighting with that we called it a night.
This has been a weekend of discoveries though:
1. I really like some of these wicking shirts. I haven't bought anything nike since middle-school till the shirt I am wearing right now, and it was cool and comfortable all day long.
2. I might like canti brakes. I've defended the old sidepull brakes forever, but the cantilevered brakes were easy to adjust. And move on more axis than my brakes on Frenchie.
3. With the addition of a tin snips to cut cables and housing, I had all the tools I needed in my tool wedge.
My Mom has had a bike hanging in the garage rafters for years.
I don't think it has been ridden for as long as she has had it. At first this sounds like a terrible thing, but upon closer inspection--the bike was in no condition to be ridden.
Immediately apparent problem: no brakes.
I was able to tighten the play out of the rear hub easily, but the brakes are in serious need of attention.
What I had forgotten about was an old Schwinn Hurricane hanging in the back of the garage. I noticed it when we got her bike down.
It has cantilevered breaks and 26inch tires, just like the road bike with all the troubles. I don't think my Mom wants to ride a mountain bike, but with a different set of tires and more upright handlebars...