Friday, October 25, 2013

Random Thoughts and Busy Days

Holy busy days, Batman.

I have a million things I could have written for this post, but no time in which to write. Weekend travel, Thursday rehearsals, and busy-ness at work are conspiring against me, but such is the slide into the holidays -- somehow it affects everything, n'est-ce pas?

Light riding week for me, but big week for bike news. This past weekend I went to Kansas City to visit family and had the chance to get back on the mountain bike, on which I did a nice little 5mi street-and-trail ride that made me think more favorably about the suburbs than I usually do. My brother lives about as close to a lovely little trail as I do to Grant's trail, but his trail was empty. Seriously, in five miles, I think we saw four people. For better or worse, I can hardly get over 5mph on some stretches of Grant's (especially by the farm) because people love to use the trails and parks in St. Louis. To be clear, I'm not complaining. Use means we're more likely to get MORE TRAILS, rather than face resistance to our requests for this sort of infrastructure.

I also picked up my mom's old 1970s Motobecane 10-speed, which is in surprisingly good shape for a bicycle that has been hanging out in a garage attic for decades. No rust, some scratches and missing paint (my brother and I are almost certainly responsible for this during our adolescence), gorgeous brazed joints and badging, and new tubes, tires, and brake pads thanks to my handy brother. I love the look of the gumwalls he picked. Good brother. :)

So, here's my complete stable:

I have names for each of them.
UPPER: The Radish

Julek is a dude. Mostly because he told me so.

Ten-speed derailleur (2+5) w/downtube shifting
21-speed derailleur (3+7) w/thumb shifter

Three-speed internal (1+3) w/grip shifter

The 10-speed needs: wheel to be trued, spokes to be tightened, brackets to be checked. 

The MTB needs - surprisingly little, but I found a tiny crack in in one the mounting spots on the Rock Shox. Does anyone know if this is a big deal? My brother didn't think so. I know I have the original fork if they are shot, but would probably need to repurchase the appropriate headset to swap them. 

The Linus might benefit from different or additional gears. I'm totally on the fence about whether to mess with her at this point.

I plan to add, at a minimum, kickstands to The Radish and Julek, and to swap a single-footed kickstand to a double-footed one for Fleur, since she's my basketed friend. I'd like to get fenders and small rear racks for the 10-speed and MTB; the 10speed has an eyelet on her rear-wheel that makes me think this was contemplated from the start. KISMET, I TELL YOU.

In stable news, Bikes For the Rest of Us, a great bicycle resource blog with numerous reviews and multiple contributors, featured my stable on its website. They are looking for stories about your bike(s) and why you chose it/them. Please find them if you wish to contribute. 

Out of town this weekend, but I'll end this on a caffeinated note: I recently started following @coffeeneur (Chasing Mailboxes, otherwise known as Mary G) on Twitter, and she (of the DC area) talked me into participating in a "coffeeneuring" challenge, which at this point, boils down to riding my bike at least 2mi round trip to get a cup of coffee and nibble at a local coffee shop SEVEN distinct times on SEVEN distinct weekend (non-work) days before 11/17. Which means, coffee Sunday, Nov 2, Nov 3, Nov 9, Nov 10, Nov 16, and Nov 17 to "win". More info here if you'd like to join up, but with one of the few remaining weekends upon us, time is of the essence. 

Finally, I just received this AMAZING bumper sticker for my car (designed by Elly Blue, of Everyday Bicycling, Bikenomics, and Taking the Lane). If I can find 32 seconds, it's so going on that 4-wheeled thingamajig I also use to get around.

Cheers and happy riding! xx

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