Monday, February 18, 2008

First Bicycle Commute of the year.

Weigh-In: 210.5 lbs

Nothing new weight loss or fitness related, so I'm going to cross post this story of my morning that I posted on a bicycle forum I frequent.


First Commute of the Season

All weekend I had been thinking about riding a bicycle to work on Monday. The winter saw a lot of changes for me. For one, I've lost almost 90 pounds since July 24th of last year, much of that since the last time I'd been on a bicycle. I've been really itching to see what I'd be able to do on the bike with the lighter weight.

I've also recently been setting up an old vintage Raleigh Grand Prix as a commuter. In the past I'd commuted on a LWB USS Vision recumbent, but I don't really like to ride it to work because it's a pain in the ass in traffic and in a few tight spots I have to get through.

So this morning came and I looked out the window to see foggyness and light rain. Crap, I guess I wouldn't be riding today.

When I went outside to let the dog out I couldn't help but notice that even though it looked crappy out, it felt like it was about 60 degrees! I'd been in the 30's here in Philly for a while. I had to ride.

So I loaded up my laptop and a change of clothes in my messenger bag and jumped on my Raleigh, ready to make the 8 mile commute.

Two blocks from my house, after going down a steep hill which is actually an elevated bridge I hear a loud bang! Holy crap! Hey wait, the front end is very squirely. The front tire had blown its bead, making a sound equal to gunfire and scaring the crap out of me and several pedestrians.

OK, I guess I'm not riding today. I pushed the bike back up the hill, two blocks, back home.

Then I remembered that someone just gave me an early 80's Nikishi Sport ten speed that I'd just cleaned up last night getting ready to sell. May as well test er out...

The seat on the 'ishi is less comfortable and riding on a brick, so I started to move the seat over from the Raleigh. Crap, different seat post sizes, have to unbolt the seat from the post.

5-10 minutes later.

Ok the seat is all sorted out.

Time to change the spd pedals over so I can click into the 'ishi. No big deal.

One pedal off the nikishi, one pedal on the 'ishi.

The next pedal, which had probably been threaded onto the crank arm on the 'ishi since 1981 did not want to move. Wouldnt budge! After a few minutes of beating the crap out of it and bending a wrench on it I yelled "F@#$ You!!".

Apparently my neighbor heard me in his yard, wondering why I was alone in my garage yelling at something, and offered his help. A little embarassed I said "no, I'm just pissed at this bike".

Then I got an idea....both bikes have 27" wheels, just put the 'ishi wheel on the Raleigh and be on your way! Duh!

OK, switch front wheels. Put seat back on Raleigh. Put pedals back on Raleigh...adjust seat.

I don't know what time it is anymore, but it's probably pretty late. Whatever, it's so nice out and now I'm commited, I HAVE TO RIDE TODAY.

Finally everything is all sorted out, I jump on the Raleigh and head through my town, towards the bike path that is my commute.

Forgot my pump, oops.

Hope I don't need that.

In the middle of the wooded bike trail after shiftng, my chain suddenly stops. Won't move at all.

Seems it got stuck between the smallest rear chain and the bolt from the fenders I just installed last week.


After few minutes and very dirty hands I'm on my way again.

A few minutes later I shift the front derailler and it throws the chain into the crank arm.

Great, thanks.

Fix that, on my way.

Well, I'm already late, lets stop and take a pic. After all, I'm going to enjoy this nice warm morning! I'd like to snap a pic and post it on BF.

Memory full.

What? Oops, forgot the memory card for the camera...

And you know what? Carrying my laptop in this messenger bag really sucks. I really need to install that rear rack and start using a pannier bag.


I ended up getting to work 45 minutes late.

Hmm. Well, it sure was nice out this morning. I wonder if my bike will break in half on the way home, throwing me down an embankment into a river. Time will only tell.


justin said...

Great read. Sounds like you may want to list that bike as "as is" in the classifieds.

billy said...

sounds like a pain in the ass. I haven't had that much trouble in all the days I've ridden to work combined!

How was riding with the new, slimmer model?

Rob Tucker said...

You planned it, and did it. You overcame.

I bet you couldn't have said that last year. Awesome.