Saturday, November 19, 2005

Going through Withdrawal!

The commute was the thing that kept me sane -- there’s something about hitting the road and not having to think about where or how long. The duration and the destination are a given. All I have to do is ponder life. I arrive at either end with a calm, clear head. But ice and snow hit last Tues. and I’ve been driving to work since.

I'm considering my options for building-up a winter commuter. I’ve got an old hybrid that I’m using close to home as a grocery-getter, but it’s got such a short reach that (even with a longer stem) using it for a 24-mile round trip commute would border on painful. I’m thinking about looking into a Surly Cross-Check frame and outfitting it with old components I've got strewn about: 8-speed Ultegra front combined with some 8-speed XT on the rear.

This would then leave the old mtb available to convert to a singlespeed.

And, since the Crosscheck has near-horizontal rear dropouts, I could cannibalize my old track bike should the fixed-gear bug ever bite...which then would finally get the Giordanna out of the garage and up on the wall inside the house...lugs and embossed main tubes...it’s art.

Hmm. Might have to start digging into this idea.

- Old Bag's got a Project

6 comments:

George said...

Go with the Cross-Check!

I own one and I'm gonna be buried with it.

I own 6 bikes and it's my favorite.

Ptelea said...

I'm not a cyclist but I completely relate to exercise = sanity. My choice of exercise is hiking and it doesn't take much equipment to continue it year round. My question to you is, what do you do in it's place (your commute) if you don't get your project done? I worry that I won't always be able to hike. But maybe that is when you come up with an alternative....when you have to.

the old bag said...

George, thanks for the weigh-in on the Cross-Check. I've heard similar things everywhere I've checked: people love it. AND, I like the versatility...nothing like having options!

the old bag said...

Hi Ptelea -- yeah, I hear you about options! My alternatives: XC skiing (love it!), jogging (tolerate it), hiking (love it, but takes travel time), walking, riding the a trainer in the basement. They're all great, and will keep me sane, but there's something larger about the ride to/from work: the regulars, the sunrise....

senioritis said...

Winter biking is almost more energizing than warm-weather riding, impossible as that may seem. My winter distances are much shorter than summer; I limit them to how long it takes for the water bottle to freeze. But I have a Bridgestone MB outfitted with studded tires and fenders. I wear winter tights and (when necessary) leg liners underneath. A pair of wool socks (sometimes with sock liners) under booties. XCO gloves. Balaclava. A yellow helmet cover that makes me look like a jellybean but keeps me from getting shot by a hunter. Don't know how long your commute is, but if it's possible to do, you're going to love it. It just takes a lot longer to get dressed for the ride, and I have to bundle up a LOT afterwards in order to bring body temp back up.

the old bag said...

I limit them to how long it takes for the water bottle to freeze.

I like your ride parameters! Thanks for the tips....

- TOB