Wednesday, July 21, 2010

W else WJD?

And another!



For you Jens fans....

- OB shut up legs!

Monday, July 19, 2010


I outride them

Other times
I invite them along
and we have a firm chat

This time
they thought it would be
a nice social ride
but I flatout ignored them

- bag I'm not listening!

Friday, July 09, 2010


Betty is eight years old this season. In human years, that's...well, I don't know what that is, but she's no spring chicken.

Neither am I.

I got her right at the end of my racing stint. Bianchi sponsored our team, and I got her for a song. Actually, the frameset was a replacement for a 2000 version that had cracked. Bianchi finally did Scandium right -- I never did race this bicycle, but to me she was a dream to ride over the long miles and the hills.

Lately however, I'm not riding her as much as I used to. This season in particular, long miles have meant aches in my lower's a tough realization. My bod is aging and I need a ride that complements it. Compared to the tandem and the commuter, Betty is just a bit too aggressive in frame geometry and material.

I've started tentatively looking around at road bikes, but I'm in no hurry. And I really question the wisdom in getting something different. There's nothing that says I can't use my old travel bicycle as my everything road bike.


Except that we all have our reasons why we ride. Some ride to save money. Some ride to save our corner of the world. Some ride to keep in shape, to be social or solitary. Me? it's all of that: it's the groceries, the beer run, the commuting, the road less traveled, the day-long ride just because.

Mostly though, it's about the wind in my face as I'm doing all of that...especially as I'm screaming down the hills.

But it's also about the wind in my face as I'm screaming up the hills. Any old bicycle can follow gravity, it's the breaking-free that I'm looking for.

I need an all-day comfort ride that can climb a hill like a crazy woman. The travel bicycle isn't a crazy woman. It's a safe, careful tourist.

Betty's my crazy lady.

Shorter stem, new seatpost = hopefully more comfort for a bit longer
white bar tape is for dweebs

- OB

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Who Knew?

- OB pretending to be a gardener

Monday, July 05, 2010

How to Buy a Bicycle

  1. Attempt to establish a connection to the seller by asking: where have I seen you before? I know you look familiar. What shops do you go to? Be sure to inform seller of your prior bike shop employment experience.

  2. Assume there's no reason to ask the seller about her prior bike shop employment experience.

  3. After a particular LBS is mentioned by the female seller, discuss this LBS with the male partner of the seller.

  4. Discuss well cared-for, relatively current bicycle being sold. Say, yeah, I'm looking for a winter ride. Raise eyebrows when seller exclaims how wonderfully the bicycle rides with studded winter tires.

  5. Make a statement about the bicycle's less-than-high chance of selling.

  6. Deadpan when seller acknowledges that while it is a specialized market, two other cyclists have been interested in the bicycle. Unfortunately the fit or feel wasn't quite right.

  7. Establish your ignorance by scoffing about potential buyers who don't understand their cyclocross bicycle size??

  8. Don't actually ride the bicycle you're interested in purchasing.

  9. Ask seller whether or not the cassette has been changed out. When seller reminds you the bicycle only has about 2,000 miles on it and that the chain has been replaced, insist that any cassette needs to be changed out at the time the chain is replaced.

  10. Ignore the seller's educated explanation that frequent chain replacement delays cassette wear.

  11. Further expose your ignorance by pressing the need that well any buyer will need to replace this cassette and chain after the bicycle has been purchased. Use this to justify your offer for $250 less than the asking price.

  12. Hear the seller's bottom line price, but stick to your offer.

  13. Realize that no means no.
By the end of the encounter only $50 separated us, but by that point it was about principle.

Principle: don't sell a loved bicycle to a putz.

bein' a cranky  Ol' Bag

Thursday, July 01, 2010

How to Sell a Bicycle

Stop anthropomorphizing. Bicycles aren't people, friends, pets, ponies or sentient beings of any kind. We're the ones who develop attachments; frames and forks don't however, an aluminum seatpost and a steel seat tube....

Quit labeling bicycles as svelte, pretty, genius, hard core, sophisticated or genteel. They're made of [trendy or vintage frame material here] which makes the ride appropriately [stiff, noodly, spritly, harsh, quick].

Don't name your bicycle. Naming it causes problems in the same way it causes problems for the farm kid who inadvertenly names a chick, and then one day has to face Mrs. Peeper sitting on the platter in the middle of the supper table.

Realize that a bicycle never did "carry you away" "help you escape" or "open new doors". YOU pedaled yourself away. YOU escaped. YOU opened the doors. You chose to do it on a bicycle. Smart you.

Remember, a bicycle doesn't have eyes, a heart or memories. Your ride doesn't pine for you after you park it and head inside for the night. YOU experience these things. You will still have memories after a bicycle is gone.

Understand that your riding needs and interests change over time. These changes sometimes require you to sell an old bicycle in order to buy a new one that is a better fit...for instance: you need a mountain bike because Betty just doesn't go there. Don't worry, she won't care that you're two-timing her. She's cool in that way. So don't sell her, sell the old track bike.

Besides, you've gotta know that Italian track frame was just toying with you. Your only contact now is when you bump your head into him as you're grabbing something off the far garage shelf. And does he even say anything?!

Realize that a bicycle hanging in the garage not being used isn't living the life it deserves. Find it a good home with an owner who can give it what it needs: the open road, the parade, the back woods, the competition.

Sell it. And get over it. It's not a loss.

It's giving an old friend new life.

- The said goodbye to a couple of pals Bag