Speaking of Getting a Scratch

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The doctor says that I can’t ride my bike for at least two weeks. Starting two days ago.

Ow. Ow. Ow. I think it’s time to take an 800mg ibuprofen tablet. Ow. Ow. Ow.

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To Paraphrase

To me cycling is a pleasurable activity that I do of my own free will, while driving a car is an uncomfortable activity I have to do in order to meet other people’s requirements. — Ken Kifer

To me cycling is a uncomfortable activity that I do of my own free will, while driving a car is a pleasurable activity I do in order to meet other people’s requirements. Unfortunately, that pleasurable activity is destroying our planet, so, uh, well, to really give my opinion would require pages and pages, and a ton of research, which I don’t have time for.

Never mind.

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OMGZ Bikes

It took me a long time to pick my Surly out last summer. Since then I have lost a few pounds and spend a bit of money on things like bike clothes. I can’t say that I really love biking. Honestly, it’s more fun to drive. However, I cannot argue with the fact that biking is the fastest way for me to get to work aside from being dropped off in front by someone else in a car. It also saves me $3.25 a day in parking and about $50 a month in gas. Yes, it is more expensive to park than to buy gas. Oh well.

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I’m thinking about adjusting the handlebars on my bike. I think I’m just a bit too fat to get down into the drops — I mean, my torso is freakishly long. My Surly is a wee 49cm model, but my torso belongs to a much larger man, and not just in the gut region. I’ve been working on the seat position and I think that my ass is finally happy, but now my hands are falling asleep and I’m just not comfortable hunched over.

Here’s the winter configuration for comparison:
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The skinny summer tires did make a difference. The bike is faster. Never mind.

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Summer Tires

Isn’t Memorial Day weekend usually rainy, or at least not one hundred billion fucking degrees? I already had the air conditioner in the window, but I really thought that I would move to Anoka this week without turning it on this year. If you’re curious, it was already in the window because I switched the screen from the air conditioner window out for the screen that Stan had cut a few weeks ago when he and Lisa were locked out. You see, they could get the ladder from the garage and I had a window open and hilarity ensued.

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What Smells Like B.O.?

So I’ve been biking to work/school all week, this time while wearing an extra shirt so that I can change when I get there. Today I rolled into work and sat down, only to get a whiff of something foul. I smelled myself a few times before Zach finally said “I think it’s onions being cooked in the Campus Club.” So now I know three things that all smell the same:

  1. BO
  2. Badly cooked onions
  3. Ditch weed

How long after moving in with my dad and his wife back in the nineties did it take me to learn what pot smells like?

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Bicycle Commuting

I rode my bike to school and back today, seemingly in a headwind both ways. (and uphill) (and barefoot, in knee deep snow) Instead of carrying my bag with all of my stuff that I don’t need for the day I just stuck my wallet, cell phone, mp3 player, and a handful of other necessities into an extra cloth lunchbag that I had lying around and strapped that to the rack on my bike. Not having a bulky backpack stapped to me was great, whether I was barreling down Johnson (into the wind) or cuising idly down 15th (also into the wind), but when I got to Coffman I came to the realization that my lunchbag was very similar in form and function to a purse. Fucking great. At least it matched my shoes.

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Who steals bike pedals?

So you know how I rode my bike to school/work today? Yeah, it was great: the sun, the warmth, the somebody stealing the pedals off of my bicycle during the day…

I’m not so much angry or upset as just really confused.

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Clean and Lubed

Okay, I will admit it, I stopped riding my bike because of “cold weather asthma” that kicked in when the temperature got to like ten or fifteen degrees. It’s something that I had experienced before, but after biking home one night in late December I was out of breath for like four hours, and that was plenty of excuse for me to call off the biking for the winter. However, the weather is taking a turn for the warmer, and everywhere I go on campus I see the cool bikes of the hardcore winter riders taunting me, so I figured that it was time to get my bike ready for riding again.

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Tomorrow I Ride!

I rode to school Monday and Tuesday, but took Wednesday off to… study… and Thursday I got a ride because I was wrong about the time for my first final. I’m gonna hop on the Surly again tomorrow because I made that promise to myself to ride every day that the temperature is greater than or equal to ten degrees. So far the winter riding has been pretty okay. Snow and ice haven’t been much of a problem, and my Cross-Check has been very comfortable on the fatter tires (700x32c), especially since the rear is a little low. The drivetrain seems to even be quieter, but I really have to bring her in and give her a thorough cleaning. If you’re curious, I tend to stick to the 48 in front and somewhere in the 15-19 range in the rear. I’m running a slightly higher cadence through the snow, which is probably healthier. If I don’t stay on the gas the bike gets a little squirrely, but she loves to run.

I don’t know why I want another bike, but look at this! It’s so pretty!
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On the other hand, I saw a black Surly on campus the other day. Mmmmm. Really, though, I’m starting to want taller gearing for the summer and maybe a… flat bar (the HORROR!) for winter. So… maybe I want a fixed gear for winter. I know! I know! It’s a cult! However, I could feel the road better and there would be less to go wrong (like the morning that my front derailleur froze up). I’m just saying that it would be interesting. For summer I would take taller gears and a bike fitting — maybe just panniers so I don’t have a backpack, but I’m just not comfortable dropping down in the handlebars unless I’m climbing. Then again, I’m all torso.

The real problem is what to wear while riding in the winter so I’m neither sweaty or freezing when I get to my destination. If the weather stays in the 20s then I would probably be fine with one of my light hoodies and a windbreaker. Windbreaking pants might not be a bad idea, either, plus winter shoes that won’t grow disgusting in the spray from my tires. Boot recommended one of those spandexy shirts under a wool shirt with a windbreaker, but the next thing you know I’d be packing a day’s worth of changes every day.

Anyway, I hope that it stays warm enough for me to ride — otherwise I will have to find some other form of daily exercise. I can’t believe that I just said those two words together: “daily exercise.”

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Winter Wonderland

I don’t know what I was afraid of, riding in falling snow is amazing — except for the parts where I almost wiped out on the crunchy snow bricks left behind by snow plows. Some dudes hung out of their door and yelled at me, but otherwise there was just the hush of my tires on fresh snow. When I stood up I could spin my rear tire for sweet smoky burnout action.

I told Cake Woman that I had ridden my bike and she called me retarded.

I’ve been trying to roll my weekend into a hilarious story, but mostly it just comes out weird and confusing. It makes me look like a dumbass, and not just for getting drunk. Oh well.

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