Knight Rider

I threw my chain three times today. Two of those times were during my inaugural night run home, at ten, after my art class on the west bank. If you know of good cheap food on the west bank, or would just like to eat with me on Wednesdays between five and six or after ten, you should let me know.

The second time the chain jumped I got off to fix stuff and spent some time staring at the lighting and thinking about where I could put a reflector on the back to supplement the flashing red LED. A dude pulled up and asked if I needed help. When I said no, he made a u-turn and drove away. Wait, what? A u-turn? Weird. Anyway, I’ll be looking into a reflector for my rack. Heh heh, I said rack.

Oh yeah, I’m holding 200#, even with the Chipotle burrito that I had today. I predict that I will have my first sub 200# weigh in this week, unless I eat a small child, which might happen. I’m super hungry right now. Unfortunately, if I eat Noah I will never be able to use him to pick up chicks.

No! I will never do that!

I bet he’d be a big hit at the Entry. He likes music. Hmm…

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In Flight

The bike to school/work was a lot better today, what with the cool weather and all. On the other hand, I am not really looking forward to riding home in the rain. Jeremy said that he would probably be willing to trade cranks straight across, and I think that in another month or so I will be very interested in such a thing. Even today I was going flat out on the downhill of Johnson and keeping a car at bay. In another month I will probably have outgrown my top gear and I’ll be ready for the 39/53 action. Hooray!

Maybe not. Like I told Jeremy, I want to ride more to make sure that what I think that I want is what I want for real.

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Bike Happenings

Today it was me who forgot the key to the garage — I left it clipped to my pants while I sailed to work. While I parked my bike, a cute woman pulled up nearby on her bike and smiled at me. I smiled and futzed with my lock a bit, then looked up and smiled again. At that point she looked at me funny, then said “sorry, I thought that you were someone else” and booked out of there. For the love of Pete, just bike away, leaving a smile behind for those of us who don’t get a lot of random smiles! After that I climbed into the bell tower and rang my bells for several hours while sobbing uncontrollably.

If I weren’t so terribly ugly, I’d smile at random people just to make them feel better about life and themselves.

Oh yeah, I almost got hit by a car on the way home because I was feeling all cocky and blew through a stop sign. Oops, I’m a dumbass.

Eventually I hope to truly conquer the Johnson street hill — ride up it in a surge of power and stamina. Right now I ride up in the granniest of my gears and feel like I’m going to die every fifteen feet. Awesome! I haven’t been this drenched in sweat since I walked home that one day. ¬°Que feo!

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I’ve got a bike!

The seemingly endless research and conversations with anybody who had any interest at all (mostly Jeremy, thanks, man!) led me to try out the Surly, and it was the best fit so far, period. It felt more sprightly than the Volpe, but strangely, it mostly just felt like mine.

I rode it home from Freewheel, which is a mere four and a quarter miles, but I felt like I could do another ten. Somehow I didn’t, but just the same. Ahem.

I spent the rest of the evening futzing with the bike. I forgot to get a rack at Freewheel — or maybe I just didn’t think that I would need it — but I wasn’t satisfied with the mount for the bike lock so I picked up a shady rack at Target. After I put that on it was dark, so I went to try out the headlights and the lock storage solution. Somehow my foot, the tire, and the front fender all tried to occupy the same space-time coordinates and I bent the shit out of it. I’m pretty sure that couldn’t happen at speed given the necessary severity of angle, but still I’m glad that I normally wear a helmet.

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Missed a day!

Oops, I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday. I did prepare notes on bikes to take with me to the bike shop. After discussions with Jeremy, even more internet “research,” and a lot of thought, I had narrowed my bike choices to the Bianchi Volpe and the Surly Cross-Check Complete. I went to the Hub and Freewheel, but it was raining more than I wanted to ride in.

Later, Lisa and Stan babysat for the Wiggenhorns. I woke up from a nap to find baby Ben crying and seemingly inconsolable. Lisa looked a little overwhelmed, so I took Ben and bounced him until he fell asleep.

Then, I went to the Bulldog with Greg. Hooray!

Also, interspersed in all of that was a ton of Katrina surfing.

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Gary’s Bike Trip

www.garysbiketrip.net

My mom works with this doctor who is biking across the US.

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Before I forget

This morning I attended the United Church of Delicious Fucking Breakfast at the Uptown Diner in… uh… Uptown. Later I finally got a new lens cap for my digital SLR so I can start stuffing it into my bag again and taking more pictures. Paul will surely stop visiting my blog if there aren’t any pictures. : (

I made it back to Penn Cycle on Lyndale. They had gotten in the Giant OCR1 in size small for me to try. It was light and generally acceptable but somehow didn’t seem as fast as the Trek. Ooh, ratios, so I don’t forget: 12-26T and 30/42/52T. Compare that to the Trek 1000 with 12-26T and 30/42/52T. Wait a minute, why did the Trek feel faster? Hrm. That doesn’t make any damn sense. Maybe I didn’t actually get the rear into the top gear. Anyway, when I got back from my test ride (up the bike trail thing just north of Lake Street) Shawn was helping a couple other customers and took a phone call.

Of course, I randomly stopped into the Varsity bike shop in Dinkytown where I had gotten my blue nutbuster a few years ago. They had a Fuji Ace in 50cm in stock. It was reasonably comfortable, but the web site reveals an 8 speed rear end, which according to my limited internet research is a liability for upgradeability. I didn’t ride it for long, though, since I had forgotten my ID at Penn Cycle and had to head back before five. Ugh. It was way too hot to be driving in circles, but strangely, not to hot to be on a bicycle. I don’t get it either.

devMap output
Tonight I rolled out the new google maps powered developer map and moved bharat’s dot to NYC. Only three weeks until my dot is there too.

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Why don’t you go ahead and sweat some more?

Today I went back to the MInnehaha Hub to try out the Bianchi Volpe ($849.99) and Castro Valley ($799.99). They were all right, but the gear ratios in the rear were fucking RIDICULOUS. The Castro Valley seemed like a neutered Volpe, having just one 42 tooth chainring in the front instead of three (28/38/48T) on the Volpe. I honestly did not like the STI shifters a whole lot. Overall, still a contender, but only in Volpe form, since I can add fenders and a rack to it and have a much more comfortable bike. I wish that I could take five of the rear speeds out and throw them away. The lady who helped me first had a name that started with a C, but I didn’t write it down. I tried a 52 and a 49, and somehow they both seemed largish — I thought that there was supposed to be some space in between the frame and one’s nuts. Maybe the 49 was okay, and would be better without the sort of knobby tires. Shock mounted seat = silly.

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Since I’m already sweaty

Stan and I rode bicycles to Mill City Coffee (or whatever the hell it’s called these days) and back. I was towing Noah in the Burly. It’s only 2.6 miles each way, but it felt like 26. When we put the bikes back in the garage, I noticed that Noah had thrown the boat anchor out the back. I guess that explains the load grinding noise. Note to self: I hate flat handlebars.

Then, I mowed the lawn, which is always strangely relaxing. Tonight I babysit Noah so that Lisa and Stan can go out and pretend to not be grown ups for a while. I’m either 13 now or 43.

After some discussion with my financiers I think that I might still be able to get a bike, so I think that I will drive to some bike shops and get measured. Or, I could just go get that $50 mountain bike at Target and swear a lot when I ride. Nothin’ wrong with that. I enjoy swearing. It’s a fine art.

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No fire

Apparently this morning Gerg’s bike was turning over but not starting. He said that he would try unfouling the plugs and stuff. Hopefully we can arrange another evening of shadetree mechanicry. Uh, I’m not sure that was a word. Oh well.

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