Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The City of Big Shoulders

Visiting my wife's sister and her husband in Chicago, I made it my goal not to get into a car. I took the L from Midway to meet all for dinner but was stifled by the rain so we rode back to their house.

Yesterday, we did hit it on 2 wheels. I borrowed Joe's 19 inch unsuspended Specialized Hardrock. (Wonderful bike that. Just some Albatross bars from perfection. I'd love to trade my 16 inch for it.)

Rode down to Uptown Bikes/Urban Bikes for a new saddle for Laurie's Giant Nutra. (What does that name mean? I'd prefer Nutria, like those water rats down in Louisiana.)I found a basket that easily transfers from one bike to another, only it rests on the brake cable and bought some TriFlow for the unattended HardRock.

What really impressed me was the way the shop and the city accomodate bikes much more so than my fair city of KCMO. Singlespeeds, old Schwinns (they were once built here) and all kinds of mixtes and sensible handlebars. And cheap,cheap bikes! I rode along, watching the sidewalk and racks for all kinds of old interesting bikes.

Millenium Park has a bicycle parking garage, for heaven's sake.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Out on the Streets

So I took the dogs for a run around the neighborhood yesterday, after spending about 2 hours reinstalling the OS on this computer. Fortunately, I didn't lose any data this time and I didn't have to rebuild my browser.

Anyway, I'm standing at the crosswalk, two dogs tethered to my waist, sunglasses and bandana on my head. Some dork, driving a pickup truck full of lawn mowers, yells "FAGGOT!!"

Oooh, I'm scared.


So maybe this week, the Stella Scorcher will hit the road. My Suzue finally came in to Acme last week and I got Sarah to build up a beautiful wheel with it, Mavic rim and all.

I chose some Michelin tires with reflective sidewalls, kevlar belts and knobbed shoulders for off-road use. Digging through my closet, I found some self-repairing tubes in the right size. These wheels will be bomb-proof and ready for anything.

On to putting the other parts together. A French headset requires a French-sized stem, so I spent an hour sanding down a Nitto stem to fit in the headset. It made my hands look like the Tin Woodsman from the Wizard of Oz.

Centerpull brakes with quick release levers, cork grips on Mustache bars and a Brooks saddle of some sort (I have 3 to choose from, a plastic messenger B-18, a B17 Narrow, and a Conquest that I bought for Laurie but is too narrow for her.) All I need is a chain and surely some other expense.