Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A New One on the Way

Well, new to me, that is. Since reading Sheldon Brown's page extolling the virtues of the Raleigh Twenty and finding others, like Tarik, I have coveted one. So last night, tooling around on eBay, I found one with a $49 bid on it and an early morning ending time. I looked before leaving for work this morning and after calculating freight, put in a bid that I found comfortable. These things have been going for $200 - 300. I got to work and did a few chores, then checked my email. To my shock and excitement, I won. Now I get the fun of making it work for me.

The appeal of these bikes, I find, is the "hackability" of them. Certainly, there are lighter, more advanced folders out there now but Bike Fridays and Dahons and Airnimals don't take on so readily the personalities and whims of their owners.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Doesn't take a Lot.

We visited my family last week in North Carolina. The weather was pleasant and we relaxed. I didn't have any particular agenda, other than to relax and recharge my batteries before the holiday season.
We managed to get in a bike ride although we didn't take our bikes. My sister-in-law has a Schwinn, which we chose for her from Bikes and Trikes a couple years ago. My parents have a pair of Pinnacle bikes, 15 speeds, which I suppose would get me kicked off the BOB list for riding them. Maybe not, they have crowned forks and are steel, gaspipe steel, but steel. Nothing special, they have the cheap stamped brakes that make me cringe.

It's been awhile since my parents rode. When I tested the bikes, I realized why. The run up the driveway would tax the Polka Dot Jersey winner, much less a couple in their late sixties. Dad's bike wasn't able to shift out of the small chain ring, or more precisely, stay there once shifted, making the severe incline that much more difficult.

So, we went off on Saturday, loading 5 bikes in John's Honda Odyssey to Todd. 2 for the boys, aged 6 and 9, and one each for Laurie and I and my brother John. Starting around 2 in the afternoon, we rode until 5, the younger of the boys going with waning enthusiasm, as the ride on a single speed BMX style bike wore on him. Sammy did well though and recovered quickly once in the van, particularly after his father purchased him a set of novelty teeth.

When riding someone else's bike, I remarked later to Laurie, I begin making mental notes of what I'd do to make it work better, usually a set of Albatross bars. She felt the same way about the borrowed bike she had.