Lately I’ve been hitting the streets during the late hours to get in a few miles on my bike. You might think this is a bit crazy, but so far I’ve found that the later that I go that the safer I feel. Traffic at 11:00pm on the secondary streets is much lower than during the day and after 1:00am is almost non-existent even on the main roads. That late at night the weather is perfect for riding too because the heat of the day is over and it has had a chance to cool off allowing for a rather pleasant ride. My average in town ride has been 25 miles and each time I’ve followed a slightly different path. Depending on my motivation there are routes I can go that are pretty much flat and easy or I’ve got the choice to push myself and take on some wicked gnarly hills should I want to.(west from Galloway station up towards Home Depot particularly sucks). I’ve been tracking my rides with a really cool cyclemeter app on my iPhone to show speed, distance, route and a number of other stats. Cool to know how many calories you’ve burnt or the amount of ascent/descent in a ride or just see your average speed.
I started piecing together a bike back around April so I could go riding with my buddy Greg. I way overpaid for the frame after finding it on CL offered by a hoarder up in Strafford. At the time I was just trying to find a bike of the same model as the Trek that I had just sold a couple years ago after I had failed to continue riding after a short lived bit of motivation to get back into biking. I decided I may as well just sell it, which was a terrible choice considering it was in immaculate condition and had pretty decent components as well. What can I say I was an idiot and some dude got a great bargain.
Well anyways after I got home with this new frame I inspected it a little closer and realized just how much I had overpaid the previously mentioned hoarder. The crank sprockets were bent and had dug into the aluminum frame gnarling it all up, the components were junk and just the overall condition of it was complete crap. I felt like just quietly admitting defeat and throwing it into the dumpster, but instead I decided to sink a bit more cash into it and try to salvage the situation. I stripped everything off; the bars, cranks, brakes, levers, shifters and anything else that would come loose. Then I started researching exactly the components my old bike would have had and began scouring online bike shops and ebay for each piece. The Shimano Exage brake levers that release the wheels by pressing a little button which gives slack to the brake line weren’t the easiest to locate, but I ended up finding them on ebay from a bike shop in France for only 20 bucks. The triple front crank from the Shimano RX100 series was kind of a pain to find too and when I did find one it came as part of a set so I ended up with a couple duplicate items. In the end though I was able to find all the parts I needed, but before I put them on I had to address the frame which still looked like garbage. So I began to sand…and sand…and sand. Eventually I turned to my dad’s electric drill and a wire brush to speed up the process a little. (as a side note wire brushes tend to shed/shoot their little wires everywhere during the process. For three months following I’ve been finding them with my bare feet still embedded into the carpet in my apartment) With the old paint stripped off I took her down to mom & dad’s to clean, prime and paint. Considering this is only the second thing I’ve ever painted in my life I’m actually quite pleased with the outcome. I went with a green pretty similar to Sweet Pea and after the guys at Sunshine bike got everything put back on for me and the bars wrapped with yellow tape it looks pretty freaking sick if I do say so myself…which I do.
So anyways I’ve been using nocturnally themed names for each of the different night time rides I’ve done so far.
Riding 20 or 30 miles is fun, but it’s also been immensely fun riding down to the store instead of driving or riding in to work a few times. It’s good to be a bit more active especially with all this extra beard weight.