Apr. 2nd, 2010

darkemeralds: Old French poster of bicycle with naked flame-haired woman. (Bike)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
It was bound to happen eventually: today I rode another bike to work.

Poor Clyde had to go into the shop for a pair of new shifters. Since this was warranty work, I took him to the Wrong For Me bike shop that sold him to me.

That shop has no loaner or rental program, presumably because their customers either own multiple bikes or don't ride daily. Clever Cycles, the Just Right For Me bike shop that I discovered last week, does rent bikes, and is a short walk from Wrong Bikes.

So to Clever Cycles I walked, and from Clever Cycles I rode away on a rented Dutch Workcycles Oma bicycle, in the glorious sunshine of April.

Dutch Bike Review! )

Riding a Dutch Workcycle has made me feel very differently about riding bikes. It completely removes any sport-competitive-touring nuance and puts me squarely into "what if I were to give up my car?" territory. It is not an incidental bike. It's a bike for people who rideg a bike every day for every purpose, and never think of themselves as "cyclists".

I'm seriously considering making this my next bike.
killing_rose: Abby from NCIS asleep next to a caf-Pow with the text "Goth Genius at Work" (Abby)
[personal profile] killing_rose
This is Hunk o' Junk, lovingly referred to as Hunk. Amazingly, my school bike, which is 15 years old if it's a day and looks (and usually handles) like a POS bought at Walmart, pisses me off a lot less. And, other than adding air to its poor tires, is worlds less fussy.

http://s152.photobucket.com/albums/s189/killing-rose/?action=view&current=p6709631dt.jpg

http://s152.photobucket.com/albums/s189/killing-rose/?action=view&current=IMG000012.jpg

The first is a cleaner, mildly newer version of Hunk; the second is a vaguely blurry comparison of where my hips come up to on him. I'd have just added in the images, but I was having Issues with that today.

Hunk is a Diamondback Mountain Bike, a 26" Topanga. I ended up with him by accident last year; I was actually in the middle of transitioning to a road bike and wound up with him instead. He is a wonderful, wonderful bike. He's just...well, he's not the bike for me. When I call him Hunk o' Junk, it's more out of frustration because we are Not Bicycle Soulmates. My last two mountain bikes, both Schwinn bikes, were the right weight and height for me. Hunk is definitely not.

Hunk is not made for a 5'2", 130 pound female. He really isn't made a petite female who's riding him as an everyday bike in lieu of buying a car. But I got him for mostly free because he's on permanent loan from my 5'10", 170+ pound brother who stopped riding him when he bought a car. I really should buy a new bike that fits me, but I'm trying to hold off until graduation. (And then I have my eye on a folder.)

Hunk is nice for the off-trail biking I do in the summer, holds up well to the "oh look--three feet of snow and ice, but it's 46* and everyone should be outside!" thing that's occurring right now, and handles well when I decide that biking down a 70 or 80 degree hill is fun.

At the same time, I've wound up twisting an ankle, slammed into a tree, and nearly ended up in a lake. He may be great for off-trail, but he's not the best at dodging dogs and children on some of the trails. To say nothing of how persnickety his gears can be, which isn't helpful when I slam on the brakes to avoid a moose or the Wildlife Of The Day. He's too heavy and huge for me, and biking on him two days ago reminded me of that.

Besides which, I have never encountered a bike who is this particular about his tires. If you don't fill him up at the gas station, I swear to god, he sulks. Really. I can't make this up.

(And besides, I want a bike with fenders next time. I don't actually appreciate being mud-spattered and/or drenched on the really fun weather days.)

On the other hand, when I finally replace him, I will have to compare different models. This means that I will actually have to acquaint myself with the local bike shops. Grr. There are only two or three places in town, and I haven't really heard fabulous things about any of them.





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