Print Story Shiny new toy
Cycling
By toxicfur (Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 09:13:40 PM EST) (all tags)
I've finally joined the ranks of the husi cyclers, after about a year of trying to decide what I want. I did quite a bit of research, and thought pretty hard about what I wanted, and finally decided on a Trek 7.3FX. I did not get the "Woman-Specific Design."


I've only ridden it twice, but it's seriously sweet. I know that bike technology has increased a lot since my last bike, but I'm seriously impressed by the fact that I can change gears just by pushing a button. And I can see what gear I'm in! Sweet! I realize I've just been dragged kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat or some such shit, but I'm still a bit fascinated.



Tomorrow, I'm planning to take the afternoon off and go for a bike ride, since it'll be the first sunny day in what feels like months. Not sure yet where I'm going to go, but probably not too far. Maybe just to the other side of town, to the reservation there, or maybe I'll bike to the next town over and see how far around the lake I can go.



Work has been extremely busy recently, and with really complicated projects. My job has gotten a bit more complicated, too, what with managing a couple of employees and spending a whole lot more time in the office. It's good, but I do miss having a summer where I can burn off my comp time by playing in my garden.

We did take a week off and went to Key West, as ana wrote about some time ago. It was the most beautiful place I've ever been. I kept finding myself noting various amazing things (like the feral iguanas, and the warmth of the water, and the native plants in the state park), and thinking, "I need to remember this to tell Mama." She would have loved Key West, I think, or parts of it at least. I'm not sure what she would've thought of the drag show we saw, but she would've loved the outdoor stuff we did.

This is my favorite picture I took, I think, with ana on silhouetted against the sky and the water:



What else? Rusti, my mom's Jack Russell terrier, hurt herself somehow, and I kind of freaked out a little bit. She's a pain in the ass sometimes, but I love her, and she belonged to my mom. She's a tangible reminder that my mom existed, in some ways, and when I heard Rusti had back pain, it seriously upset me. My mom had chronic and debilitating back pain, and Rusti's injury resonated with my mom's injury. I had images in my head of needing to put her down because of a debilitating injury. I almost broke down in the vet's office. A week of anti-inflammatories, though, and she's back to her bouncy, energetic self.




< Well... | Things I'm up to lately part 2 >
Shiny new toy | 37 comments (37 topical, 0 hidden)
Step one: buy a bike by marvin (4.00 / 2) #1 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 10:10:15 PM EST
Step two: buy accessories. That light has the best reputation for the money, although it is $25 USD at REI, and only $14.75 CDN at MEC.

I'm assuming you have a water bottle already, but if not, get one. Other nice items to have right away include gloves (I like full fingered, even in summer), multitools / patch kit, spare tubes, and a pump. In the long run, and depending on how you use it, you might want panniers, a front light, and a mirror. Bikeforums.net is my favourite cycling forum, particularly the commuting forum.

The WSD is there to provide more options for bike fit - the shorter top tube works for some people, and not others. If you have a short torso, it might fit better, otherwise not. One thing to watch is the saddle width - men have a smaller space between their sit bones (ischial tuberosities) than women, so a mens seat might not work out for you. Everyone is different, but it is quite common to go through a few saddles trying to find one that fits. While you can expect your sit bones to hurt at first, numbness in the middle is bad. Very bad.

light. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 11:12:08 PM EST
Last summer I would go on runs late after it got dark and think nothing of it. So the few times I took my bicycle to a friends place, I didn't think about riding home in the dark. Those extra 10 MPH make a huge difference without a light.


[ Parent ]
Mine are for daylight by marvin (4.00 / 2) #6 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 11:49:43 PM EST
I ride on the assumption that motorists are out to get me. Most are not, but when they pull my body out from under the chassis of the car driven by my killer, I want the police to look at my brightly coloured clothing, blinding lights, and reflective tape, and say to the motorist "How can you say that you didn't see him?". 

We should always leave toxicfur the option of becoming a bike ninja.

[ Parent ]
Same for motorcycles by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #15 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 07:48:44 AM EST
Anyone in a car or truck is one or more of blind, drunk, stoned, or stupid.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
fenders maybe too by R343L (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 01:31:51 AM EST
But I can't say how useful panniers for the rack are. I have four of them: two "touring" ones that are waterproof, a "grocery" one that is a big rectangular shape (by Jannd) that is the size of a paper grocery bag 2/3 high, and a "laptop" commuter one. I don't use the last one much anymore unless I'm schlepping my work laptop home, but the grocery pannier is always on my bike. The touring ones are used for, well touring when I do, but more commonly just as extra haulage. Also, waterproof being useful for rainy day grocery shopping.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
I'm considering a front fender. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 06:41:29 AM EST
For the back, the rack should do a reasonable job, and the bike-shop dude suggested using an old tube to cover the one gap left by the rack. Also, I have some mid-sized touring-type panniers. They'll be good for light grocery shopping or hauling lunch or something for longer rides, in addition to my flat-kit stuff, locks, and whatnot.

--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Instead of panniers, I use this by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #19 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 08:28:54 AM EST
Nashbar Rack Trunk

the bonus is that it almost completely blocks the mud from spraying up my back.

Similarly, I've never worried about a front fender, my handle bar bag blocks just about everything.

... yes, my bike usually looks like I'm going camping. Why?


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I have lights. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 06:38:32 AM EST
I just haven't installed them yet (I bought them for a bike I'd borrowed from iGrrrl). I also have a spare tube, pump, tire levers, and some panniers for the back rack. And a water bottle. I'm bout 5'8" or a little more, so there's no size reason for the WSD. I was just being kind of a smart-ass, since I didn't really want little butterflies stenciled on my bike. :) I'm giving the saddle a chance, but I fully expect to be sore for a while before making a decision. So far, no numbness, but I haven't ridden enough to know for sure.

--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
One other bit about saddles by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #18 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 08:19:51 AM EST
You can buy a gel-filled cover for the saddle, it can help soften the blow as you get used to the seat - but you might also want to invest in bike shorts. I'm getting ready to break down and buy some for myself due to... chafing. Yeah, we'll call it "chafing".



An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I disagree about buying 'good' accessories by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #17 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 08:15:56 AM EST
My personal experience is that lights break, cyclometers fail, mirrors get "brushed off" because you got a little too close to that fence - so I always buy what ever's on sale at Nashbar .

My experience with them has been pretty good; I buy just about everything from them except stuff I really want to try before I buy.

Your recommendation about the saddle is spot on, though. I think the biggest reason more people don't ride is because of those damned racing saddles they insist putting on even hybrid bikes.


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Depends how and where you ride by marvin (2.00 / 0) #22 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 09:37:26 AM EST
My mountain bike doesn't have much on it apart from one rear light. Anything that I commute on has at least two lights, plus a rack, fenders, etc. I don't use mirrors, but some people I know swear by them.

So far, the rear light on my mountain bike has survived numerous crashes on trails, and several years of use. Maybe you're just rough on equipment?

[ Parent ]
*drool* *lust* *slobber* by riceowlguy (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 10:10:28 PM EST
DO WANT

great photo of ana by cam (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 11:00:31 PM EST
lovely shot.

cam

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic
Thank you. by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 06:54:21 AM EST
I posted the rest of my photos on flickr (mostly for my mother-in-law). Here: www.flickr.com/photos/agantt/. Key West pics on the side there in its own group or collection or whatever flickr calls them. I have a few photos I really like, but most of them are touristy snapshots of course.

--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
cool by cam (2.00 / 0) #23 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 09:41:17 AM EST
added your flickr feed to my rss reader. It is a good way to keep up with people's lives in a photo journalistic manner.

cam

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]
I was hoping for a motor when I read the title, by Lady Jane (4.00 / 2) #5 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 11:26:52 PM EST
but she's still a beauty!  Congrats.

-----------------------------------------
"Buttons aren't toys" -- Trillian
Nice Bike by hulver (4.00 / 2) #8 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 02:46:14 AM EST
I'd second the list of essentials to take when you're out on the road.

Water bottle. (For you)
Pump.
Spare inner tube. (It's easier to change the tube at the side of the road then fix  puncture)
Puncture repair kit. (For the ineviatble second puncture)
Tyre levers.
Multi-tool. (This has got all sorts of allen keys, screw drivers etc on. Very handy, I use mine all the time)
Cable ties. It's amazing how handy and strong these things can be.

You might want to get a small cable lock as well. I use a D-Lock to secure the frame to something solid, then the cable to secure my wheels to the frame.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

IAWTPTAWTOP by Herring (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 03:51:24 AM EST
Also, things will bed in on a new bike - e.g. cranks and pedals will need tightening after a few hundred miles (or if you hear a noise from them).

And ob: nice rack.

I didn't look to see if your frame has fittings for two water bottles. I have two cages on both my bikes now. Well handy for longer rides. Or you can put gin in the second bottle.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
The bike shop where I got it... by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 06:45:55 AM EST
told me to bring it back for a check-up/tune-up in a couple of months (free of charge). I'm intrigued by your idea of a gin-bottle...

--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Water bottle: check. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 06:44:36 AM EST
Pump: check.
Spare inner tube: check.
Tire levers: check.
Cable lock: check.

I haven't got a puncture repair kit or multi-tool yet. I once had a multi-tool, and I don't know what happened to it, but it was a pretty cheap one and probably needed to be replaced.

--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Nice rack by wiredog (4.00 / 2) #16 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 07:50:41 AM EST
Nice bike it's on, too.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

nice! by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #20 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 08:40:46 AM EST
I almost bought that bike last summer!  It's a great bike.

Enjoy!

We can't ride as a family for a while.  It's 100+F outside when the dude isn't in bed, and that's just a bit too hot.  clock still goes when the sun is down, but that's after the dude's bed time so I can't tag along.

100F - ouch. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #21 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 09:13:41 AM EST
Good that clock is getting outside, but it sucks that the weather is so terrible where you are. We've had a cool, rainy spring, though I'm hoping it'll be in the 70s and sunny this afternoon... I hope it cools off there soon!

ana doesn't (yet!) have a bike, so no family bike trips for us, though perhaps one day. :)

--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
we had a great spring by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #24 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 10:25:45 AM EST
and now it feels like August.

Global Weirdness.

family bike trips are the best!  last fall we threw the dude into the trailer and tooled around a state park all day.  it rocked!

[ Parent ]
Wish I could persuade Mrs. H. of that by Herring (2.00 / 0) #25 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 10:40:32 AM EST
She has come out with me and the boy a couple of times, but not often. We do live in a bit of a hilly area though with busy roads and psycho drivers.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
everyone has the wrong idea about bike accessories by misslake (4.00 / 5) #26 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 01:43:26 PM EST
you need some spokey-dokeys, some sparkly handlebar pom poms and one of those giant tuned bells that sound like the doorbell of a huge mansion.
plink-plink-plink plinkety-plink rustle-rustle diiiinnnng - DONG!

or rather, some reflective stickers in the shape of carnivorous dinosaurs might add just the right kind of flash to your mount.

it looks like a Very Serious ride.

enjoy your new bike!

I was discussing the issue of bling for my bike by R343L (4.00 / 2) #28 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 02:51:59 PM EST
I've determined I need the following on my daily bike:
  • Various rainbow persistence of vision spoke lights as from these guys
  • A down low glow
  • A vine growing along my uppder down tube (it's little pot could be attached to the side of the seat tube) once I have a step-through women's frame bike.
  • Various lights of the normal staid variety that make the bike legal at night (red rear lights, head lamp, etc.)
  • Reflective stickers of various colors and shapes and amusement.
Then I just need 10 friends to outfit their bikes in a similar fashion, dress in outrageous clothes (striped tights, bright dresses) and we can go for a night ride and take back the night as a RAINBOW SUN.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
Tempting... by ana (2.00 / 0) #29 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 03:03:01 PM EST
Not sure I want a bike, but for something like this...  :-D

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Those spoke lights are seriously awesome by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #30 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 04:05:25 PM EST
I'm quite tempted....

--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
oh dear by R343L (2.00 / 0) #31 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 04:11:14 PM EST
They had their 2 for 1 sale a few weeks ago when I was sorely tempted and almost did. They still have it going.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
This would be better by gpig (2.00 / 0) #33 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 08:38:07 PM EST

http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/009336.html

.... unfortunately nobody has actually made one yet :(
---
(,   ,') -- eep

[ Parent ]
someone has a prototype by R343L (2.00 / 0) #34 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 09:30:21 PM EST
See LightLane.

I would have added that one, actually, but, well, I couldn't encourage anyone towards excessive American consumerism as it's not a real product yet!

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Wow, that's great. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #37 Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 10:38:39 AM EST


[ Parent ]
glowy rainbows in san francisco? by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #35 Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 05:25:44 PM EST
I consider myself ... by R343L (2.00 / 0) #36 Fri Jun 26, 2009 at 06:00:06 PM EST
To be third-gay.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
Thank you! by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #32 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 04:11:56 PM EST
I do think I need to personalize the bike a bit. Some stickers or pom-poms would do just the trick. I kind of like the bell it came with, though an Addams' family-style gong would be kind of awesome.

--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Lights by fluffy (2.00 / 0) #27 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 01:58:23 PM EST
If you are going to ride at night I recommend the Down Low Glow. It's expensive, but cheaper than the hospital/morgue.

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Shiny new toy | 37 comments (37 topical, 0 hidden)