Friday, November 04, 2005

la Machine

Birthplace: Taiwan
Height: 22" (center to center)
Weight: 35 lbs
Ambitions: To ride cyclocross
Turn ons: Bike lanes
Turn offs: Angry drivers, potholes
Biggest Weakness: Heavy, low top end gearing
My Best Asset: Ability to go anywhere and do nearly anything

This is the first real bike I ever got as an adult. I got it in college (thanks Dad!) and used it as my main mode of transportation for several years in the Fargo/Moorhead area. I was doing year round commuting on this bike way back when, and it gets cold up north there. This is also the last new bike I've purchases. Everything else I own has been a used special.

Over the years I've added on a few items, the rack, lights, bar ends, old school toe clips. This is the only bike I own with a kickstand. It's a cross bike that was made when mountain bikes were newer and popular, and it came with bigger tires. I've since replaced them with skinnier Ritchey 700x30 Speed Max tires. They've got better rolling resistance and go through light snow better than the big meats.

This is the bike I probably should be riding for day to day commuting all year round, but I've relegated it to just a foul weather/dark day bike since I like riding the Schwinn. But I feel much more secure on this bike, I know it's probably going to be able to handle just about anything I come across during the commute. Especially now that the time change has me riding home in the dark, I can't see the bumps in the street as well and this one handles them better than the Schwinn.

There's something comforting about riding this bike. With my other bikes, if I haven't ridden them in a while it takes me a few miles to readjust to the bike's individual handling and feel. But every time I get on this one it's like putting on that favorite pair of shoes that fit just right. I know it won't last forever. It's a steel framed bike, and there are subtle stress cracks near the head tube indicating that I've hit a few curbs or other low lying objects a little too hard. And if I continue to ride it during the winter the salt is going to eat it alive. And that will make me sad. But, it's better than just letting it rot in the garage.

No comments: