Why aren't the pedals wobbly?

I should add that winterizing didn't just come out of the blue; I managed to get to lakeshore bike & tune after work yesterday for a pre-winter Frankenbike tune up. Good times, explaining just what my plans were and how it's possible that bike is still rideable. True to my post-BTD fears, the bottom bracket was completely shot. What really shocked me though, was that the original wasn't even a sealed bracket, it was open. The bike is 3-years old and it's got a bracket straight out of the 70's. Which is kind of poetic when you think about the amalgam of different parts it's got on right now. Had a good laugh over that one we did. Especially when I demonstrated just how much the cranks wobbled.

It would have had me kind of upset, if I didn't already realize what a piece of junk I had been riding. In retrospect, I shouldn't have even been surprised. Between the original components, stuff I salvaged, and things I bought second hand, it does have parts from 4 different bikes right now. The new cables and bracket are the first new components I've been able to afford to put on since I've had it. And it showed.

So with that replaced, I have the major mechanical issue facing the winter-ization process out of the way. The wife met me at the path with the dog to walk home so I didn't have a chance to ride it last night, but I have a feeling Frankenbike will be riding better than it ever has. Not that I'm looking foward to winter, but this year I say bring it on.

Current beer-scale: 2.2


Time to start a new project, winterizing Frankenbike. Some knobbier tires, flopped & chopped bars with new brake levers, a full set of fenders, cleaned bottom bracket & chain, and hopefully a second rideable bike by the time the seasons are done changing in the fall. Doesn't sound like a lot of work with it sketched out like that, until I realize just exactly how mechanically useless I really am. Some days I'm surprised I can manage to pedal a bike independently, let alone do some upkeep on one. If I can still type with both hands by November it'll be a good sign.

Current beer-scale: 6.4


Wow. One day without a bike commute is tough to handle, especially when that day is Sunday. Nevermind the fact I'm at work and dependent on factors outside my control concerning when I'll be able to head out. Everything seems that much more aggravating without a chance to focus on the day before I'm suddenly here.

**Edited to add**

No day is so bad that a 2-mile speed-walk to get home in time to drive to a concert you don't want to go to can't make it worse. I tried to enjoy that, I really did, but trying to get home just to turn around and get stuck on the Edens instead of being able to call it a day and relax did not make that easy. The walk itself wasn't that bad; in fact, it was reassuring to realize that if the winterbike project doesn't pan out, the most direct walk to work can be done in about 40 minutes. Not ideal when the temp dips into the teens but still an alternative to driving. Time to have more beer.

Current beer-scale: 7.8



Yeah, good morning to you too lady. And no, that wasn't me trying to take off on Lincoln using my left arm as a wing. I was not imagining myself to be a bullfighter and I most definitely did not plan on slaying your SUV with a sword as you passed, although I do occasionally wonder why I'm not carrying something similar. Nor was I attempting to hand you something like a marathon runner; it's not like you need an extra water or something while you drive your chubby ass wherever it is you're going. What both of those last ones should tell you is that was in no way an invitation to see how much farther left you could get in an attempt to get as close to me as possible. We weren't playing tag; I was trying to turn left onto Webster and you were just a retarded asshole. My hand is fine, btw.

My usual commute consists of three turns; a right and two lefts. If I take the path instead of Linclon, it's two rights and a left. So I haven't been able to come up with a route without lefts, unless I want to circle a block or something. Most days it's not a problem, I either get up to a green light and turn when I have a chance, or I wait a little longer. Occasionally though, someone sees a person standing on a bike with their left arm out and all hell breaks loose. I really don't see what's so difficult about it, but then again I have a higher IQ than a tapeworm. Seriously, we were making eye contact and everything, and she still was on the yellow line as she went by and almost took my hand with her. What the hell people?

Current beer-scale: 8.7


My imaginary penpal

Dear ponytail;

I'm glad you heard my "On your left" this morning. In fact, I think everyone heard me. Then again, I didn't want a repeat of last time so I was yelling pretty loud. Your bell-ring response did slightly annoy me but that's more my issue. I was half-tempted to not say anything this time and see if you'd yell again as I passed but thought better of it.

So thank you for helping me start my week off on the right note. With the last remaining weeks of really great hot weather upon us, whenever I'm stuck behind someone messing with their phone or ipod, I'll think back to our moment this morning and smile.

Current beer-scale: 5.1


"Rock you like a hurricane"

Sideshow Bob said it best. Who doesn't love the whizz-bang thrills of the Air & Water show. Happy summer everyone!

Current beer-scale: 7.8


Now that was a bike ride.

With a late meeting tonite and the morning off, I had a chance to extend my commute and visit some old downtown stomping grounds before heading into the office. It always surprises me how different the path crowd is at 11 vs during the morning rush hour. It was full of tourists families on rental bikes or groups of kids out by themselves. The "HI Guy" was even out, but I didn't say hi as I passed. True, you can't be sure that the rental bikers are tourists, but it's a good bet when they actually say "thank you" to your "on your left."

The light was changing in my favor just as I was coasting over the incline at Ohio st. beach, leaving me just high enough to see the mob of people crossing that I would have had to go around on the tiny strip of sidewalk that goes over the river. The original plan was to go as far south as Jackson but the immediate flashback of squeezing through there had me calling it a morning. As much as I was enjoying the ride, that stretch of path/sidewalk caused me enough grief when I rode it every day that the thought of doing it voluntarily didn't hold any appeal. I shook my head at the memories and turned back up the hill.

If I had been thinking I would have grabbed the camera on the way out and really made a morning of the ride, or at least had something to punch this up a little bit. Not that anything really happened, but stopping every once in a while to take a pic would've kept me out of the office for just that much longer. All in all a very pleasant morning though. Consider my faith in the pleasantness of biking restored. For the time being.

Current beer-scale: 3.6


Go right ahead.

Yeah, it doesn't really matter what epithets or curses you're using, when on-coming traffic has a turn arrow and I'm going straight, I'm not gonna move. Unless your horn can magically clear traffic, that's not doing any good either. So yell until you're red-faced, have your little freak out banging the steering wheel, and fucking deal with it. But the next person that comes that close to me with their car as they gun it into on-coming traffic gets my helmet thrown through their window.

Current beer-scale: 5.5
I guess my last bus encounter did enough to knock me off the blog, but not the bike. No other adrenaline rushes in between, no other pleasant conversations to be surprised at. Just business as usual, with the occasional longer loop commute thrown in. Remarkable in its unremarkableness, which is really what commutes should shoot for. It's not like I'm out there hoping for a bus to nearly flatten me, that's just what seems to happen with some regularity. Getting through the neighborhood in any form of transportation shouldn't be a matter of life or death. But it is a lot easier to notice on a bike vs a car.

Current beer-scale: 2.2


hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. After further thought, when I said "I'm going to go where I want to go," I meant "Actually, I'm allowed to ride in the street and you should know better." I wish I could have thought of a wittier response to a bus driver telling me to stay off the road, or even one that was more accurate than what I managed to blurt out. Unfortunately, the adrenaline of nearly getting crushed by a bus kind of got the better of me on that one. At least I managed to say something as I was shaking the urine off my leg.

Current beer-scale: 6.5 but dropping with each one.
Occasionally people will surprise you. Expecting the worst from a lycra-clad speedster approaching from the west at a three way stop yesterday, imagine my surprise when he signalled his left turn and then this right to work his way onto the path. I was almost too dumbstruck to give him a thumbs up and tell him "way to go" as I went by. That was some seriously law-abiding cycling and I hope he didn't think I was being sarcastic b/c that was cool to see.

Of course, almost getting run over this morning by someone dumb enough to try and back out of an alley doesn't really do anything for me, but they can't all be great rides. It was fun in the rain at least.

Current beer-scale: 8.6


batman backlash


After seeing Dark Knight for a third time this weekend (my father-in law hadn't seen it yet & I was happy to oblige), I'm surprised at how much I still enjoyed it. The first time was to hear the story, see the plot play out in front of me in the IMAX experience. The second was to see if it held up on a normal screen, if I had missed anything the first time through, and to see certain things I loved again. This third time was a chance to sit back and savor the entire thing again, wait for the major points to play out and enjoy the transitions to each one. I was actually surprised that I didn't even notice the one thing that pulled me out of the movie the first two times (if you look closely, you'll see a Harris bank sign during one of the chase scenes); it felt like the third time was just to watch everything again, not to look for certain things and that was great. My only minor concern is that for the rest of my viewing-life, I'll wish it was on an IMAX screen instead of whatever I'm watching it on.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the current of Batman backlash that's starting up but I still am. I was never very good at interpreting actions for anything other than what they are, but there are some pretty crazy interpretations of this movie flying around the internets at this point. Yes any great work of fiction can be interpreted to match both current events and things going on in the audience's own life; that's what makes some fiction make the leap from good to great. Fantastic, even. And I would call this movie fantastic--I just took it very literally. I wasn't looking to read anything into what the movie's popularity says about sadomasochistic tendencies in today's movie audience or what the call to mayhem in the movie really stands for. Would this movie have been as interesting before 9/11? Are there obvious parallels to Batman's use of spying technology and a tele-com immunity debate in the Senate? Possibly. I just don't care to use the brain power necessary to make those connections. Sit back and enjoy the movie for christ's sake.

Beyond people bashing "Dark Knight" for what it says about the audience or pop culture or the government, really my major interest at this point is whether or not Nolan's 3 hour director's cut will be the first release of if I'll have to wait for a few releases to come out. Imagine an extra 30 minutes of pure awesome somehow crammed into this movie. Now that would be great fiction.

Current beer-scale: 4.6