I got passed yesterday, and even a day later I'm having difficulty letting go. It was the first time I'd seen anyone else during my ride in a few weeks, and the fact that it was someone zipping by w/o a word and running lights rubbed me the wrong way.

A huge part of it was probably just that I got passed at all, that I was open-mouth panting away on Frankenbike while someone flew by on a clean looking track bike. I know better than to blame the bike vs the biker on something like that, but that won't help me cope. Still, I'm surprised as hell that Frankenbike has even made it this late. It's running a lot better lately and I'm hopeful that easier weather and smoother biking is around the corner. In any event, going from a 52/18 gearing to something a little smaller will make spring biking at least feel a little easier.

I didn't get as much biking in this month as I would have liked to. There were reasons each time, but that feels like a shortcut sometimes. Being out of town is a pretty good reason though, and maybe I'll rent a bike in San Diego. Whatever we end up doing I'll be happy just to be doing it somewhere warmer. Stay classy indeed.

Current (west-coast) beer-scale: 8.9. Full Sail and Longboards ahoy!


Just in time

Back on the saddle, just in time for it to get cold and crappy again. So far the rain we had this morning has been the worst, but Frankenbike has taken it all in stride. Taking a week off to fully recuperate gave me time to switch the wheels back out, so there's a workable chain line now to a hub that actually spins smoothly. Better yet, I fit the cheapo fenders on better just in time for today's wetness.

All in all not too shabby. I was actually toying with the idea of starting over from scratch on one of those Schwinn Cutters that came out this year and completely saying goodbye to Frankenbike. I had a craigslist ad already written:

"POS box-store schwinn varsity for sale. Single-speed converted, recently replaced bottom bracket, tons of miles. The single-speed cog alone was $20 new, so that's what I'm asking for the entire thing. I'll even put on a low-mileage michellin cross tire."

Oh the joy of abandoning my Frankenbike. But with the different wheel on and the armadillo holding up, I think it could actually last another winter if it had to. What the hell, I might hold onto it and try and paint it over the summer just to keep it as a project. If my standard of living really is going to drop, I might as well try to squeeze a little more life out of Frankenbike vs shelling out a couple of hundred for another bike to punish all winter. Thankfully, in a few weeks another winter will be months away and I won't have to think about it. Awesome.

Current beer-scale: 7.9


50 degrees this morning and I'm taking a break. Remarkably, I didn't see any bikes out once I was in the car.

Just a little longer, I keep telling myself. In a few weeks, the muck will be gone and I'll be able to take the rush hour out again. Frankenbike is nearly there, which is usually about when the bottom falls out from under him. One last test, to see why I wasn't getting any drive from the chain at the end of my last ride. Was the freewheel too cold and just spinning with the chain instead of the wheel (could be)? Is the set up as a single speed w/the whole cog still on too tight to work reliably for more than a ride or two (probably)? Do I care enough to switch back to the wheel w/an actuall single speed cog on that I took a look at over the weekend, or do I just ride it out for another few weeks? At this point I don't really care. I just needed a break this week.

If I can make it to Friday and pick up a few spare tubes for the spring, I'll figure something out. In the meantime, let's get a little warmer.

Current beer-scale: 7.7


There are days when it seems like the bike commute might actually be a mistake. Like the day after a sick day where you hope some fresh air will help calm your stomach, only the freewheel cassette goes loose and you can't pedal. So by the time you finish walking to work you feel absolutely terrible, but can't go home b/c it's too cold to walk and the car is safe and warm back in the garage. Awesome.

So my head, it pounds. I'm a few credits shy of my medical degree, so all I know is I feel like hot garbage right now (an underused phrase btw). I can't blame the bike, but I also can't imagine getting back on in the near future. Woo hoo winter.

Current beer-scale: 1.1


Winter, one month at a time. That's all it takes. Spring will get here, whether you want it to or not. My best bet is to ride as much as possible, enjoy the sun when it's out, and keep my fingers crossed that the economy doesn't get to the point where I'm looking for a new office to bike to.

The sun is out.

Current beer-scale: 5.9