The weather turned nice here a few weekends back and I wanted to get out for at least one ride but instead was stuck inside painting my basement – my sister’s moved in – and of course being a woman, the current wall color just wouldn’t do.
I did manage to get out this last weekend for a quick jaunt on the bike, although the bike itself was not happy with me. The Schwinn Moab was the only off-road bike I had built up but it’s been HURTING for some love since the winter and I’ve ridden it well past it’s limit. The rear brake pads are pretty much non-existent and it only shifts through about half of it’s entire gear range. The rear tire has a slow leak. The last time I rode it was very muddy and it’s crusted with dried gook. When I put it away THAT time, I swore it wouldn’t get out again until I overhauled it.
So this past weekend I had actually planned on trying to finish the build (or re-build after overhaul as it were) of my main mountain bike the Ziggurat in an effort to maybe get a ride in.
Come sunday afternoon, still hadn’t touched it for various reasons. More painting. Kid time. Freelance work. Sleeping late – er something. Anyway, so Lyn says to me “I’m taking the kids to the store this afternoon, what are you going to do, ride your bike?” Whoah. That hardly ever happens. Truth be told, I had been trying to figure out how to squeeze a ride in all morning, but didn’t think I could swing it. Now SHE suggests it. Gotta go, gotta go.
I go into MacGyver mode and get downstairs and check out the ride. Bad shape. I do what I can to make it rideable – quick brushing of the drivetrain, inflate the rear tire. That’s pretty much it and I’m out – hoping the tire will hold air for the entire ride. I figure better to get out and ride than not to. After heading out the back door I decide to head over to the Accotink side.
I spend the first few minutes talking nice to the bike, hoping to convince it to behave. It does – for the most part. I have a nice ride – and swear, AGAIN – as I hang it up that I won’t ride it again until I give it the service it needs. I spent the whole time on the Accotink side, doing a few different connected loops – about 10 miles – nice. Only saw one other human, another guy riding – which surprised me. It was cold – around 40 I think – but sunny and really nice once you were moving. There were some real gusty winds, but they weren’t really felt once you were in the trees. I did manage to grab the camera before I headed out – something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time on a ride. Snapped a few pictures. I’d like to start taking more pictures, but we only have the one camera and Lyn usually keeps it to take photos of the kids. I’d like to get a little one to keep with my bike stuff all the time.
At the end of it all, I resolved to get out on the trails more – it’s just not the same as commuting – and I’m pretty psyched about the coming season as commuting has me in pretty good shape.
Last night, in attempt to facilitate making it easier to ‘just jump on a bike and go hit the trails’ I was working on building up a beater Specialized into a SS mountain bike that wouldn’t require as much maintenance. I spent about 2 hours screwing with the u-brake on the bottom of the chainstays (yea, the frame’s that old) before I had no swear words left – and then it dawned on me: I could make it an off-road fixie. Gasp. I’ve never had a fixie period, much less an off road one. Yikes. We’ll see where it goes. Currently the bike’s finished with no rear brake, a front one, and all that’s missing is the fixed hub. Dun dun dunnnnnnnn.