So after Monday’s commute home on the fat bike via heavily melted, mashed potato trails was a total gongshow sufferfest (I’m not too proud to admit some walking was involved), for today’s commute I opted for the road and the Disc Trucker.
This one is an interesting story. I was trying hard to sell this bike at one point. I wasn’t feeling it at all. I’d tried a few setups. Riser and flat bars. Different saddles and racks. It had some noisy Surly Mr. Whirly cranks that wouldn’t stay tight. Rattly fenders that bothered me. I hate fender rattle. I was done with it.
But no one wanted to buy it. So I was stuck with it.
I started to rethink it. @mikkelsoya was doing some cool shit with his Disc Trucker. This inspired me. When I’d bought it I had a specific setup in mind but abandoned it. In hindsight, I was trying to make it something it wasn’t. Dirt Road Bomber. Roadie/Townie. Moderate Bikepacker. Truth be told, and @surlybikes will tell you as well, that it *can* do all of these things in moderation. Finally though, I let go and let the bike be what it wanted to be – a ‘tourer’ and that’s when everything snapped into place.
I got out of it’s way. I put on the @jonesbikes bars I’d wanted to from the beginning. I got new cranks. I silenced the fenders. Now the thing is fantastic.
It’s a joy to ride. Smooth. With the upright position, you see so much more traveling by bicycle. Things I saw today aside from great scenery: birds, squirrels, deer. Lost mittens. Some nice graffiti and a ginormous Canada sign. Also saw someone with their Christmas tree still up, and lit, in their house. It takes all kinds. I guess.
Commuting for me is very meditative, very Zen. I’m a far better human days I ride my bike to/from work, physically and mentally. Appropriate then, that I had to get zen and let this bike ‘be’ to figure out it was awesome. I’ll still never be able to abide aesthetically the massive head tube on it (#circusbike), but its place in the stable is now secure.
Commutes are hopefully coming. Being that during the school year I need to get home in time to be there for my youngest two when they get off the bus, I don’t have the time, even with an adjusted work schedule, to ride the bike to work like I used to. There was a several year stretch when the were little and Mrs. Designer was still at home that I commuted pretty much every day, year round. We were even a one car family for awhile. I really miss it, so whenever there’s s school holiday or occasion that I can commute during the school year, I make an effort to do so. This year, we aren’t travelling anywhere for March Break, so this is one of those chances to get in a few days before summer and schools out. Being New Brunswick, and being winter, no idea what weather and/or road conditions will be. As such, I’ve prepared two steeds. The Disc Trucker if the roads are clear and iceless enough and the Pugsley if it gets ugly and it’s easier to take the snowmobile trail.
While I was on a mini-getaway in St. Andrews, NB, I went on an all day rideabout and took the opportunity to get some #coffeeoutside action in with the inaugural use of my new coffee outside rig featuring a Caldera Cone Keg Stove from Ocean Air Cycles. A more fantastic and appropriate setting you could not find than the banks of Chamcook Lake on a crisp, sunny, fall day. The views and the Hobo Rouleur coffee were excellent. As was my custom mix trail mix stash. (My ‘secret’ recipe is Costco Kirkland trail mix augmented with an additional bag of regular m&m’s AND a bag of peanut butter m&m’s. Stove worked great too. Truly an epic and idyllic coffee experience.
Date: November 8, 2015
Location: Tim Hortons, Regent Street, Fredericton, NB
Order: Large Dark Roast, Black
Distance: 25km round trip
Bike Friendly: Sure
Control #6 had me making the best of a less than desirable situation. Apparently, if it’s early Sunday morning in Fredericton and you want a really good coffee, my fave joint, Chess Piece is the only place that’s gonna hook you up. No one else is open on Sundays, save the franchises. I’ve already used Chess Piece as a Coffeeneuring control so couldn’t double up, so after checking out the deserted Rogers Hometown Hockey setup in Officer’s Square and some choice back alley Fredericton murals, I was forced to go lowest common denominator with some Tims. The Dark Roast isn’t that bad, but, well, it’s not Chess Piece. I know ’cause I hit Chess Piece up for an Americano anyway. The Tim’s in no way rivaled Control #5’s epicness or ambience, but I did at least get it to go and enjoy it with a view of the river, along with a few sour cream glazed.