Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back on the Road

I'm sorta back on the road.

The weather hasn't been cooperating, much, but three weekends ago, I got out with my daughters for our first ride of the season.  Then two weeks ago, I managed a 48 mile weekend.  Last weekend I did nothing (well, not on the bike - was busy doing other stuff), but then this weekend I got a quick ride in to retrieve my car from the office.  It was cool and wet this morning, so I didn't get another ride in today, but 17 is better than none for this weekend.  With any luck, the rain will thin out a bit, and the temps will climb a bit, so I can get busy training for the PMC!  Even so, it feels good to be back out there, and I'm feeling pretty strong, despite the shortage of miles.

This week, I'm going to install my new toe clips onto the Motobecane.  They should help keep my feet on the pedals, a bit, which will be a help.  I've mentioned before that I'm getting tired of my feet flopping off the pedals at opportune moments.  Actually, there's really no good time for that to happen.

The toe clips were a gift from a friend whose wife's bike I worked on a few weeks ago.  It needed new bearings and grease in the headset, bottom bracket and hubs, and a good dose of oil for the freewhel internals.  Took me all of 2 hours to tackle, one Friday night, while the girls slept -- no big deal at all.

A day or so after I finished it, I took it for a quick spin around the driveway while getting Juli's bike ready for its inaugral ride.  Apart from not fitting me, I was really surprised and how good the bike felt.  This is a mid-1980's basic steel Fuji 12-speed, fitted with a basic Suntour groupset.  The derailleurs are mostly steel, the seatpost is steel, it has a derailleur adapter claw on it, the wheels are 27" -- you get the picture.

But despite what should be handicaps, the bike rode really nicely.  It desperately needs a humane saddle, it could use new brake pads and cables, and a 7-speed freewheel with a narrower range would give its fly-weight athlete owner better gearing for her needs than she has today.  Maybe a set of bar-end shifters and a better set of brake levers, too -- but really, not much more.  It's a great example of how a well-done bike can feel really good, even if it's not overly complex or sophisticated.

Not a lot more to say today about bikes.  I do have a couple of car posts that I'm churning over, though, and I have a project that I really need to get to with Juliana's Schwinn, that I'll have to come back to.

All for now,


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