Friday, December 26, 2014

Dirty little sneak

      I have a confession. I've been cheating on my bike. Don't get me wrong, I love my little Schwinn, I'm not selling her anytime soon. But... I've been cheating on her, looking at other bikes, ogling different frames, pondering different pedals, gazing on different gears, and even, dare I confess? Yes, dreaming of a riding a different saddle.
     I shouldn't be that ashamed, I know many cyclists who have more than one bike, some bikes are better suited to different things. I, however, have always been true to one ride at a time, making one bike work for all things. Its not a marriage, not exactly, and not like my bike is an animate object to be jealous or angry with me, but those little bells do sound a bit condemning these days.
     You see I've been thinking very hard about getting a folding bike, better suited for my commutes than for grocery runs. Pinkie Pie, my current ride, is great for those. Her frame can stand the weight of the trailer, her basket is lovely for Mac or a smaller bag. However, she's a big girl in terms of weight, and pushing her up Greenwood has begun to strain me, and lifting her onto the bus rack hurts my shoulders. A folding bike makes sense for my commute in many ways, and for my random adventures near and far, should the sun leave me bereft of strength, or the journey too much, resorting to public transit would not become a perilous chance of dice (how many times after an event have you waited and waited for a but with a free rack spot?)
     In fact, it was, on the bus on my way home, where I began looking again at other bikes.
     "Oh, look at her rack," I whispered, not realizing I said it aloud. The mother across from me shot me a nasty look and, conscious of my error, I quickly turned my phone to show her the bike. She smiled, probably feeling better she wasn't sitting across from a pervert.
    The gentlemen to my side inquired as to the bike I was looking at and I showed them.
    "That looks expensive," one of them frowned, "Set you back about two thousand, am I right?"
    "Nope," I smiled, "She's only a hundred sixty four, not counting tax of course,"
    "You're kidding me," he exclaimed.
     "Oh no, folding bikes aren't just for rich folks, more for every day folks," I said. The woman sitting next to the mother craned her head, and I showed her the bike.
    "Oh, I could use that," she said, "Except on the hills, those little wheels," she shook her head. I laughed.
    "Actually, its better to have little wheels if you have a lot of hills," I explained.
    "How's that?"
    "You ever notice how quick a rabbit or a dog goes up a hill?" I asked, "Its because of how they're pushing their weight up. We walk upright, so we're pushing a different fulcrum to achieve momentum,"I showed the motions using my hands, "Smaller wheels keep you close to the ground, and they my make better use of the surface ratio,"
    "Won't it just collapse on you someday?" the other man asked. I showed them a couple videos of folding bikes, showing how they worked, and the conversation moved to electric bikes and the difference between an assist bike and a full electric, and the different bikes we'd all had through our lives.
     The weekend before Christmas Ben took my bike out to help me haul a cat tree home for the kids. Sadly he didn't take any pictures when he brought home our tree that way, but we did get a couple shots of the cat tree.
     Even he agreed, while Pinkie is good for a haul, or a free style ride, she's not really practical the for the length a challenges of my commute. Which means, my dear readers, in the new year I'll be adding a new stead to my stable. Hopefully I'll be able to shake the gnawing sense of guilt.
    In the meantime, am I missing a trick, or does Seattle not have a bike podcast?


  1. There was a couple of times the bike racks on the MAX or Seattle Light Rail were full and I just folded my Dahon next to me. The first time the doors almost closed on me, but I got the hang if it. Greyhound still has a problem with them not being in a bike box though, which is silly because its smaller than the strollers they toss underneath all the time. All in all, they're a lot of fun to ride if you don't care how you look riding one.