Monday, July 23, 2007

A year and 3000 miles.

It's been a year since we moved back to Seattle. During that time I rode about 3000 miles, most of which were to and from work. I survived. I survived the traffic, the buses, trucks, taxi cabs and idiots telling me to use the sidewalk. I survived the 15.37 record setting inches of rain that fell in November making it the wettest month in Seattle history. I rode through wind storms that shift direction with every block downtown. I rode through hail, on ice and snow, in the dark and the cold. I rode through allergy season and diesel exhaust. Up hills. Rats! People crying, passed out, and sleeping in the street. Protesters. Knee and shoulder pain.

And 99% of the time . . . I liked it!

For I also rode through beautiful, crunchy, autumn leaves and a rainbow of spring flowers. Snow! Mysterious fog. Summer afternoons past a brilliant blue bay. Over bridges, along rivers, past rock bands, through festivals, kids playing, and Saint Nicholas. Through and around traffic while traffic was gridlocked. Down hills. With the wind. Pumpkins! Past lazy cats and playful dogs. Past the Golden Rooster. Through savory scents of coffee, pizza and the sea. Protesters. Critical Mass and bike to work month. Calories and euphoria.

I made it. I made it through a whole year.
Now I'm going to do it again.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cantilever Brakes

A few weeks ago I upgraded Christine's brakes from her old crummy center-pull cantilevers to newer direct pull cantilevers. I don't think that center-pull cantilevers are bad in general but the one's on her bike were. The whole project cost me $76 plus some chump change. That included brake levers (one of hers was broke), brakes, cables and housing. I'm sure a bike mechanic could do the whole thing in less then 30 minutes but I didn't want to pay the extra bones. I took my time, probably 3 hours in all. That included adjusting and test riding. The brakes work wonderfully. For what it is, her bike is starting to shape up. Now we just need to look into that bottom bracket.