Wednesday, May 14, 2008

KC Bike Week 2008 Day 3: Pain & Broken Stuff

You've gotta love broken stuff.

Monday morning, a slight creaking noise manifested itself on The Twelve. I feared it was the bottom bracket going out. Monday evening, I found that my cargo rack was loose and I tightened it up. It didn't fix the noises, though.

Yesterday, the noise was more prominent. It's definitely the bottom bracket. It's shot. Furthermore, my panniers are also in a state of disrepair. I'm going to need a new set soon. I'm tired of taking these to the tailor to get re-stitched. Lastly, I'm really going to need some more padded liners if I am going to keep up this riding 30 miles a day business.

I only took The Twelve out today because I think I might need fenders for the homeward commute. Tomorrow, I'll probably bring Hybridzilla out. Once I get paid, I might try to accumulate a few bikey things that I need. All combined, that stuff would cost less than a few tanks of gasoline, with the panniers being the most expensive piece of the puzzle. The ones I have would still work for light-duty stuff. Maybe my wife can use them when she starts riding more. Who knows?

If anyone tells you that bike commuting has the advantage of being a mostly one-time expenditure that offers virtually free transportation reliably, call them onto the carpet. Granted, even with repairs, bike commuting is often cheaper than just paying for gasoline in your car -- not counting the expensive car repairs and maintenance you're sure to need. Bicycles are machines. They're prone to wear and occasional failure. Bike commuters need to have a plan B. It's a good idea to carry cash for a bus or taxi fare, a cell phone and a friend or family member to help you out, and/or some tools for roadside repairs.

It was another Convoy this morning with John C and Karen. I took this coasting down 67th street at 31 MPH with both hands stabilizing the camera. Scary.

Bike commuters with a sunset backdrop on Merriam Lane approaching Lamar.

Dude. The House of ROCKS. You want gravel? Huge slabs of granite? A four-ton limestone boulder? This is the place for you. Watch out for the snakes catching rays in the morning, though. I can only imagine what the owner was thinking when he decided to start this business. "We'll sell ROCKS, man..."

He must have been stoned. Haha.

Lorin bussed in to KCMO and we all did our usual coffee thing at *$.

In other news, the city is tearing stuff up on 10th street for additional streetscape. This means a lane reduction, parking meter additions, and hopefully more bike parking?

As far as Pain goes, I'm about 100 miles in this week. Each morning, it's getting more and more difficult to get moving. I've been riding slower and slower, too. My body will eventually thank me for all this punishment, though.

Random Tunage:
Benjamin Bates - On My Feet
Amber - Anyway (Steve Porter Mix)


Anonymous said...

Maybe some street ramps for the more enthusiastic commuter.

steve said...

Biking definitely isn't free... So far this year, I'm running at 6c/km but I haven't had any major expenses yet; last year was 23c/km, and the year before was 37c/km (mostly because I bought a new bike and bike trailer for the sprog). Still works out way cheaper than a car!

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