Thursday, June 12, 2008

Live to ride another day

I've made it clear that I don't take pleasure in riding in the rain. Fenders on The Twelve (which is still out of commission) made rain riding a little more tolerable, and downright removed any reservations I had about riding with wet pavement after the rain was gone. Hybridzilla, however, still lacks fenders. Monday's commute was completely soggy. I didn't really post anything about yesterday's commutes, but the morning was made of road grime. You can understand my frustration, then, when I awoke to the sound of pouring rain this morning. I'd pretty much made up my mind that this morning would be a bus morning.

Then, the ominous roll of nearby thunder set in and sealed the deal. I don't care what your opinion of rain is, riding an hour or more in a thunderstorm is just a bad idea, particularly when you've got a 20-pound lightning rod between your legs. Hey perverts! I'm talking about the bicycle! Jeesh!

I wish I could say that the lightning was the only factor that made me wimp out this morning, but the truth is that I'm getting sick of scrubbing piles of road grime off of my legs before I change into my work clothes. The fenders would keep this grime to a minimum, allowing me to soak in the (relatively) clean rain-water without having to deal with the splashes from the tires. That might make rain riding more enjoyable. I just didn't feel like it this morning. Riding a few miles to the bus stop was more than enough excitement for me. Lightning was hitting close enough to make me wonder if that short trip was going to be a regrettable one. Fortunately, I lived to ride another day.

To boot, I've also managed to bust a spoke on Hybridzilla. I'm pretty sure that my spoke woes have a lot to do with my clydesdale weight problem combined with my choice of chintzy wheels. I think I need a tandem wheel for my road bike and a beefy mountain bike wheel for my hybrid.

I've said it before: Rain and electronics don't mix. No photos this morning.

Random Tunage:
Fluke - Atom Bomb (Straight 6 Instrumental Mix) [from Wipeout XL Soundtrack]
Nine Inch Nails - March Of The Pigs


Sirrus Rider said...

We Need to pass a hat around for Noah guys. A Buy-Fenders-and-better-wheels-for-all his-bikes fund to keep him riding. Whaddia say about it?? :-) Anyone?

Noah, I'm still trying to figure out what you are doing to your wheels that you rippin'/Poppin' spokes. Meanwhile I'm pushin' 200 lbs (About 240lbs when on the Monitor Pass)riding on OEM 19 year old wheels and I've never broken a single spoke.

dvicci said...

No shame coming from my neck of the woods. I drove in on account of the possible time trial this evening, but might have even without. Though I love the rain as well, I like it a lot more when I don't have to look nice for work.

Apertome said...

Agreed, no shame at all. You really should break down and put some fenders on the hybrid.

The spoke problem is a weird one, I also weigh around 200/slightly over, probably, and I've only once or twice broken a spoke (knock on wood). My old mountain bike, now 14 years old or so, came with cheap wheels and those have held up amazingly well. So I'm really not sure what to make of all your broken spokes, but yeah, you definitely need stronger wheels.

James Oiler said...

Hey there,
When I was last in Kansas City (middle of last summer) I made note of the cool bike rack that was on the front of most city buses. We were down near the River Market and the like.
Do you ride a bus with this bike rack arrangement? And Second, do you like the setup?

Noah said...

Whenever I use the bus, I ride one with this kind of arrangement. It looks like this when in use. In fact, now that I'm riding Hybridzilla again on a daily basis, it looks almost EXACTLY like that, with a different rack on the back and panniers instead of the handlebar bag.

I actually like this setup very much, but there have been a few times that both slots were full (the ones we have here in KC only hold two bikes) or I was forced to use a "short bus" without a bike rack and I ended up loading the bike onto the bus and occupying the handicap spot with my bike.

IMHO, these racks are a HUGE BOON to commuters. Many people in suburbia live close enough to a bus stop to ride, but it would be a bit of a hike on foot. With bicycle travel being easily 4x as fast for the given effort, it's amazing that bicycles haven't shown up in swarms to these park-and-ride bus stops. Most people drive 2-3 miles to these locations and that, my friend, boggles my mind.

Sirrus Rider said...


I think part of the problem with people not showing up on bikes is most are resistant to change. Consquently, if they are accustomed to walking up to the bus that's what they do. It takes both a thought, and preparation to ride, Most people are not mentally prepared to change their habits and experience that cognitive dissonance that change causes.

MRMacrum said...

Commuting in rain requires more dedication than many have and also the right equipment. Seems you have the dedication. You just need to fine tune the equipment. Your few days off the bike should bring you no guilt. Besides, I have more than enough guilt for the both of us.

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