Monday, June 16, 2008

Such a dweeb

I left my camera at work today, apparently.

That kind of sucks, because I forgot to show off the new low-mounted halogen setup. Okay, it's my old NiteRider setup, but positioned on the fork as a "fog" light for bad weather and/or backup. Why's it down there? I'd love to hoodwink you with some scientific mumbo-jumbo about how light from down low cuts back on glare from fog and rain because of the reflection angle or something, but the truth is that I, Captain Dashboard, have no more room on the handlebars amd stem for both the NiteRider's lamp and battery pack.

Oh well, maybe I'll show you tomorrow.

The semi-slick tires gave me a bit of a surprise today on the way home, but I was also dealing with a tailwind. I'm notably more tuckered than usual but I actually kept up a good speed on both legs of the commute after going over my numbers. They just FEEL slow, and likely require more effort than the narrower, high-pressure tires I'm used to.

I noticed two more brand new bike commuters this afternoon (and one bike ninja this morning I hadn't seen before) and there was a really old but freshly tuned-up mountain bike locked up next to Hybridzilla at work when I left. This one looked to be hanging upside down in a garage for at least a decade, then taken to a shop over the weekend for an overhaul. New cables, chain, tires, brakes, all installed on a bike with old everything else. Along with the red nu-classic Schwinn Point Beach from May 7th (and a few days after that), this makes the second bike other than my own to lock up here. Or, the third vehicle other than my own if you count the Buddy 125 scooter, which no longer locks to the bike rack, but now to a concrete pillar a few dozen yards away.

What a perfect Segway into Scooterville (pun intended, it's not a typo), has anyone else noticed the scooter phenomenon? I swear, every time I turn around I see 2-3 new bicyclists on the road, adorned with backpacks or cheap seatpost racks loaded with stuff. But for every new bicyclist I see on the road, I see more than five scooters! The entire motorcycle lot at work (perhaps 30 spaces or so) was, for the most part, full. And there were maybe 4 actual motorcycles there. The rest were 50-200cc scooters. This mirrors what I'm seeing on the road as well. I can't go anywhere without hearing a weed eater engine sneaking up behind me then zipping around.

You'd almost think people are getting it. The little petite chick driving the 12-foot-wide black Hummer H1 all by herself and parking it in front of Town Topic for breakfast every morning? How about the 1980's Caddy doing burnouts and donuts in the middle of Southwest Blvd to do a U-turn? Yeah, they restore my faith in the ever-present IQ deficit of Kansas City motorists.

The Monday night ride was a blast. We went cyclo-X style complete with a running dismount to go up some stairs, around a corner, and into some neighborhood. Then, we later did some off-roading. Mark's rides are always a blast.

I wound up with a little under 50 miles for the day. I still haven't caught up to Dave, what with his little 90-mile training adventures and century club rides. I'm looking forward to riding with him again for Friday's June Full Moon ride.

Random Tunage:
The Chemical Brothers - Out Of Control
Nikki French - Total Eclipse Of The Heart

I remember back to 1995 when I loved this version of Total Eclipse. It got some major radio play.

5 comments:

Jeremy said...

Not many scooters in the Boston/Cambridge area, but the number of bikes is definitely up this summer.

MRMacrum said...

" That kind of sucks, because I forgot to show off the new low-mounted halogen setup. Okay, it's my old NiteRider setup, but positioned on the fork as a "fog" light for bad weather and/or backup. Why's it down there? I'd love to hoodwink you with some scientific mumbo-jumbo about how light from down low cuts back on glare from fog and rain because of the reflection angle or something, but the truth is that I, Captain Dashboard, have no more room on the handlebars amd stem for both the NiteRider's lamp and battery pack."

Captain Dashboard! I love it. Thanks for the laugh. Really. You just made my day. You have many kindred spirits here in Maine. I will often look at a bike on the repair stand and wonder, what with so much going on on the handlebars, does this rider have time to even look where they are going. Flashers, computers, horns and bells. Baskets, bags, and extra bottle mounts. There are even add on brackets that simulate more bar room. One fellow had a bracket attached to a bracket attached to his bars so he could get his lights about 12 inches in front of his bike. Why? I don't ask why anymore. Madness always has a method for someone.

You should have gone with the science mumbo jumbo thing. But the truth is so much more entertaining. I like that about you Noah. You are a no BS kind of guy.

Noah said...

Well, Crum, here's the deal. All that's on my "dashboard" is my DiNotte 200L LED headlight and my Trek Incite 11i bike computer. Hybridzilla has a threaded headset and stem, though, which is thin and puny and does not lend itself well to having things lashed to it. A velcro strap holds the 4 AA batteries and my digicam holster to the stem. That's it.

I have room on the handlebars for the NiteRider's halogen bulb, but there's not a suitable place to strap the battery pack. In fact, even with nothing on the stem, it's too small and short to mount the NiteRider's pack.

On The Twelve and The Goat, beefy threadless stems provide ample room for the massive battery pack, and that velcro strap will easily hold the digicam and the DiNotte's batteries as well.

Those extension bars have always cracked me up. So have the extra water bottle holders on the handlebars. Of course this is coming from the guy who occasionally carries Two bottles in the frame and two more on the panniers... Hmm. Yep, I think I still qualify as Captain Dashboard to a certain extent.

John in calgary said...

Hi Noah,

I split my commuting duties between bicycles and a Honda Silverwing 600cc scooter. I work at three different hospitals, so I take the scooter twice a week on the longest trips (about 40 miles round trip mostly on freeway at 70 mph). I use the bicycles for the shorter trips (32 miles and 12 miles round trips). To increase my cycling range (and ease)I'm taking my Trek 7300 in today to have an electric drive system installed. It's a lithium ion pack, rear wheel hub electric motor assist set up from Bionx. I view it as an experiment in alternate energy transportation. I may ditch the scooter from time to time and take the Trek to the furthest away hospital.

dvicci said...

I've noticed the scooter phenomena around here as well. Every day there is at least one, and most days more. That doesn't surprise me nearly as much as the relatively small number of bicycles. I see one or two every morning, but I expected to see double that and more.

I've not seen any bike ninjas for months, and that doesn't upset me in the slightest. Then again, they are ninjas. They're not meant to be seen.

I'm really looking forward to the June Full Moon Ride. That's going to be a blast. With 51 miles in that ride, I'll probably reduce Saturday's ride to 65-75 or so. :)

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