Saturday, March 15, 2014

Junk Attain

Reading web news, began to notice a peculiar perspective that defends its position while recognizing bike culture. One Minnesota blogger tries to reconcile bicycling advocacy with loving petrol stinkpots. Bemused by police in suburban Townsend, Massachusetts (so small it's only intersected by state numbered roads 13 and 119), who annually give $100 gift certificates and helmets to random neighborhood ragazzi they see cycling safely. Thereby deputies hope to control traffic where no interstate exits exist to render impractical. SFGate sports columnist Ann Killion links avid bicycling with baseball icon Barry Bonds, who, as you may know, preceded Armstrong in doping controversy. But, so far, Barry isn't banned from diamond or pelaton. Because Labann has been writing this way for decades, seems significant when others do, too. Isn't evidence of influence, but might inspire continuance. Everything is interconnected. If you want to open a can of universe, a bicycle makes a decent can opener.

Recent posts equally criticized lax bike and car maintenance. Labann's last ride was straight to the local bike shop for new cables/guides, chain, and handlebar wrap. Also replaced a lost cyclometer with over 75,000 miles logged; popped off one night riding under lights dimmed by hand after motorist flashed his. Yeah, these L&M units are so bright they really do rival automotive lumens. Habitual response, should have ignored. Searched for days in vain. Old friend at shop offered in condolence, "Some kid might find a treasure to admire." Questioned reinvesting in same old Italian over a decade; likely spent as much in repairs, tires, and tubes by the dozens as a new purchase, yet no thief would find it as attractive. Choosing decent equipment, spent hardly any time broken down by roadside. Yeah, a lot of junk is sold despite potholes and tracks galore with which to deal. Get to know a good bike shop; prepare to spend seriously. Beat April's tune-up rush now.

Bike fitting? Should you rely on lucky accidents or work it out the hard way? Have yet to see a computerized spinning device that can measure your performance then compare to actual bikes to find one that perfectly fits you. How things work now, you buy an ill fitting beast, change adjustments constantly and/or contort body to it. This is practical in some senses: Bike breaks in, and you get fitter, learn to handle pain, lose weight, sense what works for you, strengthen legs to hover rather than rest on saddle, and tolerate imperfection you can't escape. Still have an old village bike for those short winter spins to save roadie for better days. Swapping hardware resembles rotating shoes so they dry out between uses.

Only managed a handful of rides all Winter. Reasonably cold here in March, so can't rightly expect to ride longer than a few blocks. Would have commuted at least part way twice a week by bike if not discouraged by record cold and snow. With all its negatives Winter riding offers a chance to experience same routes in totally new ways. Since foliage is gone, you see birds in understory searching out that last red berry, skeletons of buildings left to collapse, and vistas across hills and meadows ordinarily obscured. Furthermore, you maintain what you always intended, not to hide inside, but participate, ride, and stay alive. Some say sitting is the new smoking, by which they suggest society must pay billions for those who can't keep on keeping on.

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