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Posts tagged ‘i like bikes’

About A Bike

So yesterday, it seemed that I needed some groceries. And I didn’t need all that many groceries, just a few. The organic food market is rather inconveniently placed at the top of a hill. Not so bike friendly, this place. Usually, we use the car thing for buying the groceries, due to the hill and the sometimes cumbersome nature of the groceries. The wine, she is heavy.

But yesterday, I only needed a few groceries. The weather was good. Aha! I have a bike for that. The bike in question, an old, if not distinguished, road bike sat at the bottom of the bike stack. I began to dig. A couple road bikes, a couple mountain bikes, and at last, there he sat, just waiting to go to the grocery store. First, he needed a little work. Like, air in the tires. And somehow, the cable had jammed itself into the cranks and the shifting did not shift so well.

I dug out some wrenches and a pair of pliers and went to work. Now, I’m not so stellar as bike mechanics go, but I can get it done when the need is pressing. Since I needed to buy food, the need was pressing. I unscrewed the bolt, stuck the cable back in the cable thingy (highly technical), and slid the cable back under the bolt thingy (also highly technical). Then, I tightened the bolt and twisted on the twisting thingy to make it shift. Ready for a test ride, I took the bike, known as Sherman for his weight, down the stair to ride him around. Of course, I didn’t tighten the cable bolt enough. Schwing! Out came the cable. Back up the stairs, back with the pliers, back with the threading the cable through the bolt. Let’s try this again, shall we? This time, it worked.

Not quite trusting my mad skillz with the wrenches, I threw a few in my bag, and headed out to the grocery store. Though I imagined the bike spontaneously exploding, spokes popping, bolts flying out, tires exploding, it actually rolled down the road just like a bike should roll. Up the hill to the grocery store, we went. Sun shining, wind blowing, and the light had just begun its turn to evening. Still, the bike continued to roll just as a bike should.

When we reached the grocery store, I realized that while I had brought along some spare wrenches, I had forgotten a bike lock. Really, what kind of dufus forgets a bike lock? I do. Like, all the time. In my perfect world, there would just be bike locks, like lockers in train stations, where I’d be able to lock my bike. I wasn’t about to ride back down the hill to get a bike lock, then back up the hill to buy my groceries. I would have to be one of Those People who bring their crappy bikes into stores with them. This bike is pretty crappy, though it does have 9sp chorus on it, so I suppose to the discerning eye, it isn’t so crappy. Also, a well-broken in Fizik Alliante makes the best around-town bike saddle ever. Don’t say I never told you anything useful here at the Lint Trap. So, I clipped my shoes into the pedals (really, if you want to steal my old road shoes, I can’t be bothered to argue), wheeled my bike into an unused check stand (after asking nicely for permission), and went about my gathering of food. Food is good.

Buying food to carry home on the bike is a tricky business. You can’t buy too much, or you won’t make it home. But if you buy too little, you won’t have enough food. It has to be just right. Food assembled, I packed it away in my bag with the baguette sticking defiantly out the top. Not only was I one of Those People who bring their crappy bikes into the store, I was also one of Those People riding home with a loaf of bread sticking out of my bag. I’m not sure whether this is good or bad. Still, the bike continued to roll and better still, the uphill turned to downhill on the way home. You can never go wrong with a downhill finish.

Later that same night, we sat on the couch and ate the food. Suddenly, a strange sound emanated from the bike stack. It seemed the tire on my newly wrenched (not to be confused with wretched) grocery bike had decided all at once to go flat. Psssssssssss, it said, and the cat looked wildly around the room for ghosts. But there were no ghosts, just air punching through tired rubber. Free at last!

At least we weren’t sitting by the side of the road, for then, my grocery bike would be wretched indeed. Instead, I finished my food, and thought, yes, maybe tomorrow, I fix this. Because one should always have a grocery bike for when the grocery store is at the top of the hill and for when you don’t need very many groceries at all.


Overheard at the Cafe:
“Is that your single speed?”
“Uh, what’s a single speed?”

Meanwhile, I have spilled many words on the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France over at, which is why the Lint Trap has been a bit empty lately. After much squinting at very cryptic profiles, I have stage previews up for the Tour now too, though I still have four more to write. Sheesh, who makes these profile thingies anyway? The ones for the Giro stages were no problemo, but in France, they seem to have a profound aversion to legible stage profiles. Eh, we persevere.

A second twobluebikes has also shown up. Someone has clearly been feeding them after midnight. Pro Bike racing content is at the other bluebikes. When I get around to it, that is, which hasn’t been lately. Maybe today, since there’s a rest day thingy there in France. Surely there will be gossip of some sort going on.

And I’m really really hoping the flat spell ends soon. I did ride my fish yesterday in ankle high windswell. But I’m not sure that counts.

John finished building his Alaia. A post with photos on that bit of shenanigans coming soon!

Another Roadside Conversion

The other day… No, no, I did not meet a bear.

The other day while I was out playing bikes, I pulled off the road to send off a text message. My headset is pitted, so I can not text from the bike. Or, do anything of the other things on the bike that require two hands. A tad inconvenient.

Anyway, I was chilling roadside making plans with a friend for coffee. j… k… Ld.. Lep… Lets md… medicate… mee.. meet. Autocomplete, so silly. There I sat arduously turning gibberish into words. There must be a better way.

Along came two riders. I noticed them out of the corner of my eye, noting the beat-on mountain bikes, the backpacks, and the white shirts. Commuters, I figure. But then, they stop. Maybe they’re lost, I think.

“What have you done today to bring Jesus into your life?”

I stared back blankly at them. Like, who are you and why are you in my space. And, are you for real? They looked like they’d walked out of a Halloween party.

You are trying to convert me by the side of the road, I think. This is an odd turn of affairs. Surely, text messaging must be some sort of devil’s work. Certainly, lycra shorts are.

“What are you doing today to bring Jesus into your life?” More insistent, this time.

So I said the only thing that came to mind, that is, what I was doing at exactly that moment.

“I’m writing a text message, then I’m finishing my bike ride.”

Nothing like putting action to words. I hopped on my bike and sped off. Sped, being a relative term, of course. It wasn’t exactly difficult to out-run the missionaries.

The road is a strange place, some days.


Today’s ride was thoroughly uneventful. Just windy. I like Spring, except when I don’t. Flowers are nice, except when I sneeze. Wind is fun, except on the bike. And the surf is well… Don’t ask. So much wind, so few waves. I’m paying rent for this?



Wisdom from the Snob:

One of my favorite things about cycling is that it can reward suffering with joy. Another thing I love about it is that it often rejects those who don’t understand this. Cycling teaches you that there’s such a thing as necessary suffering and such a thing as unnecessary suffering, and that sometimes a short cut is a dead end.

There’s a guy who knows his way around a sentence.

Long Time, No Blog

My mom said I needed to blog more. I always do what my mom says. Um, well, most of the time. Well, okay, some of the time. Not very often?

Well, anyway, here I am, and I’m going to blog now.

. . .

New Look. The Lint Trap now has RSS feeds. And a real blog roll with updates and excerpts. Crazy stuff. I know, I know, welcome to two years ago. Laggage. It’s what I do best of all things.

This New Look should not be confused with Eisenhower’s New Look, which is a different thing altogether, involving large quantities of nuclear weapons and alliances with countries whose names you can’t pronounce. Do make a note of it.

. . .

Restoration. The VeeDub, which is older than I am, just got new floor boards. Because the old ones, they were rusting. If you looked real closelike, you could see the road pass beneath the car. I mean, I’m all about energy conservation and stuff, but going the Flintstones route seemed a step too far. Voilà, new floorboards, no more holes.

While we were crawling around under there — or, more accurately, while our crazy German mechanic was crawling around under there — we also put new shocks in the front end. The old ones were very old. Like, original, just rolled out of the factory, never replaced old. Now, the car’s all springy like. Boing. The rear shocks are still original, because they still work. Brilliant.

Last fall, the VeeDub got a brand spanking new transmission. Now, all it needs is a paint job. That’ll have to wait for Spring, because we wouldn’t want to miss any of the winter swells and stuff. We recently put old-skool roof racks on. Yes, it needs a picture. Forthcoming. Now, we look suitably retro when we roll up to the local spot. Except for the shortboards, that is. Ah, well, consistency makes for small minds anyway. At least, that’s what Emerson always said, and who am I to doubt him?

You want to know my very favoritist thing about driving the VeeDub around? We get to hear everyone’s stories. People stop by, they want to tell about the time they drove their brothers ’66 to Baja or how they used to have a blue one, back in the day, how sweet that car was. Always the stories.

. . .

We laden onze woody. Speaking of winter swell, apparently it’s time for them to show up. And apparently, it’s time for like a gazillion people to show up to surf them. Who knew so many people owned surfboards?

Laten we eens gaan surfen nu
Iedereen is te leren hoe
Kom met me mee op een safari
Kom met me mee op een safari

Vroeg in de ochtend
We zullen beginnen
Sommige honingsoorten komen langs
We laden onze Woody
Met onze borden binnen
En leidt ons liedje zingen

I so heart me some Dutch.

Now, Doods, the first head-high swell of the winter is not the day to bring your girlfriend for her first ever day of surfing. It’s not going to be fun. For her. Or for us. If you insist on bringing her, do please give her a few tips. Like, for example, letting go of your ten foot longboard in the line-up is not nice. Sitting like a buoy in the impact zone, while the rest of us dodge and weave around her, is not so nice either. Just trying to help out.

And Girls, please try to remember, bend at the knees, not at the waist. If you can’t remember this very simple lesson, we recommend board shorts. Do your really want your ass sticking up in the air like that? No, I didn’t think so. Fortunately, it will soon be too cold – really, it was never warm enough – for such transgressions. Phew.

. . .

Bike rides are fun. Fall has to be one of my favorite times of the year for bike rides. I love the dry, desert heat of the Fall, the weird winds that whorl up through the canyons, the clear air. Lovely, really.

Dear Angry Car People — I’m sorry if…

your girlfriend left you, your wife is ugly, your wife is beautiful, but sleeping with someone else, your job sucks, you got fired from your job, which still sucks, you’re late for a meeting, you’re late to sleep with someone else’s beautiful wife, your kid’s a fucking twit, your kid beat up a the neighbor’s fucking twit and now there’s hell to pay, you’re late to the twit’s soccer game, you’re pissed because you had to work during the swell last week, you took off work, but there was no swell, you hate bikes, you love bikes, but you’re still late, you’re late for class, the dog ate your homework, you failed the exam, because you didn’t study, you studied for the exam, but you still failed, fucking professors anyway, your girlfriend’s cat threw up on your shoes, gas costs too much, your car isn’t as cool as your neighbor’s car, your boyfriend’s sleeping with your neighbor, because her car is cooler, or your stock portfolio just took a beating…

Don’t take your fucking problems out on me. I’m just riding my bike. Thank you.

Anyway, it’s fun going for bike rides in the Fall.

. . .

Pro Cycling Shenanigans. The bike racing news lately, it just gets weirder and weirder, doesn’t it?

Lance Armstrong, again? Where’s my DeLorean, I need to get back to the future.

And this week’s scandals and speculations. Could they just get it over with already? The suspense is so totally killing me right now. Eh, I’ve written my share and then some about that elsewhere. I wouldn’t want to be redundant or something.

But Lombardia is coming soon, which is one of my favorite races of the year. They do know how to throw them some bike races there in Italy. Could Worlds have been any more fun? Well, yes, if I’d actually been there. But we endure.

. . .

And that just about exhausts my blogability for this Wednesday afternoon. The word supply is running low, the gauge says E.

So I stop now.