Saturday, December 06, 2008

Bike rides and repairs

This morning I went for a bike ride. I rode down to Carpinteria to meet some recumbent bike riders from Ventura. I have a few local friends who ride recumbent bikes, too, but since my hike I'm too out-of-shape to keep up with them. The folks from Ventura are slower so I thought I would ride down to where they were meeting and ride with them on my way back.

Well, they are too slow for me. So I'm stuck in the middle with nobody to ride with at my speed.

I also rode my bike yesterday to work. Maybe I can get back in shape and be able to ride with my faster friends in a week or two. The main issue is that they ride pretty hard and I find that to be hard on my knees as well as very tiring. They mostly ride recumbent tricycles, too, and since my hike I'm not very fond of my trike anymore. It seems really hard on my knees compared to my recumbent bike and oh so slow. I'm reluctant to sell it, though. It is a fun ride.

After my ride, I decided to take one of my found 3-speed bikes down to Bicicentro. Bicicentro rocks because it's a do-it-yourself bike shop. You can bring in any crappy bike and they will never give you attitude. They love crappy bikes. They live to help poor people who need bikes for transportation. They all speak Spanish, too, which makes me jealous. I wish I could speak Spanish.

My 3-speed bike is a little too big for me. I decided I would also bring one of my wheels from my other found 3-speed so I could get an opinion as to what size tires it needs. I wasn't sure how to get down there with the bike and wheel so I attached the wheel to the bike with a zip-tie in a really stupid configuration. It rendered the bike unridable. I was too lazy to fix it. It was going to be a long walk.

What I ended up doing was coasting on the downhills and then pushing myself along with my foot like a skateboard on the flats. It took a while to go the 3 miles to Bicicentro, but I made it and got a second work-out in the deal.

After working on the bike a little, they charged me only 11 cents for the part I used. They also ordered two tires for my other bike.

I reattached the wheel with zip-ties in a better configuration and was able to ride my 3-speed bike home. With the seat all the way down, I could pedal just fine. But I had to be careful when I came to a stop since I can't stradle the cross tube. Ouch. Sensitive area right there.

The bike has a really nice gear range. I was able to ride all the way up Valerio St. to my driveway. Valerio is quite steep. I hope whoever buys this bike will be happy with it. I certainly would be if I fit the bike better and could get used to the coaster brake.

Hopefully my two workouts today will help. The PCT weight-loss is but a memory now.

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