Today I'm blogging about trying out a style of bicycle that I have not ridden before, as part of the Learning Experiences section of the LGRAB Summer Games.
Today was a weird day, slept in (thanks dearest!) cuddly times and then it was "get outside and get stuff done!"
Aside from the regular weekend cleaning and doing an eco station run (I love living in a city that actually promotes and encourages dealing with old appliances/dangerous goods instead of letting them go directly into a landfill) it was "pump up tires, check stuff, figure out who makes the trip to EBC tomorrow" day!
First up was Daisy, miss bike of mystery, lovely, lovely bike o' mystery. Last time I had her out (a few days ago) I noticed her tires were getting a low, so I pumped those up, they seem to have a slow leak or are just old as they don't ever get flat, just...soft. Age perhaps? Also, I've been having a problem with her rear fender stay rubbing, today I bent the stay inwards (towards the tire) and the rubbing, while not stopped forever, seems to have stopped. I'm still taking her in tomorrow for a check up and to see if I'm missing anything major (hope not, she's my Critical Lass steed of choice (or, steed of only option!) and needs some exposure!
Next up was the bike trailer, the tires were always low, probably lower than I ought to have ridden with, but I was feeling lazy (or trying to do it alone with 2 kids and tire pumping was always behind the "oh look 2 year old running towards cars!) in the past. Today though, no no, tires pumped to perfection!
I loaded Lili up and we did a few spins until she seemed to get bored without her brother around (he was spending the day w/ his grandparents for a sleep over). Pros to having fuller trailer tires though: less drag, I *barely* noticed the trailer, even when it was empty. Pulling a lopsided 30-ish pound trailer wasn't bad at all, so I think the rest of the school year will be bike trailer transportation, perhaps giving me and Lili time to explore new bike paths and parks that Damien might otherwise be bored with. (Honestly, a 2 hour break 3 times a week from being a stay at home mom to 2 is wonderful, next year with kindergarten I'll probably not know what to do with myself...extra thrifting trips!?)
After my recreational bike times I decided to look at Winnie (yes Nicki's bike lives in my garage, we have a 2 car extra wide garage and only put our van in it, plus I like looking at a nice pile of bikes!) to see what she needs that I could do in an afternoon. A good cleaning is essential, but not necessarily something I needed to do right then and there, so instead I decided to see how her tires were. Winnie looked rough, but her tires while completely flat looked and felt fine, not like Galaxie's where they're dried and cracked and embarrassing to look at, so we pumped them up checked to make sure everything moved the way it ought and I rode her quickly.
Here's what I can tell is wrong with Winnie (after only a 2 minute spin). Her seat is shot. It LOOKS fantastic on the outside (always important) but either she's just old and worn or a spring (or more?) is not so good on the underside. I'm not sure if getting a new seat is the solution or if springs would fix what appearance wise is a perfect seat. Either way, no biggie, solutions are available for such issues everywhere! The big problem that I noticed is in the braking. I grew up on bikes, I got into the mountain type bikes with speeds and gears and such early, I honestly don't remember using a coaster brake. I know it happened, my mom can confirm I had one, the memory just isn't there. Anyway, as I was riding back to the house I tried to stop, annnnd did nothing. Perhaps I did it wrong? Maybe I had to press harder? Or is the brake mechanism faulty? BROKEN!? If I can fit both Daisy and Winnie in my van (which I *should* be able to do), then they'll both come to EBC to see if we can squeeze them in, if not, at least I'm asking here.
Lastly I've had this "free loading" bike in my garage for longer than I can remember, I'm going to guess a larger number of months but less than a year. Originally she was for me but on the VERY day that I was to go get her I stumbled upon Daisy. Daisy is gorgeous, Daisy is loopy, Daisy has places for a frame pump (I need to source a pretty white one!), essentially Daisy was the bike I WANTED and "free loading" bike was the bike I was being given - for free.
"FL" bike is actually now for a friend, who wants someone more like Daisy and not so sporty and tough and not girly. I figured though, since I was on a bike care kick, why not see what's up with her too. FL needs very little, the tires are a little dry, but in surprisingly great condition otherwise, they still have the new tire whiskers!! The seat is RIDICULOULSY comfortable in comparison to Daisy's unholy hard BMX style hell that my butt rests on. And she goes FAST. Really. Really. REALLY. Fast. If my friend who'd prefer a cruiser style (or really just not MTB stylings) finds something prettier I think FL will become my "by myself riding" or "strap on the trailer and go fast with the kids" bike. I actually really enjoyed riding on her. She needs the front brakes either adjusted, realigned or replaced. All of which I'm not scared off by.
If FL stays she might even become the winter bike. I just said that. I kind of am liking the idea of strapping on some heavy duty storage, throwing on millions of layers and plowing to the grocery store for milk or what have you instead of driving the same distance in the same amount of time because I'd be forced to go the longer way and not cut through the trails that go all but unused all winter. Bwa ha ha!! Biking addiction much??