Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Biking On A Borrowed Machine

There you see them, my son Ben’s bike and mine, together on the driveway (with, by the way, some snow, although this was the snowiest pavement on my whole ride this morning).

My bike is temporarily out of whack. I’ll take it to the neighborhood bike shop to repair two broken rear spokes, adjust the rear derailer and grease the chain.

In the meantime, my son Ben has graciously consented to me riding his bike. Granted, he’s at ISU and the bike is in Cedar Rapids, but still, it’s nice of him.

So today’s commute felt a bit odd. Ben’s mountain-style bike has substantially smaller wheels than my street bike, and it felt a little bit like I was riding a “toy.” (And no, any smart alecks out there, most bikes are serious vehicles, not toys.) I was concerned that using an unfamiliar steed with shorter legs (smaller wheels) would add up to a longer commute this morning.

It didn’t. I left at 8:05 and arrived at Mount Mercy University at 8:29. Twenty-four minutes is comparable to my time on “ol’ blackie,” so the blue mountaineer must have gearing that makes up for less wheel diameter.

I do miss my comfy old-man seat. And my basket wouldn’t fit on Ben’s handlebars, so I was sans carrier for my briefcase and had to wear it on the way in to work.

That’s not ideal, but it will work short term. Although snow did fall in Cedar Rapids this morning, it was merely cloudy and cool for the a.m. ride—not a trace of slickness or even wet on the pavement.

Although I have already claimed that spring is here, there is one true sign I’m watching for. The snow hills of the Rockwell-Collins parking lot are now just modest snow mounds, but when they’re gone, CR biker will know for sure that morning snows are a mere memory.

In the meantime, if you see an old man on an inappropriate looking blue off-road style bike, sort of like an old man with pants too low or with a soul patch, please excuse him. The days are getting too nice to not take them on two wheels!

Photos with this post:
  • Old blackie (my bike) with mountain blue (Ben’s bike).
  • Broken spokes on blackie’s back wheel. I bought this bike new in October, so it seems a bit soon for spokes to be failing—but then again, a really heavy old guy rides this bike almost every day.
  • Rear view of today’s transportation. Moved my lights over to the new bike, but the basket didn’t fit. Oh well.

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