Tuesday, December 18, 2012

First Ride With Basket-to-Wheel Renewal

Views of my new wheel and new basket. 
Note how clean the new chain looks! 
Blogger is being poppy about the vertical photos, again. 
So you'll have to turn your heads to the side.

Well, I manage to hook on two lights to my new basket, so this morning was the first ride on the new “strong” rear wheel and with the new front basket.

Both performed well, as far as I can tell.  The ride home tonight with lights ablaze will be a bit of a test (although it won’t be a late ride).

Anyway, the new basket caused the biggest adjustment, and I’m not sure I’m totally done.  The front lights I have are constructed on the assumption that a biker would hook them to a stem or handlebars—but because I put a large briefcase in a front basket, those placements don’t work for me.  The old basket had an open design which made it easy to MacGyver the lights into place.

The more closed-mesh design of the new basket meant neither of my customary front lights had an obvious place to be installed.  So, I enlarged two holes of the mesh with a screwdriver to put one light in place, and simply used a bungee cord to attach the other light to the bottom of the basket.

I think that will work.  As Red Green once said:  “This is only temporary.  Unless, of course, it works.”

Well, the new wheel was fine.  It had one huge advantage—I could use the ultimate hill-climbing gear without having the derailleur grind against the rear spokes.  I hope that lasts.  I know, I know, I should have learned to turn the adjusting screws to prevent the problem on my previous bike—I just never seemed to find the time when the penultimate gear worked well enough on the steepest hill (“the” hill at MMU) that I normally climb.

Still, hill-climbing gear, I’m glad you’re back.  Please say a while.

It spit a bit of snow on me as I rode in, so I parked inside to keep the new chain dry.  It’s about 3 p.m. right now and I’ll be leaving soon—but it’s cloudy enough that it already looks fairly dark.  So I’ll be testing the lights in their new configuration.

Here’s hoping that all goes well, although I expect it will!

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