Saturday, June 28, 2008


My bike is trashed.

There's a crack in the top tube--brought on my the stress I impart to the frame--and, unnoticed, it has been spreading and spreading in a circle around the tube. And I wondered why it was creaking so... It's about 85% of the way around. I noticed it today on the way to work. If the top tube failed in transit, it would probably have hurt me a lot. I love my bike. I will miss my bike. But I'm glad I found out it was broken the easy way, and not on my twenty-five mile ride of two weeks ago, or my drunken hill sprint of last night, or the forty-mile ride I was going to take in two days.

It gave me what it had to give, and now I will ruthlessly strip it down to components and rebuild around another frame. Which was this bike's genesis--my cranks, gears, stem, headset, and rims are from the bike before that. I'd be tempted to call this my Neurath boat, but a frame failure is not something I can really rebuild in transit.

Rhetorical Device is, as always, apt.

I remember it in building, I remember hauling it across the country, and I am thankful it took me to every street in a mile radius of my house, and more than half the streets in the city. It built my calves and whetted my appetite for long-distance bike travel. It will live on.

Requiescat in pace.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I rode to Davenport today—coastal route 1, beautiful scenery, light traffic (heading out of town at eight in the morning is a good idea), little bothersome wind, and something I think was a bobcat.

My little skinny-tire single speed is becoming more and more dear to me. Even though I made it through the whole ride uneventfully and then tore a valve stem off topping off my tires at the bike shop next to where I work. The more practice I have fixing flats, though, the less of a bother it’ll be when it happens at the side of the road. And it probably will and some point.

21.5 miles from 8:05 to 9:55. At that rate (plus some stops) it would take me eight hours to get the eighty-odd miles from Santa Cruz to San Francisco. Today will end up being my first twenty-five mile day—possibly more than I’ve biked some weeks—so there’s a way to go on the training front. Before I end up trying that, I’ll need some synthetic socks. And, yes, bike shorts of some fashion. Next step: my house to the San Mateo county line past Waddell Creek? That’s thirty-eight miles there and back, give or take…

[Slightly later edit. I’ll need vast quantities of food to do so. I cannot stop eating at the moment.]