The semester got underway this week. Aside from the back-and-forth between campus and my apartment, my time on the bike has come to screeching, painful, maddening, debilitating halt. I want to ride so badly! I’m starting to think about riding during lunch or else changing out at the end of the day, knocking off a little early, and finding a much longer route home.
So, not riding much leaves me with little to discuss, but here are a few items of note:
- My little brother set aside his mountain bike, got a professional fitting at a local bike shop, purchased a sweet Cannondale Synapse, and dropped roughly 32 pounds. Sweet. Nice work, brother. Ride on. (Stay tuned. There are already murmurings of taking a tour together.) It turns out, by the way, that Rhode Island is a very bike friendly state, with great local bike shops, miles of rail trail, and published maps identifying the suitability of various roads for cyclists (e.g., in relation to traffic, surface conditions, etc.).
- Ms. McCaskill, the youngens, and I are now officially a one-car family. Yay! I sold the truck last night, and it’s all I can do to keep from heading straight to the local bike shop and blowing the whole wad on a new ride. Patience. Patience, my good man. Easy does it. (But, um, just out of curiosity, you know, solely for the sake of conversation, might any of you have a recommendation on a commuter/transportation-oriented bike, styled after a classic fashion but outfitted with modern equipment, well-suited to a chap who makes his living in an ivory tower, inspiring young minds? I’m thinking along the lines of the Raleigh Clubman or One Way, the Trek Portland — sans those butt-ugly stock fenders — the Novara Randonee, etc. I’d love a Rivendell or the like, but money is an object. I’m hesitant to get a true, full-scale touring bike, because I still have my hopes set on my dad eventually passing on his Trek 720 to me.)
- I’ve got a jacked rear hub on my road bike. The hub has sealed bearings and less than 2000 miles on it, but suddenly it sounds as if I were crushing gravel in it. I took into the shop a week ago today. When I got it back on Saturday, the work order indicated that two new sets of bearings had been installed. I put it back on the bike, spun it backward slowly, and placed my ear close to the hub. Much to my chagrin, the noise, though quieter, was still very much there. I took it straight back to the shop. The head mechanic, who happens to be the guy that deals with all the wheel issues, had already left and was slated to be out until tomorrow. Fortunately, the shop owner sent me an email this morning saying he was planning to take a look at it today. My fingers are crossed ever so tightly.
- Commuting by bike to campus over the summer was no big deal, but now that I’m having to look the part of a professor, I’m realizing I have a lot to figure out and learn. Needless to say, I was quite thrilled to learn this morning that my local bike shop has just received their first shipment of Action Wipes. I plan to grab a pack whenever I fetch my wheel.
- My efforts to uncover and expose the seedy world of secret cyclists at Adrian College has turned up quite a decent number of faculty and staff who ride. Alas, however, I’ve yet to recruit any students. I’m hoping I can do so before the cold weather sets in, only because I think people will be far more inclined to ride in colder temps (and even next spring) if they’ve already gotten their feet wet, so to speak. On the other hand, if things are slow to get moving, I can probably look forward to greater interest and enthusiasm in the spring when people start itching to be outside again. For what it’s worth, I did kick off three of my four classes with a quote about Lance Armstrong from Bicycling as an illustration for thinking about myth. Oh yeah, good stuff, baby.
What have you all been up to?