In Life, As In Comedy, Timing is Everything
As an experiment, the do-all Raleigh worked out pretty well. It gave me proof of concept that, if one could have only one bike, it would still be possible to easily have the flexibility of multiple units simply by having a couple of wheelsets set up for differing conditions. I chose to use a fixed gear on the Raleigh, but the concept could easily be applied to a multi-speed bike, as well. Indeed, Rawland bikes are marketed as being capable of running two different wheel sizes (650b/29" or 650b/26", depending on the model).
So, I now know what I will try to do if the time ever comes that I can have only one bike. But, for now, I am blessed with the ability to have more than one bike and, as such, I think I will go back to having separate bikes set up for separate uses. While the one-bike-for-all-purposes is doable, there is ultimately a level of compromise I don't want to live with (at least, as far as my commuter is concerned), until it proves unavoidable.
For now, I am going to use the Red Rockhopper as my non-frozen-road commuter, and reserve the fixed gear Raleigh for snow days. My frustration level with the Raleigh as a do-all had reached the point that I wasn't enjoying the commute as much as I wanted to. And, the fun of the bike commute is its biggest selling point.
So, I got the Red Rockhopper out and did a bit of fine-tuning, yesterday. I reshaped the edges of the leather in order to avoid a little bit of contact I was getting on the squarish edge of the nose area.
I also took a picture of the beautiful stitchery I employed when I repaired my old Cannondale pannier. The zipper had ripped out, so I stitched it back together, and sealed the seam with latex rip-mender. I'm hoping that will prevent the nylon from ravelling any farther.
By the way, if anyone has the matching non-drive-side version of this bag and would like to sell it, let me know. I picked this one up at a thrift store, a while back, and I just love it. having a pair would be great.
While I was outside, enjoying the warm weather, I decided to swap the handlebars out on the Raleigh. Since I am going to use it primarily as a snow bike, I decided to put the Mary Bar on it and have a more upright position. I prefer this in slippery conditions, and it makes out-of-the-saddle efforts a bit more natural feeling.
I ran over to Performance and picked up some bolt-on grips for the bar. Carol had ridden her bike up from Parker, and she went with me to get a Valentine's Day gift for Jason's girlfriend.
I got the bike set up, then drove Carol home and had dinner with the Maxes. (Jack and Oswald got a playdate with Ruby out of it, too.)
I got up this morning only to see snow on the ground. I guess we have a couple of days of snow, followed by a few days of cold temps, ahead of us. It was nice to have the snow bike set up, just in time for the first snow in a few weeks.
I rode down to the coffee shop and hung out talking to Patricia. I meant to work on some comics (I completed a 3-pager there, yesterday), but ended up with company at the table for most of the time I was there.
When I got ready to go, I went outside and took the plastic bag off of the seat of the bike before I snapped this picture. The bike in front of mine is an old GT (I forget what model), with a steel frame and horizontal dropouts. I've never seen it, before, but I hope to see it on a prettier day in order to get some good pictures of it. (All part of my vintage mtb fetish.)
I headed home, and decided to take a litle bit of an "alley tour" on the way. The snow was fun to ride in (grippy, not slick), the temps were moderate (upper 20s) and the gentle snowfall/no wind conditions were pretty relaxing.
Eventually, I made it back to the shack and shoveled the walk and driveway before coming in to make lunch.
Altogether, not a bad Sunday morning.