Friday, June 22, 2012

Bad Basket News

Olivia waits patiently for noodles outside Furama
At last, the weather is nice again. So I commuted to work today and found myself getting used to Olivia. It's quite different, but the more I ride the more I'm glad I got her.

I have to say that when cyclists insist on the value of a good fit, they are about 100000% right. Road bike, commuter bike, whether you're on it 30 minutes or 30 miles, the fit makes all the difference. With the Pashley, my seat is just a tad bit too low, which I would never have known if I hadn't been riding a bike with the seat at exactly the right height. I also keep finding my forearms all tensed and aching, because I keep unconsciously pressing down with my hands, as though I just want the grips to be in a different, lower place. This leads me to conclude the handlebars need to come down more than a bit. I can't properly love the ride until it fits me, that's all there is to it.

So I stopped at JC Lind, as it's on the way home and he raised the seat for me - though as it turns out now that I've ridden it some, not enough. (Adjustments are neverending, seriously.) He also said out loud what I'd secretly been suspecting: the basket must go. That great big gorgeous thing must come off. There's a bracket to support the basket and it doesn't move. Nor does the headlight below it. So if the handlebars come down, there's just nowhere for the basket to go. It can't be there anymore. I can still HAVE a basket, but it will have to be the smaller one.

Insert sad face here.

I freaking love that basket, man. But I'll go back to the shop from whence it came and have the adjustments made and the basket downsized. I can only sacrifice so much comfort for style. Actually, I am not a fan of sacrificing any comfort for style, at least on a bike. And I have to say that it may be a good thing, because  the basket seems to bring out the paternalistic in nearly every male with which it crosses paths. Which I find exasperating. (Actually, now I think of it, I have encountered more paternalistic bullshit since I started down the bicycling path 7 months ago than I've experienced in the entire decade previous. What is it about females on bikes that brings this out in guys? Ugh.) It reminds me of when I worked in a bookstore with a  cafe: when I worked the bookstore side, normal interactions. The second I stepped behind the cafe counter, though, it was as though my IQ had dropped to single digits. This is the biking equivalent: put a basket on a bike and suddenly it gets all pre-suffragette out there. Anyway, maybe if it's smaller, or gone entirely, I won't get the daily reminders of how smart and strong men are and how much I need them, etc.

In sporty cycling/bike-building news, I am borrowing a friend's old and rather dilapidated bike to take to class with me on Sunday. It will be my project bike, to take apart and put back together but better than before. As for my road bike, I've decided to take the class first and then build my own bike after I've learned everything I can. My head was just spinning with all the unprocessed info, and there were too many decisions every day for me to feel confident in making them all. I really just need to take it all in more slowly instead of plunging in so impulsively. It was a classic set up for regret, so I just decided to slow it down. It's a relief, though it means it'll be a while til I have a road bike to get on.

But that's okay. I have enough bike to keep me occupied for now. :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment