22 September 2012
Coasting Through The First Day Of Fall
Today I took my newly-built old Trek on a joyride. Well, I also intended my journey as a shakedown ride, to see what needed changing or fixing. But, as often happens, business mixed with pleasure.
Before setting out, I made a few small adjustments to the saddle and handlebar positions, and topped off the tires. I also made use of some leftover handlebar tape:
My trip took me through some familiar haunts: Astoria Park, Randall's and Ward's Islands, the Bronx and upper Manhattan. The bike, as I've set it up, seems streetworthy: I can accelerate and maneuver it quickly, but it doesn't seem too delicate for the almost-lunar texture of some streets I rode.
Some of the ride quality may well have to do with the tires. They're Panaracer Ribmos, though not the same ones as I have on Helene. For one, the tires on Helene are all-black, in contrast to the white sidewalls and red tread on the ones I rode today. More important, the ones I rode today have non-foldable steel beads, in contrast to the foldable Kevlar beads on Helene's tires. Also, the red treads and white sidewalls seem to be thicker than the black ones, although the width of each tire is the same. What the beads and thicker rubber mean, of course, is that the tires I rode today are significantly heavier than the ones on Helene. But, I would also expect them to be more durable.
Today is the first day of fall, at least officially. However, the weather made it feel more like the first day of summer: Warm and somewhat humid, though not unpleasant. But, some of the leaves are starting to turn, so it is starting to look like the season. And, the brick buildings of the Bronx industrial areas (which were entirely free of traffic, as they usually are on weekends) and the Concrete Plant Park always look rather autumnal. Somehow the bike looked like it belonged.
And I felt almost as if I belonged on the bike. It doesn't fit like my other bikes, but the size might actually work for me. I have had other similarly-sized bikes, and rode them gingerly. Also--I've actually ridden both Arielle and Tosca in a skirt. I think I could do the same on the Trek, as long as the skirt isn't very close-fitting (I have a couple of skirts like that, which I've never worn on a bike.) or long. I think about that because I have envisioned using this bikes for errands and as a sometime commuter, as well as a winter bike. (On winter joyrides, I'll probably be wearing wool tights or sweats, depending on the weather.)
And, yes, I'm getting used to the coaster brake.