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Rich Lafferty's Journal

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bike plans
pinkie pie
mendel
I love the idea of biking everywhere. When we sold our car I was excited to be One Less Car, and so on, but there were still a couple things between me and bike nirvana that I want to fix this year. I'm sure you all really care about my plans for my bike but you're going to get them anyhow.

This is my ride, a Kona Smoke from before they made it a 29er:

CETMA Rack

That's not a very useful picture (it was meant to illustrate the porteur rack), so here's someone else's picture of their bike which is the same as mine:

2005 Kona Smoke

Steel frame, city slickers, factory fenders, the bones of a great city bike. I've since added the front porteur rack (above), swapped out the platform pedals for standard bear traps with Power Grips, and put a rack on the back with a pair of Wald folding baskets.

It's not a light bike by any means now, but that should be fine for the kind of riding I'm doing, except I'm not doing that kind of riding. Whenever I'm on it I have a hard time slowing down, and I end up tired out and sweaty. So I think I'm going to go even further into the realm of the city bike. Part of the goal is to get some "new bike" excitement going, and part is to convince myself that it's okay to ride at 10mph.

First, new handlebars, North Road style. I think my best bet is the Soma Sparrow, especially since I want them in black, and because the 490mm width is a bit narrower than the standard 520mm which is good for traffic.



Then on that, shellaced cork grips:



And then a brown saddle. I haven't been able to find one I like. I don't think I want to go Brooks. I just want to have the saddle and grips both brown. Or maybe I'll keep it all black, but I like the black-and-brown thing.

(Of course with that done I'll be tempted to replace the Power Grips with a repurposed brown belt.)

And sadly, I think I'll have to replace the hippohorn with a bell. People here are pretty responsive to bike bells, but no-one has any idea what the hippohonk means, and understanding HEY BIKE HERE turns out to be pretty important!

Finally, all those racks really demand a double-leg kickstand. Loading up the porteur with anything even slightly heavy is a huge pain without any stand.

(I also found a nice, peaceful, not-too-rolling route to the office, so I think I'm going to give myself bike upgrades as rewards for riding for an entire week, etc.)

Incidentally: Mood is "tired" thanks to our short stroll that nyxie and I took earlier. We saw cherry blossoms in High Park and checked out the whole of Roncesvalles and Parkdale and then had a late lunch in Kensington. Whee!

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This is very inspiring. If I didn't live in Orleans and also have to pick up a toddler after work — I would totally ride. Someday when I can afford to buy in centertown….

I lived in Westboro and rode to Kanata (not often enough -- I only realized that there was a great route in the last summer I was working out there!). Toddler is harder, but there's always trailers.

I probably shouldn't show you the xtracycle. (I definitely shouldn't show you a bakfiets.)

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