Friday, October 23, 2015

Bike Fashion Faux Pas

After a champion’s breakfast of pumpkin pie, turkey bacon, and coffee it was warm enough to take a leisurely ride. The Reluctant Cyclist was actually looking forward to a hill to try out the new shifters. We have a 9% grade less than a mile from take-off and I was very pleased with the performance on the first incline. The Ultegra’s performance, that is, not mine. It is still a hill and I am still the Reluctant Cyclist.

But then, going out in public with wheels that don’t match is like wearing two different shoes. It’s a fashion faux pas like wearing white after Labor Day. Or like wearing a brown belt with black shoes, knee socks with shorts, flesh colored leggings, ….   You get the idea, think “People of Walmart”. One might be able to get away with it on their old, foul weather bike, but not on their favorite cycle. I had to ride it that way because my new wheels hadn’t been delivered yet, but there won’t be any pictures. Jim of Jim’s Bicycle Shop was kind enough to give me a loaner rear wheel so I could ride while waiting for my new wheels but Ermahgerd! It didn’t match my front wheel. I’m hoping the new wheels get here before the Red Flannel Ride Metric Century in Lorain, OH next week.

 I was riding my #1 bike – my Gunnar, affectionately known as “Gunnar”. We finally decided to buy a whole new group because I never could get the groove of shifting the front gears.  The SRAM front shifter was always difficult to move from the small ring to the big ring. I went with new Shimano Ultegra, I have always liked the way they shifted. Now my Gunnar, equipped with the Ultegra, shifts as smooth as cutting butter with a hot knife. The crank feels so much more solid and smooth, too. I would have snapped a picture of it but I’m still waiting for the new wheels.

Velo Junkie got a new toy, too and finally had it ready to take out. He had won a VeloOrange frame on ebay , although some may say he stole it he got such a deal, and was trying to decide what group he wanted to put on it. He built the wheels himself (they matched) and had an extra handlebar, seat post, and saddle. His decision was made easier when we decided to put the new stuff on Gunnar. He used my old SRAM Red group, purchased new brakes and handlebar tape. Then he foraged through drawers, boxes, hooks, and shelves and came up with enough old stuff to build the frame up with the left over components from other bikes. Here you can see him making some minor adjustments on the handlebar. The VeloOrange bike is going to be Velo’s winter commuting bike when he has to work downtown, so he didn’t want to make too much of an investment. At least his wheels matched…

A trip out and around Lunken Airport put us back at Brew River Gastropub at about 28 miles.  We were entertained by Todd Z Hepburn, owner of Todd Hepburn's Music Company, tickling the ivories and singing while I had a Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale and a plate of chicken & waffles. There are so many good places in Cincinnati to grab a brunch and brew it can be difficult deciding. But Brew River is right along one of the main bicycle routes to the east side so you can almost always find at least one other cyclist there.

After brunch we had to go straight home. A list of chores ensued – picking up the kiddo, neighborhood Council Board meeting, Sunday night football, and laundry for the following week.

#brewriver #veloorange #gunnarbikes #lunkenairport #fleshcoloredleggings #ultegrashifters