Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Burden

This morning I set my alarm bright and early (4:30) for the ride to work and for some reason started to convince myself that I should drive my truck instead. What? I gave my head a good shake and pack up my back pack and headed out.

One of the reasons I was thinking of driving was because I had quite a bit of junk to take with me to work. I crammed it all into my back pack without giving it much thought. I’m not saying I should have driven my truck, but one thing I now know, a heavy pack on a light little saddle makes for some soar sit-bones. Not after the ride, but during. It makes quite a difference on your comfort level while on a bike, having a big pack on your back. Kind of makes me realize what they invented racks for. Not that I'd ever try to figure out a rack system for the Allez. Oh well, after the ride nothing felt out of the usual, so chock it up as a lesson learned.
Right after I snapped this picture I headed west on the Trans-Canada toward Strathmore, and luckily I did a random shoulder check and saw a massive house coming down the highway. I check again once he go a little closer, and ended up having to pull completely off of the shoulder (a very large shoulder at that) and into the ditch! I guess he thought it would be better to let the rig-pig pass him on the left than to move over, have the pilot truck (who wasn’t supposed to be 10 ft behind the house) control the traffic passing the house, than to wipe me off the road. If I hadn’t pulled over into the ditch, I would have been creamed by a house doing about 50 miles per hour! It took everything in my power not to raise my hand than give him the bird, but what would that have done anyway? Make cyclists look like a hot-headed cocky pricks and put us in a bad light. I know if ever someone gives me the finger (not that I've ever deserved it) I usually laugh and say, "Oh muffin, it's okay....". There are times for speaking your mind. But middle fingers accomplish little if anything more than make people angry. Show me your middle finger and I'll pat my shoulder and offer it to you for a good cry cry. Muffin.

9 comments:

Smudgemo said...

I'll bet if you get yourself a sturdy but fast bike and put a rack on it, you'll never carry a backpack again.

Jerome said...

yeah, you're probably right. I've got that Bianchi with 700c X 28 tires on it, but I think I need to re-grease everything. Maybe a new chain too. I've riden it to work a few times and it just feels so stinken slugish. It's not a very heavy bike either, just slow feeling. Once I get some time I'm going to give it the once-over and we'll try her again. What bike do you ride again. I think you've mentioned it but I forget.

Doug said...

Jerome, I used to wear a backpack when I lived 4 miles from work. Then 4 years ago I moved and the commute became 6 miles. Too me that was too far to wear a backpack. I've used the rack ever since. Google "Old Man Mountain Racks". They make high quality racks for bikes that weren't made with rack eyelets and bikes with full suspension frames. I use two of their racks on my Pugsley for winter racing and expeditions. If you wanted too you could put one of their racks on the Allez. Although I'd recommend a sturdier bike as smudgemo did.

Jerome said...

Hey Doug thanks for the link. I checked out their site and some of the video clips up there are kind of wild. Can't say I've ever seen someone roughing up single track with front and rear panniers. I think you and Smudge offer sound advice on the sturdier bikes for sure. Road bikes are getting very specific now in their design, and the old Allez, no matter how hard I try to make it otherwise, was made for road rides at a good clip, with little more than a seat-wedge bag and 2 water bottles. I think I'd be best just to get some time into the Bianchi and get her all cleaned up and commission that stead for the commute. All though Vik did bring over one of his recumbent bikes last night and we went for an hour long ride, and that has certainly peeked my interested. So many bikes, some many choices....so much fun! Cheers.

Smudgemo said...

I'm commuting on a semi-custom Steelman CC, which is a somewhat less racy and more beefy version of his Eurocross. It's a fabulous bike, but I sure didn't buy it to be a dedicated commuter. I had it on hand and my wife said better to use it and risk theft than let it collect dust because I bought a Crosscheck or something. Bikes like your Allez are where things have trended in the bike world, and are not intended to do much beside go fast. If those seat stays are carbon, I wouldn't even put a rack on them, much less any weight. I'm really high on steel bikes, especially for commuting. My parts pick isn't super-heavy, but it is durable for most anything I want to do, yet light enough for just riding.
Maybe the Bianchi would feel faster with a different stem and some fit repositioning? I don't know a lot about fork geometry, but a slightly different fork could change things up.

Jerome said...

Thanks for the imput Smudge. I do plan on dialing the Bianchi in a bit better. I'm totally with you and the steel is real thing. I love the feel of steel. I'm actually thinking of getting a recumbent bike. Seriously thinking about it. If that's the case, the Allez might disappear and I might have more time and $$ to focus on the big B.

Smudgemo said...

A recumbent with a fairing would be a super-fast commuter for your long distance.

Jeff said...

My very first thoughts upon waking for a bicycle commute are, "Am I crazy? I'm so tired...". It's hard to get motivated at that hour. Once you start pedaling though, you realize you made the right choice.

Cool picture!

Jerome said...

Jeff you're right. I always end up asking the question 'why am I the only one out here doing this' when I'm riding to work. The payoff for early rising is huge when you're on your bike. Cheers.