Showing posts with label rain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rain. Show all posts

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Well Lookie What I Found!

I found something good last week. More on that in a minute. First, a couple of other things.

I need to re-post or cross-post or whatever they call it with this:

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Saw it on Abandoned Stuff by Saskboy and felt compelled to share.

Secondly, I wanted to say a little something about street riding in the rain. I find riding in the rain very pleasant, excepting the times that temperatures are around freezing. At those times I would rather have snow. Even when the rain is cold, however, I really like that all vehicles make lots of wheel / road noise.

I mean, I don't care if your brand spankin' new scooter or car is powered by 100% baby smiles with a backup battery fuelled by nothin' but good vibes, if it has wheels, I will hear it coming in the rain. I like that. I also feel like I'm going faster than I really am in the rain. Don't know why. Anybody else feel that way?

Now, to my originally stated business. I pulled a bike out of somebody's trash last week, intending to cannibalize it for the nice fenders and rack it had. Turns out, though, that it is way too nice for that. I put air in the tires, and despite dried out sidewalls, they are holding nicely. Doing nothing else to it, I took it for a ride and was shocked. Brakes, well tuned! Shifting, just fine and limiters set correctly! Wheels true and spinning nicely! Holy crap!

Mrs. Rantwick has not been riding much, partly because she desires a bike we didn't have until now, a nice simple upright commuter. A "ladies" or "beautiful godzilla" (see BSNYC for definition) kind of bike. The kind of bike The Other Other Other Woman might ride. There's some rust and some scratches I need to clean up as best I can, but I got a perfectly good bike straight out of somebody's garbage! Woohoo!

Here are the tantalizing details:

Frame: Steel, Mixte
Wheels: 27" I think, tire markings long gone.
Gears: 7 sp Suntour on rear, single chainring up front.
Year: No Clue. Help if you can.
Made in Canada, Brand I've Never Heard Of

Now here are the tantalizing photos:


Have any of you ever heard of some "Aleigh" bicycle brand? After exhaustive Internet research, I am still totally stumped. So not only is this thing perfect for Mrs. Rantwick, it is some rare "Aleigh" bicycle I have never heard of! Insane!

Yer Pal,

PS - Commenters informing me that the bike is a Raleigh will be hunted down and pestered verbally for thinking me that kind of stupid. Thinking me all other kinds of stupid is fine.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Onions, Heavy Rain and Traffic Snarls - What Could Be Better?

Last week, I had a super ride home. I always enjoy my rides, but this was extra good, because the weather and the traffic were really bad. Allow me to explain. Shortly before the end of my work day, thunder rolled and the skies opened up. A really nice woman in my office came by just as I was getting off the phone with my wife. She looked out the window and said, "so is your wife picking you up?" I said, "no way! I didn't build up my bike with full fenders only to miss out on a really good rain!" She noticed a bag of onions I had bought as part of a fundraiser (yes, onions) and said, "but how are you going to get those home?" I told her they would fit in one of my panniers, so all was well. Then, in her most motherly and caring voice, she said, "but you'll get wet onions!" I gave her a look, at which point she realized what she had said, turned, and walked away shaking her head. I started my ride in a great mood.

Now, I had promised my wife I could be home by 5, because she had an appointment and I needed to be home with the kids so she could make it. I had 25 minutes to make it home, which was fine because my shortest route takes about 20. It was raining hard, but warm. My bike was performing perfectly with its fenders, mud flap and truly waterproof panniers. I was pretty happy.

When I got onto the streets, I found that for some reason beyond the usual construction the traffic was horrible... which was great! In the videos that follow, you will hear my mental soundtrack as I rolled along. If my mental soundtrack sounds terribly corny or campy, it is because I have spent months re-training my brain to only use royalty-free music that won't get blocked or removed by video sharing web sites. Yes, I have given up playing good mind music for the sole purpose of creating honest online video. Pity me, because I really like good music.

Passing right by frustrating, time-wasting traffic jams is one of bicycle commuting's greatest pleasures... I was elated. North/South traffic was at a crawl on every major street. Here's the lineup heading South on Wellington at Grey St:

And on Carfrae, where I myself turned south, even more fun!

You know that van that I think was trying to pinch me? No word of a lie, as I snuck past him, my rear tire pinged a small stone off his hubcap as though my bike was ticked off too and had found a way to express itself. Never have so many small things come together to make riding in traffic so much fun.

I don't know how many cars I left behind on this particular ride. I do know that had I been in one, getting home by 5 as promised would have been utterly impossible. Most days, I can't quite keep up with cars. On that day, however, not only did being on a bike pay off in all the usual ways, but it got me home with one minute to spare. And, in case you were wondering, my Vidalias stayed perfectly dry.

Try it; You'll Like It.