Musings on Bicycling and Buddhism

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Minimalist; Fully Loaded

After hearing a car commercial for a fully loaded (V-8, turbo-charged, can talk to facebook, navigate, tell you pi to the four thousandth decimal place, do calculus whilst at a stop light, leather seats, speakers galore!, render you so spoiled you don't have to even think! its drives itself! and it gets 31 miles per gallon on the highway! can you believe it! (there are plenty of cars that do better than that with city driving, not to mention highway....)) vehicle I thought, with what is Charlie fully loaded?

Fully loaded with 2 wheels, 2 pedals, one saddle, one gear, and a girl who pedals! This bicycle is so efficient it runs on vegetables! you never have to fill it up at the gas station, it goes until the girl can't pedal anymore! Minimalist, fully loaded.

Well Charlie has other features, such as his bell with a pterodactyl on it (with which we attempt to communicate with pedestrians), sparkly blue handlebar grips, a lovely Brooks saddle (B17), vintage (and not matching) Campagnolo basket (toe-clip) pedals, vintage Motob├ęcane crankset (probably from the bottom of a spare parts pile), Shimano front caliper breaks, coaster break in the rear, aluminum wheels (front is quick release), Gatorskin tyres. He has some blinky lights as well, and race blades (think fenders with commitment issues) by Planet Bike. I am Charlie's engine and I am powered by vegetables.

There was an ingenious chart showing the relative fuel economies from bicycles to airplanes which I will endeavor to find, the maker converts energy units across the board, and bicycles end up being the most efficient form, now to find that clever chart....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Old roads, memory lane....

Charlie and I took the old road home on Sunday. We came back from my sister's home in Waltham along memory lane, my old commute route from Waltham. It was glorious in the sun and the miles went by like a dream of summer in winter.

Its a steady downhill grade as you go east (nothing you really notice unless you spent half the winter biking west home to that then slight-uphill-the-whole-way, with a north/west wind bearing down on you at more than 20mph when its only 17 degrees outside (or sometimes 14) and your eyes are about ready to fall out of your head from having the tears freeze dried away and by the time you get home they ache and blinking feels like sandpaper, even though you have eye protection....). It felt so easy, the last times I rode this route were in the deep cold and this felt like all my dreams from that time come true.

I still remembered each hole in the road, found some new ones, was delighted by some repairs that had occurred. I bike about a hundred miles a week even now so I took the miles in stride. We stopped off along Memorial Drive to see the nice people with the bike fix cart to use their floor pump (Farina's in Watertown Square doesn't have a floor pump you can use, what's the deal with that?) to top off the pressure I couldn't get much higher with my hand pump that I always have with me....

Sometimes the things that seemed so hard before aren't anymore b/c you've changed. Its only been a little over a year but life is so different and so much the better.

and on the 18th this blog had its one year anniversary!:)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Charlie!

Happy Birthday Charlie!

We've spend 1 year and ~3,772 miles together.

For his birthday Charlie got a new front wheel (aluminum, quick release, and hand built (not by me, I don't have those kinds of ninja skills yet)) and a new chain.

Keep on rolling young man....
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Tour de What You Will by Jessie Calkins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License