Monday, December 16, 2013

Ice covered and slippery

I've been running some since the 5 miler I ran on Thanksgiving.  It's fun to get back into it, even if it means getting out of bed at 4:30.  I'm not my usual regular self (six mile runs, four to five days a week before children) but I am developing a habit.  That said, I seem to be checking out the cycling conditions while running.  Today looked like a studded snow tire kind of day.  Sidewalks were treacherous (sort of, but only if you weren't careful) and the bike path was snow covered and slippery. A local rider agreed about the proper tires:
That's not what is keeping me off my bike, however.  It's the sloppiness of the roads - salt ready to corrode my frame and all of my components.  So I'm looking for a cheap bike to get me to the T.  I'll use battery powered lighting since my commute would be largely bike path, and short enough to walk home if the lights failed me (read: I may forgot to charge them).  My wife offered her ancient Miyata, which sees very little use these day.  But even with that bike, I need clean roads and paths unless I get more appropriate tires.  The temperature is fine for me, if I dress well.

In other news, I've been working very slowly on getting my Independent Fabrication road bike ready for next year.  I've been thinking of two things, longer rides in changing conditions and lighting.  For the latter, I now have an identical headlight (Busch and Muller Lumotec IQ CYO 60 lux) on both bikes and have a Busch and Muller Secula Plus ready to mount on the IF.  The front fender is currently off the bike, since the longer break bolt (through the fork) to accommodate the headlight mount is too wide to fit the daruma.  So I now have an L bracket that I need to mount.  I also have a new set of leather washers, which I will replace all around (3 years seems to be their lifetime).  I also will finally cut the fender stays, which weren't cut by the folks who originally mounted them (and I had to remount them to lift them off the fork, where they were grinding into the paint - ouch!).  Once all of this done I have to decide on how to power these lights.  At a minimum, I will be moving the Shimano E80N/Mavic Open Pro wheel from my Surly to the IF when I want lighting for that bike.  A second, more expensive option is move that wheel permanently to the IF and buy this slightly less expensive wheel from Harris.  For more money I could add the same 3N80/Open Pro wheel to the IF.  For even more money, I could have a Schmidt SON hub laced to a Mavic Open Pro rim.  That would best match the IF.  I would get it in black to sort of match the DT Swiss 240s hubs on the bike.  It would also be lighter and more efficient than the Shimano hub.  The goal here is safety.  With the rash of cars hitting bikes, I'd like anything to help the cars notice me.  I've been very happy using daytime running lights on Surly on my commutes into the city, with the sun shining or not.

Working on the front fenders stays is for aesthetics but the rear is so I could accommodate a rack, like this Tubus Fly.  Alternatively, I've also been thinking of a very large (in my experience, small in the maker's words) seat bag like this one from Dill Pickle.  Both would extend the kinds of days I could ride a longer distance.  We aren't talking 200KM rides but 60-70 miles in the Berkshires on a cooler day that would require more clothes at the start of the ride.  All of this is in the future but it's best to do it now, not a few days before I have the opportunity to ride some big hills next spring.

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