Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lucy's New Look

Today was the test of Lucy's new handlebars and index shifters. I think it went great. The handlebars are Wald 8095 and are northroad style. They were really comfortable and my hands didn't go numb at all. The backward sweep put my hands in a very natural position that didn't strain my wrists and their being slightly lower helped to take a lot off my poor abused butt. I also love the look of them on her and they add a touch of elegance to my ride. They still keep me in a fairly upright position so I can look around and see everything.The curves will let me stretch out more and go a tiny bit lower if I want and are comfortable to hold. The only downside is I need to get a new mirror. Mine now only gives me a lovely view of my backside now.
The shifters are shimano tourney and will take some getting used to, but they worked great and shifted smoothly. All I'd ever used before were grip shifters so clicking the levers was a lot of fun. I kept shifting and they didn't skip of jerk. The left one for the front derailer will take the most getting used to because it takes a few clicks to make it shift. It's made that way so you can make micro-adjustments to stop chain rub. That doesn't seem like it will be an issue and I rarely shift that one anyway.
This was the most comfortable ride yet and the new bars made all the difference. Perhaps tomorrow I'll try them without the hated padded gloves.
Happy Easter!

Looking ready to roll.

Begging to be ridden

Her new bell looks elegant and has a great tone.

New baskets make here ready to carry anything.

A nice and smooth sweep back

The neighborhood cats approve of her new look.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Husband The Easter Bunny

Because I've been riding almost every day my husband took me shopping today. First we went to BICAS. It's a great place that has a ton of used bike parts and bikes. Sadly, the handlebars I found were attached to a bike. I didn't need another bike so I passed on them.

Neat cactus sculpture out of bike parts.

Down the ramp we went.

The man at BICAS sent us to another shop but they didn't have any either. It was starting to look like there weren't any to be found. That shop sent us to a third shop and we hit pay dirt! Ajo Bikes was great!
They had exactly the bars I wanted. Wald 8095. They're going on her along with the new index shifters tonight. We also got her a new bell that was clearance so today was great.
Also the baskets I ordered came in today so it's going to be a busy night! I hope these handlebars help with my hands going numb, that would be great!

The bars and shifters along with another pair of locking skewers to try.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Great Short Ride!

Today's ride was short because I'm still a bit blah, but I think I'm almost over it. I always get sick at the change of the seasons and it sucks but there's nothing I can do and I'll live.
It was great to get out and about, I really am enjoying riding again after being off her for so long. I can't wait to be able to go further and longer. I'm so glad I dug her out and shined her up, she's really shining me up in the process. It's a win!
I found a great site that made it easy to know how high to set my new seat. The height it told me felt perfect and even though my butt is still sore (will it ever get used to riding again?) it felt really comfortable.  Here's a link to the site:
I was a little surprised to learn that Lucy is actually to big for me, but only by 1". If she were a road bike she would be perfect though so I wonder if her being a hybrid makes a difference in sizing. She feels great so I wonder what a proper fitting bike would feel like. Down that road lies madness and poverty. ;)
With the seat at the suggested height I can still reach the ground with my tippy toes and it feels like she's a lot more stable. I always had it lower and you'd think that would feel safer but this just feel right. I've bookmarked the site.
I may need to raise the handlebars to be more upright, but I would need to get cables first so that will wait. I might actually get new bars if I can find any I like. I've never been fond of her flat riser bar, it makes my hands go numb and hurts my wrists if I ride too long. I would love a moustache or northroad style on her. I think they look great and the extra hand positions would really be nice.

Pretty flowers growing by the road.

You miss so much if you go fast.

This is the first red one I've seen. The ones close to home are silver. I think it looks great and really stands out!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Great Way To Start The Day!

I've never used a saddle this small before and it was interesting! We went for a short ride today because that's all I could handle. I'm still a little scratchy but I had to try out the new saddle.
So far it's about as comfortable as my old one, but I need to make some adjustments. I raised it half an inch when I installed it but I need to raise it more and adjust the tilt a bit down.
I'm amazed that it felt as good as it did with it not being adjusted correctly and not broken in. I can't wait to see how it does later on when it's properly set up and the leather has softened a bit.
It was a short trip, but we made it to the local park and that was a great place to take a break. The grass is starting to turn green and it was beautiful out. I really like this park because of the colorful tables and how clean the neighbors keep it. It's a great place to sit and read in nice weather.

Remember this table from this post?

I only had to stop once on the way back to catch my breath and this lovely bench was there for me. I like how the color sets off Lucy's deeper blue.

A nice place to watch traffic go by.

When I got home Princess was waiting to tell on the other cats and demanding to know where I had been. She also wanted more kibble now!
It was a great way to start my day!

It's good to come home to a smiling face, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Look What Came In The Mail Today!

My new saddle is here! I can't wait to try it out tomorrow!

Shiny and new!

Look how small it is compared to my old one! I hope I fit on it!

It changes her whole look! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

No Ride Today.

We didn't go out today because I woke up with a sore throat. It sucks, but I'm staying home and drinking lots of tea. If I feel better I will give Lucy a bath.
For now I'm going to watch The Hobbit and maybe take a nap. Have a great day!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hurray! I Went Over Two!

Today was great! Nothing failed and I rode until my butt couldn't take it any more.
The air was crisp and flowers urges me on to go. This was the best ride yet!

Our shadows are ready to roll!

Cat thinks we're nuts!

A neat divider that tells you what direction you're coming from.

Flowers growing wild by the road.

This wall is painted these colors. They did a great job!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Joe Weider Has Passed at 93

He was a mentor to millions and a nice man to boot. My thoughts are with his family.

Another Beautiful Day, Another Skewer Failure

It was a good ride, but I don't think the locking skewers are going to work out. Once again I stopped, this time to take a pic of this neat mailbox and the tire slipped.

I had the tool with me and fixed it and all was fine until I stopped again for this cool railroad mailbox. So I fixed it again.

I was only a couple of blocks from home so I walked Lucy just in case. That's when I saw this cool radiator mailbox.

Riding my bike is helping me see so many cool and interesting things and I'm going places that I would never walk to. I would never walk through alleys because you never knew what might be in them, now I just zip right through. I'm finding pockets in my own neighborhood I never knew existed! It's fantastic!
Once I got home I took the locking skewers out and compared them to my quick release ones. The gripping part of the Forte skewers is much smaller and it's just a ridged washer made of aluminum. It's not steel on that part and doesn't have much texture to it. They are going back to the store tomorrow, it's to bad I tossed the receipt but at least I'll get store credit. 
On a happier note I ordered the saddle and it should be here Wednesday or Thursday! I can't wait to try it out!

Fun At The Track

Yesterday we went and watch my sister-in-law run for her school. It was tons of fun and I got sunburned. Maybe now I'll get a tan!
Her school won most of the events and wow is she fast! I really hope she stays with it next year when she goes to middle school.
Her twin brother had to stay on class while we were there. Poor guy missed a great time with lots of energy. Maybe next time!
There's just something about watching our youngsters running that inspires me. It gives hope.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

That Was Fun(ny)!

I took yesterday off from the bike and my butt felt much better for it. Today's ride started out great. I saw the beautiful gate. Waved to my neighbors as we flew by and it was tons of fun.

I like it!
About a mile from home I saw this inviting alley and had to go down it. There were lots of dogs behind the walls. Nothing like phantom dogs to make you pick up speed fast! I left the nice alley behind, but we will be back!

It's almost a paved!
Laughing at myself and enjoying the breeze we pulled over to a curb to get a drink. So far this was the best ride yet! The air was crisp, Lucy was rolling great and it was perfect. A pigeon yelled for us to move on so I mounted up couldn't go anywhere.
Lucy wouldn't move.  I was worried that I had broken her and almost freaked out. I'm not a small woman, I'm short at 5'2" but hefty at around 250lbs so it is possible for me to break things if I'm not careful.
Then I noticed the problem. Her rear wheel was rubbing the frame and had wedged there, it had come unseated and was not going to move. My husband had  fitted her with locking skewers so when I am able to go to the store I wouldn't worry about her tires being stolen. I guess they weren't on quite tight enough and bouncing out of the alley had shaken the tire loose. I'm glad it happened when I stopped. It could have ended in a crash and damage to me, Lucy and whatever I hit!

Wheels don't go like that!

I reached into my pocket and didn't find the tool to fix the wheel. Silly me, I didn't have the tool with me to unlock it and reset the wheel. I had left it at home on a bookcase. 
For want of a tiny tool, that is now on my keychain, I had the dubious pleasure of carrying Lucy home. 

This now lives on my keychain!

Thank goodness it was less than a mile, and that alley had put us closer to home. We must have been a sight, me marching stoically while carrying my fallen steed across my chest. She isn't light and weighs about 35 lbs. Once I get the folding baskets I ordered she'll be even heavier so I'm glad it happened now. I have learned an important lesson, always have at least a mini-tool with me! And when you get something that fits on your keychain it does so for a reason, put it there!

On the plus side I got to tinker with her a little more and I had forgotten just how much fun that can be.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Second Ride

I took the pedals off another bike and put them on Lucy so my shoes won't slip. I've always liked these pedals a lot but the bike i had then on was too tall for me, even though I rode it for 10 years before I got Lucy. Her name is Zipper and I still love her, but rarely ride her.

Don't they look nice!

Today's ride was not as nice as yesterday's. The weather was beautiful, the birds were singing, the sun was shining through the clouds in a nice hazy way. It was picture perfect out, a great day.

Nice and hazy! I see fingers!

Great big tree! I wish the sunrise came out better.

But my butt hurts. As soon as it touched the saddle I wanted off. Hard to believe that the short ride yesterday was the cause but it was. I was all over the seat today trying to get comfortable and after a mile I gave up. Now it hurts just to sit on a chair so I must be doing something right.
I plan to do it again tomorrow with hopefully better results.
Come payday I'm ordering a saddle that will hopefully work. It's the Terry Liberator X. It's got to be better than the 5 year old Bell saddle from Walmart I'm using now. Until then I'm going for the pain.
The feeling of freedom is to good to give up just because my butt hurts. Besides if I can't sit down I may get more housework done. It's a win win.

Monday, March 18, 2013

My First Bike Ride in Over A Year

It's hard to believe it's been over a year since I last rode Lucy or any bike. I had even sold my stationary one to try to save my salon. Good thing I'd been going for walks.
I was cleaning up the storage and found poor Lucy neglected. She was covered in dust and shrouded in cobwebs. Her tires were flat and she was a shadow of herself.

Can you see the web?

Lots of dust!

It took two days to clean her up and get her functional again but it was worth it. She shines like the star she is.

All clean and ready!

I took her out to see how she handled this morning and it was great. Only a few things need tweaking. I was only going to go for a mile, but ended up going a mile and a half.
For the first quarter I didn't think my knee would take it. It felt tight and painful, as though the tendons would break. Then suddenly it relaxed and felt better than it has in a long time.
We went slow at an average speed of 8 mph, but it felt like flying and I was grinning like an idiot. Every time we hit a bump her bell chimed in joy and I would smile harder.
I didn't want to go home, but my butt was starting to hurt and the rear brake was squealing a bit.
Today I'm going to make a few adjustments and tomorrow I'm going to do it again! I can't wait!