Monday, March 31, 2014

Into the desert

I took my husband to the desert I found when I got lost the other day. He thought it was great and I'm thinking we might take a picnic next time. I really like going for rides with him and I'm glad he's enjoying them too.
I think his bike looks naked with no baskets or a kickstand. He likes it that way though so any hauling will be done by Sylvia. I think they look good together, different yet complementary. It's a lot like us.

Sylvia looks skeptical about touching the tree.
The weather was perfect, nice and cloudy. We don't get many days like that here and I cherish every one. I hope it rains soon so we can go splash in the puddles together.

On the way home we saw this cool bridge. I know there's a bike lane on it, but there's also a ton of traffic. Maybe on day we'll ride on it instead of under it. It was a good ride.
Awesome bridge over the bike path.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

West end of the trail

My husband and I went on a fun ride together all the way to the west end of the bike path. It was the first time in years that we have ridden together and he said it was fun. We are definitely going out together again. I can't wait until they expand it and it goes further! I was proud of how my three speed and I could keep up with him! Of course he stayed behind me for most of it.
End of the road... For now.

Our goal was to go and get him a taller stem from B.I.C.A.S. but they were closed and wouldn't be open for hours.
It's a neat place that has all sorts of random bike stuff. Maybe next time we can get it. 

Let me in!

On the way home we found a mysterious door down a flight of steps. I love the bright orange paint and it really set my imagination off! I wonder where it leads...
The door to ?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Got the new pedals and my mirror installed!

My new pedals arrived yesterday and I had to try them out. They aren't as pretty as the originals, but I think they look good. I really like how they are curved instead of straight. The important thing is that they are really grippy and that was the goal. My only complaint is that they smell really strongly of rubber, it's like a giant tire is in the house. Thankfully the smell should fade soon.

After the pipe fiasco we went to Ajo bikes. I needed a piece so my rear view mirror could be mounted. They are my favorite bike shop, you can always find random small parts that no one else has. Thankfully they had the part and I also got the tiniest patch kit for my hidden bag. Now I can fit even more in there! Yay!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stupid Betty tricks

Here's a helpful tip. If your sink is draining slow and you have plastic pipes DO NOT pour boiling water down the drain to clear it. They can melt and then you have to replace them.
I did this on Monday and it sucked. Fortunately my husband came home as they melted and we were able to fix it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

114 mile review of my Linus Dutchi 3

It blows my mind that I've already gone over a hundred miles with Silvia, my new Linus Dutchi 3. Time is passing so fast and I figured now was a good time to right up a short term review. All the pictures were taken with my phone, it's just easier that way and I always have it with me. I do plan to do some beauty shots with her when it's not so windy outside.
Sylvia is the second brand new bike I've ever gotten and this was the first time I actually researched and tested multiple bikes before deciding on one. She was also the first bike I tried when the search started in January. I am super lucky that Transit Cycles opened in January!

First her pedals. I can't find out who makes them, but I fell in love with the grippy rubber on them. The pedals on Lucy had screw in spikes to hold your feet in place and they would cut you when they hit. These pedals hold my feet just as securely without the blood.
On the downside, the rubber is already wearing away and the metal is really slick. I've ordered a set of old style rubber block pedals to replace these.
The kickstand that came on her was junk. It was to short and had no stability to it. This one is the one I had on Lucy, it's an old cast alloy one that could take out a vampire. Simple and effective.

I love the rubber!
The paint paint is a shiny apple red and I love how some places are darker than others. It's most noticeable on the fenders and in the joints.
I was originally looking for a blue bike, but I chose her because they didn't come in red. A few days after I put the down payment on I got the email that they were now available in blue. It was too late though, I was already in love with her. Besides red bikes go faster.
I like how the welds have character too.

Bad close up of the pretty paint.
The brakes had very little stopping power at first, and since together we are pretty heavy, (she's 43 lbs) I was a bit worried.  A little love with an emery board and small knife gave them some grip. Now she stops like a champ.  
The original seat was not the most comfortable for me. It was too squishy and it pinched me on bumps. The frame on the sides wore a bit of skin off from friction, plus I got my first saddle sore ever. I tried other seats and have now settled on a Brooks B67 S. I'm glad Duncan could get it in so fast. It took barely a week after I ordered it. This seat went with Lucy and Dana likes it so far.                             

Pretty but pinchy. The bumper sticker says "Come to the darkside...we have cookies"
The grips are normally leather, but during the test rides I hated how plasticky they felt. I was very glad that Duncan from Transit Cycles traded them out for these cork ones from Velo Orange. I love these grips, they are firm with the right bit of softness. With these grips I don't have to wear gloves because my hands don't go numb. It's another get on and go feature I really appreciate!

These are the best grips I've ever used!

I love the chain guard and fenders that she came stock with. The first weekend I got her we had a storm so I had to try the fenders out. I splashed through every puddle I could find, many of them more than once. The fenders kept me dry and they don't rattle at all. 
The chain guard keeps my pants clean, although the very first time I test rode her my pants got stuck under it, it took me and Duncan a bit of work to get them free. I still haven't figured out how I did that.
I love the reflective strip on the tires, it really shines when any light hits it. It also makes it hard to take pictures with a flash. The tires roll well and are pretty cushy. They also grip the road and let me take fairly tight turns with ease. They are also the narrowest tire I've ever ridden on. 26" x 1.25". I run them at the highest pressure of 80 psi and they still smooth out the bumps in the road. If I line up the bumps right it's almost like what I remember riding a horse was like when I was a child. I got to go to camp.                            

So far I'm really happy with my choice. She's not fast, but then neither am I; we'll get faster together. I love the upright position and the internal gears, I'm really bad about remembering to shift before I stop. I love that I can just get on and go with no care for my clothes. I really love the easy on and off of the step through frame that doesn't aggravate my knee and lets me stop without a curb nearby.
She's a wonderfully solid ride and her weight gives her a stability I've never had on a bike before. It's enough to put crazy ideas in my head...

Eager to get going on one of our first adventures together.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Brooks first impressions and Lucy finds a home

I got my new saddle on and tried it out yesterday. It was a series of short rides while we adjusted it. All together they added up to just over 3 miles.
It looks so shiny and new! I'll fix that.

First impression is it's slick. My butt slid around like it was greased and the first ride it was pointed way to far down so I kept actually sliding off. It was a riot, but not very usable. 
The second ride we pointed it too high and it was actually painful due to a boo boo inflicted by the original saddle. I went home fast while learning how to pedal out of the seat.

I love the little strap holders!
On the third ride we almost had it right and I must say it was way more comfortable than I expected. It was still tilted up to much, but it really felt good.
The fourth ride was the best so far. The saddle is firm yet bouncy and I like it way more than the soft and pinchy one that came on Sylvia. I was worried because of all the horror stories I've read about Brooks saddles being uncomfortable for the first several hundred miles. So far I like it a lot. The only problem I have is how slick it is, but that will wear off with use. If it doesn't I've got sandpaper. I like how it feels solid under me and how the springs give on bumps. I love how the sides give way for my thighs, hopefully I can keep the skin there now and my pants will last longer! I'm really looking forward to riding again tomorrow.

While out looking for a piece for my mirror I ran into my brother and his family. They were looking for a bike for my sister-in-law Dana. I invited them to come see if Lucy will fit. Dana is taller than me so I had hopes.
It was love at first ride! The fit together really well and she even liked the paint job. I'm super happy that Lucy has a new home with someone who will actually use her and keep her safe in a garage. I will admit I was a bit jealous seeing how easily they fit, but I can't wait to hear about their adventures together.
Dana and Lucy, perfect for each other!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

We've gone 100 miles!

Once I got home yesterday I checked the computer. Sylvia and I have gone 100 miles in less than a month!
Most of it has been just tooling around getting to know each other, but I did take her on a couple of appointments and it was great. 
To celebrate the occasion here's a few pics of my sulcata tortoise Jane! Isn't she adorable?

When Jane's bigger I can take her to the park in a basket. I'm looking forward to many more adventures with Sylvia! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

At the Library

We arrived safe and sound at my appointment yesterday. Actually we got there early, I can't believe how fast it went. I got there in less than 20 minutes and then it took me about that long to lock her up. The lady I was meeting was running late so I took the time to get a new library card. I chose one with an adorable bobcat on it. Now I can borrow ebooks online for free, that should cut my spending in half!


The racks filled up fast and there were some really cool looking bikes. I really liked the trailer, it had 2 children in it. I wonder if my cats would like to ride in one, or maybe my dogs.


I love the yellow green color of the bike that parked next to me. 


Here's a view through the door.


It was a good appointment, I gave her some pointers about the website she's having built and she's interested in one of our marketing packages once it's done. I look forward to meeting with her again in a few months to see how she's doing. 
Now I'm off to get ready to ride to an appointment today. It's a bit further out and on a route I'm unfamiliar with, but never fear, I have 3 different maps in case I get lost.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Had fun getting lost today.

I decided to try to figure out how to get to an appointment I will have by bicycle. I even downloaded a map. It was going well and I was just cruising along, The main road was right next to me and I thought I knew where I was going. There was a split in the path and the map said "Slight left to stay on path" so I took the left side. I probably shouldn't have made that turn.

Right before the split. 

Suddenly I was in the desert!  It was great for about 2 miles, then it came to an intersection I know is way off course. So I turned around and headed back home.

A desert in the middle of town! 

On the way home I was startled by another cyclist who wanted a "bike five". I didn't understand what she wanted until it was to late. Sorry nice cyclist, I had my head in the clouds. I'll try to be ready when we meet again!
I'm going to try that route again after I get my new seat, it looked like it might wind through even more desert! I'll definitely take tons of water!
Tomorrow I get to ride to a different appointment, but I know exactly where that one is. Maybe I can get lost on the way home though.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Introducing Sylvia

Introducing my new bike! I got her late last month and so far we've been having a ton of fun together. She's a shiny red Linus Dutchi 3 in the small size. The shop I found her at had only just opened in January; I got totally lucky! It's a great little shop called Transit Cycles owned by a wonderful man named Duncan. He was great about switching out the leather grips she came with for cork ones and trading the rear rack she came with for a front one.  I didn't like the feel of the plasticky leather and the rear rack I had on Lucy can carry a lot more than the stock one. I'm really grateful that he was willing to make the changes for me! He even swapped out the brown seat for a black one so it would match. 

On Saturday we get to go in for a check up and I feel a little guilty, but I'm getting a Brooks B67 S saddle for her. So far we've only gone on short rides, but I can't seem to get comfortable on this one. I tried the Terry saddle I had and it was awful. The more upright positioning made it rub in all the wrong places if you know what I mean. Then I tried a Forte saddle that was for upright bikes. It felt like it was punching my bum with every bump. That was FUN! So I put the original saddle back on. I just hope the Brooks works for me.
The only other adjustment I've made so far is the kickstand. The one she came with was too short and felt flimsy. Conan my big kitty rubbed against the bike and she went crashing down. Now I get to find touch up paint, but thankfully no one else was injured. Who knew a 16 year old cat could move that fast. She now has the sturdy kickstand off Lucy and the cats love rubbing on her tires when I get home. 
I also got a new helmet to replace the one I cracked when I fell over on Lucy. 

So far I've been having to much fun riding her and she is my excuse for not blogging like I should. ;)