Tuesday, July 28, 2009



I squeezed in a 22 mile ride after work today. Went up the really stinky North Shore Trail again up into Evanston. It really, really smells like ripe and mildly toxic sewage anywhere within about 15' of the Chicago River. Way to go Chicago! At least we send it out to those poor saps downstream of us, misery loves company as they say.

Rode into downtown Evanston and stopped at Turin, as I like to stop at a LBS anytime I pass by one and just pop in, pick up something cheap, etc. I discovered while buying a tube there that Turin joins Rapid Transit in Wicker Park in having the distinction of the most expensive tubes I've ever bought. Not $5, not $6, but $7 for a regular 700c/23-25 tube! I mean, REALLY! How can the same thing be $5 at Boulevard Bikes, $4 at Smart Bike Parts on Armitage and need to be $7 at these places? Methinks I shall abstain from shopping at Turin in the future. Tubes are not a luxury item, they are like oxygen to a cyclist (or beer). Anyway, I got my 22 miles in.

Also, I spent the weekend in Madison, WI and enjoyed riding about 85 miles in 2 days on the bike-tastic paths that the city is infested with. It was like shock treatment coming back to the streets of Chicago. Oh Madison, why can't you not be a frozen wasteland in the winter, I love thee in the spring/summer! While there I popped into Cronometro and had the pleasure of being entertained by the owner Colin for a good 15-20 minutes as he showed my wife and I around the shop, discussed the fitting process, Seven and Serotta bikes, etc. etc. A VERY nice guy and a perfect example of what a small bike shop owner should be like, i.e. FRIENDLY! Anyone could be your next customer. And while Cronometro may have $7 tubes as well (I didn't check, but I like to think not), greeting someone in a friendly manner and taking the time to give them a nice shop tour even when they say they are just there to look around would make such things go down a lot smoother. I'm not sure when I'm going to get around to buying a new bike in the $4,000 to $12,000 range, but when I do, that place will be a the top of my list. Thanks Colin!

If you are all carbon-fibered out from Le Tour, here is a little old-fashioned racing to cleanse the palate:

Finally, I'm seriously considering going ahead and building up a 29er bike. I keep thinking about doing more of that riding. I'm now online browsing and early-lusting, we'll see where it goes. Could be fun for some fall trail riding and also really handy for the deepest armpit of winter as I don't think my big ice tires will fit on my Surly Pacer very well, but they'd go swimmingly on a 29er frame. We shall see!

And finally-finally, my other developing lust is for putting together a S and S coupled bike. They had an incredible Seven Alaris at Cronometro with that setup and my wife was being a super sweet enabler and telling me how I had to get one. She is really good for being the "just do it" devil (or angel depending on your point of view) on my shoulder when it comes to not prudent purchases, god bless her! Anyway, I think I'll manage to hold off on that insanity for a while, but it got me thinking about doing that to my Paramount frame. Waterford Cycles, where I was planning on sending that thing for the beauty treatment, does the retrofits and I could also have it done by Bilenky Cycles in PA, which is perhaps the leading retrofitter of this setup. If you do not know what I'm talking about, click here. The idea of having a regular sized suitcase to take on trips is pretty awesome to me. I hope to be doing more and more bikeable travel in the coming years, and I think the Paramount was coming in at just over 20 lbs. with a pretty heavy set of wheels and pedals, so I think it'd make a pretty swell sub-40 lb. suitcase bike. We'll see on that one too. Probably at least several months away no matter what, but my interest is piqued!

No comments: