Today I took Ralph’s bike to Aberdeen and back – kinda twice, but not really because the first time was aborted partway through due to technical problems with the bike and I ended up needing to text someone for a ride so I’d make my commitment on time. I was using Ralph’s bike because a friend is borrowing mine to see how well it will work for her and her kidlets, and this is awesome, because one thing I’d love to proselytize regarding and spread around is the love of cargo/kiddo bikes.
Back to my misadventures, I guess I hate fixing things. Or rather, I’d likely adore it if I didn’t have a lot of other things I consider important and many distractions. See it seems making repairs or changes requires the right kind of tools and a need for an open schedule. Like today all I wanted to do was lower the seat (which by the way is this leathery, narrow little Ass-Punisher), and fix the mirror stem. I ran into problems in both cases (and have a badly-bruised knuckle to boot) and it took longer and was a bigger pain than I thought it would be. But at least I got it done and even upgraydded to a lever-release seat clamp that I’m thinking Ralph will find more handy.
Later in the day I finally made it to Aberdeen and back by pedal-power and I’m glad I made it happen. It was a lovely day and, later, evening for a ride – quite a temperature drop in a few hours but a good Washingtonian, I was prepared with layers. The trip home was dark; we’d loaned our bike light to our friend so I was extra careful. About Myrtle and Cherry I perceived a doe and her little baby deer and I felt a little jolt of pleasure at their night forms, no one else out to see. But as I approached the mother sprang away from her fawn and to my distress she ran away from me while the youngling resolutely ran in front of me, their distance from one another increasing rapidly. I decided there was nothing to do but race faster than the baby deer, which worked. And yes I kind of imagined myself a cheetah. This was made all the more fun by listening to Heart at volume 11 in my ears.
It was a lovely lovely night for a ride.
Tomorrow is Ralph and my 10th anniversary! And no, we are not doing anything special! I have, like, seven dollars to my name! But I am incredibly grateful to have my partner and our history together. “With some complaints” we’ve been awesome parents and friends (to one another, and to others).
Ten years, holy shit.
Congrats on ten years. I just celebrated the same a couple of months ago. We got our first vacation since our honeymoon, kinda in your part of the country; we wanna move to WA now.
Racing a deer with your heart and your Heart pumping?! Epic.
“…the seat (which by the way is this leathery, narrow little Ass-Punisher)”
Hilariously on point! My own seat isn’t quite so bad but it still hurts my ass so bad that I bought one of those gel ‘slipcovers’ to go over it for padding. Who in their right mind thinks that those unpadded, narrow seats are really a good design idea?
“Ten years, holy shit.”
Congrats! I felt that way when we hit 15 years back in May. Hard to believe. Even if you’re not doing anything special, take a few moments for just the 2 of you. I wish you guys many, many more wonderful years together.
OK- I’ll bite as a reader who likes a skinny hard bike seat and I’ll tell you why: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuberosity_of_the_ischium
For me as I started biking, especially on rides of 10 miles or more, everywhere my body connected with the seat was sore. I used to have a regular seat and noticed the discomfort. Hubby said, “Oh, you might try a padded seat, that should do the trick.” Much worse. So now I have a seat that is kind of skeletal and after getting used to the initial shock of having such awareness of the sitz bones as they rest on the hard seat, I have much less or none of that other discomfort.
Also, with the skinny seat and the seat post raised as high as my legs can healthily stretch, I feel my ride is much more efficient. It’s as if I am in a posture that is more of an extension of the machinations of the bicycle than bike and rider. It actually feels like less work and I think reminds me of a more mindful abdominal/pelvic posture for biking as well.
Oh, you should move to Washington! I was discussing a very-local controversy and I realized, I have never loved living here more. It’s so beautiful and wild but also silly and urban in places and silly and provincial in others. Congratulations on your anniversary, by the way!
You too, congratulations on your anniversary! My favorite moment from yesterday might have been when I said, “Hey rock star, you going to do anything about this kitchen?” while he was playing guitar. YES marriage is lovely, but sometimes things come out of our mouths that are, well, I dunno.
Re: bikes and sizing/fit.
Funny you’d bring up the seat as it came up again yesterday. I’ve gotten used to many types of seats on several bikes, and yesterday afternoon I asked Terry at the bike shop if it’s a matter of just getting used to the seat (as my husband did for this particular one) or if one is wiser to make changes or else risk damage (for instance, one ardent cyclist I knew had the hard seat but couldn’t feel comfy, he ended up getting a fancy one with a hole in the middle for his man-batch, and I can’t remember the humorous name the seat had). Terry said a few things to the effect of, you may get used to it and be fine, but that everyone has different anatomy and different uses (and he said, “women have wider hip bones”, yeah yeah I hear you buddy). He also said that if I ever swapped seats I could return one if it didn’t feel right after a break-in period, as long as I didn’t bang it up or anything. P.S. I love my local bike shop.
He also recommends the post raised such that when your leg is extended there is a slight bend to the knee, not perfectly straight. I know that for kids, people often have the opposite set-up from a stretched leg – a seat low enough they can put their feet flat or near flat on the ground, so during their ride their knees are always in flexion – my guess is this configuration means people often feel safer at a stop position. With my kids and others, biking with them, and in one case when I rode a too-short seat for a long distance, I saw a directly how having an overly-bent knee tires one out quickly! This is one reason we upgraydded Phoenix to a grownup-size bike although she is perhaps one inch too short (that’ll change soon). She bikes further regularly and without complaint. Her previous bike was simply too small and too much work. Oh and had no gears.
Ralph’s bike has a frame about 3″ too large, but since the most I’m doing is eight or so miles a day, and I’m not really hoofing it, I seem fine. I do a little stretching more, is all.
That was a GREAT clip, thank you. Holy cow looking through anniversary ecards so many of them were dark, dark, dark! Thanks for posting something nice.
It’s one of my favorite movies (Gross Pointe Blank if ya didn’t know) and any time anyone mentions “10 years”, that scene instantly pops into my head. So I had to share. Glad you liked it.