Monday, January 28, 2013

Almost done with add-ons for Big Blue!

"Big Blue", the cow-catcher, and me.
You read right, folks!  I recently added a massive Wald 157 front basket to Big Blue.  It's been awesome on one hand and kind of a burden (no pun intended) on the other.  Starting from a dead stop can be a pain in the ass and having to slow down to a crawl on campus avoiding people vacuously gawping at their iDoohickey is a major hassle since I start to lose balance and front wheel goes all wobbly.  Riding home from the grocery store with a full load (front and back) on Nacogdoches' crappy sidewalks isn't terrible (except for the tools who pull out too far forward in drive ways with their giant gas guzzlers).  My bike has gotten significantly heavier as well, which I don't mind too terribly truth be told.  I also have to figure out where to put my front light, since the handlebars are no longer a viable option.  If I try to rig it to the basket I can't get the correct angle to illuminate the road, if I have it on the handlebars the light gets dispersed by the basket itself.  I've seen some DIY LED tire lights which seem kind of cool but I'm not sure I want ground effects on Big Blue (Not really my style).

On the plus side, having this much cargo space allows me to haul a lot of groceries or whatever junk I need.  The added weight makes the bike ride like a tank.  I feel like I get a smoother cruise and if I'm zipping down Mound St (at a breakneck 15mph, lookout!) I get no front shimmy or vibrations.  Sure I have to take wider turns but I'm used to that already.  Oddly enough the added weight has made me a little bit more comfortable with biking in traffic, not much but a little.

I only have a few more items to buy for the bike but the big stuff is out of the way.  I found a cool upright bell and some cork grips (the foam grips I have get disgusting with sweat, I can't imagine how foul they will be come August).  I permanently mounted my back light a few weeks ago (I felt pretty proud of myself even though it was fairly simple).  Found a pretty awesome Two-Tone checkered helmet.  Also came across a company that makes bike decals so I might get some made up.  Went to the doctor today (nothing serious, just getting more pills) and I've lost almost ten pounds (I had to laugh and say, "Where?" It's the first time I've been below 200lb in years) and my blood pressure is getting significantly lower than the "How are you not dead?!?" stage.  I am also proud to admit that I've barely been using first gear, except for one or two of the hills around campus.  I mainly keep it in third and use second for some inclines.  Damn it, am I getting in shape?

So give me a wave (or don't hit me with your car or honk at me) if you see me out and about.  I might look angry but that's my concentrating face (unless some troglodyte in a motor vehicle agitates me because they don't know how to commit to a turn or use turn signals or are texting while eating a bowl of cereal and fixing their hair or honk at me when I'm stopped at an intersection, in that case I'm probably angry).  Ride safe and be well.

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