Sunday, October 2, 2011

Discretion is the better part of valor

The seasons just changed here. Thursday was fine and sunny and warm--almost hot. Friday we looked out and saw a wall of clouds coming in from the west, and since then it's been overcast and cool and wet, alternating between drizzling and looking like it's gonna drizzle any second now.

Yesterday, acknowledging that a decade in Sacramento had made us soft, we went out and purchased some new rain gear that's supposed to breathe well while you're riding a bike. Today, I installed fenders on a couple of bikes.

I usually hate installing fenders--it seems that most fenders that are sold fit perfectly on some Platonic ideal of "bicycle," but simply don't work on a real bike. The fenders get bent in storage and only fit pretzel-shaped wheels, or don't attach to metric-threaded braze-ons, or occupy exactly the same space as the brakes (which would you rather have--brakes or fenders? Choose wisely). So, it took an hour and a half to drill the rivets out of the new fenders, bend a new piece of sheet aluminum, bolt it on, trim away several cm of the fender, bend the fender stays, zip-tie things down--and gouge out a chunk of my left 2nd finger--before I had functional fenders for my recumbent. The tandem was much easier. The Bike Friday people are engineers, and their stuff is perfectly set up. So, twenty minutes and everything is done.

New fenders, new rain gear, we girded up our loins, we screwed our courage to the sticking-place, we looked at the weather radar, we looked out the window...and decided to give it a miss. We will have other opportunities to ride in the rain, I'm sure.

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