Wobbly start

The year has gotten off to a wobbly start. Actually, it began last month with the breaking of the chain of consecutive workday bike commutes.

My weekly miles dropped precipitously, partly due to weather, partly due to holidays, and partly due to loss of steam. Oh, and there was a mechanical in there too.

On January 2nd, heavy snowfall caused me to turn around at the opposite corner of my block. I came home and called in. That was a first. I briefly considered buying a cheap 29er—I needed more float in the snow—but even a Bikes Direct one would be an expensive solution to a simple problem. Plus, where would I keep the thing in between the handful of rides where I’d use it?

On the following Monday, Mr Portland’s right shifter broke just as I was starting the ride home. While I had a spare lever at home already, what I didn’t have was replacement cables or bar tape. That meant that for the two “polar vortex” days (When did “cold snap” become insufficient?), I was standing in a snowdrift waiting for the bus rather than keeping warm pedaling my bike.

But last week… Last weekend the January Thaw hit. Four days in row of road tires on the long loop to work and my usual cut of the long loop coming home. It was wonderful. And it was painful.

By Thursday I hurt all over. Even my toes hurt. There had been no ramping up. I jumped into riding in a day what I had been doing in a week for the previous three or four weeks. Couldn’t stop myself. Glad I didn’t since January seems to have returned and they’re calling for another “polar vortex” this week.

I’m glad January is a three paycheck month. I paid my Obamacare, and my tenant’s insurance. Now it’s time for the annual parts bin restocking order.

Yes, it will include plenty of cables, housing and bar tape. Grrr.

I recently bought on fleabay new levers for the Ribble. Its one-year review is coming up, but you can guess it’ll be a positive one, given that I’ve replaced its wheels, added a dynamo lighting system, and now am replacing the 8-speed Sora I moved over from YellowBike with 10-speed 105.

So the parts bin restocking order will include some extras to complete that upgrade, and I’ll no longer have to stock both 8 and 10-speed stuff.

Meanwhile, the four-day weekend means the bikes get their mid-winter desalination.

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