Sunday, January 15, 2017

Gearing down...

Just got back from a twenty-five mile training ride. Yes, I actually train; I admit it. My name is Doug and I'm a cycle-holic. I did stop at twenty miles to grab something to eat at a taco stand. So though Strava tells me I burned 640 calories, I probably consumed that by eating two tacos. Oh, yeah, Strava. Because I'm a cycle-holic.

Funny thing, Strava. It let me know that I set a personal record on a nearby bridge. In my case, though, that means that I walked faster on the bridge than I normally do. I have this thing about hitting pedestrians, so I do dismount and walk on crowded MUPs.

If you actually hit the "read more" link, here's a picture to reward you.
No idea what this is.
The section of town this mosaic is in is undergoing a familiar metamorphosis. It's a pretty low-income area, and so a lot of artists are taking up residence there. If this part of town follows the usual pattern, we'll start seeing the people with lower incomes pushed out by wealthier people who want to live in a more "vibrant" area.

Oops. Politics intrudes everywhere nowadays, doesn't it?

Speaking of politics (and/or clumsy segues), it's taken me less than a year of test riding new bikes to become disenchanted with the bike industry.  Try this simple test, and you will become disenchanted as well:
  • Find a bike that you like. Make sure you give it a test ride.
  • Test ride that same bike in a newer model. You may notice that the drivetrain is not quite as nice, or some really nice (or just decent) parts have been downgraded to cheaper parts.
  • Notice that the newer bike is the same price or more expensive than the previous year's model.
The most notable example of this is a bike where the group set changed from Shimano 105 to Shimano Deore (sort of; the shifters are Shimano Sora and the rest of the drivetrain is a hodgepodge of FSA and SRAM components).  So it's altogether a more comfortable bike, but with less optimal shifting. Did the 105 group set get prohibitively expensive? Perhaps I'm being too picky?

Comments? Input? Contributions to my Kickstarter for "Research Into Contemporary Bicycles On a Long-Term Basis"?

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