Saturday, December 30, 2017

Title No. 1234

Sorry, I couldn't come up with a clever title for this post. I'm not even sure what I'm talking about. Which, now that I think about it, is pretty much a constant state.

Before I begin...there's a lot here that's not bike related. It's been a busy year. My job has kept me busy and exhausted; I'm on the long slow slide to retirement, at which point I hope to do nothing but cook, eat, ride my bike, play and listen to music, work on the know, the typical things people do in retirement.

My LBS started carrying Marin bicycles, which I have to admit I found pretty interesting.

One of the Marins I rode was the Nicaso RC. It's a city bike with a Shimano 8-speed IGH in back. If I were in the market for my first bike, it would be one of the top contenders. It's also really cool-looking. Bright blue with matching fenders. Flat bar for a nice upright position. It looks to me to be the ultimate basic errand/commute bike. But see for yourself:
That blue! (Picture property of Marin Bikes.)
The 650B wheel size is also very appealing to me. 650B tires just seem comfortable, because the handling of the slightly smaller wheels makes the bike easier to handle than if it had 700c wheels. I don't think I'd give up my current errand/commuter bike for it, but it's a tempting bike in its own right. If I had nine hundred dollars in disposable income....maybe.

The other Marin I was able to test ride was the Four Corners model. It's what they call their "Utilitour" model. It's not a bad ride, but I think it could be better. They've done some things to make the bike more affordable and more appealing to (what I think of as) the average buyer.
The Four Corners. You can never get enough of blue bikes. (Picture property of Marin Bicycles.)

The crankset of the Four Corners is 50/39/30. I can't help but feel (based on my limited experience) that smaller rings would be a bit more useful. The front shifting is also a bit mushy-feeling to me. That could just be the way it was set up, but some mechanics I trust have told me that it's typical of the Alivio shifters that are standard on the Four Corners. All that aside, it's a good ride for most conditions; I just wasn't that happy with the shifting and with the gearing on a few difficult hills.

I've also been learning a bit of German in anticipation of a trip to Germany (of course). I'm hoping to celebrate my sixty-fourth birthday with a bike trip down the Rhine. It's always fun to attempt a new language; it'll be even better when I have a chance to use it.

Inspired by a post from the blog "Cycling In The South Bay", I've finally made some New Year's resolutions (other than "Don't make promises you can't keep" which is really sort of a meta-resolution). One I've already acted on: to delete my Facebook account. It's only been gone for two days and  I already feel I've wasted less time than I normally would have. Being less involved with the computer has given me more time to do the things I think I should actually be doing.

I don't often comment on current events in this blog. I'm not comfortable with expressing my political opinions in public, and in fact, I think this may be first time I've done it here.. But I'd like to end with this: despite things sometimes seeming bleak with our current situation, I believe that things will be uphill from here. It'll be a difficult climb, but we'll get there.

See you in the new year.


  1. Wow, you go Doug. Power to the pedal in 2018. Regarding the Marin Nicaso, I think bikes with integrated and color-matched fenders and racks are appealing because you don't have to set up a bike before commuting, really a brilliant marketing strategy.

    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Annie. I hope I'm right about the coming year.