Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A few more things about me and my bike.

Speaking of bikes, I've hardly been riding. Since October 24th, when I was officially cleared to go back to doing things that normal human beings do, I've only put about 220 miles on the bike. Of the 23 days that I've been back at work, I've only biked in for six of them.

The first week back I tried to do too much too soon and had to take a few days off. The second week back, I had some other problems. The last two weeks I've had this really nasty head cold that refuses to go away once and for all. It's really annoying. I think the cold is mostly gone now, though.

I'm planning to celebrate Thanksgiving by waking up early and going out for a ride of some decent length. I hope to do the same thing on Black Friday while most people are out shopping. To that end, I'm going to have to be careful not to get run over by any crazed bargain hunters. I'm also going to have to be careful to not overdo it and get myself all screwed up again. I really want to get back into the routine of riding to work every day.

Driving is annoying.

I've got a bike, you can ride it if you like.

Dear Diary,

It's been a long time since I've written. I can only offer heartfelt apologies and try to assure you that a delay such as this won't occur again. Anytime in the near future. Maybe. It's tougher to write on a regular basis when you're not just sitting at home recovering from a bike wreck. Although when I look back at October, it does seem like I did a fair amount of posting the first week that I was back at work. So I guess I don't really have any excuses. I'm just lazy. I think of things all the time, I just never actually end up getting them down.

Since I only ever talk about my bike, that seems like a good place to start. It's a road bike again. If you recall, I switched out the drop bars for flats when I bought it back at the end of April.

Well, Chainlove kept putting up Ultegra triple brifters (along with all of the cables and everything) for only $145 (retail is like $400 or so), and I couldn't hold back any longer. I bought them. Which meant that I had to get a road bar. Two days later, Chainlove conveniently provided an Easton EC90 Equipe Pro for a very good price. I found the front derailleur I needed on eBay, also for much lower than retail and took the whole box of junk over to Pro Bikes (Honestly, when are these guys going to update their website? Maybe I should offer to do it for them in exchange for a nice new mountain bike) to have them install all of it. All I had to buy from them was the bar tape and a set of Salsa Cross brake levers.

So why did I get it converted from road bars to flat bars and then back to road bars again? Well, I initially went from road to flats because that was what my first bike was, and I wasn't sure I'd like road bars. I didn't think I'd be into the narrower steering surface. But I had these Ergon grips with nice magnesium bar ends, and I found myself wanting to use the bar ends almost all the time because it was just more comfortable. Not coincidentally, this would be essentially the same hand position as if I was riding with a road bar/shifter setup. I figured if I wanted to have my hands like that for the majority of the time, it would probably make sense for my fingers to be in close reach of my brakes, as opposed to having to shift position to get back to them like I had to do with the flat bar setup. When Chainlove started putting up those Ultegras at that price, I decided to just go for it.

Did I spend more money doing it this way? Of course! That seems to be what I do best. Back in April, I had to pay for the labor to switch from road to flat. Now I had to pay for all of the new components. Then I had to pay for the labor to switch from flat to road again. On the plus side, the Portland originally came with 105s for the shifters and front derailleur and now I'm rocking Ultegras, so at least I have that going for me. And... the stock road bar on the Portland was a $50 Bontrager Race which pales in comparison to the glorious carbon fiber of the Equipe Pro. Would I have ever considered upgrading if I had kept the road setup to begin with? Probably not. But I really shouldn't be thinking about that, right?

One other thing to note is that the majority of this upgrade was subsidized by me selling a bunch of CDs on eBay. I have more at home that have to go up, and those should cover the balance. I also have all of the parts from the flat bar setup that I need to try to sell. Probably also on eBay. So it's not like this upgrade put any sort of dent in our finances. It's just that if I had been smarter, it never would have had to occur in the first place. Oh well.