Mire and Muck and Bike

January 9th, 2008 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

bike frame after winter rideI’ll go to spin classes when the streets are icy or the wind chill is in the eenies minus. In fact, I led spin classes for a few years and have an emotional tie.

No matter how much you do jumps and slides on a stationary bike-like object, the scenery doesn’t change much. You work your heart but not your eyes and brain.

Pic Click Trick: Click on a thumbnail image for a larger view.

Now, a day like this, I’m on the road bike. I was today and returned with the skunk strip up my butt and back, but happy.

Last month when I returned from a ride too red from wind burn, one of my teens asked what it would take to keep me off the bike. He spoke with unmistakable pity and disdain. The real answer is roads to slick for 25mm tires.

My mountain bike’s frame broke and I’m trying to get by with one bike. Also, I not one of those (fool)hardy types in a slicker and goggles mushing with the buses in the slush. I figure if I can’t see the truck driver’s eyes, he can’t see me. I’d lose in the collision.

A day like today though fairly ordered me to take a break and hit the still wet, still trashy, muddy streets. road muck after a winter ride

I have a fender that I have not put on the bike. It would have helped a little today. Likely, it would have considerably reduced the skunk stripe of road muck off the rear wheel and seat pack. It wouldn’t have done squat for the underside of the frame or the gunk in the brake pads front and back.

The extra 12 minutes cleaning, degreasing and lubing the bike and chain is a wee price for heart pumping, road-warrior action. I had already bought a new supply of workbench towels for such purposes. Plus, I have a good supply of spray degreaser that is virtually instantaneous in removing grit and grime, leaving just little puddles to wipe.

We tell spin classes that we’re going up a big hill. We all up the resistance and feel it in the legs. It’s definitely not the same.

There are several nice hills from Woodbourne through JP and Brookline, into Allston and Brighton. One of my aims was to take a new pic of the Dunkin’ sign on Market Street before it comes down. More on that here.

Meanwhile, I may not get my money’s worth from gym membership, but it’s there when the weather’s bad enough. Don’t be afraid of cold; be afraid of dulling yourself with boredom.

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2 Responses

  1. #1 says:

    You’re welcome to that mountain bike back if you need it: I’m regularly commuting on the single-speed now. Or if you get one of your own, we ought to do an outing in the Fells next time schedules mesh.

  2. Harrumpher says:

    Short term, it’s likely good to stay with a single bike, although rampaging through the woods does appeal. Of course, to the muck points, a fat tire bike would have been even messier — and harder to clean, but still more satisfying than the clean, dull indoors.

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