Immediately is June thirteenth, 2022. Which means it’s been precisely 15 years since I began the BikeSnobNYC weblog!
As common, I completely forgot it was my Weblog-A-Versary, and in reality I normally miss it altogether. This time although I at the least remembered previous to posting. So let’s simply name this an anniversary put up, despite the fact that I hadn’t deliberate to curate any such factor.
By the identical token, let’s additionally contemplate at present’s experience an Anniversary Experience, despite the fact that I hadn’t deliberate for a type of both, and was simply fucking off in the midst of a weekday like I normally do:
Had I noticed it was my Weblog-A-Versary I’d have used that as an excuse to take a for much longer experience.
As you may see, at present I rode the Normcore Nostalgia Bike, although as it’s possible you’ll not have the ability to see, earlier than heading out I changed the 23mm tires with some 28mm Paselas:
You’ll word the label just isn’t aligned with the valve stem. It’s because I incurred a flat and it crept out of place within the means of my sweaty trailside tube change:
That was the second flat of the morning; the primary occurred shortly earlier than this, and simply after I mounted the entrance tire. I’m undecided why each tubed failed in such brief order. Nonetheless, it’s most likely for a number of of the next causes:
- The tires are from my Tire Pile, are who is aware of how previous, and have who is aware of what lodged in them;
- The rim tape might be unique to the bike and will most likely be modified;
- The rim appears to love to carry onto the sidewall and never let the bead seat correctly, and requires some coaxing throughout inflation. I don’t know if it’s due to the oh-so-80s and oh-so-pointless grey anodized coating or what. I don’t bear in mind this occurring once I owned the identical precise bike a few years in the past. Then once more I don’t bear in mind loads of issues. Anyway, possibly the tubes received pinched in there or one thing.
- Possibly it was a foul batch of tubes. They had been from an inexpensive on-line retailer, and each had holes in roughly the identical place on the seam alongside the place they’d sit on the rim mattress. As I stated earlier than, the tape is previous, however it appears completely advantageous within the space the place the tubes failed. So who is aware of?
Flats have a lot to show us about ourselves and about life. When the entrance tire ass-ploded shortly after I mounted it, I very practically stated “Fuck it” and grabbed one other bike. Nonetheless, I noticed I used to be being lazy and defeatist, and that for as soon as in my depressing life I ought to see one thing by. Then, when the rear tire air-jaculated only a brief distance from my dwelling, I very practically doubled again and grabbed one other bike once more. On this case I noticed I used to be being a coward, and that I wanted to confront these punctures and my fears head-on by delving into my pendulous saddle bag and urgent forward, come what might. Would my interior tubes proceed to burst as if I used to be some kind of biking Job and the Lord was amusing himself by popping my tires like bubble wrap? Would I run out of patches and tubes and need to improvise, or worse, go to a motorbike store the place they’d see my previous Trek and take me for some kind of hapless suburban rube taking over “biking” once more after a 30-year hiatus? Maybe. However I noticed my years of getting plenty of fancy bikes at my disposal has made me smooth, and that some folks have just one bike, which implies if they’ve a mechanical challenge they’ve received to cope with it and in the event that they don’t then they don’t get to experience that day both. This greater than something stands out as the true lesson of the Normcore Bike–to take advantage of what you will have and to rely your blessings–and I endeavor always to be receptive to the profound classes our bicycles and our rides have to show us.
Talking of essential classes, the trade might want you to expire and get a garvel bike, however your previous roadie might very effectively have the ability to accommodate tires with some first rate quantity:
There’s loads of clearance on both finish of this bike with 28s, and whereas that’s actually not huge by at present’s requirements, it’s normally ample for something wanting rocky and rooty singletrack:
Because it was scorching, I additionally ditched the pointless toe clips and went with flat pedals so I might experience in footwear that allow my little piggies hand around in the breeze:
The tubes held air for the period for the experience, and in its new guise the bike felt nice:
Naturally this in flip received me excited about altering drivetrain parts to get decrease gearing, however I reminded myslef it’s form of ridiculous to show each bike you will have right into a Rivendell when you have already got two Rivendells.
No, this bike’s all about Dirtbag Street:
Certainly, in true dirtbag style I ended mid-ride by a placid physique of water:
It was scorching, and the water seemed inviting:
So, regardless of signage indicating that what I used to be about to do was expressly prohibited, I dropped jort and in I went!
Don’t fear, I wasn’t in my Weblog-A-Versary swimsuit, and was nonetheless sporting my fancy merino underpants. However that didn’t cease my bike from hiding in disgrace:
Rising from the water, I felt refreshed and renewed and prepared for an additional 15 years of running a blog. I additionally felt one thing on my leg, which turned out to be some fishing line:
Fishing can also be prohibited right here, and by participating in a prohibited exercise myself I used to be capable of rid the lake of one thing which may find yourself killing some wildlife, so that you’re welcome, relevant municipality.
As somebody who’s lived his whole life on the edges of the town, leaping into swimmin’ holes and such just isn’t a part of my expertise. That is partially as a result of I’m a rule-follower and a coward, however largely as a result of I all the time lived close to the seashore, and also you don’t must go to swimming holes when you will have the ocean. Subsequently, the novelty of this expertise was invigorating, and on the best way dwelling the suburban environs appeared a thousand occasions extra bucolic:
However there was one wildlife encounter nonetheless to return. A lot nearer to dwelling, I rode by Van Cortlandt Park:
Presently of 12 months, chipmunks run throughout your path roughly each three seconds. Right here’s one which’s already made it throughout:
Right here’s a squirrel, not a chipmunk, however similar distinction:
Right here’s one which didn’t make it throughout and met its destiny:
So there I used to be, Simply Using Alongside:
When one thing flew up and virtually into my lap. At first I believed possibly I’d rolled over a stick and despatched it flying, however once I felt its scratchy little paws I noticed it was a chipmunk that had most likely gotten catapulted up my approach by the spokes of my entrance wheel. Horrified, I recoiled, after which it did kind of a excessive dive off my forearm and scampered off into the underbrush.
And to assume, neither considered one of us was sporting a helmet…