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Guest Blog Post by Me

February 20, 2012

This post is very TFTS play-by-play of my bike trip today. And here is why:

When writing this I had intended to send it to Tales From The Sharrows as part if his Monday guest blog posts. However, it never made it over to him. Reason #1: I didn’t have his email address. I’m sure it’s obscurely placed under some sub-category such as “contact me” or “email me” or “submit your guest post here.” Oh, what effort. Secondly, someone beat me to it. And their post was significantly better than mine so I couldn’t, in all good faith, ask Mr. Sharrows to take it down and replace it with mine. But, the effort was made (4 minutes waiting for water to boil) so I figured it should be made available for the nobody that reads this blog.

Happy President’s Day

Some of you had off and that’s cool. Some of you had to go to work and although that sucks at least you get the satisfaction of actually accomplishing something with your day (right?).

For me I was somewhere in the middle. The University of Maryland was in full swing however I spend my Mondays at a federal facility which was closed. I probably should have went to the lab at Maryland and caught up on some research but meh (yes, “meh” followed by a shoulder shrug is what I will be telling my boss when she asks why nothing is done). Besides, spring fever is setting in and I need to get out more. Today, I went searching for toe clips for my Bridgestone.

I had a very specific pair of clips in mind and decided I would just start with the closest bike shop (well not exactly the closest shop since said shop has a unfavorable reputation) and then work my way out until I found them. Accept no substitutes was today’s mantra (this morning’s sweet’n low in my coffee was an exception).

I worked my way east along Iriving Street until meeting up with 14th Street (we exchanged quick pleasantries but I was on a mission and he was busy being run over – it’s ok, it’s his job). From there I made a right and down the hill I went. I vaguely recall pedestrians or trucks in my way but I’ve reached a level of sullen complacency that I just accept it and go around without much afterthought.

My first stop was at Q at the Bike Rack. I made some goofy half turn trying to get on the sidewalk but maybe decided to just stay next to the curb and wait for the crosswalk signal. In any case, my wheel rubbed the side of the curb and I almost toppled over. I tried to play it cool, but I don’t think anyone bought it. Sheepish from my near fall (and my new merino onesie), I walked the bike over to the store and locked it up outside (on a side note since I started MG’s Utilitaire challenge, I’ve built up more courage to leave my bike unattended).

I almost didn’t bother going in. From the exterior the shop looked more like a performance, racing bike store. Once inside, I looked around the small shop and saw a couple of dutch-style bikes. As luck would have it, they had the toe clips. Well that was easy and kind of anticlimactic. I paid, left, and walked my bike a block south until getting to Church St, a one-way going west. Back on the bike, I took the full lane for a block and made a right on the 15th Street cycle track. It’s the safest but with the constant red lights, I would probably find an alternative if I had to commute downtown everyday. Are you daily commuters ok with it?

On my ascent up the 15th Street hill, I lowered gears and my chain did that thing where it doesn’t want to seat itself on the front cog, instead just gliding on top of the ring as I pedal. I’m not sure if this is a chain issue or derailer but in any case a swift kick at the chain moved it into place (I guess this is why cowboys do it). The hill was easier than usual and I think that’s a good sign for the rest of my miles this week.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2012 9:57 pm

    I do 15th, but only north, unless I’m towing the bike trailer and can’t filter on 14th, in which case I take 15th south, too.

    If you think the lights are bad going north, never ever go south. It’s 100 times worse.

  2. February 21, 2012 8:47 am

    Great “guest” post! Maybe you’ll get your chance to be featured on TFTS soon. I keep meaning to write a post for him, but then I forget to remember what happened on the ride, and then I forget to write what I forgot. oops!

  3. Rich permalink
    February 21, 2012 9:14 am

    Better get the chain adjusted…no mishaps…did the clips work?

    • February 21, 2012 9:25 am

      I lubed it…it’s the duct tape of the bike world so I anticipate no further issues.

      Installed clips last night but only did limited tests in the living room.

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