I Forgive Your Envy

Day’s Verse:
Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven.
James 1:16b-ish (out of context)

It’s about time I talk about bikes again. Remember Artemis, my Seven Alaris?

The top picture is what she looked like shortly after I bought her in October 2008; the bottom picture is in January 2008, her winter look.
Sunset Artemis

3Jan08 019

Compare that original style to what she looks like now.
Pink Tape

Your keen observational skills will notice that she went from pretty badass, especially in the winter, to just plain pretty. She started off ti with black and red; now she’s ti and pink. Today I swapped out my old black bar tape for the new, free, PINK bar tape I got on my trip to CBS with Dad on Friday. That’s right, the last holdout of black* on Artemis has succumbed to pink. I even used some fun swirly reflective tape on top of the black finishing tape.

Pink Tape Closeup 1

Pink Tape Closeup 2
(This is my first attempt at wrapping bar tape, so I have a lot to learn still, but it turned out tolerably well.)

And you know what? Since I started pinkifying Artemis, I’ve gotten more compliments than ever on her style. Guys, by and large, tell me how good she looks. Seriously! I can’t remember all the admiring conversations I’ve had about her pink coloring. Last spring, I had a (cute) guy in a convertible pull up and say, “Hey, nice pink fenders,” before driving on. I trust he was talking about my bike.

Anyway, I like that as a pink bike, she’s not just your standard black-and-red, which everybody has**. She’s unique, but no less tough for being pink. And it takes guts to ride a pink bike, as the Soft Like Kitten guys will confirm. Of course, I really just do it because pink on this bike makes me happy.

* I know, the bottle cages are still black and red. I want to replace them, but I can’t justify buying new ones when those are perfectly functional. Almost all the pink conversions, excluding the fenders, have been extremely cheap or free. I also would like to get a pink-and-black Lazer helmet (the Genesis or Helium), but again, my blue-and-white one (which was also free) is still perfectly good. Christmas gifts, anybody?
** For example: Here, here, here, and here, just to list a few.


Day’s Verse:
Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
Matthew 6:19-21
[Note: This was also yesterday’s verse, but it seemed incredibly appropriate for today, given my Garmin’s death]

When I was a kid, we had a book called Fortunately, by Remy Charlip. In it, the protagonist experiences a series of events, each starting with fortunately or unfortunately. It started with, “Fortunately, he was invited to a surprise party.” On the next page it said something like, “Unfortunately, on the way there, he tripped and fell into a hole.” The entire story went from there. I liked it.

My day yesterday was a fortunately/unfortunately kind of day:

Fortunately, Dad and I didn’t get rained on as we rode to Cascade Bike Studio (CBS) to order his new Seven.

Unfortunately, the Burke-Gilman trail was still under construction and we had to take the extremely hilly, unpleasant, and slow detour.

Fortunately, we’re in good shape for climbing hills.

Unfortunately, we got very turned around and rode up a few more than necessary.

Fortunately, we got to CBS only 10 minutes late and everything went very well there; Zac gave Dad a free waterbottle and (for me) pink bar tape. Yep, get this: FREE PINK BAR TAPE for next time I need to do the handlebars on Artemis. She’s slowly getting more and more pink. Hehe.

Unfortunately, we decided to catch a bus across 520 from Montlake, but missed the first bus as it went by.

Fortunately, another bus came along shortly, and it had space for 2 bikes on the front rack.

Unfortunately, when we got of the bus at Evergreen Point, we had no idea where we were.

Fortunately, there were signs for a bike path nearby that got us oriented so we could find our way.

Unfortunately, as I rode down Lake Washington Boulevard, which is currently ground up preparatory to repaving, my Garmin slipped off my bike and I didn’t notice until a mile later. When I retrieved it, at least one car had run it over.

The Garmin had 7 days’ worth of data on it that is now lost (Ian told me to back it up; stupid me, I didn’t), plus any rides I do until we do something to replace it will be data-less. I love my data — it’s one of my favorite parts of riding, the post-ride data processing. I’m a nerd. So sue me.

Fortunately, this means I can now get a Garmin 800, which looks really cool. Touchscreen?!

Unfortunately, the Garmin 800 is also very expensive.

Fortunately, I just got paid by the Bike Alliance for September, just enough to cover a new Garmin and have no other impact on our finances. Fate?

Even More Food and Bikes

Day’s Verse:
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
Acts 2:44-45

You may have noticed that my blog has narrowed to two topics lately: Food and bikes. The interest in food really flows from the interest in — and time spent on — bikes. More time on bikes during the month of May simply means that I spend more time thinking about food, more time eating, and more time planning to eat. So, in honor of food and bikes, here they are:

My bike, finally completely repaired from the crash in March:
Artemis Pink 1

Artemis Pink Fork & Fenders

My first attempt at lemon meringue pie, assisted by my friend Rachel Klas from church.
Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie Cut

Thank you to Nana and Grandpa for the delicious lemons and Ken and Karolyn Alford for the extremely fresh eggs. The pie would not be what it is without your contribution. Yum.

Continue reading “Even More Food and Bikes”

Pretty In Pink — My Bike, That Is

Day’s Verse:
You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Isaiah 62:3

Yesterday Ian gave me an unexpected but wonderful Valentine’s Day present: New fenders. I kept seeing and drooling over a pair of fenders in the window at JRA Bike Shop, which occupies part of the space at the BikeStation, where I work. Finally yesterday afternoon I guiltily confessed my obsession to Ian. The guilt came from knowing that my old fenders worked perfectly fine, and I really only wanted the new ones for their looks. Ian immediately told me to buy them for myself and consider it his Valentine’s Day gift to me. He didn’t have to offer twice — I immediately went and purchased the much-coveted fenders. Then I borrowed some tools from the bike shop and spent about an hour putting them on and fine-tuning so they didn’t rub or anything. Very unique. Now all I need is a saddle and bar tape to match…

Pink Fenders

While purchasing the fenders, I talked with the guy who runs the bike shop about pumps. He recommended the Topeak Road Morph bicycle pump, which supposedly can inflate tires to 160 psi — quite a feat for a small on-bike pump. I’d settle for 120 psi, my usual pressure, or even 80 psi, just to limp home. I bought that, too, and put it on at the same time I put the fenders on. I feel much better having replaced the stupid failing CO2 cartridges with something I know will work. Oh, and I picked up another tube, since I used my emergency tube fixing the flat. Now I feel prepared again.

By the way, my tire remained inflated, which made me very happy. After that I only had to struggle with the irritating ongoing problem of my disc brakes. Every time I take one of the wheels off, when I put them back on, I have to totally readjust the disc brakes all over again. I can never seat the wheel exactly right so it works the first time. There are definite down sides to disc brakes, and one of them is their extreme finickiness. However, they paid off last winter in all the snow and ice when my brakes worked no matter what, and I expect them to pay off again when I start towing a trailer.

Yep, a trailer. I’m thinking of trying to ride home from the July AmeriCorps training in Trout Lake, and I will need to be 100% self-supported for that adventure. That means hauling a tent and sleeping bag, plus of course food, water, clothes, and repair kit stuff. I could invest in fenders, but I explored that option and it looks like it could become extremely expensive extremely fast.

Why would it be so expensive? Well, I’m glad you asked. If I wanted to put on a rear rack with any appreciable load, which my bike is already set up to accept, I’d also have to put on a front rack to balance out the weight and handling. But I have a fancy-dancy carbon fork right now that cannot take a rack or any significant weight. That means that in addition to buying a front and rear rack and panniers (for a total cost of at least $700), I would also have to buy a new front fork. Because my bike has custom specs, that means I have to buy a custom front fork. A quick phone call told me that a custom front fork costs about $450, give or take. So to actually set my bike up as a touring bike would cost me almost $1200 just for mods to the bicycle itself.

Compare that to purchasing a bicycle trailer on Craigslist. Those run anywhere between $25 (old and crappy) to $195 (practically new, fancy brand). I wouldn’t have to do anything else special to my bike to tow a trailer because the people at Seven built it with towing abilities.

This is a pretty easy choice, really. I would like to set my bike up for touring some day, but since I’ll need a trailer to tow kids at some point too, the decision really makes itself.

Racks and panniers it is! …Just kidding.

KF quality