A bicycling year in review, 2007

From my response to a query on the iBOB mail list titled “Tried and liked, 2007”. You can expect future entries based on each and every one of these. Consider this your only warning.

Liked:

1. Cycling. After an 8 year “break” consisting of a mostly sedentary
lifestyle, I’m back on a bike and loving it more than ever before.
Previous to the break most of my cycling was recreational – drive to
the trail on a Saturday, drive home by dinner time, put the bike away
until the next weekend. I’m riding less now since the weather turned
cold, but I’m still out several times a week.

2. Pulling the kids around in the trailer. The 4-year-old goes to
pre-school 3 days per week. The 2-year-old and I cycle to the park,
supermarket, whatever, after dropping her off. On most days they
enjoy it, too.

3. Working on bikes. I enjoy this more than riding. My wife is
starting to complain about the frames, wheels and piles of parts in
the basement.

4. B17. This is my first leather saddle. I’ll never go back.

5. Randonneur drops. Picked up the Nitto model. I went from riding
mostly on the flats and hoods (and considering switching to flat bars)
to riding the drops about half the time.

6. Fixed gear. I built my first this month with an old Schwinn
Continental and a cheap set of wheels. I’m laying the blame for this
squarely at the feet of a local guy who offered to let me try his.

Didn’t like:

1. The trailer I use to pull the kiddos around. It’s an inexpensive
department store trailer. It’s actually held up better than I
expected, but the design is crap. The more I look around, the more I
realize that the better trailers aren’t that much better – at least
for my needs. For one kid it’s fine. For two, wearing all their
winter garb, it’s too tight. The Tanjor trailer looks about right,
but they’re out of business apparently. Off to the drawing board for
me. I’m thinking about building something that’s similar to both the
Tanjor and wooden tubs on the Bakfiets.

2. 27″ wheels. The wheels themselves are not a problem, but finding
the tires I want, replacement rims, etc. is getting dicey. I’ve
started to slowly convert all the bikes to 700c.

3. SUVs. Specifically big, black SUVs manufactured by GM. It’s
probably just an anomaly, but almost (I left out the “almost” in the original) every single bad experience I’ve had
with motor vehicles while riding has involved a full-size GMC or Chevy
SUV. Odd. FWIW, I drive a bright orange Xterra.

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