A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Morning Ride

The temperature was in the fifties again this morning, and I had to first wear Ilsa out on the Raleigh PUB before I could take a ride myself. Click to enlargeOnce she was panting and back home, I stuffed several Allen wrenches in my hoodie pocket, and rolled the Sun Uno out the door. My objective was to adjust the bike out to my physique over the course of an hour.

First was the seat. I like my seat level, and at a height that allows full extension of my legs with my heels on the pedals. Once locked into place, with the balls of my feet on the pedals instead of my heels, my knees are protected from strain, yet I still get a full power stroke in my cranking circle. I like my seat to the rear in general, placing my butt about three quarters of the way between the bottom bracket and rear axle. This seems to allow for the optimal weight transfer for braking and hopping curbs.

The longhorn handlebars on this fixie allow for two riding positions. Click to enlargeThe first, tucked in and on the brake levers, is adjusted to the height of the fork tube. I found that I prefer that level with the seat. I'm not a hunched over Tour de France wannabe. I tilted the bars upward a bit to allow me to be more upright if I so chose. The brake levers take a downward droop, and are placed in the inboard position. Luckily, the handlebar stem was just about perfect, and I installed it with the eight degree angle directed upward. I adjusted out the brakes, mounted my ride, and I was off.

Once again, I kept the bike in single speed mode instead of fixed gear. Click to enlargeI was wanting to tweak out all the adjustments before I tried the pedals always turning. I had fashioned a custom kickstand mount yesterday, and I now had a prop for the bike if I decided to go inside a store to get a Slurpie. The kickstand was modified from a Greenfield chainstay mount stand. I took the upper portion, cut it down, polished and repainted it to fit in the tight space between the seat tube and rear tire. I may find method of accomplishing the same goal in the future, but this mount works for now.

I continued to ride as the sun grew stronger and whisked the dew off the grass. Without Ilsa along, I was free to whip about anywhere I wanted, with little worry a squirrel or cat might dart across my path. The streets were dry, people were still asleep, and the world was mine as the nippy air pierced the weave of my sweats. Then, as I passed an intersection, I saw blue lights to my left.

I turned down the street to find three patrol cars surrounding a harpooned Dodge sedan. Apparently, for whatever reason, some fool had skidded off the road, Click to enlargebroke a telephone in two, and then had the back end of his car shishkebabed like a shrimp on the barbie.

It appeared if anyone had been injured, they were already on the way to the hospital. I told the cop writing a report I was a nurse and asked if any assistance was needed. He shook his head. Could I take a couple of pics? No problem. It never ceases to amaze me how many ways a person can destroy a perfectly good automobile. I wonder if their friends were impressed.

At any rate, it was a quick and sobering reminder that the streets were not mine, even at that early hour. There is always some dumbass around. I think I'll put that reflective tape on the fixie now.......

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Blogger Mulliga said...

Wow - what a wreck!

Speaking as a bicycle commuter myself, I wouldn't mind having lights and a siren on whenever cars are about.

10:09 AM  
Blogger E said...

XB, I'm really loving the bike theme. Bikes and Guns have a long historic relationship. Witness BSA, Mossberg, and others I can't think of offhand.

Nice style on the flip/fix.

I've removed all those extra gears from most of my bikes, half of which (yes, too many bikes) are cast-off acquisitions. My two most-ridden are lugged steel frames, one Italian frankenspeed "citycross" bike, and one classic Panasonic.
I love restoring these things:


I've moved to a dual-freewheel setup with a 16t summer and 17t winter gear on the other side. It's almost time to switch back to the 16!

Car drivers are often single-minded. I mount fore and aft running lights on any bike that travels after sunset.


10:34 AM  
Blogger BobG said...

Interesting picture. I've seen cars shear off poles several times, but this is the first time I've seen the pole retaliate.

12:54 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

Skewered, indeed-- Holy crap!

Wow, reading about all the adjustments you make to achieve a better/more comfortable ride on your bike makes me think more people (maybe me, too?) would be apt to ride bikes if they understood that some tweaking is in order to make the most of the machine.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous beth said...

Did you shoot the car?

5:45 AM  
Blogger Keith Walker said...

Beth, why would you want to shoot a car that had already been murdered by a telephone pole?

This picture is proof positive that you should now be anti-telephone poles.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Ariel said...

Love that seat!

8:41 PM  

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