This afternoon, top of East Rock above New Haven
Much of this blog is about bicycling, and I have written about my bike from time to time, but it seemed like it might be a good time to write about it again.
The first time anyone saw it was here, so it’s probably a good idea to start with a description of changes from this photo:
A while back, two miles from home and a little uphill.
What’s changed? First, the wheels. The front hub (a Shimano generator hub) is the same, but the rims are now Velo Orange PBP, and the rear hub is a slightly older 105. The tires are still Panaracer Pasela 28s, but I’m now running blackwalls without the TG protective layer (I haven’t had a flat since I built this bike; this is probably a curse and I’ll have one in the morning, but anyway). I’ve replaced the headlight with an eDelux, and there is now a taillight (Spanninga Pixeo) on the rear fender. Come to think of it, the fenders are now VO “hammered” aluminum fenders, with Planet Bike mudflaps installed. I changed the stem out for a Technomic of slightly greater length and rise, and moved the pump so it replaces one of the bottle cages. For a while I had it riding behind the seat tube, but that was with the SKS fenders; I worried that it might rattle on the metal fenders. I’m using Shimano flip-flop pedals. One thing it’s hard to make out is that I modified the cassette—it started out as 12-27, and is now 13-30. Oh, and I went with flip-over pedals, so I can ride either in bike shoes or in street shoes. A little more versatility. And the shifters—I went from indexed Shimanos to some very old and very nice non-indexed Shimano 600 units. Probably the last shifters Shimano made that had no indexing option.
The cranks are the same, but I expect to change those out shortly as well. Or not. We’ll see.
You’ll notice panniers. This is a slightly older set of Nashbar Daytrekkers. The handlebar bag is the one I wrote about adapting here. I’ve tried lots of others, and I give up. This one ain’t perfect, but it’s close.
So why all the hoo-hah? Well, partly, bike porn. And partly to memorialize the fact that this is now my only operational bicycle. I need to qualify that—I still have my son’s touring bike in the basement and a sort of city junker I’ve been meaning to fix up and sell.
But last week, I sold the Kogswell D58 (“Bombadil”) that I’d been using as my main bike for over a decade. With the arrival of the Velo Orange Rando, the Kogswell just wasn’t gettting ridden enough. I’m hoping that its new home—Chicago—will give it an opportunity to get out and about a little more.
Had it stayed, it would have ended up looking very much like this bike, and you know, there’s something not quite right about having two near-identical bicycles when you can only ride one at a time.
So that’s the state of the bike, some 3,200 miles on. One bike to rule them all?