Gearless Weekend

I just realized, when considering the weekend’s riding and wrenching, that no gears were involved. Just single-speeds. Because that’s the way we (prefer to) roll. Or something.

Saturday coffee outside. The way things have evolved, I don’t normally ride on Saturday morning, or really much during the rest of the day. It’s the day we use to run errands (which I do by bike), do chores around the homestead, and just relax. But it’s always felt odd not to be riding on a weekend day when I could be, in some way or another.

So I came up with the notion of a regular, fairly early, Saturday morning ride (inspired in some oblique way by the La Fleche). We’re still not sure what the final form of this ride will be–a regular road loop with a cafe stop or a bike path circumnavigation with coffee outside–or even whether it will have a final form. What we do know is that it will involve a couple of hours of riding with an early departure (8am for now, 7am when it gets warmer) and coffee.

This week, Nate and I rode the Capitol City Trail (CCT)/Arboretum loop and stopped to brew coffee outside about halfway through. I rode the SS Devil that’s now wearing a Surly front rack (not pictured below), a huge Wald basket, and a Rivendell ShopSack.

Saturday wrenching. The bulk of my wrenching this weekend was focused on getting my wife’s single-speed up and running, after being laid up for the winter. I had the rear wheel trued, added new-to-her VO metal fenders and a Daija rear rack, and modified the lower mounts on her panniers so that they use hooks instead of D-rings. But it would appear that I’m not done, as the bottom bracket or crankset is now making an annoying ticking noise. I’m betting on a loose chainring bolt, but I’ll probably pull the cranks and bottom bracket for a re-greasing anyway.

Sunday gravel. The weather turned colder overnight and we opted for fat-bikes instead of road bikes and the partially paved, partially gravel Badger State Trail (BST) instead of rolling country roads. I’d not yet ridden the Necro-Pug any significant distance since I’d swapped in the single-speed wheel, so I loaded it up and set out with Nate.

We were both feeling a little weary, for various reasons, and kept our pace reasonable. But it turns out that the saddle position and its relationship to the cockpit on the Necro-Pug is all wrong. By the time we were halfway to Belleville, my knees had started to ache, and I couldn’t get far enough behind the bottom bracket to both stretch out my legs further and take the pressure off my hands.

I know better than to put a Brooks B17 on a seatpost with no setback. Really, I do. This reminded me why. And my stiff knees are reminding me today.

By the time we made the turnaround and headed back to town, the snow flurries had started, the wind had picked up, and we were missing our fast, easy-rolling road bikes.

After that, it was time for a shower beer, another beer, and some couch time with the old lady dog.

2015-03-01 17.12.36

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