Well, as you guys (by "guys", I mean the two readers out there! LOL) can tell, I set the blog down for a while.
About nine months to be exact.
However, with the new year, I'm energized to get back into regular riding. Why not? Gas is going to get so stinkin' expensive (with oil prices topping over $100 today, and at $99.27 at the time I'm writing this - see http://www.bloomberg.com/energy/), it's a good time to get out and start riding!
Here's where I'm at:
1. Rode to work a couple of times last week. I also took part in the Christmas Tree Light ride through Haggin Oaks, a joint ride sponsored by Bike Bakersfield, Kern Wheelmen, and the South Sierra Fat Tire Association.
2. Bought some used panniers from Craigslist. These replace a pair my friend Will has loaned me for the past year or so (thanks again, Will!).
3. My SUV costs about $50- $60 to fill up. A tank lasts about a week. At these prices, it won't take long to achieve ROI on the aforementioned panniers, plus the other goodies I bought for my bike.
I ended up stripping down the bike to the bare frame (less the races for the headset, and treating the inside of the frame with J.P. Weigle's Frame Saver. (The tubes that I could examine look great, but why not do something to help 'em last another 25 years or so? )
While I have it apart, I'm replacing the bottom bracket with a sealed cartridge unit, and replacing the crank with a Sugino Triple crank from Rivendell Bike.
Have you checked out Rivendell Bike? What a great store! First, they sell bikes that are made for normal people to ride, not hunched-over racer style. Second, they sell a lot of American-made and other fair-trade manufactured items, instead of a bunch of Chinese junk that's marked way up. Lastly, is their customer service and return policies, both excellent. Prices are more than fair, especially considering the aforementioned return policy plus their commitment to selling unique, quality items. (And no - I'm not getting any benefit from them. I just like their philosophy and way of doing business.)
Have you renewed your Bike Bakersfield membership? I think it's important to support 'em, and just renewed my membership for the coming year. (And yes, I did more than the "Introductory" membership, and not just for the T-Shirt! :) ). Great organization that has a positive impact on our community at so many levels. Check them out at www.bikebakersfield.org.
So c'mon: Dust off that bike you've had since college, take it down to one of the local bike shops for a tune-up and safety inspection, get a helmet, and get out there and ride! Two great places to access the Bike Path are at Riverwalk Park (follow the sidewalks north through the park to get to it) and at Hart Park (East side, by the old water wheel). Take the family or friends, get out and have fun!