Monday, June 25, 2007

Well, after riding my "new" bike for two months now, I have come to one conclusion. Updating an old bike has its disadvantages. The down side is that with the increase in the number of gears, my bar end shifters have greater difficulty with the increments required to sustain a specific gear. The upsides entail a greater impact on my riding comfort/ability.

Still using panniers to cart groceries, I have not landed a trailer. In addition to the cost, reuse is very important to me. Searching for several "junk" bicycles, I would like to make my own trailer, loosely based on this well developed tutorial. Creating this homemade trailer would also be a practice for holding workshops on how low income and bicycle reliant individuals could reproduce them. A two wheeled design would probably be more practical for Buffalo and for carting things around (the BOB has a weight limit of about 70lbs). Also, a two wheeled trailer would create less stress on the rear hub.

I am spurred on by the experiment conducted by the Durning Family, on the feasibility of going without a car. So far I have been commuting to work, probably better than 50% of the time, sometimes changing schools three times. There are no shower facilities in the elementary schools, but I generally work in an airconditioned setting, so even on 80 degree days, I cool adequately after the ride. I do bring "work" clothes, and when I feel it will not appall people (out of sight), I dry my sweaty clothes by hanging them on the crossmember of my bike. My laptop resides in my backpack; a jostling in the pannier would not be good for it. A lunch, external harddrive and clothes go into a single pannier. The bike itself can be housed inside each school.

The whole concept creates quite a stir and gets people to talk about alternative forms of transportation and car/bike awareness and safety.