Where The Bike Takes Me

Continuing this journey of cycling in efforts to get into shape, lose weight, enjoy the outdoors, and save my knees from their arthritic state at 28 years of age.

New Look & Late-Night Ramblings September 6, 2008

I decided just now, without any forethought, to change the look of my blog. I felt just now that it was too sterile looking and I wanted something that had a wider layout for the posts because I’d like to incorporate more pictures. I like how this theme kept all the categories in place for my links. Some themes just did away with the categories altogether and just lumped all the links in one big blogroll. You would have loved that one. So what do you think? Yea or nay?

I’m up late because I’m having my monthly bout of insomnia which I think is exacerbated this month by a.) this upcoming reunion I’m planning and b.) IT’S A WEEK TILL THE AUTUMN ESCAPE BIKE TREK! This time next week I’ll have completed the first day of the 3-day tour. I am a bit worried I haven’t got as much riding time as I think I should have. I don’t feel I’m as strong as I was earlier in the summer which is probably never good. I did drag my husband and Bach out west to do Scott and Jim’s Lovetts or Leesit ride on Labor Day. More on that in the next post. The ride did further confirm with me, however, that I needed to take the bike into the shop for some work.

I went to Bikes at Vienna bright and early Thursday morning a few minutes after they opened up. Tim, the head mechanic, was there. He worked on the Lotus for me a few months ago and really digs that bike. When I told him the changes I wanted done with it he was like, “Ah, someone’s been visiting the Rivendell website.” I knew I was talking to a man after my own heart when he said that. Haa haa! So he transformed it and gave me grips to match my honey Brooks which is no longer on that bike sadly. (If anyone has one they are looking to get rid of please let me know!) He said if I was ever interested in selling the bike to let him know because he might know someone who would want it. I think the bike is a tad bit too small for me but I love how light and smooth it is especially compared to the Kona and my husband has come to terms with the fact that it is my “fun bike” as he calls it that I just can’t let it go.

Anyway, I told Tim the issues I’d been having with the Sutra. I realized he didn’t know who I was without the Lotus. I told him I moved the Brooks from the Lotus to this bike and then he remembered. (It’s like dog owners who can tell you the name of the neighborhood dogs but not the name of their owners.) I told Tim about the clicking noises I was experiencing in the crank/bottom bracket area and the shifting issues that I knew just needed an adjustment. I also had a crimped cable up front that I had noticed long ago but never got checked out. I also needed bar ends because I somehow lost both of them. I installed a kickstand (just plain old one) earlier in the week but never got around to trimming it down to the length. I had Tim take care of all that for me too. He noticed (like I had) that my rear disc brake seemed to rub. I have tried all kinds of adjusting on that thing and when I put the kickstand on I decided to check the rear tire and brake. I loosened the brake as much as I possibly could and then turned the wheel. It kept spinning and spinning as it should. But when I hit the brake hoods and pulled the levers it was so slack it did nothing so I had tighten them back and was back to square one. Tim noticed this without me even having to point it all out. I was like, “If you can fix it, that’ll be great!”

So he gave me a “tuneup lite” as they call it which is basically adjusting the brakes and the shifting cables. He also regreased my pedals and tightened the crank bolt and the chain ring bolts to help me with the ticking sound. He then straightened that bent rear brake rotor as well. He replaced the crimped cable and the housing, gave me bar ends, and trimmed my kickstand just like I asked. And the bike was ready a day early. 🙂

I can’t wait to ride it and try it out but sadly I will have to wait until Sunday as tomorrow a hurricane is suppose to blow through. It’s 3 AM and aside from a little rain earlier in the evening I haven’t seen much else.

There are no Kona dealers in the area except for Proteus that I can tell. Everyone else keeps the usual brand names. My Kona Sutra is the first one he’s worked on and Tim said he enjoyed working on the bike and that he liked it. How many bike mechanics tell you that? He also really liked my VO baguette handlebar bag. What I really like about Tim and the other guy who works there (whose name I never get but knows me by my Lotus too) is that they kinda dig the things I do to my bikes. Tim’s a huge Brooks saddles fan. He even noticed the reflector decals I put on the bike and asked me if it came that way or if I did it myself. My husband says I girlify the bike but I like to think I just personalize it. Ok, it happens to have yellow reflector flower decals. I only bought them because they match the yellow accents on the Kona logo and the yellow Candy C pedals on there. I didn’t buy them because they were flowers. I know it’s silly but it tickles me to no end that they appreciate the ‘style’ (was the word they used) that I have with my bikes. Of course, to each his or her own. I’m just glad they get me. 🙂