Lately, I have been frequently commuting to work and back by a combination of train, river ferry, and bicycle. It’s pretty fun.
Instead of succumbing to my oft recurring illness “shiny metal syndrome” and buying a brand new bike (to which I gave a lot of thought, btw), I decided to make a few upgrades and tune up my 10-year-old Trek 800 Sport. I figured that since I use my bike like a minivan, with all the loading of kids’ seats, trailers, Trailgators, groceries, Nacho, etc., I should hold off on getting anything new and cool and just convert the old Trek into an all-rounder. Plus, it has a fantastic anti-theft feature– it’s a 10-year-old, heavy as heck, bottom of the line Trek– no one wants it! Oh, and I call it the Wienercycle because I bought it in Vienna. Not the cool Vienna in Austria, the Vienna in West (by-God) Virginia. That makes the bike even sadder, dunnit?
Ah well, here she is in all her *ahem* glory.
Here it is on the Thule racks with the Trailgator (for Nina) attached:
Cati bought me the Brooks Saddle for Xmas. I bought and installed some SKS fenders. I bought the Topeak office bag last time I was in the U.S. It conveniently clicks into the MTX rack we have for the child seat, and I must say, it’s nice. I also swapped the tires out for Schwalbe Hurricanes. Although 90% of my riding is on paved roads and bike paths, I am really glad to have the edge-tread for that rare but important 10% of the time I need it. It has kept me from having to get off and walk through mud and muck a few times, and it has also prevented me from wiping out completely on mud covered asphalt. I also put on some cheap toe clips for use with any shoes, a little rear-view mirror, some battery powered front and rear lights (required here in DE), bought a cheap bike computer to track my speed, and that’s pretty much it. Like I said, the bike is an all-rounder that’s good for every kind of riding, and thus, great for none.
Here’s me just illin’ in my tracksuit.
The morning view to my right:
and then I get to the ferry to cross the Rhein. It costs 0,50 € to cross with my bahn card. Cool, eh?
A fellow masterfully sculpted cyclist-body shown above. :)
It’s interesting that on my ecologically-conscious bicycle commute to work, I get to watch the power company unload and transport literal tons of coal for the production of electricity.
Then, at the end of my hour-long bike ride, I have a shower and get to work.
For the ride home I take a train for part of the way and cycle home the rest of the way. It’s a nice commute too.
Crossing back over the Rhein; this time by bridge.
The view of the town we live in from the bridge.
So, I’m pretty down with cycling culture. Not so much the body-shaving, blood-doping, car-driver hating, racing bike scene (yet?), but more the trekking and commuting scene. It’s a hobby that includes elements of fitness, tinkering, DIY, practical engineering, frugality, and ecology. Plus, it’s fun for the kids. I can dig that.
Until next time.