Sunday, August 3, 2008

Stabbed through the blog with an Icicle!

I was tagged by Tim a while ago and as I pull out of my narcotic fog, I've wrapped up my response...

If you could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?
An impossible question but I suppose the point here is what do I care for most in a bike. I have a very diverse collection of riding styles, which is of course why I have a diverse stable of bikes. Out of all of them, I would have to pick my Surly Karate Monkey because it is the most versatile of them all. Currently it’s my commuter wearing Schwalbe Big Apple tires which as a 29er makes it look like the Big Foot of bikes (until a Pugsley rolls up and it starts to look like Pee Wee Herman). With these tires it rides like a Cadillac but not nearly so hard to push as you might think.
In the winter she wears studded tires just to make sure she stays under me. I have it built up as a 7 speed with a triple but no front derailleur, disc brakes on a wheel set that supports either disc or rim brakes since the frame support either. I used to have rim brakes but the discs are much better for winter commuting.

I pick this bike for it’s versatility so that I could configure it for commuting, road (well sort of…), mountain biking or as a single speed/fixed gear since it has horizontal drop-outs. I rode this bike all winter and loved it so much that when spring finally showed up, I was a little disappointed that I would have to leave her behind in the stable when the roadie season kicked off (until I jumped on my carbon steed one day and nearly gave myself whiplash as it launched forward under light pedal pressure).

If you had to choose one — and only one — bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
Well perhaps now I can start to get the rhythm of this silly one bike proposition since my Monkey can take me everywhere I want to go. It’s gonna be a long day so I won’t have time to head into the office and that in and of itself will be a bonus.

I’m going to start out with a mountain bike fix on some sweet single track in Lebanon Hills Regional Park. After a handful of loops I’ll head out of the park for some road riding up towards Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis then up along the Mississippi River into downtown Minneapolis. The road ride dumps me off into a gritty commute ride snaking through the crazy heart of the city. At the northwest edge of downtown I’ll slip out of the chaos and onto the greatest bike highway on the planet, the Cedar Lake Trail. This is a three lane divided path system with a path dedicated to pedestrians and one for each direction of bike traffic; too sweet to pass up and the perfect yin to the frenetic yang of the rat race in the core city. This commuting segment of my route then brings me to up to Theodore Wirth Park for some more sweet single track this time in the heart of the city though you would never know it when you’re sailing through the woods. (A big THANKS needs to go to MORC for these trails!) Well I’ve put on about 80 miles so far so I will don my last cycling hat, the utility cyclist one and head for home by way of the grocery store and call it a day by hauling home a loaf of bread, a half gallon of milk, some salad fixin’s and a six pack of beer.

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded?
I ask why this question is so narrow minded since I have at least three bike classes; Road, Mountain & Commuter, maybe four if the Utility bike is a separate category from the Commuter. I prefer whichever one is between my legs at the time I am gitten’ er done.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why?
Nope, never have but having just had shoulder surgery I may pick one up off Craig’s List for my convalescence. I work with a guy that rides a 'bent since he injured his back and his almost looks like a bicycle...

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?
Nope, never have. I recently had the chance but decided having Tim the Tool Man tear open my shoulder, head on in with the Binford 2000 Shoulder-Rooter to grind down my clavicle and acromion and suck out the muck from around the bursa would be way more fun. I’ve seen the terror on the faces of those tri riders wobbling down the trail hoping to get their water bottle back in it’s cage without wiping out and just barely making it so I think I made the right choice. I know my drugs are way better and I will deny the entire dental floss incident so just let it drop already.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?
Riding a bicycle is like having sex, eating ice cream is like having had sex. I relish what I'm having now and leave the past behind so ice cream would be history for me.

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.
What is the most neglected bike component you see/hear while out riding?
Clearly the bicycle chains of America are stark victims of an oil shortage. Some day I will head out with a pile of rags and bottles of chain lube to silence the shrieking masses of rusty department store bikes.

OK I know the rules say I'm supposed to tag someone else but it seems the entire world has already been tagged with this one so I am putting an end to the tagging right here and now. Then again, if I actually had some friends I might have someone to tag...

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