Thursday, April 2, 2009

Post Winter Basement

It's a sad life for a bike sequestered to do trainer duty. Think about it. Here is a machine made to roll over open ground clamped by the arse, raised up off the ground with the back wheel jammed into a spinning pipe and the front wheel balanced on a two by four. It shares floor space with a Nordic Track, machine that has never know the feel of fresh air flowing freely by with a grinning person gazing out at the possibilities ahead. No, the Nordic Track was conceived to sit in a single spot resisting the various pulling actions of a sweaty person grunting out a work out, likely watching some video in hopes of forgetting they are grinding away in some dark corner of the house.
Even if the clamped and tortured bike has the company of a lovely companion, its a sad state of affairs. Just because she's leaning seductively against the shelving flashing that tight, trim seat bag doesn't mean he can ignore the fact that there's no breeze, no natural light and no matter how fast the back wheel spins, the front wheel sits idle nervous that the gentle rocking will knock it off the two by four. A spinning wheel can take a pretty good bump and keep on rolling but a motionless wheel can only look forward to the rude awakening of a dull thud followed, no doubt, by colorful language of a startled rider, or more accurately, spinner.
Near by hang some wheels and tires, quietly waiting for their chance to be part of the action. They know the feel of the wind, the warmth of the sun and the gentle vibration of the tarmac flowing under their steady spin. Someday they will again be pressed into service but for now they just serve as the basement's version of hanging art; pretty and stationary, lucky to receive an occasional dusting.
Winter fading, spring running late, the commuter hangs patiently waiting for the end of season scouring. It's been a long run over ice, sliding through slush and pushing powder out of the way, always making the trip a success and a joy. Occasionally a frigid survival exercise, often a hardy romp with sizzling studs on the dry spots between the carbide teeth purchasing safe passage through everything else. It's a salty, sloppy mess but the charge of a commuter is to attack whatever horizontal obstacles it encounters getting from point A to point B. It's not without joy that it meets its mission but pretty and happy fall under other duties assigned and make no appearance in the main body of the job statement.


  1. Looks like our garage with all the bike, tools, and gardening stuff.

  2. Nice commuter! Thanks for the tour through your garage. LOL

    BTW: You can better the poor Giant's winter life by putting it on rollers. Than it's at least free to roll with both wheels and doesn't have his rear clamped. :-)

  3. Groover: I watched your videos on learning how and am not sure I'm that interested but I do have a live-in coach should I ever want to take on the challenge. Fortunately, since I ride the commuter year around, the Giant doesn't spend much time in the trainer.