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Awesome weather!

Right, then!

After weeks of drab, gray rain, with only spots of sun, we’ve had some truly good weather – 69F with a slight breeze. The only pisser is that this is merely a pump fake, as shitty weather will be returning, soon. But until then, I’m in shorts.

It’s been a good week. Finally finally finally, I got the Dawes back, complete with new rear rack and bar tape. Let me tell you folks: It’s looking good. On Saturday, I took it from Willow Glen up to Lexington Reservoir and back – about 23 miles. Yesterday, did a 37mi R/T for the entire length of Coyote Creek Trail. To be honest, it was a bit of a bitch heading back as there was a constant headwind the entire way, but still enjoyable.

As I now have a rear rack, I got a pannier for it. I’m still on the fence for larger panniers, but I at least wanted one that I could carry the laptop and a few items in. Got a Detours Toto Pannier from REI, and so far, I think it will do the trick. Today, I went on a run to Target and Trapper Joe’s, just past SJC. Was able to get a few items (including the ever-loved Cafe’ Bustelo) home sans backpack, which is really what I was wanting. While I can use a backpack, I just don’t like it. Whats nice about this arrangement is that I can carry clothes and such with me when I ride into work and shower there, now. I do plan on buying grocery panniers, but I’m still a bit on the fence there. Jandd makes some nice, very functional models, but Velo Orange is supposed to be making their own, which would then match the saddle bag (Croissant bag) that I just bought. Still not sure which way to go. I’m going to sit tight for a bit as a) I have a way to transport my laptop and binders and such, and b) Safeway is walking distance from the house – this might mean I won’t need panniers until I’m ready to do some long distance travel. A randonneur bag might be closer to the top of the list.

Being that I’ve not had to fight the rain, I’ve noticed that I’ve noticed more, whilst riding around. Leaving Target, I noticed music coming from the car next to me. At the next light, I noticed more music pouring from a sport bike on the adjacent street – he got a ticket. In neighborhoods, I notice the lack of traffic. I can smell what is being cooked, or – for that matter – smoked. All of these things would have gone unnoticed if I were driving.

Of all this positive, there’s a little negative. It appears that I have bent the rear wheel. I noticed this as I kept hearing a rubbing/squeaking sound. While so far this has not affected the rideability of the bike, I find this irritating. I haven’t done anything that (in my opinion) should have caused this. For that matter, I don’t recall bikes being this fragile. However, when I mention this to my roommates, they counter with the fact that the 10-speed I rode 25 years ago probably did not have such lightweight components as I have now, and as such, were more durable. I’m hoping to ride for a bit longer before I get the wheel tended to. It’s nice riding the mountain bike with index shifting, but I’ve been missing the beauty of the Dawes.

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