It’s been a RockCombo kind of a week, and despite the heat I finished this one off with one of my favorite Off-Road Lite™ routes:
Unlike yesterday, I did not incorporate a swim, though I definitely thought about it:
Ultimately, for the sake of the residents of Irvington, NY, I decided not to contaminate their water supply with my filthy corpus. But then I looked up the reservoir when I got home and learned they no longer use it for their water supply. This makes me want to ignore the “no swimming” rule and jump in…though maybe they no longer drink from it because it’s filthy.
For the most part I’m quite content to live in a large metropolitan area, though certain aspects of it are ridiculous, such as needing to consult a lawyer and an environmental scientist before jumping into a body of water on a hot day.
Then there are the deer, who just do whatever the fuck they want:
Anyway, before embarking on the weekend and bidding you to do the same, I should mention I’ve become quite fond of the RockCombo, a.k.a. the “Eye Of The Tiger Bike.” While of course there is some overlap with my Rivendells (or “Rivendae,” which seems like a more elegant way to pluralize Rivendell–and I’ll also gratuitously direct your attention to their updated banner on this very page) what with the flat pedals and friction shifting and all the rest of it, the fact that it’s basically a mountain bike makes it better suited to off-road noodling, and the drop bars mean I’m inclined to approach the paved portions of the ride with a bit more urgency. (Though I can assure you nothing about my demeanor is “urgent” when it’s 90 American Freedom Degrees™.) So of the three, it’s the one I grab if I want to ride in “regular” shoes and clothes, but I think I might want to go a little bit faster and duck into the woods for a bit.
On the other hand, the Rivendae are both much more comfortable and refined, though I could certainly improve the RockCombo in that regard with a few judicious upgrades. (Aesthetically however there’s no redeeming it.) For example, the non-ramped Suntour drivetrain on the RockCombo, while perfectly serviceable, is quite clackety and balky by modern standards, and makes the Silver drivetrain on the A. Homer Hilsen in particular seem preternaturally smooth and accurate. No doubt an updated chain and cassette would go a long way towards remedying that, but that would also involve changing the rear wheel for something with a Shimano spline–which is tempting, since a wheel upgrade would probably also improve the feel of the bike quite a bit. Then there are the handlebars; while overall the dirt-drop configuration is quite satisfactory, there’s not much real estate up top, especially with the handlebar bag-cum-man purse on there (I can’t believe I just typed that), and I should probably just do what the cool kids do and get something like this that has both flared drops and lots of room to ride the tops, even with baggage:
If I relied more heavily on the bike I’d probably do all of the above, but as it is it’s one of many, and rather than do all that it makes more sense to enjoy it in its period-correct state, which isn’t hard to do.
In this sense, bikes are like people: it’s best to appreciate them for what they are. When you start trying to change them it’s often a sign you should just get rid of them instead.