Friday, November 9, 2012

Jingle All The Way

In choosing a winter bike, one must choose very carefully.  You'll want a bike that is robust and one you won't mind if it gets banged up.  So when my eye caught the Norco Kokanee with its flourescent yellow frame dappled with bright orange specks, I thought "This baby will do the job!" as I pulled it from the pile at "BikeWorks".
The pile
The bike which I want to call Big Bird, has the requisite two wheels, two brakes and two shifters.  What it did need were two studded tires, a wider handlebar, flat pedals, a better seat and more comfortable handgrips. Keep in mind the bike only cost $35.00 to start with and if I like it, I might very well ride it for several years.
Big Bird ready to roll

On a test ride to work the other day, I counted 12 bicycle commuters passing me with their fancy dancy lightweight machines.  In all the years of cycling to and from work, I've never heard so many "On your Lefts" as I did riding this bike named after a beer.

I spent a couple of hours at the shop swapping out the shifters, the pedals and the brake levers, the handlebar and the hand grips.  The fun part is using the air compressor with its tiny nozzle to blow air at tremendous speed into the handgrip and thereby allow it to be shimmied onto the handlebar.  Note to reader:  make sure everything else is mounted onto the handlebar before placing the handgrips into position - otherwise you have to use the compressor with its tiny nozzle to blow air at tremendous speed into the handgrip...

My coup de grace was attaching bear bells to the pedals to avoid having to use not only a frozen finger but one covered in many bulky layers to try to ring a bell that is only going to be muffled by the material of my mitten.  What with the ripping sound that studded tires make and the ching ching emanating from the bear bells, nearly every pedestrian and cyclist I come up to inevitably turn around to see "WTF?" is behind me?  Meaning I don't have to ring a bell anyway even if I had one on my handlebars.
The rippers
Added bonus this year
An added bonus this year is a rearview mirror - now I'm able to see what is behind me making that ripping sound along with that irritating Ching Ching noise.

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