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DesktopWeb FormText   bicycleTue, 20 Apr 2010 18:12:27 GMT # 

been feeling stupid for driving a mile to the gym and then walking on a treadmill for 5 minutes to warm up. so i've been thinking about getting a bike for about a month; since i figured the mile ride to the gym would take slightly less time and warm me up at the same time. so i've been watching out for any other bike riders for the last couple weeks ... and i haven't seen any. blame it on suburban sprawl. also been checking out the bike racks at the gym, there are alot of them ... all unused. hmm ... but then my recumbant exercise bike broke, so that pushed me over the edge. bought the cheapest bicycle i could find. haven't ridden for 18 years. i'm not sure how to distinguish the different types of bikes, but mine is somewhere in-between mountain and comfort? i assembled it after referring to some youtube vids. also found some vids for adjusting the height of the seat and handlebars. for sizing (6 ft), i just assumed an adult bike with 26 inch wheels would work. it seems decent, but the seat could stand to go higher (although its already at the maximum height mark). its been so long i was a bit nervous, but as a friend said, 'its like riding a bike' ... and it is. the only hard part is figuring out what gear to be in. where is the automatic shifting bike? i'd rather just set some difficulty level, and then it would automatically shift based on torque, depending on how hard i wanted to work. anyway, my derailleur (sp?) wasnt setup right. i just assumed that would be ready to go, but i couldnt get the front gear to shift into high. you get what you pay for? again, youtube has the vids for tweaking that. the next obstacle was getting out of the gated complex. but i couldnt find the sensor and/or didnt have enough mass to trigger it. trapped! so using the skills i learned from playing doom, i started follwing the gate and always turning the same direction, until i found a break in the gate. freedom! for sidewalks, i'd already checked google / bing maps to see that there would be paved paths the entire way. very nice. then, i was wondering if i'd feel self conscious about being out in the open on a bike, after being behind tinted glass for so long. i generally dont care what other people think, and this was no different. mostly because i was too concerned about getting run over by somebody in a car, that you dont get to feel self conscious. and you get to feel self righteous and pat yourself on the back for saving the world while they are destroying the environment with dinosaur batteries. er, um ... i'm not really a hippie, instead i was judging them for being fat and lazy. although i believe in darwinism, i wasnt wearing a helmet. TX doesnt have helmet bike laws, and i know there is no way i'd wear one during summer. especially with global warming (whoops, not a hippie). the next worry is flat tires. along the route there were a couple of broken beer bottles (rednecks). again, i watched some youtube vids for how to change a flat tire. i'm pretty sure i've never changed my own bike tire ... always had my dad do it :) i cant really see myself changing a flat just a mile away, but i've seen this stuff called tire slime that you can put in your tires to seal small leaks; at least good enough to get you home. so i need to get some of that stuff, instead of having to carry tire tools, spare tube, and pump. and then i realized how uncomfortable the seat was. its a brick. comfort bike my ass ... literally. i'm definitely going to have to get an aftermarket seat, potentially one that has a longer tube to get a little more height. for other accessories, i picked up a chain to lock it up, but am going to switch to a U-lock for more mounting options. there just isnt a good place for me to store the chain. also need to get an underseat bag and cover for storing it outside. probably a phone mount too, with some software to make it a bike computer. not sure if it really need fenders, maybe for after it rains? aside, my other complaint is the bike came fully stickered. i absolutely hate stickers, and branding. the other drawback, how are babes at the gym going to find out i have a nice car? anyway, it got me to the gym quickly and i was already warmed up. so i was patting myself on the back for saving the world, until i had to ride back home after leg day. ouch.