Pinky Tuscadero

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

I’ve been having some problems with my bike lately.  My commute to work has been great, but the downside is that I fold and unfold the bike several times a day.  My current bike, a Giant Halfway, wasn’t really designed for this type of abuse.  It’s more of a keep in the trunk of your car and ride occasionally kind of bike.

The hinge on my current bike is starting to fail.  Basically, it will work itself loose every now and then.  I was on the sidewalk the first time it happened.  No injuries…  just embarassment.  It’s happened a couple of other times since.  I have a new hinge on order, but the issue goes beyond that…  while the bike is a snap to fold and unfold, it simply wasn’t designed to have that action performed multiple times per day.  A new hinge will just yield the same result eventually.

I started researching and searching for a new folding bike.  Most of the searching was done online, but I also made it out to a couple of different stores to test ride some bikes too.  I tested Dahons, a Brompton, a Bike Friday and a Birdy.  I thought about the Xootr Swift and the Strida.  For a moment there, I even considered going back to my car.

At some point I passed the threshold from researching, to actually shopping.  I started scouring eBay and Craigslist for a good deal.  I found several, but either I didn’t win the auction (eBay)… or the seller wasn’t willing to ship the bike (Craigslist).  One of the folks I contacted via Craigslist in Eugene, OR got back to me a week ago.  He hadn’t had any luck selling his Bike Friday Tikit locally, and wanted to know if I was still interested.  We agreed on a shipping price, and the bike was sent out to me on Tuesday.

It arrived yesterday.  Here are the pictures to prove it…

Whats in the box?

What's in the box?

Getting Warmer?

Getting Warmer?

That Cant Possibly Be a Pink Bike?

That Can't Possibly Be a Pink Bike?

Presenting Pinky Tuscadero!

Presenting Pinky Tuscadero!

Oil Is for Sissies!

Oil Is for Sissies!

Showing Off My Bling!

Showing Off My Bling!

Most likely, the Oil is for Sissies is going to be removed or replaced.  If you have a better slogan for Pinky, please let me know.  So far I’ve heard…  “Real Men Love Pink”, “Pink Panther”, and of course, “Pinky Tuscadero”.  I’ve also had some vulgar ones that I won’t repeat here because my dad reads this.  ;-)

Interesting tidbit on the name Pinky Tuscadero…  it appears that Happy Days has been out of syndication so long that people under 30 do not generally get the reference.  I’ve said it in mixed groups of people.  The under 30’s look puzzled, the over 30’s groan.  LOL

Insert Pithy Title Combining Pitchfork and Thailand HERE…

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

A couple of things…

First, today is my birthday… and my present to myself is the Pitchfork Music Festival which happens this weekend.  Gus is coming down from Minneapolis.  We’re manly men, staying at a bed and breakfast.  That’s right.  If you don’t start something, there won’t be something.  Expect a report on this next week.

Second, notice that I didn’t mention awesome wife Liz in that first part.  Why?  Because she’s the luckiest wife EVAR.  She left for Thailand today.  She’ll be gone for a few weeks at some “training”…  but we all know that she’s really going there to have fun.

In other news…  commuting by bike in 90 degree weather, not as cool (no pun intended) as I thought it would be.  My friends…  baby wipes, what every adult man wants to rub all over his body when he gets to work in the morning.  Haven’t you heard?  It’s the new black.

In other, other news…  I think I pulled or strained a muscle in my arm.  Does anyone have any recommendations for what I can do for it?  Should I go to a doctor and get something?  Or should I pamper myself and get a massage (will that even help it)?

In even more news…  Work is trying to crush my soul.  Who knew having your soul crushed paid so well?

Finally, I have come to a decision.  I need to sell all the collectible crap that is clogging up my house and never sees the light of day.  I figure I can turn a few grand.   Who couldn’t use a few grand?  I know I could;  especially when we go visit my dad in Brazil.  Have you seen those plane tickets.  Outrageous!

–sam

Bikes ‘R’ Us

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

I made it through the second week of the train commute. Yes, the second week. It would have been the third week, but I got the flu right after the first week (probably from someone on the train).

Anyway, I’m learning a lot more about Chicago as a result of taking public transit and riding my bike. In fact, I would say I’ve learned more in the last few weeks than I did in the previous year. Sad, but true.

And now that the bicycle is such an important part of my transportation picture, I’m finding that I’m having to re-learn a lot of what I used to know about bikes when I was a kid. Little known fact… when I was living in Miami between 4th and 5th grade, I used to steal bikes with my cousin Bobby and our friend Joey. We would roll up to some other neighborhood and find bikes that had been left in the yard. Then we would take them back to Joey’s house, take the bikes apart and rebuild them. After that we would spray paint them and then sell them at the flea market. It was like a car chop shop, but for bicycles. I’m not proud of what I did.

I mention that only because today I had to change the tire on my bicycle. It brought back a lot of memories.
Yesterday I went over to Bikeworks, a local bike shop. The owner of the shop, Bruce, is a bit like the Soup Nazi. He’s cantankerous and gruff, and he is highly opinionated when it comes to bicycles. Here’s a video of him…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L1m1QIFTtg

Who better to ask about the gear shifting problem I’ve been having? I spent a couple of hours with Bruce yesterday before he agreed to work on my gear problem. While there, I noticed something odd about my rear tire. The rubber was coming off where the tire met the rim. I bought the bike used… therefore the tires were used. I hadn’t noticed the rear tire issue until I was showing another customer how to fold the bike.

At any rate, Bruce, miraculously found the same exact tires (Kenda Kwest 20×1.50 High Pressure) that were on my bike somewhere inside his store (if you watched the video, you’ll know that would be quite a feat).  This morning I replaced the offending tire.  Got a little dirty in the process.  It felt good.

Next up…  I need to join the Bike Project…  http://thebikeproject.org.

–sam

The Test

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

Tomorrow I embark on an epic journey.  Instead of driving to Chicago, I’ll be taking the train.  This is a big deal for me.  I’ll be adding a ton of extra time to my commute, but I’ll be saving quite a bit of coin.  I’m testing it out this week to see if it will be something I can do regularly.

Here’s what my train commute will look like tomorrow…

Amtrak to Chicago…  Depart 6:10 AM
Metra to Lombard…  Depart 10:40 AM
Bicycle to the Office…  Depart 11:20 AM
Arrive at Office around 11:40 AM

My current car-based commute is a bit shorter.  I usually leave around 8:00 AM and arrive around 10:30 AM. So my commute will go from 2.5 hours to 5.5 hours.  Yikes!  At least I only have to do that once a week.  On the way back, the commute will actually be a lot less…  more like 3.5 hours.  Another positive is that I get to see if my folding bike is good enough for this kind of travel.

Here’s to hoping there are no delays tomorrow.
–sam