Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ride #3: Leaving the Comfort Zone

I have been looking for the best route to get from home to school, wavering on which busy road I will brave (Sunset or Johnson), when I noticed (on the map) a way to avoid both, so I took it. I'm really glad I did, too. I've never been down that road and it is really pretty scenery! As long as I finally get it in my head to turn at the right road down the line, I will have a really great morning route. :) I ended up all over the place in those curvy non-connecting streets near the college, which is really frustrating, but I always get lost around there by car.

Equipment Malfunctions:
The seat went all wonky on me again! I have a powerful ass, indeed. I took it easy the rest of the way, but as soon as I parked and got off the bike, I heard a tink and one of the screws for the rack came right out! It was difficult for the bike guys to get in when they installed it, so hopefully they will have a way to fix it for me. I put the screw away and tried to work on the seat. The quick release was for sure clamped all the way down, but I tried tightening the screw/bolt/whatever thing with my hand and then I could not get the quick release to clamp on again! I loosened what I tightened and things seemed to work out for now, as it didn't fail me on the way home. As I finished up in the computer lab, I realized I left both my lights on. Doh!

I can summarize the trip to the grocery store like so: If I ever find the city planner who decided that the majority of all streets in this town do not need to be through streets, I will string him up by his toenails. That is all.

I am pretty excited to say I rode back from HEB on College Hills and Sunset and did not feel like I was going to be run over. I did learn that the manual is right, and you should not move more than one gear at a time, and that I should also not try to do this as I cross an intersection. People understood my Oh Shit! face and the not pedaling, so I did not get honked at or anything. I got off the road and put the chain back onto its path and continued on to the intersection where I had to cross into the left-turn lane, and that went smoothly. Well, except the car waiting behind me honked once. I disregard their opinion because I would not have attempted to make that gap even if I was in a car. Cranky Wanker. Things were okay going up Sunset until I got close to the Knickerbocker intersection, where it gets steep. I stopped and was going to rest at the light, but it turned and I almost went but my legs and lungs gave out. I got off the road and walked at the crosswalk on my wobbly legs. I would have rested under the tree for a little while longer, but I had dairy products to protect and it was 96 degrees and I was almost home.

Overall Estimated Distance: 8.0 miles (12.9km)

Last thought: The carry bag was way to small to hold even 5 smallish grocery items. I must find a better way.


  1. Which screws fell out of the rack attachment?

    The ones under the seat -- that came with the Townie?

    We own 2 electa Townies, and have quite a few accessories. We both have racks.

    I have noticed that the hardware Electra supplies with its bikes is often not the right size. For instance, the little bolts that come with the bike, under the saddle, for mounting the rack, are actually waaaaay too short to go through the rack and screw securely into the holes.

    Had a similar problem with some fender mounting hardward that came with Townie fenders -- wrong size for the mounting holes in my suspension fork.

  2. Yeah, it was a problem of the screws too short to go all the way through. I just got back from the shop and they fixed me up with new screws and checked out the seat. Its a pain, but I guess I realize that not every Electra bike is exactly the same proportions and a little bending and forcing has to happen.

  3. I thought it was kind of stupid that the screws that actually come on the Townie are to small for the rack that is designed for the Townie, but it's an easy fix.

    I still love my Townie and everything, it was just annoying.