It’s been a while since I posted, since I haven’t been too involved in cycling lately, but recently I bought my first pair of clipless MTB shoes and I’m COMPLETELY JACKED ABOUT BIKING again!
I bought some barely-used Lake MX-101 shoes from an avid cyclist and we ended up talking in his basement for 2 hours; only 10 minutes of which was about the shoes. I completely lost track of time, my wife was texting me wondering if I was still alive and later phoned because she was concerned she didn’t hear from me (she’s so sweet).
So the guy I bought the shoes from is crazy into biking and has, I don’t know, a dozen bikes, in his basement. He has all the tools, Park repair stands, home made repair stands, and basically a bike-shop-worth of spare parts. He’s continuously working on bikes, swapping parts, and builds some radical custom bikes just for fun and for the strange looks he gets. He’s big into this downhill racing league he and his friends started, using “Pixie Bikes”: Heavily-modified full-suspension 16-20″ bikes with 12″ wheels and high-end components. It’s crazy and definitely one of the coolest things I’ve seen on two wheels.
One of his other bikes is a single-speed bike completely covered in long neon green hair. Yup, NEON GREEN HAIR! Think Muppets hair. He told me he doesn’t even lock the bike up when he goes out because there’s such a crowd around the bike when he pulls up that no one would think of stealing it (plus he’s 25 years in the Army, so go ahead and try).
I’ve been wanting to get some tools and a repair stand after some years of tuning bikes upside down, or tying them up to my rafters to make derailleur adjustments. The problem is, I just don’t have the budget to spend $200-300 on such a stand. This guy yesterday has built his own stand using threaded gas pipe and fittings, and bar clamps (from wood working) that you can get at the hardware store. Now I know that it’s not too hard to make your own, without spending tons of cash. Pretty cool!
All this talk about biking and parts and repair stands just made me totally excited to start riding again. I can’t wait for the roads to be a little nicer so I can get back into commuting and riding for fun. I’ve still been able to ride to work once a week, just to check the road/trail conditions but it’s been pretty messy. Pretty soon, maybe this coming week I’ll be back into it; so far I’m just playing around in the basement and tuning up my bikes for the season.
However, I’m about to tip over the fine line from enjoying an activity to being completely obsessed, so I better be careful! I almost started a project to convert my flat handlebar commuter urban bike to drop bars but luckily I was able to stop just short of insanity and leave the bike alone!