Tuesday, November 13, 2012

sekai tourer, part three: ta-daaaah!

I sometimes get obsessed with a new bike build...

Yesterday afternoon, on a sudden whim, I called up a bunch of bike shops and found that none have used fenders right now. Of course not; it's November. Idiot! So I had to cough up the bigger bucks for a basic set of fenders. I went to the shop that had the lowest price, got the fenders and some extra used hardware, and picked up a cool set of pantleg straps to send to pal SlowRPM (if he will ever email me with a sail-mail address -- hint-hint). Went home, installed the fenders, Nitto shortie rack and Carradice Nelson saddlebag, and the Zefal pump that had formerly graced the Longlow, and voila! It finally looked more like a reasonable bike.

 Today I'm meeting a student this morning for a lesson. After that I plan to ride the Sekai around town and listen to what it has to tell me (I already know the brakes will need adjustment, or possible replacement; but if I can run these original brakes I really want to). I may swing by Crank and see if they have a couple small bits to help me lower the front fender a bit. I also need to score a 25.0 laprade seatpost so I can get a finer angle adjustment on the saddle.

The real pisser about needing to source odd used parts is that I could probably find them at Citybikes, where I used to work. That's the shop in eastside Portland (really, in all of Portland) known for being able to come with all manner of odd used parts, and it's the shop where I learned my installation problem-solving skills. Shops that sell only new stuff almost never have what I need, and frankly some of their problem-solving skills leave a little to be desired. (Why make something old work when it's better to buy new? I hear this a lot from the new shops and it infuriates me. Don't these people ever think about sustainability?)

But the truth is that buying anything from Citybikes right now just isn't comfortable for me. I don't know how long I will feel like that, but for now I prefer to solve my technical problems without accessing their huge store of used and archaic bits.

It does feel a little like shooting myself in the toe, but at least I can listen to my gut and be honest with what I hear there.

Today's weather is mostly cloudy and cool, with highs in the 50s and only a few showers. A good day to take the new bike and put it through some easy paces around town. Once I get everything finally dialed in, I'll look forward to a very nice longer ride on Thanksgiving morning.

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