Friday, November 3, 2023

Primping, preening and the shakedown cruise

 This morning I spent some time putting some finishing touches on the Peugeot.

The front fender kept slapping the rack so I added a stabilizer, using a cut-down Velox handlebar plug and a zip tie. Another remnant of the fender cutout was used like a stick to hold the zip tie in place from underneath.

I also added a rear taillight (battery-powered, 20 bucks on eBay) and a rear-mount kickstand.

After raising the seat and handlebars to the right height, I added the saddlebag and took it on a lovely Coffeeneuring cruise. The bike handled beautifully. The relaxed geometry took a little getting used to, but greatly improved when I raised the stem to maximum height. The tires felt fine. The sidewall repair held steady and easily cleared the canti brake cable.

I still need to figure out what sort of basket or compartment I want to put on top of the front rack. Which means I need to think about how much I want to carry with this bike. (Probably not much.) the saddlebag in back is plenty of capacity. Possibly I’d consider finding an old sewn canvas handlebar bag and cutting it down to fit the rack better.

I took a spin around the neighborhood, including a lap around the park, in order to meet the two-mile minimum for a Coffeeneuring ride, then stopped at Woodlawn Coffee for a sandwich and hot cocoa that, along with the beautiful fall leaves, comforted my soul.

I felt much better, calmer, after lunch. I rode up to MLK Blvd. and watched the traffic for a couple minutes, then took a long, leafy loop home.

When I got back to the house, the air was mild and a little damp, a foretaste of the rain that’s coming in tonight.

I parked the bike, sat outside the Brain Trust and stared at it, the way I’ve done after finishing the build-up of every bike I’ve done over the years.

It’s such a nice feeling when a build-up turns out well.

DAMN, it’s a nice bike.

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