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My growing bike addiction

April 1, 2008
 Death Valley Sunrise, originally uploaded by dawnhuc.  

When I (N.) first got my bike it looked like this and although I liked a lot of different accessories I didn’t want to go out and spend a lot of money on stuff I didn’t really need. All I had was the bike saddle with spare tube and multi-tool along with a bike pump attached to my frame. Now I’m still drooling over all the stuff I see at the bike store but I’ve only purchased a couple of necessities. I bought a head band because biking is sweaty and I don’t want it dripping down my forehead. J. bought a light set for me that I have yet to use… It’s a regular AAA battery operated blinky on the back. It cost about $10 and had three different settings to get cars attention.

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The front light is made by Night Rider and it’s a 6 watt halogen bulb with a rechargeable battery pack. I wanted something that I could recharge instead of throwing out batteries and although I could have used rechargeable batteries I don’t need them for anything else and those will eventually wear out. You can see the light and battery pack in these two photos. You can also look closely and see the $20 extension cable I had to buy because the regular cord connecting the headlight and battery pack was 1/2in to short. I’m a little angry about that but what can you do…

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You can also see my homemade bike lock. J. owns a couple but we are waiting for his household goods to be delivered and I didn’t want to buy something we already have multiples of. Security isn’t a big issue for me since I ride to and from work and keep it in my office when I get there. I use it when I have to go to our warehouse and I chain it up to one of the cages. The bike came like this and I haven’t replaced any of the parts. I also haven’t purchased any specialized clothes. I use a pair of thinsulate gloves since it is still cold out and since I already have a pair of weight lifting gloves I can use those when it gets warm out. I usually wear a pair of sweats or “yoga pants” with a regular t-shirt. I have a nice thin North Face jacket that works great in the cold weather. I also have a North Face rain jacket that I have yet to break out. I have a women’s day pack hiking backpack that I use to carry all my stuff (I change clothes at work but I usually leave those there each night) and I wrap a reflective belt around it to be seen.  I don’t see myself needing or buying any more clothes or shoes (I just use my sneakers) and I’m happy without bike shorts or wicking t-shirts. My commute is short though so someone with a longer one may need the nicer clothes. 

I bike 3-4 times a week and it’s enabled me to go 3 weeks without getting gas. Sometimes I still need the bike since I’m not ready to risk my life on the highway to get somewhere but eventually J. and I would like to get down to one car between the two of us. 

Right now I’m staying away from the bike shop and it’s lure. I suppose I should get a bell and since I have a mountain bike and I ride mostly of pavement I could look into thinner wheels but that costs money and there is nothing wrong with the tires I have so I’ll stick with them. After all I know I’m not going to be racing and if J. ever does manage to get me to Death Valley for a ride I’ll need the nobby tires!  

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2008 11:45 pm

    I’m hoping to get a bike again this summer (my first got stolen – the ‘hood I live in!- and the one I currently have is a pretty lame-o bike I didn’t return to an ex (I gave it back once, he asked to get back together, gave it back to me, then dumped me, so I kept the thing, but never really liked it) ANYWAY — I haven’t looked at biking gear in years. Do you have opinions on good helmets (I’ll be using it in busy city streets) and what I should expect to pay for one these days?

  2. April 2, 2008 4:43 pm

    How long is your ride and how hilly is it? I’ve been thinking about biking to work once the weather gets a bit better, but it’s almost 9 miles door to door. I’m concerned about getting all sweaty, needing “biking clothes”, or both. I’ve also heard from people who commute by bike that a mountain bike with suspension is a horrible choice…and that’s what I’ve got.

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