Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Bicycle!

First off:

This is my bike!  Since I moved to the country last September, bicycling has become a part of my every day life.  I ride my bike almost every day because I have to get places like the grocery store, the bank, the yarn shop.  Though I started bicycling just because I needed some transportation and didn't want to drive a car, I've been surprised to discover that I actually really, really like riding my bike.  That's even more true since I got this new bike in early April.  I think it suits me perfectly.  (My wholehearted thanks go to Rob of Seattle Bike Supply for setting me up with this bike!)

This week we did a really fun photo shoot that included shots of me riding, so we took off my rack, water bottle cage, and all the other stuff that usually lives on the bike (including some neon orange duct tape that make me super high vis!).  With the bike so clean, it was the perfect time to take a few beauty shots.  

The bike is a Redline Metro Classic, and it's designed for commuting and light touring.  Mostly I commute just a few miles at a time on it, but I've also taken it on a bike camping trip, and it did really well loaded up.  The frame is steel, so it makes for a pretty comfortable ride, and there are plenty of gears to help get me up the significant number of hills we have around here.

Not only did Rob help me buy this bike, but he also made some modifications so it would fit me better. First, he switched out the handlebars to these more compact ones.  Since I'd been riding a bike with flat handlebars before, shortening the cockpit a bit made me feel a lot more comfortable.  He also switched out the seat post for a straight one for pretty much the same reason.

And he added these rad pedals!  I was told by some very enthusiastic local bike shop guys that they're way cooler than I realize because they're very old BMX pedals (like from the 80's).  I just like that they make the bike look tough, and the nasty bruises on my shins make me look tough too!

I recently got a new saddle since the stock one (shown in these pictures) was too narrow for my lady bum.  I even had my ass officially measured using an assometer.  (That's the technical term.)  And, thanks to my great local bike shop (Experience Cycling in Duncan), I got to ride around with a test saddle for a couple weeks.  It was very ugly, but riding with a wider saddle was kind of eye-opening.  It was great to be perched on my sit bones while riding!  The test saddle had almost no padding though, and while I didn't mind the firmness, I noticed that the backs of my thighs rubbed on either side, which took away from the experience.  Happily, the folks at the LBS had a slightly cushier version, the Specialized Jett Comp Gel saddle, which took care of that problem.  I haven't ridden very far with it yet, but so far, so good.

So now I am a very happy bicyclist.  Even after a couple months of ownership, every time I look at this bike I can't help but think about how beautiful it is.  Look at those slender tubes!  The clean, sensible geometry!  I'm sure it's obvious that I'm no expert on bikes, but I love this one.  

In case you're wondering about how I get my groceries, etc. with this bike, I do have a rear rack and I pretty much always carry around 
- one or two of these Basil baskets (also provided by Seattle Bike Supply).  I do occasionally have to carry more stuff than fits in the baskets (like on laundry day), so I also strap stuff to the rack using a bungee net.  
- my amazing adapted (orange!) handlebar bag by Jessie Kwak of Bicitoro (and wife of Rob from Seattle Bike Supply).  I don't carry it on my handlebars now that I have the drop kind, but it works great as a pannier, and if I'm carrying both baskets, it easily straps onto the back of one of them.  

Eventually I want to get a front rack so I can even my load out a bit, but for now, my system works.

Though I'm not very knowledgeable yet, I like talking about this stuff and would be happy to get bike-y questions and comments.  If I don't know the answer, I'll just ask Rob.


  1. I'm so glad you're enjoying it! I love reading about your bikey adventures, and I'm looking forward to going adventuring with you--maybe later this summer? After the NACCC is over I'll try to pry Rob out of the house and get up to see you. :)

  2. Yes! We need some buddies for bike bike camping and touring the local wineries. Give that guy a vacation!

  3. It is a beautiful bike. I know very little about road bikes, or bikes in general, except that I love to pedal them and go somewhere. I mostly ride for fun and family time on a couple of vintage bikes or occasionally on trails- which I love. I'm trying to do all maintenance and refurbishing of my bikes myself, but I don't know how much of it I'm retaining because they rarely need it. Do you ride off road? I imagine there are lots of beautiful trails where you live.

  4. The Trans Canada Trail is close to us & we took a great ride to the Kinsol Trestle (http://andreaknitdesign.blogspot.ca/2012/12/ride-to-kinsol-trestle.html)a few months ago on it. Trail riding is fun and this bike feels fine on gravel and dirt roads, but we mostly stick to the roads unless we're specifically riding just for fun since roads get us where we're going more quickly. I'm really looking forward to exploring the area more this summer - we've got a long list of great places to ride.

  5. That looks like such a versatile bike! I love the setup.


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