Thursday, September 3, 2015

N + 1

While my primary bike was in the shop for an extended period, I tried using my secondary bike, Ruby to get around town. I rode her 18 miles one day and by the end of the day, four of my fingers were numb again and the palm of my left hand felt like it had been crushed, I was getting stabbing pain. Why did I put up with the numbness before? I was annoyed and frustrated at the end of my ride, I recall ripping off my gloves and hurling them across the living room when I got back. I'm still looking for one of those gloves.
Cycling is not supposed to hurt. Cycling is supposed to be fun.

I didn't bother to use the bike the first 3 days this week, I used the car and I felt I was missing something. Essentially, I had one bike. What good is a bike that hurts to ride and you don't want to use? 

The N + 1 rule: 

Rule # 12 //
The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.

I needed another bike. One with dropbars. My hands like dropbars.
Again, I looked to my fellow cyclists and noted which bike shops around town were worthy of my business and the love they had for a particular brand. Kindred Cycles in the Strip was a no-brainer. Katherine and Aaron, the founders were highly regarded and hey...   this shop was .6 miles from my apartment.
I stopped on the way home from work to test ride some bikes. They showed me a Surly Straggler: very nice, but well out of the range I wanted to spend. They also showed me a Fairdale 10-speed with just one front ring. Just ONE front ring? Oh my, that frightened me. I need more gears! My KNEES need lots of granny gears. Please show me something with more gears!

Ah canna get up these hills wit just 10 gears, Cappn! Ah need more power!
Then, they let me have at the Kona Rove. I liked it and managed to figure out the brifters after a few times around the block. I liked the feel of the gearing despite only having 16 gears. She was light and smooth and I could fit fenders and a rack on this easily. Katherine wanted to put the pedals, saddle, rack and fenders on that evening! I offered come back at another time to have the rack and fenders installed, I didn't want to be the customer who arrives an hour before closing and wanted all my accessories installed that day, but she insisted and stayed after closing to put my bike together. Wow.
I walked away with a bike and all the awesome trappings I needed for a commute the next day. Sweet. No wonder everyone speaks so highly of these folks!

She ain't heavy, she's my mā.mā
Katherine takes it for a spin to make sure it's in good working order before handing it over to her new owner.

 When I got back to the apartment, I tested it on my hill riding up and down a few times, learning the brifters. I needed to grab the brakes from the drops instead of the hoods to come to a complete stop, my hands aren't big enough to brake from the hoods, this is my only issue.
I loved this bike, I hung a full pannier from it and even then, going up my hill was much easier and faster. This bike was much lighter than my Trucker and way more efficient than my Canondale. I was happy and couldn't wait to ride it to work the next morning.

I thought about names: I wanted a name that meant "fast" or "light", because wow, this bike was much faster and lighter than I was accustomed to. I found that in Hawaaian, the word for 'not heavy' was mā.mā.

Coffee mug in the Looney Bin bottle cage! Ready for the first commute!

Getting a better view with the Fly6 camera was going to be a challenge though.


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