Another springlike day in DC demanded that I go for a ride. Having just achieved a mileage milestone on my Cross Check, I switched hosses and pulled Little Nellie, my Bike Friday New World Tourist, from the shed. I was all set to go when I remembered that I needed to bring a lock.
I’ve had the same Kryptonite black U-lock for ages. In fact, in 2004 when Kryptonite’s old key/lock mechanism was found to be hackable with a Bic Pen, I sent in my old lock for this one.
So we’ve been together for 14+ years.
After 30 minutes I gave up, grabbed the lock off the Cross Check and headed out.
A few month ago I bought new brake levers for Little Nellie.. The levers were more comfortable than the old ones and I was pretty happy until I rode a few hundred miles with them. My back was screaming at me. The brake hoods (the part your hands rest on) on the new levers are about an inch longer than the old ones. In order to use the brakes I had to stretch out my lower back, which is a bad thing even if you’re a yogi (which I ain’t). It’s even worse when your missing a disc in your spine (like I yam).
Now, Bike Fridays have little wheels and little wheels do not absorb road shock like bike wheels. The jolt of every bump went right to my lower back.
Shortly after buying the bike, I bought a second stem for it. (The stem is a long piece of tubing that connects the headset to the handlebars.) This stem was shorter. So I figured I’d just swap out the shorter stem to compensate for the longer brake hoods.
It must be here somewhere….
In order to ride the bike I had to rotate the handlebars to bring the brake hoods closer to me. This meant that the shift levers which stick out of the ends of the handlebars would be farther away. And with the brake hoods leaning backward, the brake levers rotate upward making for very awkward braking ergonomics.
As I rode Little Nellie today, I contemplated this less-than-ideal set up. I all but decided to call Bike Friday and order another short stem.
Then, as if I were tapped on my shoulder, I thought about the suitcase that I bought for this bike. I wondered if my short stem was in the suitcase. When I got home, I opened the suit case and
There was my short stem swaddled in bubble wrap.
I figure if I wait a few months, I’ll remember where I put that lock….