I'm back in the city again, which is good and bad. Good,
because there are paths for inlining just a couple of blocks away. Speedskating
is part of the plan again this winter. It was perhaps my sixth time ever on inline
skates when I decided to explore Inwood
and found the path going up and up and up. In my limited experience, when you
crash on a bike, there's practically no time to worry about what's happening.
It just happens, and then you find yourself lying in the gutter. On skates,
unable to stop and rapidly gaining speed, my entire consciousness focused for
about 10 terrifying seconds on the impending meeting of flesh and asphalt.
Smart enough to wear wrist and knee guards; not smart enough to take the skates
off and walk down the hill.
Tegaderm is essentially a sheet of air-permeable plastic. It
keeps a scab from forming, which is supposed to speed healing and reduce
scarring. Some of the rash was pretty bad, and some was superficial. If I were
one of those guys who shaves his arms, not to mention his legs in winter, the
Tegaderm would have worked a bit better. I shaved around the wounds (elbow,
thigh, calf) and slapped it on. The shaving helped it stay on in the shower. I
found that the worse the wound, the more helpful it was to have on. Green
liquid filled the space under the plastic. Some leaked out. After about a week
it started to smell. Changing the dressing did not seem to help or harm the
healing. After 2 weeks I gave up and let scabs form on the few remaining open
Time for hate: Tegaderm is not cheap compared to other
dressings. A typical case of road rash might cost $40+ to cover up. It seemed
to work OK. I rode 2 days later and had no problem with the sheeting coming off
or getting in the way. I don't think big gauzy bandages under tights would have
allowed enough movement to ride.
Where does this leave us? I'm usually a let-it-dry,
dirt-is-good-for-it, kind of guy. I'm sticking with that for small scrapes. For
larger, deeper patches of rash, I'd try Tegaderm again.
When D and I moved in together and tied the knot, the major
fallout was a bike storage problem. We started with seven, gave away one of
hers, I picked up a new mountain bike (see below) and then sold my old pink
Klein Rascal. So, six bikes.
As it turns out, there is an indoor free-standing rack that
will hold not only six bikes, but a slew of wheels, helmets shoes and other
gear as well. Delta's Cezanne model went together easily. More utilitarian accessory
than decorating pièce de résistance, it holds stuff.
It doesn't beautify the room. In a pinch for a party you could cover the whole
thing up with a large tapestry and call the bike room the gallery.
Time for hate: Soft-plastic-coated metal hooks slide up and
down the four corner posts and "lock" in when weight increases the
friction between metal and plastic. This is good for infinite adjustability
without tools, sloping top tubes, etc. The plastic coating disintegrated on a couple
of hooks. Delta sent me a complete new set of 8 hooks explaining they had a bad
batch. Our bikes are all in the 50-52cm top tube range, and the posts are
almost too far apart for such small frames. In a pinch, the adjustability means
you can hang the bikes from the stem and or saddle.
Where does that leave us? For $200 you can get all the bikes
and wheels off the floor and walls, but the Cezanne is not as elegant as a
floor-to-ceiling post rack.
I picked this up at a steal of a price from my now former
employer. To me, a titanium hardtail makes perfect sense for a mountain bike,
especially for the kind of off-road riding I like: not-so technical singletrack
with lots of climbing. It's a frame that should last forever. There are no
complicated linkages and shocks to fuss with or break. It's pretty damn light,
even with a mid level SRAM build and heavy Bontrager wheels. The finish is bare
sand-blasted Ti with gold tinted clearcoat panels. I've raced it once and
ridden it a few times now. The geometry is tight and quick. I don't believe in
pinch flats and therefore always over-inflate. The springiness of the metal offers
a bit of compensation for pumped up or narrow tires. Can I really tell that
it's the metal creating the spring and not the saddle, seatpost, tires? No.
Time for hate: This handmade bike becomes unobtanium at
retail prices, but it's a lifetime purchase.
Where does that leave us? I've skipped all the bike review
clichés up to now. So far I'm enjoying the hell out of it.
Selle Italia SLK
This is the saddle for me. I've never had any numbness or
unreasonable discomfort. The slot up the middle does the trick. When mine
finally softened up a bit too much, I didn't even consider trying a new saddle.
Why not? Because I can't. My carbon seatpost is fused into my aluminum frame at
just the right height. A different saddle might screw it all up.
Time for hate: It could be lighter. The next replacement
will have to be NOS.
Where does that leave us? The soft saddle is going on the TT
bike, where a soft saddle tip is a courteous touch while hunched over the