Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Work Bike

Almost every day, I haul books to the post office. But since the books weigh a pound of more each, a rack or pannier is out of the question. And balancing even a small box of books on a bike rack is a bad idea. But since the PO is less than a half a mile from my office, unless its raining, it seems nuts to drive.

In the garage my original "adult" bike, an RIH purchased in Holland back in the early 80's, languished. It took me across northern Europe and parts of Finland back then. Later it served me well as a city bike in San Francisco, where I swapped out the original 3 speed cassette for a 5 speed. Space those gears right and you can climb any hill in SF with five speeds. Everything else on the bike is original.

My Rivendell Romulus replaced it ten years ago as a sport/recreation/touring bike. But I couldn't bring myself to part with the RIH.

A few weeks ago a neighbor sold me his BOB trailer and the RIH came back to life--as a bike/pickup truck! That was my cue to clean up and polish the RIH. Now the bike, if not me, turns heads as an antique.

Here it is at the post office, loaded with a 54 lb box of books.
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The one wheeled trailer tracks the bike with precision through any turn. You never have to worry about snagging the rear wheel. And you don't really feel like you're hauling 54 pounds, although the steering is noticeably lighter.

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I bought the RIH saddle in England where it was a popular mount for "Bobbies". Last week I added a set a Schwalbe 32 mm marathons. Now the RIH should be good to go for a few more decades. Steel frame, steel forks. Wrights Seat.

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