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No Nick Cave and a Cycling Problem

Damn! I wanted to see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, coming to the Metropolis in October, but it's sold out! Oh well, I'll be trying to go to more small shows, I think. It's been too long I have been to La Sala Rossa, for example, and places like Zoobizarre merit being visited again. Oh, and going to see Miss Kittin & The Hacker on the 27th at SAT! Awesome!

All those shows, I'd like to bike to them, but I've been finding my quest for fenders to put on my bike rather frustrating. It's a weird bike, rather easy to ride with its straight handlebars, but the rest is done in a racing style. Which means that there's basically no clearance anywhere between the tires, the frame, the fork, and the brakes, not a lug in sight for anything (well, except water bottles), and so on...

I'm also pondering a winter bike, as I'd like to try (to some degree, I always have my CAM in my bag!) to ride for at least part of the winter. I'm pondering what to do, as there are many parameters...

I'd like to have a city bike, that would fill in the role a car does for most people. It would have to be practical, something I'd be able to ride day in and day out. It shouldn't be a hassle to ride all the time. I do not want to be hardcore. I'd like to just dress normally, as if I had a car, and arrive maybe a bit rained on at best, as if I was parked a bit far, but not drenched, and no wet line along my back! It could be aluminium, to keep the weight (and the rust) down, but it wouldn't try to be super-light. I think an internal hub might be good, to minimize maintenance as much as possible. Chain cover, to protect my pants. Everything bolted on, so that locking it is easy and quick. Lights, possibly with a generator (but it shouldn't be awful like those against-the-wheel generators).

One of the problems I'm having in this quest is that most bikes fulfilling these criteria (that I can find here) tend to go for a vintage look and have some of the features I listed only because most bikes in the fifties had them, not because they're sensible bikes. One bike having all those items also had things like a seat with big springs (heavy if it useful, sure, but those are heavy and useless!), and a back wheel cover (so that my longcoat doesn't get stuck in the spokes). Stylish, yes, but practical? I live just at the foot of the hill between René-Levesque and St-Antoine, if my first experience when I take out the bike is consistently having this feeling that I'm going to die, well, uh, I don't think that'll be encouraging!

Batavus seems to have some interesting models, and while I haven't seen much of them in Montreal, they have a Canadian site, and there are some resellers in Montreal (I've been there before, but I don't remember seeing them, I guess they can order them, in the worst case). Some details are a bit off still, like the integrated horseshoe locks, which are pretty nice, but require replacing all the inhabitants of Montreal with Danish people first, so it's a bit impractical.

Another thing that's causing me some grief is the parking space. I don't think I want to give up my fast FCR for this hypothetical new bike, you see? On nice days, I don't see why I would deprive myself from the fun of zipping down Ste-Catherine at almost 40 kph! But at the moment, my spot in the basement is just big enough for one bike, maybe two if I could hang then (but it's a temporary setup, and I can't). And maybe I'll be wanting a crappier bike for the winter. And after trying out phython's fixie, I'm still longing for one myself (soooo smooooth!). Where am I going to put all of this bikery? I have my eyes on the mezzanine at home, but it's not very practical, so it might be good to put the winter bike in the summer and vice-versa, but getting stuff up and down there is rather annoying.

Ah, what to do, what to do...

I think I'll deal with the winter first, and get myself one of those cheap-ish Marin hybrid/commuter bikes...


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 13th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
my old roommate in Victoria had this pole going from ceiling to floor (in a regular sized apartment mind you, not a 20' loft) and it had hooks on it so that you could have a bike hanging vertically on either side, great for saving space. might be possible in the office, no?
Sep. 13th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
Re: storage
azrhey isn't so keen on having regularly used bikes in the apartment itself, understandably. With some of the ideas for what we'd want to do with the office, it might be a bit tight as it is, as well, but putting bikes vertically is certainly something that helps.

I should do something more vertical in the (final) closet that we'll have in the basement. At the moment, it's a temporary thing built out of cheap plywood, I don't think it'd take well to have things screwed into it! It should be good for at least two bikes vertically, and maybe putting the bikes used less often on the mezzanine, hmm...

I'm rather disappointed by the bike racks that we were told about when we bought the place, that ended up actually coming with car parking spots (WTF?!?), so I don't have any. Putting bike racks into one or two of those parking spots would be perfectly fine. Meh.
Sep. 13th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you'll pretty much have to build your bike yourself, if you're that specific about what you want, though the chain cover might be an issue. Or just don't be too afraid of changing out parts once you get it. If you want a generator, you should talk to scjody about his funky generator hub dealie.

As for storage, I have two words for you: bike crane. Or perhaps more sensibly, maybe you could make friends with someone who isn't using the bike rack part of their parking spot.
Sep. 13th, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
It's not that bad. The Batavus I linked to is pretty nice, but the one I saw in a store was this one, but I don't want a "monument in the history of cycling", I want a nice ride! :-)

Being a decent European brand, most of their bikes include generator hub as standard equipment. While I remain highly skeptical of coaster brakes (I really enjoy the ability to stop in a hurry!), I'm a bit curious about roller brakes. I know they're not nearly as strong as V-brakes, I wonder if they do better when wet, for example. I'm not opposed to swapping out parts, like those useless (here) wheel locks would probably just be dead weight, but I've looked a bit more on that site, and I think there's probably something quite adequate. It's just that the sensible bikes, people don't seem to get here.

I definitely intend to have a discussion with someone who doesn't use their bike rack, yes, but I think I'll have to forget about getting a long john or a cargo bike, though.

For now, winter ride is going to be it, I think. Some cheapish alloy hybrid with not too small tires, put on some fenders...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )