Friday, January 12, 2007

Weekly Bicycle Wrap.1.12.07

This week’s total mileage: 51 miles

This week’s mileage on e-bike: 0

This week’s mileage on a regular bike: 51

Total mileage in 2007: 81

Total mileage in 2006 (Starting July 10. Prior mileage not counted.): 1,038

Total mileage since July 10, 2006: 1,119

Total e-bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 529.5

Total regular bike mileage since July 10, 2006: 589.5

Gas savings this week: 1 gallon

Gallons saved since July 10, 2006: 42.70

Price of gas today: $2.64

Gas savings since July 10, 2006: $180.65

Flat tires since July 10, 2006: 4

Found items on the roadway: One nice pair of tin snips (11/8/06)


The Missouri

New to the fleet this week is a bicycle I’ve nicknamed the “Missouri,” after the famous battleship.

The Mighty Mo has a displacement of 45,000 tons, which is about what the “new” bike weighs.

I acquired the bike for free through the local Yahoo “Freecycle” website. A fellow wanted to get rid of the bike, and I was happy to take it off his hands. (Within the coming months I’ll have to unload some of my unwanted items on Freecycle to make up for it.)

The Missouri is an old single-speed Schwinn, probably from the 1960s. It seems like an adult version of the old Schwinn Stingray I had as a kid. It’s a giant, honking, American-made hunk of steel.

Today I took the Missouri on its maiden voyage – a 4.5-mile round trip to town and back. That’s a short distance and hardly noticeable on a regular bike.

But with the Missouri, every foot traveled feels like a mile. It’s like you’re pedalling uphill, even when you’re not. I instinctively reached down and tried to change the gears several times, but there are none. By the time I got to my office I was dripping with sweat.

At least one person I know saw me pedaling through town and gave me one of those “what the hell is wrong with you” looks. I responded by ringing the Missouri’s retro Mickey Mouse bicycle bell. RRRrrnggg! RRRrrngg!

The upside of the Missouri – besides its pristine condition and the Mickey Mouse bell – is the massive metal basket mounted on the front. I was able to haul a box containing 2,000 inserts back home, along with a backpack, MCSD meeting packet and a couple coffee drinks. Heck, I had enough room left over in the basket that I could have hauled a couple cinder blocks just for fun.

I don’t expect to use the Missouri much other than for some heavy hauling and for an occasional brutal workout session.


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