Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sitting on a porch in Philly

I'm sitting on the porch that's attached to Shelly and her roomates'es row house in West Philly on a side street. It's in the same neighborhood that I used to inhabit when I lived two blocks away with Shelly. Shelly is a couple blocks closer to 40oz beer now, and the porch is nice. There's low key BBQ, and people sitting around, including Jonas. I'm a little out of it, but I'm having a good enough time. Good enough, because I'm doing something rather than nothing.

I arrived a couple hours ago after racing from the bus stop at the 69th Street terminal. The adrenaline was pumping. It's been too long since I've goosed all out in this area, shooting right through traffic down the middle of the street. I'm the kind of guy who does that thing where he tries not to put a foot down when traffic requires a stop. I inch forward and pause until I eventually run out of real estate.

This morning I got up extra early and rode the Diamondback City Bike to work in West Chester from Kennett. This moderately hilly and thoroughly familiar 13 mile route was way more tiring than it is when I'm in decent shape. After I got back to this area last July, I crushed this route. I was still used to 70+ mile days every day. I'm riding 65 miles in a charity event on Sunday, and I'm thinking it might not be so easy. I might only be able to crush some of the route. I'll probably have to crawl for part of it too.

After work was done at 3pm, I took the Diamondback City Bike on the 104 bus to Philly. The Diamondback got to see it's former parking spot - locked to a sign at 46th and Locust - as we whizzed by at a furious pace. I used to leave this same bicycle locked outside 24/7 in an area where bicycles definitely get stolen. That went on through all seasons and all weather. This was my first specifically outdoor bicycle. If it got stolen, I'd only be out about $20-30. I locked it through the frame and the front wheel. The rear wheel was unlocked, but had a bolt on hub. I think the only remaining part from my initial setup is the original (7spd SIS!) rear derailer and a blue piece of cable housing that goes to it from the chainstay cable stop. The original heart is the same. Northroad handlebars on a mountain bicycle with a rack and a milk crate. Friction shifting, bulletproof. Now everything is just nicer. Until two days ago, the DBCB never had a front derailer. I took it off the first time I fixed it up for myself, and decided I didn't need it. If I hit a big hill, I could push the chain to the small ring with my foot. When I got around to it, I could reach down and shift back up with the tip of my index finger. No need to stop. The need for this action was rare. Now I have a Shimano 105 derailer that I got for $10 at the Trexlertown swap. Now that I can shift - I do more. It's nice to pop it in the big ring sometimes, I'll admit. The Shimano bar end shifters in friction mode are awesome on this bicycle. I'm really happy with it.

If you want a 40oz in West Phila, and you are me, you're going to go to Pasqually's. If you want a falafel, you're going to the truck. I didn't go to the truck, but I did make a stop a 'Squally's to make sure it still existed after my absence.

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