|My new helmet provides the only color in an otherwise black wardrobe. |
I need to start wearing my reflective vest!
The mile marker, in and of itself, is not something I specifically strive for each year. After falling short for several years, I'd come to terms with my personal riding goals, preferring instead to set other forms of motivation: accomplishing more bike overnights, riding all of Burlington's city streets, and lately, pushing myself to ride more in the winter. As I grow older I am learning to expand my cycling horizons, which don't necessarily align with conventional wisdom. I realize I am anything but conventional these days, which suits me just fine!
The miles are a bonus. How I accomplished 3,000 miles still blows my mind because I didn't feel like I was riding more than usual. I believe it was a culmination of a mild winter, commuting as many days as possible, completing a record four bike overnights (of which two were multiple days adventures), test riding a cargo bike, coffeeneuring stints, and generally, riding. It's the riding and not the distance that puts a huge smile on my face.
|Boots are necessary once the temperatures dip into the 20sF.|
Cosmetically, the Ross has seen better days, but that's why it's also the perfect experimental winter commuter. It's also the perfect year-round commuter. As such, the bicycle gets lots of maintenance. A new chain every year. Periodic wipe downs. New tires when needed. Local shop service for repairs beyond my ability. I baby this bike because, for obvious reasons, I need to keep it going.
However, an odd squeaky noise has been driving me bananas for nearly two years. It's been difficult to diagnose. The sound would come and go, in every gear, each chain ring, whether I stopped pedaling, stood in the saddle, etc., sporadically, nothing I could easily pinpoint. For a while I thought the noise stemmed from the plastic pie plate, seat post, or the older wheels. I couldn't even determine whether it was front or rear noise and would never exhibit itself once I put the bike in the stand. Talk about frustrating! During that time period the crank, seat, chain, and pedals were replaced in the course of regular maintenance, but the noise continued. But this past October, thankfully, the noise simply disappeared. Just like that. Now how can that be, I wondered. But by then I'd given up trying to find a solution; the noise never got worse and if and when the bike failed, well then I could tend to the problem. Now I don't have to!