Friday, September 21, 2012

seat leash

bike seat theft is a reality, and it's the biggest b*tch when it happens. i learned in grade school what's grosser than gross? jumping off the empire state building and landing on a bike with no seat! nostalgia or memory tactic to leash your bike seat. you make the call.

i have seen some diy seat leashes made from old bike chain. here's the ugliest one i've ever seen.

notice the bike chain is threaded through the bike frame and through the bike seat. there is no quick way to steal this seat, but that ol rusty chain is nasty.

here's one with the chain hidden inside a used innertube held together with zip ties.

looks better, but still too clunky for my new elegant bike. not to mention, adding weight to the bike is added weight you need to pull wherever you go.

so i hit the hardware store and bought a few things.

with the help of a broken chain tool and a hand crimper, i did some looping and pinching.

the last step was to use heat shrink to make it black and pretty, also this will help with corrosion prevention. i left a bit of slack so i'm able to raise my seat an inch or so if need be. who knows, maybe i'll hit another growth spurt?

i am aware that there is no way to fully secure your bike, and a quality pair of cable snips will cut right through this. however, this deterrent could be the difference between my seat and someone else's. i believe most bike theft happens to unlocked bikes, or easy to remove parts like quick releases.

new bike

july of 2010 i did something that i never thought i would have done, i bought a bicycle. at the time, only a few of my friends had bikes, and the main reason i sought out this bike was to help support my purple smoothie habit. see i would walk 5 blocks to the produce market, then walk back with 30lbs of produce.  i hated that walk, thus i made less purple smoothies. a bike with a basket would solve this issue so that's when i started shopping.

a few of my friends already had bikes, so i'd accompany them on rides once in a while. i rode to the gym (vs driving there) and realized that i got there in just as much time or less, and got front row parking all the time. i'd ride to bars at night, or restaurants to meet friends. there were no worries about parking, driving after drinking, or traffic.

slowly more of my friends began buying bikes, and eventually even my girlfriend bought a bike. weekends were slowly turning into excuses to get bikers together to ride. neighborhoods notorious for horrible parking were suddenly very accessible.

i found that i was riding much more than 1/week to the produce store located 5 blocks away. and during this riding i started noticing the limitations of my $35 bike. i took it to a shop, where an honest bike tech told me that i'd be throwing money away trying to get my current bike up to par, i mine as well start with something better. "your bike is basically a disposable bike" -honest tech

so i decided it was time to get a new bike.

i found a sexy 2002 bianchi pista.

it is basically everything that my old bike was not. this one is a single speed with a fixed gear, my old bike is a 10 speed. riding a fixed gear bike is a very different experience than riding a bike that has a freewheel. the first and most noticeable thing is the inability to coast on a fixed gear bike. having one of each now makes me appreciate both.

this bike is lightweight and agile. the tires are rated for 120psi, whereas my old bike's tires are rated at 65psi, almost double! the weight difference alone makes a huge difference in riding, especially up those infamous san francisco hills.

this bike frame is unlike my old bike frame, it is not a disposable bike. the frame is built to industry standards (it's also much newer as my old bike is from 1987) so swapping parts is easy.

having a new bike, and being already well versed in the sf bike routes has given me the ability to go on fun rides right out the gate. the day after i bought the bike i rode across town simply to buy a burrito, then rode back home to eat it. it was about 10 miles round trip, which is ironic since there are about 10 taquerias within a 5 block radius of my house, but i enjoyed every minute.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

update to lost phone woes

*see footnote
it has been very close to 1 month since i lost my iphone. i have had quite the character building experience. there have been unlimited instances where i'm sitting at a restaurant with 3 other people and each one is immersed in their phone, except me. they are either checking in, reading updates, playing games, or something that they have learned to do in the few minutes of downtime between ordering and the food arriving.
i sit and look at the wall, or people watch. sometimes i have enough time to get lost in thought, something that happens less and less these days due to the constant availability of smartphones. at first it was painful, but i have grown to appreciate the mini break.

i still have an ipad with 3g service, so if i'm on the go and need directions to a location, i can still access that. i also have the ability to email, send texts to other ios devices, check my social networks et al. the ipad is clunky though, so i don't pull it out when i'm in line at the coffee shop, or if i'm waiting for the bus.

there are a few things that i greatly miss about having an iphone -

photos: the iphone camera is the best point and shoot camera i've ever owned, not to mention the best video camera i've ever owned. taking pics, sending them to friends, blogs, social networks has been completely removed from my life.

music: my iphone was always loaded with the latest and greatest of my music library. i'd wear earbuds just to walk to the corner. i don't have the same habit with my ipod classic. it just isn't an extension of my body as the iphone was.

what could be the worst part about the whole situation is the fact that i still pay $87/month for verizon phone service. when i connected the blackberry to my line the rep told me that this smartphone requires a data plan, so my bill did not change. this kills me on a level of principle. i consume far less data, minutes, and sms messages simply because my device is so janky, yet i pay the same price as before. i plan to call back and beg to remove the data to this phone, as i've deemed it completely useless.

so what is my next move? i have no idea. buying an iphone 4 from verizon will run me $550. buying an iphone 5 will run me $750. the iphone5 will be in the public's hands tomorrow. this means that hopefully a slew of iphone 4 and 4s's will appear on craigslist and or ebay, as buying new is completely absurd. as of now iphone 4 on the used market is a bit over $200, and the 4s a bit over $300.

for now i will continue to enjoy the quiet downtimes that are normally used to stare at the small screen in my pocket, though i know that those days are numbered.

*the pic makes me happy, so that's why it is there.