Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The 505 bike brigade

Bike commuting has given me the opportunity to meet other bike commuters. For weeks before I rode my bike to the train station I was either locked up inside my car stressing out over traffic and cussing the lame radio stations in and around Albuquerque. Now, I catch a few winks on the train ride to work, listen to the iPod, and now and then I get to chat for a little with other bike commuters about, what else… bikes and biking gear, or the commute.

There’s one fellow with a sweet Trek and awesome panniers. From this guy I learned that wax based chain lubricant in the arid southwest can break your chain or make it wear faster than normal because dirt sticks to the wax more so than oil. He provided some advice too: “Just get yourself a gallon of the Stihl Chainsaw oil an you got enough to last you a life time! That stuff works great!” I also found out where to buy a large day-glow yellow vest for way cheaper than at the bike shops: Safety Flare, Inc. on Richmond between Menual and Candelaria.

Another guy showed me how to mount steer horns on your handle bar. While I think that is a cool set up that will make you stand out in a crowd… I think I’ll wait until I have a huge white convertible Cadillac before I mount some horns on a vehicle.

There are some really cool bikes out there too! I saw $5,000 Krestel carbon fiber racing bike once, parked among the other riff –raff, mine included. When I saw this, I was in disbelief. An image of a Porsche 911 turbo parked overnight in municipal parking among broke-down Yugos and Ford Festivas came to mind. Turns out that the guy who owns the bike is pretty cool, too. Racing bikes are his specialty. Another guy has a Motobiscane mountain bike. I’ve heard about how affordable and awesome these bikes are, but I’d like to ask him how the Motobiscane is working out. Can’t though because he’s getting off the train while I’m getting on the train.

One of our ongoing conversations, besides the crazy train bike straps, is the Tour de France. Our people include Armstrong, Contador, Cavendish, and Hincapie, Leipheimer. Like excited school children we sometimes go over the day’s stage results and who made mistakes etc. I imagine we imagine our rides in the Tour de France on our way home or to work. I know... because I day dream my race for motivation.

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