Monday, April 12, 2010

Bikes Outside: Literary Giant

Bikes Outside brings us back to the Hartford Public Library this morning for a Giant Rincon-turned-commuter special.
A mountain bike with smooth tires, fenders and a rack is a tried-and-true recipe for a solid everyday ride. I realized after taking these pics that this bike belongs to an acquaintance who is in fact a year-round cyclist. There are few bikes that see more personalized custom touches than the dedicated commuter. The more hours you spent riding something, the more you get to know it and tweak it until it is just so. Even if you get another bike, there's a certain set of parts, parameters and settings that inevitably find their way onto the bike you use the most. For example, most of the times El Prez sets up a new bike for himself, I can tell it's his at a distance from the vintage North Road handlebar.

Some people like big seats and they cannot lie.. While this plush, sprung double-wide saddle is not original equipment on the Giant, it is rather giant in its own right. The original seat on my cargo bike was approaching this size, and I yanked it off the first day I rode it. This saddle suits the bike's owner, and that's what matters.

The bike racks at the library are getting more and more crowded these days, which suits me fine. Not many people do enough reading or riding these days, and an upswing in either activity bodes well for society as a whole. If I ever show up here to find no empty spots, I know can lock up across the street at City Hall, and I'll do so with a contented smile on my face.

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