Monday, August 16, 2010

Bikes Outside: Political Asylum

Connecticut's primary came and went this past week. The barrage of robo-calls has had a brief lull, and a sense of impending underwhelm has enveloped the promise of the next few months and terms to follow. A candidate or two that have occasionally kind of recognized the existence of bicycles won. A bike-friendly candidate lost. It's all very bothersome, and I found the best way to get away from all of that is to go for a little ride, which I have done on some new (to me) local routes over the past few days. The best parts of these rides have been quiet and semi-remote, but the paved approaches have been peppered with bike riders aplenty.

A side effect of the bounty of bike riders is a corresponding dearth of street-parked bikes. They are out there, of course, but trying to avoid bike or location redundancy has made for slimmer pickings of late. Maybe it's a sign that I need to spend more time in further-flung neighborhoods from my own.

I believe today's Bike Outside is the first Asylum Hill contender in the series. I found it halfheartedly tethered to a Willard Street fence. It's a fairly typical beater Huffy, still getting the job done with few outward signs of maintenance. Like virtually all of its quasi-ATB 26" wheeled brethren, it sports knobby tires that help make urban riding that much more of a chore. I had two unexpected off-road jaunts this weekend, both on wide slicks, and it wasn't difficult enough to warrant running knobbies all day for the sake of the occasional patch of dirt. If the lower-end bikemongers would simply spec some street tires on these bikes, it would make riding them a bit more pleasant and cut down on the glut of used 26" knobby tires at our nation's bike co-ops. The Urban League's bike shop program (also in Asylum Hill) had a towering pile of them. It doesn't seem to be discouraging a lot of people from ridng, so I guess it's not all bad.
Have a good week.

1 comment:

Schleppi Longstocking said...

Why the knobby tire hate? I prefer them to street tires. I'd rather be riding than changing flats.