well, much has happened since last we spoke, internet. as some of you know, emmeline got into medical school up in mt sinai in nyc's upper east side, so at the beginning of october i moved on up. i got myself another job in a bike shop, which i am settling into, and promptly went and talked with lance, my friend and mentor over at square built cycles in brooklyn. all of my frame building efforts post-ubi and prior to baltimore were at his workspace, and we have set up the same arrangement that we had before.
i already have two projects lined up, one for myself, and one for a good friend of mine who went to school with me at reed and then worked at bike gallery with me in portland, several lifetimes ago. she is looking for a gravel shredding (much better than grinding), light touring gnar-wagon, so i have been cooking something up. this kind of bike is right up my alley, so it has been fun to research and draft geometries and consider all the drivetrain options and different configurations. i will have some sketches up soon. secondly, i have sad news that leads to hopeful news: two weeks before i moved up to nyc, my apartment building in baltimore was broken into and my beloved silver bike (along with the other bike in the shared bike space of the apartment building) was stolen. it was a loss for me. along with the bike i had since junior year of high school, the bike that got me into bikes, the bike i rode down the west coast, the bike i moved across the country twice, the bike that was the sketchbook and rough draft for so many of my other projects and dreams, the thieves made off with my bag that contained my helmet, lock, lunch bag, flat kit and zefal hpx 1, and, worst of all, my notebook with notes i took at UBI and all the notes and drafts that i have made since. 3 years of drafts and notions, ideas and scribbles, useful only to me. all of the misery aside, i have tried to see it as an opportunity to make myself a new silver bike, the silver bike it always was. so there will be lots more on that front, as i sketch and try things out. i have a couple of goofy notions on how to set the bike up, so it will be a somewhat unorthodox build, when i get there.
aside from the news, i managed to get a proper road ride in today. i had done some mountain biking back in august, which was awesome, and a couple of short rides, but most of my recent mileage has been commuting. not to disparage my commute, which goes from central park into the foetid misery of midtown, running the bulls with the dinosaurian busses and trucks that clog columbus avenue around the upper 50s, down through the dapper folk of chelsea and finally emerging into the cabbies and delivery guy swarms of soho where i am working. it is about 7 miles each way, but you sure have to be on your toes. so today, i rode north up through the bronx and up into westchester county and my home state of connecticut. it was initially pretty rough going, what strava blithely refers to as urban cycling, as you ride up jerome ave under the elevated subway tracks. it feels like a set from firefly, a little bit. lots of bright yet somehow still shabby auto repair places and folks standing around or sitting on piles of tires. i did get some cheers and whoops out of bystanders, which i chose to take as a good thing. as this was my first longer ride in a while, i started out feeling sluggish and off pace with myself. i wondered to myself, am i going to warm up, or is this just what it is? this used to be fun, i thought. is warming up really a thing? thankfully, it is a thing, and eventually i cleared the bronx and emerged through woodlawn up onto rt 22, which goes by a beautifully autumnal reservoir. a luscious tailwind brushed my back, the road opened up, traffic practically vanished, and i looked at my garmin, saw the 23 mph, and thought, why not faster? i pushed myself harder and flew along, the sour patch kids i had just eaten vibrating through my veins. ah, i thought, i HAVE warmed up. as my heart rate rose, i kept pushing myself, up a rise and around some fun turns. holy fucking shit i am a living breathing god of fire and rage, i thought as the wind tore snot from my nose and tears from my eyes as i descended. not factually true, obviously, but man, did it feel good for a minute there. i later regretted my excess of enthusiasm on my way back into town, when i started to bonk and took things much, much easier against the same wind that had so helped me earlier. exhausted and ravenous, i showered and ate a frightening amount of sesame chicken over roasted asparagus and lo mein noodles from my corner store. life was pretty good.