Friday, July 18, 2008

Gitane goes to Work

Given that Bleriot is in a partially dissassembled state (if you thought that front rack was hard to INSTALL, try removing it...), Gitane was pressed into service as Commute Bike today.

Clearly I got there and back safely, including a stop by Favorite Bike Store to show it off ("look! it's finished!"). Favorite Bike Store was slammed. Many people digging old bikes out of their garage and using them.

Other than the slightly disturbing tendency to want to steer itself (no, I won't be riding this one no-hands), all was good. The gearing gets me home, so I think I've got a usable bike here.

This is an inviting bike, a co-worker took it for a spin around the parking lot ("I've never ridden a bike with drop bars before"), and Rebecca and Jessica give it a try every time they come by. No one but me has tried to shift the gears yet.

It was a bit weird riding unattached to the pedals; one attacked me and drew blood. I'm collecting an interesting bunch of cycling-related scars on the left leg. Installation of the Power Grips is indicated.


beth h said...

Foot retention is, IMHO, overrated.
Especially on chill bikes.
If you're making every commute a training ride then of course replicate the vision.
But on bikes I ride to work and to the coffee shop, I have lately taken quite happily to flat, unadorned pedals and -- gasp! -- STREET shoes. It's freeing and easy.
Maybe try another couple of rides before adding the grippiness, unless of course you already know that foot retention is part of your vision.
Happy riding indeed. That's one nice bike ya got there --B

lynnef said...

I can assure you that my commutes are NOT training rides. I don't DO training rides. Ever. I just ride...

I do have a couple of road crossings that require quick starts, or I'm road kill, though.

beth h said...

Well, that's totally different, of course. I have a couple of those on my morning commute as well. All I have to do is put my pedal in the correct position and remember what it felt like to get the holeshot out of the gate in my peewee BMX "racing" days.


Fully Lugged said...

I started using power grips after reading a post on them on the RBW list. They have been great, especially if cramps start. Tevas are far lighter than cycle shoes, and power grips weigh less than any cleat set up.

Tracy said...

Your Gitane is beautiful. I got an old Gitane used a few years ago, and a friend of mine is in the process of completely rebuilding it for me. Mine was blue and chrome, but I just had it powdercoated glossy black and am setting it up for 650B - it was 700C like yours. You would not believe how beautiful it is turning out with fenders, albatross bars, cork grips and a velo orange rack. I'll send you pictures if you'd like.