Frankenbike, my oft-tweaked Falcon, went to work today. It was wet and my cycling shoes hadn’t dried out from yesterday’s trip home. NO problem with toe clips on the Falcon. Buddy looked like it’d picked up a half pound of grit. Frankenbike’s fenders looked WONDERFUL. And the trunk would allow me to keep stuff dry without resorting to Rantwick-style camera covers.
Bikes will work almost forever if they’re not crashed or abused, and are minimally taken care of. Many times, old ones work better than new ones. This is NOT something your typical LBS will emphasize. Frankenbike, at 40 years of age, is better suited to rainy transport than Buddy. Its fenders and trunk allow stuff to be kept dry, and the internal gear hub is pretty well immune to road grit. As it turns out, optimizing for local utility riding comes in handy for a longer haul when the weather’s not its usual sunny self.
I’m not considering making Frankenbike a regular part of the commute – Frankenbike takes 10 extra minutes over the 20 miles to work compared to Buddy. That’s only a few seconds loss for local rides, but it’d be over 1 ½ hours a week, on top of an already long commute. On the other hand, Buddy would slow down if I added all that stuff, and the commute might consume too much time to manage.
ON THE OTHER HAND, on an occasional rainy-day basis, or for possible laundry recovery chores, Frankenbike is better than Buddy. I’m not sure why, but I find that notion comforting. Maybe it’s because I’m getting a little older myself.
PS: That trunk has three shirts, a pair of pants, a cycling jacket & all sorts of small stuff in it. I suspect that with the right bungee, I could use my clothes carrier which supposedly can carry 15 shirts/pants, but which can actually carry 20. Of course, loaded down this much, I fear Frankenbike would be prone to doing wheelies at the slightest provocation...