Today held several firsts for the Nishiki:
First commute in anything more than a sprinkle of rain.
Evan from Bike and Roll installed the parts. Friendly and helpful, Evan measured the old Albatross handlebars to be sure I’d order the right diameter Bellevilles. He helped me pick out the new shifters when we realized the handlebars I was getting wouldn’t accept my bar-end shifters. The bike was ready for me this morning as promised, and so was the rain. I considered just parking the bike and Metro-ing but went ahead and rode.
1. It’s been raining for most of the past week around here. Going outside entails getting wet.
2. I’ve developed an intense dislike for Metro.
3. I was reasonably prepared , with a rain jacket andi clothes that would dry easily. I even had plastic bag inside my pannier to keep papers and iPad dry.
Riding in the rain: Pros: Not many. Maybe that it was fairly warm. And it wasn’t monsooning like yesterday. Plenty of space at the office garage’s rack. Not many cyclists were so into the whole rain thing which is entirely understandable. Cons: A bit hard to see as raindrops beaded on my glasses. It was too warm with the rain jacket on. Had to slow down and brake often and early to avoid rolling into oncoming traffic. My saddle cover popped off sometime during the evening commute. Darn. It started thundering halfway into the evening commute, raising concerns about being on a steel bike in a lightning storm. Luckily the lightning held off.
The new components: Pros: Handlebars – Cool! Very different in a positive way. I thought I was going to miss my comfortable Albatrosses. But I don’t think I’ll give them another thought for urban riding. The narrow bars made it easy to fit through tight spaces and made the bike feel more responsive and agile. The friction shifters were easy to get used to and work more smoothly with the Nishiki’s gears than the bar-end shifters did. Cork grips: very jaunty and comfortable. The new fender light is lightweight and works fine, in either steady or flashing mode. Cons: The cork grips came loose (perhaps due to the rain?), giving me the uneasy feeling I might accidentally pull them off mid-ride. So the Nishiki’s back at Bike and Roll to get the grips re-attached.
Due to the rain and general grayness I couldn’t get any photos of the new components and accessories today. I took one shot but it turned out pretty grim looking. I’ll try again when this rainy season ends.