Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kickstands, bike racks, helmets and accoutrements galore...

I picked up my bike today and unlike the days of my youth where you bought a bike and then jumped on it and rode; I am finding that today things are slightly more complicated.

First of all, none of these bikes have a kickstand - and bike purists sniff and look down their noses at bikes (and bike owners) with a kickstand on their bikes.  It took me a minute to wrap my head around this because none of these bikes are self-standing nor do I have an innate ability to leave a bike so perfectly balanced that it doesn't fall over.

The 'real' reason most commonly given is that:  "...a kickstand just adds extra weight to the bike and its also dangerous to ride with a kickstand because they can get knocked down over bumps and get loose and hurt you, and other than reasons like weight and the risk of having a faulty kick stand, some bikes just don't have the space to accommodate for a kick stand due to their super short chainstay. The wheels on these bikes will be so close to the seat tube that it will be quite hard to get a kick stand in between cause an issue for the tires..."

Ok, I guess I can buy that but it does seem a bit silly NOT to have a kickstand.  However, so as not to be THAT newbie cycling guy with the great bike and totally lame-o kickstand; I compromised and ordered myself a 'click-stand'  ( which is a compromise I can live with.

So - now I have a bike, a way to prop it up without looking like a total bike newbie and I also needed a way to transport the bike from the bike shop to my house.  Taking my new bike out of the bike shop parking lot onto Route 70 and then onto I-295 South for several exits and then home was not quite the maiden voyage I wanted to make - besides; I don't have enough of the required stuff now to ride the bike yet.

So I picked up a bike rack that would attach temporarily (and without harm to my car's body or paint) and allow me to mount the bike on the rack to transport it from place to place.  It is an ingenious little portable bike rack by Thule called the 961XT Speedway 2 Bike Trunk Rack.  It was easy to set up and attach/detach to my trunk and it made it a snap to transport my bike home from the bike shop.

So - I have my bike, a kickstand on the way in the mail and a bike rack - and yes, even a bike lock.

However, I still can't really ride my bike because I have to get the rest of the required gear to get up and moving on my two new wheels.  Some of the items on my shopping list for tomorrow morning are:

padded bike shorts
bike jersey
bike shoes
gel-seat upgrade (a highly recommended option)
water bottle and holder
basic cyclist tool kit
bicycle computer (preferably with GPS)
ReuniteIt Bicycle Security by Lojack (

Amazing isn't it?  A simple, innocent childhood past time is now a major production - and major outlay of cash.

However, if this was JUST about raising the money for the charitable organization(s); it would have been much cheaper and easier to give them hard cold cash - but isn't that always the case?


1 comment:

  1. No banana seat? No handle bar streamers?
    Good luck with the ride, I sent my pledge in. I'll send in more if you get a basket for the bike :)