Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Our New Program

Paris has Velolib...Montreal and Toronto have Bixi bikes....Minneapolis has Nice Ride.

In Thunder Bay we have Shop and Drop.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Trend Fighter

Seems like every time you turn around someone is creating a new category of bike that we of the bike nerd tribe just have to have. Recently 'fat bikes' have been sharing the headlines with 'gravel grinders'. I tried a fat bike and although it was fun I wasn't ready to part with $2000 for what would be a limited winter ride. Every manufacturer is now on another trend, the 'gravel grinder'. Basically a road bike with slightly relaxed frame geometry and room for bigger tires. They are comfy to ride but again seemed limited and pricey.

I surf the local Kijiji bikes for sale page just about daily and saw an old Trek hybrid 750 Multitrack. At first I ignored it but later in the day came back for another look and started thinking that with a few modifications it could fill the gravel grinder niche. I inquired and ended up with a free bike thanks to one of the Northwood hockey families.

Sophia (Marinoni road bike) recently had some upgrades so I had a spare Shimano 600 7 speed rear wheel, derailleur and shifters. Add a set of drop bars and some re-engineering of the shifters from Molly (1974 Raleigh Citation) that have been on the shelf for 5 years and the poor man's gravel grinder was born. Sophia taught me that a good set of downtube shifters are sweet and so much more reliable. The ride is softer than a road bike, great for commuting on Thunder Bay's crumbling road system. I've riden about 100km this week back and forth to work and with Brandyn to the university where we did some off road excursions near the river. For the price of a set of used handle bars and some spare parts I have another solid ride.

AS shipped from Trek 20? years ago

After conversion

40 year old and still reliable friction shifters

Sunday adventure

Brandyn attempts to damn the river