Thursday, December 02, 2010

Driven to Distraction

My last ride was November 23. It seems longer ago than that.

We went to visit my wife's foodie relatives in Vermont for Thanksgiving. That involved a lot of fine food and drink and no major exertion at all. I'm not complaining. They don't trust us with the really good wine, but they didn't hold back on a highly satisfactory single malt scotch. The turkey was locally raised and very fresh. Their palates wouldn't let them serve utter swill for table wine, even though they didn't present the pride of their cellars.

Speaking of utter swill, I've decided to order the SRAM iLight generator hub. Using the wine analogy, in order to discover for yourself that great $2 bottle, you risk drinking a lot of swill. The only information I've been able to dig up on the iLight has indicated it might be a really good value. The only way to know for sure is to build up a wheel and put it to the test.

Other factors than my aversion to swallowing the Shimano Kool Aid went into this decision. Of the three major contenders for my hub dollar, Schmidt, Shimano and SRAM, only Schmidt and SRAM offered a rim-brake hub with 36 holes. Overkill? Perhaps. But what if I move the rig to a loaded tourer? It might still be overkill, given that front wheels just seem to go forever. I still want to support the vanishing 36-hole species.

I got additional support for the beefier wheel when I stepped onto the scale at my doctor's office yesterday and faced the effects of the decadent living in Vermont and my own reduced riding and depressive snacking. Even though I don't get caught up in a lot of holiday madness, I seem to lose my whole routine during the time between mid November and the beginning of January. It must be endemic to the winter solstice. If I lived on a tropical island with no calendar, I wonder if I would be able to float along in a steady routine without these unrequested fluctuations.

I actually enjoy a little hibernation. It's unnatural to be buffed and aggressive all year. Nothing like the end of November and most of December to provoke quiet contemplation. And comfort eating.

I've been on the rollers a couple of times. No doubt I'll figure out what to do as the winter evolves. If the roads stay clear enough I'll get out on the faithful fixed gear as well.


RANTWICK said...

"Depressive snacking" - good phrase. I'm there and trying to snap out of it. Still commuting every week day, but it is only about 5 miles each way. Not enough to hold off the weight gain.


Steve A said...

You both are disgustingly wallowing in self pity. Thanks, it snapped me out of mine!


cafiend said...

We're here to help!

2whls3spds said...

Sanyo? Sturmey Archer?

Last bike ride was at 10am this the grocery store for more Fat Tire Ale :P


cafiend said...

Far as I know, Sturmey Archer's dyno hub is a rear and I can't get it wholesale. I can't get Sanyo at wholesale either, and the retail suggests it might be a lower quality than SRAM. The search for the $2 bottle includes getting a deal on a $3 or $4 bottle if I can. :-D

2whls3spds said...

SA are front dyno hubs, however they apparently are only available in conjunction with a drum brake, something I didn't realize until I went to look for a link.

I have a Sanyo coming for a franken bike that I am building up. IIRC around $40 retail.


cafiend said...

Oh yeah, that was it. I knew there was something in there I didn't want.

If I did the dream Big Dummy I would get a disc-compatible dyno-hub. I REALLY can't justify that, though. I'm also fighting the urge to build a stripped-down Cross Check since I've put all the transpo-rando-touring type options on my regular commuter.

"Hi. My name is Tim. It's been six months since my last bike build."

2whls3spds said...

No such thing as too many bike builds...see ya at the meeting ;-)