Saturday, September 13, 2014

The world's fastest micro-poodles

It's a gray day.  It started kind of light gray, but it's closing in as the clouds thicken. It seemed like a good day to do a park and ride commute to shake down the path bike before autumn really sets in.

On the Cross Check I may ride a lot of dirt, but once I get to Center Street I get back into traffic, even if I rode in the path from North Wolfeboro. The last section of path, along Back Bay, is often full of other users. The street route is more conducive to speed. But the path bike is such a wallowing slug on the pavement that I will stay on the path and be nearly the fastest thing on it rather than waddle down the road as nearly the slowest.

Bombing down the first descents from where I park, the path bike feels solid but maneuverable. Lower down, on the Cotton Valley Trail segment of the route, the wide tires demand a little less precision than the skinnier smooth tires on the Cross Check. But it's no sprinter. Come the frosty time I won't miss the speed. It's a mental and physical transition.
Path Commuter and Cross Check

Zipping along the shore of Back Bay this morning,  I slowed up a little as I approached a guy with a couple of small dogs.  I could hardly see the dogs, but I could tell they were there by the way the man moved.

When the little buggers saw me, they burst into furious yapping.  One launched a charge. I looked down at what appeared to be a rat with a perm, ripping along below my foot.  I mean, these things would need a small step ladder to bite someone's ankle. But the leader in particular was amazingly fast and persistent.

When I saw the mini dog was not going to quit I turned back to lead the chase back to its owner. That did bring me into range of the equally irate but less ambitious other dog, who had broken off pursuit after a few yards, but the responsible human quickly gained control. That's the thing about micro-poodles. You can hold quite an arm load of them.

Not much in the workshop today. One road bike with front derailleur problems. Its chain was a black, dripping mess. Someone must have told the owner,  "be sure to lube your chain." Judging by the rest of the bike, this was apparently interpreted to mean, "and never lube anything else." Everything but the chain is covered with grinding oxidation.

As I arrived at the shop, customers were adding another bike to the repair queue.  It had been on the rear rack of their car when it was hit by another vehicle from behind. It looks amazingly good. The customers already got new parts to replace the bashed ones. The rest of the bike hardly looks like anything happened.  I've seen much worse looking bikes that have never been hit with anything but their owner.

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