Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mid-July report

It must be summer, I saw two daddy long legs outside yesterday while working on the lawn. Now my usual checklist of summer arthropods is complete. I scooped them up and placed them in a gallon terrarium for further observation. Though you might not believe me, when perched on a clump of moss, they really have a fairy tale aura about them. The fragile long legs, the intricate pattern of chevrons on their back; to the careful observer they are incomparable. Rounding out the list are the mosquitos and black flies that attacked me a few weeks ago and the dragonflies whose wings glanced my skin as they dove after the feast that I attracted to myself. I wish I could hire a mercenary army of them to protect me and dispense with the bug dope all together.

The lawn is halfway finished; and very soon I will begin building a grindbygg. I prefer to flirt with several ideas at once - I'd like to take steps towards finishing my BA in philosophy this fall, if the usual constraints of time and money allow. I'm embarrassingly close to completion already, and I feel the time is right. I would like to add a new bike to my already large stable. I don't have a fixed wheel bike, and they sound like fun. Sheldon Brown, the late famous advocate of fixed wheel bikes had a mountain bike that he converted to fixed wheel for winter riding. A fixed wheel bike with the geometry of a mountain bike (comfy seat, handlebars) sounds like a real treat.

The only way to get one is to make it myself. Sure, the Felt Dispatch is nice (with the easy 39x16 gear combo for 700c tires), but there is no other way to have an intimate understanding of a bike than to put it together oneself. A few tools, a few new parts, a used frame, a few DIY guides (1, 2, 3, 4), a lot of trial and error, and it is within the realm of the possible.

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