Friday, September 23, 2005

Ready to roll.

My bicycle is ready and I feel like a fully-functional human being again. My feet have been getting tired from all of this walking, I've been getting really impatient at having to take the metro everywhere, and frankly, I just prefer cycling.

I haven't taken any pictures with the Surly yet. (I picked it up from the bike shop at 9 pm, and rode it to meet a couple of friends at a restaurant downtown--we were going to eat at La Finca de Susana, but that effort was again thwarted, this time by my having to go pick the cycle up. It turns out that bike shops here, or at least the one where I had my bike built up, are closed all weekend. I digress.)

The LHT is pretty weird looking; the wheel base is long (it is a touring frame, after all) and there's a lot of space between the wheel and the seat tube, which is pretty much the opposite of my Giant. Also, while the frame is a pea-soup green, the Roox stem that's on it is orange; they don't quite match, but I think that they look fine. Also, despite my having wanted silver-colored componentry, the large chainring is black, ditto the bar tape, the wheel rims, the spokes (I know that I could have asked for metal-colored rims and spokes, which would have been nice, but I was starting to get antsy at my lack of a bicycle), and the bottle cages (they put those on the bike and didn't charge me for them, so I didn't want to complain and ask for metal-finished ones instead.) The cable housing is silver-colored though, which makes me really happy.

Anyhow, I take the bicycle home, and ask the landlady (who is the landlord's sister) if she wants to see my bicycle. "You can't have a bicycle here," she says. So we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll have to move, I don't know. I cut up a large IKEA bag and put it under the wheels, and the rest of the bag covers the cushion on my armchair, so that the rear derailleur and chainrings won't get anything dirty. Would I rather have a bicycle and a crummy place to live than this awesome place and no bicycle? Hell, yes. I'd rather stay here, but if I have to move, I have to move. Also, I know that I told her that I had a bicycle, and I'm pretty sure that she saw the frame and fork in my room (back when they were just a frame and fork), and I don't know why she somehow hadn't gotten that I'd be having a bicycle here, especially since I know that I mentioned that I'd be having one built up.

Did she expect me to keep it parked in the street? This leads me to another point: There's nowhere to lock bikes up here! Street poles are few and far between, and bike racks are non-existent. I see an occasional sad-looking stripped bicycle here and there, but for the most part cycles (the few that there are) seem to be ridden and not parked anywhere. Maybe there are spots for them in public parking lots?

Tomorrow is the UCI World Cycling Road Championship; I may ride out there to watch (if I wake up early enough.) One really funny thing that happened, though, is that, as Jenica, Evelyn, Rebecca, and I were walking back towards the Puerta del Sol, from which two of us woudl walk/ride home, and from which the other two woudl take the metro, this guy comes up to us, and was in some sort of awe. He asked me if I would be riding tomorrow, and I told him yes, and the guy went crazy, and was calling his friends over. And that's when I realized that he thought that I was racing. So I told him, oh, no, no no no, not that, I'll just be riding around. But I don't think that he believed me.

There were, in the relatively short period of time between the restaurant and the Puerta del Sol, a total of three people (all of them male, I might add) who came up to me for bicycle-related matters. The first guy asked if he could borrow the bike, which I guess he thought was pretty funny, but I was seriously scared that the poor bicycle would never see the light of day (having taken its maiden voyage in the evening, from the Plaza Argentina over to La Castillana, over through Chueca, and finally to the Seville metro stop, where the restaurant where I met my friends was.) The second guy caressed the bicycle a lot, and lamented his bicycles always getting stolen. he also commented on how clean the bicycle was, and fingered the chain. The bicycle does look really new, I supppose. I'll remedy that soon. I don't want to get the poor bicycle looking grubby, but the chain is ridiculously clean right now.

On a final note, since the Surly takes 26" wheels, and the top tube is pretty much flat (the exact geometry can be found here), it looks like a scaled-down version of a much taller person's bicycle, which I really, really like. I'll post photos, as soon as I take some.


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