unbibium: (Default)
I went to work, had lunch at Taco Bell. One fast food demerit for me. I bought cheap gloves at walgreen's.

In the afternoon, I biked to Fry's to find out that their bike racks were removed, and they were going to repave that part of their storefront. Rather than have the bell-ringer look after it, I went a mile north to Fresh and Easy, and bought a bunch of frozen food and milk. and fabric softener.

I did not take my bike back to the shop. The gears are slipping. I wonder whether to take it back to the same shop that has thus far failed to figure out why, or whether to take it somewhere else for a second opinion.
unbibium: (Default)
I finally bought it. But, it's not very useful yet, because I haven't bought any new lights for it, not until I'm positive I can get mounting brackets for the spare light and lock that I have.

Also, I made a big batch of red beans and rice, but forgot to put salt in the rice cooker. And when I add salt to things after I've cooked them, it doesn't seem to have the intended effect. I'll try it with a bowlful, and if it doesn't work, I'll throw out and re-make the rice for my leftovers.

Also, the bread book's first sandwich bread recipe calls for a loaf pan that's nine by four inches. The one I have is nine by five. Wish me luck.
unbibium: (Default)
The maintenance people know me by name, and one of them actually lived in my building at the old apartment complex. Also, as an incredible coincidence, it seems that they always come around for a work request on the days when I'm working from home.

So they stopped by today to fix the shelf in my fridge door, when they mentioned they heard my bike was stolen. They said that they had put parking tickets on some bikes that had been stuck on the racks for a long time in disrepair, and were awaiting permission to cut them loose, and they offered to give one to me instead of throwing it away.

So, that makes three people who have offered to help me replace my bike, the first two being my father, and Banzai. And that doesn't count others who used to have spare bikes, and said they would have given them to me if they still had them. I'm pausing to appreciate this.

I'm probably still going to buy a fresh new one anyway, because Dad's bike isn't quite up for daily use, Banzai's bike is in California, and the abandoned bikes are, well, abandoned. But it feels good to have these offers coming in.

whewby

Oct. 23rd, 2008 07:27 pm
unbibium: (Default)
Long story short: the bike shop says my free bike's brakes are as well-adjusted as they could possibly be; they're just very weak.

It looks like instead of spending $100 to make this one useful, I'll be spending $300 to get a new one equipped. These are on sale.

But, what to do with the old one?
unbibium: (Default)
My dad dropped off his old bike, to replace my missing one, and I tried to take it for a spin. Results: not good.

I don't think it's roadworthy yet. First of all, the brakes don't work. I can tell they're trying, but they're just too weak for me to feel safe. The front brake is crap, and the second brake is shit. Second, I'll need to replace the seat and grips, lest they stain my pants and hands. And after getting all that fixed, to make it useful I'll have to get a rack and basket on the back, and a water bottle holder. The tires are good, though. It's a ten-speed and I wonder if that's too few speeds for me.

The thing about the "cheap" bike I started with, and my second less-cheap bike, was that the brakes were just fine. If the brakes ever had a problem, it was that they were too tight and I'd have to pump them once or twice before a ride to loosen them up.

And I'm going to have to know my bike is safe before I start buying accessories for it.

bike

Sep. 23rd, 2008 07:43 pm
unbibium: (r-pentomino)
last night, on the way to Cornish Pasty Company, my bike chain broke, as did a few other parts I couldn't identify. I had to take the bus to get there, and a few wrong turns ensued, but I got there eventually.

Today, I worked from home, so that I could drop my bike off at Domenic's on Broadway and Rural, real quick like. Nine minute bus ride there, nine minutes back, I could do it on my lunch hour.

Unless, of course, I got off the bus without taking my bike off.

If I had realized what had happened just a little sooner, I could have run to University in time for the bus to have detoured through ASU, and come back to Rural, at which point I could have picked it back up, walked it a mile south again, and resumed my plan. As it happened, I made it there just in time to watch that bus pull away from across the street.

By then, I had ValleyMetro on the phone, and they said it would be at Mcdowell in ten minutes, in which case someone at my office could go out and intercept the bus. So I called, and asked, and they walked down, and it turned out they missed the bus there too.

At this point, I could either let it go, and take my chances with the lost-and-found system, from whence I'd be retrieving a bike with no working chain. Or, I could wait until that bus turned around and came back. So I caught the next bus to the office, put in a good 45 minutes of work, and waited at the return bus stop.

I left home at 2:00pm, got the bike to the repair shop at 6pm, and had a working bike with fresh new lights by 7pm. About 24 hours between the breaking and the fixing.

And all it cost me was $123 and four hours of paid vacation time.

commute

May. 22nd, 2008 12:25 pm
unbibium: (Default)
From my apartment on Baseline, to my office on McDowell.

By bus, it takes about 40 minutes plus whatever I wait before I get on, plus an extra five minutes of walking time to/from the bus stop. If we don't get stuck in traffic.

By the way, sitting through traffic on the bus isn't completely free of stress, especially if you have a bus driver that likes to tailgate, and the bus lurches forward a few feet every ten seconds.

I tried it by bike today. Under 40 minutes, door to door. And I only really hustled for the first half.

But it was unseasonably cool this morning.
unbibium: (Default)
Fell off my bike TWICE on the way to dinner.

brrr.
unbibium: (Default)
Starting at 48th Street and Baseline Road:

1. Head north to Broadway
2. Head east to 52nd Street
3. Cross Broadway and head north, turn right at some point before University.
4. Head east to Priest.
5. Head north, over the dry Rio Salado, over the Red Mountain Freeway, until Washington.
6. Head northwest on Washington to 56th Street.
7. Head north to Van Buren, turn left.
8. Head west to 52nd Street
9. Head north to McDowell.
10. Head west, on the north side of the street, until you see it.
11. Chain bike to fence and enter.  Drink no beer; you may need to reverse the trail, for cab fare is more expensive than it used to be.

I'll add up the miles much, much later.  I've gotten there before, with much more backtracking, and a detour through Papago Park that added at least two miles to the trip.  And that was before I made it a weekly habit to bike into central Tempe for dinner.  Should be a piece of cake now.
unbibium: (shyguy)
I biked to Game Depot tonight, as I heard that Thursday was the night they were playing the non-war-simulation sort of games. The guy who brings most of those wasn't there, though. I caught a bus that got me most of the way back home...

...and then got caught in a hailstorm at my stop. Had to get the bike off the bus in the worst of it, and then duck into the bus shelter and stand on the bench to keep my legs dry.

When there was a break, I got back on the bike and rode home, and the sky cleared into a gorgeous shade of blue, and the clouds reflected a soft pink light on the city. It was just gorgeous.

This city is psycho.
unbibium: (Default)
I biked to downtown Tempe, and back, never setting foot on a vehicle.

I didn't plan it that way; I just didn't feel like waiting for the bus. And biking is sufficiently fast that I end up getting to the destination relatively close to when the bus would have shown up.
unbibium: (Default)
I leave a combination lock chain coiled up around the top of my staircase, so that I may lock it up quickly when I get home.

This makes it possible for me to leave the house and lock up my bike, and not realize I left my keys at home until it's time to go home.

That's why my bike is still chained up at the supermarket.

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