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New butt muscles FTW

Crossposted from the Bicycles community on Dreamwidth.

This comm has been pretty quiet the last few days so I thought I'd post something about my experience riding the Workcycle Omafiets as my primary commuting bike.

Butt muscles. That's the first thing. You don't ride a 45-lb (20 kg) bike, which Eleanor O the Omafiets is, up the riverbank every day without exercising the glutes a little more than on a bike of half that weight, which Clyde the Cruiser is.

Speed. You also don't ride a 45-lb/20-kg bike anywhere very fast. You just tootle along. My 30 minute commute home (the up-incline direction) on Clyde is now consistently about a 37-minute commute on Eleanor O.

Starting from stop. Eleanor O's sheer gravitas makes her not terribly maneuverable. I find that I need a little room and a bit of a kick-off to get started from a stop, or else I wobble. This may improve as I get used to the weight, but I've had a lot of false starts on this bike at stoplights and drawbridges.

On the other hand, I can shift all the way down to 1 while stopped on Eleanor because of the hub gearing.

Attire. I never, ever have to think about what I'm wearing on the Omafiets. Skirts, wide-leg trousers, nice coat, my best shoes--nothing gets dirty or greasy or spattered or caught. Even a slim skirt, as long as there's a back vent, works just fine. On Clyde, with his exposed chain and insufficient rear fender, it's narrow-leg trousers and washable outwear pretty much exclusively.

Image. I get compliments on this bike. People who pay no attention to bikes say, "Hey, I like your bike." It's a conversation piece. Clyde is a fun bike, but not nearly as charming as Eleanor.

Comfort. Clyde (a Globe Specialized "Carmel") is advertised and sold as a comfort bike. It has shock absorption in the front fork and on the seat post, in addition to a padded and spring-mounted saddle. The Oma has some seat springs and that's all. The trade-off is that the Carmel is cheaply made and ratchety, while the Oma shifts like a dream and rolls on much more substantial tires and wheels.

I would definitely not ride Eleanor more than a small handful of miles at a time, while with the extra comfort and lighter weight, I can do a 15 or 20 mile round trip errand on Clyde.

Load bearing. I bought Eleanor for grocery shopping and moderate goods-toting. My body-weight alone tests the limits of Clyde's spokes, and the addition of two large bags of groceries and a good bump or two has broken a couple of them. I don't have that concern with Eleanor.

Storage. I can carry Clyde up five steps to my porch and lock him safely out of the rain--which he needs because a life under the sky will quickly ruin him. He's pretty easy to get into the vertical wall-rack in the garage at work.

Eleanor, on the other hand, lives in my back yard, where I can wheel her, chained to a fixed part of my house, and requires a horizontal parking space at work. She will survive many winters outdoors, though, with only moderate maintenance (and a plastic bag over that nice Brooks leather saddle), because of her all enameled-steel construction and enclosed chain and gears.

While build quality alone makes Eleanor the "better bike," Clyde has some very distinct advantages, and I'm realizing that if I go car-free, I'll be well advised to keep them both.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 26th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
Yes! Keep them both!

I want pics of that toned butt! (Just kidding.)
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
Euphemisms! Yay!

*snort* I've started a thing. At WriterCon last summer, when I was in the very midst of writing Restraint, I attended a sex-scene-writing session, where the consensus (heavily influenced by a vocal, funny, and articulate advocate of out and out porn) was, "call a cock a cock" and under no circumstances use the term "ministrations" for a blowjob.

I was all "...but..." in my mind, but I was too chicken to raise my hand, because they covered historical, and were perfectly okay with transposing modern sexual terms back into history where many of them don't belong.

I stayed my euphemistic course, though, and I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of people who seem to be enjoying those polite circumlocutions. I sure had a ball (...) writing them.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 27th, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)

Firefly was all about the euphemisms! Joss gave us "sly" and you came up with "plain" to counterbalance it. "John Thomas" though not original with Joss, was the perfect name for Jayne to apply to his dick. I don't think anyone's ever exceeded the fun-with-language Joss had in Firefly.

Heh. "Naughty men like us."

Apr. 26th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
"I can carry Clyde up five steps to my porch and lock him safely out of the rain--which he needs because a life under the sky will quickly ruin him. He's pretty easy to get into the vertical wall-rack in the garage at work."

Heh heh. Now I'm picturing Tris carrying John into his manor and chaining him to his bed, as John is too delicate for a life outdoors. Plus? John is easy to put on a rack, for some S&M games.....that slut! Yup - all of life can be seen through the "Restraint" POV!
Apr. 26th, 2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
Preacher, you got a smutty mind!
Apr. 26th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
FYI, if you get tired of using a bag on your lovely Brooks saddle, check out the saddle covers from Randi Jo Fabrications - https://www.randijofab.com/products-page/saddle-covers/saddle-cover - she doesn't list them, but she made me a custom one to fit my wide B68s saddle on the Sweetpea. It's great because I can leave it on all the time in the rainy season, so I'm never caught without a cover, and it has a flap on the underside to protect from spray (though that's minimal with my full fenders, but still) It was worth every penny...I'm looking forward to consistent sunshine though so I can take it off and show the lovely brown brooks leather again though.

Apr. 26th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
So, do you leave it on in the rain, and take it off to ride? That's all I'm using the plastic bag for--so that I don't have to get on a wet seat, since I park Eleanor outside at night.
Apr. 26th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
Nope, I've had it on since November. You can leave it on while riding, it doesn't slip or slide at all. It's easy enough to take off and put on that you could take it off to ride, but you don't have to. I'll probably take it off soon and just stash it under the seat since it's not so rainy these days (I just jinxed it though, didn't I?)

If the bag is working for you, great, it's certainly the most affordable way to go, but I sometimes used mine for other purposes and then I'd forget to replace my supply, or I'd forget to put it on even if I had one. So I figured having a cover on that I could just leave in place would be best for me :) I had a Brooks cover, but it was too loose to leave on while riding, and it got cracks in it quickly and became less than water-proof.

I've just been really happy with my cover from Randi, so I try to spread the word :) (We also love her wool cycling caps, and I have a friend who's a chef who swears that her shop apron is actually the best apron for cooking in the world too. She makes good stuff!)
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
I am ALL about supporting good craft, especially if it's local. I love the hats, and I don't wear a helmet when I'm riding Eleanor, so one of those would be great. And the apron looks like it was designed by someone who really understands what an apron is for.

Great site. Thanks for the reference.
Apr. 27th, 2010 08:03 am (UTC)
I was wondering if you were going to keep them both. Sounds like a good decision!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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