Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Commuting bike

Now, while its not exactly woodwork, building myself a new commuting bike is one of my many hands on hobbies.

For several years, I commuted the 3 miles to The Common Grounds on my bike. I took many rides around the trails available to DC and northern VA residents. I've even biked out the W&OD trail for a overnight hammock camping trip.

Then came car ownership, and convenience. Then a 25 mile commute to Woodbridge. Then moving to Woodbridge where cars rule the roads. All adding up to the neglect of my nice bicycle.

I have tried on occasion to ride over to work. Things have always cropped up to keep it from becoming a habit; weather and road safety being forefront, but not having a safe place to park it to keep out the dust and away from potential theft are not far behind in my concerns.

Since I am so close to the shop these days (3/4 of a mile) I decided that I should have a commuting bike that doesn't need to be keep in pristine condition, while saving the nice road bike for weekend, or further excursions.

To that end, I have started building a fixed gear bike. I was able to locate a 1974 fuji road frame at a great south Arlington local bike shop Phoenix Bikes.

Since it's an old steel frame I would have to do an incredible amount of damage before it started to show, and a fixed gear has no gear shifting, or even freewheel moving parts to get dust clogged in them.

I hacked down the traditional road bars, and re-wrapped them with nice bright red handlebar tape. I decided not to build myself a set of wheels (maybe in the future) but ordered a set with a fixed rear hub.

The only thing left to get it rolling is a set of tires, which are hopefully on their way. And the only thing left to get it road worthy is the correct size brake caliper, which is being order by a local bike shop.

No comments: