Monday, June 18, 2007

The most exciting news round here

is that I got my bike! I rode it home quite unscathed on Saturday afternoon, though thunder and rain (not at all torrential in fact, but it seemed like the skies might massively open at any moment) made the thing slightly more nerveracking than it would have been otherwise--I am going to give it at least a couple weeks before I try riding with the clipless pedals, I was frankly cowardly and walked the thing over to the west side bike path and rode it wearing my regular shoes rather than the cycling ones.

Light reading around the edges: Elizabeth Hand's Generation Loss (very enjoyable--highly atmospheric gothic fiction, contemporary coastal Maine settings against 1970s CBGBs dead junkieish backdrop, an arresting first-person voice--there's always an alternate-self appeal about these artistic burnout narrators for me, I think it is perhaps not in my nature to be a total burnout indie type but I won't say the notion doesn't have a certain appeal, especially when thronged about with responsibilities!); The Woman Triathlete (not bad, but not particularly revelatory, you can get a lot of this stuff for free online anyway); and The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training.

This last one is a particularly good read--I feel the one area of triathlon-related stuff where I have a distinct advantage is the mental side of things, over the years I have built up fairly unnaturally high levels of concentration and self-discipline, it is my belief that it will translate fairly directly into being able to race to the best of my abilities. Probably I was always a person of iron determination in any case, it's just one of those things...

And so even though I still need to learn how to ride it properly (also to change tires and do basic maintenance and all that sort of thing), I am now a significant step further forward towards doing triathlons...


  1. I love that bike! Looks fantastic.
    Over here, "the" book to have if you own a bike and want to change tyres and mend punctures and stuff is "Richard's Bicycle Book", the classic.
    Have many a wonderful ride on that fabulous bird of a contraption.

  2. Wonderful news!!!! (I don't think you were cowardly at all. I think you were a model of sanity.)

  3. What a beautiful bike (and handsome cat)!

    I have a bike on the way too, a birthday present. You will laugh when you see it as it's the opposite of yours in that it's so definitely not built for speed (hint: it will have a basket on the front for carrying the dog). But I am very impatient for it to arrive.

    Wishing you happy, happy rides on yours.
    — CAAF

  4. I've got a pile of Hands to work my way through - Graham Joyce did a lovely WP review of Generation Loss a while back which made me order a whole bunch of her stuff.

  5. Congrats on the new bike! It looks great, and you will have fabulous times on it ...

  6. Nice bike.

    And nice book collection overflow too!

  7. It must be said that the book situation round here is slightly out of control! The combination of (a) enough material prosperity that I can order books from Amazon at will (b) unlimited library borrowing privileges (plus an ongoing book project that makes me need to hold onto a lot of stuff in case I need it again) (c) the sheer EXISTENCE of online booksellers and (d) the fact that publishers now send me books because of the blog is FATAL!

  8. Nice bike, Jenny. Those look like "Look" pedals, right? They're quite easy to get in and out of - you'll wonder how you ever road without them. Changing tires is also pretty easy - although the rear tire can be a challenge to get on and off. And with race day pressure, that's no fun. I always carry lots of the large 02 cartridges. And the thing people most often forget to do is, once you have the tube out, DO NOT FORGET to really examine the tire, running your fingers along the inside. I can't tell you how often I watch people forget, inflate the tube, and have it punctured all over again but a piece of glass still stuck in the tire. Have fun and ride safely!!