My bike has finally arrived! I use the word finally as if to say that it was a long, arduous wait, but actually the ordering and delivery process was all excellent, save for the delivery getting pushed back from Friday the 30th to Monday the 2nd. Considering I ordered the bike from Bikes Direct on Tuesday 27th, it didn’t ship (from Jacksonville, FL) until the 28th, having it loaded up and ready for my inaugural commute one week later is pretty damn impressive.
Our UPS guy at work (Chuck) brought in the big GRAVITY box around 11 AM, and since we were rather slow at work today, I was able to take my time and assemble it at work, take it for a spin around the warehouse and down the block and back on my lunchbreak. I prepped in the morning by watching the YouTube video about assembly that Bikes Direct has in their FAQ section. My assembly was only hampered by my typical absentmindedness. Like after I got it all put together and the tires inflated I hopped on to see how it felt, only to discover that I did not tighten the headset. Luckily, this did not have disastrous results.
The box arrived in surprisingly immaculate shape (some of the packages we get through UPS are in a bad way when they arrive) and the bike within reflected similar condition. The bike itself doesn’t come with any paper instructions, so I was working from memory of the video I watched before leaving the house for work in the morning.
Since we don’t have a bike stand at work, I just improvised one with the forklift.
Assembling the bike wasn’t difficult, although it took me a while just because 1) I was taking my time because I just spent $500 on it and don’t want to fuck it up 2) I always forget to do shit or do shit wrong and have to go back and redo the right way once I realize I messed up. By the time my lunch hour rolled around, I had it put together and had ridden it around the warehouse. I even took it up and down the block to get a feel for it on the actual road. I mounted the pump I had purchased the day before at Dick’s on one of the water bottle mounts, too.
I spent the rest of the slow work day between my bike and my book. I’d read a few chapters, tinker and adjust things on the bike, rinse, repeat. There were brief, small spasms of actual work interspersed in there, as well.
Once quittin’ time rolled around, I loaded the bike up into the car. The huge Schwinn mountain bike I had been borrowing fit in the back seat of the Galant as long as I took off the front tire. I cursed myself for forgetting to remove the car seat the night before, as I felt it would make it too tight a squeeze, but not only was I able to get it in, I didn’t even have to remove the front tire, as the slimmer 700×32 form factor was able to nestle snugly between my passenger seat and the passenger side door.
Knowing I still had things I needed for my ride on Tuesday, the wife and daughter joined me in a trip to Target after dinner where I got a helmet, rack and water bottle mount, which I promptly added when I got home. The rack was kind of a pain in the ass, as it was too loose on my seat tube, so I had to add a cardboard shim in the mounting hardware so it would clamp down properly. As I plan to eventually get a nice rack with panniers and full fenders, this was only a temporary solution anyway, so I am ok with it. I also mounted the reflectors that came with the bike, too, as I don’t have proper lights for it yet.
After shuffling some shit around in the garage, I stashed the bike and pulled the car in. Later on, after the kiddo was asleep and I had watched my backlog of Jeopardy! episodes, it was time to get down there and take care of the serious business. I needed to add my fishing gear to this sonofabitch.
I took my Quantum ultralight reel and mounted it to a generic telescoping pole that has been sitting in my garage collecting dust. The long, narrow box that came with my Shakespeare Lake/Pond combo is almost identical in width and depth dimensions as the rack I bought, so I loaded it up with a few choice baits, plastics, hooks, sinkers, as well as the tools I need to keep on my for bike adjustments and used the provided bungee net to secure it to the rack.
Might not be pretty, but it is way better than the giant Jansport backpack I used to slug around on my back. Just got to strap my lunch on top of it with anther bungee and I should be good to go. Hopefully tomorrow morning will make for a nice ride and maybe a fish or two, as well.