Saturday, May 28, 2005

Mobile Recliner

I spent the morning going through bills, documents and files. They can really add up. I've been organizing them and scanning to PDF things I wouldn't mind keeping but also wouldn't mind dumping the paper. Finally I ran short of files, and the internal debate began.

C'mon you big weenie, ride your bike to Office Depot.
(in whiny voice)But those files might weigh a lot!
What are you buying, a file cabinet?
(whiny again)No, but those paper goods get heavy.
etc.

Finally I ate lunch and got on my bike and rode towards Office Depot. This goes pretty close by County Cycles so I decided I might as well stop in to see if there is anything I can't possibly live without but which may temporarily have slipped my mind. I pulled up right behind a guy on a weird tandem recumbent tricycle. This you don't see everyday. I put the Marin up on the always-handy two-legged kickstand and talked to this guy. Here's his bike:

Steve K on his Greenspeed tandem trike

This is a Greenspeed GTT (I think that the model is right). It's a 10.5-foot long recumbent tandem tricycle. It was pretty cool. I don't know this Steve guy at all but he was clearly enjoying the new machine, which he'd bought last week at Hostel Shoppe in Stevens Point, Wisconsin and on which he and his wife have got 100 miles in already. I'd enjoy this, too, if it were mine.

This thing had a lot of nifty features. There are a couple of S and S couplings in the frame so it can come apart and be somewhat shorter. The bottom bracket has some sort of gearing arrangement so that it can be geared either direct drive or at a ratio of 2.5:1 for really low gearing. There are big motorcycle-like disc brakes on both front wheels, which turn in sync with a tie-rod between them. The bike also is equipped pretty luxuriosly. I couldn't help but notice the speakers behind the front seat; does it have a stereo?

Rear bottom bracket with mongo chainring, iPod and GPS unit

Both seats get a stereo, and the iPod mounted by the rear bottom bracket provides the music. The other device is the GPS unit. The large chainring looks pretty scary; it's a 65-tooth unit! Of course, the drive wheel is 20-inches, so bigger rings are needed, but it's still impressive at first glance.

Steve said that he and his wife have a regular tandem but that his back ends up hurting and his wrists get uncomfortable after a while. This Greenspeed is still pretty new, but he finds it really comfortable. You can see the relaxed seating in this view:

Steve K on his Greenspeed tandem trike

On the way up to County Cycles I had been thinking how high up I sit and what a view it is; on this Greenspeed it must be like being on a mechanic's creeper and I'd worry about being visible to cars as well. On the other hand, the air resistance must be low and they have a big orange flag sticking up to catch the attention of passing motorists. He's also got dual mirrors in front, and a single one in back, so the riders both have some idea what's coming from behind.

Bikes are cool in part because they can be such a reflection of the owner's thoughts about cycling. Again, I've never met this guy before, but he sure seems to be an enthusiast who knows exactly what he wants in a bike, and this Greenspeed is set up unlike any bike I've seen before.

While I was ogling the trike a couple came out with a pair of Bianchi Milanos, 8 speed internally-geared bikes, one a men's frame and one a ladies. This was an older couple, and the lady looked pretty nervous getting started on the bike. I would have gone and offered some unsolicited advice except this Greenspeed was pretty intriguing. I hope they liked those Milanos, they'd be good Practical Cycling bikes.

Anyway, I headed off to Office Depot to buy my folders and office supplies, then rode home. I've got this far in my blog without showing my bike, so here is a picture of it with the Office Depot load still in the grocery pannier. Note the upright handlebars, bell, two-legged kickstand, fenders, cable lock stowed on the seatpost, leather seat and grocery pannier. This bike is a 20.5 or 21.5" frame but is still too small for me, hence the high stem and lots of seatpost. My new Atlantis frame is a 27" frame (68cm) so ought to fit better without me dwarfing it.

My bike after getting home

The bikes in a really low gear because I had to ride one-handed through the yard. I had to do this because I decided on the way home from Office Depot to pick up my shirts from the laundry. The cleaners are about 3/4 mile from here, shirts don't weigh much and it seems daft to ride home then drive over to get them, so I got my shirts (light starch on hangers) and rode slowly back with only my right hand on the bars/rear brake. It was ok. I took quiet roads.

Anyway, back to work at my files with only a quick run to the grocery store half a mile away for milk for tea and strawberries for breakfast.

1 comment:

katie said...

Hi Matt,

What a great looking bike. How much do you think it set that guy back? Stereo speakers to boot. Sammie enjoyed looking at that bike too. He said "Iwanmyownbike."
Have a good day.

Katie