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The current state of things

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Personal

I’m going back to school in January! After high school, I spent 2+ years at Northwestern University, and then dropped out (it’s a long story). I never finished the Computer Science degree I was pursuing, and I have always intended to go back to school. Well, I am finally going to do it! I got into the General Studies program at Indiana University, right here in town. I’m not sure yet what classes I’ll be taking, but I am looking forward to it. It will be strange to be a student again. I hope I am able to adapt reasonably well.

A couple of months ago, some ongoing contract work was cut way back. My budget has been severely scaled back ever since. And with school coming up, things are going to get tighter.

Cycling

I’m gearing up for winter. It’s difficult with a small budget, but fortunately I already have most of the things I need. However, this winter will be different from last year. My commute is longer, and I will be riding to/from/all around campus, as well. I have decided to use the Trucker as my main winter bike.

Studded tires

I had a pair of studded tires already, but they’re for 26″ wheels, since I used an old mountain bike as my winter commuter previously. So, I knew I would need 700c studded tires. I lucked out and Doug (MnBicycleCommuter) had recently gotten a new set of studded tires, but still had the old ones around, with plenty of life left in them. He offered them to me at a good price. I couldn’t resist. Here is his post about shipping the tires on his Xtracycle. The tires arrived today (already!) and I’m looking forward to trying them out. I’ll need to install them on the Trucker soon to make sure there’s enough clearance under my fenders.

This leads me to wheels. I really wish I had an extra wheelset for the Trucker. This would allow me to keep both my slicks and studded tires mounted on a wheelset, and just swap out the wheels. I am not sure yet if this is going to be in the budget.

Lights

My lighting situation has been less than ideal for a few years. I have a few lights which have been adequate when combined, but again, with a longer commute, I’ll be spending more time riding in the dark. I knew I would need something better. Fortunately, my beautiful wife ordered me a light. It’s not here yet, but I am looking forward to testing it out. It’s going to blow my existing lights out of the water.

This light will also be useful for night rides on the road, mountain bike rides, etc. I can’t wait!

I’m also investing in some more reflective gear. In addition to a longer commute, I’m hoping to get more riding in this winter than ever before. That will mean a lot of riding at night, and I need to stay visible.

I’m not sure yet what else it will hold, but already I can see that 2011 is going to be a very interesting year!

6 Responses to “The current state of things”

  1. Chris Says:

    Lots of stuff here. Congrats on the school decision. I hope it brings many rewards. Regarding lights, I’ll just say I love my lights, they’ve opened up a new world to me. Finally, on the subject of wheels, I have a set of 700c wheels and only 650b bikes. That means I could part with these wheels and would be willing to discuss a sale. If you want to discuss, send me an email.

  2. Apertome Says:

    Wow! It’s funny, I wasn’t fishing for deals when I posted this, or the previous post about studded tires, but here we are. I sure have some thoughtful friends through my blog.

    I think the Trucker has a weird hub width, but I’ll send you an e-mail. Whether it works out or not … thanks!

  3. Scott Loveless Says:

    The Trucker has a 135mm OLD. Standard for modern touring and mountain bikes. I recently purchased a very inexpensive wheel with a freewheel hub from Niagara. http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_info.php?products_id=509766 I think it’s that one. Anyway, set your shifters to friction and make some adjustments to your low and high derailer stops. Cheap, effective, and you don’t trash your good wheels with winter grit.

  4. Bill Lambert Says:

    I know you’ll do fine at school. Nothing like a fresh perspective at college, a few years later. Can’t wait to see the light you’re getting.

  5. Tim Says:

    Great news on so many fronts. And heck!, I sure wouldn’t have been accepted to N’western.

  6. Steve A Says:

    Starting in Spring Semester? I think you’ll have a good time.

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