emily’s bike stuff
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Misc: Bike Fit Tweaks and Goings Ons

This blog post is very ‘in the spirit of documenting every little thing in the ownership of my bikes.’

Minor Bike Fit Tweaks

I’ve been riding some more technical trails than I’m used to. Nothing intense but keeping my body relaxed with my weight pushed into my pedals1 during some sections improves my confidence. I’ve had a bit of knee strain, which might be partly due to saddle position. My saddle has been feeling a bit low and so I’ve raised it ~5mm. I’m trying to make small changes and live with one change at a time for a few trail rides. I’m historically terrible at this but egret is generally comfortable for me in the first place so it’s easier to make minor adjustments from a good foundation.

I’ve also been thinking about my brake lever position. I’ve noticed that my wrist extension is slightly different when my finger is on the lever. I’m going to rotate both down just a smidge to get rid of this. I like one-finger braking which means my index finger creeps toward the tip of my brake lever. That can clock my wrist outwards (ulnar deviation) and compromise my neutral grip on my bars. This one is harder to fix — I’d like to move my levers further inwards on my bars and then decrease their reach.

I’m probably not gonna get around to fixing this one for a bit. Also do I A/B test my lever positions on the left and right?

My hand in a blue wool glove on a brake lever while riding. On the left is a mirror and on the right is a bell.

Leash Training Gus

Our indoor cat, Gus, needs a lot of enrichment and play2 so we’ve wanted to get him outside on a leash. We had started this process a long while ago but then he needed to be on a prescription diet. That had meant no dry food for a while and we used kibble for training. Now we’d really like to try getting him into a bike and are exploring basket/trailer setups — thus the relevancy to this blog. Please shoot me an email if you have good recommendations!

Anyway, Gus is a fast learner and it’s going well. My understanding is that cats generally have a period of adjustment where they flop over a lot when they have a harness on. Some places on the interwebs say it’s a reflex mimicking their response to being snatched by a predator. Who knows. We got past this reflex last time and he’s almost out of it this time! Ample play helps a lot — both with kibble hockey and a wand toy with lots of successful catches to help his confidence. It gets him moving and he forgets the harness is on him.

He flop.

A buff tabby cat with his belly and harness exposed.

But then he catch.

A buff tabby cat on his back legs pouncing at a feather toy.

Paracord Brake Locks

My friend Sarah made us all a bunch of cute brake locks with paracord. They work great and they have colourful squeezy beans!

A pink and blue brake lock made from paracord securing a brake lever to a grip.

Bench Decorations

My favourite way to decorate my bench at the bike shop is with my friend Eric’s wood block prints. New holiday card!

A black wood block print thumb tacked to a bench in a bike shop.

Other Miscellania

  1. Unexpectedly, I’m about to come into possession of a Brompton. I’m excited to try out the Brompton life and see how deliberately multimodal-oriented bike trips around the city feel.
  2. I’m really excited to bring my Hardtack home and start riding it again. I was going to do this a bit ago but I want to play around with the fit and re-install the Rawland rack on it. I haven’t managed to make time for this yet.
  3. This whole waxed chain situation has been going great so far. I’ve ridden ~600km with it now — some in the rain and lots off-road.
  4. The original chain on this e-bike wore out so quickly. I was expecting the brake pads to also be worn by now but I’m impressed with how they’re holding up. They’re just resin pads. The front probably has another 500km in it and the rear has more. So between Linkglide, a waxed chain, and this brake pad surprise, hopefully egret won’t chew up consumables as fast as I imagined.

  1. I don’t have any mountain biking skills but I’ve learned little bits here and there: https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/skills/mtb-attack-position/ ↩︎

  2. And this article on fewer but happier pets will haunt me forever — in a good, productive way. ↩︎