Sunday, October 5, 2014

Where Have All the Playgrounds Gone? and Fleet News

These days, it seems I can't take a simple ride down the street without someone flagging me down to ask, "hey, what happened to all the playground ride reports lately?'

All right, this has never actually happened, though with my ever increasing blogging fame, it's not as unlikely as, say, Fox news actually reporting with a balanced viewpoint.

There's a couple of factors that have really reduced our playground travels this season:

1) Between soccer practices (two days a week), soccer games (every Saturday), and my ever increasing workload, there's just not as much time to hit the playgrounds.

2) When we do have time for a playground, the kids mostly just want to walk to the nearby Westbury Park. They like this park because lately they've been running into friends there. For the sake of both me and my readers, I don't want an endless string of posts about our visits to the same park.

3) We've all lost the motivation of visiting lots of new playgrounds. Kind of sad, but true. I thought this might be the season of trying to catch all of Dublin's Riverboxes, but that never really caught on.

In the meantime, I've had the usual churn in my bike fleet:

- I bought the IP-106 Chinese carbon frame after really enjoying my Sette Razzo SC, thinking the IP would address a few minor issues I had with the Razzo (with shorter chainstays and more standover clearance). Both those things were true, but the IP just doesn't have the smooth yet lively ride of the Razzo. So these days the Razzo is my only mountain bike:

while the IP has landed on the for sale list.

- The Breezer, which I thought would be nearly impossible to sell, has wafted off to an iBob member in Arizona.

- During my daily perusal of my local Craigslist, I came across a stupendous deal on a Gunnar Crosshairs. Two sizes too small, but I couldn't resist it just for the deal:

I quickly flipped this on the Paceline forums, and about doubled my existing bike fund with the profits.

I've had some thoughts about selling Ye Olde Trek as well, since I'm still enjoying my trusty Cross Check more. I've also had thoughts about doing a 650B conversion on the Trek, which would address my main concern about it (tight tire clearance), but I'm worried that I would still end up with a bike that's not as versatile as the CC.

With the Sette as my only mountain bike at the moment, I'm thinking I need to pick up a steel single speed. I'm resisting the urge to buy another green Soma Juice, like my last one:

I loved the smooth, supple ride of the Juice, but I'm also trying to keep in mind its long wheelbase and somewhat slow steering. Actually, kind of like my Razzo... which leads me to think about making a 69er conversion out of either a Soma Analog or a B side. It seems kind of strange to purposefully buy a frame for a 69er project, but I'm still tantalized by the short chainstays the small wheel allows in the back, combined with the flexier tubing Soma uses. It doesn't help that there's an XL B side V2 on CL right now, which the sale of the Gunnar would just about cover...

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