Sunday, November 22, 2015

Rolling Along (and the Privateer)

The big news in our neck of the woods is that our kids will get redistricted next year, changing up their elementary school. Under the current plan, they would go to Wyandot Elementary, so a few weekends ago, I took the kids there on a playground familiarization trip:

I was riding my Camargue, which is handily squashing my idea to have the New Albion Privateer take over its role. Better tire clearance, longer chainstays, and I like the handling better. It's too bad the NAP is a little handier to pedal.

Kate was very happy with the Wyandot Elementary playground. She's into monkey bars this summer, and they had a lot of them there:

Henry can do the monkey bars too (though not as well, shh!)

Sam is more about slides:

While Kate kept going on the monkey bars, the boys I went out to the fields to throw boomerangs:

We only got one stuck in a tree, but I was able to get it out by lifting Kate up on my head. She's not that light anymore.

On the way out, I spotted a bike in the school dumpster:

Just a department store cheapie, but it was in decent enough shape that Henry and I had thoughts about coming back for it to donate it to the Columbus bike co-op... though I forgot about it and never went back. So much for recycling.

As I mentioned above, I'm not overjoyed with the Privateer as a utility bike, so I spent Saturday morning stripping it down. Shades of my Cross Check, I ended up with a black fixed gear crossy road bike with AT-2 bars:

I'm pretty satisfied with the tight crankarm clearance here:

It doesn't look it, but there's about 2mm clearance there. Q factor, minimized.

I'm not so satisfied with the low trail fork:

Without a front load, it's a hair twitchy compared to the VO. I think the VO's mid trail is a better compromise for me, where I might be loading my bike any old which way.

I took it for a chilly ride on Saturday morning through the metro park. I stopped at the creek where there used to be a beaver dam:

I heard something splash behind me, and I was excited to see the beaver again:

But it turned out to be a group of three muskrats (the other two got away before I got my camera out):

Not a beaver, but I was happy to see something new on my Metro Park loop.

Rodents aside, I like the NAP quite a bit better as a fixed gear than as a utility bike. It's nice to be on a simple fixed gear again. I've had my Raleigh Technium set up fixed, but for some reason I like it better geared. Must be the chunky shifts from those down tube shifters. So if you know me, that leaves me at nominal maximum five bikes:

- NAP - fixed gear road
- Camargue - errands and camping
- Technium - road
- Ritchey - SS rigid 29er
- Mukluk - fatbike

Except that I just bought a Karate Monkey frameset that was too cheap to pass up. Oddly, my plan is this will threaten the Muk, not the Ritchey. We'll see how this plays out.

I rolled north through the Metro Park into Jerome Village, a newish development that is outside Dublin, but still in the city school district--and that goes to the nearby elementary where our kids currently go.

Later that afternoon, we signed the papers to start a build there.

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