the trek 800 is actually a little bit tall for me; the horizontal top tube is the same height as my in-seam so there's no safety clearance. sitting on the seat, i can reach the ground with the toes of one foot only if i lean the bike slightly. nevertheless, i can still ride the bike just fine. the gears shift smoothly, although every once in a while it doesn't seem to be able to differentiate between the 6th and 7th gear on the rear derailleur. the front brakes (more important) work better than the rear brakes because i swapped the more badly worn pads onto the rear wheel. the bigger wheels also lets me travel farther for the same amount of work. the 24" wheels on my bianchi means a travel distance of about 75" per revolution; the more standard 26" wheels on the trek has a travel distance of almost 82" per revolution. so for every pedal stroke i'm actually going 7" more.
overall i really like the trek 800. i'm thinking about making it my full-time bike once i get a rear rack and a milk crate on that thing. it feels like a big boy's bike, makes me regret not upgrading sooner. 26" wheels also makes finding accessories a lot easier, like panniers or fenders.
at the cafe i went down into the basement to check out the 2 older bikes. the 3-speed raleigh seems fine, the hub gear cable might need some adjusting. the 3-speed gear cable on the ross needs to be replaced entirely. at one point the cable snapped, but the previous owner just tied the 2 ends together. that may work as a temporary fix, but it wouldn't be a big deal to replace the cable inside.
my mother wasn't at the cafe so i rode the bike to belmont. another reason for coming out (besides test riding the trek 800) was i needed to ask my mother for another temporary loan. with client P not being able to pay me until next month (despite the fact that the project as finished back in june i think), i'm once again strapped for cash. i have to liquidate another mutual fund but it takes a few days to go through, and in the meantime i have a health insurance premium that needs to get paid.
returning to cambridge, i make a quick stop at harvard square to deposit the cash into my bank account. since my u-lock is still with my bianchi bike, i had to resort to a combo cable lock. with no basket, i had to carry the lock with me when i'm riding. a group of young people were doing a dance rehearsal in front of the harvard science building. people stopped to watch, thinking it might be a choreographed flash mob event.
with a bike rack being a high priority item, i made sure the trek 800 had the necessary eyelets to install said rackage (it does). i may also want to replace the seat, with feels hard despite the "gel" moniker. at the very least replace the quick-release bolt with a hex-bolt.
i've been eyeing the rear wheel of my bianchi bicycle. if i'm really serious about replacing it i probably don't need to worry about it, but the rear wheel treads has been worn down to the point of smooth. last year i only replaced the outer tire on the front wheel, leaving the rear wheel alone. but it looks like it may be time for the rear wheel as well. the rear wheel gets a lot of stress from the additional weight of the bike rack plus milk crate.
finally, the magna in the basement. that bike is ready to ride, with the except of the front derailleur cable, which is frayed and so tight that the shifter can't even switch to any of the other gears. this is an easy fix, i should be able to get the magna in working order tomorrow. it's a cool bike with front suspension, and i thought about making it my default bike, but it doesn't have upper eyelets for some reason, which means any sort of bike rack will need special mounting (there are however lower fork eyelets).
i went ahead and boiled the final batch of quinces, processed them into jelly before they go bad. at this point i have it down to a system. i'm just curious how many cups of juice i'll get tomorrow morning.
it seemed like it'd be another uneventful day (i was wrong). i heated up the leftover chicken broth and made some more noodle soup for dinner. pau came home and cooked a bowl of pasta. i fixed myself a cup of hot tea. i didn't want the steam to fall on the side table lamp so i balanced the tea on my lap. make sure i don't spill it on myself, i thought. minutes later disaster struck. i must've tipped the cup because suddenly i had hot tea in my lap. not just hot, but boiling hot, fresh from the electric kettle. i shrieked and started dancing, quickly pulling off my wet jeans which was now burning my leg. all this in front of my roommate, who could do nothing but watch as i tore off my pants and ran into the bathroom in my underwear, quickly putting cold water on the scalded region of my left thigh. i was burned bad enough that there were a few blisters later. despite applying a cold wet towel on my leg, i still got some painful red welts. i think i got off easy though; i narrowly missed scalding my groin area. thanksgiving arrives earlier than expected. from now on i won't be using my crotchal region as a coaster.