What to do with the hybrid



Even my dog knows...

Even my dog knows...

Back to the topic at hand, today I am definitely going to Brakeless, and I know I’ve talked about this before, but, really now. I can’t wait for my fixie to be done to go there, I need things from there now. Like a seat post for my fixie, and I think a seat post, correct me if I’m wrong here, is kind of integral to the the bike. I would have used the stock seat post, but the issue with that was that the seat post was so short that at maximum length, my seat wouldn’t sit higher than my handlebars. And that just won’t do on a road bike. The sizing was all off, is what I’m saying. I also need a new seat, because I remember that when I took the seat off the bike when I first got it, I felt as if I were caught in the second coming of some sort of biblical plague. Earwigs came out of there like it wasn’t anybody’s business. I feel as if that was a good enough reason to get rid of it.


    So, Brakeless. I will be parking my Marin a block away, but still walking in with my helmet attached to my bag. I think that will cover me at least until I get my fixie up and running. I need to ask their opinion, or advice, really. Because yesterday, after buying a toolset, I removed all the bolts from my cranks, because I want to keep the original Sugino’s, but there’s two chainrings, both of which are not the size I’d like them to be. So I need to take off the cranks, then remove the chainrings, put on a new chainring, and reattach them. Simple, right? Well the issue is that after I removed the bolts holding the cranks on, which is really hard to do without a work stand, and no real upper body strength. 

    The upside of working on a bike yourself though, is that you accumulate all these tools. I mean, I have this one closet which would have been a total pain had I not accumulated all these tools.  The closet is in my living room, but it is at the back of the living room, so it’s not for coats, or boots, or anything like that, it’s just generally ill placed. Now, it’s my tool closet. With snowboarding season approaching, and my need for a new (or a used) board growing, my snowboarding tools are going to increase too. Because I’m close to Tremblant, and St Anne, too, So I have no excuse, especially with 4 day weekends, to not be out in the parks. But preparing a board, especially if it’s a new one, for the park is a pain. I have to bevel and sand down and I should probably dent-proof my tip and tail for chairlift lines, and then there’s the whole stop pad choosing thing, which will take me eons I’m sure. Getting my stance just perfect will be another thing too. I need a work table. That is the answer. 

    I’m sorry that I keep giving you all my shopping lists as blogs, really. I should probably plan out what I’m going to say before hand, just to keep chaos to a minimum. I will try later. And there may be a new vlog in the works! It should be up on Tuesday, or sooner if I give in and go to Starbucks. We shall see, I guess.

    On a totally random side note, yesterday was my sister’s birthday. My mother called me with this “great idea” of giving her a card with a cat on it, with $40 in it, and signing my name for me. How lame is that? A cat card? I’m the person at birthday parties, who has some sort of a reputation for giving terribly inappropriate cards, so people know to just open the present and open the card when their parents are not around. I don’t give cards with cats on them, unless it’s a joke about pussy. Then I would do so. Otherwise, no. So I’m going to make Sydney a “because I care” package, in which I will assemble some things which she needs, but she doesn’t realize she needs them just yet. I don’t think she reads this blog, but just incase, I won’t give it away. It’s going to be a pretty awesome care package, though.  I’m writing a list of things as I type this, actually, and it’s kind of depressing because I really don’t know what to get her half the time. I mean, I haven’t lived with her in years, and now I’m hundreds of kilometers away, and I sort of, kind of, feel bad. Aren’t people supposed to know something about their siblings? I think this is something I’ll have to work on. I want to catch up with everyone in my family, except my mother, who doesn’t really count because I’ve essentially disowned her, for the first time in my life. I used to think that I didn’t care about my family, and vice versa, but now I feel the need to connect with them. Is that weird?

    A part of me feels as if I’ve never really had a “family”, sure I have people I’m related to, but by the definition in my head of family, I’ve never really had one. My dad is the only family I have, as far as I’m concerned. Sure, he’s been absent, but I can understand why he has been. I went through, and I’m going through, a lot of the same things I imagine that he’s going through, or things that he’s overcame. But he doesn’t talk, his dad died when he was really young, and my Nana, though awesome now, was really hard on her kids. He calls me all the time now, though, so maybe this move was a good thing. I’m hoping I’ll get him to open up one of these days. Because the one good thing that came out of this divorce is the mostly unspoken bond him and I share. It’s different with us. When the separation was just beginning, and my mother took everything out on me, I moved in with him. I slept on the couch of his one bedroom apartment for many, many months. He bought us a townhouse, which my mother consequently took over. And then he bought me a loft down the hall from his, despite everything going on with him. He supports me, in his own way. If my dad wasn’t so supportive, I probably wouldn’t be here. My mother sent me to therapy for two years, in order to scare the resentment I have for her out of me, I guess. And my dad always stood up for me, my sister tried to, but my mother threatened her before every family session, as she told me later on, about putting her in foster care if she made her out to be an unfit parent. Essentially, my dad is awesome. I didn’t mean for this to be such a long post, but now you know a little bit more about who I am, and why I am who I am.

(First posted: 12/09/08)


I’m an allen key master, fyi.


Allen KeyToday was actually a little bit productive. I picked up more groceries in my little backpack, and I’m starting to realize that unless I do get a messenger bag soon, I’ll need to go grocery shopping everyday. Thus, tomorrow I’m going to swing by Brakeless (conveniently located on the same street as the grocery store I reluctantly go to), and browse for messenger bags, once I get my Internet connection hooked up, that is. I’m really hoping it comes in the mail tomorrow, because I am dying here. Literally, I think I may pass out any minute, because I cannot find anywhere to eat when left to my own, Internet-free, devices. The grocery store I go to know has a very small organic section, one aisle to be exact, and they only carry three items of organic produce. I stand firmly behind my organic diet, only straying when I go out for dinner and I feel bad after fighting the waiter for a special vegan meal, plus having it made organic. I do have a conscience, on occasion. Actually, it’s more like a fear of someone, or everyone, spitting in my food because I know I’m the world’s worst dinner date. 

    So, yes, on tomorrow’s docket:

set up Internet

visit Brakeless and spend my tuition

Find organic farmers’ markets around town

Finish assignments

Catch up on school work

Blog about how much better my new bag is than yours

…isn’t my life just so interesting?

    Anyways, back to the title. Today my bedroom set arrived from IKEA, and I assembled the entire bed frame, made my bed, refurnished the rest of my room, cleaned my room, and reveled in my awesome building abilities, all in the span of two hours. Seriously, if you are feeling down, go to IKEA. Buy something entirely useless, and build it up. It’ll be stress free because who cares if you actually finish it? It’s not like you need whatever you just purchased. And when you do finish it, you will feel as if you actually built something with your two hands. Which I suppose there is some truth in. But really, it’s more like you assembled it, with detailed picture instructions, and Allen keys.

     Sorry to put a damper on the can-do spirit, I’m just typing as I think. Even though I just put down my own accomplishments, I feel like a badass. It was as if I was scrapping my beater bike all over again. I wasn’t really doing anything, I was just taking parts off, or in the case of my new bed, screwing things together with Allen keys. I like this whole, working with my hands thing. I think I may have ruled out skill trades too early. 

    Speaking of skills, I think I’m going to take a bike maintenance course, and really get familiar with geared bicycles, and then I’ll get a job in a bike shop. I have all the terminology, not to mention the enthusiasm. Plus I could really use the discounts. I wonder if Brakeless is hiring? I dislike this lack of Internet profusely. While we ponder the ups and downs of Brakeless, I have just realized a kink in my plans for tomorrow, I ride a hybrid. It’s no secret that I do, while people can’t tell in the street (probably because I don’t often wear lycra), I know I ride one, which is really the worst part.

     The problem being, Brakeless is a fixed gear bike shop, so what do I do with the hybrid? Park her around the block? How embarrassing. I cannot wait to get my fixie up and running, seriously. Today really fueled my fixed gear fire, because in Montreal there’s lots of stoplights at stupid places, where the intersection is essentially in the shape of a T. These intersections just beckon me to run the light, I have a risk level so near to zero that I would be even more embarrassed of myself had I not run it. Anyways, I was going through the light today, and this woman is crossing, I stop for her politely, and she goes on to tell me that it’s a red. Acknowledging that, and then acknowledging the fact that I didn’t care if the light was purple, I wasn’t going to be stopping, I informed her that I could see that it was red. She went on to ask me if I often ran reds, at this point in time, the light had turned green, and she was actually the one doing the law breaking, I informed her that it wasn’t that hard to do, it was far quicker, and urged her to try it sometime. She walked off after that. Probably for fear of this crazy Echo driver behind me. I really wanted to be on a fixie at that point in time so I could’ve pulled a track stand during our conversation, making me look far cooler than I actually am, and thus intimidating pedestrians such as her. I like to put the fear of god into pedestrians and motorists. And by god I mean me, while I’m on my bike.

(First posted: 05/08/09)

There’s a four day weekend, every weekend!

Sorry that this wasn't a funny one... next time, I promise.

Sorry that this wasn't a funny one... next time, I promise.

Yes, I have inadvertently scheduled myself so that I get Thursday and Friday off until the beginning of next semester. While this may sound fine and dandy, it means I have no excuse for not doing things, which is not too good. I like at least having one foolproof excuse up my sleeve, you never know when something will come up. But I continue to look on the bright side, on this four day weekend of mine, I will become a pro Allen key turner, as I must assemble things from IKEA, I will also become a poor excuse for a fixed gear cyclist as I will be getting my rear wheel, finally. On top of everything, I must clean my whole apartment (yet again), and I must get this whole phone & internet thing set up. There’s a whole lot to be done, folks. And time is not on my side.


    Today I realized how much I hate everything other than my bicycle when it comes to transport. I took the bus to class again, because I still don’t have internet so I still don’t know where I’m going. And I hated every minute of it.  When this internet gets set up, I have a feeling many things will fall into place. Either that or my blind optimism will erode further and I will be forced to take up a skill trade.

     Anyways, back to my bicycle. I hate cycling Montreal, because some streets have separated bike lanes, which make me feel as if I should ride in them. But anyone with two legs and half a brain is in those lanes, and I don’t have enough weaving room to feel at home. I really do miss the hustle and bustle of riding right in traffic. I like to stay alert, I like to dart in and out, I enjoy racing in traffic. Which I know must sound like a death wish, but it’s a rush. I feel very dead when I’m in a separated bike lane, it’s too safe.

     There are other things I dislike about Montreal cycling infrastructure, as well, such as the places to lock bikes. While they are definitely plentiful, it is near impossible to lock your front wheel to your frame, locking your rear wheel without a cable is just impossible. Because there are so many not-so-savvy students in the downtown core, I’d assume there would be many a bike theft lurking. Heck, it is the perfect place to steal bikes. I saw a bike yesterday locked to a pole that stood maybe a meter and a half. There wasn’t anything on the pole, it was just that, a pole. You could lift that bike up and be off with it in 3 seconds flat. I mean, if you’re going to lock your bike to a pole, clearly you haven’t secured your wheels either.

    I have bikes on my mind because I went grocery shopping today, and I went on my bike with just my backpack, only to end up cycling home with one big bag of food and a backpack full of locks, rice, and beans. I was fine other than the one bag that I was carrying, as my leg would collide with the bag every time I pedalled. Thus, I am going to get a messenger bag, and I’m going to get it at Brakeless. Why? Brakeless is awesome, and I’ve been meaning to go there. I will figure out where it is when my internet returns to me, and I will get a messenger bag with a huge cavity so I can haul enough food for a couple of days home, instead of eroding my left knee cap for nothing more than a couple jars of organic jam & some soy milk.

    I’ve realized this post is all about things I need to do, but worry not, because I have gotten things done. For example, today I finally got my student card, I look like hell, but that doesn’t matter. I also found out where to get my pass key on Monday, and I picked up two of my necessary books. I also got groceries, and I’m making my way through some old vinyls Greg gave me. That’s right, I do have Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” now. In other news, I cleaned my entire bathroom, literally. My bedroom will be the next “fully clean” room on the list, but that’s an uphill battle if there ever was one. Anyways, I’m going back to reading this new book of mine. It’s Gender, Class, & Freedom in Modern Political Theory by Nancy J. Hirschmann. I’m not sure if I recommend it just yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

(First posted: 03/09/08)