Sunday, March 27, 2011
Meet Violet Smith/Beaudelaire
Isn't she pretty! I couldn't decide which literary character to go with, so I named her after both. As you can see, I got a smaller basket for her. I had heard complaints about the larger basket, and since I don't really need to carry a lot up front and also need to be able to manage the hills through the country side out to the barn, I thought I would try a smaller basket out. Also, I added my other Swiss ammo bag. I've been really happy with the one on my mixte. I think that eventually I will want something bigger, but for now this will do. And of course, I sprung for the Brooks grips.
Now for the first impressions. WOW, she is a beast. Heavy and solid. Heavier than my Hercules, I do believe. But not so much that I can't handle her. I haven't tried to put her on my bike rack on the car (is that even possible with a loop frame?), but if I ever want to get her out to my bike shop I'll need to. It's just way too far away to ride (if I want to have time to do anything else that day).
For a heavy 5 speed, I'm surprised at how well I can get her up hills. I think that she may climb hills easier than my mixte! It has to have something to do with the gear range. My mixte is light and has 10 speeds, but I was able to get Violet up a hill that I have trouble getting up on my mixte. Now, she came with the new SA 5 speed hub that has the wider gear range. Maybe that has something to do with it, maybe it's the thighs of steel that I've developed over the last year, or some combination of the two. Maybe it's some sort of new bicycle delusion, who knows. But it was a pleasant surprise!
Her dynamo light is brighter than I expected. Brighter than the Cateye that I've been using for the last year. I went ahead and put my Cateye on at the front axle, just to see if that helps even more, and if anything gives me a light that is always on so when I stop I can stil be seen from the front. I think that I may eventually put a light on both sides.
I'm sure that I have plenty more "getting to know you" to do with Violet. I'm hoping that soon I can plan a leisure ride so that I can focus on the bicycle and not getting somewhere on time.