I realize that this may come as news to you, so I shall break it gently.

There are volumes other than floor-shakingly loud.


Look at the volume control on your music player. It has options for louder and for softer. You can play your awful music at a volume that I can't hear through the shared wall.

Now turn your attention to the television, and examine the volume control on it. You will notice the same options. I recommend trying the less-loud versions. You will still find yourself able to hear the dialogue, honest. But I won't.

And when you speak—when, for example, you tell your yappy dog to STFU, or when you express your anger and displeasure as you so often do at 10h00 while I am getting down to work—you can do it without raising your voice, and sharing the details of your discussions with me, through the aforementioned shared wall.

Amazingly enough, this also applies to closing doors–it is possible to go into and out of rooms without informing your neighbours that you are doing so. And to walking!

I am sharing this information with you, because it seems clear to me that nobody ever has before. It cannot possibly be that you really have failed to consider that your neighbours might not appreciate your taste in music, television, movies, and that we might prefer not to hear your discussions. I believe that you must feel deeply torn, every time you want to listen to music or watch a movie, knowing that you are inflicting your taste on your neighbours. It is entirely likely that you fervently hope that we are not home, so that you can indulge in your preferred entertainment without disturbing us.

I know that if I had not known about this marvelous ability of modern technology to replay music at less than wall-shaking volume, it would be much more difficult for me to enjoy my love of fine opera.

But now, with this new information that I am sharing with you, you no longer need to worry about us! You can simply turn the volume down, lower your voices, and close the doors instead of slamming them.

I do hope this makes it possible for you to get through your days in a more pleasant, less stressful fashion.

Best regards,
Your neighbour, who works from home.

Is that so much to ask?

So I've concluded that it may be time for me to buy a new bicycle.

I love my bike, I really do. I rode it almost all the way home from Ottawa. But I'm forced to admit that she's a heavy bike, and she's not doing me a lot of good. My fingertips get tingly when I ride for too long. And I ride a lot. Also, this year, I'm probably going to have to replace the tires, pedals, seat, and possibly the gears, by which time I might as well have a new bike, really.

My Current Ride
Grey and blue 2002 or 2001 Giant Sedona DX hybrid bike parked outside Grahame's Bakery in Kemptville, ON. Bike has fully loaded panniers and a front bag. Weather is overcast.

My current bike is a 17-inch Giant hybrid, designed specifically for commuters, where by "commuters," I think the bike companies mean "someone who hops on their bike and is at their workplace within half an hour or so." It's a pretty decent commuter/hybrid bike. It has mostly mountain bike features—wide tires, wide handlebars, lots of gears, some suspension in the front forks, and a wide seat—with a more upright, comfortable frame and posture. It handles reasonably well on lots of different terrain, and it's comfy and durable. Really. I haven't managed to break the bottom bracket on this bike, even once. So it's a great bike for someone who rides every day, and who doesn't stick to roads.

But over long distances, this bike has some serious drawbacks.

Cut for OMG bicycle geekery )

Still with me? Ring your bike bell if you've made it this far!

What I Want

Okay, so here's my list of specifications for a bike:
  • Good fit, which probably means women's geometry, though I'm willing to try some unisex models
  • Lightweight, which probably means road-style, though I'll entertain flat handlebars as long as the bike's geometry takes the weight off my wrists and hands, and the posture isn't too upright
  • Tires that are a reasonable compromise between stable enough for some unpaved roads and smooth and narrow enough to reduce some of the resistance I currently encounter. This means that the wheels need to support a slightly wider tire
  • Strong enough to withstand some time on unpaved roads, and to be fully loaded for travel
  • Eyelets on the rear wossname (the thing that houses the axle and holds the wheel in place) so that I can put a rack on my bike
  • More than 10 speeds. I use all 18 on my current bike, but I admit that I don't use the very top or very bottom very often
  • A less upright posture so I spend less time fighting the wind
  • Ideally, one of them there modern steel frames, so that I can have some shock absorption without needing actual shocks. Aluminum is light, but tends to be really rigid. Your modern light steel gives a much gentler ride, I'm told

This leads me to believe that I need either a cyclocross bike or a touring bike, probably. There are one or two hybrids I'll try, but most hybrids seem to assume a more casual rider than I tend to be.

And Here's the Feminism

So, recognizing that I really want a Terry Bike, but cannot right now afford the price tag on such a beast (and also, Terry seems to have discontinued the Madeleine, which really looks like the bike I want, oh yes she does), I wandered over to my favourite bike shop to see what offerings they have.

Cut for disappointment. Sad cycle hoyden is sad.  ) 

I guess women are just a niche market.

So, if anyone finds a used or new Terry Madeleine with a 26-inch step-over (which probably means a size S frame), let me know, okay?
Possibly lost true love. The Terry Madeleine, a relaxed touring bike in light blue and white paint, with drop handlebars.
And if I come into a sudden windfall? I'm so going custom.

zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)
( Aug. 14th, 2009 11:34 pm)

I'm home!

Not squashed!

Ontario is very big! It is full of water, and rocks, and trees, and swamps, and farms.

Trucks are very scary.

The Waterfront Trail is a lie: It isn't really a trail and it doesn't go along the waterfront very often.

Rural people have a bizarre penchant for novelty mailboxes.

More later! I have to let my mom, grandmom, and great aunt know that I am home, alive, and in one piece. And sleeeeep.

Thanks to [personal profile] neeuqdrazil 
This one's especially for [personal profile] mycrazyhair and [personal profile] neeuqdrazil :

Sound of Music guerilla dancing in Antwerp's central station.



zingerella: Capital letter "Z" decorated with twining blue and purple vegetation (Default)


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