"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

counting chainrings before they're attached

As the bidding clock ticks down on that Surly Long Haul Trucker frame, I've been exploring the world of components that will eventually be necessary unless I want to practice some kind of Zen biking-without-bicycle. I have been learning about gears and for the first time ever I counted the teeth on the granny gears of my road bike. Well no wonder riding uphill has been so much work. The smallest front chainring has 30 teeth and the biggest ring in the back has 24. This means that even my granny gear is kind of a tough ol' granny. I think it should be the other way around: smaller ring in the front, bigger in the back. Then I can haul over hill and dale without first developing the musculature of Lance Armstrong, which for a number of reasons isn't likely to happen. I have wondered, struggling up some of my hill rides, how in the world people tour with a load up hills like this. While it's likely that many such people have built up their climbing legs beyond my current ability, I think they are also enjoying better living through physics.

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