Coffeeneuring Ride 5, 2 Nov 2016: Pulling out the Heavy Duti

Man, the Coffeeneuring challenge is slipping  away! Time to catch up and get in something this week! One of my “personal challenges” in the Coffeeneuring challenge is to ride each one of my rideable bikes at least once through the course of the challenge.* I’ve used both the Raleigh Superbe and Crested Butte, my two main “everyday” bikes, so I still need to ride my Bantam and the Schwinn Heavy Duti. So I opted for the Heavy Duti, since I ride this bike the least.

I picked up the Heavy Duti just over two years now, and it’s basically the bar/beater/neighborhood cruiser. From time to time I think about upgrading it a bit, mostly where it comes to front brakes. The Heavy Duti is your simple good ol’ American style balloon tire, cantilever frame cruiser, so all it has is a coaster brake. Now for many of us who started riding a bike as a kid, a single rear coaster brake is all we had, and we thought nothing of it. But now hurtling into middle age, I’d like less of a chance of hurtling from my bike because the only way to stop by bike in a panic is by skidding. But there’s no easy way about it. I’d either have to get a drum brake front wheel ($$) or swap out the front fork with one that would allow brakes. I’ve been leaning towards the latter. But there are other bike things I should do first. So the Heavy Duti generally sits in the basement, barely ridden. And that’s a shame.

But there is part of me that says, “Keep it simple. Keep it pure.” One of the beauties of this bike is that because it’s a single speed coaster brake bike, there’s little maintenance that needs to be done. No adjustments, cable replacements, etc. So I can leave it in the basement until on a whim I want to take the bike somewhere. Like today.

The ride itself was pretty ordinary as it goes for me on a day off: a westbound expedition into North Portland. I first aimed for the “Dog Bowl” aka Rivendell Ridge or the big horseshoe bend on N Willamette Blvd. I love coming to this spot for its general serenity and great view of things. Then it was a short hike to Blend Coffee on N Killingsworth St. I got a cup of house coffee (roasted by Coava) and sat outside to enjoy it on this pretty darn nice November day. (It was about 62F/17C and dry, which is nice.) Then afterwards I had a beer at Lucky Lab, picked up a few things at the market, and headed home.

It was nice being out on the Heavy Duti. Until I ride it I forget how much fun it is. The Bullmoose bars are nice, and since I pushed the saddle a bit further forward (a Huffy leather saddle I picked up off of Craigslist) it fits/feels better. I took off and sold the big Wald basket a few months ago, but it definitely can use something in the front or rear, so I’ll be on the hunt. Now the big question is: Will I ever do something about the front brake?

By the numbers, Coffeeneuring Ride 5: 2 Nov 2016:

  • Distance: 6.5 miles round trip
  • Bike: Schwinn Heavy Duti
  • Destination: Blend Coffee
  • Coffee: Drip coffee, Coava Coffee Roasters
  • Route: here.

*The other one is to do Coffee Outside at least three times, each time using a different coffee preparation method.

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