My Thursday evenings have been thoroughly packed for years to the point I can only afford a short ride after work. After having found my lumbar support digging into my back for better than a couple of months, with a four-hour-a-day commute, and correcting the issue, I feel so much better it’s hard to put into words. I went from fully healthy, bounding up dozens of flights of stairs every day at work to having a tough time walking two flights. I fought in my head for more than a month, trying to figure out what went wrong.
In fact, I was in so much pain when on my feet at work (a large part of my job), that when I discovered the lumbar support in my vehicle’s seat pushing into my back, I worried it couldn’t be that simple…
I rode last night, just my second day (first full day) removed from discovering the problem. I turned in an easy 14 miles in 43 minutes. That’s almost 19.5-mph, for a fun, semi-easy spin. It’s hard to describe the relief I’m feeling – not only the physical, but the mental. It’s not easy to go from fully fantastic to struggling to stay on your feet for more than a couple of hours. All I could think was, “what the hell?!”
I rolled out with the wind in my face, and was content to keep the pace mild, at 17-18-mph. Originally I’d planned on an easy day. On turning left, into a cross-headwind, I changed my mind on the easy part as I passed 20-mph on the computer. I wanted to see if I could break 19-mph with the stiff, late summer breeze.
Without ever really pushing too hard, just keeping it steady, I rolled into the driveway at 19.5-mph average. Good enough to be relieved that my back is back. I think I can turn the page on this ugly episode, thank God.
Happier days are ahead!
I Paid $2,000 for a Freakin’ Bike with No Kickstand?! Why Your Bike Doesn’t Come with One… And Why You Don’t Need One Anyway.
First, for the noobs that happen on this post, no, you’re not entirely nuts to think it’s crazy a bike shouldn’t have a kickstand as much as they cost. I know. I actually had one put on my first adult mountain bike – until it was pointed out how dangerous it was to mountain bike with a kickstand on the bike… then I couldn’t get it off the bike fast enough. So, if you’re miffed your bike doesn’t have a kickstand, consider a few things, first. Carbon fiber bikes don’t have a kickstand because you can’t install a kickstand in the traditional manner because the bike is carbon fiber. You can’t put that kind of leverage on the frame that isn’t designed for it without risking it cracking, especially bolting a metal kickstand onto a, for the lack of a better word, plastic bike. That’s simply a no-no. In fact, you’re not even supposed to use the old style trunk racks that suspend the bike from the top tube with a carbon fiber bike… you use one that supports the bike from the wheels. For aluminum road bikes, they don’t have the clearance to attach a kickstand in the traditional manner anymore, and as I covered earlier, it’s dangerous on a mountain bike when you ride on rough terrain.
And to tell the truth, the cool kids just don’t have kickstands anymore. We don’t need them, with a little innovation.
Try these options instead:
Our bikes are actually resting on the curb simply by leveraging the crank arm against the drivetrain, by way of the pedal. This only works on the drivetrain side of the bike with the pedal you’ll rest the bike on to the back of the bike. Don’t try it on the non-drivetrain side. Your bike will fall over. Also, be very weary of trying this with a bunch of people milling about. Almost invariably, some knucklehead will get too close and knock your steed over. If you don’t have a curb, place your helmet on the ground and leverage the pedal against the top of your melon protector. Seriously, it works.
Next up is the plain old lean against a post method:
For this innovative method of propping a bike up, the frame never touches said post. The saddle leans against the post, then you bring the pedal around (spin the crank backwards) to leverage it against the post. This is a solid way to lean your bike without contact to the paint. It’s quite solid and only uses the tires and two tiny contact points.
In a pinch and for photos, you’ve got the old “stick in the mud” method:
Without question, extreme care should be used when propping one’s bike up this way. It is most definitely NOT stable. One tiny gust of wind and your bike could topple. Great for photos, though. Especially side profile:
Next, we’ll go with the two-point lean:
In this case I used the saddle and my front tire. Because the bike is faced downhill, I chose the front wheel because I could turn it into the fence, making it so the bike can’t roll down – it’s wedged against the fence. The right brake hood would have worked as well, on level ground, though. If I wanted to turn the bike around, I’d have used the saddle and rear wheel as the leverage points.
Along the same line is the three-point lean. This works against a wall. Rear tire, saddle, front tire (the front wheel is turned in, toward the wall). This is exceptionally stable:
The three points in this photo are, handlebar, saddle, rear tire.
Then we go into another “photogenic” method of leaning the bike, the handlebar lean:
It should go without saying, this isn’t very stable but it’s good for a quick photo. If I’m around people, especially the normal public or someone who doesn’t treat their bike as well as I treat mine, I always go with the two or three-point lean. I’ve got too much invested in my bikes to leave the opportunity for a stupid person to be stupid around my ride.
For those really pressed, we don’t need anything to lean our bikes against…
Wedge the wheel between the car tire and the wheel well. It’ll stay upright easy enough. Just don’t get back in your car while your bike is set this way. The last thing you need is to forget it’s there and drive off. Don’t chuckle too hard, either. It happens.
Finally, this is for those who have a riding buddy, a favorite of mine when there’s simply nothing to lean your bike against:
Lean two against each other. Just make sure you’re not frame to frame… I’ve got my two touching shifter hood to seat post above. Get the balance right and that is surprisingly stable. This one is excellent at big, supported rides when they run out of rack space or trees to lean your bike against at rest stops.
So, my friends, don’t worry about why your bike doesn’t come with a kickstand. You don’t need one anyway. And who would want the extra weight?!