Friday, February 28, 2020

I'm Saddle-Rich!!

In these times of financial volatility, I'd suggest you consider what I'm doing - INVEST IN BICYCLE SADDLES!

A few weeks back, I noticed that one of the screws on my Selle Anatomica saddle was missing. I rode on home... and upon closer inspection I discovered that I had broken another one! (D'oh!)

I've commented at length in the past, about my "Anatomica Experience," including HERE and HERE. In a nutshell, they are the most comfortable saddle I've ever sat on. And comfort is a major consideration when choosing a saddle... no? But unfortunately, at least for me, I've had negative results with their relative longevity. The models I have used are theoretically designed for riders weighing up to 250 pounds, and I'm often close to that threshold... I tend to tip the scales at 235-245 pounds, depending on time of year. (I'm at the high end of that range right now, since it's the end of "holiday eating season," and "ideal riding season" is not yet upon us.) I've probably broken five Anatomica frames in the ten years I've been riding on them. (If they last less than a year, they are covered by a no-questions-asked warranty. After a year, it costs about $50 for a replacement frame... send in your seat and they send it back, fixed.)

The current broken seat is an "H2" model... it's different from the older ones, because it's "modular" - it has screws instead of rivets, and a 3-piece frame. (As seen in photo, above.)  And, it was one of the cast frame pieces that broke - NOT the rails this time.  I chose that one because I expected to have to fix it eventually, and figured it would be less expensive.

I sent a message to the Anatomica people.

While I was waiting for a reply, I decided to check out the alternatives... and ended up deciding to try a seat I hadn't tried before - a BROOKS FLYER. I found one for a very attractive price, on the "Amazon UK Global Store." I have a BROOKS IMPERIAL on one of my bikes, and I've been pretty happy with it. It's almost, but not quite, as comfortable as the Anatomica. The "Flyer" has springs! And... if you register it, they promised to extend the 2-year warranty to 10 years! What's not to love! I ordered one... with about a 2-week delivery window, since it's coming across the pond.

Meanwhile... Anatomica replied. The nice customer service gal told me they'd send me the replacement frame piece for $20, and also made me an irresistible offer on a "B-Stock" new saddle - supposedly with minor cosmetic flaws, but nothing affecting ride quality or warranty. I said, "Send me one of each!"

So - I got the Anatomica shipment a couple weeks ago. Fixed the broken saddle in 15 minutes using common household tools. Was very happy with the "B-Stock" new one... immediately installed it on my "main rider." (I figure I should use it while the warranty is in effect. And supposedly they are using an upgraded CR-MO in their construction now, to make them stronger. We shall see.)

Here's the new Anatomica. Pretty sweet. And just as comfortable as expected, right out of the box.

Well... yesterday the new Brooks arrived. And it's pretty sweet, too!

So - now I've got two fully-functional SPARE sweet saddles on the shelf, waiting for their turn.

I think I'll just have to try out this "sprung" Brooks Flyer. (Brooks saddles have a reputation for needing a couple hundred miles of break-in, before they achieve cosmic comfort. So I expect that... but I'm also anxious to see how the springs affect both comfort and rideability.)

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Nature (bike) hike

A warmer-than-usual day afforded me an opportunity to bicycle downstream once again, along the Greenbelt on the south side of the Boise River, and then upstream on the north side.  Some of the sights I observed:

Once you get out of the heavily-populated river banks, you start seeing more bird nesting areas.  I always enjoy seeing these comorant nests...

When I was snapping these photos, a nice lady out walking her dogs gave me a heads-up about some blue heron nesting activity a little farther downstream...

On the way back, due to some inspiration I received from a photo posted on social media, I thought it would be fun to try some macro photography of moss.  Usually I just ride on by, but even the tiniest slice of nature can be strikingly beautiful.  Below are two close-up photos of "moss canyons," each followed by a farther-away photo that includes the close-up scene...