Sunday, September 11, 2011

Guadalupe Bike Swap: There's More Than One of Me

Art on the outside wall of the Mercado

We're on the verge, the edge, the precipice here in Phoenix, of the great weather. Definitions vary according to personal preference, but being a lizard-like desert rat, I prefer my weather hot and dry, in the mid-80s to mid-90s being the Zone of Perfection. Saturday morning, at a civilized time and not the crack of dawn and after sufficient coffee had been consumed, I opted to ride the Flatland Commuter bike down to Guadalupe for the Garage Bike Shop bike swap, not so much because I am desperately in need of more bicycles or parts, but because a quick run to Guad in the Zone of Perfection (or on the brink of it) sounded awesome. It was.

Bike swap and breakfast burritos: awwww yeaaaaaaa

The Mercado was not exactly bustling with wild swap action

An excellent bike rack in an excellent location

Was going to ask the kid about a road crank set. Seemed more like the BMX type though.

More Mercado wall art in the Yaqui tradition

For me, this was more about the ride than the swap, and it was pretty quiet in the Mercado as you can see, at least when I got there. The Garage Bike shop seemed like my kind of place, lots of old bicycles and people working on bikes, and some knowledgeable guys helping out. Now that I have a good Saturday route sussed out to get down there without tangling with too much traffic, I plan more Zone of Perfection rides in that general direction.

While riding down here on the Flatland Commuter project bike, it occurred to me that when you are riding a bicycle that you put together yourself with parts that you had or bought that seemed like they would work, at least for a while, every ride can feel like a experiment in two-wheeled locomotion. This time I was trying out a new saddle and seat post, and as you have probably experienced yourself, a new saddle takes some getting used to and usually some adjustment, before it begins to feel comfortable and familiar. Since I tend to feel very closely connected to my bikes when I ride them, this unfamiliar and somewhat experimental sensation makes me feel myself somewhat unfamiliar and experimental, like there's more than one of me, which one depending on which bike I ride, how I ride it, what parts I've put on it, and how they are set up. So I guess I went down to Guadalupe with the potential of swapping myself out for a new self. Or an alternate. There's more than one of me. One thing we all seem to have in common though is that we like to go for a ride in the Zone of Perfection.


  1. I would have gone to the swap, but burritos! WOW!

  2. Its always nice to have a few "destination" rides to chose from. Its nice to read that the swap will be held on a monthly basis, and it sounds like its in an area where people like to stop and browse. In time it may become quite the "happening" event.

  3. That ideal temperature is not far off the mark, of course depending on the humidity and wind.

  4. DAN this is burrito heaven. I passed no less than three world-class breakfast burrito providers on this ride.

    I think I will need to swap some more bike parts soon...

  5. Yeah! I miss burritos stands, like in Colorado.


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