Saturday, February 07, 2009


I had a busy and productive day today, running some errands and taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather.
  • Got a damaged wheel from my fixie repaired.  By the way, I've recently been running 48/16 gearing.  I think it's just a bit to high, and I may go back to 48/17.
  • Shopped for Alison's Valentine's Day present.  After 6.5 years of being together, I'm all out of original ideas.  So, Alison, lower your expectations.
  • Test-drove a 2009 Mazda RX-8 R3 (black) and a 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI (white).  The RX-8 is torqueless but fairly powerful.* It feels quite agile and is a very rewarding drive.  I also really like the 4-door-coupe layout with the "freestyle" suicide doors.  The STI is much more powerful and far more torquey.  It also offers AWD and computer-controlled everything.  Still, it feels overly large** and far less nimble to me, and it just isn't as engaging to drive.  The RX-8, despite its supercar fuel efficiency, is at the top of my list for when I need a "family" car.  If it, or the next generation of it, is still being made by then.
  • Got in some good top-down time in the Miata.  How could I not when the weather was so nice?
  • Rode about 24 miles on my Seven. See previous weather-related rhetorical question.
  • Test-rode a Trek Madone 5.2 Pro (52-cm size).  The bike is very stiff in the bottom-bracket and head-tube areas, but still offers a reasonably compliant ride.  It's very light with weight-saving design innovations*** in the head tube/steerer tube/ headset, bottom bracket, and seat mast that also reduce part count.  If I were in the market for a new geared road bike, it would be at the top of my list, though I'd have to look more closely at the geometry of the 50-cm size.
  • Took Newton for a long walk.

By contrast, Alison had much more...consistent day:
  • Listened to people talk about prostate cancer for 8 hours.****
* Only 159 lb-ft but 232 BHP, thankss to a 9000=RPM redline.  Note that my little turbo'ed Miata has more torque than that.
** The 4 cars I have owned average out to 2382  lbs, so I may have a skewed perspective.
*** These innovations are not, however, unique to Trek.
**** Alison also went on the dog walk, but it's more amusing to present our days this way.

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