Spandex Not Required
Meet Basden Clark, a full time mechanic at Local Hub. Basden started in the bike industry on the sales floor a few years ago. We saw a lot of potential in him in the service department and asked him to join our team of bike experts. You may still see him on the sales floor because he just really loves getting people on great bikes. Basden doesn’t own a car and is a daily bicycle commuter. Through trials and tribulations, he has figured out a way to outfit his bikes to be able go anywhere and carry a lot of stuff with him. He doesn’t believe every bike is made the same and every rider wants to ride the same way. Visit Basden at the shop and don’t forget your bike when you come to Deep Ellum. He has great advice on how to customize your wheels to make it the bike you’ve always wanted.
Spandex Not Required
by Basden Clark
Local Hub is powered by commuter cyclists that enjoy riding their bikes every day. We begin our mornings and finish our evenings with a ride. Some days are better than others, and some days we don’t relish our rides, but bicycling keeps us happy. It connects us to the earth through the elements and keeps us in touch with our surroundings. Higher highs and lower lows are a guarantee – and that’s okay.
Most of our rides are trips to and from work on bikes designed for comfort and capability, rather than pure speed. They have large tires, which provide a smooth ride, traction and the ability to cut through a gravel alley when the mood strikes. The frames are outfitted with, or capable of carrying, fenders, racks, baskets and bicycle bags, and yet, they’re exciting to ride under any circumstance.
The short trip to your bank or coffee shop, grocery store or place of work is full of possible distractions and attractions begging to be taken advantage of. Riding to meet a friend for lunch, the view of downtown Dallas might inspire you to stop and take a photograph. A dirt path you’ve never noticed before could catch your eye on the way to White Rock Lake. Bicycling enables us to follow our fancy and experience the world like a child again.
Choosing the right bicycle, or adapting one you already have, allows for the greatest possible fun-factor. I can carry a week’s groceries or two loads of laundry on my back, but it’s awkward and uncomfortable. Carrying a change of clothes and a Tupperware lunch in a backpack is no problem. Riding with anything heavier or bigger, however, is a lot nicer when the bike does the carrying.
A front or rear rack with a basket or panniers makes transporting heavy cargo infinitely smoother. When not needed, you can always take a few minutes to unfasten the four or so bolts that attach it to the frame and you have the clean lines and lighter weight of your bicycle back. Your bike might not have special bolts on the frame for adding a rack, but we can almost always attach one using optional hardware. A rack – or two – will open the world up to you and bring new possibilities.
Fenders can be attached to your bike seasonally so that you are prepared anytime it rains. They’re also nice when the city is draining a fire hydrant into the road you’re riding on. I use the quick-release style so that I can add or take them off in a few seconds before a ride, but the bolt-on variety will keep you from knocking them out of place quite as easily. Regardless, it’s nice to have something that keeps wet splatter off your pants.
There is an endless and ever-growing number of other accessories to improve the functionality and comfort of your bike. Lights for riding at dawn or dusk, bells for alerting others to your presence and ergonomic bars and grips are only a few. If you have a need, it’s likely there is a product available that satisfies it. Sometimes it’s even better when there isn’t one because you can make your own.
The best bike may be the one you have, but don’t be afraid to invest more into it. Upgrade parts if they aren’t performing how you’d like, change the color of your cables and handlebar tape, put a basket on it. Your bicycle is happy when it makes you happy. It’s also happy when it’s clean, so try to do that regularly too!
We would love to listen to your questions and talk your ears off about the bikes and equipment we use and sell. Come by our shop and tell us what you’d like in a bike or what you’re interested in for your current bike. We have quite a few of the things you might need on-hand and we can order nearly anything else. Bikes, gear, service and advice are always available at Local Hub