I have decided to get a different bike than I wrote about the other day. The Cannondale SIX Carbon 5 is a very nice bike that I would love to have, but because I don't get the chance to ride the bike before I order it, I will have a better chance of convincing the bike shop to take it back (on the off chance that it is a bad fit) if I get a lower end bike. Because of this, I have decided to go with the Cannondale Synapse 5.
Getting a lower-end bike will also have the awesome side effect of freeing up some money for more tools and accessories! With the money I'm saving on the bike, I can finally deck out my hybrid with both front and rear racks and panniers. I can also get plenty of tools that I've been wanting and even get some nice aero-bars, pedals and shoes for the new bike.
With my hybrid set up for touring, hopefully I will get the chance this summer to do a little short-term rides over the weekends. Riding to mozingo on saturday, camping overnight and riding back sunday morning will be an easy way to check out my bike & camping gear. For longer weekends, I can do the same, but with St. Joseph rather than Mozingo. One thing I've been thinking about is a 3 day circuit of Maryville > St. Joseph > Mozingo > Maryville. For weekends that I can't spend as much time on the bike, I could just do a 1 day ride from Maryville to Mozingo (or St. Joseph) and back on my road bike. Thankfully, there is no doubt that I will be able to participate in the Kansas City MS150 this year. Even if I'm finishing up my classes next fall, I won't have to worry about not having enough time to spend a whole weekend riding.
With the new tools I am ordering I will be able to start building my own wheels. I am excited to be able to do this as there are some really neat spoke lacing patterns out there that I would love to see on my bike. For the front wheel, I like a radial pattern that uses fewer spokes. I like the spartan look of this pattern and it should work fine on the front wheel even though it is not as structurally secure as some other patterns. I would also like to build a completely new rear wheel for my hybrid that is much stronger than the one currenly on it. I want the stronger wheel so that I can safely load my bike with 50-80lbs of extra gear. I could buy one, but building one will be much, much cheaper.
Lastly, I will finally be able to make a workstand for my bike. After months and months of getting by without, I can really use a workstand. There are quite a few nice workstands out there to be purchased, but as the cheapest rings in at over $60, I would rather hack one together myself and spend only $30-40 on it. This way I can make it exactly how I want it and won't have any useless or missing features. Plus, if it breaks, I can just go to the local hardware store and get a replacement part rather than buying a completely new stand.
Missouri has decided that we've had enough of the nice weather. Today started with light sleet and much colder temperatures. Thankfully the temperatures are supposed to stay above freezing until tonight so I shouldn't need my studded tires today. I may need them tomorrow, but we'll have to see how cold it gets tonight. Stay warm out there.