After a period of despair over the state of Swift's wheels, I realized that anyone who owns three or more 700c bikes has an easy fix on hand for wheel problems: all you have to do is steal the wheels from one bike and put them on another bike.
Obviously, stealing the Aksium Race wheels off Hg wasn't really an option, so yesterday I stole Quicksilver's wheels and popped them on Swift. Then I shot a whole bunch of grease into Swift's sticky head tube, adjusted his brakes, popped on a rack and rear basket, and -- voila! -- instant grocery bike. We then rolled on down to the grocery store, where groceries were fetched forthwith. Turns out a lot of Swift's weight came in the form of his ancient steel wheelset; he's actually a much lighter, nimbler bike now.
After Burning Man, I decided that Turtle isn't going to be an ideal grocery ride unless I make some major improvements -- and Swift is first on the list for major (though not enormous) improvements. Turtle is a bit on the heavy and sluggish side. When riding in traffic, I want the option (or at least the illusion) of speed, should I need it. Now that I've resolved his major problems, Swift is a better choice in that regard.
QS's rear wheel isn't in great shape, so I will probably snag Swift a new rear wheel. I also plan to (if possible) transfer QS's crankset and derailleurs to Swift, as well as (possibly) adding an inexpensive replacement fork and a set of North Road-stylie bars (yes, I'm still on about them, ever since that gravel ride). The last bit I'm doing partly to make a more comfortable ride for DD. You know, he'll already be sort of in that sit-up-and-beg/pray position, so it will be easier for him to whip out the Hail Marys when I make him climb big hills ;)
Oh, and of course, if I do get the North Road bars, I will also add a big, obnoxious front basket, because it will look awesome and be at least somewhat useful.
Meanwhile, Turtle and DD's Desert Bike (which I hereby arbitrarily dub Priscilla, since DD doesn't name his bikes) are due a good, thorough cleaning to get all the playa dust out of their various bits before they get hung up in the garage, to be used hereafter as guest bikes and playa bikes. Between still being surprisingly sleepy (mono is a drag), having a bunch of classwork to catch up on, and needing to prep for a weekend camping trip, I didn't get to do them last week.
Life is slowly returning to normal here at the Dawson-Taylor (Bicycle) Ranch. I am still not at my best, and I'm debating whether to try to race this fall at all or just concentrate on being well enough to race in the spring. At very least, I won't be racing 'til next month.
I still simply have less 'go' than I'm used to having. The house is now about halfway clean, however -- tolerable, by my standards -- and improving slowly but surely. I'm looking into acquiring a little bike trailer for grocery-gettage. I have not lost any more weight, but I haven't gained any, either, so that's good, too.
Life is generally good. I will probably be posting less throughout the semester, but I will be riding more as I build my endurance and so forth back up.
Hope to see y'all out there :)