Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Letting Go of Kickstand Limitations

Cycling up to the ferry terminal to buy a ticket this morning presented a couple choices. Lean the bike against the trash barrel as usual or see if the new Greenfield alloy kickstand would support the heavy laptop case riding in a saddlebag.

A Greenfield Kickstand shows some leg
In making the decision, three things happened. With a single toe tap, the Greenfield sprang into place. The commuter bike held firm on the sidewalk. And in that moment came understanding. 

When BikemanforU says never fear, that’s what he means.

This reluctant cyclist is ashamed to admit that a teensy doubt crept in last week, prompted by seeing the commuter bike mounted on the shop repair stand.

Hands a blur of tools and fingers, BikemanforU was pulling off the battered original kickstand that came with this bike when it was purchased back in the ‘90s.

The black powder coating had given way to several blotches of rusted steel. “This thing is junk,” he said. “I bet your bike’s fallen over more than once.”

Actually, the commuter bike hadn’t fallen over at all. The squeaky old kickstand was only used when the bike was parked on the kitchen rug for cleaning. Even then, the bike was backed up close to the sink, just in case.  

Prior testing, which consisted of parking and standing ready to catch the teetering bike,  had further revealed the original kickstand was never to be trusted when the bike carried any weight in front or back. Without commuter gear or groceries, yes, old rusty steely could do the job.

This was the root of that doubt. If the old kickstand worked under limited conditions, and if those limitations were respected, then was a new kickstand necessary? The cyclist certainly wanted a springy new aluminum kickstand made in the USA. But did she need  one?  The only way to find out was to ride this bike.

All doubt vanished this morning. The Greenfield kickstand is a need and a want. Not only does it spring into place securely, the Greenfield center mount kickstand stands up unconditionally to wet sand, even with the extra weight of commuter gear.

 Any thought of the old kickstand has disappeared, too, along with its limitations.

Because now a reluctant cyclist knows what the BikemanforU already knew. A well-made kickstand is an affordable accessory for the commuter bike, one that many would consider a necessity.

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