Bike Month Week 1

For the first week of bike month, I was able to commute every day of the week, totaling about 35mi. Weight 178.2, BF 12.3% (I was apparently dehydrated when I stepped on the scale). Not a huge amount, but I do have a short commute. I compiled a video showing one of my route options (the one with some dirt).

Week 1 Bike Month from TheGPSGeek on Vimeo.

Here’s my main commuter: It’s a 2000 Diamondback Topanga Comp.

Commuter Bike

I bought this bike new in the spring of 2000, which makes it 11yrs old right now. It has a lot of the stock parts still, but I’ve had to change some things over the years. The rear derailleur was the first to go – it was a trail casualty on the first mountain bike ride this bike took. There’s an XT RD on it now. I had to swap the wheels because I mashed a rim pretty bad on another ride. New seatpost and seat because I sat down too much early on and I was hard on those parts. I swapped the cockpit out a couple of times. First, to get rid of the heavy stock bars and then later I swapped the bars & stem from my FSR because I wanted wider bars on this one. New shifters because the stock Deore ones died after 10yrs.


Important to the commuting function of this bike, I put some Snafu BMX platforms on it. They’re still trail-worthy (and also winter-friendly), but they allow me to wear any shoes I’d like and I don’t have to change out of my cycling shoes into shoes for walking around. Note that these pedals have replaceable pins. This isn’t a big deal for commuting, but it is one feature that makes these pedals trail-worthy. Use most cheap platforms on the trail and your feet will be slipping everywhere. These will grip your shoes tight.

rope light

I also have various lights for the bike. My headlamp is temporarily out of commission, but I still have a rope light wrapped around the frame (pictured above) that I bought at REI and I have my rear blinkie (seen farther above). I also have reflective tape all over the place to improve visibility. People give me a WIDE berth at night because my bike is lit up like a UFO. Better to be obnoxious and seen than unseen and hit by a car.

AirZound Horn

AirZound Horn

I also make use of an AirZound horn (I think Delta makes them now). The first picture shows the air reservoir and the second shows the horn itself. The air reservoir holds up to 80psi and it’s rechargeable with a simple bike pump. This thing is LOUD. Loud enough, in fact, to get people’s attention inside their cars with the radio on. I don’t use it often where I live now because people seem to pay a little more attention. But it has helped me in the past to avoid being hit by getting drivers’ attention.

You might notice in the above pictures the tires I use. They’re Specialized FastTrack Pros. Essentially, they’re a low-profile micro-knobby. I use 2.0’s on this bike. They roll well on the pavement and give enough traction for the occasional bit of dirt. Because I tend to take this bike in the dirt on part of my commute, I’m hesitant to put full slicks on it.

2 thoughts on “Bike Month Week 1”

  1. Nice Topanga. I have a Topanga from 1997. Mine is pretty much all original parts, and I always wanted to see what it would look like if I made lots of mods.

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