The Old Dutch and I are celebrating our three year anniversary around this time of the year. As a bike owner, I've gone from a terrified first year grad student to a seasoned fourth year with a dissertation topic and comps committee. I've gone from a casual campus rider to an aggressive daily city commuter. I have even started to tackle the art of bicycle maintenance.
I have mixed feelings about the Old Dutch at this point. Don't get me wrong- I love it and have no intent to ever get rid of it. The rigor of my longer commute-- now around ten miles a day-- leaves me longing for a lighter bike. With a lock and loads of books, hauling 50+ pounds of bike up and down the hill leaves me pretty exhausted. As someone with anxiety issues who otherwise has difficulty falling asleep at night, this is not necessarily a bad thing. But it is a thing. Additionally, that some of my components have not held up very nicely (skirt hards, chain guard, headlight, I am looking at you) leaves me a little sad. Bike shops hate working on this bike. Hauling it up narrow stairs for a year took its toll, on me and the bike.
Still, I love my rolling bike church. Putting new tires on it has renewed this love. Philly's streets demand a substantial tire-- there is too much broken glass and pothole-ery for anything less. The Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires have increased the smoothness of my ride-- I now merrily bounce over bumps. The tires have great traction. The Schwalbe Marathon Plus are the urban assault tires that my bike has needed. I am happy to say that I even installed them myself (though my roommate checked my work). I feel confident that these tires will serve me well during the miserly winter bike commute.
I love the clear caps on the Schwalbe tubes.
Last year's bike-a-versary here.