Episode 158. Falcon Long Beach. (Part 4).

 The problem with having any kind of collection is that you always tend to use whatever is nearest. When I put this thing into hibernation in the Autumn of last year I was wondering if it had any future in my collection, and to be fair, just over a year since the last time I rode it I'm still wondering.

I do like it, or atleast, I do like to look at it, and think about it, but frankly, what I said the other day about the Torpedo Flyer being the heaviest bike I've ever owned was a lie. I'd forgotton how heavy this is, and to be honest, this is stupidly heavy. But it is to my eyes atleast, very pretty to look at. I rode up to my garage, four miles away from BelongaClint on the Electra Townie. Which for a single speed bike is extremely rideable even up hill. I'd been thinking about taking the Falcon Long Beach out since the beginning of Summer, and as I rode to my garage I was quite looking forward to riding it. To be fair, when I collected the Dyno Glide from my garage a few months back it really was a toss up which one to take home, the Dyno Glide, or the Long Beach... Glad I chose the Dyno Glide!
But as I said, picking up the Long Beach today I was looking forward to the ride. There are several ways to get both to, and from my garage, one way is basically flat, but with a short and very steep hill that I find that I have to walk up. This is the way I went to the garage. Another way includes a gradual hill, with wide sweeping bends, and as it's uphill to go to my garage, this means the long gradual hill with the wide sweeping bends is the best choice for the ride back home! It has to be said, that whenever I'm cycling to my garage, whatever I'm riding home gets ridden down that hill. 

Leaving my garage, and starting down that long hill Riding the Long Beach was good, free-wheelin' down the hill from my garage towards BelongaClint I felt as cool as the Fonz! But after passing BelongaClint, and riding on  my normal route where there are both down, and up-hill gradients to contend with I was quickly reminded that I wasn't the Fonz, but some fat middle-aged fella, riding a really cool looking, but really heavy bike!

Not that it mattered, I just carried on regardless. I think know that out of all my cruiser type bikes this may well be is almost certainly my least favourite. I think that the problem isn't so much the weight of the thing, but more the riding posistion. The handlebars that it came with originally I found quite uncomfortable because the bit that you grip with your hands is curved back towards you, and as it's just below shoulder height so it's not the best position for your hands and arms to be in. I needed bars where the grips poke straight out the side, but I thought that they still need to be quite tall. My solution was to dig through my parts stash, and find a set of BMX handlebars and pop them on. Whilst they served the purpose of putting my hands in a more comfortable position, from an aesthetic point of view they're not quite as pretty, but this may be due to the fact that they have not got a great amount of paint on them, and have some rust. The thing is though, now that I've equipped the Electra Townie, which also had small ape hanger type bars, with a lower wider handle bar I'm wondering if this may well be the way forwards with the Long Beach. I wonder if I can track down an old set of 'Cow Horns'?
My feeling is that with a set of bars like that it may well look even better, and possibly be even more comfortable to ride. Who knows, and I wonder why I'm even considering changing anything on it again because in all honesty I've had this thing for almost three years now, and I'm still not completely sold on it. It seems like every time I take it out and ride it I find myself wondering if theres a future for it in my collection or not? Three years down the line you'd think I'd know by now but I just dont! But what I do know is that I'm going to ride it about until the weather changes, and maybe I'll actually take it to the beach where I can see if it's any better to ride when it's in its element. Then maybe it will help me to make my decision on it when the spring comes... But I wouldn't hold your breath!