Thursday, June 2, 2011

Carbed Up, Lubed, Ready to Roll

I just came in from the garage, having completed the last-minute adjustments to my bike for Saturday's 600K, starting and ending in Blue Ash, OH. In what must have been a curious looking frenzy, I got the brilliant idea to count the teeth on all the chain rings on all my bikes, searching for the smallest chainring I could find. I ended up with the Shimano 600 crankset and chainrings I bought in 1979 to put on my Schwinn LeTour III. It is a beautiful crank, with a 52 large ring and 39 small ring. I used a 42 small ring on the 400K, and found it difficult to climb the steepest hills. But with the 39, it should be a little easier.

The Q-factor for the Shimano 600 crank and bottom bracket is narrower than for the stock Sakae crank and bottom bracket that came with the Trek when I purchased it new in 1986. After a test spin tonight, I forgot how sweet that narrow crank is - it feels so nice.

I replaced my old Gatorskins (I've been using those for training and for commuting) with the Pasela Tour Guard tires I also used on the 400K, making sure to put the tire that was in front on the 400K to the rear and vice versa. I also put in brand new tubes, and I have two new spare tubes, plus two patch kits and several tire boots. Plus 4 CO2 cartridges and my tiny hand pump. I'm taking the Gatorskins to leave in the truck, because we come back to the start at the half-way point. I should be good to go for tires and tubes anyway.

I readjusted the brakes, but left the saddle and handlebars exactly as they are, because they are very comfortable now as they are. I'm headed in to work tomorrow with the roosters, so I can come home early, throw everything in the back of my truck, and head to Cincinnati tomorrow night.

My worries over being able to finish the 600K have passed now. Somehow, fiddling with the bike and getting all my stuff ready has helped make the ride seem OK. I don't know if I'll finish, but I'm going to try like hell to make it to the very end. Sometime Sunday night I'll be asking myself what the heck I was thinking to try something stupid like this, but hopefully, I'll be a Super Randonneur (having completed a full ACP Randonneur series). That's been my goal all winter long, and I've been looking at this as my prize for loosing so much weight.

Anyway, I've got to go - need to recharge the camera battery and my cell phone. Oh yeah, and get to bed.

Happy riding!

Bill

12 comments:

limom said...

Awesomeness!
May the Force be with you and good luck!
Maybe PBP is next!

RANTWICK said...

That's like 100 times my one-way commute. Go, boy.

Mark said...

Awesome awesome awesome. Good Luck. You sound as though you are going to make it.

Big Oak said...

limom, Rantwick & Mark, thanks! No PBP for me this year, but I've been thinking London-Edinburgh-London in 2013.

Jon said...

Ride like Hell!

Apertome said...

Holy cow, that's a long ride. Good luck!

Pondero said...

Go get 'em, Bill, and don't forget to have a good time.

Trevor Woodford said...

All the best for the ride...I am sure that you will do it.

-Trevor

Chandra said...

Wish you the best, Bill!
Tailwinds!!
Peace :)

Steve A said...

Forget all those other comments. A good time is paramount. Failing that, get some good beer at the end.

Big Oak said...

Thanks for all your support, guys. With the heat yesterday, I was able to manage the first 150K in good shape, the next 50K were probably the most brutal riding I had ever done, and the 100K after that was just survival riding to get to the starting point. I DNF'd (did not finish) the 600K, but I gave it my best effort on a really hot day.

Jon, above, said to ride like hell. I now know what riding in hell feels like!

Will post about my experience later today (Sunday) or tomorrow.

Tex69 said...

Great effort whatever the result!