Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Like Finding a Long-Lost Friend (Almost)

Well!  Sometimes things do come back.  I was moving some stuff around at work and found my camera - I lost this last winter and was really bummed.  We took great photos together, and I knew each function and setting this little marvel possessed.  The last picture I took on this was dated Feb 13, 2012.  So, it's been missing for almost a year.  The last time I had this camera was a week before we left on our Texas trip.

My daughter let me borrow her camera in the interim, but I just couldn't get the hang of it.  The controls were slightly different, but the menu options and features could not come close to what this little camera has.  Plus, I've had this camera since I started this blog in 2008.  It is just the right size, shape, and weight for carrying on the bike or in my jersey pocket.  It is easy to quickly reach for a rare and fleeting photo op.

 Anyway, on my commute to work, I noticed my front and rear lights flickered today the whole ride in.  Since this is a fairly new generator hub, I was concerned.  When I got home tonight, I found one of the leads is pulling away from the clip which attaches to the hub.

I took the clip apart and pulled the wire down, folded it over, then re-clipped it into the generator.  I moved the generator plug down so that there is less tension on the wire.  I'm hoping this works.  It's good to know that this problem exists.  I'd hate to have lighting issues during a brevet or during a fleche ride.   Not that I'm going to do many this year.  Maybe the 300k and the Fleche. 

The Tricross's backside.  That Seculite taillight is incredibly bright.  When I'm riding in the dark, I feel safe knowing Seculite is glowing away behind me, warning wayward motorists I'm up ahead in the dark.

My grey Trek.  I pumped up the tires for tonight's spin class.  I'm almost recovered from Saturday's spin class.   It was a killer.  My bike-buddy Hugh says indoor spin sessions really pay off.

 The Gatorskins are really wearing.  The trainer puts a metallic sheen on the rear wheel, though I don't think it is bad for the tire.  After spinning for an hour the rear tire gets really hot.  That might cause internal tire parts to wear.

 But I've got new rubber ready for the outdoors.  I bought these at the Hilly Hundred last October for just over half price.  It was a great deal.

Grey Trek ready to head for spin class.

Happy riding! or spinning!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bike Torture

In an effort to try to improve my cycling endurance and speed, I've been spending a lot of time in my Man Corner.  In other words, the corner of my garage.  On the bike trainer.  This is my Bike Torture Chamber, as Sufferlandrians refer to their training places.  Not that I'm a Sufferlandrian.  Actually, those Sufferfest videos scare the hell out of me.  Anything that suggests I ride until blood comes out of my eyes can't be good for me.  My hedonistic nature won't allow it.

Above the snow tube in the top photo I have a couple things on the wall which provide motivation.  When I left Marathon County Forestry Dept for Indiana, the ski club gave me the Leo's Loop sign.  Leo's Loop is a 10k loop in Nine Mile Forest (just west of Wausau), which was my favorite loop.  Named after former County Forest Administrator Leo Baur.  After Leo retired, he became a volunteer on the County Forest, helping maintain and improve the ski trails there.  Jim Adams, a retired pulp mill worker, put in thousands of volunteer hours with Leo during my time at the county forest.  Those two guys gave me an example how to live my life, staying active and engaged with other people.  I hope I have half the energy of either one of those guys when I retire.

I was honored to become a member of the 50mm club in the Wausau Nordic Skiers.  50mm bindings were only around for a few years.  But they were really useful and worked well.  Like the bindings, 50mm Club members worked hard to support the club.  I didn't think I was worthy of the award, but I really appreciated their gesture. 

On Tuesday nights and early Saturday mornings, the LBS has a spin class, where I can take my bike and trainer to ride to one of many Spinnervals videos they have.  For the past 3 weeks, the videos we've been riding have been quite challenging.  Tonight's video, however, was a killer.  Troy, the leader, said tonight's session was 9.9 out of ten.  I survived the hour long session, but now that I'm home, in my easy chair, I'm not sure I'll be able to get back up to go to bed.

I'm getting some quality cardiovascular work in, but man, I can't wait to get back out on the open road for a regular road ride again.

Happy riding!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cycling? No! Helping others? Yes!

Some pre-emptive  notes I'm documenting here before Lance's interview with Oprah:

OK, Lance lied.  Big deal - so many others took performance enhancing drugs also.

What really bugs me is the way he vehemently denied taking performance enhancing drugs for such a long time.  And that he had no apparent qualms working to demolish the reputations of other cyclists and journalists.

I believe that when it comes to competition in any kind of sport, Lance should not ever be trusted again.

What is difficult for me to reconcile is that I believe he did great work with Livestrong, and that Livestrong continues as a great organization which helps many, many people.  That work should never offset Lance's cheating.

As far as cycling, running, and triathlons, his lifelong ban should remain.  He can still do great things helping people, just not through competition.

I feel much better now.  I'm going to head out and spend some time on my bike trainer. 

Happy riding!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Biking in the New Year

Geez, it's been 3 months since I last posted anything.  If any of my blog friends remain, cheers!

I have to admit, since I got my iPhone, it is much easier to post stuff to Facebook and Twitter.  Those systems match my very short attention span.  Blogger, in comparison, is an investment in time.  Something I don't seem to have too much of lately.

But I can't believe how easy it is to load pictures now!  And in the same order I clicked them!

I finished 2012 with more miles than any other year.  It was a fantastic riding year.  I'm sorry I didn't share more with you folks.  Many miles were in pacelines, and I was afraid to take too many photos because I didn't want to cause wrecks.

Hi Luis!  A summer ride with the gang.
I had a ton of fun riding with these people this spring, summer, and fall.  I rode enough, and fast enough, that I could help pull at the front of the paceline, at least for a little while.

I've been riding Courteous Mass rides as much as I can also.  Here are a couple photos from the November ride.

The new Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge.  Awesome at night!

 Alex and I were able to do some rides on rail-trails.  We did rides in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota this year.

Alex and I with Brooke and Anders in Door County.

I think I have finally come to terms with my randonneuring exploits.  After my failure to complete the 600k ride again this year, I've decided to concentrate on shorter brevets, although someday I'd really like to complete a 600 and even and 1200k someday (like PBP in 2015).

I did brevets in Ohio, Illinois, and Tennessee this year.  Best of all, I met some really cool people on each ride.

New biking buds in Tennessee

I did several brevets on the Trek 710 I purchased last year from Jon.

I got to meet the Dallas-Fort Worth blogger clan in February.  Unfortunately, the few photos I took at that event are somewhere in the cyber grave yard - our old computer finally gave up the fight.

I did the Hilly Hundred this year in Bloomington.  I did it one other time, back in 1985.

Buzzard Lady

K-Mart Dave at the finish

Mike and Luis

Blue Trek - built for hills - note the triple crank

Outside riding continues this winter as I have mounted my studded tires on the Tricross.  I had to de-fender the front wheel to make room for the studded tires.  Here are some photos from the Chilly Challenge, Fort Wayne's New Year's Day ride.

Studded tires mounted

Roller-bladers welcome too!

A stop to Johnny Appleseed Park to watch the Polar Bears

Luis and Jim

K-Mart Dave and I rode back to our starting point - Shoaff Park
I wish all of you a Happy and Safe New Year!