Thursday, March 26, 2015

WNW Day 3, I mean, Day 2 report.

I achieved my first goal from 2 weeks ago, but I don't think it had anything to do with me.  We went up the same evil hill to 96th St and the group stayed together due to a blustery North Wind and almost double the group size.  I hung out with them for the first 2 hills, then went way too far into oxygen debt by the 3rd.  I haven't had the feeling of almost throwing up from going so hard in quite a long time.  Other lessons learned on the ride: I need to find which of my old cycling sunglasses work best to shield my eyes from the wind, and if it's ever below 50°, I need to do something about my feet - booties, chem toe warmers - something.  My tootsies were really hurting by the end of the ride.

The reason I didn't make last week's ride was this:

Bike boxes everywhere.  The shop was in need of some help, so I passed on the ride.  There's a bit of a dent in those mountains of bike boxes, but I sure hope the other builders step up and put in work.

I might attempt to join the GSV ride this Saturday, but I'm concerned I'll end up getting lost in Iowa since I know nothing about that area and will probably get dropped again.  Or I may just go on a longer solo ride at my own pace.  Maybe (re)starting out with competitive group rides after not riding at all for the past 2 years is a bad idea?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WNW day 1 report: Goal #1 - don't get dropped on the first hill

The plan was to head out to the Omaha Trace, then return on the same route. We took the shortened route out by climbing the evil hill up to 96th St.  (Here you go Fred) Randell and I used to do hill repeats on that thing before joining the WNW group.  That was when we were in uber shape.  Do hill repeats, THEN go as hard as possible in the group.  Those were the days.

On tonight's ride, I kept up for about half of that hill, then everyone just rode on away from me.  Brady was kind enough to stay behind and pulled me back up to the group on the next down hill, but as soon as the road turned up again, I was off the back.  Damn gravity.  I didn't get a chance to ride with anyone else after that.  Oh well, it was still a great evening for a bike ride.

So I have some work to do.  I almost wanted to join the GSV ride on Saturday, but I'm sure it'd be another repeat of my WNW lameness.  So I'll just go on a solo ride for a couple hours.  I gotta get my body used to riding for a couple hours at a time.

I'll keep showing up to the WNWs and keep getting my butt handed to me.  That's the way it was when I first started out 13 years ago.  I'd show up to the only Wednesday night ride in town - the Bike Masters ride.  I'd keep up with the lead group for about half the ride, then fall off.  Each week, I'd come back and get a little bit further, until I was one of the fast people.  I've hit the restart button, and that's what I'm going to do again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I'm more than a little concerned.

I've ridden my road bike to and from work the past couple of days.  Last summer I thought about going on a small, easy group ride that Brady posted about.  So I looked at my road bike, which was in pieces, and decided to spend that weekend putting it together instead of riding it, just in case I decided to join some future weekend ride.  It got built up, then hung up for the rest of the year.

I'm going to join the Wednesday night rides this year in hopes of dropping some weight and forcing myself to ride more.  I will try to post up as the leader of the B group, but most likely, at first, I'll be sweeping the course.  The results from the last 2 days of commuting on the roadie does not bode well for the intensity and hills of WNWs.

So here's to hoping I don't make too much of a fool out of myself at tomorrow's ride, aside from the hairy legs and testing the tensile strength of the same jersey and shorts I used to wear as a cat 2 racer, 8 years and 40 pounds ago.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Surprise Winter Post

"It had to be done. I was so tired of looking at that Summer Random Post title" -- fredcube

Hey gang how's they going?  Absolutely jiggly, I hope!  Well it's been a long time since my last post.  I know, but I've been busy.  Let me tell you about it ...

I used to be a bike racer.  They called me "The Munsonator." Actually, they just called me "Munson," then I'd say "ator" under my breath.  That's my favourite joke.  I always tell it with a British acceyent.

I member this one race back then, it was called the "Shiver Me Timbers" and boy howdy was that one a doozy.

So then there were all these things that happened and details, etc. and Jon Randell won!

Do you want to know how good Jon Randell was?  Well, I'll tell you anyway.  Very.  That's right, I said it.  Randell was "Very" good.  On the bike.  Need I say more?  No?  Well guess hwat?  That's right, I spelt 'what' wrong.  that's because I want you to pronounce it that way (with the 'h' first).

So - guess hwat?  I'm going to say more even though I needn't.

I member this one time cube was riding with Jon and I.  Yeah - I know it should read "Jon and me"  but I just think it sounds fancier the incorrect way.

So cube comes up and says, "Uh, you guys.  You want to slow down or something.  My breath hurts from all your crazy fast riding shenanigans.  So I'm all sincere and crap and I tell cube what he can do with his request.  I look right at him (I slow down enough to do this) and I goes, "Oh dude.  Sorry man.  Jon.  Let's slow down for the cubester."

Then Jon's all "screw that guy, h'huh!"  Well that makes cube laugh so you know what he does?  He attacks!  That's right.  He couldn't even keep up with us.  So then Jon quickly dispatched the cubester to his eternal home at Cat 4 Avenue. It was horkelley!  I mean totally horkelley!

Ah but alas, those good times are over now and do you want to know why?  No?  Well I'll tell you why (with a capitol 'Y').

Fact one.  My wrist hurts.  I'm not saying what it's from, but let's just call it a injury and leave it there.

Secondishesly: I am saving up to pay for stuff I already bought.  Your mom doesn't grow on trees, you know!  That's my second favorite joke.  I always tell it with a Irish acceyent.

Oh face!

In the third corner:  I'm a plaid flannel camping campfire coffee making bike rider now. I know what your thinking.  Your thinking "It's you're, ya  dumb butternut."
Your also thinking "Camping sucks."

In the words of the great Samuel Jackman, allow me to retort - "You suck."

Hey, this has been nice.  We'll have to do it again some time.  Not.

P.S.  Munson.  Please don't revoke my writing privilege to this blog.  If you had any idea how much fun the last 10 minutes of writing mindless crap was for me ...  Also - was that so hard?  Let's go. Start blogging riding again.  We're getting the band back together.  Good Job!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Summer Random Post

I've done 2 "rides" this year.  By "ride," I mean pedaling a bike, not just to get from point A to B, but to have fun and ride with other people.  One of those rides was the OWL ride.  It was a good time and a welcome break from the monotony of the 2-3 mile daily commutes.  Same roads.  2-3 times a day.

So since I haven't been "riding," I can't really comment on that.  But what I can comment on is an interesting trend in bikes I've noticed and fully support, along with another trend I see as a severe detriment to bikes in general.

I've been building bikes at the local Trek Midtown store, which has taken place of pretty much any social life.  The biggest benefit of this is I'm paying my car off early with the extra cash(which also seems wrong in some way).  The secondary benefit is I like wrenching on bikes - it's like meditation to me.  Usual builds include lower end comfort bikes, lower end mountain bikes, and kids bikes.  Pretty banal stuff.  I'll build up a fancy mountain bike sometimes, but since the inner workings of suspension and hydraulic brakes are a mystery to me, I just make sure the normal stuff works - shifting, no brake rubbing, etc.

Sometimes, however, a nicer road bike will come through.  I used to LOVE working on those.  It was like the cinnamon sugar sprinkled on my bread and butter.  I would build the bike exactly how I would personally like it setup - tight brakes, crisp shifting, and aesthetically - the handlebars angled to have a nice flat bar top and shifter profile.

I tried to run my road bike that same way last fall, when I made sort of a comeback to riding and joined Strava, thanks to Fred.  This led to a pretty bad wrist issue.  I put the road bike up for the winter, then dismantled it for random parts this summer.  I decided to put it back together again recently, but wanted to try something different to avoid wrist pain.  I angled my shifters way up.  I first noticed this bullhorn shifter setup from CX and road cycling Pro Tim Johnson in the following video at about the 20 second mark:

Notice the stark difference in angle of shifters.  I thought this was just a random CX thing that only Tim Johnson had come up with, but then, after watching some of the Tour de Frank this year, noticed that about half the peleton is doing it now.  The look of this setup is kinda weird, but it's SOOOO comfortable.  I would highly recommend it.  

So that's the trend I'm liking in newer road bike setups.

The trend that really has me worried is the newest high end groupsets.  Mostly, I'm referring to Shimano's 4 bolt proprietary crankset, and both Sram/Shimano's new front derailleurs.  

Setting up a front derailleur, although sometimes difficult to tweak and make perfect, was a pretty straight forward affair.  With Shimano's new front derailleur, you have to go through all sorts of steps to make it function relatively well.  I guess I could try to explain it, but I'll just link another video:

I haven't even touched the new SRAM Yaw front derailleur, but after a quick view of some videos, it's also fairly wonky in it's setup.   

But by far, the biggest issue I have is Shimano's new cranksets.  Both on the road and mountain side, they are becoming increasingly proprietary.  The standard road 5 bolt 130 mm bolt circle diameter (BCD) has been around for more than, I think, half a century.  Now Shimano puts out a weird 4 bolt X-men inspired crankset on which only their VERY expensive chainrings can be replaced. This may change in the future if all other manufacturers hop on board, but obsolete-ifying decades of standardization seems like a bad idea to me.  

So that's what's been on my mind recently.  Oh, and I just found out the bike I've been commuting on weighs in at 34 pounds.  Ooofdah.  No wonder my quads are staying fairly strong even though I'm barely riding.