Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Single speed it is.

The true test of riding single speed for commuting came yesterday. It was a laundry day, so I had a messenger bag full of clothes. I was also heading straight West up Leavenworth, so I had that lovely wind to battle.

At first, the hill didn't seem so bad near the cemetery. It could have been all the houses and trees blocking the wind, since by the top, near the Masonic Manor, I struggled to keep moving forward. That tall building has a way of funneling wind directly at you no matter which direction the air is moving. Kinda weird.

But after passing 52nd St, I coasted downhill almost all the way home. It's a fun bike, for sure, but we'll see how it handles the winter weather. Or rather, how I handle the bike in winter weather.

Edit for day later experience: The wind was WAY worse on yesterday's commute home. Going up that Leavenworth hill, I seriously almost got off to walk. It was bad enough I hopped onto the sidewalk just so I wasn't at crawling speed in traffic. But yesterday was probably the one of the 5 or so worst wind conditions we'll get during the year. Other horribly windy days are usually straight from the North or South, so Westbound on Leavenworth isn't so bad. One bad part about the single speed though, even though I made it up the hill, I think I tweaked a back muscle just to make it those last 2 blocks. It's not bad, just a little annoying.

So I'm still a go for keeping it simple on the SS, but the toughest days of winter are yet ahead.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mid October update.

Why haven't I done this sooner?

My commute to work is 3-ish miles and I ride it unless there's really really bad snow out there. Last year, my bike got so encrusted with road grime/salt that shifting became troublesome. So, how bout I just take that part out of the equation?

This was my commuter for a while that I had planned to sell. It was a 1x9 that I never got around to putting on Craigslist. Now I'm kinda glad I didn't. It has semi-horizontal dropouts so I have about 1-2cms to play with in chain tension. The main thing my last frankenbike commuter had going for it was a rear disc brake, which was quite nice with last years horrid conditions. I could've filled a sandbox with the amount of grime on my rims/wheels/seatstays/chainstays. I have forgotten how crappy my v-brakes are. Maybe I can scrounge up some old nicer V's that won't fail on me half way through winter.

I could go fixed though and not even have a rear brake....

In other news, Randell and I have done some weekend rides. No, that doesn't mean we're on a rampage to get back into racing. I need to ride more since I have the dreaded winter padding, even before winter. So hopefully we can continue the weekend rides and maybe I'll add a couple rides during the week. It would be nice to join some hammerhead group rides next year, but I need to buildup to even that in my current state.

Good luck to all you crazy crossers heading to Lincoln this weekend. Or where ever else you plan to run, jump, bunny hop, and generally beat up on yourself.

Monday, October 11, 2010

But it IS October!

I got sore.

Like leg sore.

Went out with Roxy, Ryan, and Todd yesterday for a fun 70-ish miles. Headed South to Glennwood, then rode back on the hilly highway. Roxy turned off early since she is still coming back from a fractured scapula. Roxy, heal quickly.

Ryan, Todd, and I kept a great rotation going at a decent pace. I'm still amazed that, without training or many long rides in the legs, I can go out there for 3-4 hrs. 4 hrs was about my limit though. Toward the end, I just wanted to be OFF my bike. Mainly saddle induced pain on the sit bones. I don't know if I'll ever find the perfect saddle. My guess is that if I rode more consistently, I'd develop more tolerance, but still, it's frustrating to have tried at least 8 types of saddles and never fully being comfy on any.

I'd like to keep up on the weekend rides. Now that I'm not building bikes anymore, I got some free time. So if you're not racing, post up a ride so we can turn some pedals in anger.