Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eek


This via TheBigLead via Nat'l Geo. Amazing, really.

Another:

Still for Sale, but no info...

I haven't gotten around to posting any info on the "for sale" mounts, but I'm going to get around to it.  The Rans 'bent and Redline Monocog are ridable as is. I doubt I would/will change anything before taking pics, listing specs and selling officially.  The 9.2.5. needs a bit of this and that. I'm going to remove the Wald basket and I'm thinking of remounting the original 'stache bars in lieu of the flat bar on there now.

Per previous comments, Pondero, I think the Monocog would fit you to a 'T'. Apertome, as much as I would like to foist it on you, I have a feeling the 9.2.5. would be too small.  I'll make due diligence and provide more info.

And, no, I'm not riding. I did walk 4m last night during L's soccer prac and another 30min this morning, but the family schedule is again crazy and I'm trying to be a parent/husband first and a bike-rider 2nd. I think that's appropriate.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

For Sale

I've been doing some bike-related planning of late (as Dave knows), and in looking at my mileage for the last 3 years, it's pretty obvious that I need to sell these 3 bikes:

  • Redline Monocog- singlespeed 26" mtbike. It's got some rusty parts especially on brake arms, but it's a stiff alum frame and does its job well. The only time I ride it is when it snows.
  • Redline 9.2.5- singlespeed/fixed gear townie bike, right now with front basket. It's a fun little bike but it's certainly not getting ridden much with 2 other SSs in the stable.
  • Rans Rocket- 'bent. I just don't ride it much.
More to come on these 3, and I prolly need to clean them up some, but it's time to think the herd and the numbers speak for themselves.

If interested, give me a shout.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

les chapeaux

I'm developing a bit of a cycling hat fetish. Much like my bikes, I don't need more than 2 or 3 but would love to have an entire collection of all the cool cycling hats to wear. Here are ones I do wear regularly:

Rivendell orange one and green one. The orange is the beat-up, sweaty one. The kelly green one is the "nice" one that will be the sweaty one when the orange one shrinks too much from sweat.

Embrocation, which has a more traditional cycling cut. Mine is also quite sweaty and starting to shrink. I think I might have a relatively large head, made smaller by my large body, but perhaps made larger again by my less small body. This one seems to fit better under helmets than the RBW.


Walz wool, which is this exact orange one (although that's not me). I'm trying to come to terms with liking the color orange, although it's the color of the dream UK enemy. I think it's the Eddy Merckx Molteni vibe. I tend to wear this one in non-cycling situations, for some reason.


The Walz wool I do wear is the ear-flap one, which is now shrinking due to sweat. I like this one a lot.
I just bought a Walz cotton with an orange stripe with a RiverCityCylingSociety embroidery on the side. Walz fascinates me because their cuts are so different. The L/XL of the new cap is quite different from L/XL cuts of other Walz caps. Confusing. I've worn this one once or twice, but I don't mind the largeness b/c it'll shrink.

I have another Walz wool, in this case an EcoVelo one. The good wife says she likes this one. I agree, it's a nice color combo to be worn out and about. I lost it for a bit but found it, unfortunately with a small moth hole in the top. I wear it anyway.


The Swobo 6-panel wool beanie certainly achieved a variety of hits on google, but interestingly isn't on their site at the moment. Never fear, I think this hat sucks rocks under a helmet. It's sort of nicely fashiony, but it slides down on the eyes on a ride. Bleh! I can't respect an unwearable helmet too much. 

I have a black wool ear-flap beanie I think from Ibex, but it's not on their site. I like this one. It's thicker and works well under a helmet. It seems to be out of stock everywhere, for obvious reasons.




I think that's all. Nope. Just remember that I have this one somewhere in this house, but I have no clue where, so maybe it doesn't count. I have an "original", which is to say I procured it in the early '80s. I don't think it fit that well, but it would be fun to find it. Team of Hinault, Lemond and Fignon, all in the same Tour. Not bad.




Following are a couple hats that have caught my interest over time, including this morning:

I found this one this morning, from VeloCult out of San Diego. I love this hat and may have to buy one later in winter, after the holidays. Such a striking desing.


LithoDale beat me to it, but every collection needs a classic black world championship cap.



Another that I covet, eventually, is a cost-prohibitive Rapha cap. This stuff is so amazingly overpriced, but drool-worthy none-the-less. Which one, though? It's the same basic thing for $40 that you can get from Walz or Pace for $12.

In the mode of Rapha, Vanilla Bicycles has an awfully nice cap, however twee it may be. Now that I've looked at the Rapha and Vanilla offerings, I've changed my mind. I don't like them as much, although impressively, the Vanilla is only $15.




In line with Rapha and Sascha is Ira, in this case Ira Ryan.  His bikes are beautiful and his hat(s) is better than Vanilla, albeit at his Rapha brethren price ($42). I sure do like the one on the left. I think ol' LithoDale might have that one too. Did he really pay $42 for a cotton hat? On 2nd thought, I bet that's a black and white Rogue hat, not a $42 Iran special.



I'd definitely like a Team Fatty cap, whether in pink or in orange (orange again. Think Merckx!) These seem to be randomly available. I think I will get one the next time they are. I like the panache, they're $20 cheaper than the Rapha and they're for a good cause.


This retro 7-11 cap sure would be fun for us old timers.




Well, it's 6.25 a.m. on Turkey Day and I'm out of caps. It seems like there were a few more on the tip of my cycle cap tongue, but I can't think of them and don't need to. I give a shout out to our minimalist brothers and sisters. All this consumption has got me tired. Time for a walk, even though it's blowing at 30mph outside.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Epic Ride Research Mountain Feed Bag

I alluded quite obviously to a known cycling product a little more than a week ago. I'll straightforwardly say that Christa at ERR more than took care of our dispute and I publicly thank her for it. As suspected, she was having a tough, busy time and things sort of got away from her, but not anymore. Below are pics of the (left side) MFB that I ordered, not necessarily for the QB mind you, but for gravel grinds and long ones.

The only initial impressions are ones based on an easy 25m in-town stroll, so I'll have to put it through its paces to get a real feel for the product. That said, I'm impressed by the build quality. It feels substantial and solid. the straps are ample and well-stitched. The body has some form and cushion built in, which is great for my camera (which may be a primary usage for me), and has enough space for a camera, cellphone, a bar, and a bag of something perhaps. It would also hold another bottle I think. There are also 2 side pockets, one of which held my garage keys, as seen in the 2nd pic.  I think the side stretch pockets would be fine for things all the way in them, but not necessarily long items which could leap out.

The main pocket has an extension "skirt" and at the top a bungeed closure. There's not doubt you could secure valuables inside and have complete confidence. It went on in 2min or less and is very secure with the 3-strap system. I found that its placement didn't bother me a bit, but narrow bars could make for tight spacing. It'll be interesting on the LHT with its narrow 42c 'rando' bars.  I can't wait to put it through its paces on a real ride; I'll pass along my thoughts at that time, but now that it's in-house, I'm very pleased with my initial perceptions. Way to go Christa!




Rides

Dave and I spent last Sunday morning doing an out-SW loop under sunny,cloudy, shaded skies. To be honest, I was sort of cold almost the entire ride, and for that purpose, I rode harder than I had in any previous rides. Fact it, I felt good.  We linked up to Iroquois via 3rd St., out Manslick and Penile and left on Bearcamp, always a nice road. Below are some pics at a nature stop in Jefferson Memorial Forest.

Up Bearcamp Rd.

Err, inappropriate hiking method in JeffCoForest

Bleriot. It's an awfully nice ride with the Soma B-line tires
Bearcamp, for me, was bittersweet. I felt good and crunched the small rollers along the route, but each time we dived into the shadow- which was at least 60% of the time, I got chilled. Towards the southernmost point of the route, I suggested to Dave that we cut off a bit with a right turn onto Scott Gap Rd. Not feeling great on the climbs, he agreed


barn on Bearcamp Rd.

We stopped briefly at another JeffCoMemForest parking lot on Scott Gap and talked to a hiker with his dog for a couple minutes. He intimated that he helped design the trails along that area. Good for him if the case. Bad for him if the case b/c the climb out of the gap onto the ridge is a tough one.

We head NE back towards home, able to hold a nifty click along Southern Pkwy and Eastern.  While Dave struggled a bit (one of those days), I felt great on the bike the whole route. Nice to have those kind of days, one that totaled around 45.

Yesterday both of us had much more limited time, so we left the Eastern/B'town Heine's to do the Riverwalk western loop, both on our single speeds. Nothing bad to report. We made good time spinning along and for a change, didn't stop too much.  Towards the end, we did stop at Sunergo's for a pick-me-up and then towards the Highlands. At one point Dave was going home to do work. Instead, he followed me before peeling off to Vic's and OYLC. Later Lithodale saw him there talking racks; I hope he had luck with that.



Bat Cave along Riverwalk




Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cat 6

"Cyclists have a joke about “racing in cat 6,”"

I gleaned this quote from an article linked by BikeSnob in which he waxes typical snark about the ridiculous measures commuters will go through to be, I guess, de moda (in style). He has a strong point about purchasing an $84 mini-messenger bag which amounts to nothing more than a fanny pack worn on your back. The Good magazine seems to posit that many commuters "race" and that they know it's called 'Cat 6'. You can buy Cat 6 gear from TwinSix, so I guess somebody knows what it is. Interestingly, the 'ville doesn't have a huge number of commuters, and the ones I run across don't tend to be "racing". Perhaps she implies that all the hipster boys and girls on B'town are, in effect, "racing", but it seems like most folks are just commuting or riding their bicycles. Yes, we all get that little bit of "can I catch him/her?" or "maintain, maintain", but racing I think not. It is the first time in my cycling life however limited seeing the term 'Cat 6'. Apparently der Snob waxed poetic about it on Friday too. So is 'Cat 6' a term used by Cat 5's to denote physical superiority?  

"Ha ha ha, I'm fat, slow and middle-aged and just finished in the bottom 15, but at least I'm not riding Cat 6!! Cough. Wheeze."

That means I'm not even Cat 6. How about Dog 6? I like dogs better than cats.




Monday, November 15, 2010

Bday blessings

Life has been rough-n-tumble, certainly pertaining to my health of late. That said, nothing I've experienced the past month is in the least bit bad. Yes, I have some unhealthy facets, but those can be- and are being- adjusted as we speak. Out with the sugar and in with the salads. I'm feeling lighter, better and more positive.

As I sit here on my 41st, I can't help but feel blessed amidst the turmoil that is the world. Yesterday Dave and I had the good fortune to put in 45 rolling miles, during which I felt as strong as I have in a while. I just felt crisp and good. After such a good ride, I had an even better one later, riding with the L-man to the hardware store so he could buy some duct tape for a project. Herculean adventures across mammoth climbs and open roads are great and all, but I always, *always*, feel great after our neighborhood jaunts. I hope I'm instilling in him the love of the 2 wheels.

I finished off yesterday's pre-birthday at mom's house for a typically fabulous meal. Thanks for the salad, salmon and chocolate pie, Mom! And thanks to the good wife for putting up with my shit these 21 or so years.

And today, not long ago, I celebrated the actual bday with one hour+ of twilight-to-dark singlespeed spinning on the QB, just tapping out a comfy rhythm while enlightening my mind with some This American Life and RadioLab. Tis lucky to have the opportunity and good fortune to ride my bday.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rides

I'm getting some good rides in. By that I mean that they're not epic, not formidable, not noteworthy, not really memorable, but they're rides out in the warm, Fall sunshine. Tops if you ask me.

Friday afternoon presented a little bit of time to stretch the commute so I headed slightly west to 12th St. and turned north there. Following are a few interesting pics of what I found near I-64.  It would be interesting to visualize this area as a continuation of the linear river park as imagined by 8664, the local group organized around the concept of tearing down said I-64. I couldn't agree more.

Obviously, strange route for rail lines running right under I-64.

Coulda taken 20 shots of graffiti.

Ohio looking placid for this barge.

You can barely see afternoon moon above the roof line of the new "bucket".

Once on my fav Beargrass Creek Greenway, I looked for my friend Ol' Blue but only found his cousin, Kingfisher.

Light fading and can you see that nasty green sheen on the top of Beargrass Creek?

Terrible pic, but the white dot to the left is a Kingfisher.

Later a turn through the Casselberry neighborhodo brought some late Fall color and great light.

Fall colors pop!

Red.

Saturday brought an early, eager 6.45a.m. start so I could get out before afternoon family activities. Dave agreed to meet me for the early spin, and we both agreed on singlespeeds to get the job done. We flowed through Seneca and the Rudy Ln. route and connected to Glenview for some big house viewing (shoulda stopped for 1 pic of the "for sale" house. It's all me). A left onto River Rd. gave us an open pathway during which Dave upped the ante. He's running a cog a couple teeth lower than mine, so while he's turning at a comfy rate I'm hamster-wheeling.  We held a good pace down to the new cyclocross park where we took a quick look. I had visited there on Monday in the dark with a cold.


Looking down the man-made dismount hill.

Dave running it out over one of the berms.

Run up! Hup! Hup!
My hamster-wheeling tired me out a bit, so we backed off and made our way through Washington St., Market and onto Baxter where we first stopped to shoot the shit with a very sleepy Drew and smartly stopped at Quills for a 2nd cup of brew, now outside b/c the temps were warming up.

It was a damn fine morning on two-wheels with fine coffee and fine ride company.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dispute

I've opened a "dispute" with the vendor of the product to the left. Everything I've read online speaks very positively about the product, but I ordered one on 10/30 and posted PayPal payment on the same day and the trail went dead. No, I received an automatic email order number, and then the trail went dead. I was first bothered by the lack of email communication using the contact@ email and later the more direct address. I then made one call to the contact cell phone # and left a message and, again, no reply. Next, the contact # (Verizon) was disconnected, so the trail is quite dead from there.  It's only $35, so it's certainly not going to break the bank, and ultimately I hope the transaction goes through because it's part of a gravel grinder project I've been working on for the upcoming early winter time period.

I'll post how it all resolves and if it does so poorly, I'll very much list the product and vendor itself. I don't want to malign anyone until I have complete due, but it's sketchy, sketchy, sketchy at this point.

On a happier note, Jones, Hiawatha and PricePoint- and my boys OYLC- were all rock solid on the on-going projects, so it's time for said sketchy company to step up.

Mas

Another gorgeous day, and this time I commuted on the SSFrankenTrek. I was looking forward to some afternoon mileage, but family plans made it necessary for me to head home, but I'll take those 15 clement miles over just about any. Feels good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bike Jog

Ironic that Pondero commented on yesterday's sickness post, as I thought directly of him this afternoon. See, I had a small window after work. The weather is ridiculously nice at mid-70s for this late Fall day and importantly, while the crud is still in my nasal passages, overall  I feel much much better. With my window I headed out on a 35min bike jog on the QB in the neighborhood. It reminded me of one of his 3-mile loops, during which he seemingly enjoys the bike just as much as on a "manly" long march.

My 8m did wonders. I felt the spin, stretched the legs, burned some fuel and breathed. Very, very refreshing.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

sigh

This week has been beautiful, with afternoon highs in the 70s and blue sky. Too bad I came down with some kind of ick Sunday afternoon. Actually, I experienced some scratchy nasal drainage on our ride Saturday morning, but by Sunday it was coughs and congestion. I spent Monday at work in a congested haze and then made the dumb mistake Monday evening of taking a 'cross ride while L played soccer. By the time I got home I was in a good fever and went to bed with full clothes on and under 3 covers, which proceeded to an epic bad night's sleep.

And today I had the first "bad" food day in probably 2 or more weeks. I'm down 19lbs from my all-time high and 13lbs since I started recording.  It's amazing how much I had to have been eating. Today I felt like I ate a lot and still it was only about 2100 calories.  Shit, it takes work to eat 3000 calories in a given day.

Tomorrow hopefully the headache and aches will be gone and maybe I can take a spin.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Compras Blueridge

Blueridge, a.k.a. the Step-Child

The BR was gifted to me in '99 as a masters degree gift and was my effort to find an "all round, long miles" rig. I had previously been on a steel Trek (a little too large), an alum "criterium" C'dale which made my back ache and a Bridgestone RB-1 with a small of 40x23. These are all pretty standard road/racing bikes and for me, they weren't the rig to deliver me to century nirvana. For other skinny ass whippet thin punks, yes, but for my fat ass no.  The BR has 2 things which have always bothered me a bit. First, because of the small frame and 700c, it has lots of awkward toe overlap. It's proof positive of the logical concept of the 650b size for smaller frames. The 2nd was a general bike fit "not quite". As I've ventured into "I/Grant" high-bar riding these past few years, I've come to a realization that it is a combo of low bars and a short, fat, stiff alum fork that keeps me from cycling nirvana on the BR. I did my 3rd longest solo every on the BR, the 85m to Lexington back in '00, but my next 2 long ones including my solo 102m this September were on the Bleriot. 'nuff said with that observation. And I would choose the Bleriot every time for a significant distance.

With this in mind, I recently spent a little $$ on the BR to turn it from a dedicated roadie machine into a potential gravel grinder.  The original BR was marketed as a touring machine, so that stiff fork does provide for very adequate tire clearance. The BR has been running 32c Paselas for about a year or more, but I picked up some $15 35c's at some point, so for our Ferdinand gravel fest a few weeks ago I threw the fatties on the BR and made one change, paying OYLC to add some interrupter levers, and this on top of the $ spent a while back on a too-expensive stem decision at Clarksville. That stem choice was an impulse and I could've spent $20 less and gotten a functional stem that maybe gave me more stem/bar height. This time I paid for interrupters and some new tape.

I took this present BR iteration on our Ferdinand trip, with fresh tape, 35c's, banana bag, SKS mudguards and green gardening tape keeping banana bag a bit more closed:


On Ferdinand Forest Rd (kaput) bridge

Here's a closer pic of the interrupters. I like them very much, but the BR doesn't bring me better comfort like that of the Bleriot.


Salsa 46c Bell Lap bars, Tektro Interrupters and cheap camera bag zip-tied to stem. The right brifter misses shifts every now and then now. Ack!

FSA stem raises bars closer to level with saddle, but no quite. The Bleriot, LHT and QB all have level bars now and I like that much, much better. Contrary to Dale, I don't want no racer drop.

The width of the Bell Lap works well to open the cockpit, but there's virtually no chance of riding in the drops like I can on the QB or Bleriot.



I allude in "Fur,none Pt. 3" that I wore out around mile 45 and I directly attribute it to the BR. It's got an Ultegra 3-ring set up, but the smallest gear is a 30x25, giving me a gear small gear inch of 32.6" or a Sheldon Ratio of 2.4. In contrast, the LHT with its 22x32 gives me a 17.7" or Sheldon Ratio of 1.3.  I've come to love the difference of 15" of "stump-puller" climbing. (These numbers, BTW, are all circumspect. They come from a little bit of observation and a little bit of guesswork. Maybe I'll take it seriously and find the real answer sometime). I'm a proponent of mtbike gearing for the road like I have on the Bleriot and LHT. BUT there's also no way I'm paying for new gearing for the BR.

In the end, amidst my complaining I have a really hard time justifying selling the BR. It's the only time in my life I'll have a chance at a titanium bike, a lifetime frame. It seems logical to take the existing frame, which is a solid design with at least rear eyelets for fenders/rack and work with it. Maybe I buy a new fork someday and change out how the front end responds. Maybe I just shut up and ride.

Compras Kona

The stock metal/plastic pedals that came on the Ute are starting to flex in such a way that I'm feel like I'm riding on the pedal axle instead of on the platform. What's great is that I have a very inexpensive option from OYLC, the cheap-ass plastic platform pedal. I already went through my clear plastic pedals on the SSFrankenTrek and moved to an ugly pair of black and red ones. The Ute, with its ugly hunter orange bags seemed quite the candidate for this $16 upgrade. They aren't great especially when slogged through the elements (hard to repack. easier to replace), but they'll work fine and dandy for a couple years.


Progress

I've had the pleasure of two-wheeled travel 3 of the last 4 days and it's felt good. Wednesday and Thursday were commute days on the Ute. My upper right groin/leg is still a bit sore for last Friday's procedure, so I figured the Ute provided the most straight/non-leaning. Nothing too fancy to report other than that they were bike commutes and not car driving. "Like". Friday I took off because the family schedule was busy and I was tired, and I feel just fine about that.

Yesterday was the first "ride" since the BSF adventure. Dave and I met at Heine's and took a route through Audabon and past Cardinal Stadium and Breeders Cup traffic for points south. Both of us were on our lugged steel single-speeds so the pace was, let's call it, mild. It felt really good to just turn the cranks in the chilly, 31F air. We stopped just south of the Watterson to inspect a pedestrian bridge that Dave had never seen; I had ridden over it some years ago.









Coming down the western side we noticed a very, very sketchy seen, this car- a newish BMW- devoid of engine, doors, truck lid and such. Chop job? Who knows. This spot was both inconspicuous in that it was out of the way, but on any given work day it wouldn't be that out of the way. Mystery.



Having studied the route a bit, Dave wanted to explore this railroad frontage road a bit to see where it led. We didn't get too far, but we did get a train. Notice the graffiti on the pic below.




From there we made our way to the new-ish Sunergos Beechmont store, one which I hadn't visited. It made for a perfect mid-ride warm up. I declined a snack, which is my wont these days, and we headed north again, paying a little more attention to the watch. I had to be home soon enough to family taxi, so the pace wasn't aggressive, but we also didn't make any more stops for pics or treats. Past Central Park and Old Louisville, we went downtown and turned east along market (Cake Flour, sigh...) and then back up Baxter, where I expended the last bit of testosterone of the day, attacking the Baxter hillette up to Payne. From there it was an easy cruise up Baxter to Eastern Pkwy- well, I must mention that we were behind a young lady on a mtbike at Winter and she was pushing a bigger gear than we. It took us a few blocks spinning way on the SS to catch up and pass her. Interestingly, after we passed her she just died off. Dave turned at Eastern and I made my way for Norris and home.  It felt really good to turn the pedals and I'm hoping I can get a Sunday ride too.

Assorteds:
  • First and foremost, I need to do a post that gets 20 or 30 comments. Anybody have an idea how to do that other than do an amazing bike project like Doug?
  • I need to stop spending $, usually smallish $, on bike crap or the good wife is going to wallop me. I spent a bunch in the last month and need to stop. I'm going to make a list soon of my bike action. That will help me remember whether my $$ was well spent.
  • I'm down 12lbs since mid-October. I'm pleased and really not that hungry. After the ride yesterday I took a 1-hr walk during 'Z's soccer tryouts, giving me 3 solid hours of exercise on the day. My right groin/leg is a bit tender today, I have a feeling from the riding more than the walking if experience serves.
  • These fotos are from the new Lumix DMC-ZS6. I might have to take a few comparison pics between it and the Coolpix. I like the interface of the Panasonic. I did notice, though, on the ride that it was harder to keep hold of while moving, something to consider for on-the-bike shots.
  • In thinking about the drowned Canon S90, I came across a post from Vik the Lazy Rando that made me think. He states that he's had good luck with Canon working on wet goods even if they didn't have to, which is why he always buys Canon. I think I'll package it off this week and see what can happen about refurb or replacement. The dunking was certainly my fault, but you never know.
Email to mysurly69@yahoo.com