Monday, March 28, 2011

Lame


This blog has become a bit lame. I haven't had the time for either interesting rides or for interesting posts. My riding is when-I-can-get-it training rides and photos haven't been part of the equation either. Yesterday I felt like crap most of the day, a bit of Afib, a bit of exhaustion, maybe the two hand in hand. Late afternoon I texted and met Dave for a cup of Quills and afterwards an easy spin, the kind of riding Chris has perfected. I effectively avoided upsetting my heart rhythm even more not watching UK beat UNC. That's heaven-on-earth for a Cat fan, even one who can't even watch the games anymore. Ridiculous.

I'm just plain tired and can't quite get ahead. Spring Break is coming up, so perhaps that'll give opportunity to stretch things out and make things interesting again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Park Jam

I'm doing well with my stolen time this Spring, better so far than I've ever done in the past. Today big one had soccer practice while the little one was with mom at his middle school soccer game. That, in turn, gave me a window from 5.45 to 7.15 to make something happen, which I did as best I could. I jumped on my Precious and hammered out an hour plus a warm up in the parks, which, by the way, were insane. It's so great that folks are out using them in the 80F weather, but that means walkers, joggers, bikers, strollers, gawkers, drivers.....The portion around Seneca Loop was downright frightening with the number of cars pedestrians, street-crossers and such. Note to self: Don't go to Seneca anytime in the evening. Wild!!

I was on the fast bike again (no pics yet) and it felt as great as ever. I've never had a bike that wanted to go like this one. With an average in the mid-16s and approaching 17 until late I think the speeds are indicative of its temperament. Aside the obvious issue of my fat feet and bike shoes, it's dialed right in from the get go. I think the pictorial is coming soon. I did have an issue with the Garmin not picking up the satellites as early as it should have. The green 'depart' below is almost 2.5m into the warm-up I took waiting for it to grab a signal, and if you inspect the map a bit more, you can see than it took 2 or 3 miles for the gps signal to settle into the map. it's all good in the end. I hope everybody else had such an exhilarating afternoon.

Yikes!

Got on the scale for the first time in a while. Yikes! Going up. Not good. I'm at a weight I haven't been at since early November when I was on the "weight loss kick" post-heart issues in October. It is simply the case that I've been lax for much of February and March, and the corresponding ice cream, candy at work and general grazing since the start of the tennis season have made for the obvious change in state. Heavy people don't have a "cruise" button. It requires vigilance. Maybe skinny people are vigilant too, and that's why they're skinny.

So, back to good patterns, because I am NOT going back to my heaviest. NOT going to do it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Relaxed

After yesterday's macho tempo ride I had the occasion today after work and a victorious tennis match to do a different kind of riding, a bike stroll on the QB. I went Goldilicks speed, neither fast nor slow; I went what was comfortable. The parks were full of folks of all ilk and the weather was near perfect, 75F with overcast skies and a nice easterly breeze to keep things interesting. I really enjoyed pushing the pace yesterday, but today I enjoyed just as much soaking it in and dialing it back, and all on borrowed time post-tennis match (which we won 5-0).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's not about the bike

Well, it *is* about the bike. I took a 45-miler this morning and averaged mid-16s, speeds I haven't seen in years. The difference? The IF. It's the old adage, "All things in moderation". I don't want to hammer all the time. I like to ride I/Grant style and roam around and take pics and enjoy the Mt.Tamalpais trails, but it felt great, really great, to charge forward. I never was at my limit at all and hope to build enough fitness so I can enjoy more gravel wanderings, relaxed commutes and coffee rides. But the bags and baskets and bells come at a price. And that price is a feeling of fast.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

RCCS Coffee Ride

Patrick and I enjoyed a 29m RCCS CR this morning, early enough for me to make the track meet and and for Patrick to make a party. It was a good time for sure. And the ham and asagio muffin outstanding, truly. More thoughts at RCCS.

As part of the ride discussion, I am having serious considerations in selling the Bleriot. I have other bikes that can do what it does as well or better and I find that I enjoy other bikes more. If I didn't know better, it would be great to have it forever, but my LHT commuter can do the gravel, the BR can do roadie bag packing reasonably well, and the IF can do the road much better. In a very informal, anecdotal lift test, the weight difference between Patrick's enormous, double-top-tubed AHH and the Bleriot was sort of embarrassing. The "Thin the Herd" project will take place this summer, and surprisingly, the ol'650B might be part of that.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Commute

Heart. 66F both legs. Instant mood improvement. MUCH better afternoon than rest of week combined.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fitness Ride

Got out for a fitness ride after work and after the heavier rains this evening. Just need to kick out the jams and work out some aggression and anger. Worked too, except for the jerk who decided to make a point, which one I'm not sure, and veer into me in the fitness lane in Seneca. I was riding the white line- yes, yes, "Take the lane!!"- and he buzzed me on the left, but I thought that was fair. Then as we approached the stop and I glanced into the fitness lane he veered his stupid fucking vehicle into the lane. We stopped at the 'T' stop sign and I pulled my bike in front of his SUV and asked him his purpose for menacing me with his vehicle. I used no profanity and acted rationale and inquired as to why he felt the need to do that, especially with children in the car. I asked him why he felt the need to threaten my life with his big car for no real purpose. He stated that he was going go call the police and I invited him to do so so we could get down to the bottom of the mystery as to why he veered into me. We parted with me accusing him of using a weapon. I didn't have a cellphone to get a license pick or anything. Should have.

I rode a good hard pace for an hour and change and averaged mid-15s, which I'm pleased with on an evening fitness ride. More stolen miles. Aside the attack- and it'll pass with time I guess- it was a good time. I don't understand people. I really don't.

The mystery dynolight was "on", but the standlight definitely isn't, and I checked the unit to notice the "Plus" on the side, denoting a standlight as one of the features. It'll go back to the shop.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lights, Camera, Malfunction

A ride not to be. I hemmed and hawed about doing an early morning ride with the RCCS and Dave. I've had a cold and didn't relish another early morning rise, but by the time I got up to check the ride status, I was awake enough that I changed and hit the road to meet Dave. The plan was to ride from Heine's at E.Pkwy/B'town to just on the other side of Anchorage at a coffee shop off Lagrange Rd. I had promised to sing in church (that'll sound great with all the junk in my head) so I was going to ride out with Dave and turn around and come home via another route, giving me around 30 on the morning. It would also be a first run for my new 700c dynowheel with IQ CYO R that I purchased to use between several bikes, including the new one in case of a brevet in the future. Now it's sitting on the Blueridge, which has become the winter/dark trainer.

I met Dave and we headed through Cherokee, noticing how much brighter his Dinotte was than my IQ CYO. Frankly I was disappointed. Dave's light was *so* much brigher, and mine seemed to be doing this strange pulsing thing, which could be the nature of the new hub. Not good. I noticed a slight pulse at very low speed on my old halogen on the LHT, but not this much as more normal speeds (like 13mph or so) As long as I was up to speed, and by that I mean 18 or 19mph, the notchiness fell away; that's too fast to have to go for smooth lighting. Another thing not mentioned was that the standlight was not functioning. Sketchy. We headed into St. Matthews and right onto Westport which we would use for much of the route out. At that point, suddenly, I was in the dark. My light failed. We stopped and fiddled a bit and found no solution so I decided to turn around and head home, certainly not wanting to do the remaining 25m in the dark. Bleh!

Coming back through St. Matthews and Seneca the light was putting out this ghostly glow, showing that it was receiving some kind of power. Even more strangely, descending the I-64 hill, suddenly, the light came on again, and I think at the intended brightness. I rode nicely by Big rock with nice, bright front light. In no mood for adventure (and a bit cold), I climbed Millvale and went to Breadworks for coffee and a scone and ruminated on the travails of technology. OYLC wanted to work with me on the dyno (in lieu of me going with an experienced dyno shop like Hiawatha), and now they'll get the chance. Another thing not mentioned was that I crimped and heat shrank my own connectors for the new wheel. It could easily be a user error, but how do you explain no standlight?

So I'm back, at home, early, and I downloaded the partial ride from the 60cx to find that my top speed was 175mph, as well as having some significant goofiness of the map data in and around the parks. Technology. But 13m total it was.

Sunshine

A perfectly pleasant storm of a Saturday morning delivered 'L' to his last bball game with the good wife and me with 'Z' to his first track practice after a week and a half of bronchitis, and of late me with the gunky mix as well. Gross.


I'm bound and determined to get some miles in whatever state of mucous mania I'm experiencing, so I brought a bike with me to ride while he ran at school. The bike is pictured above. It's needs a bit of an introduction as it's the project that has dominated my winter. It needs a more thorough pictorial intro b/c this one sort of blows, but it's my new custom IndyFab, one named "My Precious" by Lithodale. It's an amazing bike, to be honest, and now that it's sunny and warmer perhaps I'll get out and do a fashion shoot, but this is all you get right now. Custom Ti Club Racer with Campy Chorus and WhiteInd/HED Belgium wide rims. I've only had it out 3 times b/c of the crazy schedule, but it goes, that's for sure.

(Taking the pic I rode/walked up into this grassy area not remembering that I was wearing road shoes. Several years of mtbike or flat shoes can do that too you.))

Today I pushed things a bit away from school and towards Iroquois Pk. Once in the park I found that climbing was going to be a grin-n-bear-it experience. No spark. I did a turn up to the top and ran across what I'm sure was members of the Saturday Yellow Lot LBC ride. I waved. Once I head downhill I picked the pace up a bit especially around the back of the park. This bike loves to climb out of the saddle! I passed a couple tri guys who then caught up with me at the light at S.Pkwy. We left the light together and I upped the pace some more. Why not? I had fundamentally a downhill, downwind run back towards school, and I gave it a good effort. I still have some shoe/cleat adjustments to make, and perhaps a bit in the saddle fore/aft department, but it's already a really nicely dialed in fit and I look forward to some real mileage down the road.

Finally, I would like to thank FMR for this opportunity. That stands for First Mercury, which was sold in February and the stock sales from that helped finance this dream bike.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

sorta tennis commute

I didn't actually play nor coach tennis yesterday, but my asst. coach needed the ball hopper so I took the Ute for a tennis commute. I'm pretty pleased with how stable and un-noisy the metal hopper was, and I managed to find a narrower bag for the balls. Really, the only drama of the mundane commute was the cold. I can read a thermometer (or website) to dress for 37F/47F, but it was quite breezy from the NW and I got tired of the cold headwind in the morning. I think I was dressed adequately save my hands, but it was just uncomfortable. The afternoon was much the same. I dressed back down a bit with short sleeves and and a jacket, but my upper body was cold and clammy. Mileage is mileage though.

This is a side view of the Ute with the hopper, mostly an image for my own purpose. I have a main bungee running down the middle. I then have a total of 4 smaller side bungees attaching to the side "holes". You can see where I've run orange electrical tape on those side holes to protect the frame. I've looked to no avail for an appropriate hook that I could use to lower the basket on the holes and then use the 1 bungee to lash it down. Ideas? The slightly higher position is nice, though, b/c it doesn't allow the basket to fall below the frame and make menace.

ball bag in the side bag
Slightly out-of-focus, but Ute from the back with hopper lashed on left front and ball bag in right large bag. One day I'll have a system where I can just hook that hopper right onto the frame, bungee it once and away I go. Distributing balls and hopper on opposite sides helps balance the load substantially. And I like the hopper out of the way of the PDW rear taillight.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Training


After last week's numerous found miles, this past 6 days has been blah and more blah. We had a great time with friends over the weekend, but I never quite put together ride time, and these past few days have been filled with bronchitis for the elder and a creeping cough on my part.

That said, I was feeling stir crazy so today in lieu of running any tennis training in the driving rain I rode my bike in the driving rain, so driving that it eventually become comical when I felt my shoe covers and shoes fill up with water. If I dropped my heel on the downstroke I could feel a little pool swish from the end of the shoe backwards. I give props to the wool top though. I got wetter and the got a little chilly, but the torso was great.

And with 16m in, I feel much better as well.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Stolen Miles

More stolen miles carved off tonight, via an evening commute to see a middle school band concert. The LHT and its IQ CYO commended itself admirably in the dark. Very pleasant.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Finding Time

The family schedule is getting intense, more so by the day. Tennis has started for me, so that means 2 hours of workouts each afternoon. Once matches start that means several hours after school and several Saturdays worth of tournaments. Le Dauphin, much like in the Fall, is doing two sport this Spring, track and soccer. That consists of two soccer workouts, T and Th, and eventually Saturday/Sunday matches and tournaments. He's running track as a continuation of cross country in the Fall, so that means M and W and S morning with some F cross training thrown in. In some ways it's even busier than it sounds b/c there is the transportability issue. El Segundo, meanwhile, is starting his own school soccer, also on T/Th. And due to soccer his music lessons are now moved to M (guitar) and W (sax). So on T/Th afternoon the 3 Smith boys have to be in 3 different places at both the same and different times. And Saturdays will be Hell at some point.

The point is that my riding in the Spring often disappears, and if I color-code my google calendar, I can visualize why. There are just too many activities to do. And funnily enough, I don't consider us a family hell-bent on being over-scheduled. I have a co-worker who I would consider more in that role. Her two boys (12 and 8 or so) have soccer, dance, math, arts, theater, and maybe some other stuff. But she may be like us. Her boys expressed an interest and she ran with it. Of our boys' activities- much less my tennis- the only "forced" one was the cross-country/track thing, and le Dauphin has grown into really enjoying that, especially seeing his fitness in action of the soccer pitch.

So when do I ride?

  • I can get up at 4.30. I've done this a bit before, and I'll be doing some of it more if I can ever get some sleep back.
  • Monday it rained so I cancelled tennis and came home a tad bit early and took at 1hr singlespeed ride on the Trek in the muck. Of course, given the schedule I had to drive back to school to pick the big one up.
  • Yesterday was a full sprint, finishing up with a parent Track meeting back at school. I rode the LHT and tried out the new IQ CYO-R N+ (nicely reviewed by Ecovelo here.). It has an at first odd rectangular field, but it powers up at something goofy like 3mph and is nice and bright for urban riding. I'll spare the reviews b/c there are others out there but I liked it. I hatched a plan for an after-meeting with Dave, during which we went to ZA's for a glass and slice. Funnily enough, I ran into him en route to the meeting and he proceeded to give me a Cat 6 thrashing into G'town. He's dangerous on the SS. Afterwards I ran up to the grocery for the wife, giving me 16+m on the day and 30m over 2 days of "found" miles, found moments amidst the chaos of The Schedule.
  • And that's how the Spring is gonna be. Found time...and then there's summer.
Email to mysurly69@yahoo.com