raffi

2017 Bicycling - Neither snow nor rain nor...

236 posts in this topic

I had always wanted to do the Big Island Circle tour, its about 250 miles to complete.

Ten years ago, I actually did it with a companion I met on the internet.

It was a wonderful trip! Hawaii is wonderful for biking and we camped out at beaches every night.

Gabrielo - That might be something for the bucket list.

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George,

 

Welcome. I'm glad your survived your diagnosis! You many or may not have already discovered that diabetes not only does not keep you off the bike, but the bike can be a great tool in managing it. From what I understand, type 1 can be quite tricky to maintain, but you should definitely keep the biking as part of it.

 

If only I had kept riding in my 20s, I probably could have saved myself quite a bit of trouble over the years. I'm hoping that my current riding is saving me from even more trouble in the future. Not to mention, as you have already pointed out, it is a lot of fun. :)

Yes raffi, as far as i know it is dangerous to ride when the BG is low or very high before the ride, plus you have to count carbs as well so that you don't have hypoglycemia.

I believe that a pump with CGM can help a lot but when i start cycling, i will first try without one.

 

Don't feel sorry that you didn't start riding earlier, better late than never. Keep it up  :D

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Hi George,

 

Welcome!

 

Otherwise - what Raffi said  :)

 

(type 2, started riding again in 2009 after a really long time off the bike).

 

Good luck, let us know how you're doing.

 

Me: weather is looking pretty grim for the weekend. We'll see ...

 

Stay safe out there!

 

JT

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Hi all!

 

Welcome George!

 

JT, an interesting thing.  I was researching the difference between Gatorskins and Gatorskin hardshells.  I read a review by, I'm pretty sure, you that was from 2014.  I actually bought the Gatorskins for now but I might switch to the hardshells at some point.  I run the touring plus on my "touring bike" but I'm looking for something for the road bike that would be good for bikepacking/ultra-endurance riding.  I think the hardshells would have been a better choice but I wanted to ease it to it and try the others first.  I have not received them yet but I'll put them on my new wheels.

 

Take care all!

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Hi Rick,

 

Yeah, that could have been me - I use both. Typically I run 32mm 'Hardshell' on the commuter, and regular 'Gatorskins' on the road bike (in 23mm), on the rear. I think the 'hardshell' is a little better at flat protection.  Both seem to wear about the same.  The 'gatorskins' probably ride a little better.  I don't think there's a huge difference either way - they're both good tires, and either one will flat if you run over something bad enough.  Anyway, I like both -- pretty sure you'll be happy either way.

 

-JT

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It's been snowing, then cold, then more snow so that our gravel road has become a couple of inches of hard ice. While it is cold, this actually makes a pretty nice surface for both driving and riding. Last night, the temperatures started heading up and it started to rain. By this morning, that hard ice had standing water on top

 

It was also our monthly men's breakfast. After checking out the rain and snow level around the house, I decided I was probably safest riding the fat bike. In fact, I was probably safer on the fat bike than I would have been in the car. I doubt the car would have made it out to the highway and I'm positive it would not have made it back home.

 

The screws on the fat bike have definitely started wearing down and while they still gave lots of traction, I had to be careful how hard I pushed on any hills lest the back tires just start spinning.

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It was a beautiful day in Hilo, Hawaii so I ran my errands on my bike and took some meandering detours to rack up 20 miles.  My pack literally and figuratively got heavier as the ride progressed...

 

post-58728-0-88237900-1486250349_thumb.png

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Hi all!

 

I was thinking the other day about how much I admire you raffi.  I can ride down to some cold temps but not much below 25.  This year, fortunately, I haven't had to ride in that cold of weather.  I also don't ride on messy roads but you get out in some pretty adverse conditions.  I was thinking that only a few days ago when the temps and the wind were pretty bitter and now we are experiencing some 70 degree days.  Go figure!  Anyway, needless to say, I have been getting out.  January was kind of a sorry month for me.  I missed 14 days but still was able to get in some miles...almost on par...but still lacking a bit.

 

Anyway, I hope everyone has been able to get outside.

 

Take care!

Edited by rwallen

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Tomorrow, I will have to work early in the morning and in the evening as well as during the day so I suppose it will be a "rest" day where exercise is concerned.  I need it though.  My knee has been acting up a little when running and my mile pace times at up near 12 minutes when I had been in the high 10's and low 11's pretty consistently.  A couple days of rest will fix me and I know that but I hate to not work out now.

 

Today, I though I would aggravate different muscles and joints so I broke out my bike.  I decided to try a hill climb to train for my Volcano ride.  I did OK.  Unfortunately I was 1 mile short of the goal I had set on the climb but, in failure, I will learn what I need to do to succeed.  I am still pleased because I climbed 1200' in 6 miles.  There were some killer hills on that road.  The final mile had a killer hill and, if I had time before dark, I think if I rested a bit and tried again, I could've made it.

 

Lessons learned:

Although my spirit feels 25, my body is 50 :)

 

I need to conserve energy better on the hills.

 

I need to invest in cycling shoes and pedals that I can clip into.  I can now see where I am making this much harder than it needs to be.  If some of that upstroke energy can go into propulsion, that is energy well used.  I am beginning to do the kind of cycling that justifies this type of equipment (which is a good thing).

 

On the plus side - After a nice downhill stretch, my stamina recovered and I could pedal vigorously on the flats.  I don't think it is a matter of shape, or not being in shape, that is stopping me. 

 

post-58728-0-85205900-1486617319_thumb.png

 

 

 

 

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"Although my spirit feels 25, my body is 50"

 

Tell me about it Mike, as we advance in years, free energy decreases and entropy increases. 

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Good job Mike,

I agree that a pair of shoes with MTB clipless pedals will help you a lot.

I think it is better to not take breaks during your rides, unless it's a coffee break  :lol:

Try to pace yourself correctly so that you complete your ride without any breaks.

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I think it is better to not take breaks during your rides, unless it's a coffee break  :lol:

 

While this is something I agree with on most of my rides (both the no breaks and the coffee ;)), it really depends on the length of the ride. On long enough rides, planned breaks make a lot of sense. While I've done metric centuries with no breaks, much more than that and I need at least some time out of the saddle.

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While this is something I agree with on most of my rides (both the no breaks and the coffee ;)), it really depends on the length of the ride. On long enough rides, planned breaks make a lot of sense. While I've done metric centuries with no breaks, much more than that and I need at least some time out of the saddle.

Sure, i agree with you.

I was referring to the amount of miles he does, that a break will not help him anyhow.

Definitely on longer rides breaks are important.

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Thank you for the advice.  I am sure you guys are right.  I am still learning how to properly cycle.  I know I have the energy and the capability to do this.  I need to work on technique which will probably prove to be more important than the clips (although those will certainly help).

 

I tend to start out rides pell mell which is fine when the terrain is relatively flat since I can maintain the pace but on the hills I need to take a different approach for sure.  I also need to squash this insane urge to prove something by using a higher gear than necessary.  I will stay in the middle chain ring as long as possible for no reason other than to prove my manliness.  I know this burns up all my stamina and is not good cycling.  I am learning, slowly, that it is energy management.  Much like flying a fighter according to the pilots I talk to that do that for a living.  I am beginning to see the mental component to cycling and am enjoying the learning experiences.

 

For a geezer that just got a bike in November, I am pleased with the progress I have made and yesterday was a learning experience so I really don't see it as an outright failure.

 

Volcano is going to be 30 miles, mostly uphill, so more hill training for me :)

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Hi all!

 

Mike, just do what comes naturally and feels comfortable to you.

 

With that said, I eventually bought bike shoes. I had the clipless pedals but hadn't installed them.  My brother-in-law wouldn't let me ride his bike in AZ while we were there on vacation without me having the shoes...he wouldn't change out his pedals for me. :)  So, when we got back home I swapped out my pedals and never looked back.  I do have to say that there's something to the efficiency in pedaling with them.  I also used to mashed the pedals when I rode, use the hardest gear I could find, both on the flats and the hills.  Then someone told me about spinning up the hills and maintaining a high cadence.  While I think there something to that and perhaps if you're wanting to do the miles, I think a mixture of both is good.  I set my cross bike up for touring and rode it everyday with the racks and fenders on it.  While I was able to keep up with the people I ride with I didn't realize how hard I was working until I bought a road bike and rode the tourer after it had been sitting for a few months.  So, again, I think it's good to switch it up if you can.  I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to improve but the main thing is to maintain the BG levels and have fun.  If it stops being fun, then a person has the tendency to stop doing it.  We each have our own goals.  You may never want to tour, ride outrageous miles, or be the fastest, and that's ok.  Cycling is a personal thing.  So, just do it and enjoy it.

Edited by rwallen
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rwallen - Thank you for the advice and the encouragement.  Every ride is a fun ride.  I read some articles about spinning and I can see I am making the amateur mistakes of working too hard and expending all my stamina at the bottom of the hill.

 

Failure doesn't daunt me.  It teaches me how to succeed.  I rarely have success at anything without several failures.

 

My primary goal is to enjoy cycling.  Some days this will be a cruise on the flats and, others, hills.  I do what I like.  At 50, I think I have earned that right lol...

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I had a day off today, the weather was beautiful, I didn't want to run so I broke out the cycle.  I was going to do about 20-25 miles on my flat route but I knew that was a cop out from what happened the other day.  What I really needed to do was to try and apply what I thought I had learned from the other day.  If I went that flat route I don't think I would have tried a hill climb again. 

 

I did a different route today but it was all uphill.  I spent over 1 hour cycling uphill with only 1 photo stop.  I know what you guys said about stops but, how can you not stop and take this in?

 

I went about 8 miles uphill with varying grades.  I started at near sea level and ended at 1300' per my GPS.  This time I went in with a different mental attitude.  Instead of dominating the hills, I was going to try and work with the hills.  I purposefully selected, and stayed in, the small chain ring.  I tried to maintain a steady RPM through gearing and, if the going got tough, I slowed it down.  The goal is to get there, not get there quickly.

 

I had much better results physically and mentally.  Some areas were steep enough where I had no choice but to pedal mash.  On the lesser inclines I just maintained as constant an RPM as I could and adjusted the gearing to keep up that RPM with, to me, a reasonable amount of effort.  I truly went for endurance over speed and it worked!

 

I also realized that, because I was pedal mashing, I was not sitting upright in the saddle.  I concentrated on posture and could feel the difference.  I wasn't gasping for air.  I also worked on not maintaining a "death grip" on the handles.  I was doing that the other day.  Today, I consciously worked on holding the grips just tightly enough to steer.  I could feel the difference as energy was spent pedaling and not being wasted on the death grip.

 

I had to do this to prove to myself that it was mental and technique.  I now know I am capable of climbing.  I have a long way to go in regards to technique and conditioning but time and experience will take care of that. 

 

post-58728-0-97075000-1486778379_thumb.jpg

 

post-58728-0-77959200-1486778040_thumb.jpg

 

post-58728-0-56133300-1486778399_thumb.jpg

Edited by meyery2k
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Nice ride Mike.

I'm glad you enjoyed your ride by pacing correctly.

Keep it up and you will soon always want some hills in your rides.

Flat rides are boring  :P (some people will disagree)

Stopping for photos is ok as soon as you don't cheat yourself and stay away from your bike for more time than needed for the photo  :lol:

It's always up to you. For example, I always take a break on the top to enjoy the view.

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Thank you laping.  Swallowing my pride and using the small chain ring was so beneficial.  I realized that my using the middle chain ring to "prove" something was dumb.  The small ring is a tool and there to be used.  It is like using a screwdriver as a prybar, we have probably all done it, the job gets done, but it takes way more effort than the right tool and the end result is often not wanted.

 

Next time, I will pack coffee for the photo stops lol...  I like to mix Sugar Free Power Ade and water 50/50.  I find the taste of straight Power Ade to be a bit cloying.  The water seems to thin it down to "just right" for me.

 

Thanks again to everyone for the advice and the encouragement.

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When I first started riding again, I too wanted to prove something by staying in higher gears. Fortunately, I got over it. :) While I still try to reserve my lowest gear on my 29er (the granny is a VERY low gear), I will use it when I need to.

 

As for stopping to take pictures, that is certainly an acceptable stop. On tours, I find that the scenery gets more interesting and picture worthy the longer the day's riding drags on ;)

 

While the weather was not too bad this last week (though it was quite wet), I was fighting a cold all week and so I did not get on the bike. However, I did get in a 20  mile ride this morning. I'm hoping to be able to get in a commute next week.

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Bike shops - I have never gone into one without getting the feeling I didn't belong.  I just felt out of place and the people there would seem to be "snooty" because I made do with whatever I could afford.  When I was younger that wasn't very impressive, to be sure, but I was just as interested in bicycles as those people.

 

I would avoid bike shops like the plague. I figured I would not invest in them since they were not interested in investing a little bit of time in me.  I have less than stellar equipment because I don't see the need for it.  If I am educated as to why it is needed, like my tools, I would make the investment.

 

We have 2 bike shops in Hilo and I want to get bike shoes and clip in pedals.  I realize this will make my riding easier.  The first shop I went to, about a month ago, reinforced my thinking as stated.  I went in and felt like it was a club that I could not be a member of.  I explained that I was a novice and interested in slowly getting good gear and improving my ride.  The owner's attitude was vey lackluster.  He showed me some shoes and let me try them on, but he didn't have the size.  I asked if he would order them for me and he wrote my name and number in a notebook and said he would call me back.  No call.

 

The reason I don't just order them on Amazon is because I want to invest my money into the small businesses here when I can.  The company I work for is a small business and when we get a customer, I appreciate it.

 

Today I went to the Bike Hub in Hilo and expected the same results.  When I walked in, Olivia approached me and we just started talking.  I explained about how I just got back into cycling and my Walmart special.  She was very welcoming and understood where I came from about throwing $160 into a bicycle to see if it is something I would like.  The owner overheard us talking and he also came over and chatted a bit. 

 

I told them some of the rides I have done and I got the comment of, "Wow! You did that on a bkle like that?  You must have some willpower!".  It so reminded me of the scene in "Star Wars" when Princess Leia sees the Millennium Falcon and comments, "You came here in that?  You're braver than I thought!"  Olivia and Mike, the owner, made a customer today just by being people.

 

Olivia then showed me some bikes that she thought would be a good trade up from what I am riding.  She took the time to explain that disc brakes would probably be better suited for Hilo because lava dust coats the rims and will eat up pads and rims (fun fact huh?) .  She recommended a hybrid since I have found that I do much more riding on the road.  Aluminum frame, while not the lightest, would be more affordable.  The people in that store listened to me and didn't talk down to me.  I felt like a customer not an inconvenience.

 

They let me try on shoes and even offered to install pedals on my bike for no additional charge.

 

When I got home I had a hard think and decided that Olivia sold a bike today.  That store earned my business and I would be a loyal customer.

 

So I will be the owner of a new Specialized 29" Sirrus hybrid bike later today or Monday with clip in MTB pedals, 28 gears, and disc brakes.  I think I was most impressed in that Olivia had shown a sincere interest in selling to me what I need and would offer some growth versus just having me throw money into whatever was the most expensive bike in the store.

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When I got home I had a hard think and decided that Olivia sold a bike today.  That store earned my business and I would be a loyal customer.

 

 

The good LBS are worth supporting. Glad you found one.

 

When I was thinking of upgrading from my first inexpensive bike, I went to a LBS and started by saying I was not buying anything today. Similar to your experience, the owner got involved and over an hour later, I finally managed to extract myself from the shop. Like you, I was now a customer. I bought my next bike there and its replacement (after I hit a deer). I also recommend them to everyone who could use their services.

 

Enjoy the new bike, if your experience is anything like mine, you will love biking even more on a better bike. Be sure to get it properly fit to you, that makes a huge difference as well.

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The shop just called me.  Olivia put together a quote and asked if I wanted carbon fiber vs steel shocks for $200 difference.  I asked if I would honestly see a benefit to that.  Like when buying a stereo, there are all these audio features but I am not a discerning enough listener to hear them or my room is not the right quality.  She thought that a rack and waterproof panniers would be a better investment (Hilo is very rainy at 120" of rain a year).

 

I am going down now to get fitted at her insistence.

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Good choice, a rack an panniers will serve you well. That says a lot about the shop to not try to sell you the carbon.

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Shops like this deserve all our money.

Unfortunately, they are hard to find.

Don't forget to post photos of your Specialized  :P

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