raffi

2017 Bicycling - Neither snow nor rain nor...

235 posts in this topic

My baby is on her way from the mainland :)

 

I fitted and test rode the base model with the caliper brakes.  I rode in on my Walmart special and everyone gathered around and commented how hard those rides would be with that bike.  Now understand, that I have no reference to this to understand what they are saying.  Like my stereo analogy, I simply am ignorant as to why that is and freely admit it.  I push the pedals and the bike moves is pretty much all I understand.  The gears help me either go faster or climb.

 

I was asked if I liked to cycle to which I responded, "Sure.  I wouldn't go on these crazy rides if I didn't".  They laughed and said if I liked cycling now, I was going to love it with a bike built for the type of riding I am doing.

 

I jump on the Specialized and they adjusted the seat and told me to go ride it around a bit.  I could feel the immediate difference.  Much less effort to pedal.  The shifting was much smoother.  I would have rode away into the sunset if I could have gotten away with it.  Now I am seeing what they are saying.  The skinnier wheels have less friction with the road so while I understand the science behind why it takes less effort to move, it means nothing until I actually experience it.

 

I am so excited now!  When it comes in, they will assemble it and adjust it.  Apparently they take everything apart and repack wherever you do that sort of thing to help combat the combination of humidity, salt, and volcanic gasses that eat everything up here.  When I go to pick it up, I will get a training on using the clips in the trainer so I don't eat it on day 1 lol...

 

That is all I would have asked.  Just listen to what I want to do, where I am trying to grow, and help me pick something that will get me there.  I am actually a pretty easy customer.  I don't know very much and that is why I am here.  Don't BS me and I will be a loyal customer.

 

I took a last swan song on my Walmart special to bring the mileage over 500 miles (since November!).  A 4 mile hill climb to 750'.  With the pacing I learned, pretty easy.  Then rode back down and did some pell mell along the flats to get to 20 miles which I really enjoy doing.  I looked forward to this hill ride because I know I can do it and this just improves my skill and conditioning.

 

I cleaned up the Walmart bike and will give it to my son.  He can use it as a commuter for work.  I am hoping he will go on a few rides with me and, in time, catch the cycling bug.

 

Now that there is a good shop that I can trust, I am happy to have the bug and will spend my money there.

Edited by meyery2k
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Hi all,

 

Mike - nice update, and upgrade! Very cool to find an LBS that'll listen to you. (We have a few around here, PDX).  You'll enjoy the new bike (do post pics!).  Side note about the clipless pedals - ask the shop to set the release tension to the minimum.  It'll make 'panic' dismounts easier, and I've never had an accidental un-clip - I'm a big guy; I have all my pedals set up this way. (Some shops will think about this, and others, not) - it's also a trivial adjustment to do on your own.

 

For me - fighting off a cold (boo!), we had nice weather this weekend (ie, it wasn't raining)... dusted off the road bike and got out for 20 very easy miles on Sunday.  Road's still flooded out by the wetlands, that cuts off a mile or so of the north end loop.  Felt pretty good by the end of the ride.

 

Stay safe out there!

 

-JT

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Hi all!

 

Wow!  I have missed out on a lot!  Congrats on the new bike Mike!  "They" say that the right number of bikes is N+1.  I rode the same bike for about 5 years before buying my used road bike.  I think they both serve a purpose and I think that the folks who buy bikes for multiple purposes, well good for them.  I am finding that it's hard for me to keep two bikes maintained.  Well, that along with my wife's bike and our tandem.  I don't look down on dept. store bikes.  I started on one.  However, I think you made a great step!  Who know where you'll go from here.

 

Speaking of the tandem, on Saturday I cleaned it up and my wife and I went for a short ride.  Later, I got out with a friend and rode some more.  It was a beautiful day.  Sunday wasn't quite as nice but I got out with the same friend and got in a few extra miles.

 

Today, I am taking the step to get the road bike in tip top shape.  I have my Gatorskins mounted on the new wheels and I am taking the bike to the LBS to have the cassette changed over to the new rear wheel and then to have the bike checked completely over.  I was looking at a narrow frame bag for it.  I am worried that I don't have enough places to store stuff on my "minimalist" ride this spring.  I want to go light but I still have to take the necessities.

 

Anyway, congrats again Mike!  Please post pictures!

 

Take care all!

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Morning all!

 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  I had a stupendous last 3 days of riding.  Our weather has been great!  My friend from OKC was in town and we got out all day Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and yesterday morning till around noonish.  I was able to rack up some miles and spend some time in the saddle.  It wasn't a "push-it" kind of riding but still, time in the saddle is time in the saddle. 

 

I think I have my road bike set up the way I want it.  I have attached a photo.  I am still trying to find some shorter insulated water bottles because of the new frame bag but I can get the non-insulated kind and may end up going with them.  When I ride across Kansas it will be more important that I have water than the fact that it's cold.  Anyway, that's all I got!

 

Hopefully everyone is getting out as much as you'd like!

 

Take care!

 

Rick

post-35267-0-18237500-1487596773_thumb.jpg

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Hi all,

 

Rick - nice setup. Don't know that I have any bottle suggestions for you - I typically use Polar 16oz bottles (or regular uninsulated ones); they all seem about the same size (but I don't have a frame pack on any of the bikes).

 

As for me: too much rain.  We're closing in on a record-setting February. We'll break the record easily - a 'normal' Feb is ~2.6" rain - record is 10.03, and we're at about 9.8 this morning (give or take a little). Arrgh.  This weekend is supposed to be dry - if so, I've already "warned" Mrs ORJT that I'll be riding both days. Need the miles, and time in the saddle (as Rick noted).

 

Anyhow - stay safe out there!

 

JT

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I got a call that my new bike is in the shop. They are tuning it up.  Apparently they take the bike apart and put it back together.  They pack bearings and other stuff to try to combat the climate.

 

I stopped by to see it.  A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

 

If you will excuse the phrase, since it is on the stand, I pimped out my ride with fenders, rack, waterproof panniers, light kit, water bottle and cage, and a frame pump.  I know I spent more there than at Walmart but, as explained earlier, if you can win me as a customer I am a loyal one.  I will happily support good business in my neighborhood.  I know from my own experience in retail that these shops make their money on the markup from the accessories.

 

All this from Olivia just talking story with a geezer.

 

So I will get trained on the clips and take my first spin soon.  Maybe tomorrow if they can get all that other stuff installed.

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Morning all!

 

Mike, what?  No pictures? :)  Sounds like you're getting her all decked out!  You'll be happy and I bet you're "chomping at the bit". 

 

We have several bike shops where I live.  I am not a big fan of the shop where I bought my cross bike or the tandem but I have taken a Park Tool maintenance class there and have built a bit of a rapport with a couple of guys there.  However, when I took advantage of the "free" tune up offered during the month of January for existing customers I made a decision not to go back there other than when I "shop around" for specific things.  While I did give permission to replace anything that they thought needed it, I felt like things were done unnecessarily and I had things pointed out that potentially might need to be "replaced soon" that I knew were in great shape.  This was from the person who taught my class and probably the one I know the most.  Fast forward to having my cassette swapped over to the new wheels that I had bought, figuring out why the front wheel didn't set straight in the fork, replacing the front pads, and giving my road bike a general looking over and tune-up.  Granted, I already had the tires mounted, had purchased the pads previously, and that I had bought the wheels from the same shop, I was amazed at the bill when I went to pick up the bike.  This was a different shop and the one that I prefer to use the most.  I could have replaced the front pads but I didn't want to until the front wheel position was corrected.  Turns out there was some excess paint in one of the drop outs that the mechanic filed out.  He also replaced the chain.  All for $45.  I told him that, that didn't seem like enough.  He said, it was correct for the amount of time that he had spent on the bike.  My free tune up at the other shop had cost me $75.  While I do browse all of the shops from time to time I will primarily always stick to this one.  Why?  Because of the same treatment that you talk about.

 

On another note, raffi, I hope you read down far enough to see this...what trail did you ride a year or so ago that had all of the tunnels, or some tunnels, on it?  Wasn't it you or am I mistaken?

 

Anyway, everyone have a great day!  I am taking off a few hours early today to go ride with some friends and I hope to get in another randonneuring metric before the end of the month.

 

Take care!

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On another note, raffi, I hope you read down far enough to see this...what trail did you ride a year or so ago that had all of the tunnels, or some tunnels, on it?  Wasn't it you or am I mistaken?

 

The long trail I did that included some nice tunnels was the John Wayne Trail. The west side (from the Columbia river to the Seattle area) had the tunnels and was a well enough maintained trail for pleasure riding.

 

The Hiawatha trail is a 15 mile trail with lots of tunnels and some stunning views. I've done that one a few times.

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I promise to send pictures when I pick it up.  It was on the stand in the shop yesterday being prepped.

 

I like this shop because I get the same feeling from them that I try to give towards my customers as a contractor.  You are going to pay for my services because I have to eat.  I, in turn, will give you the best quality work I know how to do at a fair price.

Edited by meyery2k

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Hi folks,

 

Just a quick note - Rick, you mentioned water bottles - there was a story up on road.cc earlier this week regarding new stuff at a London (?) bike show (sorry, couldn't find the story today to link it). One of the items was a new bottle from Elite that's shorter than normal , for use on smaller framed bikes - or bikes with limited access due to frame bags and the like.

 

Might be worth looking into ?

 

Stay safe out there!

 

JT

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Picked up the bike and rode it home.  All set up to take a short 10-15 mile ride and whammo! my girlfriend calls and wants to talk :(

 

Trying to get her off the phone lol...

 

Rides good!

 

post-58728-0-35320900-1487903958_thumb.jpg

 

 

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Good morning all!

 

I noticed that Ronin hasn't posted on the 2017 forum.  Hope everything is well with him and his wife.

 

JT, I will check it out.  The titanium FB page popped back up on my FB again.  I checked it out.  It's not worth passing on to you.  Sorry.

 

Mike, nice!  You're all set!  I noticed the clips.  Did you have your training?  I'm not going to say that you'll fall at some point but I think most everyone has.  For some of us, more than once!  :)  Usually the only thing that gets hurt is the pride.

 

I took off work yesterday to get in my 100k rando ride for this month.  Others are doing the route on Sat. but it's supposed to be a high in the mid 40s.  Yesterday was into the 70s. :)  The route is actually 124k but I rode to the start and then back home afterwards.  It was a good ride.  I didn't know where I was going past about mile 20.  So, I had to spend some time looking at the cue sheet and made a couple of wrong turns that only took me off track by less than a block or so each.  I ended up with a 95 mile ride.  Last night a presentation was given at one of the local breweries by some locals who had did the Tour Divide Race.  4 time finisher Hal Russell was also there.  He's somewhat of an icon of the TDR and a Missourian.  I don't care if I ever do anything like that but it did include bikepacking which is always interesting to me.

 

Everyone have a great day and a great weekend!

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rwallen - When I went to pick up the bike, they had it on a training stand.  They made spend at least half an hour clipping in and out.  I took an hour getting used to it  So far, so good...

 

On the road, I was remembering to clip out whenever I had to stop.  I even had an emergency stop and while slowing remember that my brain screamed at me to clip out so I think the training took.

 

I will say this - I love being clipped in.

 

My first ride and I already beat my original best pace.  I did 15 miles in 1:01 and change.  This was over relatively flat terrain.

 

I can now see why it can be said I have outgrown my department store bike.  It was a great bike and reintroduced me to cycling so I am thankful for that.  I can see where this new bike will give me plenty of opportunity to grow as a cyclist.

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meyery2k,

 

Enjoy the new ride! As you enjoy faster times and more comfortable rides, be careful not to get into a "must do my best time" game. You will no doubt do plenty of that, but if you focus on it, it will suck some of the joy out of riding. I've done a bit of that and I'm much happier now that I'm riding to enjoy and not to beat any particular time (thought I do still chase the miles :) ).

 

Things have been kind of rough around here both with weather and family issues. I'm just shy of 100 miles for the month, but I really did hope I'd get more by now. At least I'm still riding :)

 

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Hi all!

 

Good for you, Mike!!  Enjoy...and oh, enjoy! :)

 

raffi, funny I was going to mention mileage.  I guess you can say that I'm a bit of a mileage whore. :o  Is it ok to say that? :)  But, I think that mileage is my motivation and how I gauge my progress.  As with everything, there are those that ride fast, further, etc. and those who don't.  I don't compete with anyone but myself...and...I have learned not to take my mileage too serious.  Right now, I am ahead of all of my previous year inspite of a somewhat bad January but we know how fast all of that can change.  Look at last year, for me, and my crash.

 

What a difference a few days can make.  Although I knew it was coming, our high temps are barely going to make it out of the 40s today.  It's like 22 right now.  So, I will wait until later to get out.

 

Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

 

Rick

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I guess you can say that I'm a bit of a mileage whore. :o  Is it ok to say that?  :)  But, I think that mileage is my motivation and how I gauge my progress.

 

It's OK with me. ;) I do agree with you about it being motivating. The only think I've found more motivating than just building up miles is getting ready for a tour. The thought of getting on a tour and not having enough fitness for it to be fun keep me in the saddle when just racking up miles might not.

 

With temperatures in the mid 20s and a some ominous clouds rolling in, I managed to get a 20 mile ride in. As a result, I've met my minimums for the month. That's a good thing given the what the weather guessers are saying.

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Raffi - I took your advice to heart.  In fitness, we are supposed to take rest days.  I seem to have difficulty with this.  I physically rest but am mentally anxious and then go do something.  I understand resting gives the body a chance to repair and, when I run, the day after a rest day is markedly easier and I usually see some of my better pace times.

 

So today I decided to do my errands on my bike.  No logging of time, mileage, pace, nothing.  Just ride my bike from place to place and fill up my new pannier bags with groceries.

 

First stop was the shop to buy some cycling shorts, helmet, and fine tune the front derailleur since it was making a little chain noise, then groceries, and then back home.  Just rode like small kid time without caring about anything except getting from point to point safely.

 

This was a fulfilling day.  It just allows me to become that much more familiar with my new bike and, if anything, I appreciate it more seeing how versatile the setup is.

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Rick,

 

Have you heard anything about Ronin yet? His profile says "Last Active Dec 03 2016 09:42 AM", does anyone know him in the real world? Any contact info?

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Hi all,

 

Raffi - geez, I didn't realize it's been that long; I, too, have been concerned, and hope that all  is well..

 

Mike, glad you're getting everything sorted out, and liking the new bike.

 

Rick, thanks for poking into the titanium thing.

 

As for me: rest days are good, but I don't think rest weeks are! Finally out  for a short ~12 mile ride yesterday.  Weather was pretty nice - upper 40's, sun/clouds, and less than "character building" breeze.

 

Today? More rain. 

 

Stay safe out there!

 

JT

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Rick,

 

I did find a couple of email address and a phone number. I sent email and I have not heard back yet. If my sleuthing skills are any good, it does seem he has recent sent a couple of letters to the editor.

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Took my bike in yesterday for a quick adjustment for some chain noise.  Complained about my seat and Olivia kindly said I need to man up.  She said a better investment would be made into cycling short.  So far, she hasn't steered me wrong so I bought a pair.  

 

Today this half century year old dude did his first half century ride.  Explored some old back roads in an old sugar mill.  Bike performed flawlessly.  Rider is in decent shape too.

 

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Edited by meyery2k
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meyery2k,

 

Nice pics.

 

As to bike saddle, there is some truth to taking the time to getting used to one, but there is also some saddles that just won't work for you. Personally, I've done well on all of the saddles I've tried from Specialized, but the saddle I got on my trek had me back at the bike shop later that day having them swap it out for my spare Specialized saddle. The trek one was torture for me.

 

I rode for over a year in jeans on a saddle that worked. I got less than 10 miles in bike shorts on one that did not. Don't be afraid to swap try other ones if your current one is not working.

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I like the seat now that it is properly adjusted.  The tech at the bike shop had me ride around the parking lot and made some adjustments to the seat.  Without the shorts, it was better.

 

With the shorts, I did the 50 miles mostly no problem.  A little sore and numb towards the end but I believe that is more conditioning than a bad seat.

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