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Ronin

2012 Outdoor Bicycle Riding

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raffi

Lots of rain yesterday, so a ride was out and being still sore after my fall, I decided to stay off the exercise bike as well.

 

Today was nice and sunny and no rain. Got out for a short ride and I was real careful on that icy stretch so no mishaps. With the rain and warmer weather, the roads are becoming a consistent mush. Good for a hard workout, no so good if you are actually trying to get someplace.

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Ronin

Raffi, Gordon, et al.,

 

Raffi: Rest days are fine and useful.

 

Gordon: I wasn't out because I really needed a rest day despite the beautiful conditions -- my legs were toast and I would not have enjoyed the ride.

 

We got the tandem on the road again today (Sat 4 Feb) for a quick 22 mile juant. It felt great as usual although I do realize that we have a long way back to peak tandem fitness, but that happens every winter and as long as the weather holds we are more than a month ahead of schedule. Heck, we're already planning club rides.

 

Tomorrow we have concert tickets in the afternoon so there will be no riding tomorrow. However, the first part of next week looks pretty go so far.

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raffi

I got my third chainring added on today and road home from the bike shop. It was sunny and nice and warm, but the 10mph headwind was more than I was expecting. Add some soft roads and it took much longer than I expected to get home. However it was a great workout and a very nice ride.

 

The new chainring was everything I hoped it would be. I get all of the range I could want. I get much more pedaling in on my downhills.

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lorilei

yep..i've been riding as much as possible as well..sometimes because of stress and sometimes despite stress...couldn't imgine not feeling the wind in my hair. have yet to hook up the trainer because the weather has just been that cooperative..and on the off days i log a few miles on my sneaks instead. we need to organize a ride for a few of you nj and pa neighbors....lbi? also, likely to do the Princeton Tour de Cure...in June if anyone wants to meet up there..:)

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ant hill

Well try riding on the left side of the road!!!! :eek::eek: After all I am in Australia. :confused:;) and there's some bike paths here that can be better to travel and keep the cars on their path. The weather is great at this time of the year as I get to do some shopping and load the food beer and others on a bike panniers so you can feel the weight that shopping as on the bike as 21 gears with triple chain wheel would make the load if it wasn't there. :D As when I was younger I had used a bike to travel to and through and put up with rain and when it's realy cold like 30F I have to watch for black ice and the surprise would make shure that you are awake!!! and at that time it's 10Km to work and I take 6 trips a week so 20Km a day times 6 is 120Km or 75M a week. As I am much older today I can still ride a bike as it's much faster than walking. :D

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raffi

Another warm and beautiful day. I got a 16 mile ride in on a route that was a little less wet then some of my normal routes. Even a bit tired from yesterday, it went pretty well.

 

My driveway has gone from snow/ice covered to patchy ice and lots of mud. With a 20% grade, it is an amazing workout getting to the top.

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rwallen

Hi all!!

 

Sandra, I think you're lucky living in San Fran. I like the climate there.

 

There have been a couple of nice days here but I didn't take advantage of them. :( So far this year I have ridden about 500 miles but only 70-80 outside. :(

 

Stay safe out there!!

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ORjt

We've had a nice foreshadowing of spring (PDX area). I was fortunate enough to be able to take off a couple hours from work on Friday, so I've been able to get out for back-to-back-to-back rides - 16 on Friday, 32 on Saturday, and another 15 on Sunday.

 

Beautiful blue sky, temp on the bike in the high 50's. A bit of wind - I think the weather said ~15mph, so not horrible, but enough to know it was there. The sun felt great - and I finally didn't feel like a rolling polar bear! On the Saturday ride, I saw probably another 20 cyclists out - that's an unusually large number for the area I was riding - I'd say I typically see 6-12. Nice to see so many people out enjoying the good weather.

 

Ant Hill - I like your LoLCat.

 

Lori - good luck with your Tour de Cure. I'm riding in ours, end of July.

 

Everyone else - take care, and keep us posted. I like reading about what everyone's doing on the bike ...

 

Stay safe out there!

 

--JT

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Ronin

Hi Everyone!

 

Today was a challenge. While the temperatures were in the low 50's there's a stiff SW Wind blowing somewhere between 15 and 20 mph (per the NOAA listing for our local airport). This is what we call "Charachter Building." We finished our 22 mile loop with an average just below 15mph so that isn't shabby (and we had some tailwinds on the outbound sections).

 

So far this has been a great winter as I only have 26 stages of the TdG logged since December and that is low for this time of year.

 

Oh yes, yesterday's concert was well worth the day off riding. The Hausmann Quartet played and they were awesome! Even introduced an extreemly modern work that was interesting. So, we had a nice day off the bike.

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Ronin

Hi Everyone:

 

Today (Tuesday 7 Feb) was really tough -- it was about five degrees colder and the winds about 5 mph faster. By our second alternate route point along the 22 mile loop I decided to go for the shorter 16 mile option. I'm glad I did as both Linda and I were really having a tough time pedaling against the wind. We did get a few brief respite periods when we got windbreaks and brief tailwinds, but generally it was a slog. This was a tough day. Some days are like that.

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raffi

With the warmer weather, I've been able to get out quite a bit. With the mud, I've been riding the older bike a bit as well. The result is, I have had an opportunity to really compare the bikes. Now that I've added the 3rd front chainring, the new bike has an amazing gear range. The lowest gear is a bit lower on than the old bike and the highest is considerably higher. The more I ride the new bike, the happier I am that I went ahead and purchased it.

 

Now I'm just impatiently waiting for the ice to go away so I can start commuting. :D

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Ronin

Raffi, et al.,

 

Winter is always a problem for cyclists. Your area sounds like you have a lot of gravel roads and that can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that you don't get "black-ice" and the curse of mud when it starts to thaw. Also, you have a drive with a 20% grade?!?! That has to be difficult to climb, or you have great legs (perhaps both).

 

I layered up today (it was below 40 -- actually 36-degrees-F) and I usually go for TdG at these temps. However the roads are clear and dry with snow in the forecast for tonight which can mean nasty roads for the days ahead. I'm glad I got out and with the extra layers, over-gloves, balaclava, and full booties I was comfortable. Actually I do need some croakies for my glasses as the balaclava pushes the glasses forward and they don't sit right. I fashioned three rubber-bands into a makeshift system but the proper tool would be better (although the rubber bands are cheaper and they do work...)

 

How is everyone else doing with their road miles this winter? Or the summer for you down-under folks.

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raffi
Also, you have a drive with a 20% grade?!?! That has to be difficult to climb, or you have great legs (perhaps both).

 

Yep. The end of the driveway is 20%. So is one of the hills on my normal short ride unless I do it backward and then a different hill has a 23% grade! When I do the commute, I will hit a 20% grade both ways not including the driveway. Those hills certainly build character as well as muscle.

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ORjt

Raffi,

 

Know what you mean about comparing new bikes -- the first time I went back to the old bike this fall, it was a huge eye-opener. It's a lot less jarring now to switch - I'll (more or less) willingly grab the older bike when the roads are crudded up from rain, etc ...

 

Ronin,

 

I'm actually doing pretty well mileage wise, all things considered. I got 78 road miles in Jan (and another almost 100 on the 'torture machine') - despite a weeklong layoff with cold/flu. I'm up to 63 (on the road, I'd have to check my log for "torture machine miles" ) so far this month.

 

The four months between Nov and Feb are really tough for me; without DST it's virtually impossible to get in a mid-week outdoor ride, so I have to get lucky with weekend weather. In Oregon, that's a losing propostion. Sometimes, the stars do line up though.

 

All-in-all - I'm doing tons better this winter than last. Mr pancreas is generally pretty happy. I've been regularly getting in sessions on the exercise bike ('torture machine'), and enough weekend rides to keep my sanity. Should get labs done tomorrow, schedule willing.

 

About 3 more weeks, and we start our weekly Tour de Cure weekend "training" rides; it'll be nice to get out in a group setting again

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Ronin

Raffi, JT, et al.,

 

Raffi: Wow you have some really tough climbs, and I don't envy you at all. Most of the climbs we have around here are in the five to ten-percent range. There is one really nasty 24% grade a few counties over and one of our tandem club members regularly do the "Hillier-than-Thou" which includes that climb - they pass single riders who are walking their bikes!

 

JT: I well know the miseries of winter and each of us has our own torture session. While I can manage an hour on the rollers when I cannot ride outdoors I will say that it becomes torture when my local PBS-Classical Station is having their Pledge Breaks - I love pedaling to classical music (I'm an ameture violinist) but pledge breaks make me want to scream! They are the only classical station in the area and my garage CD player died last winter.

 

We have more snow forecast for tomorrow so we did another 22 on the tandem. It felt good and our legs are getting in great shape quite early this season. I hope all we get is a "dusting" but NOAA says more.

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Ronin

Everyone:

 

We lucked out and the snow, such as it was, didn't amount to anything and what little that did stick was gone by noon. Overcast skies but no wind so, despite the below 40 temperatures (which kept Linda indoors) I did another 22 mile loop. There were five other cyclists out there of whom two were local professionals doing some hill training (there is a really nasty 18-20% grade that they put into a loop).

 

Tomorrow we have concert tickets (Chamber Music) so no riding tomorrow. How is everyone else doing this weekend? I know for many of you weekends are the only time you get to ride outdoors. Hope everyone is well.

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Gordonm

No road miles this past week as I was in Key West for the week. I did run a few miles just to keep in somewhat shape, but I fly home today to find a dusting of snow and 28 degrees. Whats this stuff? It looks like the week will warm up some so I will be getting back out there soon. Hopefully after a slack week of no riding I will still be OK.

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Ronin

Gordon, et al.,

 

A week in Key West - that doesn't sound all that bad. Too bad you didn't have/couldn't borrow a bike. Yeah, it's been cold here in NJ and we've had some snow. I'm sure you're happy to be back. You will recover your fitness, it doesn't go away that fast.

 

I got out on the single today (Monday 13 Feb) but it was a charachter builder with sustained West winds of 16+ along with some nasty gusts. The sections of the ride where I had a tail wind were great, but those were few mostly it was cross and head winds. Oh well, it beats the garage.

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Sandra94103

Argh... broke my bike. I was in a bike accident a few years back. Had to get my frame replaced. It's never ridden the same since. Taken it in a few times but apparently the shop boys never took my rear wheel apart. I have a bent axel that needs to be replaced. They'll have to special order the part. They say the bike is rideable <---whatever that means! Not sure that I can ride it without messing up the bearings or other parts. Harrumph.... will have to come up with an alternative mode of exercising. Guess I'll be walking a lot more!

 

Anyone ever had a bent axel? Is it safe to ride your bike that way?

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raffi

The ice is almost all gone! While the roads are still very soft, at least they are a bit less dangerous. I'm still only getting short rides in. I wanted to do a longer ride this weekend, but wimped out and decided I did not want to ride in the rain.

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Ronin

Sandra, et al.,

 

I don't know what kind of bike you have but I'm with Floyd -- a good bike shop should have a wheel that will fit your bike hanging in the shop. Of course if you have a very old bike that is a different story. As to bending axles -- yeah it happens. However, the force of the skewer/bolts should keep the wheel in the dropouts and the wheel will not fall off while riding. If the bike handles strangely -- chances are you have a bent frame and that is a whole different animal. If you have the cash, it may be time to upgrade the bicycle.

 

We got in a surprise Valentine's Day Ride. The forecast lousy weather went to the south of us so we got the chance to get the tandem on the road. It was fun. Now we'll see if our weather luck holds for another day.

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ORjt

Sandra, et al:

 

As others have said, without more details about the wheel/bike, a lot of this is speculation; I agree it's unlikely you'd lose the wheel while riding, but like you, I'd be concerned about causing internal damage if the axle is bent. Let us know what you find out/decide to do ...

 

Had an unexpected break in my plans for Saturday, so was able to get out for ~12 miles; and on Sunday the weather held - it didn't start raining till about 5pm. Got in another nice 26 miles. It was coolish (Garmin said 50F on the bike - it didn't feel even that warm) - and a bit clammy with lots of moisture in the air. At any rate, it didn't rain, and I got to ride, so I was one happy camper.

 

Stay safe out there!

 

-JT

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Gordonm

This afternoon was great. Said it was about 50 so I could not pass it up. Got in a quick 23 miles. Tomorrow looks good also. I love this type of winter weather.

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