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Ronin

2016 Bicycling - A New Hope

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Hope everyone had a great (Father's day) weekend.  Totally swamped with work on Saturday; Sunday was gorgeous (breezy, but not anywhere near 'character building') - got out for a really nice 28 mile 'cruise' ...

 

Stay safe out there!

 

-JT

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raffi

It's amazing what a little motivation can do. This year, I've had a very hard time bring my effort up to where I think it should be. My commutes, instead of taking less than 90 minutes, have been more like an hour and 40 minutes on a good day.

 

Last week, my friend and I decided on a bike trip for later this summer. It will be challenging enough that I need to whip myself into shape before the trip. This morning's commute was back into the time frame it should be. On top of that, I don't feel as beat up as I have on most of the other commutes. Hopefully, that is how it will go from here on out.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Raffi - sounds like you're on the right track.  Any details for your trip you'd like to share?

 

Saturday, for me, was chore day, including mowing the yard.  Sunday, got out for a really nice 35 mile ride. That's about the the longest un-supported ride that I like to do.  Nice day, little breeze, quite warm - upper 80's.  Did find that at the park at my turn-around point, the water fountain's been shut off. Reminder to self - be sure and take a few bucks on long rides. (Convenience store, fruit stand, ice-cream truck :) .... )  There are (surprisingly) few other water sources... as it's all quite rural.

 

Oh, and a commute this morning. Looks like I'll break 200 miles for the month, or around 800 on the year. Not great, not bad ....

 

Stay safe out there!

 

-JT

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raffi

Raffi - sounds like you're on the right track.  Any details for your trip you'd like to share?

 

We're planning Moscow, Id to Weiser, Id. Fat bikes and 4 days of Riding and using the Weiser trail. That's the excuse for fat bikes (though the trail does not really need them). We're also planning to make use of hotels instead of camping. I'm old enough now that it sounds good just on the face of it, but we can keep the weight WAY down if we don't camp. Our bikes and equipment was over 100lbs when we did the John Wayne.

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

Last week was "interesting" for Team Wells. It all started with some funky shifting of the rear derailleur. I recognized the hesitations from before and knew the cable was fraying in the brifter (a.k.a., integrated shifter). I've change that cable many times, so not a problem. Then I opened up the brifter to get the cable out.   Really frayed but I got it out just fine. Then, as I always do lubed the works and pushed the levers. That is when the shifting mechanism literally fell apart. Fortunately, I had to get a new set of Brifters many years ago to replace the left (front derailleur) that was damaged by local public works vehicle (that's a whole different story). Since the brifters only come in sets, I have a spare right brifter in my parts box!  So, I remove the old brifter (on 34700 miles on it - what happened to reliability of parts?).  I get the new brifter in place and get ready to put in new cables. There is a cover for the shift/brake mechanisms that is held down by a small set-screw.  I go to remove the screw and the slot strips out. Fortunately I've got a Dremel tool that has a small cutting blade and I make a new slot and get the screw out. Then thread the cables and begin to setup both the rear brakes (quite easy) and then the rear derailleur.  Fussy the shifting is less than perfect but we ride on the tandem the next day.  Minor adjustments along the way but the shifting just isn't crisp. Back in the garage more fussing with the barrel-adjuster and I finally get it dialed in.  Finally this problem solved.

 

Next problem: Every ride I'm feeling discomfort in the muscles around my pelvis. The first day back with the working drive train and I realize that, since last October, I've been doing more spinning on rollers than riding on the road.  Using the big muscles on rollers is a guarantee that you will be on the deck fast.  Then my brain wakes up -- You aren't using the quads, gleuts or calves IDIOT! So, I consciously engage the big muscles and the pelvic muscles start to settle down. I got awakened with some really good cramps that night as a reward.  The upshot is that I'm approaching what is "normal" at least normal with osteoarthritis of the hip joints.

 

Like I said it's been a weird week.  I have learned that winter training must include resistance, not just rollers.  I've also learned that I need to replace the shift cable every 1500 miles to avoid a badly frayed cable and that someday I'm going to have to either return to bar-end sifters or go 10-speed.

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raffi

It was another "fun Friday" commute. The longer route in the morning and a longer route up and over Moscow Mountain in the evening. The ride home is still not as fast as I would like, but seeing as I'm also working through some shorts issues, it was not too bad.

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

Still making changes as our fitness improves and all the symptoms from the FDGB last October go away - leaving behind the osteoarthritis of the hips, of course.  We're doing the 25 mile loop again and it is going fine.  I tried one experiment on the Independence Day ride - I tried to stand and pedal. BIG MISTAKE! Half a pedal stroke and I had fireworks going off in all my hip flexors - I haven't had pain like that in quite some time.  Not going to do that again any time soon. However, it is good to know that standing is not an option - at least for now. Had I needed to stand that would have been a real problem.

 

Raffi: I know that cycling shorts are probably the most personal issue for any bicycle rider. I used to get saddle sores every summer. Then I started wearing Under Armour compression underwear (very tight) along with the Bag-Balm and no more saddle sores. I got the idea because the traditional remedy for saddle sores is to wear two pair of shorts and the UA compression are very thin by comparison and work well.  I also wear bibs as opposed to just shorts - they don't slide down.

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raffi

Ronin, Thanks for the suggestion. Turns out, two of my shorts should have been retired a while back. I did not notice until I did some damage. However, if a bit of A&D and time don't do the trick, I will certainly be looking more closely at your suggestion.

 

July got off to a good start, but no ride today. I had thought about riding, but did some upper body work instead (chainsawing up a tree). I was not much in the mood for a ride after that. I should really do more upper body work so it does not take me out so easily.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Raffi - your ride sounds like fun. We lived outside of Moscow (near Troy) for a few months in ~1970. And chain-sawing is indeed quite an upper body workout (especially for those of us with the upper body of cyclists)

 

Ronin: ouch.  Haven't had the hip flexor issues, but when the arthritis in my left knee flared up earlier this year, I couldn't get out-of-saddle either - felt like my knee was going to buckle, and I'd go nose-first over the bars.  Not a fun feeling.  (I don't do much OOS riding anyway - but there are times it's fun to pop up and over a little roller ...)

 

And as to shorts - yeah, very personal. I've been lucky to not get saddle sores; but fully agree on the bib thing.  I've got probably a dozen or so pair (why are they a 'pair' of shorts? There's only one of them at a time that I can wear ... <other than the situation Ronin points out>) - some bibs, some not.  Varying degrees of comfort.

 

I had a long 4th weekend (Friday through Tuesday) - ~35 miles on Saturday, and another 20+ on Tuesday. Not quite as much as I wanted, but still, nice rides.  And a commute this week.   We're now back to rain (!) for the weekend.

 

Stay safe out there!

 

--JT

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raffi

150 miles of commuting this week. Today's fun Friday ride was a lot harder being the 4th commuting day. I'm worn out.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Last Saturday out for 39.2 miles - I think this was the longest solo ride that I've done (in "modern" times ... ) - really nice day for it, mostly cloudy, not much breeze, mid-70's temps.  I'm prepping for an Imperial Century on the 30th, so trying to get in a few 'longish' rides before then.  I'm at a bit over 1k for the year.

 

Raffi - good job on the commutes. Try as I might, I've only managed 1 commute in a week this year - it's been a conspiracy of work, weather, and other schedule kerfuffles (ie, the PT I was going through for my knee really restricted the number of available days in any week for about 10 weeks ...)

 

Stay safe out there!

 

--JT

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rwallen

Hi all,

 

I have started to post a few times, and then deleted them.  I thought I posted once or twice but then they didn't show up.  I didn't have much to say, just checking in.

 

One such post included details about a 3 day ride last weekend.  I tried to attach a photo.  I believe I got the unsafe site when I tried.  I tried just now and got an error but it could have been an operator error on my part.

 

Last weekend's ride was more or less a solo one.  I met up with 4 others at one of the nearby lake's state park.  We started off riding back to Springfield together but we decided to each ride at our own pace.  So, apart from hanging out together on Sat. night at the campground, it was pretty much a solo ride for me.  I had spent Friday evening at Golden City.  It is on the TransAm route and is known for Cooky's Cafe, which is known for its pies.  For the 3 days I had 160 miles.  It was a decent time and some good alone time.

 

I ended up buying a bike.  I'm still trying to decide whether it was a good decision or not.  I bought a Giant OCR2.  Other than changing out the pedals and a few adjustments, it was ready to ride.  I kinda like it but I am chomping at the bit to make it the way I want it and I don't have the money to.  The one thing I LOVE is that it has areobars.  I have always thought that I would like them and I was right.  Hopefully, I can get out Sunday and put some decent miles on it.  I have only ridden it twice and did a little over 20 miles each time. 

 

Oh, and I had to edit this to say...  :)  I am still chasing miles.  I am doing pretty good but at this time in 2013 I was doing RAGBRAI.  On this particular day is when I did the Karras Loop for a little over 109 miles.  So, during this week the gap will widen again between 2013's and this year's mileage.  Oh well!

 

Take care all!

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

It's been a busy week. Still getting the rides in and generally managing with the osteoarthritic hips (I'm making the point that it isn't rheumatoid). Just not the same as before and I've been thinking this week about life-changing events. We all have them and manage afterward but that FDGB last October really changed my life - injuring an arthritic joint has serious consequences.

 

Linda convinced me to record the Tour de France and we've been fast-forwarding to the last 50kM (30 miles) to get a sense of the race.  Yesterday's race had a lot of crashes as it stated to rain on a downhill side of a mountain. I winced every time I saw those young men hit the deck and a few exited the race in an ambulance.

 

JT: Be careful with that knee.

 

Raffi: Take a look at the Under Armour compression shorts (Really tight is essential) it has made all the difference for me as I used to get saddle sores every summer. Be sure that you tell whoever you want the really tight no-fly version as the others are simply too loose.

 

Rick: I looked up the Giant OCR2 - fancy bike and with areo-bars no less. Enjoy!

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Rick: congrats on the new bike!

Ronin: I know what you mean about seeing the crashes.  And as to the knee - when it speaks, I listen (and like you, I'm glad it is osteo and not rheumatoid arthritis.

 

Got out for 2, 21 mile rides this weekend (same route, both days). Tons of folks out riding, weather was near perfect.  I think I'll get in one commute this week.

 

It's funny how the weather forecasts change - I've been keeping a close eye on the 30th (my century ride) - 10 days out, the forecast was for 96-97, with the preceding 3 or 4 days at 90 or above.  Right now the trend is for 2 days at 91/92, with the 30th at 84 or 85.

 

I do have a fall back plan - depending on how my knee feels, and what the final forecast is, I'll either go for the full Monty, or turn back early and just make it 65 miles (the route's really good -- most of the rest stops are at key locations to decide to either go on, or to go back (we have 100, 65, 43 and ~25 mile routes).

 

Stay safe out there!!

 

-JT

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raffi

Anyone else having bug issues on rides? Last night's commute home felt like I had signed up for a dinner cruise. There are a LOT of ladybugs out and about in the warmer temperatures and quite a few of them seemed to think it was a great idea to fly down my throat as I was panting my way up hill. If I hadn't spit them out, I could have skipped dinner. Yeesh! At least wearing sun glasses, I was not blinded by them as well, though plenty did bounce off the lenses.

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raffi

Only a week until my bike trip! I think the 4 commutes a week getting ready have paid off. I felt pretty good today on my fun Friday ride.

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rwallen

Hi all! 

 

Haven't posted in a while!  Hope everyone is doing well!

 

Ronin, thanks for the comment about the Giant.  It's an old, used, bike but I kinda like it.  It needs a few things but I have been riding it.  I re-wrapped the handle bars last weekend, in yellow no less.  I know, and they already have, that they will show dirt bad but that was my first attempt at wrapping.  I'm sure that I will do the handlebars again in the somewhat near future.

 

I am kinda still chasing miles but I have backed off on the need to beat last year and 2013.  My mom has had some heart issues and had a stent put in yesterday.  So, there have been a few days of no riding.  I will say that I really enjoy the aerobars on the Giant.  In fact, I may put them on my Specialized that I have set up for touring. 

 

I bought the Giant to try to do some endurance type of riding, or to see if I might want to.  I hope to get out for a Century this weekend but I don't know if that will happen, if I will feel up to it, or etc.  I am looking for a seat bag for light bikepacking, probably a Revelate or an Apidura.  If any of you have experience with these bags, I would appreciate your imput.

 

That's about all I've got.  BTW, I'm still getting an unsafe site warning when I come to this page.

 

Take care and be safe!!

 

Rick

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Ronin

Hi Everyone,

 

Team Wells has been busy lately hence no posts as Linda has been dominating the computer with her project. 

 

I finally got the right stem for the tandem (who knew that bar diameters changed in the past 10 years).  25 mm shorter and 28 mm higher and oh what a difference it makes. My pelvis is at a much better angle when on the hoods and I can sit almost upright when on the top of the bars. The combination makes riding a lot easier. Less stress on the hips and low back. Geezers really cant be as stretched as the young guys.

 

NJ is currently in a heat wave and riding is ok but I have to be careful to hydrate sufficiently. I got a really nasty attack of cramps because I didn't drink enough post-ride today. I should know better but,...

 

Raffi: So far this season bugs haven't been a problem although I do know about the value of glasses while riding and having the bugs bounce off them.  Of course, I only wear glasses to see so I always have them on and all my glasses are prescription and when the prescription changes it gets really expensive with every-day, riding, computer and music glasses to be replaced.

 

Have a great weekend everyone.

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rwallen

Hi all!   Hope everyone had a good weekend.   I planned a ride for Sat. morning to Golden City, 68 miles away.  I entertained the thought of doing a round trip ride.  Out and back is a randonneuring 200k route.  I opted to have Patti meet me for lunch and give me a ride back to Spfd.  I think I could have done the miles and I may attempt it on Thursday.  The route put me on parts of the TransAm and Route 66 routes.  Below is a picture from the ride.   The weather was great both days, overcast and cool, another reason why I should have done the 200k.  Saturday, I only got in 25 miles but I had a great ride none-the-less.   Hope everyone has a great week!

post-35267-0-27914800-1471272730_thumb.jpg

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Just checking in - back from vacation (and some time off grid).  Did an 8 day circumnavigation of the state of Washington (by car) - visited friends in Colville (NE of the state), then another 4 days in Seattle. No biking, but a much needed rest.

 

Ronin - glad you got your positioning sorted out.

Raffi- how did your trip go? (and the bugs here abouts have been nothing unusual. I do wear cycling glasses every time I ride (they are not RX, though I'd probably benefit from that, as I wear glasses otherwise pretty much full time).

Rick - hope your Mom's doing well.  And yes, I'm still seeing the security warning. (Or rather, seeing it again - it went away for a while ... dunno what's up with that ... )

 

For me? - completed my Imperial Century (103.11 miles) on July 30th - the stars aligned, the weather was no more than seasonal (high in the upper 80's, light wind except for one 5 mile-ish "character builder' stretch near the end). And my knee behaved. Good stuff.

 

Saturday, got out for an early 20 mile spin to get loosened up after all the driving, and being otherwise relatively inactive, then a near metric Century on Sunday. 60 miles in the mid Willamette valley, taking in 4 covered bridges. Very scenic, and again, mostly good weather.

 

Stay safe out there!

 

JT

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raffi

Moscow to Weiser, 4 back to back metric centuries (at least and on fatbikes) and a lot more climbing than I expected. The bikes worked great and, while probably not the right bike for the beginning of the trip, were very good for the Weiser trail. The trail is quite inconsistent in quality and there were a few times the fatbike was just what was needed.

 

The temperatures were hotter than the forecast called for, but we have a good sense of how to keep properly hydrated and to find shade when we get hot. Day 4 was the hottest and by the end of (what should have been the easy day) we were moving pretty slow and having trouble drinking enough since the water was actually getting hot. We were joking about making tea. At the point where I was going over the symptoms of heat exhaustion in my mind and what to do about it, we came across a stop on the trail named Presley and while it did not have the hydrants we had seen in the small towns along the way, we did find a hand pump and managed to get all the cool (and eventually clear) water we could want. After a few bottles over the head and a backpack refilled with cool water, the end of the ride went just fine.

 

post-25051-0-31250100-1471482974_thumb.jpg

 

As you can see, not much shade and with temps in the triple digits, even a nice gentile downhill can take its tolls.

 

post-25051-0-06928700-1471483156_thumb.jpg

 

This little slice of paradise was Rubens Idaho city park. The broken drinking fountain trickles out enough water for the local birds and a working faucet meant plenty of clean cool water for us.

post-25051-0-31250100-1471482974_thumb.jpg

post-25051-0-06928700-1471483156_thumb.jpg

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rwallen

Hi all!

 

JT, congrats on the century!  Most importantly, I'm glad your knee did ok.

 

raffi, thanks for sharing your photos!  I really need to try a fat bike sometime.

 

I took off work yesterday and the day before.  On Thursday, I ended up going back out to Golden City and rode back this time.  I ended up with 134 miles for the day.  The new bike did fine.  My butt did fine.  However, I got a little hot and dehydrated.  I stopped at one of our LBSs and cooled off a bit and refilled my water bottles.  Even though I was back in Spfd. I still had about 10 miles to ride.  So, I was glad I stopped.  All in all, it was a great ride! I think I had about 9 1/2 hours in the saddle.

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raffi

Rick, 134 miles is a long way! Even flat and smooth it can take a toll, I'm assuming your ride was not flat and smooth. 9 1/2 hour in the saddle is a lot of time. Good job.

 

I decided to round out the week with a 5th fatbike metric century. I rode from my house to the top of Steptoe butte (66 miles round trip). I was making reasonably good time until the winds picked up. I had a stiff steady east wind on my way back. Yes, I live just about due east of the butte. Still, it was a nice day for the ride and by starting early, I was home by noon.

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rwallen

Hi all!

 

Forgive me! This is going to be a whining post.

 

I have caught up with last year's miles, or at least I had, but 2013 is still eluding me by about 300 miles. I have been trying to ride further on the weekends. Got in 57 on Sat. and 40 on Sun. I have a back to back century planned, or at least I did.

 

Monday afternoon, while doing my normal, week day, 21ish mile, ride I had a wreck. A 10-12 year old turned right in front of me while I was passing through one of the larger parks in Springfield. I was told that I missed him although I don't know how. Anyway, I went down. I have some bruises, scrapes, and a separated AC. I don't know how bad it is because I haven't seen an Ortho doctor yet. So, I guess I can be a member of the "club" now, right? The bike, the "new" one, only appears to have a few scratches but of course I can't ride her to assess further damage and I really can't fiddle with her yet...one handed. The bummer is, I had a new seat bag waiting for me when I got home that day. I don't think I'll be using it or the bike for a while. :(

 

Hopefully, this won't keep me off of the bike long or cause any long term problems,

 

Hopefully thingvgs are going better for you all!

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