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raffi

2017 Bicycling - Neither snow nor rain nor...

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rwallen

JT,

 

The ride is around 580 miles.  I hope to do it in 6 days, which is not quite a hundred a day.  Originally, I planned for 5 days and even then I was hoping for around 125-150 miles a day.  I was feeling strong, fast, and light before my wreck.  I was also hoping to get several 100 mile back to back training rides in but...   Right now, my comfort level is about 80 miles.  Depending on the hills and wind, after that, it starts to not be as much fun.  It looks as though I'll only have one day with a tailwind and the rest will be crosswinds.  I am not touring.  My goal is to ride back to Springfield as quickly as possible, comfortably.  Still, I'll take time to snap a few photos and to comment on a few things.  It might be better for me to create a Facebook page and post the link here.  I don't know.  I haven't tried to post pictures via my phone to this site.  I'll attempt to do something.  I appreciate your interest.

 

Rick

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rwallen

Good morning all!

 

Sorry for an additional post.  I couldn't seem to edit the one above.  By comfort level I didn't mean saddle-wise. I think I can set in the saddle for quite some time.  Never tested it but even on my 200k ride, it wasn't my butt that hurt.  Usually, what starts hurting are the knees and legs (at what point is dependent on the hills and wind). I thought about starting to take some Glucosamine which it may be too late to start for this adventure.  Another thing I don't do very well is hydrate.  However, I have discovered that if I do drink even when I don't think I need to things go a lot better.  Another factor is my shoulder.  It feels pretty good when I'm in my aerobars but will start to ache when I am riding in any other position.  So, I'll just have to see.

 

Rick

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ORjt

Rick,

 

Thanks for the info, and good luck!

 

Remember the old saying - eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty. I don't know if you add any electrolytes to your water - there are some flavors of NUUN that I like pretty well (and it's carb free).  On hot/long days, I'll carry one bottle with plain water, and one with the NUUN. I found long ago that along with drinking, I'll take an occasional swig, swish, and spit - it helps keep my mouth from drying out too much, without feeling water-logged from drinking too much.

 

Stay safe on your ride!

 

JT

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

What, nobody's riding?

 

Hopefully Rick is out on the road and doing well.

 

Me: out for a quick 15 mile spin on Saturday, followed by mowing the lawn (oh, joy!). Sunday - first "almost nearly but not quite" metric century of the season (60.4 miles, so ~97km?).  Relatively flat route, and little breeze. About 17 minutes slower than the last time I did this ride (4 years ago), but given the general lack of riding this year, that didn't surprise me. The thing that *did* surprise me? - New 40km personal best time (1h35m, so I'm no speed demon). I've been having issues getting the GPS data to upload, so I'm not sure whereabouts this happened. There were two different fairly long stretches where I caught on the back of a group of other riders ... (this was a fully supported 'event' - there were hundreds of riders).

 

And, last but not least, today was my first bike commute of the season. I'm about 3-4 weeks late getting started - stupid weather ... (we've tied, but won't break, record for longest stretch between 70-degree days.  206, going back to 1937 ... it's supposed to hit 81 today ... then rain tomorrow .... arrgh).

 

Stay safe out there!

JT

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meyery2k

JT - I have been doing my training rides.  20-30 miles at a stretch.  I had a longer ride planned last weekend but the weather didn't cooperate.  This weekend is shaping up much better though.

 

All the small rides add up though.  I racked up 350 miles in April which is a new best (300 in March was the previous best).

 

I have 55 miles so far this month.  Truth is that I don't like to run when it is hot.  I can do it, I just don't enjoy it.  The bike is much better when the weather is hot (at least to me).

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raffi

It was 50 degrees this morning when I started my commute. The first commute in wearing shorts! Since there was not even a whisper of wind when I got up this morning, I took the longer route in that can be punishing when it is windy. Unfortunately, it really was windy once I got out onto the longer route, so I got a better workout that I was planning on.

 

It's supposed to be 80 this afternoon when I'm riding home. So far this spring, we've had trouble getting up into the high 50s, so 80 is going to be quite a shock.

 

meyery2k, Good job on the 350 miles. I wish I had managed even 300 in April, but hopefully, with the better weather, I'll start getting in the kind of riding I want.

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rwallen

I would like to go on a rant about how I just typed a very detailed account of my trip and just lost it due to this site but I won't.  I'll just type it again. J  I know I don't pay for the privilege of using this site.  So, I can't complain too much.  Here I go.


 


Hi all!


 


I'm glad that everyone has been able to get out and ride.  Yes, JT, I was out doing my ride.  I'm sorry that I didn't take the time to post during the ride.  I even created a FB page for the event but I didn't use it.  I'm not much on posting or taking many pictures when I'm doing a multi-day ride.  I did post a few times on my personal FB page, though.


The ride was uneventful but the trip to the CO border, and the start of the ride, didn't go as planned.  A major snowstorm happened at the KS/CO border and closed several of the highways in the area, including the one I planned to ride on and the one to our hotel.  So, I started my ride Monday morning in Ness City, KS about 117 miles east from where I had planned to start.  One of the photos below is of me at the start of my ride.  The temps were colder than what they were originally supposed to be.  So, I stayed in a cheap hotel on the first night.  The next night it was supposed to rain all night, and it did, about an inch I think.  Again, I stayed in a hotel.  The next morning I was able to get out somewhat early, after the rain had stop, but I had a pretty strong crosswind during the majority of my ride.  I also rode 111 miles that day.  So, I felt pretty beat up.  So, you guessed it, another cheap hotel room. 


The signage for the TransAm wasn’t all that great through KS but I did take a picture of the sign as I was entering Newton, KS.  I also took a photo of the Newton Bike Shop.  The NBS is iconic on the TransAm route.  The owners, James and Heather, not only service local cyclists but also provide great support to those travelling cross country, as well as, the racers who do the TramsAm Bike Race every year.  I took photos of the inside the bike shop in addition to some of the signed jerseys of some of the racers who stopped while passing through, including several of the winners.  There is also a wall for everyone who stops at the shop to sign but I felt as though it was reserved for those who are actually doing a cross country trek.  So, I didn’t sign it.  If anyone would like to see a few photos of the inside of the bike shop, I can post them.  The rest of the photos were things that I saw of interest along the way.  My last night I did sleep in my bivy.  The photo below shows my lodging for the night in an old abandoned gas station.


I had another cross wind on the last day (Friday) in addition to a detour around a road that was closed due to high water.  The detour added an additional 15 miles or so but it was the 7 miles into a headwind that about did me in.  I had decided to have my wife pick me up in Golden City.  I have ridden from Springfield to Golden City so many times that I didn’t feel the need to spend the night in the city park and ride the rest of the way the next day.  I had planned for the ride to be about 580 miles but with the different starting place and stopping prematurely, I ended up with 420.  The ride was a total of 5 days with the longest day being the 111 miles and the shortest 63 miles.


What I took away from this ride, I don’t think I will ever do any endurance racing. J  I had planned to do 100 plus mile days.  While my shoulder didn’t bother me, and I don’t think my extra weight was a factor, I don’t think I’m cut out for this type of riding.  I think I prefer my touring bike with all of the gear I need.   


Anyway, that’s about all I got.  I took a rest day yesterday and did a short leisurely 26 mile ride with my wife this morning.  She needs to get in some saddle time for our upcoming ride on the Katy.  It will be at the end of this month.  I have the next 2 days off but I think I’ll cut my vacation a day short and go in on Tuesday.  Tomorrow I might try to get in a little bit longer ride and give Bea a much needed bath and lube.


Until next time.


Rick

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meyery2k

Rick - What a fantastic adventure!

 

Today I set out to do 100 miles.  I made it to 75 which is a new personal best.  I now know I can ride 100 miles.

 

I was simply a puncture magnet today.  At 50 miles, I discovered the front tire was deflating.  Shot Fix-A-Flat, thought I was mighty clever, and continued on.  At 60 miles, I found the rear tire deflating so I pulled the tube and slapped a patch.  Continued on and the patch failed so off to the side of the road again.  Wheel off and carefully inspected the tire.  I found the hole but no sign of the actual material that caused the puncture.  I figured I would just change the tube this time so I installed the spare tube.  Continued in and at mile 75 found the rear wheel flat again.  Out of patches and out of tubes so I called it a day.  I was luck to find a taxi that would take us back home.

 

I am going to break the wheels down and carefully inspect them for debris, install new tubes, and shoot elephant snot into them.  Even though it looks like the Fix-A-Flat is holding, I just want to change the tube since it is simple enough.

 

While I was disappointed to not make 100, I am pleased with my ride today.  I saw all kinds of things, know I can handle roadside trouble, know I can ride 75+ miles, and when I make the next go at 100, I know I can do that too.  I felt really good at 75.  I had just finished a 7 mile hill climb and then walked 3 miles to meet the taxi.  I have the endurance to make 100.  Today was just bad luck and that comes with the territory I guess.

 

Any suggestions for a loadout for trouble?  I have wrenches, tire spoons, patches (those seemed useless though), Fix-a-flat (which did a nice repair) and a spare tube. I suspect I have not cleared the tire of whatever caused the original puncture BUT I also managed to nail a piece of tire tread so I may have indeed punctured the tire again.

 

I am thinking of shooting elephant snot into the new tubes.  I remember on our dirtbikes that stuff would save the day many the time.

 

I have showered, eaten, spent time with my cats, and I am tired so I will post picture tomorrow.  I went down to where the lava was entering the ocean.  Unfortunately, because of the wind, I could only see the steam plume.  Still an interesting site.

 

On the bright side, I did a century in kilometers :)

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raffi

meyery2k,

 

It is sounding like you have things well in hand both for the 100 miles and for the troubles that can be run into. As far as flats go, patches really do work, but they are a bit tricky. If memory serves correctly, you are riding a road bike and so you are running pretty high pressure in your tires. While that makes for great riding and good speeds, those small thin tires are very puncture prone and holding that kind of pressure takes a real good patch. I'm actually surprised any of the flat fixes are working well at those pressures.

 

Back when I was riding a road bike, the flats were the thing that could suck the joy out of riding. I found a product called a tire saver. A quick google search found this link https://janheine.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/preventing-flat-tires-one-year-of-tire-wipers/ . Using those things on my road bike made a huge difference. While I suspect they have their downside in increasing wear on tires and some resistance, it might be worth looking into.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Rick - thanks for the write up and photos. Very interesting!

 

Mike: 100 km is a 'metric century'. Welcome to the club! You're doing really well.  You didn't mention where the puncture(s) were, on the tube. One thing to watch for - if you're getting punctures on the under-side of the tube, check very carefully the alignment of the rim tape. Few years back, I got multiple back-to-back-to-back punctures on the rear (it was 3 or 4, within about 10 miles each ...).  Finally found the cause - the strip was ever-so-slightly off center, exposing the edge of one of the spoke holes ...

 

Flats for me, too.  On Saturday, drove up to Vancouver (WA) for a 35 mile 'event' (I'd normally do the 65 mile route, but had work/time commits for the afternoon).  Nearly back to the start, about 35mph down a nice descent. Front end started feeling 'squishy'. Very much *NOT* a good feeling. Slowed way down, way quick, and off to the side of the road to find the front tire having gone soft.  Like Mike, couldn't find the source, so I just slapped in a spare tube and got on back to my truck.  I'll do a bit more checking of the tube to see if I can locate the leak. I am *really* glad I didn't roll the tire. (This was on the Ti bike ... )

 

To top it off - driving home last night - the tire 'low pressure' light came on - I was only about a mile away, got home, opened the door, and HISSSSSSSS ....apparently picked up a big nail/bolt (I sure don't remember hitting anything). Off to the tire shop this morning - not sure if it's fixable, or if new tire(s) are in my near future ...

 

Hang in there, stay safe!

 

JT

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rwallen

Good morning all.

 

Just got back from a short ride.  It's back to work tomorrow. :(

 

Mike, tires make a difference.  I forgot what kind you have.  Also, on my touring bike I have tire liners.  It's a double safegaurd against flats.  I have what I believe to be good tires on that bike but different ones on the road bike I just finished my trip with.  They're both made by Continental.  However, I do not have tire liners along with the gatorskins on the road bike. Still, probably about 2K on those tires and no flats yet.  Also, tire pressure is important.  Going by feel is not the best way.  While my tires don't seem to lose pressure over quite a period of time, I still check them every few days and make sure that they are still inflated to where they need to be.  Just a habit of mine.  In  regard to patches, the stick-ons are a quick fix but not the best, in my experience anyway.  The good old fashioned tire kit with the scratchy thing and the adhesive seems to be the best.  I say that but I haven't looked to see if they still make it.  I still carry the stick-on patches and a spare tube.  :)  A tire boot is a good thing to have on hand as well as a spare shift/ cable, spoke, and maybe a master chain link.  Of course, you'll need the tools to go along with them.

 

I agree with raffi though, it sounds as though you're doing great!

 

JT, on the other hand, it doesn't sound like you're having much luck.  Sorry about your tire issues.  We went through that a couple of weeks ago on my wife's car and had to buy 2 new tires.

 

Take care!

 

Rick

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meyery2k

Thank you all for the kind words and advice.

 

I have Specialized puncture resistant tires.  When I brought them up to pressure I could locate where they were leaking.  I need to practice debris avoidment lol...  Glass in one case and the steel that reinforces radial tires in the other.

 

I am happy, though, since I am now comfortable removing and installing the wheels.  I was a bit hesitant with that at first.

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meyery2k

JT - Please understand this is tongue in cheek but your post reminded me that no matter how bad my day might be going, someone is likely having a rougher day.

 

I hope the tire is repairable.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Glad I could provide a little levity ... :D

 

Mike - those little pieces of "tire wire" can be a real bugger to get out.

 

As to my truck tire - I was pleasantly surprised to find the shop could repair it. No charge.

 

Oh, one final thought about tires -- I inflate mine every single time I go for a ride.  It's a really old habit - "back in the day" I used to run tubular (sew-up) tires with latex tubes. It was probably an old-wives-tale of the day, but I was taught to release some pressure at the end of the day, to supposedly avoid stretching the tire carcase.  With the latex tubes, they'd lose enough pressure anyway, overnight, to need pumping.  Today, the tires I'm running will only lose a pound or two overnight, so it doesn't take much to top off.   I guess at this point it's more ritual than anything ...

 

--JT

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meyery2k

JT - I pump mine every day since I once jumped on to ride away and discovered I had a flat.  That lesson was learned early and learned well lol...

 

It would also help me determine slow leaks too.

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raffi

No flats for me today, but not much riding either. :( Despite beautiful weather, life is insisting on getting in the way of riding. After spending all day on my backside (driving or waiting) I managed to get a quick 14 mile ride in. It really was quick too. Despite not really going all out, I was only 3 seconds off my fastest time for that route. Nothing like one of the first warm spring days to bring out the speed.

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raffi

The middle of may should not have morning temperatures in the low 30s. If I wait until it is "warm enough" to ride, I would be doing even less riding this year. Sheesh! On the plus side, this morning's commute was a bit faster than I have been doing it, so I guess my strength is slowing starting to return.

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ORjt

post-37232-0-91997200-1494860375_thumb.jpgHi all,

 

Got out for a short 15 mile ride on Saturday, mostly in between rain showers. Rode with a few friends (and friend-of-friends), so a nice change from solo rides.

Raffi, I know what you mean

 

Mike - I had no idea that mesquite grew in Hawaii; I'm very familiar with it from visits to west Texas. It's out favorite for bbq (we can get mesquite chips here in Oregon, so we do :)

 

Photo from the Saturday ride - I'm the guy on the right of the photo.

 

 

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meyery2k

I went to the doctor today and my A1c was 4.3 after 6 months of no Metformin.  Turns out he is interested in cycling too.  We were discussing my long rides and he asked how I fueled myself during the rides.  I explained I have been bringing a combination of nuts and seeds along.

 

He recommended Cliff's block which I understand are 8g carbs per cube.  He thought 1 an hour would be a good idea.  He understands low carb and he is open to it but he feels some quick energy is needed when riding.  For what it is worth I feel great when riding and I do stop for lunch and carry my "trail mix" which is 2oz of nuts and 1oz of sunflower seeds in case I get stuck.

 

Open for discussion...

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raffi

There is really no need for carbs to fuel the long rides. I've done 144 miles without anything other than hard boiled eggs. While it is true that the riding will give you much more flexibility when it comes to what you can eat, any processed bar would concern me. I would certainly check my blood sugars every 15 minutes after eating such a thing to see what it did to me. If I were to want quick energy, I'd eat an apple or a banana.

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Just a quick update - managed 2 commutes this week - yesterday and today.  We've got (finally!) a nice break in the weather. From winter/spring to summer. Forecasts for low 90's Monday and Tuesday. (from high 50's earlier this week).

 

Hoping to get some riding in over the weekend, but my schedule doesn't look good - we'll see how it goes.

 

Stay safe out there!

 

JT

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raffi

It is nice that it is starting to look a bit spring like (now that summer is just about here).  Be careful when you ride in the low 90s after the cool weather, these drastic changes do make paying attention hydration even more important than usual.

 

I finally got three commutes in this week with consecutive commutes yesterday and today. Now if only I did not still have frozen toes when I was getting into work...

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meyery2k

Raffi - Good advice about hydration.

 

The morning after my 77 miler, I woke up about 3AM and had all the symptoms of food poisoning except for the vomiting.  I was shaking.  I though I was hypo but that wasn't it.  

 

I was very nauseous and contemplated just giving into it and heaving.  I hate heaving with a passion though.  I drank some water and, within literally 30 seconds, my whole body broke into a heavy sweat, I felt immediately better, and I went back to sleep.  Like throwing a switch.

 

Got up a little later and felt perfectly fine.

 

I asked my doctor about that and he theorized it may have been a slight case of electrolytic imbalance.  I try to drink sports drinks through the ride to combat that.

 

Weirdest thing that I have had happen though.

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