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meyery2k

2019 Cycling - Just 10k more...

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meyery2k

I am off to a strong start.  1215 km so far this year.  We have had perfect weather, Fiare has been running smooth, and I am keeping in good health.

 

I participated in my first long group ride yesterday (70 km).  I learned a lot about myself.  I suspect the members of this group race, or at least are pretty hard core, based on their equipment and appearance.  I have to admit to being intimidated but I decided to join in and ride my best.

 

I kept up well for the most part.  In the middle of the ride I fell back a little more than I would have liked but I suspect that was more equipment than fitness.  There was a beautiful collection of bikes that were obviously built for racing.  There was a gorgeous Cervelo.  Going downhill, no matter how mightily I pedaled, I was left in the dust.  On the flats or going uphill I managed to stay in the middle of the pack.

 

I did manage to ride 100km in 4 hours.  I have never done it in under 5 so having some healthy competition showed me that I am not pushing myself as hard as I should at times.

 

I was most pleased, however, on the last leg of the ride.  I was able to keep up with the pack leaders.  Everyone was tired but all my long distance riding paid off and I was still relatively fresh at the end.  In fact, I went another 65 km when they were done.  I was even more pleased when I was invited to ride anytime I wanted to with them.

 

I learned that I am a stronger rider than I thought.  I am beginning to realize that I have probably reached the limits of what Fiare can do speed wise but she will always be a reliable long distance rider.  I am seriously considering another bike for 2019 that will allow me to grow more as a rider.  I don't see myself as ever being a particularly fast rider, but I can pedal all day to go somewhere.

 

Today, I followed up with another 100k in 4h 27m

 

Hope this will become the 2019 cycling site!

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Meyery2k - thanks for starting a new thread.  You're doing well.  You'll find that riding in a group/pack/peloton (call it what you will) is far more efficient than solo riding. It's not that you're not pushing yourself enough when you're out on your own. It's the combination of physical wind-break (not to be confused with breaking wind!), and the psychological "competitive" part of things. It's all good.

 

I've been out a bit here and there when weather and schedule have permitted; we were supposed to be dry last Sunday. We were, but we also had fog.  Not thick 'pea soup' fog, but enough that I was concerned about visibility.

 

So of course the last three days have been stunningly gorgeous. With rain predicted for the weekend, and even perhaps snow early next week.  So it goes ...

 

Hang in there, stay safe!

JT

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meyery2k

I have committed mentally to getting a 2nd bike this year.  One for long distance, all day riding.  I am looking for a good climber since the community I live in is a sort of geographical bowl and, everywhere you want to go, you climb.

 

Now that I have some riding under my belt, I can appreciate what I am being told at the LBS...

 

I am about 90% settled on the Specialized Sequoia Elite.  Just waiting for it to go on sale.  The LBS thinks it will drop a good $200 when they want to close them out to make room for 2019 stock.  Surly is a second consideration.  I am told Specialized honors their warranty a little more liberally which I have experienced first hand.  When I had that running bout of breaking spokes, they replaced the wheel even though it had many miles on it. 

 

At this time titanium or carbon fiber is out of my price range.  While I could get a Specialized Sirrus in carbon fiber frame, it would not address a shortcoming that my bike now has, the geometry.  Being a fitness bike, you sit upright.  It was designed with this in mind and I am told that putting drop bars on it would not be a comfortable setup.  I believe having drop bars and a more flexible frame will cause my sit bones to sigh in relief lol...

 

I test rode a steel frame and can appreciate that it is not as stiff as aluminum although a little heavier.  The Sequoia has a Cro-Molly frame and carbon fiber fork.  I do not plan to add anything like racks, kickstand, etc...  I want to keep this bike clean and light since it will be for those long 6-8 hours days.  I am now confident that I can carry what I need to perform repairs in a seat pack or in my jersey.

 

As an analogy, I am looking for a "Toyota".  Well built, reliable, not too high maintenance.  I have seen some of the high end gear and these guys seem to always have something going on.  Shifting, brakes, head stock.  Fiare just goes, and goes, and goes.  Yes, things wear out, but on the 2 rides I have done with the group, one rider had 2 flats, a chain suck that was so fouled, he had to pull the crank on the road, and a head stock wearing out.  The Cervelo, apparently, has finicky shifting.  My sub $1000 bike doesn't have those problems lol...

 

I will definitely hang onto Fiare.  She will still be my daily rider for fitness and trips to the store since she has racks and panniers.  Her designation is a fitness bike and I now understand that, while those bikes can do long touring rides, they are not built purposefully for it.  I would argue that Fiare was a great training bike.  Mostly forgiving as I learned technique and maintenance.  She still has many miles left in her and I will use them.  Even some fighter pilots I know still like to fly the T-38 training jet.  I can now see where a second bike will add to my riding experience.

 

As I explained earlier, I am not quite ready to throw down cash on the counter but I believe before the end of June, I will be reporting that I have a second bike.  Any input from here would be valued.

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ORjt

Meyery2k

 

More bikes are good :)

 

Waiting for a (model)  year end close out can be a good thing - all three of the bikes  that I've bought new were 'year end' deals. One got passed along to a friend, the other two, I still have.  The fourth was bought as a frame from a guy on CL, then I had the LBS build it up. The trickier part can be finding what you want, in your size. 

 

RE: AL vs Carbon Vs Ti Vs Steel: each material has its good and bad points.  I haven't ridden a steel bike since the late 70's, but IMO, the stereotypes have some merit.  AL is regarded as harsh, Carbon as 'dead', steel as springy, and Ti rides like butter.  The complicating factor is to also comprehend the differences in frame geometry (or components like wheels/tires), as that also modulates how a given bike is going to 'feel'.  Best advice is to test ride as many different bikes as you can ... oh, and get a bike fit, too. That's been some of the best money I've spent on biking ....

 

RE: shifting on the Cervelo - wonder if it's a cable routing issue?  Don't know what to say about the chain suck - that *had* to be an unpleasant experience.  Tire choice really makes a difference wrt flats ... I hate flats.

 

Other thoughts - about components; the 'top shelf' groupsets (Shimano Dura-Ace, SRAM Red, Campy Record/Super Rec) - these are typically almost over-engineered to favor light weight/extreme performance over long-term reliability. I've gravitated towards the next level down (Shimano Ultegra) for my 'best bikes' - the performance is top flight - engineered for the rigors of racing, without the downside of trimming weight at any cost.  Go too far down the various groupset hierarchies, and you start to get components that are engineered to reduce manufacturing costs - you'll lose durability.

 

Anyhow - just a few thoughts.  I'm a geek, I like talking bikes. (I surprised the wife of one of my riding buddies - I knew his bike better than he did :) ).

 

-Stay safe out there ...

JT

 

Edited by ORjt

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ORjt

Hi all,

 

Managed another 21 miles last weekend - roads were damp, but no rain, little breeze, and moderate (for Feb, in PDX) temps - around 48-50.

This weekend (and most of next week) looks pretty grim.  We are due for 'snowpacalypse'; could be as much as a foot of snow on the ground by early next week. Or it could be nothing. It's notoriously hard to predict winter weather (other than rain) hereabouts. 

Stay safe out there!

Write, if you get work :)

 

JT

 

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meyery2k

I forgot to post that last Saturday I rode up Mauna Loa.  The access road starts at about 6500' elevation, runs just shy of 15 miles, and climbs to 11,021'.  It was the hardest ride I have ever done.  Physically and mentally.  Here are some pictures from bottom to top.  Took me just under 3 hours to go up and less than 1 to come down.  I have learned to appreciate breathing air at sea level pressure now...

 

1878144756_20190202_075338(1024x554).thumb.jpg.0748fce5b4cfdddcf8306abe28b6b00b.jpg4436673_20190202_084645(1024x576).thumb.jpg.1c9a0275b42cd0e4a83bbbec974bb628.jpg1926717560_20190202_090611(1024x576).thumb.jpg.710aa8c24b51fe0ac3a8b0a396b67725.jpg1563718158_20190202_093920(1024x565).thumb.jpg.7ac15dbafce785886a91c052d48fb1de.jpg427994458_20190202_101748(1024x557).thumb.jpg.c1c304e39c2e519513b6a6f6a0987482.jpg1404582061_20190202_110517(1024x556).thumb.jpg.44e9fea1af6c4b4056a3d4c3e756bdb3.jpg

 

 

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ORjt

Meyery2k:

 

Nice photos and GREAT work! What a nice accomplishment 💪 !

 

The landscape reminds a bit of a part of eastern Oregon (near Bend) - where there are lava flows (but no massive volcano ... ). Very 'moon' like.

 

So, no snowtastrophe here - we got a light dusting (less than 1") on Saturday, with another flurry on Sunday.  Roads were mostly drive-able. There was a crush of folks at the grocery stores Friday afternoon/evening, prepping for the worst. Mostly for naught. Pretty much rain since then.  (North of us, in SW Washington, and up to Seattle *did* get hammered.  Don't know how Raffi fared, over in N Idaho).  As I said, hard to predict accurately.

 

That all said, no riding, but did drop off the commuter at the LBS for a full overhaul; it'll be back at the end of the month.  Looks like more rain for the coming weekend -- with dry days on Thu/Friday, of course.

 

Stay safe out there!

 

JT

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