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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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meyery2k

Yesterday, I figured out what to name my second bike, "Kokopelli".  Kokopelli is a Native American spirit that is mischievous, a trickster.

 

When I went to pick him up, Chad gave him a final once over and the front brake was rubbing.  He swore up and down (and at the bike internally I imagine) that those brakes were perfectly set.  It took him about 30 minutes to set them again as they were not cooperative.

 

Chad set the seat height and off I went.  

 

Yesterday, I felt a bit scrunched in the abdomen.  The seat didn't feel right.  I adjusted the seat and shortly thereafter, my knees were going into my chest.  The seat was sliding back into the post.  I stopped to adjust and tightened the bolt even more.  It happened again, rinse and repeat.  After several incidents, I tightened the bolt as hard as I could and asked him to stop so we could ride.  He cooperated and no further problems.  Kokopelli came to me as a name.

 

My Mom loved Kokopelli and, sadly, she passed away before I got myself back into shape.  I was comforted that I could name my bike something that would remind me of her.

 

The Western version of this story is that, on a steel frame bike, they apply anti-corrosion fluid inside the frame.  It is poured into the seat post, sloshed around the frame and drained.  The tube that the seat post is inserted into is liberally coated with grease to help keep moisture out.  The bolt was simply not torqued tightly enough.

 

I will leave it to you to decide which is the better explanation but I prefer the Kokopelli version

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ORjt

Meyery2k:

 

Second bike? Did I miss something, or is this a bike you've had hanging around?

 

Anyhow, I like the Kokopelli version. Works for me :)

 

Long weekend, and we got a nice break (more-or-less) in the weather --> dry, but cold (~37ish) for both Sunday and Monday. I was able to get out both days for 21 miles each day.  Given the brief snow/ice we've had over the last week, I was pleased to find that the county hadn't spread gravel; guess they relied on salt/de-icer.  Not sure that's better for the environment, but it certainly makes the roads more ride-able. (I'm used to finding lots of 'pea gravel' along the right-of-way, post icky weather).  Nice to get out for back-to-back rides. (Both on the Ti bike - the commuter's sitting in the basement of the LBS, waiting for his turn at an overhaul - due back to me at the end of the month).

 

Stay safe out there!

 

JT

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meyery2k

@ORjt - The Specialized Sequoia Elite 2018 model I mentioned in an earlier went on clearance.  Saved $300.  Cro-Molly steel frame with a carbon fiber fork.  Hydraulic disc brakes.  Kokopelli is a good bike but definitely a trickster.  Had a chance to put in some good rides finally (over 300k) over varied terrain and I really like the geometry of the road bars.  The gearing seems great.  Some hills that are a workout with Fiare are markedly easier with Kokopelli.  

 

First ride was the seat (Saturday)

 

Sunday was an inaugural metric century.  Flat tire but, at least, it was by a bus stop with a shelter and bench so I could fix it in relative comfort.  Fiare flats in the middle of nowhere where I get to work in the blazing sun lol...

 

Monday was another metric century and I noticed the front wheel had a little play.  Found that the axle bolt (it is a thru axle) needed to be tightened a little.  Nothing serious so far, just little tricks.

 

Got a plate ordered too...

 

image.thumb.png.78d3a55292f3fe4ea28a990bc72aacec.png

 

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ORjt

Meyery2k,

 

Ah yes. Clearly not enough coffee this morning.

 

I like the plate - nice touch.

--JT

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meyery2k

Started off March with some nice riding with Fiare and Kokopelli.  Fiare had her annual inspection and tune up.  Her bottom bracket was worn out which was no surprise after about 12,000 hard miles.  It was commented that her chain rings are worn out too but Chris didn't have the parts so he suggested to continue on until they are just unusable.  Don't really notice any problem with shifting.  If it gets bad, I will look for parts on Amazon and do it myself.  I have crank pullers.

 

Kokopelli and I had a nice ride in the rain.  I don't like cleaning up after a rain ride but there are sights, smells, and sounds you simply don't experience.  This was a mostly foggy misty ride.  Very enjoyable until we go to the 1000' elevation.  While I am sure Kokopelli was fine, I sure was cold coasting down to the coast!  In Pahoa, hot coffee and a hot Chinese meal set this rider right.  The sun finally broke out and dried us out.  I tried cycling socks for the first time and I was won over.

 

Totally worth the extra clean up time.  Fortunately, I do not live in Mirkwood...

 

I also put a Cinchlock from OttoDesigns through the paces.  Designed for cafe stops.  Anyone here try one?  I like the idea.

 

 

 

Image may contain: plant, tree, sky, outdoor and nature

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ORjt

Meyery2k:

 

Nice photo; I'm fond of spider webs (though not necessarily of the spiders themselves ...)

 

You might look for a windproof packable vest -- might help keep your core warm on those long descents.

 

What's your impression of the Cinchlock?  The band looks quite robust; just curious how stout the lock itself is? (I know the use-case is for a quick cafe stop, just wondering if the lock mechanism is robust enough).  I don't know that I'd find one useful.  My solo riding is in quite rural areas; the two places that I typically stop feel safe enough that I'm not overly worried about theft.  A few families, and a few 'birders'.  I stick out like a sore thumb, and I'm only away from the bike long enough to hit the restroom.  So now, I've jinxed it, bike will be stolen next time I'm out :(

 

Was out last Saturday for 21 miles - upper 40's, with a near character building wind (3/4 of the route had some form of headwind). Beautiful, though - sunny, and blue skies.  Sunday was significantly colder (~40), with yet more wind. I opted to do yard work instead.

 

Stay safe out there!

JT

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meyery2k

Thanks!  The rain was a bit of a surprise.  Oh well...  All in all it was a fun ride!

 

I like the cinchlock but I would not trust it enough to keep my bike out of sight.  It is mainly to discourage grab and go.  I have seen some videos where a good pair of tin snips makes quick work of it.  In the videos, they show the band open enough to where you could use snips.  The instructions state you would cinch the frame to a pole or other secure spot leaving as little slack as possible so someone would not easily work it with snips.

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meyery2k

Lately, I seem to have developed the bad habit of trying to pace my endurance rides like they are training rides.  I can manage about 100km doing that and then crap out.

 

Today, the weather finally broke after 3 days for some good riding.  I determined to break this bad habit.  I rode Fiare about 65km and forced myself to spin.  As I spun, I was also cognizant to work at about 60% of my perceived capacity rather than try to work near max.  This worked out much better.  Got home, had some lunch, and took Kokopelli out.  Kokopelli is a faster bike with less  effort.  I still stuck to discipline and it paid off.  135km.  Yep, double metric century club here.  Took me a little over 8 hours.   Pace was about 23 km/h overall.

 

I hit the wall at about 135km but it was not as bad physically as when I worked at max endurance.  It was more mental.  Eventually, I climbed the wall, and rode strong.  Even at the end of the ride I was managing my cadence, decent speed, and decent climbing of the inclines.  At the end of the ride, I didn't want to ride anymore, but I could ride more.

 

I didn't plan the ride or anything.  I just planned to ride.  When I hit 160km (100 miles), I just went for it making sure to stay on a route where I could refill my water bottles as needed.  I can usually make a bottle last about 50km.

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meyery2k

Wow I did not realize May was the last posting on this thread.  Hopefully everyone is out riding.  Circling around back to the Cinchlocks, they have been working out well.  One of them jammed up and I had to cut the bike free.  With tin snips, it was not as easy as the videos I had seen posted would lead one to believe.  It took me 15 minutes of decent effort to chew through the strap.  When I contacted Ottolock and explained the circumstances and graciously explained that I run these through tough times, they asked me to field test a new lock.  They also offered to send some other stuff.  I received the box today and know what being sponsored might feel like lol...

 

My cycling skills didn't get me here but my breaking stuff skills did lol...

 

 No photo description available.

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