Bicycle Dreams

Lately, I have been back in the saddle again. Riding, at least on weekends, it gets my heart rate up, and I enjoy putting the miles on. But, I begin to get ideas. Could I ride to work? What would make that more pleasant? This bike is old, I need something new.

Yeah, that is pretty much the discussion I have with myself. My roadbike, reviewed here (my most read blog post by far) is getting old. A 2002 vintage Lemond Buenos Aires, a reynolds steel frame, Shimano Ultegra equipped, road bike. Minor upgrades, the standard bottom bracket failed early (it was a cheap downmarket unit), and replacing the standard Bontrager wheels with much better Fulcrum Racing units. Continue reading →

Back in the Saddle

The downside of working full time again is the dearth of time to exercise. Little over a year ago, spending some down time between jobs, I was able to get out for lengthy exercise sessions every day. That included typically 3 bicycle rides a week, often up to 30 miles at a through. Alas, that freedom to get out and pound the pavement was severely curtailed with a regular job.

I still did get out on the weekends to walk and hike, but the bicycles have remained (mostly) parked in the garage. Earlier this spring I did get out a few times, but ouch, the acclimatization of my derrière to the saddle was punishing, so apart from isolated rides, they remained hung up in the garage. Continue reading →

Bicycling Log

I have always had a passion for bicycling, and have recently gotten back into Mountain Biking. That and the layoff has engendered some commentary.

  • Thorns suck. No, seriously, fuck them. I bought Mr Tuffy’s and still I get an occasional puncture. Grrrr
  • Patch kits. I remember the “green” box patch kits with round and oval patches, glue, and a scrubber to roughen the tube. Now they have these sticker patches that are easy to use. But they suck, because they all leak. Temporary at best.
  • Saddle boils. Nasty. Painful. ’nuff said.

But it is not all bad. I had old (and I mean OLD, like 11 years old) bike shorts. I recently bought some new Pear Izumis with the gel pad in the crotch area. WONDERFUL! Took a little getting used to, but wow, they are great.

Back in the Saddle – New Shoes too!

Today I got back out cycling. First time since the Christmas shutdown. I had three weeks of travel, and then came back with a gnarly chest cold. that kept me down for more than two weeks.

I know, I know, lots of excuses.

Today, I felt pretty good. Not much expectoration, and I have not needed any cold medicine for two days.

I also took the opportunity to mount the cleats on my new shoes. Back in December, I splurged on a new pair of riding shoes. Since I have wide feet, there are limited choices that fit. Pretty much the Sidi’s or the um, Sidi’s. (gulp, they are also about $200) My old shoes I bought with my bike, back in 2002, so they were 11+ years old, and were really not very supportive anymore.

I also bought new cleats. I have been a long time Look pedal and cleat user. But the cleats I bought are a little different They are designed to float a bit (several degrees). There are some that are more rigid, so you can tune your ride.

The new cleats mounted up easily, and the shoes fit well (still need to break in a bit).

The new cleats are a bit strange. It is much easier to get into the pedals with these cleats. Big bonus. But the floating feels weird. It almost feels like you are not clipped in. But you are, and you can stand up and pump the pedals.

I am going to have to get used to them, but I think I am going to like them.

The ride was an easy 15 miles. I felt pretty good, I didn’t push too hard. I probably could have stretched it to 20 miles or more, but I thought that caution was in store.

I can hardly wait to get out again.

Things you can’t unsee

This is going to be gross.  If you are squeamish, click away now. There is no shame.

Still with me?

I have long been a bicyclist. Early on, I learned the benefit of cycling shorts. The chamois in the crotch that provides protection to your boys when on the saddle. However, I have always ridden with ordinary underwear on under my bike shorts. I assumed that it was just how it is done.

But today, on my ride into work, I saw someone who obviously doesn’t use the traditional cycling shorts with the chamois insert (i.e. ordinary lycra workout shorts), and if that wasn’t bad enough, he was commando. Ewww

Stretched Lycra is pretty transparent, and without the tidy whiteys, I got a far too close view of a full moon.

<shudder> Somethings you can’t unsee, and will haunt you forever.

(No picture)

Arizona Quirks

No secret is the fact that I moved from Tucson to Chandler last summer. So far, the experience has been great. Roads are better maintained, there are streetlights, and most of the neighborhoods are well planned, and laid out with plenty of green space. My wife and I compare it to “Sunnyvale” where no dangerous critters are allowed.  Cool so far.

However, there is a problem. It appears that people think it is OK to ride their bikes on the sidewalks. Apart from young children (say, less than 8 years old), all people should be riding in the street and obeying the rules of the road. But that appears to be missing in Arizona. Today, at lunch, I was walking (for exercise) and was almost creamed by a cyclist riding very fast on the sidewalk. I have been out with my dogs, walking on the sidewalk, and again, almost taken clean out. On a busy road (Gilbert Road).

Da fuq is up with that?

Later: Do they not teach kids here how to use hand signals?