Friday, December 05, 2008

November Mileage

Looks like I did around 175 miles in November, my biggest month in many years. It was primarily a mix of 7 mile commute rides, 10 mile Saturday rides, and 25 mile Sunday rides. I did get one nice 30 miler in that I took over the I90 bridge, that left me tired, but not absurdly so, and a 25 miler out to Alki. Both were firsts for me, and my average speed was a bit low, as I was not sure about where I was going, and had to do a bit of map reading/wayfinding as I went. My long rides are averaging between 11.5 (ouch) and 13.5 mph. I'd like to get that up to 15 or so by STP time, but we'll see.

Beginning odo readings for December are 71 on the Trek and 290 on the Lightning.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

RANS Fusion - Quick Review

Quick Riding Impression – this thing is FUN! I took it out for a 7ish mile jaunt the other night and had a blast. It is very user friendly (except for those trigger shifters, which I loathe), and basically comfy to boot. Plenty wide gearing, big cushy comfy tires, and a head up riding position all contributed to the fact that it was a hoot to ride.
A few minor nits:
• My behind was fatigued during the ride and a tiny bit sore the next day. I don’t know if that is bike setup, me, the design or a combination of the three.
• The low end gearing was very low, which was nice for climbing, but I found the bike a bit “floppy” at low speeds. This led to some weaving as I climbed Queen Anne, and that was unnerving.
• I hit the chain several times with my feet as I was riding. That probably wouldn’t be an issue with clipless pedals, but was a minor irritant while underway. Full disclosure, I wear size 11 shoes, YMMV.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. If I had unlimited bike dollars and space, I’d certainly add one to my stable. I think it would be a great loaner bike for friends or errand bike for rides under 10 miles.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Big day yesterday!

Got my first glimpse of my growing bald spot during my haircut. What a thrill. :P

Monday, October 06, 2008

Another weekend, another ride

Last Saturday I took a look at the windy and cool conditions outside and tried to talk my son into a ride. "No daddy, it's too windy". As it turns out, he was right.

I really wanted to go for a quick ride though so I thought I'd take the Magnolia scenic loop, which turned out to be tougher than expected. First of all, I had to do some climbing right off the bat, and I wasn't really warmed up. Secondly - The Wind! Once I got to the scenic part of the loop, the wind was so strong coming off the Sound that I thought I might get blown over. The noise was so loud I had no sonic cues about my speed, as it always sounded like I was going 30 miles an hour. I did finish the ride strongly though, flying down the east side of Magnolia at over 40 mph, and had a decent climb up Dravus (only stopped once).

Sunday's ride was much better. For the first time since I started riding again, I got the feeling that I was actually riding more strongly after 10 miles. It is a great sensation, and really helps my enjoyment of the rides. I took my usual out and back down the BG, but went a bit past Matthews park this time. I was maintaining well over 16 mph much of the second half of the ride, so my fitness level is definitely improving.

The most odd thing about the ride was the relative lack of other cyclists. Plenty of runners, but really not many of us. Is everyone already hanging it up for the season?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

20 Miles again

This Sunday I did another 20 miler with no hills, but at a bit faster pace. I went down the Burke Gilman, and met up with 2 other Bent riders near Gasworks. One was on a V Rex with huge tires, the other on a homebuilt streamliner, both could drop me at will. :P It was a nice ride (except for the streamliner crash) up to Matthews park where I turned around. The weather was incredible, with occasional glimpses of Lake Washington and the mountain from the trails and perfect temps for riding, just above 60 or so.

Saturday I did about 7 miles on the Hybrid and pulled the boy on his Trail a Bike. Destination: Shultzy's for a beer and dog. Overall, it was not a net negative calorie ride, but the company, beer and lunch were great.

Next step, figuring out how to increase my mileage to 45 or so per weekend.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ballard and Back

Yesterday, I did an even 20 miles on the Phantom. It was about 55 and raining when I left, and didn't change much en route. My new wool jersey and shorts kept me plenty warm though, even when soaked. The original plan was to cross the Fremont bridge, then take the Burke Gilman to Ballard, up to Golden Gardens, then ascend into the neighborhood above. From there I'd head north to a friend's place and have an easy downhill cruise home.

Along the way I discovered that the road up the hill is closed (has been for 6 months) and that 100th street doesn't go through from the Blue Ridge area east. Add those things together and you get a good bit more climbing than I'd planned on. The ride out of Blue Ridge was particularly tough, as it was steep and I was getting a bit tired since I'd been climbing slowly for several miles from the locks up to about 85th street. The good news is that I feel pretty decent today, and that the long climb from the locks went well too.

Ever since I've had the boom adjusted on the Phantom my climbing has been much easier. I'm going faster, more comfortably and with less effort. It has been a huge improvement. I need to keep up the hillwork though, as I'd like to be ready for the Chilly Hilly next year, and I'm a pretty poor climber in general.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dollars per mile

Stuff I've bought for cycling so far since moving to Seattle:

Commute related items
  • Fenders - 2 pair
  • Tailpack - 1
  • Tubes - 2
  • Front light - 1
  • Rear flasher - 1
  • Mirror - 1
  • Rack - 1

Non commute items

  • Wool clothing items - 2
  • Tubes - 2
  • Tire - 1
  • New boom for recumbent
  • New seat for recumbent
  • Seatpost - 1
  • Adams Trail a bike

My guess is that I've ridden about 200 miles so far since I arrived, and spent close to 5 dollars a mile on equipment. I think I need to up the mileage a bit to make that dollar/mile ratio a bit more palatable.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I have often wondered about those little white things in potting soil. Now I know more. Via Marginal Revolution.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My first fancy Seattle latte is below (from Top Pot). The barista assured me that the design makes the drink taste better, but I'll repeat the experiment a few times to verify.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So the other day, the boy and I turned on the TV and caught the end of some mediocre animated movie. At 15 min to the hour -

Him: Daddy, this movie is almost over.

Me: Oh, why do you think that?

H: They're fighting all the bad guys. Usually, when they fight all the bad guys, the movie is almost over.