Bike Log special: Awkward Ride

For the past few years I had been using some old beat up clipless pedals (Shimano PD M525) & shoes on my mountain bike. When I bought my beautiful new road bike, I gave the regular clip-in pedals a try, and they weren't bad. In fact they were much better than nothing, they were better than walking, and they were better than carrying the bike on my shoulder. The Goodales guys recommended another pedal system (Shimano R540) and shoes, but for $150 the pedal system will need to be able to do my laundry for me before I buy them (read: I'll probably buy them next year).

Well, today I had the pedals replaced. Unfortunately, I didn't bring the shoes. (It's only half a mile, I didn't think it would be a big deal). So I have these sneakers on these tiny nub-pedals, and let's just say better connections have been made. It was an awkward ride home.

But wait, there's more.

While I was there, I bought a stand up tire pump. (Thanks C___ for showing me the light of reason). Now first you must understand I tried every other way I could to get this in my bag, but it simply does not fit. In the end I had it stuffed down handlefirst, with the (sharp) metal feet sticking up and out. It didn't look graceful, but it would work.

I hopped on the bike, and the slippery pedal connection was suddenly the least of my problems. As I rolled down the ramp from Goodales, the pump wedged itself under the back ridge of the helmet, forcing my head down.

Fleeting moment of panic. I could not see!

After some rolling adjustments; after bending my back in inhuman ways; after tilting my head to an awkward angle, I could see. I rode home this way, all crooked and awkward.

Then I did a grocery run with my old SPD shoes, and suddenly I could feel that old power again. I felt like I was one with the bike, and that I was flying. Oh yes, what a difference!

Bike Log, day 21

Cold morning, but I did my 50 pushups

23:54, 6.5mi
34F, Odo 358mi
avg 16.4mph, max 27.8mph

The ride home was considerably warmer:

20:55, 6.6mi
51F, Odo 365mi
avg 18.8mph, max 33.2mph

Then I did another 50 pushups after the ride.
365miles total. Not bad! =)


Bike Log, day 20: Rainy day Madness

It's raining, a lot. I expected to drive in this morning. 40 minutes before I needed to drive to work, I realized I did not have my keys. No car key, no house key. I would have left on my bike 10 minutes earlier.

I skipped breakfast and suited up in my 'rain gear' which is not exactly water-resistant, but soaks slowly enough, while retaining enough heat to get me into the office without fear of hypothermia or frostbite (or something. it's 48F and raining, wet + wind + cold = serious danger)

I had just a few sips of water, and raced in to work. I beat my best time
by 40 seconds, but it must have been the shortcut I took.

22:20, 6.2mi (shortcut for time)
48F, Odo 345mi
avg 16.7mph, max 26.7mph
moderate/heavy rain

I was very excited about that time, until I remembered the shortcut I took. I do not plan on taking this shortcut every day, in spite of the shortness of the path, as it leads me through a significant amount of dangerous roadway. There is no shoulder at all, if there was it would be ignored anyway. I took a chance today that I will not take tomorrow.

my co-worker J___, today confirmed he has my keys, as he unlocked the door while I carried my bike in after work yesterday. He's driving in to the office to bring them. Thanks again, J___.

Hopefully my gear will have dried before I try to ride home. On that note, my weather gloves worked perfectly.

[after work edit]
Gear was mostly dry, except for the shoes and socks, which are probably still wet. It was not an issue on the ride home, which was mostly dry and not too windy.

21:39, 6.5mi
48F, Odo 352mi
avg 18.2mph, max 36.2mph
windy, wet conditions


Bike Log, day 19

I was not concentrating on making good time this morning. I attached a helmet mirror to my helmet and was fiddling with it (it's tiny) and I had a pain in my back when I woke up, but...

I did my fastest time ever!
23:00(!), 6.5mi
45F, 339mi
avg 17.1mph, max 28.5mph


after-work note:
If the weather guessers say it's raining, but it's not, bring your rain gear anyway.
Fortunately I got a ride home (thanks J____)


Bike Log, day 18

24:03, 6.5mi
39F, Odo 326mi
avg 16.3mph, max 26.6mph

24:03, not bad. Now even my slow days are minutes faster than my fastest days on the old mountain bike.

[after work edit]
I felt winded today riding home. I felt like I was just barely making average time. I felt utterly un-spectacular. However, my time was excellent!

19:48, 6.5mi
81F, Odo 332mi
avg 19.8mph, max 30.8mph.



Bike Log, day 17: flat tire

Last week the chain on my mountain bike broke just after the rt 3 overpass.
This morning my chain caught and froze before the overpass. I thought it was strange, but I pried it loose and continued up the long hill.
At the top of the hill, on the overpass, I got a flat tire.

Last night I put a patch kit in my bag. Today, when the tire went flat, I was close enough to work that I could just walk the rest of the way and only be 15 minutes late; I thought that I could fix the tire in the office.

After finally managing to remove the tire with a knife and a fork, I pumped the tire and found the hole. My patch kit has no patches left. Just a scrap of sandpaper.

While I have no way to resolve this until my friend comes in with the patch kit I gave him, It's not getting me down.

"It is easy to be pleasant when life flows by like a song, but the man worth while is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong." ~from Worth While by Ella Wilcox

so the numbers that matter:
59F, Odo 312 miles
avg 16.7mph, max 27.5mph

Last night I had all the windows open, it was humid and hot. This morning was perfect riding weather. I didn't need the iridescent green coat (which provides excellent wind resistance, and high visibility, but no moisture transfer; my ams are soaking wet after an hour)

One of my co-workers said he'd be buying a bike soon, another just bought one last night. J___, who bought my old bike returned the patch kit and tire pump to me today at work (it's his day off.) and C____ pumped my tire with his stand-up pump, accurately to 100psi. It was easy. I'll have to get one.

Today one of my other co-workers said he'd be buying a bike, too. W___ makes the 3rd person on my team to express the interest. I'm thinking of starting a cycling team here at work!

The return trip was record breaking. My goal was average speed of 20mph. I did it!
19:28(!), 6.5mi
77F, Odo 319mi
avg 20.1mph(!), max 36.7mph(!)

Excellent ride!


Bike Log, day 16: Birthday!

Today is my birthday! I've been taking it easy and staying relaxed.

Ride in:
23:49, 6.5mi
47F, Odo 300mi
avg 16.5mph, max 25.7mph

I'm having an excellent day!

21:02, 6.5mi
88F, Odo 306mi
avg 18.7mph, max 30.1mph


Bike Log, day 15

24:05, 6.5mi
41F, Odo 287mi
avg 16.3mph, max 28.3mph

I had a rough night and thus a slow morning, so I took it easy on the ride in. Still, 20 seconds difference from yesterday is not that bad at all!

Return: My goal was 20 min, and I pushed hard for it:

20:28, 6.5mi
82F, Odo 293mi
avg 19.2mph, max 33.1mph


two poems

Poem on blue eyes

you know i love your eyes, don't you?

i could fall into that sea of blue, dazed and delirious, and float like a dream, like a ghost
and drift.


lost in a blue so intense it has it's own music, it's own rhythm.
and be happy, be light and joyful and intoxicated.
drunk on blue


but it seems i can't hold onto you anymore

oh whispy ghost of beauty
floating betwix dreams and thoughts
fly on this night, and enchant the dark world till morning.

all © 2008

Bike Log, day 14

Woke up at 4am. 1 hour of Vipassana meditation, 25 pushups, showed, packed lunch and flew to work:
6.5mi, 23:44(!) fastest time!
max 26.5mph, avg 16.5mph
45F, Odo 267mi

Road bike FOR THE WIN!

6.6mi, 21:39(!) Fastest time by far.
max 29.9mph, avg 18.2mph
75F, Odo 274mi

now to the bank to deposit the check for the old bike, and to the shop to check on the old bike, maybe get the pedals =)


Bike Log: Learning to Fly

~21mi, 1h18m57s (to Manchester)
Karate round trip: 3.4mi, twice.
Grocery store: 2.8mi
total distance: 30.6mi

21.7mi, 1h13m43s (home, from Manchester)
max 33.8mph, avg: 17.7mph
77F, Odo 261.5mi

*WOW! The new road bike is about 5mph faster than my old mountain bike. I knew it would be better, but I didn't expect the difference to be that dramatic!
*I have not perfected the route yet, and took some wrong turns that wasted time and threw my numbers off. Next Saturday I'll do it again, and have accurate numbers.
*I bought a new odometer that also measures temperature and average speed.
*Decommissioned my old FOX Mojave gloves. The pads have gone flat after 10 years.
*I'm still using the clipped pedals that came with the new bike. The old spd pedals are still on the old bike. I'm hoping for a significant performance increase when I ride with those pedals. The old bike may still be in the shop until Wednesday, though I may pay them a visit today to adjust the front sprocket and pick up those pedals. Or I could take a giant nap. =)


Take a Walk

My chain snapped at the entrance to work. I decided to walk the rest of the way barefoot.
It snapped at 20 minutes, on a hill. I coasted down the rest of the hill before hopping off the bike:
5.5mi, 23m49s. Walked last 1.1mi barefoot. Arrived after 40min.
max 27.8mph(!)
39F, Odo 202mi

Afternoon edit: I fixed the chain during my lunch break. I simply removed the frozen link. Now the chain works beautifully.

6.6mi, 24:09
max 29.9mi
80F, Odo 209mi

Then, I drove the mountain bike to Goodales for a tune up. It will be ready on Wednesday. While at the shop I bought the new bike! Yay!
I was running late, so instead of going to get a check from my friend (for the bike) I just drove up to Manchester to have dinner with mom. It was delicious!
Then two karate classes: one black belt class, one new second degree black belt class. It was fantastic. Then sweetened strawberries + balsamic vinegar + vanilla ice cream = more deliciousness. Last, a quick ride around the block on my new bike, and a leisurely drive home.

Tomorrow I'm going to ride the new bike up to Manchester at 7am for the 9:45am black belt class, take my cello lesson at noon, go to Noodle Wars (sword fighting with pool noodles) at the karate studio, see the Forbidden Kingdom, then ride home if I feel adventurous.


Bike Log: Problems

The chain is seperating, and though I have a tool to fix this, someone moved my toolbox to the garage, and has taken the only working garage door opener. On the other hand, I can just have the shop fix this tonight.


Bike Log, day 12

6.6mi, 28:40
max 26.2mph
28F, Odo 197mi

Derailer problems continue.

No return trip home tonight, there was a work sponsored dinner (read: free meal) with our manager's manager. After dinner one of my friends from work drove me home and we talked about biking to/from work. He wants to buy my bike(!)
I'll have to take the bike in for a tuneup, but this will guarantee the purchase of my new Trek. Yay!


Bike Log, day 11

6.6mi, 28:33
max 22.1mph
28F, Odo 178mi

It was a cold ride in, but I had Yo Yo Ma playing Bach to stimulate my mind. I bought some new padded bike shorts, by Cannondale. It is the most comfortable article of clothing I own.

6.6mi, 23:41 *new best time
max 30.8mph

After a short (19:45 round trip, 5.1mi, max 31.9) my Odo reads 190mi.

My rear derailer is beginning to shift on it's own. I could put a lot of money into restoring this old bike. Hopefully I won't have to.


Bike Log Returns!

Goodales Nashua came through with amazing service on the warranty of my bike odometer. I had a new one in my hands in no less than 60 seconds after saying "warranty," and that's because it took the clerk that long to pull one off the display and out of the box. I was beside myself with the quality of service. I bought a new lock on the spot out of thanks (the old lock's key bends and twists and never, ever, unlocked on the first try)

To work this morning:
6.6mi, 28m30s

6.4mi, 23m48s *new best return time
max 28.5mph
Odo: 171.4mi

*Not sure how I managed 2/10ths of a mile longer trip to work vs from work, I'll have to fine-tune my route inside the fidelity raceway. I might not even bother finding the shortest path; it's much more beautiful around the back side of work with the lake adorned with ducks, geese, a swan, and the spring sun
*This week should be my first full week of riding to work every day. So far I've had to drive one day or two out of each week.
*New bike Friday!


Bike Log, the dark ages

My odometer bit the dust after 3 weeks. It is now inoperable. Trek tech support says "the dealer handles the warranty" I will say this: Riding this morning at 50F was delightful. home at 68F even more delightful.
This is Spring in NE, don't blink or you'll miss it.


Bike Log, day 8. Fine Tuning the Route

6.3mi, 27m30s

I took the same route as last night, with one minor adjustment. Instead of hopping the curb and riding over the grass to shorten my trip and avoid traffic, I rode around the 'longer' way, staying on pavement the whole time. Turns out it's not longer at all, but does involve more direct involvement with possibly dangerous traffic. I'm preparing for the new road bike.


Bike Log, the Adventure Continues!

First day back on the bike.
I woke up at 4am and meditated for an hour. I would have done pushups after that, however there was no time. I had to jump on the bike and race to work.

6.4mi, 27m30s

Last night I went to karate to practice for my step exam on Thursday. My voice started going hoarse through the middle of the class. I'm not too worried, I know I'll pass, I'll just have to practice without Kis.

On the ride home the computer went haywire, and now displays in kmph.
6.3mi, 25m30s. *fast!

I took a new route home, cooled off, then test drove this handsome beauty: Trek 1.2
and what a wonderful ride that was. It'll be mine next week, I put a ~20% deposit on it =)
Minus that test ride, I added a grocery run to the end of my day, and calculated my total mileage since I started riding to work: 135.7 miles.
I cannot wait to ride my new bike and shave a full minute or two off of my time to/from work.

For comparison, let's say my current bike does 0-60 in 10 seconds.
The Trek would do 0-60 in 4. It excels at acceleration, and the top speed was very enjoyable!



My first 10 day Vipassana meditation ended today and it was amazing. Actually, it was beyond amazing; it was life altering.
It ended on a particularly painful note, however.

Tomorrow it's back to work. Maybe my new outlook on life will get me a promotion.

I'll be up at 4am, meditating for one hour, then workout, shower, drive to work. Driving due to cello lesson right after work. it's hard enough to do the 15mi to Manchester on my bike in an hour. it's impossible to do in 30 minutes with a cello on my back.