Monday, March 31, 2008

From Stud-ly To Slick

Well... I may have just played the biggest April Fool's joke ever. I decided it was time to switch from the studded tires to the slick tires. I am hoping that we don't get any more snow and the temperatures stay up over freezing when we have water on the roads.

I run the Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106's in the winter. I get these from Peter White Cycles. I have no connection to them other than being a very happy customer. The only downside to these is that they weigh a ton and have a very high rolling resistance. But then... what do you expect when there are 106 tungsten carbide steel studs per tire.

I've been using the Continental Contact Sport tires when the roads are free of ice and snow. These roll really nice. They also can be run up to 80psi. I also get the version that have the reflective sidewalls. I figure every little bit helps to be seen. I should be somewhere between five and ten minutes faster into, and more importantly, out of work.

I met an interesting character on the ride home today, but that is a post for tomorrow and I won't be making any of it up.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Not Exactly Like Belgium

Well... There weren't anywhere close to this many people out riding today. I think I was basically the only nutter out there. It was very early season Belgium like conditions today. Rain... 40... head wind... A very lovely day. I managed to get a few "bonus miles" in this morning. The only part of the ride home that truly sucked was getting to wait for a train. Not more that 40 feet from work. Just standing in the rain watching it roll on by. The only goodness there is that it had nothing but metal towers for wind turbines.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day!

Have a most irrational day!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

RAGBY To Visit Argo Corners - Don't Blink

Well... The DSM Register has released the detailed RABGY route. It can be found here. They are making good use of Google Maps. Nice to see that folks are taking to this. It's a great bit of technology. Not quite as good a use as the Beer Mapping Project, but hey... you have to start somewhere.

There is one interesting things about the last day aside from the fact that I'll be within five miles of the house. That is that it passes through the faux town of Argo Corners. It is not much more than an intersection with a couple of houses. When I told my wife about it, she replied, "Don't Blink". There is an old tavern than has been converted into a lunch stop/low budget Quicky Mart. I haven't been out that way in awhile, so I'm hoping that it is still there. I'll have to ride out that way and see.

Most of the last day is pretty boring from my perspective. I ride on those roads a fair amount, so it doesn't have the "new" factor. At least it will be easy to get home.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I Was Just Riding Along And...

Well... It was an "interesting" finish to today's ride home from work. I was going up this serious steep little pitch behind the house. I was a bit tired from yesterday's lifting session, yoga, and second night of poor sleep. As a result, I didn't quite have as much speed as I usually carry right there. I was just about stalled and thinking.... clip out? punch it? clip out?? punch it?? clip out??? PUNCH IT!!! So... I yanked super hard on the bars and ~snap~ my left crank arm goes from one piece to two pieces. I wind up checking out the ground up close. No big deal, just scuffed the right knee a bit and walk 200 meters to the house. Went to the spin class and then a stop at the bike shop. I have a used crank back on the bike and it should suffice for awhile. I'm seriously considering steel at this point. Time to surf for alternatives. Any suggestions for my Surly 1x1?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's Back...

Well... I rode the bike into work this morning. It was a balmy 18F in bound and right about freezing on the way home. This morning was pretty uneventful. Just lots of craters in the road and a fair amount of black ice here and there. The ride home was a bit more interesting. There were maybe half a dozen bald eagles hanging out. I took a couple of pictures, but I don't have enough a zoom on the camera to get much of a picture. They are pretty nervous and won't let you get close.

The ice next to the bike path behind the house was pretty interesting. Some of the pieces were close to a foot thick. Then it was recover for an hour or so and off to abuse myself at yoga. All things considered, a good day. Now if I can just keep stringing the commute days together. They have a bit of snow in the forecast, but I'm hoping that it manages to miss us.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Robin Hood Is Living In The Garage

Well... I picked up a new bike today. That is, new to me. It's a Robin Hood 3-speed. My assumption is that the bike was manufactured in 1965. At least that's what the date stamp on the Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub tells me. I bought this bike to ride the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour. Unfortunately, the tour is full for this year. Ah well... I guess I needed to get registered and then find a bike. So... it's looking like next year. I may make one little alteration to the all original bike. I don't think that I could manage 85 miles on the saddle. I have an old Brooks B-17 that while not original, is English and was being made when the bike was. Possibly a "more correct" saddle would be the B67, but I don't know if I want to spend more on the saddle than I did on the whole bike.

I got this jewel from the Iowa City Bike Library. It's a wonderful idea and effort. It is well worth your support.

Note: The trip to Iowa City was made on I-80. The dinosaur was still at the Cove. There just wasn't enough room in the back to get it in and take it home. Ah well... Someone would have probably noticed it in the front yard.