Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When all else fails, ride the river...

I had thought I might get in a longish ride today, maybe to a lunch spot, but it was not to be. When I did my "ABC Quick Check" as I was getting ready to leave, I found (a) my rear brake was rubbing on a not-quite-true rim; and (b) there was a 3/4" gash in my rear tire, that I should not continue riding with.

So, off came the tire, and the wheel went into my newly acquired truing stand for some tweaking. I found a couple of seriously loose spokes, tightened them, and then tried to get the wheel as straight as I could and still have time for a ride. It ain't perfect, and still needs a little work...

Next, it was off to Scotia to pick up a new tire, a $40.00 Bontrager RaceLite Hard Case, an exact replacement. Considering I got over 5,000 miles on the originals, I really can't complain (much) about the cost.

When I got home, I didn't seem to have my wallet. Since I have a nasty habit of putting things on top of the car and driving away, I was understandably concerned. Called Bill, and yes, I had left it at the bike shop. Stopping back later to pick it up pretty much pre-ordained my day's ride route.

Put the new tire on, (mostly) got it correctly seated, readjusted the rear brake, and headed out. Quite a bit of spoke pinging from somewhere, but it seemed to improve as I rode. The rear brake is a little looser than I'd like, because of the remaining wobble, so that needs some work, along with the wobble itself and the almost-seated tire. Probably won't get to any of this tonight, and may or may not ride tomorrow. Rainy weekend ahead, so plenty of time for this kind of stuff.

Stopped in Scotia and picked up my wallet, and headed back to the car at SCCC, after an easy 21 miles up and down the Mohawk.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

League of American Bicyclists Road I Class

Last night and today, I took this class locally, from a couple of Albany instructors. I pretty much already knew most of it, but did glean a few useful things related to riding vehicularly, handling skills, and maintenance. Today, I biked to the class in Albany and back, and actually had my road test with the instructors on the way home, since they had also bicycled to class. Will send in the written take-home answers tomorrow (pretty easy), and get my certificate and reimbursement from MHCC.

The ride to Albany and back also pushed me over 2,000 miles for the year, so now I've raised the bar and will shoot for 2,500 instead. Lots of good riding days left.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Long Hiatus

After the metric century, I didn't ride for a few days, and then we left for a week in Maine. That was mostly a non-active vacation, including a pretty relaxing Windjammer Cruise, so when I got out today for a ride after 10 days out of the saddle, I could really feel the difference. I decided to just do the 14-mile river loop and see how it went, and that turned out to be the right idea. My legs were like lead and my butt hurt, and I was glad for the short mileage day. Of course, I also averaged just under 16 mph, so I must have been cranking pretty good.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Metric Century

Finally, I managed to finish a metric century (100k = 62 miles) with no cramping or bonking issues! For the past two years, I've run into problems around the 55-60 mile mark, and had to limp to the finish. Today, I did a hilly course in about 4:25, averaging about 14.5 mph overall, and had no such issues. This course totaled just over 3000' of climbing.

Oh, I was pretty tired between the 30 and 50-mile marks, but the rest stop at 53 miles invigorated me, the last 10 miles were mostly downhill with some rolling, and I cruised in to the finish feeling pretty good.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Basic River Ride

Needed to test my adjusting of the front wheel spoke tension and its trueness before Sunday's possible metric century, and today was a HOT day, so I opted for the usual flat river loop, from SCCC to Lock 9, and back through Scotia. It actually seemed like the wheel was pretty good, but since I never seem to be able to get it right, I dropped it off afterwards with Bill Lewis at Adirondack Bicycle anyway, just to be sure. It felt pretty good to be back on the bike, and I didn't feel the leg deadness that I was noticing earlier in the week. Guess I just needed a little recovery time.

The weather for Saturday looks pretty bad, with the remains of Hanna blowing through with lots of rain, but Sunday may dry out enough that I'll decide to ride. It would be nice to finish a metric without the cramping and bonking in the late miles that I've experienced for the past two years.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Biking, Mini-golf, and Ice Cream

Short relaxed ride today, 8+ miles R/T from Holly's house to a local mini-golf location. I won, as always, and got in an easy ride on the old Gitane just to keep the legs loose. I've only put about 80 miles (of 1800+) on this bike this year, and was continually fumbling for the downtube shifters. Good ride.