Friday, March 18, 2011

29er Crew

The folks in Wisconsin seem to like what I do and have agreed to support my bicycling endeavors. To that I say 'Thank You'.

The primary bicycle I will be riding offroad with is my Superfly Singlespeed that I rode last season. Somedays I'll have my Fox squishy fjork on the front end and other days I will have my Niner crabon fjork.

Monday, March 14, 2011

gluttony and the salad

I rode my bike to the grocery store the other day. Its only about 3 blocks away but the bike is quicker than walking and I could also carry more groceries on the bike. Besides, it was a windy (30mph) overcast Sunday. Why shouldn't one ride their bike?

Both panniers were full (one reusable bag each) and I opted to strap the bag with the eggs ontop of the rack. Three bags and $50 worth of food. That should last me 'till the end of next week.

Between yesterday and this morning I ran into a bit of a problem.

I ate too many donuts.

So, I opted to ride my bike to work today to get rid of 'em.
I couldn't seem to shake them from my tail no matter how many left turns I made. It was a nice ride nonetheless. Felt good once I got to work. Perhaps I did shake them?

After all, eating Donuts is very American.

Once I got home from work I was hungry.

Since there were no more donuts I opted for a salad with cranberry juice and all the fixins.
(Yes, there is lettuce in there)

But there is a specific method to eating such a meal.

No. Not that method.

One must wear their best Grig Martin shirt whilst eating their salad.

However, some of us were not impressed as this was a meal without sharing.

Ignoring all parties in the vicinity I continued eating until my plate was empty.

The moral of the story?

"Eat donuts"

Errr.. I mean...

"Fuck this shit. I'm getting some salad."

That's right.

Both Grig Martin and Rebecca Rusch will be heading back east later this spring to spend their memorial day and the week thereafter with us at the Trans-Sylvania Epic for the second year in a row.

Peter can come too.

Unfortunately the other sith lord from up north won't be joining us. How will Dicky and I stay ahead of Grig then? I think it begins with staying away from donuts and eating salads. Or maybe posting more 'moves'? Perhaps donuts are the key? I think we might just use the Force in the end.

"Good for you. Now its time to play with the dead rabbit."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

barkhamsted road ride

Charlie and I went out for a road ride yesterday. I wanted to ride this weekend and he was meeting up with some friends so I tagged along.

Some of his friends were rendezvousing in the town of Riverton for a ride around the reservoir. Both Charlie and I didn't feel like driving so we rode our bikes out to Riverton to meet up with his buddies and joined them in a ride around Barkhamsted Reservoir. Rough estimate was 2hrs out there and then a 2-3hr ride so I was thinking a total ride time of around 6-7hrs so I prepared for that (assuming a few stops for water and possibly food).

My big miscalculation for the day was temperature. The forecast was for 50F by mid-day (where we'd be doing most of our riding) and partly cloudy. I read that as 50F weather and since it was near 50 and sunny when we got into Newtown last weekend (and I was overheating) I figured this weekend I can dress lighter.

Dress lighter meant a thicker base layer with just a short sleeve jersey and my wind vest and no shoe covers. As soon as I turned the corner from my house enroute to Charlie's I immediately realized that it would be near 50 but super windy. I was cold and would continue to be cold through most of the ride because I was too stubborn to turn around and grab some warmer clothes from home. Stubborn probably because I felt I was late getting to Charlie's house.

Anywho.. We headed west on rt4 through Farmington into the wind. The wind was fierce and Charlie was setting what I thought was a fast pace. Out into Collinsville and we then took a chance and shot across the Nepaug Resevoir hoping the bike path would be clear of snow. It was.


Around the edge of Nepaug State Forest and into the town of New Hartford. Then north up through Peoples State Forest which was a really nice ride. The snow was still present and it was quite cold as a result. That put us out into Riverton where we met Charlie's friends. I grabbed a coffee in hopes to warm up. Little did I know we were riding against the wind and uphill the whole way. No wonder I was quite tired.

Riverton was just before mile 30.

From here the climbing started as we rounded the northern most tip of the Barkhamsted Reservoir only a few short miles from Massachusetts. The views were beautiful and the road was quite smooth (rt20) and free of sand while the woods and edges of the roads were still full of snow. The wind also seemed to disappear which was a nice relief. I wanted to get some photos but my phone was buried deep in my jersey pocket beneath a ton of food and I didn't feel like stopping to dig it out.

On both climbs I fell off the back quite far. I am not entirely sure why but my thighs had no strength to pedal a 10-12mph pace up those climbs. This has been somewhat consistent for me the past few years on my road bike. I am beginning to wonder if my fit is off because I never really feel comfortable on the bike as I do with my mountain bikes. The stem is the same length as my track bike and the geometry is very similar. I wonder if its because my road bike's handlebars are narrower? Either way I was able to maintain a pace (around 8mph) and climb both of those climbs without having to stop anywhere along the way. I'd regroup at the top and we'd continue out from there. The good news is I was able to warm up with these climbs. No more cold feet.

At the top of the last big climb, in East Hartland, Charlie and I branched off from his friends and started making our way back towards West Hartford. We stopped in North Granby to refill our waterbottles at one of his friend's houses. We hung out there on his buddy's porch in the sun for a bit. I was offered a PBR and accepted.

Once we were nice and cold again from resting we got back on the bikes and started the slow descent back into West Hartford. South into Granby and further south into Tarrifville and Bloomfield and back home. That last leg we either had a strong cross-wind or we had another head wind. It was one of those rides where we never got that tail wind as a reward for all the work riding into the wind. Oh well..

Total ride time was around 5.5hrs with almost an hour of sitting around (guess that stop in North Granby was quite long). An hour or two short of what I estimated going into the ride.

Total distance around 70miles. Still quicker than last weekend's 70miles. About what I was expecting to ride.

Charlie's GPS data is here. (thanks Charlie)

Afterwards I cleaned up and had something to eat. Then took a 30-45min nap to rest.

It was a good day riding bikes.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Tim Johnson's Ride on Washington

Full details are over here on the Gary Fisher 29er crew blog.


Cyclocross Superstar Tim Johnson and a crew of friends and fellow bicycle advocates are riding their bikes from Boston to Washington DC for the National Bike Summit.

I joined up with them on part of their leg from Hartford to Manhattan on Saturday. Hartford to Cannondale's headquarters in Bethel Connecticut was my route.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

today's commute

Since my days are still quite long in the office and I keep finding house projects to work on when I am home, I figured the only time I can ride is my commute to and from work. Therefore I am trying to make an effort to ride more and drive less.

Today's commute, as they say on Marketplace....

by the numbers:
~ 2 cars honking their horns at me
~ 2 other cars nearly running me off the road (both less than 1/4 mile from my house)
~ 5 co-workers commenting on how crazy I am to ride my bike on such a cold day
~ temps around 10-15F for my commutes
~ one 20lb box of audi brake parts hauled to USPS for shipping (paid for the bike rack and panniers)
~ one yoga mat and clothing for lunchtime yoga class
~ one bag of clothes for lunch
~ one bag of lunch
~ around 23miles ridden today
~ zero coasting
~ one dead headlight battery

I changed some things up on my fixed gear to better aid in commuting to and from work. Those changes being a rear rack and panniers to lug my gear around. It was kind of tricky to get everything to fit properly since the chainstays are quite short on my track bike. I found something that works and my feet do not interfere.
I went this route because I was getting tired of a sweaty back from riding with a fully loaded messenger bag on my back. I kind of like this option as it allows me to better regulate heat while riding which correlates to me not being as sweaty and smelly at work (no showers). It does make the bike a bit heavier and thus handling is compromised but I got used to it pretty quickly.

Especially with a 20lb box attached to it this morning. I rode into work so early this morning that the post office was not open yet.


That meant I lugged those brakes all over Hartford as I couldn't get to a post office until I went to yoga class at lunch. Guess its added weight to help with 'training'? I think its more poor planning on my behalf.

Don't forget to:

Tomorrow the plan is to do it all over again (minus the USPS stop and yoga class). On the way home I plan on swinging by Kenny's Red Rock for some reception to see and hopefully say hello to cyclocross champion Tim Johnson as he rides through Hartford on his way to DC (for the National Bike Summit) as he promotes bicycle advocacy.