Sunday, June 09, 2019

Coming soon: Germany and into Austria ride.

We're almost ready to leave for another bike ride. with Peak Tours. Two weeks across Germany and into Austria where we'll finish in Austria and hang out in Vienna for a while. This is the cover for our binder of info we'll take on the trip. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Summer is here. Time for new cleats.

I waited until my semester ended to put new SPD-SL cleats on my Sidi shoes. I don’t know why I made that a thing. But I did. Looks like I almost waited too long.

These lasted about a year. I guess they are just another consumable, but I'm always surprised how quickly I trash them. With each new install I promise myself I'll be careful, use cleat covers more often, and try to not walk in them. Then I break my promises.

Cleat covers are a pain. They almost, but don't quite fit in a jersey pocket. And when I use them I inevitably try to ride again without taking them off. (It doesn't work.)

My prediction: I'll repeat the same process with these.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Bike maintenance day: Tires, chains, pads, cleaning

Yesterday I spent way too much time working on Tricia's bike and my bike. It took hours and hours to do what pro could do in an hour.

  • Used the ultrasonic cleaner on our cassettes (very clean now!)
  • Installed new tire on both bikes 
  • Install new chains
  • Installed new brake pads
  • Cleaned
  • Adjusted as needed
That doesn't seem like much, but it was.

I finally gave in and am giving 25mm tires a shot. I bought Michelin Power Endurance. I wonder if I'll even notice the difference from my Michelin Pro4 23s.

Tricia has been using Gatorskin 25s, but I put Continental Grand Prix 4-Season Special Edition 25s on her ride. They are supposed to be more supple and better in wet conditions at only a slight decrease in puncture resistance. We'll see what she thinks.

When did chains get so expensive? I think $25 is an OK price, but $40 or even $80? That seems crazy. I'm sticking with Ultegra for now, but may drop a level or two, especially for the commuter bikes, which also need chains. It's so had to know what matters in terms of quality and lifespan.

UPDATE: Went for a ride to try it out and broke a rear spoke. No, I don't see how it could be related. It's just another annoyance. At least I have a spare set of perfectly fine wheels.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Primavera Century, metric version 2019

The weather didn't register in my weather app. It looked to be a cool but OK day. Instead, when we arrived it was misting heavily. But we'd paid, so we started.

We had an event that evening, so we planned on the 85 miles route. But with all the wet, and having finished the beautiful Calavaras Road section we said "Screw it" and jumped on the metric course. I'm glad we did,

The course runs uphill, parallel  to I 580 Dublin Canyon Road and the way to Palmaras Road. It's always an annoying joyless uphill grunt that seems to take forever. This day it had a massive headwind, so much that we had to pedal even when we hit the downhill section.

Still, fun was had, bikes were ridden, and the food at the end was really nice. And we did get 4000 feet of climbing in those 60 miles.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Party Pardee

We rode Party Pardee again. It didn't rain, and we didn't crash. A good time was had by all. It was nice to see Tricia back on her bike, and she did look wonderful in Lorri Lee Lown's Savvybike California Poppy jersey.  Nothing exciting to report other than that.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Almond Blossom Century and a crash

Post crash Almond Blossom Century Tricia in kaiser
How do you talk or write about a crash? Everyone wants to know "Is she OK?" But what does that mean? There's such a wide range that includes "OK." So, is Tricia OK? Well, she's alive. And she should recover from her injuries. No bones were broken. So, considering the alternative, yeah, "OK" covers it. And if you aren't involved, if you don't know her, it may be a good enough answer. Do I insert that old "Injuries that happen to other people are minor. Injuries that happen to me aren't." line here?

 If you're friend or family, OK is harder. She's hurt. Parts of left hand are unbelievably swollen.  There are colors involved that I hope to never see again. The ER doc wrapped it up in a lot of padding and such to protect it from bumps, which kind of works. Her ribs, though not broken, sure behave like they are. Laying on her side is impossible and trying to get out of bed is excruciating. She does it, but I almost cry watching her do it.

So, is she "OK?" Kinda sorta? It could have been worse. A lot worse. That's a good thing. But she still hurts and will be limited in what she does for... Well, we don't know. And pain, well, it's painful.

Here's the story

Before Almond Blossom Century
We arrived happy and ready
Tricia heard the Almond Blossom Century in Ripon was a benefit for music education, and that it was a metric century she signed us up. It's a super flat ride that seemed perfect for an early season tuneup. When the forecast was for rain she said "what the heck" and off we went, fenders attached to our road bikes and stuffed inside the Subaru.

While we didn't have a wet start, it was pretty darn windy. Plus, we had morning winds from the South as we rode South that changed to winds from the North when we turned to ride North.  Then the skies opened on us. But we were doing OK.

At mile 45, just as we crossed a bridge over the San Joaquin bad things happened.

We’ve replayed her crash over and over in our minds. Plus, my photojournalist background had me photograph her as she was doing her injury inventory right after we moved her off the road.

Here’s what we think occurred — see the  diagram at the end.

Just after the bridge there is a lot of room to the right of the fog line. It looks like a bike lane or break down lane. But then the rumble strip appears and quickly the road to the right of the rubble strip disappears so there you are off the road, which isn’t awful except the road lip is right there. We think Tricia get her wheel against that lip and that’s what caused her crash.

A kind fellow cyclist (Thanks Roger) who wasn't on the ride stopped his car and ended up giving Tricia a ride back to the start. I waited for SAG and brought the bikes back.

We went to the Kaiser Modesto ER where she was treated. X-rays showed no broken bones in her hand, elbow or ribs.

She has severe bruising along with minor cuts on her left hand. They splinted it. It’s the worst of her injuries, and will take some time to heal.

If you're reading this I bet you're a cyclist and what you want to know is: How's the bike? It seems OK. The bar ends and tape may need some attention, but I think she protected it with her body. I haven't given it a full going over yet.

Post crash Almond Blossom Century
Tricia performs a body parts check while Curtis, who photographs everything, makes photos.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Ice in the California Bay Area? Yep.

I'm in the far reaches of the California Bay Area where really cold is 40 degrees. Sure, it sometimes gets close to freezing, or even freezing, but it's usually really dry.

I've been riding the same commute for many, many years. For the first time a short wooden bridge I ride over all the time had ice. Invisible ice, which is still as slippery as regular old visible ice. It was cold and wet, but the roads just had puddles.

I turned onto the bridge, and still in the process of turning had my front wheel slide out from under me. Not slowly, just boom.

I got away with a bunch of pain and bruises. And my ever so nice Showers Pass jacket can no longer be worn to formal events.

But there's no climate change, right?

Friday, December 28, 2018

English Channel to the Mediterranean, Peak Tours, 2018

I don't have stories, and I should. But I do have a bunch of cycling photos from our 2018 Peak Tours two-week ride across France, from the English Channel to the Mediterranean. Here they are. Click the image.
Peak Tours Channel to Mediterranean cycling

Monday, December 17, 2018

Antioch auto drivers. Yech

What's up with all teh crazy driving in Antioch? Sunday we had some jerk spin doughnuts in an intersection right in front of us. With a small child in the back seat. One tiny slip and that car would have taken me out.

 Then there's Tricia's bike commute on what should be sleepy suburban streets. But no. Check this video.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Kids. Bikes. Old guys.

It felt like I'd been waiting forever. At last I got to go on a bike ride with young Michael. He's 3, and awesome. I just wish he was around more so we could do this more often What a delight!
Grandchildren. Who knew?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Tricia speaks at the Antioch City Council meeting

Tricia is concerned about the new configuration of a major street in Antioch, and about the way the city handles bicycle infrastructure. She spoke at the City Council meeting on November 26.