So I got new shoes. Of course, these aren't made any more, so I got something different. I like the new ones, but I don't love them. So it goes.
Wednesday, September 08, 2021
- Lasted 11 weeks
- Drove 8484 miles
- Visited (or crossed through) through 17 states.
- Rode bikes 49 days
- Rode 1427 miles in 9 states.
- We rode in Idaho, then spent a week riding gravel along the Divide in Montana with Adventure Cycling's Cycle the Divide tour.
- We rode the Paul Bunyan Trail in Minnesota
- We spent a day on car-free Mackinac Island in Michigan.
- We rode from Fairport (just outside Rochester) to Niagara Falls and back, carrying our clothes and staying in hotels B&Bs.
- We took a lap around Lake Keuka, one of the NY Finger lakes.
- We rode the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, carrying our sleeping bags and tents our first self-supported ride.
- We spent time riding the Catharine Valley Trail in Watkins Glen NY
- We polished it off with a week-long ride with Adventure Cycling around Lake Champlain and into the Green Mountains of Vermont.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
|Tricia gazes out on the valley below at sunset. OK, I asked her to sit there. The light was too perfect to not shoot this.|
We stayed at Juniper campground, around the 3000 level, and 800 feet or so shy of the summit. Yep, we drove. We didn't want to try hauling so much stuff up the mountain on a test outing. But we did take our "gravel bikes" and rode to the summit from our campground. We felt a little guilty about driving our bikes up the mountain, and know we got strange looks from cyclists who were riding that day. But we can report "The Wall" (the last few hundred feet to the summit parking lot) is still steep, even if you haven't done the whole mountain first.
The new bags worked. We didn't need the liners as it didn't get that cold. Our tent is so cozy we both got more sleep than we do at home. Maybe the lack of freeway sounds and general noise helped. Maybe that we were in a shadow when the sun came up. Or maybe our NeoAir mattresses are just that comfortable.
|Tricia rode her Vaya and not her usual Ruby.|
|We've been promised that the bright colors of our sleeping bags, pads and tent render us bear proof.|
Saturday, May 29, 2021
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Sunday, May 16, 2021
|Dand and Tricia in Benicia, overlooking Suisun Bay and what's left of the Mothball Fleet.|
Sunday, May 02, 2021
Crunch. Or maybe creak. Kind of like tapping or clicking on a carbon bike frame. Whatever you call it, a sound like that, even if it's not that loud, over time destroys the harmony of a bike ride. Like the drip drip drip of a faucet when you're trying to sleep it becomes increasingly annoying until it drives every other thought from your mind.
I was sure it was the bottom bracket. Partly because every annoying bike sound seems like it's coming from the bottom bracket. Partly because that would be the toughest thing to fix, so that must be it.
But I figured I should try simple things first, because I know weird sounds come from weird places. Like the time it took an hour to figure out that a click was coming from my Road ID dog tags hitting my heart rate monitor chest strap.
Chainring bolts? Nope. Cleats on shoes? Nope. Something in the seat bag? Nope. Not a loose water bottle cage bolt either. But with everything that's easily attached now removed the sound was gone.
I tend to forget that riding a bike constantly rattles it, and that things can and do loosen over time. I eventually noticed my Lezyne pump had managed to become unscrewed where the body meets the plunger. It didn't stand out as much it does in the photo, but there it was, completely disconnected. I tightened it, as well as a couple of bolts on it. Now, once again, the universe is back in balance. And it didn't even cost me any money.
That little piece of black fuzz? That's a slice of velcro glued onto the pump handle to keep it from clanking on the frame, a lesson from a past find-the-noise adventure.
Friday, April 30, 2021
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
|This is what all gravel feels like when you're a roadie at heart.|
Thursday, April 08, 2021
Friday, April 02, 2021
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
The weather has become nice enough now that I don't need old tires, suitable for the trainer, on my bike any more this year (Yea California!) I am ready for the outside world.
To that end I mounted a set of Continental Grand Prix 5000 tires with Victoria latex tubes on my Williams wheels.
Rumor has it that these are nice rolling tires. I have also read that latex tubes are more supple as well as lightweight. Much to my surprise, the rumors seem to be true. Whether it's the Grand Prix's or the latex tubes I don't know, and I'm not about to take it all apart to test it.But the ride seems much smoother and more free of vibration.
Sure, it could easily be the placebo effect. After all, who wants to spend money only to discover that it doesn't made a darn bit of difference. So I could just be convincing myself that the ride is smoother. But I don't think so. Then again, that's how these mind games work, right?
So, whether it's me faking myself out, or the tube/tire combination actually smoothing the road vibration, I'm feeling it. I could really tell on a recent downhill stretch of not-great roadway that my bike was rolling a lot more smoothly. Priceless.