Saturday, May 29, 2021

Our bike camping adventure

Our backyard tent experiment worked, so we loaded up the bikes with pounds of stuff to try a short overnighter. We lived, but it wasn't pretty. Or at least I wasn't pretty.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

First post-retirement ride: Wind and gravel

Holy smokes, riding in huge wind on gravel is sure slow. But because it was my first post-retirement ride, the 58-ish miles that took all day were just fine.
But of all, no getting sideways in the gravel and crashing. 
I enjoyed seeing swans in the distance, and got a good look at some huge river otters (gone too fast to photograph.) I was impressed Dan correctly identified a California wild rose, which I didn't even know existed.
Strava estimates 41 watts average power. But does Strava know about riding low pressure tires on gravel in a huge (and I mean huge) wind? No it does not. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Away from home ride, at last

Dand and Tricia in Benicia, overlooking Suisun Bay and what's left of the Mothball Fleet.
Dan aka LanceOldStrong, champion of route design, drew up what would be the first ride away from home for Tricia and Curtis in ages. I didn't know where we were most of the time, and I didn't care. It was so nice to be out in the world again, even if the sky was dark, the wind was high, and it was colder than we anticipated. It was grand.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Crunch. Creak. Tap. Click.

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.