Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Adventure Van and Bike the Finger Lakes Challenge #BTFL11

 When Tricia and I bought our Pacifica last fall we decreed that it was not a minivan, but rather an adventure van. Our plan was to use it to transport our bikes and our own bad selves to fun places. 

We finally had a chance to take it out on a shakedown cruise. As part of our mission to cycle all 11 of the Finger Lakes we tossed the bikes in and drove to the most western lake, Conesus Lake. We still need to perfect how will load the bikes, but just using a couple of bungee cords worked reasonably well.
We managed to not only ride Conesus Lake, but tossed in a second nearby and even smaller lake, Canadice Lake. We were a bit worried because the website we checked said there was a 4 mile stretch of gravel. Gravel could be a dirt path, or could be giant boulders. And we were on road bikes with relatively skinny tires. But it turned out to be an  easy to ride and well-maintained path that we had no trouble with. And, it was even more beautiful than we could've imagined. During the road section I think we saw four cars total. 
As you can tell from the map,we've started with the easier ones. The largest are 82 and 97 miles with a good deal of climbing. But it looks to be a fun project.
Tip o' the hat to the Finger Lakes Cycling Club for putting together a web page with descriptions of the routes, best parking, GPS files and a web page to log your progress.

I'm in a Facebook group called "Look at my bike leaning against stuff." Because of course I am. Anyway, here was my contribution from our ride. So... Look at my bike leaning at (or on) Canadice Lake, one of New York State's Finger Lakes.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Burly trailer test with live subject


Mr. William loves his balance bike and at less than two year old is already flying down the sidewalk. In an effort to continue our indoctrination we took him out in the Burly trailer today. I think he liked it. But it might've confused him. Who knows. He has a lot of words now, which include "Grandpa and helmet," but will have to wait until he can string them together into sentences to find out how he feels about being in a trailer. Overall,though,  it was a success. At least for me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Can't fix this with duct tape

I took my Ti commuter bike/gravel bike/almost touring bike out for a ride and boom, my derailer exploded/melted/died. It's this bike and derailer setup

I'm not sure what happened. Perhaps I banged it on something and the it hit the spokes when I shifted to a lower gear. But I don't really know.

The good part, if there is a good part, is that it isn't some $800 electronic thing, but a relatively inexpensive item. I even found one on sale and ordered it already. And I do have another bike I can ride.

The derailer I ordered is an S-Ride. It doesn't shift as smoothly as a nice Shimano derailer, but it does handle the incredible wide range of my 11–40 and 46–30 drivetrain. I wish the Shimano gravel derailer could handle a larger cassette. Maybe I could stretch it. But I didn't want to buy a derailer and have it not work and still need to buy a new one. Plus, apparently the are impossible to find. So S Ride it is...

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

It's all uphill from here

I've been here in Watkins Glen NY less than a month. As far as I can tell everything is uphill. Some a bit,  most a lot.

The Catherine Valley trail is slightly uphill for 10 miles. It's a smooth gravel path, 5 miles of which cross no (as in zero) roads. In fact, riding from home we put a foot down only once or twice during  20 mile out and back. 

But the other routes out are brutally uphill. These roads are often double-digit grades that hurt.

My plan: Get stronger or die.

Monday, June 06, 2022

First ride at new home.


Even though we bought our new home in Watkins Glen in October 2021 I didn't totally finish moving in until June 1, having "commuted" back to California to finish my final semester of teaching. But at last I'm totally here. I took my first in-residence bike ride on the Katherine Valley Trail as soon as I could.  After spending 11 days driving a convoluted route to get here and not riding at all it was wonderful to get back on the bike. It's going to be interesting to see how living here changes my riding opportunities.