Saturday, December 27, 2008

And It Rained

Between 2004, when I really started riding, and this fall, rain was something I had never really encountered. That's because it simply wasn't raining - we have been in a drought here for most of that time. Now it seems like it rains almost everytime I go out. Like yesterday. It did wait until about mile 26 of my 33 mile ride, so I wasn't out in it too long. It was about 45 degrees, and I stayed warm. I don't mind riding in the rain at all, and we sure can use the water.

I like the Garmin, so far, it's pretty cool. Right now I am leaving the Cateye Astrale on the bike for comparison - plus it gives me a cadance readout, although I probably don't need that anymore. The elevation function is nice - some of the hills are a little steeper than I thought. More on it later...

Supposed to be about 60 today, and no rain. We'll see.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas RIde

I had no intention of going for a bike ride on Christmas Day, but, it turned out sunny and warm - 67 degree warm, all the windows open and ceiling fan on warm, and there was this one present under the tree; a Garmin 305 Edge, complete with both heart rate monitor and cadence. It had to be tried out, didn't it? I only went about six miles, just enough to check it out, I think I'll like it, but I'll need to get used to not actually seeing my cadence or heart rate, just setting the alarms. The set up before was a Cateye with cadence on the left handlebar and a polar HRM on the right. Lots to see.

My daughter ended up with a Garmin Nuvi for her new car, plus a beautiful hand knitted lace scarf from her mother (I got some nice wool socks, too). We all went for rides in her car to check out how the GPS works, plus she got to show it the car and her driving to her grandfather. Son got a Zune, so he's happy too, and CJ got some knitting stuff. Plenty of CD's, including Jackson Browne's new one.

Oh, I got Ground Hog Day on DVD. I haven't seen it since our tape machine broke.

Tomorrow is a little cooler, but I think the Garmin needs further testing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Take care, all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Today's Ride

Never happened. For various reasons. But. I didn't go to work. I played Wii bowling with my children. And lost. I played Guitar Hero with them, too. I still suck. Don't care.

I may or not ride tomorrow, the weather is supposed to be nice, but it depends on what they want to do.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


After yesterday's soaking I went ahead and lubed the chain - it actually had rust on some of the rollers - and the cables where they pass under the bottom bracket. I also wiped down the braking surfaces of the wheels as they were coated with a layer of very fine grit. When I spun the back wheel, it made a strange clunking noise, vibrated and seemed to bind a little at the same time. I thought something must have gotten flushed into one of the bearings. Rather than risk any further damage (and hoping there wasn't anything seriously damaged already) I took the wheel off and took out the bearings to clean and re grease. The bike has 3200 miles on it, so it was past time, anyway. I carefully counted the balls as I removed them - 12 small ones from the left, 9 larger ones from the right. A few of the small ones fell into the hub as I removed them, so I just pushed them through. I couldn't see any reason for the noise I heard, so I cleaned everything, put fresh Teflon grease in the races and put the balls back in. Nine on the
right and, ummm, 11 on the left. No place for number 12. I usually drop and lose a couple of balls when I do this, now I have too many! Try to put it in, and another one pushes out. So, all I can figure is number 12 had been in the hub since the wheels were made and it had finally migrated to a spot where it was interfering with something. The rear wheel's ready for another 3,000 miles, guess I need to do the front now too.
The rain did stop, but the wind picked up, 20 mph with gusts to 30. It seemed like one of those winds that was always a headwind. I actually was using the small chainring going downhill. I got in another 30 miles at 16.4. Tomorrow - vacation day and Christmas shopping. No ride planned.

Timing is everything

Which, of course, is why I got it wrong.

Saturday morning's fog was some of the thickest I'd seen in a long time, but the forecast said it would clear and get up to about 62 degrees with rain showers late in the day. Sure enough, by 11:00 it was clear, the sun was coming out, and the temp was going up. Figuring it would get better before the showers moved in, I decided to go shopping in Asheboro for Christmas dinner groceries and ride when we got back. Leaving Asheboro to come home, about two hours later, the temp was 67 degrees, and the sun was still peeking through the clouds, by the time we got home it was just starting to rain and the temp was dropping. Perfect.

I went anyway. The temperature dropped to about 58 and stayed there, not much wind, and, once soaked, you can't get any wetter. I was surprised how comfortable I was. I rode 33 miles and pushed a little harder up the hills. It helped my average speed come up a little, to 17.2, so maybe there is some hope.

Any remaining "cleanness" left on my bike after Wednesday's wet ride got washed off, it is filthy, and the shifting was getting a little inconsistent, probably from wet grit getting on the cables.

It is raining now, but it's supposed to clear mid morning and be around 51. Maybe I'll get a dry ride in, although my shoes will still be wet. Maybe oil a few things on the bike before I go, too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not 70

Funny how the weather forecast of almost 70 degrees and partly cloudy actually turned out. Foggy. light rain, and a high of 52. I was a little apprehensive about riding in the reduced visibility, but, I had the day off, so I went anyway. It turned out that there wasn't much traffic out there. I got pretty well soaked, but was comfortable, and my clean bike sure isn't clean anymore, but I got in 33.12 miles at 16.7. That puts me at 4003.85 for the year. So both my goals got made (the other was averaging 18 mph), and I still have almost two weeks to go.
I guess it's time to think about next years goals. That Century challenge Sarah is doing sounds like it might be a fun thing to do. I am definitely thinking about it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend Update

Busy weekend, what with Christmas shopping and car shopping with my daughter. She bought her first car on Saturday, so she's happy, and now I can have my "good" car back, so that's nice too. I did manage to squeeze a ride in Saturday, 33 miles at 16.9, and another on Sunday of 35 miles at 16.8. Since I'm not looking so much for speed I made a point of not checking my average speed during the ride. That was actually kind of nice not thinking I needed to pick up the pace or push harder.

It's supposed to warm up this week, I have Wednesday off and it's supposed to be almost 70, so maybe I can get a nice warm ride in.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas Wish List

Ok, I know it's not a bike. I can't get it anyway. I can wish, can't I? I can explain. Maybe. Later....
GTI MKV, 2008, 4 door -

Did I mention I don't like wind?

Well, that was confirmed today. It was supposed to be 10 to 20 mph today, but I think it was only 20 - no 10 involved. I was using the small chainring in the middle cogs on level ground when I was headed into the wind. I also have figured out that 40 degrees is about the lower limit of my gloves and wool socks. My fingers are cold, but ok; they could be warmer. My toes, however, go very numb. Some sort of booties might be in order. I hate to spend money on cold weather stuff, though, because the cold doesn't last very long.

I went 29. 74 miles and averaged 16.2. Now it's back to the trainer until next weekend.

Parade Season

It's that time of year again - Christmas parades. One of the neat things that come out for them is all the old cars and tractors. Saturday was Liberty's turn, among others, as the owner of this car told me. He had already been in Pleasant Garden's in the morning and was going to be in Ramseur's today (Sunday). He was trying to find out when Staley was having theirs so he could be in that one too. I rode through about an hour and a half before the start, so the participants were just starting to arrive. Watchers, however, were already lining the road, so I had spectators when I rode through. No one cheered, oh. well.

It was a pretty nice day too. It was 39 degrees when I started and about 43 when I finished, not a lot of sun and very little wind. I got in 40.32 miles and averaged 16.8. I am not really trying for speed so much right now, so I go at a somewhat more sedate (old mannish?) speed. Although I do remind myself that a year ago 16.8 would have been fast.

Today is bright and sunny, but it's supposed to be a little colder with 10 to 20 mph winds (have i mentioned I don't like wind?). I have about 138 miles left for my 4000 mile goal, and while meeting it isn't really a priority anymore, getting this close with 3 more weeks of riding makes it look like it'll happen.

I think I'll wait at least until it gets above freezing to go ride.