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Thread: The Lounge of Terrestrial Wheelmen

  1. #4731
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    Took Michele's e-bike out for a trip to the store. Nowhere has the axiom "It never gets any easier, you just get faster" felt more true than this. I'm still sweating, it still took effort, only most of the time I was doing 19+ instead of the 12 or so I'd be doing on the LHT.

    Worked out well though, brought home a couple of bags of groceries in the front basket no problem.

  2. #4732
    Subaru Unimpreza SportWagon's Avatar
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    Another chip-chip training progression on a shortish Sunday ride.
    https://www.strava.com/activities/2589612856

    I'm going to hold off any long rides until I seem to be really comfortable with this distance. (40km)

    As I headed past (actually sort of between) the old dairy farm towards the Conestogo River valley, a very dapper-looking (even though hairy) dog, probably mostly Australian sheepdog, passed in front of me. I braced for the usual canine confrontation, but he/she just sauntered across into the field on the other side of road.

    It seemed so oblivious to me, I almost wondered if it was wild. But it was very clean-looking. Probably too small for a wolf, and not ragged enough for a coyote.

    I had just a little extra push that day, having had a reasonable balance between rest and exercise the previous week, I guess. And leaving on Sunday morning without eating anything at all currently seems to suit my metabolism well.

    As I headed down towards the covered bridge, there was a bonneted young Mennonite woman sitting on the rough fence beside its exit. Her foot was on the cross-beam, with knee up in sort of a modelling pose, although her long skirt draped down from it. As I turned to enter the bridge, I saw there were some older Mennonite women waiting near its entrance. I looked in their direction, but not too directly, and they actually said "Good morning", so I returned the greeting. My shaggy medium-length beard can look a little Amish, I guess, although I do have a moustache. The spandex shorts and bright green cycling jersey should tip most people off, eventually, though.

    Likely the women were waiting to get a pre-arranged ride from someone in the procession of horse-drawn carriages which was probably coming later that day. To be taken down the dirt road near the bridge to a meeting hall along there.

    Reasonably good time for the return trip home. And I got home without a flat, counting every mile/minute. The rear flat last Wednesday occurred after I rode over some flinty-shaped rocks; a little larger than pebbles. No obvious gashes in the casing, so I'm worried it's a rim-tape issue.

    P.S. Was it Random who contributed a ride this week?

    P.P.S. Everyone (at least in North America) had trouble with strava uploads this weekend. What about bubbles?
    Last edited by SportWagon; August 6th, 2019 at 08:02 AM.

  3. #4733
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    I just put platform pedals on my bike for the first time in many, many years. It's one of the best decisions I've made recently.

  4. #4734
    Bubbles :D M4FFU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportWagon View Post
    What about bubbles?
    I'm terrible. I've not ridden for two weeks

    And I've tried SPDs on my MTB, but flats all the way from now on. I'm looking, however, at getting some road pedals for my road bike rather than the SPDs as I think I need a bit more surface area to push down on.

  5. #4735
    Crime Fighter Cam's Avatar
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    Huh. I quite like my Look clipless pedals. I would never go back to flats on my road bike. The Crank Bros Egg Beaters on my MTB, however, can be cranky. (Pun intended.) They are more difficult to get in an out of. Unless my foot is near the top of the stroke, the crank keeps my foot from turning enough to unclip. It has caused a few slow-speed keel-overs.

    As for riding, various things keep me from riding regularly. Number one is the heat. It is 90+F (33+C) nearly every single day for five months in the summer here. The garage is not air conditioned, so I like to get out there early before it gets hot. By 2:00 pm it is 90+ in there and I am literally dripping sweat on whatever I am working on, which is not acceptable for fine woodworking. The forecast is calling for 35-36C all week. Walking Levi is also a distraction. Lori and I share the duties, but it is still something that takes time and effort. There is very little bicycling infrastructure here, so I mostly find cycling here boring or annoying. The few cycle lanes are littered with detritus and the calm neighbourhoods have a stop sign every block.

    Riding still puts a smile on my face though.
    Last edited by Cam; August 8th, 2019 at 04:30 AM.

  6. #4736
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    I love my Speedplays, but most of the time I ride my bike it's for my commute, and I realized after doing a couple of commutes on bikeshare bikes and once on the wife's e-bike that I missed the idea of just grabbing my bike and going, not having to have special shoes for it and walking all weird everywhere I went.

    I'm keeping the Speedplays, but I'm going to just swap those pedals in when I go for a longer recreational ride. For my commute, I am finding the flat pedals to be a great joy.

  7. #4737
    Subaru Unimpreza SportWagon's Avatar
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    Two other riders managed to hook up with me for my West Montrose ride this past Sunday.

    We were buzzed by a hot air balloon as I was climbing into Conestogo. I heard the burner go, but didn't see the balloon, but figured out what it must be by the time I got to the top of the mini-climb. I.e., as the other two were on the little bridge in the photo, I was climbing the mini-climb you can infer must be just on the other end of the bridge. That is, directly under the balloon, with my head basically looking down at the road.

    And towards the end, one of the other riders snapped a picture of an old man riding emerging from the Conestogo River Valley. (This is coming the other way up from the little bridge).

    Last edited by SportWagon; August 12th, 2019 at 12:01 PM.

  8. #4738
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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  9. #4739
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    I recently learned something that is very interesting to me, but probably of little concern to those who ride 21st-century bikes with modern drivetrains.

    First, let me put in a plug for a RJ the Bike Guy. He seems to have a video about everything I've ever wanted to know about working on bikes. His videos are all over YouTube and he has his own website, not surprisingly called www.rjthebikeguy.com.

    Second, while I personally like having triple chainrings (sometimes I use every gear on my 3x8 MTB while trail riding), some in my family are not sure about shifting, how to avoid cross-chaining, and what all those numbers mean on their shifters - "which is faster, one or seven?" Heck, I don't even know which is number one (large or small) without going out to the garage to look. My two bikes don't have indicators, and I think in terms of larger and smaller rather than "number five" or whatever.

    It's like guitarists who talk about strings by number - "To play this chord, you fret the third string at the second fret, and..." Wait. Third string? Are you counting from the top or the bottom? It's the same with bicycle gears, to me. I guess the difference is guitar strings have names (musical notes) and gears don't, so I do understand the question about bicycle gearing.

    Some in my family also aren't too interested in my opinions and suggestions on the subject, such as looking down between the legs while pedaling and shifting to see how it all works or watching a demonstration with a bike on the repair stand, despite asking questions such as "is number one on the right and number two on the left the next gear after number seven on the right and number one on the left?"

    So, I got to wondering if I could simplify things by swapping a 3x7 for a 1x10 - or even a 1x11, but I figure the ten-speed stuff might be a little cheaper, and ten is a nice round number. There are wide-range ten-speed cassettes available and, to my knowledge, only 10 and 11-speed rear MTB derailleurs come with clutches to help maintain tension and prevent chain slap. 9-speeds RDs don't, as far as I know. So ten it is...well, maybe. At this point, I'm just daydreaming...and boning up on narrow-wide chainrings.

    And that brings me to this tidbit of knowledge that I've managed to avoid until now. Yes, you can put a 8, 9, or 10 speed cassettes on SOME wheels that have 7-speed cassettes, but not all.



    Someone in the comment section wondered the same thing I did: "can I see the spacer without removing the cassette?" RJ replied "maybe". He's right. A quick survey of our four 7-speeds yesterday proved inconclusive for three of them (two have dork disks, so forget it), but I can clearly see a spacer on my Allez. Hey, maybe I should switch from 3x7 to 3x10!

    Nah, that bike is headed for craigslist if I ever get around to pulling it down from the ceiling and cleaning it up. But I am going to. In fact, I've already pulled off the saddle I like and put on a cheapie from the co-op. I've pulled the bottle cages and I'm going to install some El Cheapo flat pedals from my parts box. And just watch - as soon as I sell it, I'll land a job (not that I'm looking) within bicycle commuting range and be road bike shopping again. Oh, well...that would be a fun problem to have.

    Anyway, thanks for putting up with my rambling again. Bikes are fun.

    Here's one of my favorite RJ videos:


  10. #4740
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    I have made the leap and also bought an e-assist bike. I used Michele's to meet with a friend for lunch and then do some grocery shopping at three different stores on the way home. It reminded me so much of using the bikeshare bikes in Stockholm to get around...almost carefree, everything was so easy (though these are easier to pedal).

    I've also put the Speedplays back on the Madone for tomorrow's CicLAvia. I am super proud of myself for not having any seized pedals so far.

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