Thursday, December 27, 2012

First real ride for 19 days

I finally felt strong enough to do a real bike ride. It was the first since the 10th and I rode a whole 8 miles! I'm trying to sell my recumbent to Jennifer and this was her first chance for her to do a proper ride on it so a short easy ride was perfect for both of us. It was the shortest ride I've done since my crash on March 24th. Loved it.

I came home and rode 60 miles on my exercise bike. Not feeling quite so chipper now. I think I need a bottle of beer :-)

Monday, December 24, 2012


Blegh - no sooner does the launch their competition to see who can ride most over the Christmas holiday but I get all sick. Not just a cold, but a violent flu that drags on over a week. Eventually I went to the emergency room, greatly speeded through by my daughter and son-in-law who both work there and seem to be on first name terms will most of the staff.

So here's the symptoms - see if you can guess the problem.

Extreme headache especially when you consider I had it for nine days almost continuously.
Stiffness in joints and muscles.
Slight fever
Numbness in the extremities
MRI was clear

I am the lucky owner of a case of Spinal Meningitis hopefully viral. Of course there isn't anything you can actually do about it. I haven't been able to do much cycling lately. Even a zero-resistance workout is devastating.

Monday, December 10, 2012

R12 and my second flat of the year

I rode my Santa Ana 200k brevet last Saturday with Mark Kaufman. Both of us were riding the last ride in our R12 series. That's where you ride at least a 200k brevet for twelve consecutive calendar months.

It was 44F and calm when we started about 6:30am but it dropped quickly to 35F just before dawn. I was wearing my usual cold-weather gear - Pearl Izumi arm warmers and leg warmers and a Pearl Izumi convertible jacket. It was chilly at first but as I warmed up I was comfortable except for some chilled fingers and tingling cheeks.

Mark and I rode well together having similarly relaxed styles. We both went through the predictable soft spots but we're experienced enough to know how to deal with them with the minimum of drama.

It warmed up slowly and eventually I converted my jacket to a vest and when the thermometer reached 70F I took the vest and arm warmers off too. I am still amazed that a few ounces of well designed fabric can keep me comfortable when the temperature drops close to freezing.

I got a rear-wheel flat on the way back. It looks like a piece of glass cut my tire and tube but didn't stick in the tire. Fortunately it happened near the Lucky Greek so I fixed it while waiting for my Gyro and fries. I think it's about 4000 miles since my last flat.

I'm looking for new tires. Specialized Armadillos Reflect 700x26 are looking pretty good but they're not cheap at $50 each. I see they have a reflective band but I can't see many reviews on them. I think I'll give them a try anyway.

Congratulations Mark.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Back Bay = Wonderful day

Rode the Back Bay 100k with Amber. It was one of those days where all the lights are green and all the winds are tailwinds. I had creme brulee for lunch and I feel no guilt :-)

I bought a recumbent a couple of years ago and I've decided I don't like it so I'm selling it. I bought it with 650c wheels which was a mistake because the front wheel has a Shimano dynamo hub. As I'm selling it I want to keep the hub so I'm going to replace the hub of the 650 wheel with a regular hub and then have a 700c wheel built around the dynamo hub. I love having a dynamo hub. I'm amazed by how bright the light is and how little I feel the drag of the hub. It's a bit heavy so I'd only ride it at night. That's my Christmas present to myself.

I'm getting one of those new Cygolight 2Watt tail lights for my daughter. I want something that's visible during the day and this seems to fit the bill. I'll review it when we've had a chance to use it.

I run a couple of 200k permanents. These are 200k rides that anyone can ride at anytime to get credit towards various RUSA awards (or just for fun). Last week a RUSA member named Mohammed Adawi contacted me asking to ride the Tour of OC Bikepaths. Because of several errors (mostly mine) he was unable to complete the ride on Monday and abandoned at mile 100. He attempted the ride again on Thursday but didn't start until 8pm. The time limit for the ride is 13:30 and he completed it  in 13:16. I would have given him credit no matter how long he took.  He had trains cancelled, missed trains, got bad routesheets, rode in rain and all night. He deserved to succeed and I'm very glad he did.