Friday, October 25, 2013

Good Run

I ran five miles Wednesday evening - my first real run for three months since I tweaked my knee. No pain at all. I'm very pleased.

I also rode 40 miles last night with my youngest daughter in training for the Solvang Prelude on Nov 2nd. All in all it was not a bad week.

I came across this photo on and, being the weirdo I am, instantly thought of a caption. My apologies to all of Germany and France.

Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, explains why she is divorcing her husband (right).

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sign of the Times

What a terrible title for this blog! Please read on anyway.

I got a lot of good riding in this weekend. On Friday night I rode with my youngest daughter - 40 flat miles - she did well because she's learning about nutrition and hydration. Part of the ride was in the dark which was new for her.

On Saturday I rode with my wife out towards Beaumont but the Santa Ana kicked up and it was very hot so we cut the top ten miles off the ride and turned around early. However we still managed 40 miles with almost 2000' of climbing. We rode up Sand Canyon which was not as busy as I remember it being.

I texted Eric who helps organize the Redlands Classic and it turns out the Classic will block my 600k brevet next year. I think I may need to route around it which may involve using Sand Canyon instead of Walnut. Still need the details of the road closures.

Yesterday I rode with Amber. We decided to do the Backbay loop which is one of my favorite rides and one I haven't ridden in a while. It got warm but not too bad. We ate at the Champagne Bakery as usual and it was a wonderful as it always is. I was feeling very tired and my butt was sore but it was a great ride anyway.

Many years ago I rented a bicycle and rode around Lake Zug in Switzerland. There's a whole network of bike paths in the area and they are a transportation network on par with the roads. There are signs all through the network such as [Cham 1.4km =>]. It's one of those touches that makes you realize that the government values cyclists.

Cycling around Lake Zug near Cham

Orange County is installing signposts throughout their network of bike paths. It solves one of the problems I have with the OC bike paths - they're confusing. Now I can update my route sheets to reference the signs they have installed. That should reduce the number of riders that get lost.

San Diego Bike Trail in Irvine

Amber's thinking about getting a dynamo hub - it's expensive but I think she will like not having to worry about lights so much anymore.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

An old friend

On Monday I got my Serotta back from Redlands Cyclery where I had taken it after recovering it from a hillside where it had been laying, exposed to the elements, after it was stolen. It looked marvelous. The broken spoke was fixed, the handlebar tape was replaced, and it was a clean as a whistle.

Yesterday I took it for it's first ride after it's ordeal. It was a wonderful ride. Strong Santa Ana winds, up to 30mph, blew me around. The wind seemed to turn of it's own accord - sometimes a tailwind and then, a mile later, a headwind or sidewind. Nevertheless it was a fantastic ride. To be back on my Brooks saddle with the long, custom top-tube and the super comfortable Scott aerobars; to see the bright beam from the Schmidt dynamo hub and Lumotec light; the miles flew by and I was happy.

It's like the old wife got a makeover. Don't tell her that while she was away I invested in a newer model ;-)

Monday, October 14, 2013

End of an Era

I am the proud owner of a ten year old custom Ti road bike made by Serotta when it was run by legendary frame builder Ben Serotta. Unfortunately it seems Ben was a better frame builder than he was a businessman and he became another victim of this economic downturn. This does not reflect poorly on Ben - many good men have succumbed lately.

He sought financial help and found it but lost control of the company and was ultimately fired from the company he created and which still bears his name. Thus ended an era in high-end hand-built custom bicycle frames.

The company that sells bikes under the Serotta name is not worthy of the name. They recently quietly posted on their website that they will no longer honor the lifetime warranty that Ben provided. When I bought the bike it came with a lifetime warranty. It is no longer under warranty and yet I am still alive. How can this be? I don't think Serotta will be around very long. The cycling community is too small to market your way around such treachery. We know what they are and we want nothing to do with them.

They'll be gone in a year - two years tops. They're already dead but they just don't know it. I hope their employees find other positions and leave. I know I would.

I was talking to a mechanic at my local bike shop recently and he recommended as a substitute for Serotta. Their prices look similar and I think they will benefit greatly from the demise of the Serotta brand.

Serotta is dead, long live Ben Serotta!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

All's Well that Ends Well

Well - not quite.

On September 26th by prized Serotta was stolen off my deck by a thief. He was interrupted by Sheriff's deputies while attempting to burglarize a business about two blocks up the hill from where I live. During a foot chase as he fled down the hill jumping fences and running through backyards he ran onto my deck and spotted my bicycle. You can't see my bike unless you're actually on my deck so I don't bother locking it up. He grabbed my bike and used it to evade the deputies.

I actually heard him and came upstairs to investigate, thinking the raccoons had knocked over the bird bath again, trying to get a drink. I didn't see anything so I thought nothing of it until I noticed my bike was not in it's usual place when I got back from work that evening. I called the police, they knew about the foot chase and we put two and two together. I sent flyers out to local bike stores, posted on the local website, and even visited some local pawn shops to see if I could locate my bike.

I had heard nothing for over a week so I decided to buy a new bike. As my riding style has changed since I bought the Serotta I decided to get a touring/randonneuring bike. Rivendell wanted a lot of money and three-four months to deliver. I looked at others but decided to go back to my cycling roots and buy a Trek 520 touring bike. It has a touring geometry, hill friendly gears, and you can mount fore and aft racks and fenders. It even comes with a sturdy rear rack. I managed to get $200 off by buying last year's model which, IMO, is a nicer color. The bike cost $1300 and I put another $400 into it to get the aerobars, Brooks saddle, etc.

Then someone emailed me that they had found my Serotta tossed over a cliff. They saw my posting on the local website and my wife picked the bike up today - giving the finders a $100 reward. There is a broken spoke in the rear wheel and the mirror is broken. I'll take it to Redlands Cyclery tomorrow to get the wheel fixed and have a good cleaning. It'll be like a bicycle spa day.

It's been a stressful couple of weeks and I'll be keeping the bike in the house in future.