Saturday, August 26, 2017

LA traffic

I got my US citizenship this week and had to drive to the Convention Center in Los Angeles for the oath taking ceremony. Unfortunately Google Maps was not aware that 5000 extra people would be making the same drive at the same time so it took 30 minutes just to get the mile from the 110 freeway to the Convention Center. It occurred to me that Los Angeles traffic is as unpredictable as the English weather. You know it's going to be bad, you just don't know how bad.

The Brookes Isle of Wight saddle bag that Amber bought for me about 18 months ago broke. I'm really disappointed because it looked great, but it just wasn't well made. I can't find anything similar to replace it with so I went for a smaller retro looking saddle bag.

At the same time I replaced my top tube bag with a biggest version of the same one. The new top tube bag can hold my cell phone and the external battery back so, if my knees don't rub on it, it will be a lot more convenient and I'll be able to use it on LeJog.

I'm riding the Beachwood BBQ ride with Amber tonight so I'll find out.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Close call

I went for my weekly (weakly?) mountain climb last night and before I started I topped the 32 mm Gatorskins up to 100 psi. A quarter of a mile later the front tire exploded off the rim. It was so loud I heard the echo off the mountain a couple of seconds later. Fortunately I was climbing at 5 mph at the time.

There was a 10" split in the tube so I didn't try to patch it. Unfortunately my spare tube didn't hold air so I had to walk back to the car. It occurred to me how lucky I was that it didn't wait until I was bombing back down the mountain at 30 mph. That would have caused some serious road rash.

I got back home and replaced the tube and the spare. Hopefully that won't happen again. I still got a 25 mile workout on the trainer and I'll try the mountain again tonight. I'll probably descend a little slower than normal.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Ugh, what a ride

Amber and I rode the Back Bay loop today but it did not go at all well.

All went well until we got to a bridge on the Bayview Trail that had been closed for repair. There was only one detour sign where three were required to get us back onto the trail. Eventually some cyclists passed us who claimed to know how to get around the detour and led us back. At least the roads on the detour were quite nice.

We decided to change it up a bit by eating at the Ha Long restaurant at the Irvine control of my 300k. We would never have known how good this place is without the recommendations of some of my riders. I had a hankering for one of their tri-layer drinks. I'm not sure what is in there but I know it has red beans and boba. There must have been something in there that my body wanted. Listen to your body!

We took the East Irvine trail and followed the 300k route to Santiago Canyon Road where the CHP had closed the road at the bottom of the hill. Why they couldn't tell us the road was closed at the top of the hill, I do not know. Clearly they are not cyclists.

As we labored back up the hill my front tire blew out and went flat in about ten seconds. Amber looked at the blown tire as I replaced it and noticed a huge gash in the tube but there was absolutely no damage to the tire. Then I remembered that the previous tube had a gash in exactly the same place even before I had used it. I suspect I had two tubes from an entire bad batch. I inflated the new tube with my CO2 cartridge and put the ice cold cartridge in my back pocket. Oh that felt good for about five minutes.

Because of the location of the road closure we had to ride along Chapman to get back to the bike path. The first bit was nice, but the section through El Modena sucks horribly. Three lanes each way, no shoulder, heavy traffic. We rode on the sidewalk for a while but that was just as dangerous as the road. Eventually we saw the homeless tents along the SART and turned onto it. I've never been glad to see those homeless tents before.

Not our best ride.