Bike Porn – A real breeder…

31 01 2011

2011 Felt Breed Single Speed Cyclocross bike





Made it home unassisted…

28 01 2011

Well, I made it home OK. Didn’t quite reach my 30 mile goal today, but I did pedal 28 miles; though I did it at an abominable pace (which I won’t mention here).

The good news is; I got in a long ride for the first time in months. It’s been so cold, for me anyway, that riding more than 10-12 miles has been problematic, at best. On Sunday, Darryl and I did 11 miles. Yesterday, I did 15 miles. With the 28 miles today, that is not a bad week although, in Phoenix this time of year, I would have done at least twice the mileage. Well, I’m still adapting to the Colorado climate, I guess.

But man, what a beautiful day for riding today…with very mild wind…Woo Hoo…in January, no less.

I also stopped in to see an old friend at her work today, to help break up the ride and because we haven’t been able to get together since my return. She works at a bar which used to be my home-away-from-home, back in the good old/bad old days. (Still can’t decide if they were good or bad…lol.) It did my heart good to see Joei again. The greeting she gave me, that great smile and a big hug, were just what I needed. What I want to know, though, is this; how can she be even more beautiful than she was six years ago, when I am merely more gray? Not fair Joei, not fair at all.

My friend Joei...what a beautiful smile she has

Well, to sum up; today was a very good day. Plus, we’re beginning to see some action at Mile-Hi Cycle Guy, as well. We’ve sold a few bikes since Christmas. I had a man bring me his mountain bike to tune and replace the shifters yesterday and, I received an email from a woman this morning who may want me to work on two bikes for her soon, including a hybridization job. So, things are definitely beginning to pop around here, and it looks like this year’s cycling season may begin early, thanks to the mild winter (so they tell me) we’re having.

Let’s hope so, eh?

Later





Am I riding today?

28 01 2011

HELL YEAH…with a forecast high of 65 today, you bet I am!

Funny…during the first 7 miles of my ride today I saw two guys on bikes. In the 8 miless since then, I’ve seen at least five dozen cyclists. The bike trails into Denver will only get busier today, I’m sure.

Later





Need to ride…

27 01 2011

Wow…forecast for today is high 50’s to low 60’s. Yes, we may hit SIXTY today…in January! Woo-Hoo!!!

I rode a bit yesterday and, with temps in the 50’s, it wasn’t bad. However, I’m putting on some weight due to the lack of riding, so I need to spend at least a couple of hours turning the cranks today.

Tomorrow could be even warmer, so it looks like I’l be out there as much as possible for the next two days.

Gotta go…
Later





On The ride today…

23 01 2011

Four miles from home, on the Cherry Creek Spillway bike path. Two eight-point bucks and eight does. Very cool…

Later

RC





For the first time in three years…

22 01 2011

…I had to stop riding due to a leg cramp, yesterday.

It wasn’t one those throw-yourself-on-the-ground and grab-your-leg-type-things but, after only four miles of riding, I could feel my left calf trying to cramp on me, and with my calves (about 19 inches), a cramp can indeed be a memorable experience.

I’ve suspected that I’ve allowed myself to become a bit dehydrated, lately; my legs have consistently felt weak; my body has not recovered well from long rides; I’ve even been having some headaches. This seems to prove my suspicions correct.

It’s odd but, even with riding in the heat of Phoenix nearly every day for two years, I never had a cramp while riding. Yet, here I am in a much cooler climate, yesterday’s ride it was in the high 40’s, and I get my first cramp in nearly three years of regular riding. Weird…

Altitude, as well as heat, humidity, and physical exertion can also create hydration problems. Gatorade, Powerade, and water are crucial to keeping yourself properly hydrated. I’ve known this for years, of course, but I guess I forgot to remember my own advice to others. Lesson learned…or, re-learned…

Later





Does all that junk really make a difference?

20 01 2011

Many people seem to think I’m crazy for buying and using the cycling gear I do. “It’s soooo expensive, and you look like a clown,” they say. “Jeez, it’s just a pair of shorts. How can they charge so much?” “Holy crap, $69.99 for a tee-shirt? These guys must be out of their minds.”

Of course, it’s true, cycling gear can be quite expensive, and sometimes embarrassing, running around in spandex all the time. However, for me, it’s all about comfort while riding…and I look for deals…ALWAYS.

I can not ride in jeans. The seam through the crotch alone, for example, is so thick that it really hurts me…down there. Plus, they’re heavy and do not wick away moisture. Even cotton tees, in which I live when not riding, are very uncomfortable when I’m sweating and panting for breath.

What it comes down to, really, is how much one rides, as well as how hard one rides. If you only ever ride your bike a mile to the corner store for an energy drink now and then, it makes no difference what you wear. However, if you’re going to head out for a 20 mile ride three times a week, plus a 15 mile daily commute, you’d better invest in some decent gear. If you want to ride 800 miles, as I did in April 2010 on my first bike tour from Phoenix to Denver, you’d better believe you’ll need some special gear.

I have a saying about bicycles and the gear that goes with them and, even though it sounds counter-intuitive, I believe in it firmly; The better quality your gear, the easier it is to work hard.

What do I mean by this? If you have a quality machine, i.e., a bike which fits properly, which rolls smoothly, which shifts cleanly and stops properly, it is easier to pedal the miles you wish to ride. If you are also dressed and shod properly, in items which prevent discomfort, and even pain, you can also put in the miles you seek.

Cycling-specific gear is designed to help you accomplish these things…well designed, actually.

There are certain articles of cycling gear which I believe are essential to anyone who rides regularly. A pair of padded shorts is essential to a comfortable ride. They don’t have to be skin tight spandex; these days there are some very cool and stylish baggy shorts with padded inserts which can easily replace the tight shorts look. A good pair of shoes with a stiff sole is also essential. They do not have to be made for cycling, necessarily, but a stiff sole actually does improve power transfer to the pedals remarkably well. A jersey, with pockets in the rear, is very handy. They are made of wicking material to help keep you cool, and are surprisingly comfortable.

In order of importance:

Shorts: Avg price $65-$165; can easily be found for $35-$45. Padded shorts, shorts with a somewhat kidney shaped pad in the crotch, also called a chamois, go a long way to relieving pressure on the pirenium and the sit-bones. The tight spandex type os shorts also provide compression to the thighs, and are designed not to ride up the legs to expose unmentionables. They are designed to be worn directly against the skin with nothing beneath them.

For example:

Canari Paceline Cycling Short...$24.99 @ http://www.buy.com

Shoes: Avg. price $75-$175; can easily be found for $35-$65. Shoes are crucial to comfort and efficient power transfer. Soft-soled shoes, such as sneakers, are designed to absorb energy thus denying the efficient transfer of energy from the legs to the pedals. You should find that a stiff sole is actually more comfortable on long rides as well. (Besides which, specialty shoes are often the most comfortable shoes you can own. I once owned a pair of golf shoes which I also wore to work at my old sales job.)

For example:

Exustar SM602 Mountain Shoes...$29.99 @ http://www.nashbar.com

Gloves: Avg. price $25-$45; can easily be found for $15-$25. Padded gloves, half-finger or full-finger, also go a very long way to improving comfort on a long ride. They also help to keep your hands soft and sexy for your mate.

For example:

Nashbar Epic Gel Glove...$14.99 @ http://www.nashbar.com

Jersey: Avg. price $70-$100; can easily be found for $25-$45. While it is possible, if not easy, to ride comfortably in a tee-shirt made of modern wicking material (I did it for 2 1/2 years in Phoenix, after all), I have found that a real cycling jersey makes a huge difference in comfort as well as portability. In other words, it’s easier to carry all my crap with me when I ride. Plus, most wicking tees do not have a zipper down the chest which comes in very handy on warm-weather rides.

For example:

Nashbar Earth Jersey…$19.99 @ http://www.nashbar.com

I’m not here to push any one website which sells cycling gear. Bike Nashbar is one of the best, though. We also like to buy from these other sites: www.Pricepoint.com, www.niagaracycle.com, www.bike.com, www.bizrate.com, plus, of course, amazon.com and eBay.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the best BEST, BEST, way to buy cycling gear at a reasonable price is to look for CLOSEOUTS. I  have also found some wonderfully priced and versatile items at Wal-Mart and Target which I have been able to adapt to cycling. Doing this can save you a ton of money.
The best answer to anyone who thinks you overspend on cycling and cycling gear is…the fact that you are riding and enjoying doing so; especially since, in all likelyhood, the last time they rode a bike was when they were in junior high.

Later








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