Tag Archives: weather

“raw” – not really

http://qianguata.blogr.com/stories/2010-03-25-Xtracycle/ yet another little blurb about Xtracycles. Makes me wonder how global their desire is to do contracts with bike companies outside Surly.  Perhaps if I ride long tomorrow I’ll stew on a marketing plan wherein I, of course, would be the demo darling for a new frame setup with Just The Right Bike for Going Everywhere.  (A mom with kids might be better, but she wouldn’t have time to figure out the marketing campaign…)

Yes, it’s raining… not hard.  Yes, it’s windy — but it was behindme most of the way.  Therefore, Not Raw.  And even when I was headed North, it wasn’t cold or windy or rainy enough to create that “blasts of cold pelleting your entire body and face and eyes” that can make a ride less jubilant.

I rode the folder, ’cause I could sneak it into the office ’cause it’s still spring break and the co-worker isn’t here (it’s back by her desk ;)).  It is also the MOSTEST fun bouncing down the potholes and concrete aberrations on Main Street.  Boing! Boing!  (No apologies to Cory Doctorow – information should be free 😛 )

I didn’t ride ferociously hard or long, so now I’m chomping at the bit from the taper effect… hoping it holds ’til tomorrow ’cause I want to do a metric.  Might have to do a reconnaissance lap on the Studs if it gets too cold, though, and it won’t be a randonneury route; I’m not ready to “tour.”  I’ll try to set up for that and then realize whatever I forgot once I’m rolling.

Plan for when I’m rolling:

slicker than deer guts on a doorknob

… no, not really.  We have freezing fog that graduated to what looked like flurries and were even swirling around instead of bonding with the pavement, then turning back to stuff that stuck to everything… but basically if you were careful, you were okay.  Saw four or five other bicycles, including an Xtra, and I dont’ think any of them had studs. Forecast says we’re under a stationary front that’s just gonna keep doing this – only a little more, here and there.  I feel a possible b us trip coming on…

Tried to switch from big to little hose clamp for my flash flag… but it’s too small.  I did put the screw in a better place on the big one so it’s more snug.

Oh, another bus incident :)

The New Years’ Eve laps around Parkland were fun – one place where I had to dodge a little ice, but the roads had been treated and there were cars in parking lots (mostly Major SUVs). That made the bus heading into campus a tad less ridiculous.  Exiting though, we sat through a light cycle… when the perpendiculars were turned loose the second time, I merited a smile and wave when I clambered over the plowmess to hit ye olde walke buttone.  Those are the times I’m glad I’m not anonymous.

Happy New Year~

Since I didn’t go east, and spend 22 hours (min) driving, I could spend an extra 4 today riding, right?  Answered burning question:  yes, the body can sustain warmth for 2 hours at 9-14 degrees.   (Did 1.5 hours on the Xtra, ate, then 2.2 hours on the Trek.) (Yes, once you stop, that cold air between the layers gets *cold* even if you’re inside. Shed ’em quick!)  A little disappointed that I just didn’t have it in me to turn it into even a metric – 42 miles was “stick a fork in me, I’m done,” but my inner coach reminds me that the only way to get there is to go out and work up to it, and yea verily, I worked. He also said that I should have eaten more 😉   (I am also confident that under these conditions, there’s a very slippery slope from “discomfort” to “danger,” and I’m a middle aged lady with no desire for danger. Endorphins, not adrenaline, I seek. However, I *did* do some charging into the wind… p’raps I should find ye olde heart rate monitor…)

I also wonder whether or not the drive train gets sluggish in extreme cold. I kept both bikes inside overnight, and they each seemed to require more actual force to propel the pedals as the ride progressed.

Nice little purple gloves were enough — no discomfort on the first ride, which I preceded with six minutes on the trainer.  Had to go through a “this hurts – it better get better or I’m going home!” phase that ended at about 15 minutes in (longer than the usual 7 that it takes for a work commute). Didn’t feel like I could take them off (as is possible at 31).

Keen San Antonio boots (uninsulated) over cotton rag socks and thin poly socks were totally peachy – I traded for sneakers between rides and the toes got a little chilly but maintained.  Still in search of something warmer than the sneakers but with more traction, tho’ I might just go for those spiky shoe covers, the tracks of which I detected when I went to shovel my walk. Also, tights/thermals/sweats made my thighs chilly still so I added the faux gore-tex for the second ride. Might be able to get away with three layers if the outer one breaks the wind; perhaps I’ll try tomorrow.

Time to go drop off some cookies… but no desire to make it into a 20 mile ride.

Still the Chill

In the 30’s when I left this a.m. Rode Racer – rear tire is holding air.  Mike was good to his word and I got a second look at the insides of that venerable hub with its brass brake shoes.  Went out for a longer spin and it was *hard* plowing into the wind and I was thinking that my front tire might be a little low… but the wind was at 20 mph so that could have been enough.   I also remembered Petunia Man… it was about this time of year when I passed the lady with the yellow coat on the red bike (me, too!)  and then passed the man who said without turning, “How’s my sweet Petunia?”  I stole that tenderness and and rode off with it and it’s tucked in my saddlebag forever.Do need to raise the seat some, too, though 😉

Want to get that computer working, though.  Trying to remember – was 90 rpm about 16 mph?  Ah, well, I want to make tomorrow a good mileage day… which means I”d **better** get Certain Things done so I get go to bed early enough to wake up early enough to Do Just That.  Yes, I know there’s rain in the forecast…

Just the commute in, being drizzly and with lots on the agenda today.  I also checked my stats and I’m a full 100 miles ahead of 2007, which I didn’t realize had started that slowly, with soemthing like 236 miles in February.  Of course, I had 1100 and 1200 mile months later, and 930 miles in December, which may be hard to replicate, but hey, if I graduate to a 300K and the training to get there (Dairyland Dare is a tad unlikely … but who knows?)

WIndy and rainy and I”m disgruntled from not enough riding, tho’ I got in a few laps at lunch.  Think I *will* go by and pick up trainer at LBS and when it’s gross like this and I’m chompin’, use it.

Was passed by a fellow wiht a neat mudflap – I think a recycled water bottle cut out.  CHased him down just to see it better before he turned.  Had a good ride in, wiht not quite as many little delays as yesterday (today being a four can day, I think). 961 miles on the year so can get to 1000 in 3 days… mebbe make it two, just for fun 🙂

Happy Wednesday

P’raps just the anticipation of warmth, but this morning’s ride in felt really good.  (the tailwind didn’t hurt.)

That, and whilst sitting in on a class, somebody had to eradicate a bug flying around.  Granted, it was easy ’cause the bug was moving slowly, but Bugs in Classrooms are a Summer Thing.  Granted, it could have been a function of construction nearby… but I choose to take it as encouragement.

I decided yesterday that it’s time for this recession thing to back off.  Got it?  I got good vibes from the essense of the universe about it.

Oh, but my light bulb burned out. It was the wrong wattage and brighter… but I was seein’ how long it would last.  Not even a month; gots to go back to the derriginal output.

My patience is hanging in there better.  I wish it hadn’t been at the expense of the victim of my impatience, but if wishes were horses… we’d have a lot of cleaning up to do. If wishes were bicycles, then beggars woudl ride 🙂

Illini Chill – windy, but not chilly!

Got in some real miles Saturday.. 48 of ’em.  I’d hoped that they’d whizz by since I wasn’t pushing studs through snow, but, nope, I’m in February shape.  I was pretty toasted coming home and I’m very grateful to the weather for backing off the wind for me – it was down to 16 mph when I got home, which was definitely better than the winds coming at us coming back from Royal.  It was mostly crosswind for the return ride, too, since I was going East and the winds were SSW.

Bike co-op was about 8 times as busy as it has been… and this morning there were bikes on my commute to church and assorted little errands.  I went out for the philo-old church loop and snagged 24 cans along the way… very well preserved from the snow cover.  (Going to keep ’em in that Big Bin and wait ’til I’ve got a few hundred or ’til aluminum recycling is worth a little more. It’s half hte price it was last year at the Golden Goat.)

Must clean Gazelle.  Let’s just say it’s picked up a fair amount of salt and grunge…

Still The Chill

(second attempt… this is one of those “not in harmony” days.  Those bills I have been trying to get into envelopes and out … welp, they aren’t here to do that to.  That commitment that I need to stick the stamp on and send… that’s with them.  Grrrr. )

6 degrees this morning and still lotsa drag.  Tomorrow I am riding the Dahon and I hope it feels ferociously fast.

I have decided that I’ve got buyer’s remorse fot that Fenix flashlight.  I should call it Sylvia Plath.  It eats batteries like air.  Two doule a’s don’t get me home – not even one trip – and not even when I don’t even turn it on ’til it’s actually getting dark.  I’m sorry, half an hour – yes, that’s on the “low” beam” is a suckage.  It would be nice in an emergency and it’s sturdy and all… and I’ll give it another sot or two in case it’s a battery quality control issue, but it’s 0 for three so far.  That nice Cateye LED just chugs sturdily along instead.

I do like the *concept* of the tubular flashlight with the twofish installment.  Just don’t like false advertising.