Thursday, August 26, 2010

Many hands make lighter work

On the 21st I took a tumble down some steps in the rain while carrying a friends munchkin. I very happy to report that the munchkin is intact... Not even a scrape as I was able to pull her onto my chest as I fell. My tailbone and lower back... Not so much. Took a ride down four steps and onto the pavement. Hey, all the more reason to wear a cape! The fall left me pretty sore with some good bruises. Not a great way to end the Summer!

On our return trip to Manchester I needed to shore up the Lab for the Guidance Dept to work with the Senior class for Wednesday am. Kevin Morrison, our neighbor Stephanie, my two kids, and Janice helped me shore up the room: resetting tables, computers and cables, cleaning and some touch-up painting. Many hands make light work. Something that usually takes me about 7-8 hours we knocked out in just under three. Many thanks to the crew for their help. I couldn't have done it without them.

I'm on the mend and improving day to day. Now it only hurts when I breathe! Hahaha!

-- Posted from batphone

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Technology and Performance

This marks my third year back on a bike... And I've loved every second of it.

I whisked out these three years on a Trek 1.5 road bike. It carries itself and me on some Bontrager SS 25 rims and Select B 25x700 tires. The bike came with 23s and they had some trouble toting around 215 pounds of me so Trek swapped them out at no charge... Which I appreciated immensely. The 1.5 has an aluminium frame, and carbon forks in the front. Ipgraded to a longer neck extension (for free at the local bike shop... Battenkill Sports Cycling Shop... Thanks Robin!) because I like to lean forward more. I like to ride at 100psi in both tires since moving to the 25s... Helps it feel a bit more free on the road. With the tires at 100psi and the aluminum frame being stiff on the 1.5 I compensated a bit to accommodate for distance rides by putting on a softer seat, a Serfas RX+ (which was not free but well worth it). I also upgraded to some dual function Shimano pedals so I can ride with clips or shoes. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but I've discovered over these three years I never ride with shoes! All told the 1.5 is a significant upgrade from the old 17 pound Vista Espada I used to ride no doubt.

I piled on more distance this Summer than the previous two years, averaging about 325-400 miles per week and a high one week of roughly 500. All that time on the road can lead to some thinking.

300 plus miles per week, and a trip average of about 50-70 miles seems my comfort limit on the 1.5 in my hips and lower back. Long trips with some almonds and other snacks, some water mixed with water and occasionally orange juice has kept me fueled... As well as some stops for some great delis along the way. The extended distance got me to thinking about looking into some new bikes... Some bikes that are less rigid, that carry a bit more flex. To boldly go...

Based on how much I've enjoyed this bike I'd certainly look at a Trek Again. The 2X series seems similar to what I've got so I'll look toward Madone series as a next step. Researching components and specs led me down the high end path a few days ago... like a Time frame and some Zipp 404s. Just those two components though are more than I'd spend, likely in the $6500 range! Like most things, there's no limit to the amount you can spend on bikes.

So... With a drive inside to put more distance on a bike... What next? Stick with the 1.5 and upgrade a few more components like new pedals and shoes? Having some shoes that are lighter and more stiff would be a good thing I'm thinking atm. It'd help me drive more power to the pedals with less foot flex.

As I look at new bikes... Is my goal to go more distance? Faster? Both? Just to enjoy a new sled and seek out it's limitations?

I'll also be switching from Gatorade to Hammer Fuel for longer trips for sure. Tastes less sweet while having and equal amount of sugar while offering up more protein and carbs. Seems like a good ticket.

All good questions.

Perhaps I'll go for another ride and give it a think.

-- Posted from batphone