Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wheels go round and round...

I've been thinking about upgrading the bike lately...

First thing to do is get some better, lighter wheels. The stockers are Alex 450's and are 2200g as a set. They're heavy and ugly and I want something better!

Beverly Cycles has some Reynolds Alta Comp wheels for sale, that have been kicking around, but there's also some cheap wheels on Performance and Nashbar. The Reynolds are the lightest, and cheapest.

Here's the Reynolds:

So yeah, going to see exactly how much those'll be.

In other news, the boy got a bike for free! Here it is:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The cycling gods were good to me this year...for Christmas I got Pearl Izumi Abfib thermal tights, as well as a Pearl Izumi skullcap. I also received Cannondale windproof gloves, but 1- they don't fit very well and 2- I already have Fuji gloves bought at Beverly Cycles. I'm going to return those as well as use a giftcard to buy a light set so it's a bit safer when I ride. One of my stocking stuffers was some GU Mint Chocolate power gels, so I'll also be giving those a try on my next ride!

Here's some pictures of my bike and winter gear I'll be using:

2002 Trek 1000

Team Discovery Cap

Louis Garneau helmet cover

Louis Garneau shoe covers

Fuji thermal gloves

Sigma wireless computer with cadence

Conti Gatorskin tires

More pics etc later on...

Monday, December 21, 2009

So much for that...

I just posted the last blog, even though it says November...I had the text I had written in my email, and never got around to posting. Been a busy month or ending, more jobs, no more biking. So here's the cycling related stuff that's going on...

I found a new bike shop to go to...Beverly Cycles in Beverly, MA. Great guys, down-to-earth, not pushy, just gives you what you need and a little advice along the way. I stopped in to check out what they had for gloves, and prices on tune-ups, and ended up bringing in the Trek for a full tune-up, new tires, new cyclometer and a good cleaning. She's ready to be picked up already, but I'm waiting till we get the Thule rack installed on the bf's car.

In the meantime, I bought myself some christmas goodies. I bought a Team Discovery thermal jersey and tight kit, regardless of how ridiculous I'll look. TK has approved of wearing team kits, so no one give me lip. That stuff is still on the way from China...what IS here is a Louis Garneau helmet cover and shoe covers, Discovery water bottles and a winter Discovery cap. All that's left is get the jersey/tights, gloves, bike and I'm ready for some serious cold-weather cycling.

Another thing I like about Beverly Cycles is that they ride. The bike shop I had been going to previously didn't have owners that road hardly at all...but now I have people I can email and plan rides with, which is exciting, since I'm now no longer in an area I know. Yes I moved, and I'm going to attempt to commute in. Stay tuned to pics of the cleaned up bike, as well as pics and reviews of some of the new gear I've accumulated in the past month.

Switching gears, I've also signed up for the LIVESTRONG Philly Challenge coming up next August. I'll be riding 70 miles in the event, unless the bf goes, which will be cut to 40 miles or so, and I'm excited. Donations of any sort are much appreciated, and I'm working on a couple ideas to thank those that donate, or represent them in the ride. Here's the link to my page. I'm riding for Team Fatty (who just got to ride with Team Radioshack a week ago!) and will at some point buy Team Fatty gear so I fit in with the group.

So yeah, more on all that later on.

A little history...

I’m sitting at work at the moment, with not much to do except wait on customers (who take care of themselves) and twiddle my thumbs. So here I am writing.

I started this blog about cycling because I legit thought I would keep it updated. Life, however, had other plans. I haven’t actually biked in more than two months (!!!) and I miss it terribly. Biking for me is a simple joy…go out on my own power, go wherever I like, for as long as I’d like and forget about life for awhile. Now the sun sets so much sooner, the wind is colder, the air is crisper and I still haven’t bought any cold-weather cycling clothes.

I did, however, pick up some Weyless rollers…then promptly fell off of them. For $70 I too, can look like a spandex-wearing fool, indoors. I haven’t put any real time into learning how to ride on them, however. I’m leaving that for this weekend when I can once-again don the bike shorts and jersey and pretend I’m going out for a ride, helmet-less. Or…maybe I’ll wear the helmet, so when I fall over sideways onto something most-likely hard and/or sharp I won’t have permanent damage.

My first choice was a standard resistance trainer, and then I heard so much about rollers, and how much better they are to train on, and how much better you ride come the spring. I found this set on Craigslist, where I pretty much find everything else that is awesome with my life. Me and the boyfriend (who gladly drove me to pick up said rollers in his car, since no way on earth would they have fit in the Macymobile) have been watching, much to our amusement, YouTube videos on how to ride rollers. One was from Evans Coaching, and showed a pretty awesome platform-thing with built-in grab bar that folds out of the wall. Yeesh. I also asked for tips from a client of mine, who is the Editor of shePedals Magazine. A forthcoming how-to section in the mag would be awesome.

Besides the rollers…I never talked/typed about my bikes…or…much of anything in this thing. Well, here we go.

I started cycling when I was around 14. I first had a Walmart-special, quasi-mountain bike. It was good enough to ride on grass, and some road…but nothing any more fun than that. I also managed to strip most of the teeth off the front cogs, so it was useless after a year. During this time I did research, read books and looked at stuff online. I stumbled across, and life changed. Ken’s site was, at the time, regularly updated with everything from cyclo-touring to using the bike as his ‘daily driver.’ He also wrote extensively about Henry David Thoreau, one of my all-time favorite, eccentric writers. It was fair to say I was/am a huge fan of Mr. Kifer’s site. I type this in the past-tense because Ken was tragically killed in a drunk-driving accident in 2003.

Regardless, I now wanted a road bike. It just so happens that on her way home my mom saw a bike on the side of the road, with a sign saying ‘free.’ She described it as one of the bikes with the curved handlebars and such. Ooh! A road bike! We drove down and brought it home, and I was then the proud owner of an extremely heavy Gitane mixte frame bike in desperate need of new tires/tubes and chain. Maintenance accomplished (I started getting the mechanic itch back then, even) I started riding as much as I could on that bike. I completed a 30 mile charity ride for the American Cancer Society, and looking around at all the snazzy new roadies with their spandex and aero helmets, I realized the bike wasn’t quite made for what I wanted.

The next bike to come in the stable is still my commuter today, a 1970’s Raleigh Grand Prix. I picked it up at my hometown’s annual swap meet for $10. It, too, was in desperate need of tubes and tires, and even a new rear derailleur. The neat thing, however, was that I had ridden the Gitane to the meet…and rode the Raleigh back home, struggling with the shifting, though not half as bad as my brother struggled riding the purple Gitane that was definitely too big for him. I rode 50 miles on the same charity ride the following year, with half of the handlebars missing tape (late night unfinished repair, of course).

A couple months after the ride, for my 16th birthday, and after I had been dumped for the first time, and had gotten my first real job…I got my first brand-new road bike. My mom had caved to my griping about gear ratios, frame weight and lack of a granny gear (bad knees started early) and bought me a: 50cm (perfect!), pearl white and blue, triple cogged, 24 geared, button-shifting Trek 1000 for twice the price of the Macymobile (she was $300 after-all). This is my bike now. I rode in several charity rides once I started college, but have since resigned to riding with a local bike club and solo as much as I can.

This season my average weekly mileage was pretty poor…I’m not even going to mention the number. I don’t feel like a ‘real’ roadie with how much I haven’t ridden. A couple months ago I was thinking about riding across the country with a partner or two, but for now I’ll enjoy riding locally, and my goal for next season is to complete, or at least start, an actual road race, you know with the fast speeds and such.

Cycling across the country is a life-long goal of mine. I know it can be done, and I know with how stubborn I can be, I can do it. The question then becomes can I afford it? Who’s crazy enough to go with me? Do I really have the time? Starting and ending is easy…start in Boston, pass through CT, end in Los Angeles, and maybe continue up the coast to Washington…easy, right? I could pay thousands of dollars and go on a group trip, where every little cut is immediately cared for, and there’s a van following behind in case you want a break from the boredom of being out on the road. I don’t want that. I want to carry everything, taking cues from my habit of lightweight backpacking. Camp every night, eat when you can, beg if you must. See the real world and not the world of instant gratification. A hopeless dream, maybe, but better than nothing.

I’m going to drag someone into cycling with me…at least on a more-or-less daily basis. I have a few people to ride with on weekends during the season…but no one who’s really going to call me up and go, hey, it stopped snowing, let’s go for a ride! Must change this!

Right. So this has my been extremely long-winded blog post about me and cycling, and where I stand. I’ll let you know how the rollers go…or don’t go. Maybe I’ll even have a video to back up the claim that I actually learned, when that actually happens.

Links of the Moment

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sun, Aug 9, 2009 - 5.42 mi [Cycling]

Sun, Aug 9, 2009 - 5.42 mi [Cycling]
5.42 mi in 00:24:14 hours at 13.42 mi/h on Trek 1000. [Cycling] ODO: 923.6 Max: 29.3 So close to hitting 30mph while pedaling...biked to What's Brewin' and back home, basically. Loosened muscles up...still sore from yesterday.
Posted from My Cycling Log

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sat, Aug 8, 2009 - 21.77 mi [Cycling]

Sat, Aug 8, 2009 - 21.77 mi [Cycling]
21.77 mi in 01:30:27 hours at 14.44 mi/h on Trek 1000. [Cycling] ODO: 918.2 Max: 29.3 Rode 1A down to Vinnen Sq, left towards Marblehead, around the neck and back, did a lap of downtown Bev, and home. Felt good...realized it takes a bit to warm up and get into it. Knee started hurting on the way into Bev, maybe because of the pedal? Left toes get numb too, re-doing the shoe doesn't help. Thinking about a Sun morning ride with NSC too.
Posted from My Cycling Log

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sat, Jul 25, 2009 - 36.19 mi [Cycling]

Sat, Jul 25, 2009 - 36.19 mi [Cycling]
36.19 mi in 02:26:42 hours at 14.80 mi/h on Trek 1000. [Cycling] NSC Saturday ride. ODO: 893.2, Max: 32.4

Rode with the usual group, started off in much pain, very slow, got back into the groove and ticked away the miles, then started losing it at the end. Need to EAT right before a ride, and get more sleep.
Posted from My Cycling Log

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sun, Jun 21, 2009 - 10.06 mi [Cycling]

Sun, Jun 21, 2009 - 10.06 mi [Cycling]
10.06 mi in 00:46:54 hours at 12.87 mi/h on Trek 1000. [Cycling] Riding in the rain.
Posted from My Cycling Log

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Well hello there...

This is a blog that'll focus on me getting back into cycling, as well as random cycling-related things I find.

I've been on several rides, last Sunday was my longest at 38 miles, but I'm hoping to start going for longer rides, and eventually get into cyclotouring.

My bike is a 2002 Trek 1000 that I received for my 16th birthday. He's named Ryder, hence the name of the blog. I also have several other bikes at my parents' in CT: 1970's Raleigh Grand Prix, '70's Gitane mixte frame and a '60 Columbia 3-speed.

Here's the main ride:

So yeah...I keep very good track of my distances and such...oh and if you're a roadie in the Beverly area let me know!

Follow my rides!