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My bike is home!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

I picked the sleek red beauty from the shop yesterday. New derailleur, new cables, new chain, new front tire (unrelated to the carnage - I just took the opportunity to replace it) - $180. That's three tanks of gas, or god only knows how many cases of SlimFast. It's a bargain.

The shop couldn't find an Ultrega derailleur for an 8-gear cassette. Shimano doesn't make them anymore; in fact, Shimano is moving to 10-gear cassettes for its Ultrega gruppo, so even the 9-gear cassettes will be obsolete soon. (If you've got one, buy a derailleur now just in case.) We opted for a Sora derailleur, which is certainly adequate to meet my needs.

I told the LBS guy I dread the day I need to replace this bike. Buying a hand-built lugged steel frame bike is going to cost more than my car is worth. (Heck, a low-end hybrid is worth more than my car!) At that point, the LBS guy mentioned "We sell Bianchi and Raleigh's high-end steel bikes. One of them has the Dura Ace gruppo, you know...." Nooooooo! (Okay, so I'm really tempted, but I just looked up the retail price for that bike: $6500. *sigh* Okay, I see why people buy carbon.)

The rear cassette is shiny clean. (They do a much better job cleaning it than I did!) She's beautiful. When I hoisted her up onto the bike rack on my car, I thought, "Wow! You're so light!" My road bike is about 23 pounds ~ NOT light, but compared to mountain bike, she's a wisp.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILL60 6/2/2013 9:32AM

    Enjoy your bike and ride it bunches. I took mine in for a small tune up yesterday and am waiting for the rain to stop so that I can check it out. I make it a habit of slipping my mechanic $20 each time to takes care of my baby. In the ned, I end up getting plenty of additional goodies for free and my bike gets looked at immediately. Something to keep in mind.

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CBLENS 6/1/2013 6:04PM

    Enjoy the "lighter" ride to work.

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SANDYCRANE 6/1/2013 2:23PM

    Nice bike. I love bike riding and I go about 3 to 4 times a week. For me it is the most enjoyable form of exercise.

Happy riding,


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I miss my road bike

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I rode home last night and to work this morning on my mountain bike. It's about five pounds heavier than my road bike, but the big difference is the tires. Those fat, aggressive treads create much more resistance. It takes a lot more work to move that bike forward. I keep reminding myself how fast my road bike is going to feel when I get to ride it again.

It was raining this morning. That is not a common occurence here. We average 8" of precipitation a year, including snow. When it does rain, it's usually a light sprinkle. We occasionally get gully-washers, but our rain is generally benign and brief.

When I saw the rain, I debated wearing my completely waterproof but not breathable bike rain slicker. I decided against it because it was already in the high 50s, and I knew I'd get soaked in sweat. My lightweight jacket is minimally water resistant, but it dries very quickly. Usually, if I encounter rain on a ride, my jacket is dry again within minutes. Not so today.

I got soaked to the bone. Even my bra was soaked. It rained the entire way. And there I am, with these big knobby tires that throw up tons of spray. It still beats driving.

I'm debating if I want to ride home. I feel kind of icky (allergies, most likely). If my bike clothes are still damp, it's going to be a very hard sell to convince me to put them back on at the end of the day. I'm coming up with all kinds of excuses to not ride. We'll see which part of me wins out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CBLENS 5/29/2013 3:11PM

    ugh...good luck on the ride home. Hang in there, the sun will come out.

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Here's the damage

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Sick bike

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I had a major mechanical on my ride into work this morning. One of the derailleur pulleys dropped out of the derailleur. One of the pins in my chain popped. The derailleur hanger is bent. (!!!)

I can not make a big enough frowny face to express my annoyance.

Ten years ago, I lost a derailleur pulley (but that's all that happened). That was when I upgraded my bike from 27" wheels, a 6-gear cassette, and Shimano 105 parts to 700c wheels, 8 gears, and an Ultrega gruppo. Who knows - maybe my derailleur pulleys have a 10-year life span.

So, the bike is going to Scott's Cycle and Fitness this evening. They're awesome. Their turnaround time is amazing, and they try to fix a part before replacing it. They installed new cables on my mountain bike and only charged me for the part. I love those guys.

So, I may be commuting on my mountain bike for a while.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULESJET 5/26/2013 1:56PM

    So sad to hear about your "sick bike" and I hope you get it back soon!
How is your mother doing after her surgery?

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Good day to log some miles!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I skipped my lunch walk because of the weather. The workout clothes I had at the office were a pair of shorts and a sleeveless microfiber shirt. They were inadequate for the wind & rain that rolled through at lunch. I was fearful for the conditions I would face on my ride home.

The wind on the ride home was from the southeast. AMAZING! I averaged 17 mph on the way home. It'll be a while before I beat that time.

I decided to do a faux-brick workout. I got home, put dinner in the oven, switched shorts, shoes, and shirt, and headed out for a brisk walk. My legs weren't really wooden, but I could see why they're called brick workouts. My legs did feel different than when I normally start a walk or ride.

My mom had some surgery last week that went well, and her surgeon was optimistic. But today there were complications, and she's back in surgery. That was weighing on my mind. It was good to get out and work out some angst. How do people who don't exercise deal with life's roller coaster?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OWL_20 5/22/2013 7:01AM

    I think I did a brick workout the other day. I biked then hiked and biked again. The first minutes on the trail were very wobbly! And the bike ride home again was tough, lol. Glad you got that workout in though and I totally wonder too, how people who don't exercise get rid of their anxiety. I think it would be tough. Hope your mom heals quickly!

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RONNIEHUEY 5/21/2013 9:58PM

    Good luck!

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