Sunday, December 16, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
On the next, much longer flight I am squeezed all against the window and the two next to me fall asleep almost instantly. The guy on the aisle was snoring so loud that I could hear him through my noise cancelling headphones.
Well two miserable flights was a tiny price to pay for the unbelievable time I had once I arrived. I made it, my bike made it, and many of the east coast's finest (minus the sandbaggers) made it as well.
After a long weekend of meeting new friends and fantastic racing it was time to pack up again and head out to Dallas for business. I stripped the bike back down to a bare frame and packed it securely for airline travel. Two more flights and I am safely in DFW with my luggage and great memories. Two days of work here and then back to home sweet home.
The holidays are here and I can't wait to celebrate with friends and family. If only I didn't have to travel so much...
Thursday, November 29, 2007
After getting muddy with friends I'm off to Dallas for business. I probably won't ride there but you never know.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Today I will buck that trend and get back outside, despite the freezing New England temperatures. I've been close to pulling my hair out with such a dormant lifestyle and I need my fix.
Freezing cold toes here I come.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
i'm nursing some body discomforts so it's ok that i don't have the time to put in long miles while i'm here. let the body heal, right? i rode a few miles, practiced some remounts, and checked out vasser college. fall is a pretty time with the leaves changing. despite the unseasonably warm weather though, the campus was rather empty so i was able to tool around on the grass without the usual funny looks.
next week i'm off to seattle where i get to hang out with this guy. Yeah, he is pretty awesome and promised to lend me a bike to ride so I don't have to check the trusty Ritch-y. I'll try to post a report if we get out on two wheels this Monday.
Friday, October 12, 2007
I'll be there again this coming Tuesday if weather permits..
Friday, October 5, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Tomorrow night I'll be in Huntersville and Thursday I have the whole day to myself to put in an epic 50+. Hopefully I don't get too lost since I do not know the area at all. Don't fail me now trusty Garmin gps!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Luckily these guys were nice enough to let me join them for their recovery ride. I rode with the shop owner, an NAV (NY-MA based club) rider, and a touring Specialized demo bike rep. Unfortunately I was scrambling to get my bike assembled in time to leave with them so I forgot to grab my camera. On the plus side I set a personal best time in assembling the Ritchey.
Tomorrow should be another fun ride with these guys. I'll remember the camera so I can capture some of the awesome views. In the meantime, google Boone, NC.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I wanted the bike to be respectable, compatible with other bikes I already own, and most of all, durable. There seemed to be no reason to build a travel bike that couldn’t withstand the frequent rough handling of the airlines. Since I’m a Campy fan, the group had to be Campy. I am fortunate to have maintained friendships and connections in the cycling industry so the mostly Veloce build kit I used was rather inexpensive. Since I spent 6 years working in the bike industry and currently have a stable full of bikes, I was able to pull the remaining parts from my “leftover” bin.
Here are some of the highlights and the reasons I chose these particular parts.
The Truvativ Compact crankset was one of the parts in my leftover bin. It fit the bill perfectly. It’s already used and scratched up plus the compact gearing allows me to survive even the steepest of hills without the complication of a triple ring (I loath the triple setup and will never use it in case you are wondering). Also the Time mtb style pedals allow me to walk around anywhere I might find myself. If I choose to bring off road tires, I don’t have to think about switching pedals and shoes as well. Plus I found these pedals in a parking lot a few days after a race so they didn’t cost me anything:
The cockpit is fairly simple. I didn’t consider the added benefit of the hidden shift cable routing but it has definitely proven easier than packing the exposed Shitmano handlebar assembly. The bar tape is a synthetic from Fizik that is not as susceptible to ripping as a traditional cork. Since the bars are crammed in close to sharp parts like the chainrings, I didn’t want to deal with the tape getting ripped up too easily. The bar and stem are simple aluminum bits that I had in my leftover parts. No reason for high zoot carbon on a bike that is being shipped around the country on a monthly basis.
In my opinion there is no option on headsets. I always spend the extra dough for the Chris King. They are maintenance free and carry a long warranty. Plus, when the fork is being removed and installed as frequently as it is on this bike, I want a headset with as few parts, all sealed, as possible. Chris King, you are my hero!
I love the Garmin Edge 305 for recording my workouts. Plus it gives a great insight when I’m in a new area. The GPS doesn’t require sensors on the wheels or fork and easily fits in my carry on luggage. Plus the mini-USB re-charging is the same as my work and personal phone so I’m already carrying a charger for it. The cork bar end plugs are just for fun. Unfortunately I just lost one of them this weekend while racing ‘cross on the bike so now I need to drink another bottle of champagne.
The brakes are standard issues Tektro cantilevers. I was initially skeptical of their performance since they cost less than $30 for the pair. I’ve quickly come to appreciate their light action and easy adjustment. Plus they are lighter than the Avid’s and Shitmano’s in addition to being cheaper.
One of the most important and smallest parts on my bike is the Connex chain link. I prefer Campy chains but they unfortunately do not come with a re-usable master link. The Connex is the perfect solution. I actually use them on all of my Campy bikes since they allow for easy, tool free disassembly to pack up the chain or to clean it in degreaser. Some people seem to frown on the Connex link with the Campy chain but I have never seen the link fail. It is a great “unsung hero."
The wheels may vary as ‘cross season picks up. For now I am using a pair of Easton Vista SL’s. They are not the lightest, but they rely on conventional 270mm spokes which are easily replaced in the event of damage. Plus the wheels are not that expensive so I don’t feel bad if they get scraped up in travel (which they have). I also have a pair of Chorus/Open Pro wheels that may travel with me to ‘cross rides since they are already mounted with cross tires.
Overall, my travel bike is not likely to turn many heads or impress the people I meet while traveling but that is ok. There is not an ounce of carbon on the bike (this is intentional) and its weight is probably close to 20 or 22 pounds. But it beats trying to rent a bike when I travel or being stuck in the hotel gym on the crappy recumbent exercise bike.
Look for an upcoming post about the packing process. I already have the pictures. I just need the time to write about it.
Friday, September 14, 2007
If I had more time and energy there were some great 30-80 mile loops going out of Napa that I would love to explore. Maybe I can do it on one of these next time...
Rumor has it that the single speed world championships will be in Napa next year so maybe I'll have a chance to do more exploring then.
Look for a post about the travel bike very soon. I plan on showing why I spec'd it the way I did and how it packs up for easy travel.
Friday, September 7, 2007
From the first turn of the pedals I knew Wednesday's ride was not going to be easy. I was not to be deterred though and I continued on my journey. This would be a 70 mile vertical assault and already my body said no. Maybe you should listen to your body...
I had the map and had ridden most of the route once before. The route is in San Leandro/Diablo/Walnut Creek and is beautiful and mostly void of cars. Here is the route map.
It is well worth riding if you find yourself with time to spare in the area. Just don't be surprised if you are crushed by the wale's vagina.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Well, I saved the queue sheet and I'm headed back there next week for another business trip. This time I'll be bringing the break away. Here are a few pics of what I saw last time
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The bike was a bit tricky to pack but it made it without incident. Assembly was easy. The first Dallas ride was a Tuesday night crit put on by these guys: http://www.blogger.com/Tuesday%20Crit
I got there with plenty of time to warm up and check out the course. About as standard as a crit course could possibly be. If you find yourself in Dallas and want a good Tuesday evening workout, I suggest giving this one a shot. No primes so the group stays together until the finish usually.
On Wednesday I tried to find this group: Mirage Apparently they meet somewhere other than White Rock so I didn't make it to their start. I did find a triathlon group doing intervals through White Rock so I jumped in with them and did some butt kickin' efforts before calling it a night.
If you're in Dallas area and want a nice place to ride without the effort of joining a group ride, check out White Rock. Lots of people ride there and there is very little car traffic due to all the cyclists.
When I go into a bike shop, I don't want to be badgered by sales people, but at the same time I don't want to get a disinterested hello as if my presence was an inconvenience. Sure, they may be able to tell right away that I am nothing more than a tire kicker, but what else do they have to do? Continue sitting on their thumbs?
Enough about my shop blast. My secondary mission was to inquire about good club/training rides in the area since I will be back very soon with my bike in tow and hopefully will be able to jump on some of the rides. At least the shop was able to offer some advice on rides. I'll be sure to post details about those rides when I visit again.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Since I travel a lot for business, I invested in a break away bike to travel with. Previously I've relied on the generosity of previous associates but I really prefer to have my own equipment. The break away has allowed me to experience cycling in even more locations and at no recurring cost (minus the initial purchase of course). I've raced crits in Dallas, climbed glacier roads in Montana, and I plan to do a lot more in the future.
I hope you enjoy the highlights and find the information useful!