"Do you know if the issues with slipping have been addressed with this particular brand of carbon seatpost?"
"What experience do you have with the design?"
"Have you read the Velonews seatpost test article?"..."I've ordered this particular model and want to know if it's any good?"
After about a 5 minute conversation about the pros and cons of seatpost designs, and proper installation his curiosities were satiated.
Now my curiosities were raised; I went to the special order book to see who ordered this seatpost. That's odd? It's not in the special order book and no one has spoken to anyone about ordering such a post?
Could someone be douche-y enough to order a post online and call a LBS the Saturday before Christmas for reassurances of their interweb score?
The only thing I'd change is the gloves; the Gavia's just don't live up to their name. Hampsten definitely wouldn't approve. My hand was a little shaky writing down the address on my package when I got to the Post office . The PI Pro Soft Shell definitely would have been a better choice.
On the ride in
to work the other day, it occurred to me that between Pete and I, we have quite
a bit of knowledge of bicycle commuting.
I thought “Wouldn’t it be great to share this knowledge with our friends
and customers?” mentally patting myself on the back. As I proposed the idea to Jan she replied
“Oh, yeah, I saw you riding home the other night, and your taillight wasn’t
doing anything (woops!)”. Seems the
batteries were on their way out, and the light was quickly dimming after start
tenants of bicycle commuting are:
from point A to B in a timely fashion
not get dead!
Having a dying taillight potentially violates all three of
I changed my
batteries and decided I needed a better solution.
We just got
(more of) the better solution into the shop on Wednesday, the Nite Rider Solas.
A 2 watt, USB rechargeable taillight.
Ah, that’s 2
The best replaceable battery taillights are .5
difference is amazing. Testing it out
behind the shop, it illuminated a good 15 to 20 feet behind my bike. Not just
visible, but actually lighting up space.
A quick glance behind me on an unlit road revealed a reassuring bright glow
cast on the pavement.
rechargeable, I no longer have to worry about replacing the batteries before
they are a mere façade of safety. On the
standard 1st flash setting it has a 18 hour run time; on the
brighter 2nd flash setting 7 hours.
Once a week charging should give me a sufficient buffer zone to not have
to worry about it running low.
the Solas is the Nite Rider Lumina 650 headlight. Also a USB rechargeable light. It offers 4 light levels from walking to 650
lumens, as well as a flash setting.
When I first
got it, my ride home would start before it was dark, and I would progressively
toggle through the settings as it got darker.
Since the end of DST it goes right to high. At 650 lumens it is more than adequate for me
on even the darkest unlit roads and has a 1.5 hour run time (up to 18 hours on
the walk setting), which is more than enough time to get me home safely. I run it on my handlebar, but it also comes
with a helmet mount which Pete uses (I think he just doesn’t want to mess with
the aesthetics of his Pinarello).
So now I’m
safe, next we’ll talk about staying comfortable in the coming Winter months.
Yesterday was my birthday. I thought my long streak of having my birthday off was going to come to an end, but due to a bizzare twist of fate I found myself with the day free. I didn't mind if I had to work; I had the two adjacent days off and I really like my job an the people I work with.
Did I ride?
Well, I guess the streak was broken after all.
I did re-caulk the tub, cleared the drains, cleaned my shop and filled our dumpster so the lid wouldn't close.
But I digress...
Local trails. We all have them. I've written before about how after so many years I'm still not bored riding at the res. I look at it sort of like a puzzle. Half the fun is trying new ways to link the trails to keep them fresh.
Today was one of those days.
I didn't want to drive anywhere but I wanted to get in a decent ride. I could do a TdT, but the weather was not as promised, and I was a little short on time so staying local(er) was the way to go. I could do a Kitchen Sink, but with the construction there, parts might be blocked off.
Then I got the idea for a Super Sidewinder Loop. I'd get the mileage, time, elevation gain, and terrain I wanted without crossing RT44. By varying the order and direction of the trails things would stay interesting.
The two metric goals for this week are 6000 miles and 500 hours.
Yesterday Mrs. CB2 went to NYC for her birthday with her favorite sister.
That meant driving to work as to be home as early as possible to crack that whip. Every time I drive to work I'm reminded how fortunate I am to be able to commute by bicycle.
That left me 4 days to ride 13 miles and 7 hours.
The mileage would be inevitable. Pull the bike out one day and that would be done.
The hours might be a little tougher. Friday is Benidorm's Holiday party (see how I made that all PC?). I'll probably have to drive in so I can make myself all pretty beforehand.
So we have (had) Today, Wednesday, Thursday, and before work on Friday.
Today is (was) my day off.
Knowing it was going to snow had me waking up like a kid on Christmas morning.
Once everyone was out the door, I loaded up and headed East.
Snow can be fun to ride in. A light snow adds dramatic effect, a little challenge, and some make believe badassitude.
The Inuit people have something like 400 different words for snow. The stuff falling on Case MT could be called Mid Atlantic Sticky Snow.
It coated the trails enough to obscure lines, while leaving the "peaks" sticking through for the aforementioned dramatic effect.
Amazing how something so slippery could be so sticky.
Crank Brothers pedals are some of the best in Wintry conditions, but they were no match for the Atlantic Sticky Snow. A foot down was met with a few good bangs before the cleats would engage.
Then my rear brake stopped functioning.
Case in snow without a rear brake...
Not exactly ideal.
Carrying an extra 15 pounds of snow, ice and leaves isn't either.
But it got me over 6K, and down to only 4 hours left to ride before Saturday.
If I ride to work the next two days, bleed my brake and ride before work on Friday, it should be in the bag.
I love numbers and math.
I remember old phone numbers and often easily do the same with new ones.
There is logic to numbers.
When riding I'm constantly doing calculations in my head, often eschewing the fact that all this information is available to me at the push of a button on my handlebar.
Numbers can become goals.
Riding yesterday it became apparent two numbers might be within my reach. Mini milestones if you will.
Distance and elevation gain.
Many years ago I remember riding around the block to accomplish my first 50 mile road ride.
I wasn't going to go to that extreme, but if it looked close, a zig or zag might make the difference.
About half way through the number 1 popped up.
On the ride home I decide to take the bikepath to avoid traffic. This route gives me about 10 miles of lightly traveled, well lit roads, 8 or so on the bike path and is about 3 miles longer than just riding the road the whole way.
5 miles from home, I approached an intersection that has two choices; right turn only, or left turn only. I was turning left. Very little traffic. As I pull up behind a car turning left a big pickup pulls up behind me. The road we are turning on to has no traffic so there is no hold up. When I get up to the stop sign the gentleman in the 4x4 behind me gets on his PA and shouts "Hey Pal you don't own the road", passing me in a blue cloud of diesel.
My bubble is slightly burst.
I purposely go out of my way to avoid traffic, and run into this fellow. I had been convinced that things had gotten a lot better with motorist sharing the road.
I hope it was just a bad day and not foreshadowing of things to come.
The other day we got a really cool bike into the shop, the Carve SL SS.
M4 alloy frame w/ full carbon fork.
The only thing is I think Specialized might have misread the market.
The singlespeeders I know are not likely to buy a complete bike. They are going to buy a frameset and build it up with their choice of parts, probably raiding their parts bins and cannibalizing their existing bikes to some extent.
The pricepoint is sort of weird too. It's a great value, but it ain't cheap ($1300, there are a lot of complete singlespeeds for under 1k). The weight weenie who is excited about the frame and fork will be put off by the entry level hydraulic brakes and ordinary wheelset.
If the frameset was available separately, for let say $699.99, I think they'd have a winner.
The day started with a vicious headwind on the ride in.
Somehow it did a 180 to become a headwind for the ride home (all be it lighter). The temperature had dropped more than I expected as well. A little uncomfortable yet manageable.
This is just one of the compromises of life I thought. To have this awesome job I need to save money and that means riding to work. Most days I love that choice; today it was just one of those things.
As I pulled up to the house the cars had been shuffled. Mrs. CB2 had decided to drive my car today as her's was out of gas, negating the saving money part of riding to work. As I entered the house I was greeted with an insurance and prescription issue, a clogged sink, a soaked steam filled bathroom, and no hot water.
Looking back at race pictures one thing is evident;
as the year went on it softened
but is quite a contrast to the past
Is it because I'm more intense this year? More serious? Focused?
It's because I've been living with two broken teeth that needed root canals for the past 2 years and finally(!!!) had them taken care of.
The process started in February with a cleaning and exam. Then Dr. Stephanie repaired some work my last dentist screwed up while we waited for insurance approval for the root canals and crowns.
The heavy work started in June and finally was completed on Friday.
The first thing I did was a buy big bag of nuts.
Now if only I can remember I can chew on both sides of my mouth.
On my commute at least I've been dodging bullets all week.
It's been drizzly, and damp, but for the most part just moist.
It looked like my luck was continuing on my ride in yesterday.
Until about 6:00 PM.
As we finished up at the shop this evening the rain grew heavier and heavier. I tried to convince myself that is was tapering off, but I wasn't fooling anyone.
I put on every layer I had brought with me, which wasn't much; my vest had made it's way out of my bag so I was only supplementing my comfort with neoprene booties and arm warmers.
The booties kept me dry until a little after the Citgo; in other words about 500m.
It was warm though and the insulation / coverage of my messenger bag, plus the protection of my fenders kept me fairly comfortable.
But it was wet.
Puddles were unavoidable and momentum robbing. Axle deep at times.
The rain reached it's downpour crescendo in Unionville, and settled into heavy through Farmington. As I descended into West Hartford it had tapered to steady.
No lightning though.
Very happy to be home.
The rivulets in my basement confirmed that yes indeed a good deal of water had fallen from the sky.
Days like these reaffirm my inability to part with old cycling shoes; who knows when you'll need another dry pair.
I won't be participating in the "Take Back Farmington Ave" event because I'll be getting my bike back into shape and riding to work.