Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WTF Fat man?!
I've been good; I've ridden my bike twice as far as I've driven my car, yet nothing?

Not a Honzo

 a Tricross

or Super Six

not even a tire lever

or tube

Suppose the love, friendship and good health will have to suffice...

and Buckeyes!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


"Good Morning, Benidorm Bikes" I chimed answering the phone.

"Do you got a minute?" the caller asked.

"Of course, what can I do for you?" I replied.

The barrage of questions began like this:

"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?

I'm new to Outdoor Retail, but SERIOUSLY?

Monday, December 17, 2012

What Would You Do?

What would you do to avoid standing in line at the post office?

Go early?

How about ride for 2 hours in drizzle @ 35*F (1.6*C)?
That was my choice...

...and it was awesome!!!

I didn't even have to dress in anything more than typical commuter gear:

  • polypro t-shirt
  •  leg warmers
  • bibshorts
  •  LS jersey
  • mid weight cycling jacket
  • cotton cycling cap
  • Shimano MW 81 Winter Boots
  • Pearl Izumi Gavia Gloves
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.

Oh, well, sure beats waiting in line!

I highly recommend the Collinsville PO too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


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 up.

The three tenants of bicycle commuting are:
·         get from point A to B in a timely fashion
·         obey the law
·         And not get dead! 
Having a dying taillight potentially violates all three of them.

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 freakin’ watts!
 The best replaceable battery taillights are .5 watts. 
The 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.
Being rechargeable, I no longer have to worry about replacing the batteries before they are a mere fa├žade 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.

Paired with 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.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

12/6/2012 Commute Haiku

Fucking Old Lady
can't you see my arm outstretched
I'm somebody's son

I was going to make it all PG13, but after the ignorant hag almost took off my arm, I was buzzed, and then right hooked.

Be careful out there!

and yes there is a fire in the fireplace.
(no corn cob pipe)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

12/5/2012 Commute Haiku

silence, clarity
tailwind pushing me along
calm before the storm?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


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.

And they were.