My pics of the STP ride are here. The iPhone quit about 150 miles in. So, there are no photos of the finish or the really good last rest stop. Thankfully, the Marathonfotos were really good.
Archive for the ‘Bicycle’ Category
I wanted to take a minute to thank the STP support staff on the emergency phone, car 4, and REI Saturday and to let them know how my ride went.
While climbing a railway overpass about 4 miles from the REI rest stop on Saturday morning, my rear derailleur wrapped itself around the cluster stopping the bike and bending the derailleur hanger inward towards the cluster. The damage looked disastrous and ride/bike ending. I called into the emergency phone number and after some trouble finding me car 4 showed up to carry me and my bike into the REI rest stop.
The mechanic, Wes, was a godsend; bending the derailleur hanger back into place, tossing the old derailleur and putting on a new one for free. He also found the cluster loose and rear wheel wobbly. If it had been any other frame material than steel that would have been the end of the bike and the ride. I flew up to Seattle for STP from Amarillo, Texas and have been training all summer for this. My only transportation until Portland was my bike. This news really hit home.
After the quick repair and some food I was back on the road 2 hr after the accident and was able to complete both days of the ride. Thanks so much for saving my trip. Great ride.
The ride went really well. There were some bad spots like there always is. Places where things seem to slow to a grind. It takes an hour to cover five miles or you phone dies when it’s needed most. The last twenty five miles were great. Exhilarating to know it was 25 after 175. Some of the most amazing sites. Like riding across a Columbia river bridge and riding with 10000 other riders. The ending ceremonies were rewarding. We came into downtown in the park next to the Doubletree. My training was a bit thin for the miles, but I came through ok. Some pain yesterday and today. Legs feel much bigger.
Seeing Morgan et al. is good too. The babies are so cute. We saw the Multanah Falls yesterday and Vista house. Got lots of pictures and took some videos of the kids playing. Can’t wait to upload them to Youtube.
Tomorrow morning i head back. It’s in two segments. A long one in to Dallas and the short hop to Amarillo. Not much time in between. The time is funny. I leave at 10 and arrive at 5. The 2 hour difference catches up.
Yesterday was good and eventful. My time sucked. Something like 11 hours with stops. The church is nice. Away from all the people and with only 50 or so here it’s quite small. Got a good nights rest. Sitbones are a bit sore. Overall kind of tired. Everything is pretty good. Got tons of pictures I can’t send without MMS. Quite different from. It’s supposed to rain a bit and be in the 70s.
I’m riding 100 miles tomorrow. See all you bitches laters.
So I’m sitting in a diner in a university street mall across the street from my motel. Everything has been pretty good. More expensive than I thought but not impossible. The traveling today was long and I’m really tired. Cant wait to go back to my room and sleep. The iPhone has been great. I didn’t bring a netbook because of it. This place will be fun to explore tomorrow. Can’t believe I’m putting 200 miles on the bike this weekend.
Saturday will be the 100 miles from Seattle to Centralis. I’ll try to update Facebook with the towns as a pass through them. The list is below. Riding starts at 5:15 am in groups every 15 minutes.
University of Washington (UW) 0
Lake Washington 4.7
Seward Park 10
Castle Rock 140
St Helens 176
Finish line is Lloyd Center and Holladay Park
Training this year by month and miles:
The recent rides have included lots of near 100F weather, 40-50 miles, and rain 80 miles to Miami and headwinds on almost every ride. To make up for the lack of miles in the beginning of the month due to rain and scheduling I laid it on the past two weeks and I’m feeling overtrained. Muscles are tired, thick, and heavy making me fall asleep very fast. The plan is two days of rest, which isn’t really enough, then some long rides while I can the end of this week and resting will the bike and later myself are in transit to Seattle. Hopefully, I should be energetic enough to bounce off the walls on ride day. Cross my fingers that my miles are enough.
If you look at my mileage on the bike, I’m 13 miles from 400 for June. So, one more ride today, this month. Just a quick little 13 mile < 1hr run.
Amarillo College East to Miami – 78.7 miles and 6 hours including the stops of about 45 minutes in the pouring rain all the way with a ~5-10(?) mph tailwind.
East of Pampa to Panhandle – 41.3 miles and 4 hours 50 minutes including the very few 25 minute of stops against a stiff 10-15 mph headwind and a sunny, hot regular panhandle day.
First day great, long in the warm summer rain. Used very little water.
My assend was in pain and I need something for that. Some weakness in my back. Legs strong, but tensed the second day.
Yay, I finally, belatedly booked my Seattle hotel. It’s Travelodge Seattle U. Just a couple of blocks from the starting line. Seems like a cancellation opened up. I was getting very nervous. The plan is to arrive Thursday, collect and assemble the bike, see the sites on friday, and ride at 5-6 AM Saturday.
The new rear wheel and cluster arrived today. I swapped it out in a couple of hours with a minor change to the cluster. The old cluster was an 11-32 SRAM PG-950. The new cluster is an 11-34 SRAM PG-980. Instead of an 11-34 cluster of 11-13-..-34, I replaced the 13 with the 12 of the old cluster. The two smaller cogs cluster the gearing on both ends (high and low) and spread it out in the middle. The new 34 is for mountain climbing. The new low gear is now 19 instead of 20 gear inches. The gearing is a bit customized and requires some attention.
The wheels now match; both Mavic Open Pros on Ultegra hubs. The rear is a 36 spoke for the extra weight and the front is a standard 32 spoke. Both handbuilt from Bikeman. Very nice.
Today’s ride was a surprise. Four layoff days due to weather and a very late starting time pushed me to the best speed since the post century rides last year. 16.36mph under a strong, 10mph, tailwind over an hour and a half, ride 24mile ride. My legs had plenty of go all the way to the end. The limit was my aerobic capability. The last 20+ minutes my side hurt like I was running or playing basketball.
It makes me wonder what a no-wind day would do. The last ride like that was in Feb and I pulled 2mph faster than average. An hour plus 18mph ride would be very cool.
Today, I ordered a few things for the bike instead of training. It was cold and threatened rain all day. Even after truing the original back wheel seems out of whack slightly. It was wobbly and I had that fixed, but it’s still not right. The ride feels fine, but it looks weird when looking at it spin. Like a little jitter up and down, not quite perfectly circular. Normally, I would just write this off, but the wheel I bought from Bikeman last year to replace the one I ran over is rock solid after over 1000 miles. So, I ordered another one like that with 36 spokes instead of 32 (normal). It’s an Ultegra hub on Mavic Open Pro silver rims.
While I’m fiddling with the back wheel, which I hate, I decided to replace the cluster. It bugs me that I have the very cheapest cluster and chain. These are rather important parts, constantly in motion, and without which the bike doesn’t go anywhere. The replacement is a SRAM PG-980 11-34 and the chain, a PC-991 Cross Step. You replace chains about when you replace derailleurs, clusters, etc. or over a certain mileage. The current setup is a SRAM PG-950 11-32 with a PC-951 chain. The new setup is 200+ grams lighter and changes the gearing again. The top gear is up a bit. The bottom gear drops even lower, because of the 34T gear. 11-34 is as wide as it gets. And the 24/38/50 up front is nearly as wide.
The training rides, especially the 44 miles yesterday have been great with the new gearing. I spend most of the time in the middle ring. The big ring does come in to play on downhill, especially with a tailwind. The gear is easy to remember. The middle and big chainrings make the rear gears 2 clicks apart. So, shifting from middle to big also shifts the rear down 2 to find a similar gear.
To look at it another way, I have a small chainring with 6 or 7 unique gears. Then the middle gives me 9 with 7 overlapping the big ring, which gives me 2 more high gears. It feels like I have 18 distinct gears, but I want the overlap between the middle and big ring, because that’s were most of the work is and it makes things predictable. Though sometimes I think about a 52, 53, or 54 tooth big ring.