Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Shine on you crazy bike commuter

The next time you see a bike commuter take the time to ask them when was the last time they had a cold or if they get flu shots.  I bet that most bike commuters can not remember when they were sick last.  As a bike commuter I ride my bike all year, rain or shine.  When I ride all year I hardly ever get sick.

I believe that my immune system stays strong because I am outside riding my bike at a minimum of three hours each day.  During that time I am breathing hard and sucking in all sorts of pollen and man made pollutants.  As a result of exposure to these air borne particles and the ever changing weather my body adapts to the seasonal changes and thus stays in sync with nature and I remain healthy and vibrant all year. If you are a cyclist and your agree or disagree with this fact post your comments so non cyclist reading this will be convinced to start riding everyday to stay healthy.

 This morning I started my bike commute of 51 miles at 5 AM and it was 72 degrees and 97 percent humidity. I sweat so much that my shoes are as wet as if it had been raining by the time I get to work. I like riding in the early morning because I like riding in the dark with my light beam lighting only the road directly in front of me.  I can focus on riding and this is relaxing for me without any distractions.  Today I had a headwind as I rode towards Leary but I was glad to be riding after getting my bike back from the bike shop.  In the morning there is less chance of a thunder storm so I like to ride my long commute first thing.

 Tonight when I rode home I knew that the storm cell was going to be over Albany about 8 PM.  I rode my intermediate route and got into my garage just as the tornado warning sirens were going off.

I did take the time to stop and smell the cotton growing.  i took some pictures and recorded a short video before riding home to beat the storm.
8 Mile Road and cotton field

8 Mile Road and cotton field

8 Mile Road and cotton field

Lonnie Wormley blabbing about
8 Mile Road and cotton field

Monday, July 15, 2013

100 miles and 4,288 feet of elevation.

Yesterday, Sunday July 14, 2013, I proved to myself that you can ride around Austin and get a great ride without going far.  I started out early in the morning before daylight.  I rode north to the little town of Bertram 10 miles from Liberty Hill.

I then returned to Liberty Hill and ode to Leander and Cedar Park following the bike commuter route that I used when I lived in Cedar Parked and worked near down town Austin. I got to South Austin and stopped at P. Terry's and had a grass fed beef hamburger with all organic extras.

At mile 56 I decided to ride up what I consider the steepest roads in Austin, Stafford Lane and red Bud Lane.  I have not done this in a while and I have never done this route with a double.  I was riding a rented Trek Domane 4.7 and it was a nice adventure.  The seat post dampening works great.  I intentionally selected a route that took me over some good old chip seal and the bike performed beyond what I expected.

After the decent down red bud I road up the super cycle highway Loop 360.  there are some good descents and climbs on loop 360.  I can go down a hill at 45 MPH only to go up the next hill at 15 MPH or slower if it is hot outside. I tried to keep pace with a young thirty something male across the 360 Lake Austin bridge up to HWY 183.  This quick pace and after riding Red Bud really wore me out so the last 20 miles were a real effort to complete.  I had a slight headwind riding to Austin in the morning and then when I was really tried there were storm clouds and high winds going back to Liberty Hill.

I am happy to know that I did a 100 mile self supported ride in Texas.  I have a new respect for the Trek Domane 4.7.  The Bicycle Sport Shop did a perfect fitting on the bike based on my email measurements from my Serotta.  I was riding a 58 CM frame so I am glad that my next bike will not have to be a custom frame.

Friday, July 12, 2013

3,192 feet of elevation and 100+ degrees

Riding in Austin Texas is totally different that riding in SW Georgia.

The Trek Domane is living up to the claim of smoothing out the rough roads.  This is a hard route to ride in Austin. I chose it because In the past I know that riding around the 620 dam is tough.  rocks on the side of the road and some steep hills.  Stopped at a Whataburger to get food and ice.  I also filled up my water bottles with ade crape from the fountain. Carrying three bottles is a good deal for me so far.  Two in my frame and one in my pocket.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Where does the time go?

Yesterday I rode 55 miles (3 hours 20 minutes hours) to work and 50 miles (3 hours) home.  6 and a half hours on my bike.  the night before the ride I slept 5 hours.  I worked 8 hours that day.  I love it when I can ride more than I sleep.  My cable TV has been cut and it looks like I am so tired when I get home I have no time for Internet either. This is one of the best summers that I can remember.  So far I have ridden 5,300 miles for the year.

I took my Serotta bike to the bike shop.  I am wearing the old steel bike out.  My handle bar stem is corroded and will get replaced.  I have so many dings that are rusting that I may decide to strip the bike and repaint it.  

I am leaving for Austin, Texas for a wedding tomorrow.  I will be renting a carbon fiber bike of some sort and riding it around my old stomping ground for a few days.

I have not been keeping track of bicycle technology for a few years for good intentions.  I now find myself getting serious about getting a new bike.  What I have discovered so far in my research is that there are carbon fiber bikes are designed for long distance and speed.  I do not consider myself a racer, but I do like long endurance riding.  If you see me in the parking lot of a Lowes with a sign that says "Will work for bicycle parts" have mercy and throw a few coins my way.