Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cycle World Tuesday Night Fun Ride

Tonight I rode on the Cycle World Tuesday Night Fun Ride.  This is a ride that is no drop and geared for a relaxing evening ride with friends in the country.  Tonight I decided to do what I have seen +Kent Wheeler do and take pictures of the cyclist in the group.  The evening light was just gorgeous as we rode down Flowing Well Road.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Evening Loop Ride in the Country

I woke up at 4 AM today to finish working on a web project.  I drove my truck to work.  When I got home I was excited to go out for a nice relaxing ride.  I was riding up Eight Mile road and I just could not pass up the reflection of the oak tree in the cattle pond. It was a good 70-68 degree ride.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

More of my bike commuting world

See the Texas Long horn?
The weather was so nice yesterday that I could not pass up the chance to capture all of the colors that I was seeing from my bike.  I like taking pictures when there are large clouds in the sky.  The even lighting that the clouds produce are what I like to capture in landscape photography.  When the sun peeked through the clouds the long warm rays painted a golden wash over the fields where the cattle were grazing. I ride on Eight Mile Road a lot and it is always an adventure in lighting and seasonal changes that make my bike commute so interesting.

The weather was near perfect this week for cycling.  the mornings are just cool enough to want to have arm warmers on but not cold enough to ride bare legged.  In the evenings it is warm, but not sticky hot.  Yesterday I decided to go to video mode on my phone and give you city folks a gander at my bike commute.

Sometimes I forget what it is like to have cross traffic.  I only have two stop lights on my commute where I actually have to wait a minute or more to get across.  most of my ride is on straight roads with little cross traffic and light traffic in the directions I am going.

Here are the videos.  not the best quality, but I am saving up for a better mobile video device.

This morning I took a video of Eight mile road in the dark.  I love riding at night.  This video does not capture how well my light works, but it does show how dark it is on eight Mile Road.  cycling in the city when street lights is fun, but riding down a country road when the only light is the one on your bike is a blast.  It took me a few months back in 2013 to get enough nerve to ride on back roads by myself in the dark, but now i can not live without it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Gray Spring Day

Today was a perfect day to ride in SW Georgia.  It was cool , not sunny and not humid.  There was a slight wind from the NNE.  I stopped on Eight Mile Road to take a picture of a cotton field covered with green grass.

Sometimes I take it for granted how peaceful these country roads are.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

My bike decal and new saddle bag.

I added a personalized decal to my bike. I also added a new saddle bag that will take my large pump.  I can now carry more than 1 inner tube.I can now carry more than 1 inner tube.
The new bag came with a plastic insert that made it to wide for my seat post.the new bag came with a plastic insert that made it to wide for my seat post. When I rode my bike yesterday the bag rubbed on my legs as I pedaled.  I will test this new configuration out tomorrow on my morning my commute to work.I will test this new configuration out tomorrow on my morning my commute to work.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Starting spring with Gatorskins

Going back two tires that I really know well Gatorskins. I am going to run these at a hundred psi and see how my bike compares to these tires.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One Year Ago Today... I will never forget.

One year ago on March 17, 2014 I was riding my bike to work and I did not make it because I was struck from the rear by a Honda Pilot.  Today I rode my bike to work and I was so happy that I am doing what I love.

Last year I was inspired by the Bicycle Commuter Cabal (BCC) to wear green so I took a picture of me wearing my favorite jersey, featuring the BCC logo a Zombie Raccoon.  That was the last time that I wore that jersey. It was cut off of me at the scene of accident.

My current Zombie Raccoon jersey was a present from the Bicycle Commuter Cabal.  I had ordered a new jersey during the 2014 spring store order. I did not want to open my package when it arrived until I was bike commuting again.  When I did  open it in December 2014 in addition to the new jersey that I had ordered I found a replacement Zombie Raccoon jersey.  That is what I wore to work this morning. I was really moved to get another one from the BCC.

I wanted to write about a few of the things that I learned from being hit by a car and surviving to ride another day.

  1. The love and support of my wife.  Sylvia really knows that I love cycling and she supports my desire to get out on the road.
  2. Make sure you have good medical insurance.  My medical bills topped $290,000.
  3. Go to the best hospital in your area for treatment.  Get a second opinion on every procedure.
  4. Make sure your car insurance is stacked. I am supplying a link to an explanation, no endorsement to eSurance for the definition.  Bottom line is if you get money from your insurance company you will get it for each car on your policy.
  5. Hire a good attorney.  I would not have gotten any money to pay for my replacement bike and other expenses if I did not have a good attorney.
  6. All the flashing lights and reflective material will not protect you from a motorist who is not watching the road.
  7. Wear RoadID
  8. Have your phone set up with emergency dialing for folks that will answer in case of emergency.
  9. Take the time to heal, then get back on the bike and ride.
  10. Enjoy the ride, it is all about the bike.
I want to thank all of my virtual friends in the Bicycle Commuter Cabal for keeping me inspired during the 8 months that I was not riding my bike when ever I wanted to.  Now that I am back to a routine of riding to work I can really appreciate what I was missing. I will never take for granted what it takes to ride a bike to work.  Health is everything so I am glad that I am fit internally and externally so that I can ride as much as I feel like it.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Lily Pond road Sprint Zone

I rode to work this morning a few pounds lighter than usual.  I decided to leave my "winter" seat post bag at home.  Today was going to be a wonderful ride with no fear of cold or fowl weather so arm warmers were all I had on for extra clothing.  The temperature dropped to 40 degrees, but I did not care because I was going to ride fast.

It is going to take a while for me to get use to riding out of the saddle without my bike bag.  The bike is so much lighter that it flops around when the seat post and bag are not attached when I am out of the saddle.

To the point, I wanted to make note of the fact that I am sprinting during my morning commute.  The sprint zone I selected is right at the bottom of a slight rise as I come out of a low land marsh area all the way until I cross from the country road into the city at HWY 91.  I usually get to this point of the ride in about one hour and some change.  My goal is to make it here in under one hour.  Lately it has been taking me one hour and 5 to 10 minutes.  Today I decided to sprint extra hard to see if I could break the one hour mark for the first time this year.  I did it in 59:04.

The purpose of this posting is mostly for me, but it helps to share these thoughts to the real world so that they become facts to my subconscious. There is a little voice in my head that tells me that I can not sprint.  There is another voice in my head that says yes you can sprint, just keep trying. I love playing games with my bicycle.

Inspiration courtesy of the PCP Race Team,

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Tires for Commuting and Long Distance

I always relate to my cycling experiences like model rail road hobbyist, everything is a prototype.  I am forever testing equipment, or methods in my cycling.  that is what keeps my brain intrigued with cycling.

Selecting the right tire for my bike is the focus that i am currently engaged in.  My new bike came with Vittoria Corsa CX tires.  I put 2,146.37 miles on these tires and they are shot.  I had two flats last week in one day.  I love these tires for the smooth comfortable ride, but I knew that they would not last long.

I have a set of Continental Gator Skins on order and they will arrive on Tuesday.  I am going to install a new set of Vittoria Corsa CX tires today so that I can ride this week.  In the past I use to change my commuter tires for racing tires when I was planning a long ride on clean roads.  I may start doing this now.  I am also seriously considering trying out some 28 MM Schwalbe Marathon Supreme HS 382 HD SpeedGuard Cross/Hybrid tires.  I have never used Schwalbe tires, but several members of the Bicycle Commuter Cabal have suggested that I try them.

So my goal is to figure out what tires works best for the type of cycling that I am doing right now.  When I am on country roads which are fairly clean and free from glass and thorns the Vittoria tires may be the best choice for a long ride.  In and around the city where I see lots of broken glass and debris on the road a tougher tire may work best.  Only my testing of several tires on the road conditions that I ride on will determine what works best.

So this blog post is to document my tire mileage on my first set of Vittoria's, 2, 146.37 miles.

Update: I only replaced the rear tire. I usually rotate my tires, but I did not do this for this set. I am keeping the front tire on the bike because it is not worn out.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cycle Thunder Washes Out

There was too much lightning really close.  I called she who must be obeyed to come and get me.
If I had waited 10 minutes I could have finished my ride home. On the bright side it is always nice to ask for a lift home.

Early Spring Ride Home

I am always excited when the days get longer.  When daylight savings starts I know it is the time to start riding my longer routes when I bike commute.  Yesterday evening I took my route on Mud Creek Road.  Taking this route adds about seven miles to my ride home.

I stopped to take a phone call from my wife because my Garmin tracking had stopped and she was wondering what happened.  After I restarted it I decided to take some pictures of Leary Road.  Normally I do not stop on this road to take pictures.  I am going to be taking more pictures of my world in the future.  One of the main reasons that I ride my bike is to enjoy being outdoors.  When I stop to take pictures, I take time to enjoy the moment of not moving and I actually notice how beautiful the world is.

Truck traffic on Leary Road.  Milo Pecan orchard in the background.  Testing the stopping power of the camera in this Samsung Note 3

This is what I call a double stacker.  Two trucks back to back so I get twice the wind thrown at me.

Art shot of the Milo Pecan orchard. I love Leary Road for the nice "bike lane".
Right before I get to Mud Creek there is a hill with an old tree farm fire lookout tower.  Makes me feel like I am back in Oregon for a minute

Really having fun now.  Lots of "plantations" down here where you can hunt quail.

On my way down Gillionville I ran into the PCP race team.  They wee coming out from Tallahassee Road.  They were kind enough to give me a two mile head start before they over took me.  I tried to keep up with them, but I was hauling ten pounds of commuter stuff in my bag.  At least that is my excuse.

The PCP team sure looked graceful as they pulled away.  They looked like a flock of geese as the peloton was in an echelon formation the take advantage of the slight cross wind.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Loop Ride To Chehaw Park

Tonight I have a mountain bike train meeting.  I rode from Albany State in a loop to Chehaw Park.  It is not too warm and not too cool, just beautiful.  First evening ride during daylight saving time.  I wonder if I will be alive when they end daylight savings time in the United States.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Eight Mile Road Full Moon

Flint River flowing higher than usual.
Yesterday on my ride home I had the pleasure of riding five miles before remembering that I had forgotten an appointment.  Saturday is the day of the marathon in Albany, GA.  I am going to be a race Marshall like last year.  I needed to pick up my volunteer packet back in downtown Albany.  So I turned around and road back into town.  When I got to the Bridge House on the Flint river the building was shut tight.  I was confused so I called my neighbor, Rachelle Bitterman, who works for the Albany Chamber of commerce to asked her what was going on.  She told me that the volunteer pickup was the next day, Thursday.  I got back on my bike and started home with the happy notion that I will add 10 miles to my commute.

While I cannot post pictures of 4 inches of fresh snow like by fellow bike commuter +Kent Fackenthall I can post pictures of the Flint River.  Yesterday at the start of my ride home the temperature was 74F 23C.  This was the first bike commute of the year where I had bare arms. legs and fingers.  It may be too soon to call this the first sign that spring is here to stay, but I will take it.

As I rode home and it got darker the full realization of the warm weather started to take it toll.  There were lots of bugs hitting my helmet, face and the inside of my mount as I rode.  One nice thing about riding when it is cold, no bugs or mosquitoes to deal with.  As I rode through the transition from day to night I saw the usual grazing deer by the road and in the cotton fields which are covered in grass.

Full moon on Eight Mile Road next to Graham Angus Cattle Farm
What I had not noticed until I turned on Eight mile Road and headed north was that thee was a full moon looking over my shoulder.  I love riding down dark country roads with a full moon.  tonight was especially cool in that there were a lot of fluffy clouds in the sky and the moon seemed to be playing hid and seek with them.  I was riding fast (for me) as I sometimes do on this road so that I can get stronger.  Eight mile Road going north has several little inclines that I like to ride as hard as I can.  As I was looking at the moon and riding fast, I had to slap myself and say  stop it dude, take a picture.  what is the point of being outside with this beautiful moon if you do not share it with your online friends.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sidi Carbon Cycling Shoes

It takes a lot for me to replace equipment.  I generally try to buy the best, but I will use it until it is worn out.  Sometimes this is not a good thing to do as you may damage yourself or other equipment that interfaces with the equipment that is worn out.

My old pair of Sidi shoes are about 11 years old.  They have served me well on hot and wet rides.  I did not realize how soft and worn out they had become until this morning when I  rode my bike to work wearing the new carbon fiber bottom Sidis.  Wow, what a difference in how much power transfers to the pedal.  My old shoes were made of plastic so they were not as stiff as the new shoes even when they were new.

The ratchet mechanism has changed a bit on the new Sidis.  Instead of pushing down on the red clip to take them off you pull up on it.  The ratchets seem to work better and quicker than the old system.

This documents my first ride at 1,481 miles for the year. Wonder how many miles I will put on these shoes before I retire them.

I got a request to post the model of the shoe.  From the tag on the box it reads Genius Fit NS BLK.