Sunday, September 14, 2008

The ups and down of cycling

The past few days have been mostly great and I've enjoyed most of the time on the bike. On Thursday (9/11) I commuted into work by bike and I enjoyed the ride in (and home). It was a little somber as I was aware that it was 9/11 and I reflected on my memories of the days before and days after that fateful day (I have a lot of memories though I wasn't affect directly). Today I noted that the cemetery, on Texas Rd., was mostly deserted. One lady stood over a grave. I was a little surprised that there weren't more people there (it was mid morning). After 9/11 there were quite a few burials at that cemetery (and others in the area). I doubt anyone directly affected has forgotten.

That day was a nice ride as I tested out a new rear wheel. My previous one only lasted around 5 - 8K miles. I guessing a bearing went but I haven't had it into the shop yet to find out what's wrong with it. The new wheel is ultra quiet. When I coast there is no noise, it's a little spooky. I also tested out my larger back pack. It worked well except that I packed my lunch in the top compartment and my helmet would hit it and that kept me from picking my head up. I quickly adjusted that and I didn't have the problem anymore. This larger pack allows me to bring my Camelbak bladder, clothes, laptop, towel, toiletries, tools, tubes, tires, and lights. It's heavier than anything I've ridden with on my back but I feel it's not too bad. It's kind of a toss up between this pack and the trailer. With the trailer I have to use the Trek as it's setup for the trailer. With the pack I can choose any of my bikes.

Saturday was a very nice ride. We rode out of GSP120 (behind the Pizza Hut). We rode down to Brielle Cyclery via Manasquan Reservoir (the most scenic route) and the rail-to-trail by Allaire in Manasquan, over to Brielle, then north along the shore, and finally back to Matawan/GSP120, 80 miles in total. It was hot and humid but since we where down the shore we were kept cool by the breeze off the ocean. At one point I pushed the pace as a second group decided to catch and draft but not pass. I stayed on the front for several miles (I don't know why). I ended up being a bit tired after that ride.

Today's ride started out well. I woke up, had a heart rate of only 54 bpm (excellent!). I left on time, arrived at the club ride in Cranbury early (11 miles). Everyone else showed up, we had a big group so we split in 2. I left with the smaller group because they were going south (towards farms). It was supposed to be about 40 miles and it was supposed to be warm again. I managed to get a few miles when my seat broke. The rails at the back of the clamp snapped off (argh!). So I had to ride home with my saddle taped to the remaining rails. It was 15 miles home and I stood a good portion of the way home (my legs are tired). Now I'll have to break out the older Brooks Pro and pop it on or I may try to break in the new B-17. Only problem is I have two centuries coming up in the next two weeks. Not a good time to be breaking in a saddle. Oh well.

This week looks good for at least two commutes. I'll take the Truk (Trek ;-) and trailer if I have to. Besides saving me $5+ a day in fuel I enjoy the rides into work. It'll be getting cooler so I'll have to adjust. I currently have the a 20W light but I may try to build something little better. I'm looking forward to riding in the dark. I rode with my friend last April/May on night time road rides and it was a blast.