I'm getting psyched!
Last Post 09/03/2018 11:12 AM by 79 pmooney. 6 Replies.
Author Messages
79pmooney

Posts:1959

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08/29/2018 01:53 AM
Knew I needed a good ride today.   Cycle Oregon is here in less than two weeks.  I've been doing other stuff and not riding enough.  Today would have been a day for my CO bike, the geared TiCycles; my best bike, but I touched it up with paint this morning so it was out of action.  OK, fix gear.  Which bikes?  Jessica J; 42 x 16, 17 or the Mooney; 44 x 17, 18. 

I decided to go with the Mooney, but no until I got comfortable with running a 16 tooth.  I haven't ridden as big a gear as 44-16 all year.  The flipside cog has to be 18 or larger since it is flipped around and right next to the spokes.  (They touch.)  In fact, with a cog that small, the chain hits the spokes but since they are all rotating together, there is no relative movement.   I can hear it but the spokes don't care.  (This is the fix gear that is different.  It has a bunch of oddities,  And it works really, really well!)

So I rolled out on the 44-18, stopped for an (excellent) espresso, rode another 3 miles and flipped the wheel to the 16.  Game on!  Rode without plan, just observing traffic, the wind (almost none) and the sun height and direction.  Plan was to work west before the sun got too low (I left a little before 5pm), ride home with the sun on my back and stop and flip back to the 18, put on my night vest and turn on my lights when right.

Aside: this ride was also one of my first with a new light, last year's NiteRider Lumina 1100 (at REI 'till Labor Day @ $65).  So far: by far the best and brightest light I have ever used.  I am looking forward to it being a real ride extender.  I've been using an 8 year old Serfas 350 (?).  It's been a rock, completely reliable.  Never failed me,  But technology had marched on.  So now it is super-solid backup.

Back to the ride!  Wow!  I haven't felt this strong and this good in a long time.  My legs felt it big time (and so did my knees) but I was powering up inclines I've been standing, riding a tooth higher.  On top of that, what an evening!  Late summer so not a super clear sky, but breathable air (not a given here this summer or last).  Sun had a little more orange in it and it flavored all with a warm, rich glow.  Oh, and did I say that the bike I was on works really well?  What a ride!

I rode my fix gear loop to the far point, two miles up the state highway to my favorite out and back, more west.  Approaching my usual turn-around I looked at the time.  6:00.  Too early.  I should go further.  Pushed on to the next  turn-around.  Nah, riding is just to once and I'm feeling it.  We're going to the 25 mile turn-around.  Those last couple of miles I could see a cyclist I had to catch.  It was work but I got him.  200 yards later, turn-around.  And he buzzed by on his electric bike.

I rode easier now, the light wind at my back, but still in the 16.  Nine miles later, 16 miles to get back to the barn, I was done.  18 went on as did the vest and lights.  I rode on, enjoying the low gear and elongating shadow.  Last two were on the local MUP, no other bikes.  I was just leisurely passing the walkers.

Got home, showered (felt good!), weighed 148 after emptying two bottles on the ride.  (I probably left at 155.)  Ate a bento-like bowl with sardines and salmon (hit the spot!). I will sign off and go hit the futon with the back up in the living room, put on some good music and give myself a good leg massage.  (I haven't done this in years but that is why the futon ins there.)  Then it is sweet dreams.

And, suddenly, Cycle Oregon feels doable and fun!  With gears, I can enjoy day 2 (84 miles, 7400') and really absorb Wallawa Lake and the old Nez Perce summer camp, our campsite.  Hopefully, I can visit Chief Joseph's grave-site at the other end of the lake.  My first Cycle Oregon, we had the option on day one to ride to the grave-site.  I learned that that their summer camp was at the other end of the lake, 6 miles south.  I rode it just to see it and have wanted to revisit it with Cycle Oregon ever since.  3 years ago, we were supposed to spend our rest day there but a fire changed our plans.

And it's off to the massage and bed.  Goodnight!

Ben
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2457

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08/29/2018 09:14 AM
There is nothing better than the feeling of coming into "good legs" right as a big event approaches.

I will admit, though that idea of doing Cycle Oregon on a fixie strikes me as certifiable!

Thanks for the heads up on the light....I am out in Denver and when I got here, one of the tabs for the Go Pro style mount on my Garmin light had snapped when it was in my suitcase (don't ask me how...luckily they are warrantying it). I also ordered a Light & Motion 850 lumen light from Steep & Cheap as a backup, but I may just return that now and snag that NiteRider Lumina. 1100 Lumens sounds quite nice!

Saturday AM, I rode form downtown Denver to Golden and then up Lookout Mtn....Lookout was my old go-to ride when I lived in Arvada, so it was great to ride it again.

Yesterday, I did a big group ride (Meridian) in South Denver that I used to do back in the day....about a 2+ mile circuit with a couple of nice rollers in it...ride lasts about an hour and there are some really fast guys there...current and ex-pros and other really strong regional guys. Had to ride down to Meridian from downtown, which was about 25 miles. Met an old buddy about halfway there and we rode together the rest of the way. Noodled around for a few extra miles once there, met up with another old buddy and the ride started. Note to self - having the best legs of your life does NOT give your permission to ride at the front of a group like that at elevation. Was doing WAY too much work at the beginning of the ride...came up to one of the rollers and I started looking for a wheel to get on..."WTF?!?!? Why can't I recover and get on a wheel?!?!?!" Uh-oh....got dropped and had to sit out a lap. Foook. After that, I had to keep reminding myself not to get near the front, or even move up too close in case it came down to me to close a gap. If I went anaerobic, I simply couldn't recover from the effort, but I could ride the wheels, no problem.

After the ride, I rode back to Denver, but detoured slightly through my stomping grounds around Cherry Creek Reservoir. BY the time I got back to my hotel, I racked up 79 miles. and my legs were pretty well toasted! A good ride.....I hadn't done Meridian in 20 years and it was awesome to be back!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:1959

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08/29/2018 11:48 AM
CK, this year I am not riding CO fixed. I"m riding my "good bike", the fully geared TiCycles. (Triple, 53-42-28, my favorite rings and a 12-23 9-speed. There will be two days with gravel options. Day i with easy, small gravel and Day 3 with big, gnarly gravel. (It is to an overlook of Hell's Canyon. I'm going.) For that I'll bring my big Paselas and the 25 and 28 tooth cogs.

The 32c rear barely fits, both chainstays and front derailleur clamp. I'm going to run a tiresaver that day to brush stuff off and not jam the wheel to a stop, I hope!. This is a consequence of me asking for very short chainstays to get the BB and therefore my weight close to the rear wheel. This is one of two bikes I have owned that feel completely "right" on weight balance and downhill cornering, the first being the Fuji Pro I raced. Like the Fuji I had this built with a 74 seat angle to further facilitate moving the wheel forward. Custom, huge setback post to a) put the seat back where it should be and b) center the clamp on the rails and not doom the ti-railed seats I love to early deaths.

The 12-23 9-speed I'll run as 12, 14-19, 21, 23. I find I don't miss the 13 at all and absolutely love the rest. Favorite of all time (as long as I can get up the hills and the 28t in front counts for a lot there). I have virtually corn cob gear choices from 102 to 33". And DT shifters so throwing the chain across the block is easy. Campy cassette so I never get the Shimano "what gear do I want to be in? where the chain oscillates between adjacent cogs. The Campy might not like the cog I dumped the chain on but it does one shift once to straighten things out. Now the shifting bits are a total mishmash. SunTour top-mounted DT shifters (that knees never hit! - I wanted those when I raced) operating a Dura Ace triple front and a Campy Mirage rear. A mishmash but as good as friction shifting DT setup as has ever been.

Put some fix gear approved legs on that rig and it should roll! (Today my knees are feeling last night and my thighs really glad for that massage!)

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:2245

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08/29/2018 08:42 PM
I had a nightrider lumina. Awesome light. Unfortunately when trying to reengage it after not using it over summer period it simply wouldn't charge anymore. As to riding, there have been way too many getting dropped by your kid sessions recently. This is what happens when it's your downtime and he rides 5x weekly. He joined our hillclimbing crew for his first group ride yesterday. Nice to see how at ease he was in that context. We got some real fast climbers in that group.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2457

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08/29/2018 09:52 PM
That’s awesome, OC!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:1959

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08/30/2018 12:30 AM
OC, go to NiteRider's website and contact them. They are very approachable.

I'll do my best to not let this run down completely. (I probably should pay the same attention to my Serfas, now a backup. It has never been neglected that long.)

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1959

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09/03/2018 11:12 AM
Went out yesterday knowing that to do that ride again would be good. Same bike, same gears. But the motivation wasn't there. Started the same route and just decided that when I hit the 11 mile point, I could go right, last Tuesday's route, or go straight, ride the gentle climb to a saddle in the Chehalem hills (they call them mountains but that saddle is 1272'). If I still felt motivated, I cold continue down the steeper descent into Newburg and stop for an espresso and snack at the coffee shop across the street from the college. (Good espresso, good food, good place, good location - 2 miles from the climb home. Good find many years ago.) Now the bike was stil in the 44-16,18 so the climb back wasn't goig to be a snooze.

Going straight and doing the gentle climb sounded far better so I did. The usual stop after the cemetery to drop the gear, than a less than hard climb. dance up. It's 3+ miles, open road through horse farms and orchards with big views. I usually stand on gears like 42-17 or 44-18 but sitting is quite feasible on most of it. Getting to the top - do I turn around? Nah. Stopped and went for the big gear 44-16. Nice ride down. Legs felt good and the spin was easy. Didn't go nuts but used very little brake except for corners.

Get to Coffee Corner and park my bike beside a nice Co-Mothion tandem. Get my espresso and food and come outside looking for a place to sit. (In the middle of this small city, Coffee Corner is a wooded, quiet little haven. Nice old house and just as welcoming in the colder months.) See the tandem couple and ask if I can join them. Fun conversation. They aren't riders or my dedication but he is, like me, someone who loves designing and trying stuff. Built a wooden TT bike. (This conversation good lead to dangerous ventures - I could design and build a wooden bike. I don't have the wood skills of many, but I do have the skills, knowledge and experience of using epoxies - to build boats, repair bikes and do many other, sometimes unusual things.

So I left Coffee Corner far later than I intended but with no regrets. The big climb went easy. (A realy good measure for me is how many of the "S"s I remember. The days I'm struggling it's "D***, I forgot about this pair of bends!". Yesterday, they all came right when they were supposed to. Felt good at the top. Went for the big gear and appreciated how small it was as the wind had picked up quite a bit and I was descending into a real headwind. Hit the flat, went for the 18 and cruised the last 10 miles home, arriving quite late. Had to shower and scram in 25 minutes!

Last night - my knees. 2 aspirin. They feel OK, not great today. I asked a lot of them. This week will be easy. I really have to do nothing but get on the bike a couple of times and spin. "I'm ready, as ready as a man can be" to quote Muddy Waters.

The Mooney and the TiCycles I'm taking for CO are now set up very similar for seat position, reach and lever type and position so seeing how comfortable I was climbing yesterday is very encouraging. Like yesterday, I am bringing long fingered gloves for the climbing days. Different but same model and size shoes, also with the straps removed and laces installed. Never thought about my hands or feet or butt all ride. Great signs! Biggest difference between the two bikes, fit-wise: the Mooney has very wide track bars for big gear climbing. The TiCYcles has 40 cm Nitto road bars. Much sleeker upwind and with gears, just fine climbing. (And I will use those gears. I'm not doing what I did yesterday to my knees then riding the next 5 days.)

If I did my work, maybe I can absorb a little of the spirit of the Nez Perce while I am at their summer camp. (I will have to climb 7000' and ride 80 miles to get there.) Maybe even have the energy to ride the 6 miles up and back along the lake to Cheif Joseph's grave site.


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