Sunday, April 24, 2011

Making the best of it

It is difficult to motivate myself to get out there and ride for fun when the weather is so unpleasant. The 30-40 degree temperatures could be dealt with, but in conjunction with the daily precipitation riding became untenable.
Friday's forecast looked much more pleasant, beginning with temps at freezing at 7am and building to near 50 later in the day with no precipitation.
I jumped on my bike and headed out of town. The nice thing about agreeing to meet someone somewhere far away and they are driving, is that they can rescue your sorry butt if you don't make it. So I agreed to meet this cute guy, to whom I'm married, 90 miles away in the Finger Lakes.
He passed me and stopped to chat at about 70 miles out from Buffalo, tried to give me a lift, then moved on. I was kind of tired, but a goal is a goal and I only had 20 miles left.
How did I route myself? I started out following a set of google maps for bikes printed directions, but quickly (30miles in) realized that the extra miles google added to keep me off major thouroughfares was going to add about 10 miles. Since I really haven't trained this year and the weather wasn't fabulous, I decided to stick to route 20. The speed limit is generally 55, but it goes through small towns and has a 5 foot shoulder.
Listening to RadioLabs podcasts pretty much the whole way, I noticed little orange plastic tags nailed to the shoulder. They were seemingly quite random. At one point I slowed to look more carefully and found they were actually tiny orange bowtie pastas. So bizarre! They lasted about 20 miles, barely decreasing in frequency until Avon, when I must have diverged from their path. All sorts of scenarios jumped from my head on this one. Someone abducted and stowed in a trunk or some little kid in a carseat dropping a 40 lb bag out the window one bowtie at a time...

I arrived in Canandaigua at 5pm, tired, hungry and stiff, but in good spirits and far from spent. Staying at Bella Rose b&b. Very nice, sweet hosts and excellent breakfasts. This is wine country!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Adventure Cycling Flickr Post

Oooooh. 15Kb of fame.  4/5 of the way down. See us all!  (1) Bobby, (2)Rich, Nick and Mac, (3)Mike, Heidi, Jamie, (4) Sara, Leslie, Janelle, Ted, Bill.  Soooooo cool.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Returning to Bicycle Gearing

I came across my original table for calculating the gear ratios and gear inches of my original road bike. Searching through my older posts, I realized I never put that information out there, even after I had decided to buy the Bike Friday New World Tourist.  Determined to not dive into spending more money without guaranteed results, I had used this very fine site to determine the inches and ratios of each bike to make sure I would be gaining something meaningful.

  1. make a table with the number of teeth on each chain ring in the front and each cog in the back
  2. divide the front chain ring teeth by each of the rear ring cogs to get the proportional (ratio) size difference between them for each combination
  3. mulitply the size of your wheel by the proportion (ratio to 1) to get the gear inches.
Note in the case of my two bikes that I lost a little at the top end of the BF (I can't pedal downhill as fast), but gained significantly at the bottom end. The highest gear inch on the BCA is over 100 and on the BF it is only 94.55.  The lowest on the BCA however, is 28.93.  On the BF, I can get all the way down to 18.75.  Screaming downhill was far less important than effectively chugging up those steep hills. My top speed on the BF was 49mph, by the way.

Still snowing; Work on blog

Totally unrelated to bikes, bicycling or touring. Indoor hobbies- no not that one.
I decided to rework my blog, since it is so depressing outside. I can look at my bright, cheery computer screen.
One of my issues was that my blog only had 2 columns, causing the right column "stuff" to extend way too far down the page. Also, my pages where taking up space in the right column. Thinking I had to get a new template, I began searching for a new 3 column template, when low and behold a thing of beauty popped up in the results. This kind and industrious person scoured the internet to simply turn a 2 column template into a 3 column. And she/he DOCUMENTED it for the rest of us!
This is why I harp at work at documenting discoveries. So sweet. And quick (for me).
So a SHOUTOUT to the perseverance of a fellow blogger.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weather report

Early last week- weather report for this week:
highs in the mid to upper 50's, lows in the mid 40's, very little rain

Middle of last week:
highs in the mid 50's, lows in the low 40's, chance of rain

End of last week:
highs in the low 50's, lows near 40, chance of thunderstorms

Highs near 40, lows in the low 30's, snow

I looked out on my planned trip to the Finger Lakes on my ONE WEEK BREAK and saw 26 mile per hour winds and snow. Then I wimped out. Maybe I'll leave on Monday. Nope. Still snowing. Maybe Tues...

Cleaning bike instead. White BCA is perpetually nicked and dirty. So I am trying out black nail polish, paint pens and sharpies. Here is pretty much how I was thinking it would look. Pretty amazing, but we'll see if mine comes out nearly as spectacular. The BCA name is a little odd. With a mixed brand history, it seems unclear whether I got a really high quality bike, but it has lasted extremely well in my hands. Some leads state BCA was related to Ross.
I've started by making some doodles on paper. I realize the paper is flat and the bike is not, thank you very much.