Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Glasses, reconsidered

About two years ago, I put up this post about cycling glasses. Those Serfas Gladiators are the glasses I've been using.

I broke a prescription insert a few weeks ago. I'd bought an extra, but when I went back to the manufacturer's site, I see that Serfas no longer sells glasses; they're only selling off the parts for glasses they used to sell. Correspondence with the company indicates the decision to stop selling glasses was based on the fact that there are too many cheaper alternatives.

One of those alternatives is safety glasses. SafetyGlassesUSA has the UVEX Genesis models (there are at least three). The prescription insert apparently fits any of them. Since they are so cheap, I bought a pair, and the insert, to see how they work. The prescription insert fits; changing the colored wraparound lens is a pain with the insert in place, but it's doable.

You can still get your prescription lenses from LensesRx, who will put lenses into the insert for a reasonable cost (go with the progressives).

I know it's a business decision by Serfas, but I'm still disappointed that they've stopped selling the glasses I liked. I won't link to 'em, and I probably won't get that Variable II saddle I was considering.

Monday, June 26, 2017

70-miler: just about right, just about perfect.

Laura OLPH moved her planned ride from Saturday, when it stormed in the morning, to Sunday, when it didn't. Her 70-mile planned route could be made into a 100-miler by leaving with her fro her house... but I've had way enough of that for a while (and I wanted to be back and cleaned up for Don Sprague's wake).

So after installing the new, correct bottom bracket (which was delivered just as the rains were letting up on Saturday; I managed a short shakedown ride in the afternoon), I showed up at the Reed Recreation are way too early. I tried the men's room door, which was locked.

Shortly thereafter, John K appeared, to lead his JDRF training ride.

I rode the path to some shrubbery where I could pee in reasonable privacy, and when I got back, Jack and Tom were there (don't let the picture fool you; Jack had already ridden in from home).

Tom went to try the men's room door, and it opened for him, and then it opened for me. Now I don't know if it was really locked, or if I'm just incredibly klutzy. There was some talk about a timer on the door, but it strains credulity less, as I so frequently say, to think I just haven't managed the technology of a door handle sufficiently well in 62 years on the planet.

Laura rolled in from home earlier than we would have expected...

...and we were off.

It was a great day. The ride was fairly flat; the wind wasn't obnoxious; the machinery was all working (I'm gonna see about changing that bottom bracket regularly; it feels like a new crankset). 

We rode to Route 9, where Laura called for a water stop at a 7-11, and where I struck up a conversation with a guy who had made a bike trailer out of a push lawnmower and some other odd parts.

I thought it was an ingenious device, using parts he didn't have to pay much for and cobbled together to do what he needed. He's had some hard times (he didn't want to be photographed), but he's kept the trailer, and the attached bike, going with minimal expense. I was impressed.

On to Manasquan. We stopped at a cafe that featured coffee from a roastery we visit in Upper Black Eddy, of all things. 

You can't see it here, but there's a prop trike in front of the door in the background. Either Tom or Laura got pictures of me on it, with the look of the eagle in my eye, as if I were pulling ahead of the peloton in my Category 11 race trial. (Edit June 27: It was Laura; see it in her post.)

From there to the beach.

Laura had planned to ride down the beach walkway, but we were warned off; you can only ride from 6-9am, and we were way later than that. Well, that confused the GPS enough that it lost the route, and it took miles to find it again. But there was still gorgeousness.

From there, of course, we came back a different route. The route was Laura's, with some of Tom's edits, and I think there might have been some on-the-fly navigation changes. I remember coming back at a good pace (is it possible there was a tailwind?)... and I remember doing the last six-or-so miles on 526, which was simple for the chronically lost (like me), but uninteresting.

70 miles. Just about right for me. It was a great day.

Afterwards, The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I went to Don's memorial service, where we met a number of Freewheelers in plainclothes (I only sort-of recognized some of them). It was a touching service. I'm glad we went.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

unexpected 100k, some with team social security

I'm still a little touchy about hearing about Don Sprague's death, about which I was told when I got to the Byron Johnson Park to ride with The Old Guys yesterday.

The ride came about because I'd taken a day off to go to a training to get credits to renew my professional license, and, the afternoon before, I got a phone message at home that the classs had been cancelled. I handled the surprise with my usual lack of aplomb and flexibility, and The Excellent Wife (TEW) then informed me that I was to go on the ride with Team Social Security, in that voice that indicates that This Is Only A Suggestion, But There Will Be A Reckoning If You Do Not Take It.

The ride was to be about 35 miles, so I decided to go early to Etra and ride from there, adding about ten in each direction... but on the way, I came to that Imlaystown Rd that I THOUGHT went down to Roy's Deli, so I took it. That road doesn't go to Roy's; the Assunpink Lake is in the way. So I used my best navigation skills* and wound up at the Byron Johnson Park, minutes before the riders were leaving, with about 17 miles on the clock instead of ten.

(*I'm pretty much bereft of navigation skills, as I hope I've made clear in these posts. And it turns out the Garmin Touring can't both record data AND plot a route a the same time, although it can plot the route, and then record data.)

Now, the Yellow Maserati is crippled due to a series of problems, so the bike I was on was the 30-lb. Krakow Monster. While heavy, it has low gearing; still, I was already starting to be tired before the other riders departed.

Al P and Joe M both told me about Don's death.

After a few words about Don, and the safety speech, we left. This ride now is split into a "C" group and a faster "C+" group; I went with the latter. It was a hot day.

We headed to a blueberry farm near New Egypt; I think I've been there before with Laura OLPH. (On the way, Mickey asked me if I knew where we were going. I didn't, but after a bit of discussion, we agreed it wasn't about the destination; it was about getting out for the ride.)

After we got back to the park, I set the GPS for a route back to Etra, but I departed from the set route, and the GPS just gave it up and shut off. I restarted, but that's why I have this most of the ride page, and this rest of the ride page. Not bad, for extra-extra miles on a heavy bike on a hot day.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sad news

I heard today that Princeton Freewheeler member Don Sprague died yesterday. I have no details, but my thoughts are with his family and his other friends.

In happier times, at the 2014 Event.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

hot, hilly father's day ride

I HAVE to start this blog post this way: After the break, and then after passing the "Road Closed" sign, and then the first stretch of dirt road, we got to the hill that was tough enough that I had to get off and walk the last couple of tenths of a mile to the top.

Now, Laura OLPH's eyes will roll right out of her head when she sees that; she'll point out that the closed road has been preserved as a bikeway, and the dirt is just growing over the paving. And she is, of course, right. But that doesn't excuse either the wicked hill, or the OTHER dirt road (although she did warn us that some of these roads would be new to her, and some might be dirt; I THINK the dirt road was Dogwood Drive). Plus, it makes a better story my way.

This is the ride that was scheduled for yesterday, but weather and good sense intervened; Laura rescheduled for today. Six of us started, but I only got good pictures at the start of Andrew and Tom:

About seven miles in, one of the folks who had started begged off; he'd done a ride yesterday and was out late. So we were five. Along the way:

Weather predictions had been for a possible thunderstorm (I took precautions with my now-beloved leather Selle Anatomica saddle), but the day got brighter (if more humid) as we went on. We got up to Clinton, where I took too many pictures.

The kid below was one of several looking to net (I think) frogs.

The wall below appears to be an art project. You probably can't see it in the pic below, but someone has chalked, "Love is one way." There's a not-unpleasant ambiguity about that, whether, for example, it's one of many ways, or if it's like a one-way street.

If you go to Clinton often enough with a camera, you HAVE to take the picture below. It's a RULE.

We left Clinton, and headed to a bikeway that was a closed road... oh, yeah, you know that part.

We got back in due order and without incident (although every uphill felt like an insult after that demanding one). I assuaged my self-pity with an artisan ice-cream float at O Wow Cow, and came home to do the chores and the laundry.

See our progress here (I had some Garmin wackiness, so the ride page cut off the first mile or so).

And the crankset is already off the bike, awaiting the arrival of the new bottom bracket, to replace the other new bottom bracket. Sheesh.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

in which the specification is useless

You won't remember that, on that rainy ride up to Round Valley where I overdid it, that we went through some of the famous Brunswick Shale mud. You certainly won't know, because you weren't there, that it splashed all over, perma-staining a jersey and getting all up in the doings of the crank.

I suspect the mud got up into places it hadn't ought to be in the bottom bracket, and that's why the grinding recently developed in the bottom bracket bearing. No worry; the OEM ones are not too expensive, and they can be delivered in less that a week. AND I still have the original manual with the specs for installation. (Good thing; the manual that came with the new part didn't have torque specs.)

The new one showed up a few days ago, and I set to work putting it in. Torque the BB into the frame at 355-445 in-lbs. (which is 30-36 ft-lbs. in real money; my torque wrench isn't calibrated in inch-lbs, but it's an easy conversion). Keep it on the low side of spec; if it creaks, you can always tighten it later. Slide on the wave washer, and torque up the crank to 337-363 in-lbs (28-30 ft-lbs)...

Wait. That doesn't feel right. That's what the manual says, but the crank binds, and now the dust shell is warped.

Yeah, that edge that's peeking out in the lower center of the photo? You're not supposed to be able to see that.

Sigh. OK, UN-torque it to the point that the spacing around the wave washer looks correct. Hrmph. Wouldn't you know, the crank spins freely now.

Well, it's good enough to get a ride in this weekend... and the replacement is due on Tuesday. THAT one, I'll torque by feel.

Edit June 22, 2017: It turns out that FSA makes two models of crankset with the same name, with different methods of attachment.  None of the equivalency charts I found made the distinction... until one I found a few days ago. Now I know the difference, and I've got the CORRECT part on order. Sheesh. Saved yourselves thirty characters on that line, didn't youse?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

dropping in on ron m's ride

Weather predictions for this weekend were that we were in for clear (if hot tomorrow), so I was disappointed when I didn't see any club ride offerings at a pace I wanted in the hills. I sent out a group email to a few of my ride partners; the one taker I got was Ricky G of the impressive performance on his first 100-mile ride... but then I got a response from Tom H that, after his extended weekend riding the hills of Ithaca, he was hoping for a flat ride; we'd start at Mercer East and connect with the B ride out of Reed Recreation Area in more-or-less Allentown. So I confirmed with Ricky that we'd do that, and we did.

Tom and Jack rode in from (I think) Tom's house.

...and we rode to Reed Recreation Area, getting there early enough to see pretty much everybody coming in, setting up, and parking.

I like that of Chris, above, although Jack might not like that I caught him snacking.

That above turned out to be a shot of Ken's bike on the rack, with Ken in the distant background. D'OH!

Ron had a 36-mile route planned, so I was glad of the extra miles with Tom, Jack, and Ricky. Ron was joking about having all these fast riders on his route, and when I pulled ahead at one point, he threatened to report me to Laura OLPH for pace-pushing, a reference (no doubt) to this post (Ron's another regular reader). But if you check the average on the ride page, you'll see we brought it in within range, and that includes the ride portions between Mercer East and Reed (which were not part of Ron's ride, and which were, shall we say, spirited).

WE stopped at a 7-11 in Wrightstown, which I'm sure is a stop on some ride I do annually, but it's not the McBride ride, and I can't think what it is.

(SOMEbody's gonna make an obvious joke about that picture above.)

Above, it was nice to have sun, but it actually got hot enough that some of us repaired to the shade. I can't remember the last time that happened; it probably hasn't this season (we've been sheltering from rain, instead).

Below, Chris tried to censor my obligatory bikes pic, but, below that, I got it anyway.

Chris decided, above, that I not only needed a picture of myself in this post, but that I should be appropriately modeling my "Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter" team jersey. I can get my gut to stick out like that, but it doesn't usually. Does it?

We went back via Fort Dix (Chris was reminding me not to go into the woods at the "Impact Area" signs). When we got back, Robert N, whom I should have thought to invite on my ride but didn't, decided to add a few miles by accompanying us back to Mercer East; he'd ride back to Reed on his own.

So now I'm home running a laundry and avoiding the other chores. It was a great day. I'm surprised I didn't see you there; I hope you had a good day.

Edit 6/18/2017: Chris got a couple of pictures of me that were good enough that I had to add 'em:

SHEESH, I hope I'm not really that fat.