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Old, fat, and slow
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1,208 Posts
The problem with “Go big or go home” is that if you go Wrong, you stay home.

I was determined to ride today, after yesterday’s rain-out, and I spent all day preparing. I knew I needed to be equally ready to leave between noon and two, or six and seven, depending on whether we had weather---which makes nutrition a little tricky, and which is often where I fail …. I eat too much too soon, and the weather blows out leaving half-an-hour of good, albeit damp, light …. Or I eat too little, and by seven I am too hungry to want to ride.

Not today …. A big cup of coffee at 5:15, two pieces of bread with mayo at noon, and instead of watching La Vuelta, I decided to true up a wheel which has been offending me for a couple years. I figured I had enough determination today, and I went after it … and I thought I was winning, when I found out that the last spoke which needed a new nipple was too long. Unfortunately I found out when it snapped …. And unfortunately all my spares were too long.

Oh, well …. That bike needed a chain and recabling anyway, I wasn’t planning on riding it.

By this time it was clear that the sky was clear …. No rain today, just heat, which I could out-wait.

I kept busy doing chores and such until about 6, then donned my kit and prepared my “fast” bike. I usually don’t ride it because … well, my slower “fast” bike is more comfortable, and I am lazy …. But my steel bike needs bottom-bracket repair and I lack Loctite, and my Canondale needs a new tire after blowing out twice on Saturday (or whichever day.)

I got all ready, hopped aboard, rode to the end of the street, and stopped, because my left cleat wouldn’t lock. Turns out half of it had fallen off … apparently while it was sitting doing nothing. Anti-bike gremlins? Plastic-cleat-eating mutant termites? I don’t know …. But I knew I had another cleat on another shoe, so homeward bound. I was determined …. I was ready to work to ride, if that was going to be what was needed.

Got the old cleat off off the other shoe, and started to remove the broken cleat—only to find that the front bolt was stripped and wedged. It would spin all day but not engage the threads. I had the broken cleat off, I had the replacement right there, but it was nto going on.

Of course, my drill which is almost as old as I am, wasn’t charged …. I am not even sure it can be charged any more, it is so old, but I never really need it. I burned it to bits putting up my bike rack (I could have six or seven cars from that rack) and really, haven’t much thought about it.

So … I couldn’t drill out the old bolt, I couldn’t wedge it out or screw it out … and believe me I tried Every tool …. So after about 30 minutes of managing frustration I decided to take the easy road and ride my work bike ….

…. which of course had a flat.

I still wasn’t done—I had a spare wheel and tire on the rack—except that was a tubeless set-up and I hadn’t refreshed the sealant, and it was flat.

I pumped it up, I put it on …. but I was beaten. I figured at that point, the way things had been going, if I rode out on the tubeless wheel, it would deflate repeatedly just after I got too far from home to want to walk back …. And I would either pump it up many times, ride half a mile, and pump some more, heading on my planned route …. or I would do the same thing heading for home.

Either way, whatever way … I seemed the universe did Not want o me to enjoy a ride today.

Maybe, maybe if I had pressed on, it would have worked out … but probably I would have spent the whole ride imagining that my tire felt soft.

Falling with grace is as important a skill as winning with grace … and while nothing I did today was particularly graceful, I think I at least managed to accept my lot without sliding into desperation.

Oh, well. Tomorrow maybe I can squeeze some miles in between lawn laps and pool maintenance.

I might not be riding, but I am still glad I am alive.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
Joined
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5,976 Posts
The problem with “Go big or go home” is that if you go Wrong, you stay home.

I was determined to ride today, after yesterday’s rain-out, and I spent all day preparing. I knew I needed to be equally ready to leave between noon and two, or six and seven, depending on whether we had weather---which makes nutrition a little tricky, and which is often where I fail …. I eat too much too soon, and the weather blows out leaving half-an-hour of good, albeit damp, light …. Or I eat too little, and by seven I am too hungry to want to ride.

Not today …. A big cup of coffee at 5:15, two pieces of bread with mayo at noon, and instead of watching La Vuelta, I decided to true up a wheel which has been offending me for a couple years. I figured I had enough determination today, and I went after it … and I thought I was winning, when I found out that the last spoke which needed a new nipple was too long. Unfortunately I found out when it snapped …. And unfortunately all my spares were too long.

Oh, well …. That bike needed a chain and recabling anyway, I wasn’t planning on riding it.

By this time it was clear that the sky was clear …. No rain today, just heat, which I could out-wait.

I kept busy doing chores and such until about 6, then donned my kit and prepared my “fast” bike. I usually don’t ride it because … well, my slower “fast” bike is more comfortable, and I am lazy …. But my steel bike needs bottom-bracket repair and I lack Loctite, and my Canondale needs a new tire after blowing out twice on Saturday (or whichever day.)

I got all ready, hopped aboard, rode to the end of the street, and stopped, because my left cleat wouldn’t lock. Turns out half of it had fallen off … apparently while it was sitting doing nothing. Anti-bike gremlins? Plastic-cleat-eating mutant termites? I don’t know …. But I knew I had another cleat on another shoe, so homeward bound. I was determined …. I was ready to work to ride, if that was going to be what was needed.

Got the old cleat off off the other shoe, and started to remove the broken cleat—only to find that the front bolt was stripped and wedged. It would spin all day but not engage the threads. I had the broken cleat off, I had the replacement right there, but it was nto going on.

Of course, my drill which is almost as old as I am, wasn’t charged …. I am not even sure it can be charged any more, it is so old, but I never really need it. I burned it to bits putting up my bike rack (I could have six or seven cars from that rack) and really, haven’t much thought about it.

So … I couldn’t drill out the old bolt, I couldn’t wedge it out or screw it out … and believe me I tried Every tool …. So after about 30 minutes of managing frustration I decided to take the easy road and ride my work bike ….

…. which of course had a flat.

I still wasn’t done—I had a spare wheel and tire on the rack—except that was a tubeless set-up and I hadn’t refreshed the sealant, and it was flat.

I pumped it up, I put it on …. but I was beaten. I figured at that point, the way things had been going, if I rode out on the tubeless wheel, it would deflate repeatedly just after I got too far from home to want to walk back …. And I would either pump it up many times, ride half a mile, and pump some more, heading on my planned route …. or I would do the same thing heading for home.

Either way, whatever way … I seemed the universe did Not want o me to enjoy a ride today.

Maybe, maybe if I had pressed on, it would have worked out … but probably I would have spent the whole ride imagining that my tire felt soft.

Falling with grace is as important a skill as winning with grace … and while nothing I did today was particularly graceful, I think I at least managed to accept my lot without sliding into desperation.

Oh, well. Tomorrow maybe I can squeeze some miles in between lawn laps and pool maintenance.

I might not be riding, but I am still glad I am alive.
What a frustrating chain of events. I hope your next attempt finds success.
 

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Old, fat, and slow
Joined
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1,208 Posts
Oh, yeah .... i got in 16 miles today .... i could have done it last night, as it turns out, because the tire held air .... but at least I got in some miles today. Not even 90 degrees when I got back .... so decent all in all.

Last night, the Spirit of chip just wasn't with me.

And now i get to go shopping .... to buy parts I sort of need with money I sort of have .... ugh , time to talk to the wife again .....
 

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tall old member
Joined
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1,586 Posts
I decided to get out my old touring bike today. I signed up for a 67 mile road ride on Saturday. I planned on taking my fancy titanium gravel bike but it is just too slow on the paved roads. I cleaned and lubed the drive train this morning. It hadn’t been ridden in a year. I did a 40.8 mile ride. 1738 feet of climbing. On one segment called the Stoneboro Grind I have climbed that hill 44 times and today I had my second fastest time. My fastest time was nine years ago and it was ten seconds faster.

Only one other guy over seventy has done that climb and I was a minute and a half faster than him. I think I’m going to remove my bike computer in the morning and put a stem mount for my Garmin on it. I’m doing the September Challenge to raise money to fight children’s cancer so I will probably ride my old steel touring bike all month. Today I just put my Garmin in a bike bag, it still recorded but I couldn’t see it.
 

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Old, fat, and slow
Joined
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1,208 Posts
Way to go! Now I feel even lazier and more useless. Thanks for that :D .
Right? And he keep s doing it, too .... "I was tired today so I only climbed 13 mountains .... I hope i feel up to a century tomorrow. After all, I am well over 70." Forget jumping over the bar, I cannot even climb up to it ... and if I could Longjohn would probably be there doing one-hand chin-ups.
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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5,976 Posts
Finally, a mostly good day. I got in 3 rides, morning, midday, and a quick evening supply jaunt. I ended up with a pair of old Garmin Edge 500 GPS cycle computers and a handful of old sensors. Call it tip-toeing into the modern era: they replace a pair of old school wired cycle computers used primarily for speed and odometer readings. Yea, I was once an early adopter. Then I came to my senses. Nevertheless, progress does happen and I've grown curious.

Yesterday, I mounted one of the 500s on my recumbent, the other on my folding MTB. The sensors ended up being something of a mixed bag, with several bad ones. No biggie. This morning, I headed out for a road test on the comfort MTB with canine companion Chip.

This is the first time I've ridden with a cadence sensor and I was surprised by how high my cadence is: I ended up spending most of my time spinning at around 100 rpm. I was surprised to learn that 'mashing' for me starts at about 75rpm. There's no universal right answer, of course. Nevertheless, I was a little surprised at how high my natural RPM appears to be. Perhaps that reflects the fact that I've ridden 'heavy' for years. Lots of loaded riding and trailer pulling. Towing a heavy trailer, you learn to use your gears effectively or lose your knees. Mine seem happy. That accounted for 13mi, with Chip logging some 3.5mi of running.

Next, I left Chip at home and headed to the LBS on the recumbent to see about having some parts ordered. They have gotten a bit flaky since opening a 2nd location. Didn't get the info I needed, now have to email the manager. We'll see how that goes, but at least I have a spot reserved in the 5 week service queue. Grr.

After leaving the shop, I had energy and time. At 'the turn', I went right instead of left for home. Good decision. It felt good to be out on the 'bent for the first time in a bit. I sure am faster without Chip and his trailer. 18mi for that ride.

This afternoon, I realized that supplies of my preferred adult beverage were in danger of depletion. Can't have that. Out came the folding MTB and Chip's trailer. He was excited to get an afternoon adventure. Better, the store is dog-friendly with treats for any good dog who comes in. Chip is a very good dog, and cadges treats even when I visit without him. A bit over 2mi for that ride, for a total of 33mi on the day.
 

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tall old member
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1,586 Posts
I road an annual ride today called Pedal The Lakes. It should be called Pedal The Hills. I did the metric century. 68 miles and over 3,200 feet of climbing. I took my steel touring bike because it is faster on pavement than my titanium gravel bike. They offered a seventy five mile gravel ride with no rest stops and no SAG support. They also built the ride up to be the most difficult ride they have offered. They encouraged you to arrange your own sag. I’m not doing that. The 68 mile ride was tough enough.
 

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tall old member
Joined
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1,586 Posts
Only two superhuman efforts this week, Mr. Longjohn? Only a few dozen mountains conquered?

I have been questioning my ability to do a fairly flat 27-mile group ride next week. 3200 feet is more than I climb in a month.

Oh, well .... I am only a beginner. You have much experience. :D
I haven’t done any group rides for a few years. Rides where you ride together as a group. The rides I do have lots of riders but everyone rides at their own pace. There are people riding together but I don’t. My touring bikes are not really built for speed and living where I do there are no group rides anymore that I know of. The person that lead the group rides from the fitness center wasn’t very organized. She invited everyone to come to the weekly group rides no matter what you ride or how fast and then she rode off with four or five road riders leaving the slower riders with no idea where they were supposed to go. I felt bad for the people she misled and dropped back and lead a slower group on a ride but she should have considered them since she invited them. That group only lasted two summers.
I think what she really wanted was a group of roadies that worked until five and wanted to do a fast and furious 25 miles before it got dark. Many a night I was the only rider with lights as we finished the ride in the fading light.

When I got my first road bike the bike shop owner hooked me up with a Saturday morning roadie group in the town of the bike shop twenty miles from where I live. I would haul my bike to the ride that started at 7am and we would do a 65 mile ride before noon. The group leader looked out for the noob and explained drafting and paceline and hand signals. That was a very good group but then the leader of the group took a new job in another state and the group broke up.
 

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Registered
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7,616 Posts
Not today, or yesterday. Busy holiday weekend filled with hours of work, but every day prior to those, i did ride.
Finally starting to feel a little fitness level higher than lazy bum.
I rode enough to get some nasty saddle sores. So it is good that I am working too much to ride for a couple days so i can heal.

If the weather holds out this week, i should be able to get in some good miles.
 

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Mom's Taxi
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5,659 Posts
The best I can hope for is being retired from the California Department of Corrections. I wasn't a correctional officer, so I don't think I have much of a chance.
I guess my mistake was when asked if I would have anything preventing me from being on jury duty for 3 weeks, my answer was "I am retired, I have nothing to do and all day to do it".
 

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Old, fat, and slow
Joined
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1,208 Posts
Don’t let ‘em tell you there is nothing new under the sun …..

I have been getting tied up every morning and rained out every night, often by rolling thunder-cells which take turns rattling the whole neighborhood in succession for hours at a time.

Last night was one of those---endless storms passing overhead, the thunder from one fading east as the next approached from the west …. Nice weather if you don’t want to be out riding.

The weather last night meant that this morning would have been a great time to ride---cooler than usual---but true to form, I got hung up at the computer. No matter—the wife was around all day, so I had more than enough to challenge me. But I was determined to make it out on the bike—and finally, about quarter past seven, I actually mounted up and rolled.

Usually I don’t like heading out that late, as it makes sleeping difficult, but I really didn’t care …. I needed it.

Nature definitely made an effort to make me happy. I left just as the sun was slipping behind the trees, lighting up and coloring the sky. By the time I reached the first big westward vista, extending out across the marshy pond of the mini-nature preserve, the sun was just dropping out from behind some low clouds and balancing in blazing orange roundness atop the far horizon.

Meanwhile the moon was chasing the sun, about three-quarters of the way across the sky and falling towards the west, glowing white in the pale blue sky, fully illumined by the setting sun.

Meh …. Okay if you like that sort of stuff.

There were enough clouds to keep catching different colors as the ride progressed, and best of all, I did one of my standard out-and-backs with a little alpine loop (three-percent hills, oh, my!) so I got to see the same vistas in fading light that I saw in blazing color on the way out.

Things seemed to be going well …. Even my often-sour attitude sweetened a little …. Until I hit the last long straight leading to my neighborhood.

I heard a noise behind me which, embarrassing as it is, I can only represent as “clackety-clackety-clack.” It sounded exactly like a pick-up truck with off-road ties hitting a flattened soft-drink can---I know, because such a truck had hit such a can ahead of me about six miles earlier---but the sound persisted---It was a weak and tinny freight-train sound, or maybe a car towing a trailer with the license plate dragging on the roadway.

Or maybe---yes, it sounds crazy--- it was some daft punk leaning out the window of an older Japanese coupe, unloading a rapid-fire BB-gun at me.

That was Not a thought I had---until I felt the sting of a couple pellets hitting me. I looked up and saw the lame phuXXer leaning out the passenger window holding something that looked to be a cross between a caulk gun and an old M3 machine pistol ….. It was pretty dark, they were far enough left not to be catching most of my headlight, and it was a quick glance --- but I was pretty interested, so I absorbed the scene pretty fully.

I didn’t get hurt … heck, I didn’t even get mad, much, because it was so quick and so unexpected …. and probably unless I caught a pellet right in the eye it wouldn’t have been anything much …. But wow. It was a first.

Didn’t ruin the ride or anything …. But what a weird occurrence.

When this world ends there will be things and people I miss and some others about which I will probably have …. Different feelings.
 
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