Saturday, September 25, 2010

Miss Pinarello takes a spin

It was the first day of autumn and I was off from work. The weather was going to be in the upper 70's Farenheit, and the skies sunny. What a great day for a ride on the South Fork of Long Island. Miss Pinarello was eager to go out for a spin, so we headed out to Southampton to ride the beautiful and now uncrowded off-season roads there. The terrain was mostly flat with a few low rollers thrown in for interest. I will be taking Miss Pinarello to the Sea Gull Century on October 9, 2010. This ride goes out of Salisbury, Maryland, and tends to have about 6,000+ riders registered. It is also quite flat, and todays ride was a good prep. For those of you who haven't been to this area, yes, we have great cycling areas here!
Riding a fixed gear bike on flattish terrain makes a lot of sense, and I like the direct connection to the pedals. Lack of a choice of gears is simplifying, liberating, and excellent for leg tone and development. The Carradice Barley seat bag is earning its place on the back of my Selle Anantomic seat, and seems headed towards being a fixture on this bike.
By the way, do you ever think of your bike, or other beloved object as having a gender ? I definitely know that this bike is a female. Other bikes in my quiver have differing personalities and gender identifications that have come out over time. I would like to know how prevalent this line of thought is in the cycling community. My wife, who is actually a psychoanalyst, has offered various diagnoses for this belief of mine. Still, when you get a feeling about something that is strong, it often pays to go with it. As English has no gender assignments to nouns, such developments are ill defined. Each person views the world in a slightly different way.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Flattest Century in the East...NOT!

We went up to Needham, Massachusetts to visit some friends from my wife's college this past weekend. Our friend Ron and I went down to Dartmouth, Massachusetts , on Sunday, September 12, 2010, to do The Flattest Century in the East, run by the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen. I had heard that this ride was not hilly but not flat either. Ultimately there were lots of small rollers but no tough climbs. At first I thought that a fixed gear bike would be the best machine for the job, but upon reconsideration, I chose my plentifully geared road bike. My LOOK KG381i was built in 2003 by hand in Nevers, France. It is a 57cm frame, with a 74 degree head tube, but a 72.5 degree seat tube. The carbon frame, fork, and steerer make for a good general road bike, comfortable for longer distances. The specs :
size...57cm ( c-c )
top tube...57.4cm
Wheels...Campy Neutron 2003
tires...Conti ultragatorskin 25mm
bars...3T 199gms
bar tape...Cinelli Zebra cork
brake/shifters...2003 Campy record carbon
crankset...2003 Campy Record 53/39 alloy
rear derailleur...Campy Chorus medium cage
cassette...13-29 Campy
pedals...Crank Bros Candy SL
brakes...Campy Chorus
seat...Selle Anatomica
seat bag...Carradice Barley
We had generally cloudy skies during the ride, but did get rained on at about miles 80 to 85. The secnery was wonderful, and the NBW club did a great job with the organization of the event.A great time was had by all. Hopefully, I will be able to get back here to do this century sometime in the near future. Thanks to Ron and Phil for having us over the night before. Thanks to Helen for putting up with me and for all the travel time.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

August 21, 2010 D2R2

I went up to the beautiful town of South Deerfield, Massachusetts, for the 2010 edition of D2R2. My preparation for the event was extensive, including extra training on dirt roads and hills,hills,hills. Ultimately, nothing on Long Island could have adequately prepared me for the roads and hills of northern Massachusetts and southern Vermont. Our tour hosts were fabulous, and everybody was extremely friendly. The tents set up in the fields had every accomodation possible for the riders. Some famous individuals were there, although I was not one of them. My 100km ride started at a lazy 9am, and took us through regular roads, dirt and gravel roads, and of course, significant climbing. The rest stops were fully stocked, and the volunteers were very helpful. At about the halfway point, I was beat and bonked, despite adequate electrolyte hydration. I did come in under my own power, thanks to the mutual help from Pete from Connecticut. Thanks Pete! Almost every type of bike was used for this event, including regular road bikes, cyclocross bikes, and mountain bikes. Some bikes defied description. When the day was done, the rider was more important than the type of bike used. My Jamis cyclocross bike was adequate for the ride, but I was significantly jarred on the gnarly fast descents, and my shimano cantilever brakes were severely taxed. The mountain bike riders seemed to be doing the best of all the various bike-type groups. Maybe lose some weight and try next years ride on a Salsa Fargo.....