Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter, and completion of Continental GP 4 Season road test

Winter is finally and really here. The New York and Long Island area had a large snowstorm starting December 26th, 20 inches of snow in my front yard has put cycling is on hold for now. Time to take up Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, and Ice Speed Skating to pass the time and stay in shape until Spring. I said that I would complete my review of the Continental GP 4 Season 700 x 28c tires that I purchased for my 1984 Pinarello fixed gear bike. During the 2010 cycling season, I have become enamored with fixed gear cycling. I have completed two 100 mile century rides on my fixed gear bike, both of which were ridden on the Conti GP 4 season 700 x 28c tires. So far, I have put about 1250 miles on this set of tires. I say about, because I do not keep a computer on my fixed gear bike by choice in the interest of simplicity. The tires have ridden very well, and soak up the road roughness like champs. Wear on the rear tire has not yet eliminated the center seam, a point at which I usually switch front and rear tires. I can honestly say NO FLATS SO FAR!
These tires have been a great solution for this particular bike. It is old enough to have room for the 28c size, and greatly benefits the ride, safety, and durability of my machine.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Last Ride in Shorts

It was late November, and unusually warm for this time of year. I had Saturday off, and wanted to go for a ride on my North Shore Long Island route. I have been doing this route, or its variants, since I was about twelve years old. It proved to be the last day for cycling shorts, which, for me, mark the end of another active cycling season. Many people who do not live here are not aware of the beautiful country roads that are available for cycling. It's true that some creativity is involved in this suburban setting, but great rides can be constructed on Long Island's Gold Coast.
My ride took me from Planting Fields Arboritum up to Oyster Bay, Center Island, and Glen Cove. It was moderately hilly, and I took along  my LOOK KG381i, a carbon framed bike with a comfortable slack 71.5 degree seat angle. This frame was originally designed for Tour de France racing, but has become a great general riding and Century bike for me as well. The carbon frame had now been durable for  eight seasons

From this point on, tights will be necessary for riding. In the off season, I will combine on road and off road riding, gym,squash, and of course, cross country skiing when I can get it. My accomplishments this season include several old things and some new to me:
1.  Doing five Century rides
2. Doing two of those on fixed gear
3. Participating in D2R2, although it broke my body

For next season, I would like to accomplish several things, including doing the 5 Boro Bike Tour on a fixed gear, getting involved in some Randonneuring, and maybe getting to ride in California.