cyclofiend.com - peripheral thoughts & notes

August 2009
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August Mileage
Filed under: general, rides, mileage, record keeping
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 11:43 pm

Any month that starts off with a Century should have a good leg up on garnering a couple miles.  I think this is actually my first 400+ mile month so far this year.  Starting to feel “lankier” on the bike, which my internal term for feeling like there’s more room to move around a little bit better power here and there. It’s a good thing.  It ended with a nice string of 13 rides in the last 16 days of the month.

Garnered 446 miles on 18 riding days.  Had a really, really low energy weekend the week after riding the Marin Century with Gino, and had two high priority projects the following week, so I kinda pulled in my horns and schlumpfed around the house to make sure I was 100% for those things, then only got one ride in the following week.   Mostly Hilsen miles, though I was using the Zeus and all its 650B goodness for some commutes this month.  Haven’t got the Quickbeam back together, but I’m definitely wanting to have it up and running soon.

The ‘Cross itch has kinda started, and you can hear the stirrings in the hills as the practitioners of this Dark Art awaken.  The plodding must commence this coming month, for McLaren lies in wait in early October…  Actually did manage some light singletrack miles here and there, which is the first since the accident.

Yoga’d 8 times this month.  Have been chipping away at the Marin Century writeup a paragraph or two at a time, which strikes me as a bit ridiculous, as it was now exactly a month ago.  But, I’m also trying to sleep more consistently, which is why I’m cutting this post off here.

2009 Bikey Miles So Far - 2733

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Death Wish
Filed under: general
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 12:10 am

I dunno.  Things like I watched today make me feel old. “Old” as in smart enough to avoid utter numbskull moves so that I can be an “old bike rider”, which is one of my goals in life.

First noted this particular rider on my way back home.  I’d meandered down to the bridge to stretch my legs a bit, as the rides have been hard to come by for the last week and a half.  We were at the north end of the Mill Valley bike path, waiting for the light to change.  Couple other folks, but as it was mid-afternoon, there wasn’t quite the scrum that can take place.  Gotta admit the first thing I noted was the earbuds.  Never a good sign, but I try not to be judgemental.

When the lights changed, we rolled out, and I eased ahead of him, then turned left and then right for the Camino Alto climb.  Another rider passed me on the first pitch, and we exchanged pleasantries.  Then earbud-man pumped past, and either chose to ignore my “heyhowzitgoin” or it faded into the rhythm of whatever mix he was having pumped into his ear orifices. Fine. Ok. I kinda expected that.

We met again at the top of the climb.  After his exuberant start to the climb, he had throttled back a bit and I’d been easing up on him. Then he suddenly began wobbling significantly off his line.  I checked for advancing traffic, then veered around him, trying to see if he was having trouble of some sort - a bee in his helmet or something.  Nope.  He was dinking around with the control wheel on the iPod.  I guess he has climbing music and descending music. Leaving him trying to locate Ride of the Valkyries or whatever he needs for the turns down to Corte Madera, I pushed over the crest and descended.

I don’t know if he was challenged by this action or not.  All I know is that I started hearing that clattery sound of thin tires and light frame trying to stay stuck on the pavement behind me.  There’s a difference between that type of ominous racket and the swooshing sound of rider in control.  He managed to stay upright, but more by white knuckling it than by conscious technique.  Luckily, he didn’t come crashing into my rear wheel, and I must admit I increased my speed when he sounded close, just so I could keep a safety buffer.

We all end up waiting at the red light, at the stoplight with the least appropriate sensor setting in the county, which many riders will recognize sits at the base of the Camino Alto hill, on the Corte Madera side.  Even with a serious steel frame, it tends not to trigger.  I have no idea what the non-ferrous or resin/glue crowd does.  Well, now I do.  Because earbud-man arrives on scene.  Facing us on Magnolia Avenue are about 10 cars that had been waiting at the red light.  To our right, there are two kids on foot who are leaning on the pedestrian signal button.   The cars coming towards us will get a combined left-turn arrow/straight green light when it changes.  Traffic from the right gets their red, the oncoming cars start rolling, all the ones I can see with their left turn blinker activated. There are three of us cyclists with foot down, waiting for the left turning cars to pass and our light to turn green. 

Then, for some reason known only to him, earbud-man rolls past us and through the red light.  The next left-turning car jerks to a stop to avoid him, and is so clearly stunned by this rider’s stupidity that he cannot bring himself to honk.  Earbud-man sets off in pursuit of whatever demons he seeks, which puts him about 100 yards away by the time our actual green light illuminates and we all advance while shaking our heads.

Through the capriciousness of stoplights and traffic, I again regain this fellow as we near Bon Air Road.  Very little traffic and supremely clear line-of-sight in all directions. There are 4 cars waiting for the dedicated left turn light, and our light has gone red as earbud-man rolls up to the it.  They begin to move. Earbud-man waits a beat or two, then again rolls out into the intersection. Again, the car brakes to avoid him.  I begin to wonder if he might not have a functioning left eye, or perhaps some type of macular degeneration. But, then I would tend to think if that were the case, he might not so casually be drowning out his aural cues.  Therefore, I can only conclude there’s an issue with a different organ.

Honestly, I don’t think in my time of riding I’ve seen two such epic examples of blissfully ignorant acts. (And to clarify, this didn’t have the definitive bumper-shaving decisiveness of a messenger blowing through cross-traffic - this had the energy of “well, it’s time to push away from the curb now and begin our merry little jaunt…”).  The only reason he wasn’t picking up his teeth from the pavement is due to the attention being paid by the car drivers. 

And that, my friends, is not a high-percentage move…

Be careful out there, folks.  Or aware.  At least be aware.

Roadeo, Roadeo, Oh Have You Met Roadeo?
Filed under: general, photos, bike tech, rivendelica
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 9:21 am

You may have heard the rumors that Rivendell Bicycle Works is prototyping a lighter, club-oriented bike.  As with a lot of things Rivvish, the info first popped up over on the RBW Owners Bunch List.  (In fact, there’s even a thread about it…)

Well, things have continued to move along on that front, and while I’m cursing a schedule that prevents me from dropping everything and rushing over to the RBWHQ&L in Walnut Creek today (or tomorrow…) to see this bicycle model in person, Grant Peterson was kind enough to share some info. His words follow:

We got the first prototype Roadeo yesterday, and Mark built it up and rode it, likes it a lot. We’ll have something on the site on it tomorrow or Saturday, probably saturday… Here are some AFAQ:

1. Why does it look so unRivendellish?
a. It IS steel, it IS lugged, it HAS a fork crown and a nice fork rake. You CAN fit a 35mm tire. It has longish (by race bike standards) chainstays, and a lowISH bottom bracket. It has a clamp-on front derailer. All quite in keeping with all of our bikes.

2. Threadless?
a. Done it before, with the Legolas. The Roadeo will be available threaded or threadless, same price, your choice.

3. That price?
a. $2,000 frame and fork. And we’ll have some package options—likely a club-rider-racerish package with a road double and SRAM brifters  for around $4,200; and a country-ish version, probably with a triple….for $3,600. Specs to be determined, but one racey, one normal….with mixitup flexibility, whatever one likes.

3. Who makes it?
a. ‘ford.  (ed - that’d be “Waterford”)

4. Colors?
a. white with red; white with blue; any color you like except white or cream, with cream.

5. Tubing?
a. Mix of Reynolds 725 and TrueTemp OX Plat. As thin as I/Grant could stand to go. (0.65 butts in the tt and dt, with 0.45 bellies)

6. Frame weight?
a. Well, man, the prototype frame here weighs 4lb 3oz, in a 55cm. Now, there are ways to trim another half pound off it, but not without getting super ridiculous. We’re shooting for 3.9999999999999xinfinity pounds, and think we can get there by trimming a lug, using a narrower crown, monkeying around with the chainstay brake bridge, possibly using a different bb shell and seat tube. But that’s it! Then it’ll weigh what it weighs, and it’s over.

7. Whole bike?
a. as shown, 20.7. with four ounces off the frame, three off the fork (we can do this easily on a threadless), and something else, we can get it to 19.9999999999999 pounds with Jack Brown greens.

Some spec notes:
The best brakes for it are the Tektro Bigmouth 57s. They’re super light, and allow 35mm+ tires, releasable without deflating. The photo shows a SRAM crank–Mark picked all the parts for it–but we may go with a D/A compact. It’s all up to Mark (I just designed the frame).

Eventually the particulars will go onto our site, but I hate taking about decimal metric numbers as though the decimals matter and the numbers reveal the essence of the frame. I don’t like stubby chainstay even a little, but I don’t want my preference for 44.5+cm chainstays to smite this bike before it leaves the gates, and in the big pic 43/43/5 is plenty fine, and if it works for Mark, it’ll work for anybody. The rest of the numbers are right down the middle of our lane, with a slight Mark-’fluence, because Mark has that ‘fluence, and he knows. I may get a 59, so I jogged a little with the numbers for the 59, designing it just for me, but it’ll be fine for anybody who fits it. I think the bb is a few mm lower than the 57 and the 61—77 or 78 instead of 75. Not significant, but it’ll allow me the clearance I want with the fatties I’ll ride on it.

Who the bike is for:
Club riders who weigh under 210l bs and who aren’t looking to load it up or ride it on trails. We have other bikes for that, and the Roadeo is for road riding with minimal gear. There are no rack eyelets (reinforces the message) but there are fender eyelets on the dropouts.

ANYBODY is welcome to come by and ride it, and we should have another prototype in a month or so. Maybe another Mark’s size, or maybe mine, not sure.

It is every bit as zippy as any road bike, and a lot  more useful, comfy, safe…and lower priced than a lot of them..


full rez version of the image - click here

Wednesday Laugh
Filed under: general, video
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 9:27 am

Since I’ve been unable to finish my writeup on the Marin Century (coming soon…really!), here’s something that the interwebs brought to my door today -

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