cyclofiend.com - peripheral thoughts & notes

September 2009
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Dang, That Ain’t Right Redux
Filed under: general, bike tech
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 11:49 pm

Riding down to Sausalito Wednesday evening.  I’m engineering for a class and managed to get my messed up lighting issues solved so that the nighttime return trip won’t be too treacherous. In fact, I’m pretty pleased to be getting in some cheap miles and spend time with good friends and a talented instructor.  I just miss the light to jump across from the bike path to Bridgeway, so I head forward on the less used section of wide path/sidewalk, planning to use the next opportunity to cross.

About two or three pedal strokes to regain some speed - BAM! - the whole bike shudders and my left foot is unclipped. I’m still upright and moving forward, but finding only air.  It seems that I had some catastrophic pedal failure, and I look down to see, well…  pretty much nuthin’…. which is kind of a further surprise.

There’s about three inches or so of crank arm left, and a slightly jagged looking silver face.  I slow down, realize that I’m pretty W&TF and look back to see if there are any parts in my wake. At first it seems like everything had just vanished. Backtracking further, I see the Time pedal and it’s rather forlorn and useless appendage.

You’ll have to excuse the cruddy little phone cam shot. There are some clearer photos to follow. 

The immediate issue was arriving early enough to change into street clothes for the class. I still had about 3 miles to go, and I wasn’t really going to be moving at precisely the same speed I’d enjoyed.  A quick call to let them know and I saddled up and started kicking it one-footedly down Bridgeway. 

It wasn’t any particular hardship, really.  I mean, if you know the parallel option, it’s not particularly hilly - in fact, it could be described as just about dead-flat.  A little playing around with gear choice, and the only downside was the rather, um, different means by which you contact the saddle when pedaling one-legged.  Not trying to get graphic, just trying to make the case that you want to be a little careful when engaging in that method of transportation.

Made it on time, managed to catch my wife and cash in one of my “please come and fetch me” chips after class ended (she was seeing a play with a friend, and it actually worked out quite well…)

This morning, I got to play around with the better camera and record some more of the specifics -
Well, There's yer problem!

The bit on the bike.  Looks like things propagated from the leading edge, which seems to be the darkest area.

The bit that broke off.  I’m holding it in the nice morning light.  If you click through to see all sizes, or just jump to the largest version, you can see the tale of woe rendered in 6000 series aluminum. The end result being that I now own a left crank arm which can be used for the lowest of bb heights…

107 is the new length.  All the kids’ll be riding ‘em soon. You heard it here first.

As I was snapping these photos (all of which are over in a Flickr set, as you’d expect), it struck me that I needed to deal with this whole thing.  (Hey, it was early, I was on my first cup of coffee and had to get to work.)  Since I’d had some issues with the ISIS connective spline, this pair had come directly from Ritchey on a warranty.  I wasn’t sure what the warranty period was, but thought it would be at least worth asking.  Emailed them through their website, and got an autoresponder that said they were out at Interbike this week.  Ok. Fine.  I headed into work with the vague idea of swapping the stock Sugino XD’s back on, and switching chainrings to maintain the same gearing.

By the time I got back this afternoon, another email had come through from Ritchey USA.  This time, they attached a helpful little pdf which documented a voluntary recall they had instituted, as some of the early cranks were busting on the non-drive side.  I looked up the date codes on my nubbins, and curiously enough, it did seem to fit within the date of the recall. So, as soon as they send me the actual RA#,  I’ll be sending this down to them.

It did keep me thinking.  In my only other crank fracture, I was out of balance and on the ground pretty danged fast. Since the bike and I were climbing at the time, and it was a fixed-gear system, torque was pretty high, though thankfully the speed remained low.  

This time around, things were on the flat, and I had a decent amount of momentum going.  When the arm failed, I do remember coming down very hard on the right pedal.  Luckily, I had my weight pretty well distributed.  But, I think it also strongly attests to the stability of the Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen.  Things went from pretty normal to very out of balance in a big hurry, but the last thing I even worried about was how to stay upright on the bike.  

Thanks Grant.

Resource - Ritchey Design Voluntary Recall pdf 

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Good Stuff To Know
Filed under: general
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 12:19 pm

Got out Sunday for a nice loop of pavement and dirt.  Climbed a bit and didn’t lock up anywhere, which was nice.  Definitely a bit sore afterwards, but the good kind of sore which denotes that you were able to go the whole time. 

But, while I meandered around, there were lessons being taught,  Of course, I guess there are always lessons being taught.  These were just the ones that I noticed on Sunday.

Don’t Get Pulled Into the Flow -
This is one I see often, and it’s easy to let occur.  As I was heading out around San Pedro Point the road is two lane and relatively narrow.  It’s kind of a curvy “country” road, with decent enough line of site and quiet enough that you can usually hear traffic approaching.  I came upon a group of newer riders, who were spread out a bit in the lane.  Heard a car coming up from behind and dropped my speed so as not to be passing them at the same time. They also heard the auto, and single-filed themselves.  The driver passed them and the last rider began easing back out, seemingly sucked forward and to their left by the wake of the vehicle.  A bad thing, as there was another car behind the first. Luckily, no oncoming traffic and the second driver had passed with plenty of room.   But, it was a graphic example of why you always assume that traffic has stacked up behind the first car. 

Look Behind -
It’s really a corollary to the first thing.  But, if folks on the road, on the trail, entering from the curb or just any manner of forward-facing-but-backwardsly-blind positioning would just flip a look back every once in a while, they’d be startled less and end up much more aware of what was going on. Curves are great times to do this, as quick glimpse will alert you to any movement approaching.

Bring Stuff -
All along the roadway near China Camp were the cars from the trail users of the day. From the back of one car, a voice called out, “Heyougottapump?” Easing back, there were a couple of guys trying to inflate an mtb tire with a short little pack pump. After connecting my frame pump, we had equally poor luck in getting any good results. I could hear something hissing, and the bike owner lamented that he’d probably pinched the tube putting it in. I asked if they had another tube. They did not. They were quite distraught, since they were under a time constraint.  But, it got me thinking.  I had two tubes (700C, otherwise I would’ve given ‘em one) and three (don’t ask) patch kits in my bag.  I was riding.  Here, these two guys had driven to the ride and had only one spare tube between the two of them, and no way to patch it.  I mean, they were in a car, ferheavensakes!  They didn’t have to physically carry anything!  Floor pump, basic tool kit (or the whole thing if you have a portable kit), extra tubes all are pretty simple to chuck into the car. But, the lack of that pretty much clipped their trail ride.

Fear the Tourist -
Bridgeway in Sausalito, from the south end of Caledonia Street to the climb out of town, is probably one of the most nerve-wracking sections of road in Marin County. Unless you are engaging in a mixed-terrain route, you are one of the 99.99% of north/south bound cyclists using this route. Tourist density is high, both on the road (narrow) and sidewalk (multiple crosswalks).  Having negotiated the main part of town, I was easing along with the flow of traffic on the waterfront section of the road. In front of me was a convertible Porsche with the top down, and I noticed that the passenger was holding up an iPhone as they moved slowishly forward.  “Parking Spot Finder” - I didn’t know there was an app for that, but clearly there was.  Diving suddenly to the right and stopping, they immediately brought auto traffic to a stop.  Luckily, I’d sensed their indecision and erratic-ness, had positioned myself to their left-hand quarter, and was able to move past without being plowed over.

Respect the Bulk of the Bus -
A fine example of abject fear is when you are in the narrow, narrow tunnel on Sausalito Lateral underneath the freeway, and you hear the sound of a roaring bus engine behind you. Maybe I should have taken the full lane before entering the tunnel, but whizzing traffic prevented that, and by the time the bus approached, I wasn’t sure he could see me in the very dark shadow therein. At least he pulled out slightly to give me some room as he blew past - well, before the oncoming traffic forced him back into my lane.  Luckily, busses turn only on the front wheels.  My forward path was eclipsed (as was the light in the tunnel), but the back end of the bus stayed a few feet away.  Slamming on my brakes and edging against the curb, no Jim pancakes (or waffles) were formed.

Honor The Tailwind -
Sunday was the first of what they are forecasting as a week-long heat wave up here. The winds were pretty odd all day, but as soon as I turned onto the trails, I picked up a warm tailwind.  Which meant that sweat pretty much got baked off by the sun rather than evaporated by any breezes. By the time I got home, even though I’d sucked down every swallow of my water, stopped to douse my cap a few times and sputtered the last spray onto my legs at the top of the last climb, it took a massive effort just to flop into the shower and sit under the cool water.  It was one of those times when you spray cold water on your head, and my the time it reaches your low back, it feels hot.  I’ve had this happen a couple times, when you get pushed along by a warm breeze.  They are extremely deceptive, because you benefit from the tailwind, but cooked up by the heat. By the time you notice, it’s very hard to recover - much more so than a hot headwind.  I think if I hadn’t reached home when I did, I would have needed a bag of ice on my brain for a while before

Glorius Heist Follow-Up
Filed under: general, rivendelica
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 8:30 am

A little more news on the St. Paul, MN stolen Rivendell Glorius which belongs to Grant Peterson’s daughter.  It seems that it’s not a particularly good idea to surround and pounce on the first person you see riding one, especially if his name is “Karl” and it seems to fit him particularly well.

GP explains in his post here.

Or, if you don’t want to click through, here’s a version, slightly edited for brevity:

But here’s a twist: We have a customer named Karl who has a red
Glorious and also lives in St. Paul. I’m feeling bad now, because the
seach for my daughter’s bike makes it hard for him to ride his. His
name is Karl, and if you’re in the area and see a
red Glorius ridden by a guy, and you call out “hey, Karl!” and he
doesn’t say hi or something, maybe it’s the bad guy. Or, maybe Karl
didn’t hear you.
We’ve painted three or four red. Wouldn’t you know–two in Saint
Karl hasn’t complained-in fact, he sent a sympathetic note—-but this
makes it awkward for him to ride his…

Anyway, I want to thank everybody for their kind words and wishes. I
can see straight, still. I know that this world and country has bigger
problems than this, and in the big picture this is nothing.

Now…if you see Karl, don’t  pounce on him! Thanks…”

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St. Paul, MN - Stolen Rivendell Glorius Alert
Filed under: general, unfortunate events, rivendelica
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 10:46 am

Normally, I don’t post alerts for stuff out of my geographic area, but this one bit a little close to the bone - Grant Peterson’s daughter’s bike (and her friend’s bike) got heisted in St. Paul.  Now, the Glorius is certainly a noticeable frame - even if they paint it over with roofing tar it would stick out - so if you live in that area, keep your eyes peeled and notify the proper authorities -

The following is copied from the Rivendell website -

Red Glorius stolen in Saint Paul

September 17, 2009

a daughter’s bike gets stolen, a dad a couple of thousand miles away
does what he can do to help get it back, and this is that.
daughter is a student there, and her red Glorius (mixte) with cream
head tubes was stolen from a rusty fence (it was U-locked to it, and
they uprooted the fence-section) on Portland and Saratoga Aves.
September 16.

Brooks saddle, Schwalbe Marathons…Albatross
bars…but basically, if you see a red Glorious around there, a 52,
that’s it. I don’t know how to go about getting it back, but I want to
do what I can, and Put the Word Out seems to be the extent of my

A reward, too. I buy bikes, too–they don’t come free
to me–and she rode the bike all last year and so far this year, and
she liked the bike a lot, and it’s just a bummer.

Keep an eye out for  it. Maybe it’ll show up on eBay or Craigslist.

know, on one hand, it’s better that she lose her Glorius than maybe a
bike-poorer person. But she got attached to it, and she wants it back,
so I’m asking for help locating it. There will be a reward, sure. I
don’t know. Something.

The same day one of my daughter’s
roomates also got her bike stolen. It was a dark olive green All-Pro
(brand) non-mixte with upright bars, black saddle, white grips. Maybe
the same guys (sexist but statistically probable assumption) took it,

Anyway, it’s not tragic, but it is sad, and it is my
daughter and it is her friend, and I think we can all relate. Thanks
for any help.  Grant

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SF Randonneurs Fall Populaire!
Filed under: general, rides, brevets
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 8:58 am

San Francisco Randonneurs Fall 2009 Populaire

The San Francisco Randonneurs would like to invite you to participate
in our first ever Fall Populaire, to be held on October 3rd, 2009.
This is a free event.

The Populaire is intended to introduce riders to the sport of
randonneuring. Most of our brevets are 200km in length, but the
Populaire, at 115km, is only slightly more than half that length.

More information, and a link to the registration form is here:

As a member of the SFR gang, I’m happy to share this little press release which was forwarded to me by Rob Hawks, the Regional Brevet Administrator for the club. On a personal note - this is a great way to meet some of the fantastic folks who make up the San Francisco Randonneurs and ride a wonderful route in one of the more perfect times of the year.

Whether you want to challenge yourself with the 115K or have been itching to try the longer series of brevets, it’s a great excuse to get some miles in and enjoy the ride!

San Francisco Randonneurs
My brevet writeups

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Events of Note
Filed under: general, rides, cyclocross, rivendelica
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 10:53 am

Had that realization last week as I rode home from work - it wasn’t that late and the sun wasn’t hitting the roadway any longer.  Time to bring the aged NiteRider out of the closet and make sure that it still works. Then the other morning, as the dog and I worked our way around the block, came the breeze with a bit of bite.  In other words, the first true breath of fall.

Which is not a bad thing, certainly. Despite the layers of HVAC climate-controlled workplaces and the fact we seem able to buy spring fruit year round, the seasons still manage to create the urgency that stems from far simpler times. The nights edge out a little longer and we realize what a gift warm sunlight actually is.

It also means that otherwise normal - ok, that may be a bit of a stretch - people are donning dresses and tearing around the trails in preparation for cyclocross season.  This is as much a sign of the season as anything.  Dried, brown grass, dust in the air and sparkly feathered boas…  such is Fall in the SF Bay Area.

Pilarcitos/BASP, SRCX, Surf City, LARDP…all on the schedule (even though it says “2008″) for your perusement. And more at the NCNCA cyclocross pages.

But, one of the cooler things manifested quickly yesterday on the RBW Owners Bunch List - a Rivendell and Friends Ride to take place on Sunday, October 18th.  The specifics can be found here.

Event: NorCalâ„¢ Rivendell Ride
Date: Sunday, October 18

Start: Golden Gate bridge, south toll plaza lot
Time: 9:00am
Distance: 75 miles or so

(just the part to Pt. Reyes Station and back on these documents)
map: http://sfrandonneurs.org/assets/downloads/200kmap.pdf
cue sheet: http://sfrandonneurs.org/assets/downloads/200kcuesheet.pdf

See the cue sheet and map, which contains an elevation profile. It’s
an out-and-back, so if you don’t want to do the whole thing, it’s easy
to turn back at any point.  Nicely maintained gravel is an option for
a small bit of this ride.

This, of course is taking place the day after the Lion of Fairfax, which it seems my schedule will allow this year.  Yay! So, I plan on being good and sore for at least the beginning and end of the Rivendell Ride.

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