cyclofiend.com - peripheral thoughts & notes

February 2024
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A Step
Filed under: general, photos, bike tech
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 11:04 pm

Clambered onto a bike today for the first time in…crikey… I’m not really sure. The last long, memorable ride was with JimG and Gino way back in July - almost a month ago.  I came off antibiotics and perscription decongestants on Monday of this week, immediately felt even worse on Tuesday & Wednesday (guess it was coming off the drugs).  But, then today I found that there was air in the Quickbeam tires, and headed off to errands, a bit of work and a loopy ride home.

Made myself nose-breath for most of the ride, and tried to sit up and spin for the most part.  Topography got a good gasp or two out of me, but nothing lung-torching.  My strategic plan is to just take it slow and easy, not worry about cross season or the October brevet that the SF Randonneurs seem to have scheduled.  Just sleep regularly for a while, make efforts and recover fully. I’m suprised how easily I can sleep ridiculous amounts right now. But, I’m starting to feel some inner resilience forming again. While walking the little dog tonight, with the near full moon jumping in and out of the clouds, I actually felt OK.

On the way home - the “loopy” part of the route - I buzzed out to see the NiƱa, which had just arrived in the local harbor for a few days.

It’s interesting to see what was state-of-the-art for international exploration half a century ago. It’s a stout little ship, but climbing on that thing and watching your home sink below the horizon off the stern… takes more guts than I gots.  Hung out and snapped a few photos, listened to it creak a bit and then worked my way home.

Along the way started thinking about swapping bits around on the bikes. I was thinking it might be a fun change to strip the Hilsen down to a cross-oriented setup - doff the fenders and rack and such, then put on some knibblies - and keep running the Quickbeam as a roadish rig for a while.  I feel like the longer mileage on a fixed setup will be beneficial, and the geary goodness of the Hilsen might be helpful for the nasty little hills and pitches that make up the trails in this neck of the woods.

I’m also contemplating a slight position change on the Hilsen. There’s nothing uncomfortable about it, but I find when I get back onto the Quickbeam, it feels just that much more “right”.  The Hilsen has a slightly wider set of handlebars, and the stem is maybe 10 mm’s longer, so there is a basis for this.

Then again, it sort of bugs me that these little differences are noticeable, and I’m not altogether sure they don’t exist solely in my brain.  I’m a bit reluctant to swap things around, as the bar tape is still pretty clean, and it will mean getting a new stem (I’ve got a stray Soba bar hanging out in the parts bin).  It probably makes sense to take some careful measurements to see just how different things really are.

So, that little set of brain loop occupied my attention for a bit. Rode along and felt the cooling breezes coming off the bay, enjoyed the minor discomfort of riding in regular shorts and realized that even though it was not quite 7 pm, the sun was dipping pretty close to the horizon. Getting to be “lights time” once again.  Ah well. Summer has skipped past a bit fast this year.

Got home a bit rubbery legged. Not that I overdid things - it was just the muscles kind of remembering how to trip in proper succession, casting out the rest of the antibiotics and gunk that had lodged in them during the past weeks, and heaving a sigh of relief at once more getting used.  It helped.  Riding always helps.

2 Responses to “A Step”

  1. Ron Hampel Says:
    I’ve been doing something to mix things up a bit myself.I’ve been playing at not shifting my 20 speed gear train at all - at all. For the last two weeks I’ve been riding a ~70 gear inch ratio everywhere; on my up and downhill commute and around town doing errands including pulling my son in the Burley. As an exercise in free will and will power, it is working. As an exercise in cycling fitness, it also seems to be working. Sure, it isn’t fixed gear. But it is essentially single speed. It’s fun testing my limits. Oh, and I hope you’ll be feeling better soon, Ron
  2. Ken Yokanovich Says:
    Good to read that you are back on the bike. It’s really amazing how the subtle differences between bikes become apparent once you get everything dialed in. On the one hand it is good to understand what you really like. The down-side is wondering if different bikes should actually feel different?