Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bike Legs

Celebrity Spin is in an old converted barn.
Now that I'm through half-way at Celebrity Spin Class, I'm finally starting to feel my left leg, the one injured in May, getting strong again after nine months.  Class is getting harder as we're all pretty much conditioned for sprints and hill climbs in higher hr zones.  I have to say at times I'd come home from spin and I'd be wiped out--my legs were shot, and I'd just shower and sleep for a few hours.  Hardest part about the class was actually getting on and off the bike without taking a tumble to that hard, cold cement floor you see up there in the photo.  

Three days a week and really working hard has paid off.  By the time the warmer weather sets in and I have a chance to ride, I should be able to keep up with all the blokes I ride with.  Most of the group did not do spin, so I know for a time I'll be up with the fast boys and girls.

One thing about our group, is that it splits off into three--so we're really not much for sticking together.  I miss riding with the Leavenworth Club because those riders all stuck together in a tight double pace line, and the ride captains were very aware of the group's over-all speed and would adjust the pack.  That was always fun!  I think this Spring I'm just going to have to go out on the road and hunt for them, send a few emails, etc.  If any of you guys are reading this, be sure and drop me a line!

Spin is in an old barn that has been converted into a shop/office.  Farmers don't build barns anymore--buildings are mostly to house equipment.  Most of John's equipment (he does excavating) is in the back, and we're all up front (about 50 of us when everyone shows up) and we have a sound system and great 
DJ and so its a fun time.  I don't care for the country music that sometimes gets played--and everyone groans when, for a last drill to end the class with a suffer-fest, we ride in zone 3 and 4 with a hill climb to "Free Bird" by Leonard Skynard.  I prefer some of the electronica (probably chosen by the DJ's European wife) and Lady Gaga is okay to spin to as well...

Anyway, the Barn is cold like a frig until you/we get warmed up after about 10 minutes--so the arm warmers and the hat come off and the sweating starts.  After the workout its time to quick try to dry off and then run out to the car (the wind howls out there by the barn) and get home.  I have been riding the Campus bike the two miles there and back--and believe me it is a challenge.  

Old East Lawrence 
Really to cold to ride the road bike even if there was no snow.  After you hop in the saddle, in just a few miles you're out in the Wilds--and the Wind Doth Blow--Gentle Readers of This Blog.  Spin, thank the Bike Gods, is my salvation!

Tucson Desert San Campus Bike.
Most of the riding I've been doing has been on the Desert San, and every other day or so, I'm putting in about six miles round trip running errands, etc.  I tracked my route and times on Strava just to see what was up--but that kind of wore off seeing as how I'm really not going to put in the big miles until Mid-March.  Spin ends on March 7th, so by then I hope to be all set to ride and put in some more challenging rides! 

Dress Warm and you're okay!
It can be reported that the high will be like 45 or 50 degrees--but wind really whips in and crashes that party, mes amis.  Yeah it might get up to 50 or close to 60--but only for a few minutes in the early afternoon--the the wind is blowing and you're hoping for a tail wind to help you get home because the temp in dropping fast!

Cheers!  Bruce

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Strava Flagship Ride

I received a letter informing me that my old cell phone, from my old plan bought out by another wireless company, would not support my phone any longer.  Never having a smart phone but having Mac's all around--I bought iPhone5 a few weeks ago.  All this app stuff is really new to me, Gentle Readers of This Blog, but I was able to download my first app--and here it goes...  Strava will track what I'm doing via GPS.  So I did a very short first ride from The Little House to Haskell (one way) to see Little Egypt at the campus.  And talk to one of the Deans about a teaching post.

The app told me I rode 1.7 miles.  My bike computer always said 1.2 but no matter really, at least I got the app to work--and I actually figured out how to put an app on my phone.   Pictured above is iconic Fraser Hall on top of Mt. Oread on the KU Campus.  This is not the route I take to Haskell, but some photos I took a few days before when I rode to Celebrity Spin Class.

New jacket I got 50% off at the bike shop!  Rain and Wind Resistant
Rico always got laughs with an app he put on his iPhone (that I bought for him for Xmas) called iFart or iPhart or whatever.  I was like, "How much are we paying a month so we can listen to fart apps?"  So you can see why I never took to much stock in "smart phones."  The farts are fake by the way--just some idiot blowing air through his hands--kind of like you used to do when you were in 1st Grade--you can actually pay money to have iFart Premium...

Maybe I can get some enjoyment from this bike app.  Please feel free to follow and look at the rides I'm doing.  Most will be to Haskell or downtown for errands, or to Celebrity Spin--which means short rides until the weather gets warmer.

 Not sure the history of this house but its just around the corner from where I live.

On the Haskell Campus

I decided to carry another lock just for the Schmidt Hub.  Not everyone will know what kind of wheel it is or its value, but those who do will appreciate that its also secure.

Now that Rico has my car I will count on biking everywhere even more so.

I recorded my ride just one way and decided not to bore myself with the details of my return trip.  I think I can pause the ride, say if I go in a shop, and then continue it so I can record the whole trip.  Just got to play with that feature.

Oh yeah, it was very cold for my ride back home later in the afternoon--again my rides are gonna be short for few weeks!

Cheers!   Bruce

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Tinkering, or, A Day Without a Comupter

Desert San Campus Bike from Tucson, AZ

I rarely used my Dynamo Hub--only on long Brevets.  So I got this idea to try and put the wheel on the Desert San--once used to run errands on hot days while working at the hospital--now used for work and trips to downtown--often through snow and mud.  

The commuter bike tires seemed to fit okay on the hub wheel--so now it was a matter of attaching my powerful "Layton Light" made for me by my rando bud Paul.  Also, I've been spending weeks on the computer looking for and applying for new employment--I just needed a break, mes amis!

The Wald front basket has gotten pretty beat up.  A couple of times Rico borrowed the bike to ride around downtown, and well, if you're not careful the bike will fall over.   I dropped the bike a few times too--its a big tall bike so if you have anything slightly heavy, its easy to have it fall.

The clamp for the headlamp took some tinkering
Here's the hub on the front fork.  This Schmidt Dynamo Hub has an interesting history--for one I don't really know how old it is.  It was given to me in 2005 by Gerry Goode--I believe his Randonneur No. is something like 60.  He was one of the handful of the first Brevet Riders that set up RUSA in 1998 in Boston.  I know he used this particular Dynamo in at least three PBP rides--and countless BMB rides as well.  The hub was still working well but I had to replace the wheel last year right before I rode a 300.

I went out for some parts, and rode down the local bike shop to get a few adjustments made to the front brake cable.  I found the old head lamp and clamp on an abandoned junk bike in Tucson.  The larger tire on my commuter bike fit and held on the road wheel and hub--thank goodness!   The wrench at the bike shop got my brake cable and other issue fixed quickly.  It was cold but sunny outside so that was good!

The clamp will work, as well as the light, but I had to get a nut that would hold tight because it has to hold the Layton Light such that is pushes down on the fender.  The fender is down as low as it can go, but the light can't be aimed down much more.  I have to mention that this Layton Light--hand-made by Paul--has four incredibly bright LED lights built into it.  Its like a very bright motorcycle light, brighter than the Super Nova by Schmidt.  It will light up the entire block on my street--like yeah, its that bright!

 The basket looks much better after some re-bending on my part.

The black box for now (on/off switch) held to the basket with rubber bands.  I had to get all the tools and stuff put away as Little Egypt was on her way home.  It was Nat'l Guard weekend so she was out with that.  Rico has moved out of the basement of the Little House, and although I miss him and the music and the recording studio (he's a drummer in the band, and a great guitar player too) It was nice to have a place to work, and place away from the computer for awhile.

I've also given up my car to Rico, and although he won't drive it that much (only lives a mile from KU campus) he's got it handy.  I would rather it sit in the garage when he's not using it, but sometimes you just have let things go.  I don't need a new car, not in this town, so I have a bike that can do everything I need.

When I was downtown, all the streets were packed bumper-to-bumper as there was going to be a home basket ball game.  People from all over descending on Lawrence.  Well, first of all, there's no parking anywhere in this city as it was really a horse and buggy town since the 1850s.  KU is on top of Mt. Oread, which is just a steep rocky bump in the Prairie--no parking anywhere up there--so anyway the city becomes one huge jam-packed parking lot.

I darted through and around all that mayhem swiftly, and got my errands done and parts procured.  One drawback however is the cold--but even that too is waning.  There will still be a few cold days, but I'll be ready!

Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Cheers!  Bruce