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Monday, August 31, 2009

Me / Family: 1, Virus: 3

Well, the Dark Side Ride was a no-go for me. My boys got viruses this week (their eyes erupted into pink-eye... both eyes... on both of them), which I wound up contracting (strep-like symptoms for me) Thurs Night / Friday Morning (probably because I stayed home with the boys on Thurs). I was in no shape to ride 30-50 miles late Friday night (though I took a small ride around my neighborhood and found a really cool park we didn't know was there Friday afternoon... my back was tired of laying down... but 1-2 miles tuckered me out).

The only upside is that the wife didn't get sick.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

KS > MO Dark Side Ride? I'm so there...

Guess what popped up on my reader list today, or maybe yesterday (courtesy of KC Bike Commuting)? A group ride I can actually make it to! 9p-12midnight. I may even "man up" and ride to the 8 miles to the meet point. (which would put total miles awfully close to 50). Depends on when the wife and I get done with the cookout we're going to before hand.

Get your lights charged... it's time for another Dark Side Ride! < KC Bike Commuting

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rain: 0, Me: 2 - Woo Hoo!

So, I was dense enough NOT to check the weather before I headed out yesterday. The sun was still down, so I didn't notice how thick the clouds were. About 1/4 of the way to the office I thought "Hm, I'm pretty sure those weren't headlight flashes". About 1/2 the way, "Yeah, that's definitely not headlights." Grabbed my coffee to go (rather than sitting down for 20 minutes to eat my banana and drink my coffee there, like I usually do), got to the office, sat down... 5 minutes later... KAPOOOSSHH! the sky dumps...

Then, I get out of the office a little (15 min) late... start pedaling... notice the sky "Oh, crap, I should've left on time..."... Lightening, Lightening, Looming Clouds... Pedal Harder... hit all the green lights... it's spitting when I roll into the garage. Dumps about 10 minutes later.

So, I out ran the storm twice on Wednesday.

Of course, now that I've bragged about it, I'll probably get swept away in a flash flood or something tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Door Zone Video - Holy Crap!

I suspect that anyone reading this has already seen this video posted on a number of other blogs. However, if you haven't, it's worth passing on / clicking through.

Door Zone - A Real Eye-Opener!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Collegiate Ride Impressions

So, I got around to actually riding the Collegiate more than just around the block. I rode it about 3 miles round trip to the coffee shop and back. Here are my impressions:

1) Wheels are horribly out of true (just one more thing to work on).
2) Ride is super upright (not a bad thing).
3) Can't wait for a rack (holding a book while riding was doable, but not comfortable... should have used a sling bag).

Also, the bottom cable guide slipped, which was a pain because I could figure out why it was hard to ride (stuck in 3rd / high gear). I'm going to get something to help it stay gripped to the frame better.

Friday, August 7, 2009

3 Things Made Me Happy (in the last 24 hours)

  1. Twice on my commute yesterday, I tripped the optical sensors at fairly major intersections by myself. Now, I'm not slight, but I'm no clydesdale either. So, it's always fun when I can cast a big enough shadow, or whatever they're looking for, on my bike trip those sensors.
  2. On my way home, I heard a a car approach and slow down behind me. A lady in a minivan was, apparently, giving me time to swerve around the parked cars before passing me. She could have passed me safely without slowing. However, I guess she decided it would be nicer not to spook me. When I got around the two cars and pulled back over, she passed me, smiled and waved.
  3. Something was waiting for me when I got home. It was the Ex-Officio Trip'r SS (Jade) I had ordered. Fit is good, it's really lightweight, breathes well (wore it on the ride in today) and, I think, looks sharp.
Oh, and a bonus 4th, I found a quarter in my pocket when I got to work.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kansas Chic? Nah...

In an attempt to cheer up a friend, who recently despaired of the lack of chic in NYC cyclists, here are some pics from my ride to work this morning. Though it is all performance fabrics, it's at least suitable office apparel. Regardless, it's probably as close to Chic Cycling as you'll see in suburban Kansas.

Bern Helmet, Oakleys, Ibex Merino Polo

Nau Wearever Slacks, Pants Clip (the reflection)


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Khaki Hack Update

So, I added lower snaps and took some still and action shots. the location seems to work fairly well. It seems to be just high enough to keep the hem out of the chain and keep some wind on my legs. Also, an interesting byproduct of the new location (6-7 inches from the hem) is that it allows for extra security if I roll them to my normal knicker-roll height (just below my knee).

Still Shots:

In Action:

Panda Shots

Finally figured out how to hold my camera and ride at the same time, so I got around to taking some Panda Shots tonight. A lot of them were crap, these worked though.

PS - From the Panda Flickr Group "Why are these called "pandas?" Well, ya see, there's this rad chick who goes by the name faster panda kill kill. She takes rad self-portraits while riding her bike. They are so rad, in fact, that a group was formed to record similar self-portraits cuz, really, just about anyone who has a camera and rides bikes also takes these self-portraits."

Trusty Steed

I realized, the other day, that I've modified my Soho S enough that it's worth posting a couple of update pics. This is still the bike I ride to work.

Side View

Front View

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Khaki Hack featured by Bike Hacks

FWIW, Bike Hacks featured my Khaki Hack

Monday, August 3, 2009

Khaki Hack

So, I've been brainstorming ways to make my work clothes more biking friendly. I really like by Rail Riders Backcountry Khakis. They fit great, breath great and are pretty tough. I normally roll / fold them to knicker length when I ride. However, sometimes roll isn't good and comes loose, which is a pain. Then, the other day, I stumbled on to the Prana Stretch Zion which have a pretty nice built in snap for rolling them up just high enough to help keep them out of the chain.

This gave me an idea for modifying my khakis to something similar. Using the inseam I was able to attach snaps ($4 total for snaps and setter @ hobby store) pretty well.

Location of both snaps.

Lower snap detail

Upper snap detail

Snapped - inside out

Snapped - right side out

Unsnapped... Using the inseam means the snaps are unnoticeable from the outside

So, how do they work? Pretty well, except that... I believe I placed the upper snap too high. You see, I have very well developed calves. The upper snap is placed between my knee and the swell of my calf muscle. With the pedaling motion, my calves had a tendency to friction-grab the hem. This led to discomfort and the snaps coming undone occasionally.

I believe I need to locate the upper snap just below my calf muscle rather than above.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Collegiate is Re-Assembled.

As I mentioned yesterday, the Collegiate is assembled and working. Here are the promised pictures: