Really, every web site I’ve ever set up has been neglected, but neglecting this one is particularly egregious. Almost two years since my last post? That would be bad enough normally, but I’ve spent the last two years biking a lot. A lot. In just the last three months I rode two different century rides. I added over 100,000 feet of elevation. I’ve now covered more that 40% of the streets in the San Fernando Valley. And that bike I was so excited about in the last post in gone, replaced with a lovely Trek road bike.
I think part of the issue is trying to spread not-quite-enough content for one site across three or four (or six or ten) sites. New plan: post in one place! For now everything’s going on my main blog. If I suddenly become Walt Whitman and feel the need to share my multitudes I’ll change things around.
Brian and I went for a slightly longer ride today. It looked like this:
I also did something I haven’t done in three years of riding with clipless pedals: I fell over.
The new bike has much tighter clamps on the pedals. I thought I’d loosened them enough, but apparently not. I’m fine. The bike’s fine (though I did have to straighten the cockpit a bit). I actually thought it was funny. AND I CAN PROVE IT! I never record rides – my bike and phone mount are too damn shaky – but I decided to try it. Most of the ride is too shaky to watch, but this part looks good:
I love my Long Haul Trucker but it has skinny tires and a short stem, which makes riding on anything other that straight, smooth roads a little spooky. My Fuji Touring is a little better, but still not really up to any kind of dirt or gravel road.
Solution: NEW BIKE! Look at this lovely thing:
But three bikes in an apartment is crazy – especially when I hardly ride the Touring these days.
Solution: “Loan” my brother the Touring!
I couldn’t just let it go – it’s the bike I rode to Santa Barbara, for corn’s sake – but I hated seeing it sit unridden. So it’s on indefinite loan to my brother, who will ride it a bunch.
I got the Salsa three days ago, but the smoke from the wildfires was too thick to go for a ride. Today I took it for a short shakedown.
It’s about what I thought. A little slower, a lot more stable. A fun ride. I’m still adjusting it, but I can tell it’s going to be a nice ride.
I’ve been using BikeGPX to help me fill in holes in my Ride San Fernando Valley project. It’s free, and it works well – unless I make a crazy route that keeps doubling back on itself. The it gets confused and I have to nudge it back on track. But for any normal cyclist trying to ride pre-planned routes, it’s a pretty cool thing. Worth having!
The other “use a map to plan a route ahead of time” issue: Did you know that roads and maps sometimes don’t line up? It’s true! It’s almost like the city is constantly changing or something.
But even with glitches, the southeast valley is starting to fill up.
Heck, in a couple of years I might actually finish this thing!
It’s really hard to find a decent app that gives turn by turn directions. Runkeeper & Strava don’t do it, which is annoying. I found an app calle Bike GPX that lets you follow a map, but doesn’t have a voice. Annoying, but it worked well enough to (mostly) follow the route.
Also: I am stunned by how different the bike feels with a different seat post. Much more comfortable!
I planned out a route before I left, and U planned to use ti to guide me… but I discover as I was about to leave that my tracking app can’t do that. So I made up a random route as I went instead. It’s pretty close to the planned ride.
I have a couple of nice bikes. Nothing insanely expensive, but nice. I wear bike shoes when I ride, but I don’t wear bike jerseys/shorts; a t-shirt and gym shorts are more my speed. Having said that: I rode Katherine’s bike home from work today, and it felt like I was riding a bag of pudding.
Strava (a ride tracking app) has a function called “fly-bys.” It lets you see what other cyclists using the app you pass on a ride. Normally I ride weird routes at weird times, so I’m lucky if I pass anybody.
CicLAvia was a little different.
Thanks to Brian for letting me steal his route info. I had Strava turned off.