Along the Little Miami scenic path.
Perfect weather today in SW Ohio, very unusual for this time of year. Normally, this would be the start of clearing away snow from the sidewalks, but today was around 60 degrees. Perfect day for a bike ride.
This afternoon, I started out on the T500 to get in a good ride through nearby Indian Hill to tackle some hills. After about 3 miles, I realized that I had a flat rear tire, and no spare tube, tools or pump. Luckily, I had briefly chatted with a friend at the trailhead parking lot, who graciously picked me up to spare me the torture of walking back to the house. Moral of the story: Be prepared.
After being dropped off at home, I switched out my Magicshine from the T500 to the HaroX and took off once again. Determined to take advantage of this great weather, I once again started off into Indian Hill. Not a long ride by any means, but still a bit of climbing, and one long descent which really makes the ride. After the long cruise out of Indian Hill, it was home for dinner.
Racing the sunset in Indian Hill.
After dinner, I received a call from my brother-in-law who had the urge to test out his new Cannondale for the first time, and asked if I felt like a night ride. For sure. So, once again, on the bike path for another round, this time again on the HaroX. Unfortunately, something was amiss in the rear wheel, which ended up being another flat tire. Luckily, this time, I had a spare, and the proper tools to fix the problem, and ride home without issue. Seriously, two flats in the same day? That has not happened in a while, and I cannot remember the last time that I had a flat. But at least I was prepared.
Almost the half way point for the month, here are the maps of today’s rides, minus the 1st ride:
All in all, such a great time today on the bike. Even thought there were a couple flat tires, I was still out enjoying the weather, and enjoying the spin. That is what it is all about, and now this is starting to become a habit. I am cool with that. Hope you got out and enjoyed this great weather!
Continuing the theme for night rides tonight. Temperature in the low 30s, but luckily no rain. Tonight also brought out the HaroX instead of the T500. I feel very fortunate to be able to switch from bike to bike when ever the feeling hits. Today’s ride was filled with lots of thinking about what new bike or frame to buy, but then all the thoughts came to a head with, “Be happy with what you have, that you have options.” With that said, here is some bike lust for you:
Jones steel diamond frame and unicrown fork
Thanks to the current issue of Dirt Rag, this is my new bicycle obsession. Jones bicycles, you might have heard of Jeff Jones before? Let’s be honest, you probably have not. He is a custom frame builder, building rigid specific frames and forks, that are meant to be ridden hard. His most noticable work would probably be this:
Jones titanium Spaceframe with truss fork
Back to Dirt Rag. In their latest issue, they have a review of the diamond frame, and from the write up, I would love to have one. I will be honest, most of Jones’s products are out of my price range, but the steel diamond frame could be built for a decent price. I won’t go into too many specifics, but check out Jones’s website for more information. If anything, there are some amazing photos and lots to read. And be sure to check out Dirt Rag’s website, lots of good stuff going on over there in Pittsburgh.
Anyway, tomorrow brings another day of riding. It has been one week straight, 3 more to go. I am sure it will be another day of thinking while on the ride, and being thankful that I have options. And also thankful that I can spin on two wheels…
If you are on Twitter, I am posting links to the Map My Ride stats @codsow. Check it!
Photos from Jones Bikes.
New route for day four. Pleasant, unusually warm temperature at around 47 degrees this morning, I would bet that not too many of these days are left. Checking the forecast for the next few days solidifies that thought. Thankfully, I am starting to figure out my clothing situation a little bit better.
While out on early morning rides, your mind starts to wander. No traffic at 5am, so you can go from thought to thought without much thinking about what you are doing. Not that I would suggest zoning out while riding, but sometimes it just happens. Horrible songs get stuck in your head. Christmas songs are sung to the tempo of your cadence. Lots and lots of thoughts dance in and out of my mind while riding, which almost clears my head out completely. I admit, it is a nice way to start the day.
Today had me thinking bikes. What are my future bike plans? How do I plan on riding in 2012? This is what I came up with:
First, move all my Xtracycle parts over to the T500. I enjoy the bike, and by making it a cargo bike, it would be used even more. I like the idea of having a front rack along with the Xtracycle, and the fork on the T500 is just begging for a front rack. Problem solved. Now what to do with the HaroX?
All of the parts will be pulled off of the Haro, and placed on one of these:
I have been contemplating a Surly Troll for quite some time now. Click here for my last thoughts on the Troll. But now, I feel is the time for the Troll. I like the idea of buying the complete bike from Surly, but I really enjoy the parts that I picked out for my Xtracycle conversion. They work well together. I feel that they will do a great job on the Troll frame, possibly a bit better than the stock Troll. Maybe not, but I am really comfortable on the bike with it’s specific parts, so that is what I am leaning towards. Also, the complete bike is around $900 more than the frame. I think that settles it. I probably will not finalize any bike ideas until 2012 hits though, so for now this is the plan. Let’s just see for how long! It will probably change while out tomorrow morning.
Another day down, and many more to go. This morning’s segment was especially tough due to having to work today. Normally I am up around 5:15am on work days, but today I awoke at 4:50am to get a decent ride in. Not as long of a ride today, but a ride nonetheless. Any time on the bike is what counts here!
One of the many great benefits of this self imposed challenge is that I am slowly figuring out my cold weather clothing situation. Today, with the temperature in the thirties again, I was overdressed, and even sweating on my short four mile ride. Today’s setup:
For my upper body, I started with an older polypropylene base, followed by my old faithful military wool sweater. Over those was a Polartec fleece vest, and topped off with my Mountain Hardwear soft shell jacket. Down below I started with a pair of Lycra riding shorts, followed by Under Armour tights, track pants, and lastly a pair of Columbia snowboarding pants. This arrangement was way too warm! I feel that this setup will work wonders in the colder months ahead, but for the thirty degree mark it is just too much.
Tomorrow I will experiment further, and hopefully I will have my layering system figured out by the end of this month.
Stay warm out there!
Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is over, it’s time to get back into a cycling routine. November was an off month for me exercise wise. Which who really stays in a routine during the holidays? I sure didn’t.
Time to get back into a regular cycling routine though. I am not the most motivated person out there, so I need to set a goal, and make it public. That keeps me honest, and opens myself up to ridicule if I fail. That’s a great motivating factor. Anyway, here is the plan:
My plan for the month of December is to bike or run every single day.
Yeah, I said it, every day. This will be tough, with the colder temperatures, less sunlight, and more holiday time coming up, but I think it is doable. Scratch that, it is doable. No thinking about it, just do it. (Enter cheesy Nike commercial)
So to start it off, this morning I was out before the sun on the HaroX. Air temperature was in the mid 20s, and lots of fog out. Just a quick ride to warm up the lungs. I have to say, it was a great way to start my morning. I am looking forward to this.
Keep checking back to see some progress, or check on Twitter @codsow. I will be tagging the posts with #monthofbiking, and posting up the Map My Ride ride/run reports daily.
Only 30 more days to go…
It’s funny how things change a bit once you start getting older. Granted, I am no old man by any means, but things are WAY different now at thirty than when I was twenty. My life has made a complete 180 degrees in those ten years. But I am starting to get off track, that is a totally different topic altogether.
Let’s just think about bicycle time at thirty rather than twenty. Gone are the days of thirty mile epic mountain bike rides that last all afternoon. Gone are the road rides that last all morning from coffee shop to coffee shop. But in their place are new rides, that for me are just as exciting. Rides with my daughter to the playground, or just around the block are a couple new rides that I find absolutely amazing. Another interesting ride that I have been doing more and more of is the grocery ride:
Thanks to the Xtracycle, I am able to squeeze in a ride to our local grocery to pickup a weeks worth of “life supplies.” Tonight was one of those nights, a nice little jaunt to pick up a few of the daily essentials that we so desperately needed. Not a long ride by any means, but fulfilling nonetheless. These are the types of rides that I am starting to enjoy more and more as I get older.
By doing this type of cycling though, you are spending more time on the bike, and that is what it is all about.
Every now and again I get to fit into my schedule an epic ride, but the grocery run has become a staple in our household.
Just some thoughts, just riding along…
Finally review time for this piece of equipment. I have been using the iBert Safe-T-Seat for around a year and a half, and sadly, I feel our time has come to an end. Here is what I think about it:
The iBert Safe-T-Seat takes a different approach to hauling kids on bikes. Instead of mounting the seat over the rear wheel, it mounts directly to the stem, in between the arms of the rider. This might make some uncomfortable, but here is why I like it:
The iBert gives your child an unobstructed view of the bicycle ride. Now, you no longer have to make your child stare at your back, or backside, while taking them for a ride. While on our rides, we actively talk about what we are seeing, squirrels, birds, other people, etc. It brings me great joy to roll alongside a team kit roadie type, and have my daughter wave and say hello. It breaks even the most die hard, serious cyclist out of their “zone.”
Another perk of the iBert is if your child falls asleep, you can see where they are leaning, and normally, they will be leaning onto one of your arms. That is a huge peace of mind to me. Think about your child on a rear mounted seat, leaning to the side, and who knows where those little sleepy fingers might end up. No, not your backside, I am talking about spokes here. That would be a tragic incident, even for my full grown adult digits. That in its self is worth the price of admission.
The only downsides to the iBert in my opinion would be minor. One, the little plastic clips that hold the padding to the plastic seat pop out easily, and become lost pretty quickly. I think we only have one of the three left. Not a huge deal, but I feel it should be mentioned. Another downside, which is one of the perks as well, is the front mounted position. This puts your child in a very bad situation if you would happen to wreck your bicycle. But with most things cycling related, just use some common sense and everything will turn out just fine. 3 foot gaps are landed easily, 6 footers are more of a challenge with the iBert. Kidding! I would not even dream of jumping with this seat.
This seat works best on paved surfaces, but on occasion I have ventured onto light, smooth single track, which is a blast. Slow and steady wins the race, stay away from super technical riding/racing, and the iBert will do what it is supposed to do, hold your child safely.
My daughter in Bicycle Times, actually her second appearance!
Again, my daughter and I have used the iBert for around a year and a half, and sadly our time has come to an end. She will soon be switching to a seat on the back of the Xtracycle, hopefully a PeaPod. She is almost too large for the seat, weight wise she is still okay, but unfortunately she is too tall for it. Luckily my On One Mary bars have a nice bend to allow her long legs to be comfortable for the time being.
Our experience with the iBert has been amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to give their child a first person introductory view to cycling. Just don’t try to jump anything…