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…Weekly Mileage… July 28, 2009

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, commute, Rides.
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Well, my first week biking in more than 6 months was great. I did a couple commutes to work (11.5 miles each way), and a little club ride with our recently formed work ride club, the OTTER (Operations Training Team Easy Riders) Club.

My Sun-Sat mileage totaled 48 miles, and that was only riding on 3 of those days – Sun, Tue, and Thu. So, not too bad.

And I love the bike! Go Surly!

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…tested route to work… July 19, 2009

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, commute, Rides.
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So, I tested my 11 mile route to work today. Not a bad ride at all. Very scenic. Only one section of a county road with no shoulder, but overall a decently safe commute.

Pictures follow:

This is just around the corner from my house. Lots of farmland out here still, though the nearby city is slowly encroaching.

Nice view of the road I ride for the first half of the ride.

The first of two rivers I cross…

Big Lake, Minnesota. Nice town.

And more fields…

Almost 6 miles into the commute…

And the second river I cross… the Mississippi!

Mississippi…

Still the Mississippi…

And last pic of the Mississippi…

You can see the rest of the pics on flickr.

I got a lot of sun today on my test ride, so I hope I’m up for my first day of commuting tomorrow… We’ll see.

…back on the bike…soon… April 13, 2009

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, commute, Hawaii, Information, Touring.
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Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. It’s also been a long time since I rode. There has been lots of changes in my life.  I’m going to sum them up real quick before I get to the reason I’m posting tonight.

My son turned 1.
I finished my degree.
I went bear hunting in Alaska.
I am retiring from the Navy.
I have taken a job offer in Minnesota.

I’m sure there’s more that I am forgetting, but I’m eager to tell you about my soon to be new bike.

In the preparations of getting ready to move off the island and back to the mainland, I’ve decided to sell my Specialized Sirrus here and get a new bike on the mainland.

Well, I found the one I want. I’m getting a 62cm 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker in Utility Blue. This is sure to get me out of the non-riding funk I’ve been in, and get me back into commuting and touring.

I’m excited.

 

Surly Long Haul Trucker

Surly Long Haul Trucker

 

I’m getting the bike at a bike shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota called The Hub Bicycle Co-Op. I’ll be picking it up when I move there next month.

As for changes to the bike, I’ll definitely be transferring my broken in Brooks B-17 over to it and my front and rear racks. Beyond that, I’ll be putting some miles on it before I decide.

Wish me luck!

…I lived… April 28, 2008

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, Culture, Hawaii, Rides.
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Well, I finished the 2008 Haleiwa Metric Century… and I even did the whole 100km.

Overall, I felt better than I did last year. I rode with two friends, and had a great time.

Starting off, I wasn’t doing so well. My legs ached and felt drained 5 miles into the ride. By the time we hit the first check point at the 10 mile mark, I figured out that I had two problems. The first was that my seat was too low. I had made some adjustments after it had worked loose, and did not get it back to where I needed it. The second was that I was starting on an empty tank. I hadn’t eaten anything in the morning before the ride.

So, I raised my seat a little, and fueled up at the first checkpoint. After that I felt much better.

The morning was absolutely amazing. Beautiful. We fought a bit of a headwind, but that would obviously help us on the return. As the day wore on, it got hotter and hotter. The last stretch was miserable… but we finished.

Distance: 100km (actual bike computer distance: 59 miles)
Time: 4 and 1/2 hours (actual bike computer time: 4hrs 28min)

Not too bad. We started rolling a little before 0800, and rolled back into Haleiwa a little after 1300, so not quite an hour off the bike during the entire ride. Waaaay better than last year.

I’ll tell you what, though… I’m tired of riding the hybrid on these long rides. It’s too heavy and upright. Quite a workout on my legs, but I think I’m ready for a faster road-style bike.

Here’s some pics:

Waiting line

This is the waiting line for the start. It’s about half through right now. There were hundreds of riders. Not quite a thousand, but there were hundreds.

family bike

This was definitely a family event! He’d already unloaded most of the family and was “parking the bike” when I snagged this pic. Everyone looked like they were having a lot of fun.

…figured it out… April 25, 2008

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, Equipment, Hawaii, Information, Rides.
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Well, in my review of the Specialized Borough tires, I talked about a small bulge on one tire. It was the back tire. Nearly a year later, I have finally figured out what the bulge was. First I’ll tell you what it wasn’t…

It wasn’t a bulge deformity from the tire being stored all folded up.

It wasn’t an out of true tire, rotating oddly.

It wasn’t a thick or thin section of tire which bulged abnormally.

Nope, it was none of those. It was tread separation. The tire has slowly been coming apart. The bulge got bigger and bigger over the last year until I couldn’t stand it rubbing on my chainstay any longer. I finally flipped the bike over (again), but to look specifically at the tire tread. Sure enough, I found a two foot section that was coming apart.

So, defective tire? Is this normal? I don’t know. What I do know is that it is Friday, and on Sunday morning I need to be up in Haleiwa to ride 100km around the North side of the island in the Haleiwa Metric Century.

What to do? I’ll have to update my review. Regardless of this issue, I have loved these tires. They have served me well even with this little issue.

…biking can be tough… April 16, 2008

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, Culture, Hawaii, Information, Rides, Touring, Travel.
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Biking in Hawaii? Not so rough.

If you ever want a “perspective-check” to help you realize that whatever conditions and distances you are biking are really not so insurmountable, just Google the name Kathi Hirzinger-Merchant.

She managed a 25 and a half day ride on her fat-tired mountain bike over more than 1000 miles of remote, winter filled, uninhabited Alaskan wilderness.

From a Craig Medred article:

Having already driven a snowmobile from Knik to Nome, she decided this year she had to go by mountain bike, so she dragooned Bill into riding once again. Off they went.

It was not easy.

Here is a bit of what race director Dan McDonough posted to the race Web site:

On their approach to Nome, Bill and Kathi faced “immense winds and cold temperatures. At one point, when they were protected from the constant wind, Kathi looked at the temperature and saw minus 30 degrees … Bill described pushing the bikes at a 45 degree angle to prevent the wind from blowing the bikes away.

“After 25 and a half days Bill was looking forward to having a beer upon his arrival. Instead, when they arrived at 2:58 a.m. they were greeted by one woman on the street who was heading to work.

The only place open for food or drink was a coke machine.

“They celebrated with dehydrated food in Styrofoam coffee cups.”

You can read the full story here: http://www.adn.com/outdoors/story/374243.html

No matter how wet and rainy and/or windy it is here, I just have to remember that I’m biking in Hawaii. It only gets so cold (sometimes in the mid 60’s), and I can only go so far (my trip around the island was less than 160 miles). I won’t starve. I won’t get eaten by a bear.

So, next time you hear me crying about a ride on my blog, remind me that others do more…