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…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…

…sold bike… January 16, 2008

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Culture, Hawaii, Information, Politics, review.
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Well, I sold the 04 Giant OCR 3…

It was just a bit too small for me. I tried riding it, but could not get comfortable on it. With the seat up high enough to allow for efficient pedaling, I was bent so far over I was almost looking behind me. Ok, it wasn’t quite that bad… but I do need a longer top tube, and a taller head tube.

Cranks… I’m thinking that when I do get a road bike or touring bike that fits me, I’ll put 180’s on it. Most XL bikes come with 175’s or 177.5’s. I feel like my legs would do better with 180’s. I know, it doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but try two exact bikes – one with 175’s and one with 177.5’s. You’d be amazed that you notice the difference of 2.5mm’s.

Other things I learned from rebuilding the OCR 3… I learned that I love my Brooks. I have over 800 miles on the Brooks, and I absolutely love it. To realize how much I love it, I just needed to ride a few miles on another seat. The seat I put on the OCR wasn’t uncomfortable or bad, but it was the “old” feeling of riding on a bike seat. The normal feeling. The way I thought all bike seats felt. The way you get used to a bike seat because that’s just how they feel.

Not anymore. The Brooks rides differently. It feels better. It is more comfortable. You can do hours and hours on a Brooks without noticing it. If someone ever asks me what bike seat is worth $100 or more, I’ll answer “Brooks”.

Let’s see… other news or thoughts on random subjects…

Entertainment: Tom Cruise is a nutjob. Apparently, so is Scott Baio. Brittney? Pretty obvious.

Politics: I was a McCain supporter, but have been more interested in Huckabee lately. Two guys that work for me are from Arkansas and have nothing but great things to say about what he has done there. Sounds promising. But, it always does, doesn’t it…

News: Too many tragedy’s to comment on. Too many families killed for no reason other than lunatic ideas. Too many kids hurt or killed. Too many people doing too many horrible things. Too much tragedy.

What else…?

Getting my pilot license. All done with my training. Got a 90 on my FAA written exam. All I have left is my oral interview, and checkride. Both scheduled for tomorrow (weather supporting).

For my recent projects since finishing the bike rebuild, check out my other blog:


Oh, and if you want an easy way to monitor several blogs, use www.bloglines.com. It is an easy one-stop site for updates to many different “rss feeds”. And no, you don’t need to know what an rss feed is to use it. You just click “ADD” and type or copy the URL of the website you want to monitor, and it finds the rss feed. Then, you just go to bloglines, and it will show you any updates on any of the sites you watch.

I use it to watch CraigsList (you can enter Craigslist searches as URL’s), comics (there are lots of comic feeds out there – hundreds), favorite threads in favorite forums like bikeforums, feeds from hobby related stuff like planetham, and (of course) any other blogs I follow like ClydesdaleFitness.

In fact, here are some feeds I use, just to get you started:


There’s more possibilities out there, but listed are a few of mine to give you some ideas.