Wednesday, August 29, 2007
However, just because I've met my goal, it doesn't mean I am stopping my fundraising. MS doesn't take a break, and neither do I. I've set a new fundraising goal of 1250 dollars. Anyone want to help me meet it?
"I defy any so-called thin person to come cycling with me," said one poster under the name JigglyJim. "I can cycle at least 2 miles to my local donut shop easily, as long as I take the flat route around the hill. In fact I have worn out several bikes through all my cycling which just shows another part of the conspiracy against people of size. Bike manufacturers should make frames and seat posts as strong as the gears – which never seem to wear out."
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I've scrapped all my scheduled riding until Saturday. If need be, I can skip it all until Monday. Once I've set my mind to something, I do it, and I am riding my first century on September 8. A little thing like a sore and swollen knee isn't going to stop me.
- raising the saddle 7ml;
- moving the saddle back slightly to help center my feet on the pedals;
- adding pedal extenders to move the pedals farther from the bike. This means I can pedal in my natural "toe out" position without hitting the bike with my heels;
- adjusting the handlebar angle, and adding a slight riser.
The first test of the new fit will be Saturday. See the next post for the reason why I'm not riding.
While the Bike of Doom experiment is interesting, I agree with the blogger than people shouldn't invest in a cheap department store bike, because:
- the bikes are poorly manufactured;
- the components are not well-made;
- there is no service available, including such routine matters as fitting;
- the bikes are very heavy, and not user friendly to service;
- a poorly made bike isn't fun to ride, and will deter you from riding it;
- they are commonly displayed and marketed in the "toy" department, adding to the all-too-comon belief that bicycles are toys and not transportation;
- they are a two-wheeled version of Greshem's Law, the bad driving the good out of the marketplace. I paid $500 dollars for my Trek Navigator, an entry level bike. Many of my co-workers believe I invested in a top-of-the-line bicycle. You see, all bikes are supposed to cost under a hundred....
Sunday, August 26, 2007
The Livestrong ride is going to be very hilly, but the area around the college is deceptively flat. In fact, outside the Schuylkill River Trail and Philadelphia, it's the flattest place I've ridden in Pennsylvania. My average speed was 9.75 MPH, not great, but riding in a parking lot for an hour probably hurt the figure, as did walking the bike around the Livestrong site.
I try not to argue with someone who sounds like the Duke, so I'm going to ride a century in two weeks. Bicycle Club of Philadelphia's Scenic Schuylkill Century is held rain or shine September 8.
Here's the course description:
"The 25 mile route winds its way through lush park scenery along the banks of the Schuylkill River and includes one rest stop at Cedar Grove Park. This is a perfect course for riders of all abilities.
"The 38 mile route is an extension of the 25-mile route that travels through scenic Fort Washington Park. There are a few hills that will challenge and reward the recreational weekend cyclist.
"The 65 mile route continues from Cedar Grove Park to offer a scenic view of center city Philadelphia from the top of Potshop Road before following the ridge line past the last farms of Montgomery County out to our Evansburg State Park rest stop. From there you will follow the Perkiomen Creek into the park and a final rest stop at the Betzwood picnic area.
"The 100 mile route offers a true challenge featuring over 1,300 feet of climbing! Continuing from the Evansburg State Park rest stop, this route quietly winds though the colonial villages of Arcola and Spring City, passes the last Studebaker dealer in the world, over Sheeders Mill Covered Bridge and through the villages of Birchrunville and Yellow Springs. There are four rest stops on this route ready to re-energize and re-motivate.
"For the 65 and 100 mile routes, once refueled at the final Betzwood rest stop, riders can choose to return to Philadelphia on the flat, fast Schuylkill River Trail or venture out on a picturesque return route over the Betzwood Bridge, past the encampments in Valley Forge Park and the National Memorial Arch. Then through Upper Merion and West Conshohocken to arrive at Spring Mill Park and the Schuylkill River Trail."The climbing estimate is inaccurate, as far as I can tell. Bikely gives the climbing as 3300 feet based on a 2002 cue sheet I came across online. Since some of the roads on the route are local, I agree with Bikely's estimate. The map is below.
The fact that I'm probably going to make my goal shouldn't discourage you, gentle reader. You can make a difference in the fight against MS regardless of how much money I've already raised. To donate, follow the link at the top of the page.
The new bike computer tends to underestimate mileage. For instance, it's 15 miles to the gym and back, but the new computer gives the figure as 14.15. And since it's underestimating mileage, it's also underestimating speed. According to the computer, my average was 9.63 MPH; over 15 miles instead of 14.15, it's 10.22 MPH. Still not great, but better. Bikely gives the route over 500 feet of climbing, and that played a part in slowing me down.
In addition to the climbing, I had two problems on the ride. One was the railroad tracks at the bottom of Main Street in Royersford. There is a steep climb immediately following the crossing, and I didn't want to attempt it on the new bike. So I walked a block and resumed riding a third of the way up the hill. This didn't help my MPH either.
The second problem was stupidity on my part. Since I was working out at the gym, and I still have platform pedals on the road bike, I wore my crosstrainers for the ride, not wanting to change shoes when I got there. I forgot to tuck the laces in. On the return leg, one got caught in the gears. I coasted, backpedaled, got unstuck, and stopped to tuck the laces in. I dodged a bullet in this instance, since I could have fallen.