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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Riding into the Tempest - Or a ride with three different types of weather!

Tim sent out the invites for a ride to Xenia. So I drove out the trailhead and Tim was already waiting. I then re-met Gary. I am horrible with names and Gary walks up to me and I asked if we had met before. He responded yes, and I was immediately stumped. I forced him to tell me because I was embarrassed. We had met at work during a project his company was helping out with. So Bill showed up a few mintes later and forgot his helmet and gloves, but we shoved off anyway. Bill and Gary didn't have many miles under their belt so this would be their longest ride of the season for the two.

It was almost 75 when we left. The wind started to kick up as we left the trailhead but it was coming out of the south so it pushed us around on the path. We passed through London and then once we started out toward Xenia the wind really picked up. At one point Tim was pushed off the trail and we stopped to check the weather and regain composure. We continued on through South Charleston and Cedarville riding into the fierce headwind/crosswind. The temps dropped into the upper 60's. We stopped a few times to discuss turning around because of the headwind, but ultimately decided to forge on.

In Xenia we headed over to Vergies West Virginia Slaw Dogs shop but it was closed permanently. We checked for other restaurants and headed over to the main drag but the sub shop listed on the map didn't exist. Not much going on in Xenia and we were disappointed we couldn't find a local restaurant. So we went to Pizza Hut.

After lunch we headed back over to the trail. We had a tailwind of at least 20mph. We knocked out the first two sections of the ride averaging 20-25mph. As we were riding we could tell the front was moving through when the temp dropped down into the upper 50's. When we got to South Charleston we crossed the last street crossing and we heard a yell in the back. Gary flatted his front tire so we went back to check it out. He was in the middle of the repair and a band of rain hit us, so we rode down to the rail station and took shelter. In the manner of a few minutes the rain stopped, the wind died down, and the sun came out. Tim finished out the repair and we set out again. We still had a tailwind into the trailhead. We finished with 76 miles and averaged 15.5mph. Great adventure!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The ShelBroCo Bicycle Chain Cleaning System

It is well-known that proper chain cleaning is the most vital and important aspect of cycling. There are zillions of doo-dads and gimmicks out there intended to make this task easier for spoiled, lazy cyclists.Unfortunately, there's no "free lunch" in bicycle maintenance, and all of these existing systems are fundamentally mono-buttocked kluges.
The only proper way to clean a bicycle chain is to disassemble it, otherwise there is no way to be sure you've thoroughly cleaned and properly lubricated the critical internal parts where chain wear occurs.
Similarly, there's no way to apply correct lubrication to an assembled chain, since the rollers have different lubrication needs than the link articulation pins do!
the rest is here... 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

As seen at roll: Easton

StanRidge Speed Bicycles
Vicious Cycles
Van Moof

roll: online

Tuesday Night Ride Report - 0330010

We had 11 people show for the TNR including a few new people that Bambo brought from AEP. Brett came up with the route this week and he decided to lead us to Easton. We rode east on the I-670 trail to Airport Road, then turned up North Cassady, Drake and Steltzer. We headed north, then took Easton Circle and ended up at roll: for a pitstop. Then we headed through Easton riding around the fountain a couple times for good measure before heading to Morse. We took Morse to High and headed south. People started peeling off at that point. I ended with 27.5 miles, but the official ride was closer to 23 miles. Great night for riding. No mechanicals and no drama.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - By the Numbers: My Financial and Environmental Impact of Commuting by Bicycle

From the website

It’s been a little over two months of not using an automobile for personal transportation, and in this post I will analyze the financial savings that I have realized in this time.  I did my analysis using Microsoft Excel.  In January and February I commuted by bicycle or bus a total of 36 days or 72 trips, not counting holidays and vacation days.   Of those 72 trips I took the bus 32 times.  February was a really cold, wet, and snowy month in Charlotte so I took the bus a lot in February.

Complete Streets

The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper. But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams.
Now, in communities across the country, a movement is growing to complete the streets. States, cities and towns are asking their planners and engineers to build road networks that are safer, more livable, and welcoming to everyone.
Instituting a complete streets policy ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind - including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bike path additions to join people, parks, shopping and jobs - Dispatch

Some central Ohio communities want their bike paths and trails to connect people to places, not lead to dead ends.
In Knox County, for example, the Mount Vernon City Council has voted to negotiate to acquire about 3 acres of abandoned railway along Foundation Park to eventually connect with the Kokosing Gap Trail. That path is part of the Ohio to Erie Trail, which aims to connect Cleveland to Cincinnati.
"The idea is to put all of this together, and make that linkage," said Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis. Funding would be both public and private.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Revised Columbus to Wheeling route - UNTESTED

Test of will: Is it possible to ride from Columbus to Wheeling, WV on National Road in ONE day. Well, sort of, yes.

After a long and crappy week at work I decided I needed to do a solo adventure ride to be alone for awhile. So I thought, why not try to ride from Columbus to Wheeling, WV via National Road. I was planning on doing this with Brett and Kevin this summer, but I figured I would try it solo first.

So on Friday night I sheepishly announced to my wife that I was going to ride my bicycle from Columbus to Wheeling on National Road on Saturday. Her response was, "alone?," which I immediately confirmed as affirmative. Brett was bummed out when he found out because he was busy, and I knew Kevin wasn't available to ride this weekend.

I started from the east side of Columbus on East Broad and headed down Waggoner to Main and then set out on National Road.

Here are the highlights;
  • Two sections of National Road west of Zanesville and west of New Concord have bike lanes.
  • Zanesville has a Y shaped bridge over the river. Pretty cool. see pics below
  • Cambridge is pretty ugly. no pics
  • Lots of climbing.
  • Passed an amish buggy before Quaker City. no pics, didn't want to offend
  • Mile 85 had 16% climb just past Quaker City - ouch, I had to walk it between the gearing and fatigue.
  • Three dogs chased me. I barked back at all three.
  • Bypass #1 turns into rutted gravel roads. The cows all stopped eating to stare at me as I passed by. see pics below
  • Two friendly honks while passing.
  • Google Maps is not always correct even when reviewing the satellite (see Google snafu below)
  • Mile 120 riding through Bridgeport OH I had a Hummer driver honk for a quarter of a mile while passing me. I didn't have enough energy to catch up to them.
  • This was the most mileage and climbing I have ever done in one day.

Google Map snafu
The issue with National Road is in two sections I-70 replaced the original National Road. The first bypass is marked clearly and provides a viable but challenging detour. The second section is literally less than two miles difference between Rt 800 and the continuation of National Road, but the bypass is either heading south through Barnesville or taking gravel roads 9 miles north of I-70. I found this out the hard way by relying on Google Maps.

The Google map for bypass #2 is incorrect. The road didn't connect to the County Road 100 that I needed to get to. There was a creek that was 4 feet deep and 15 feet wide that I couldn't cross and I was in the middle of a nature preserve with no way out except climbing on dirt roads. I was about to give up when a good samaritan (Thanks Kenny!) put my bike in the trunk and drove me around to National Road. I jumped back on the bike after resting in the car and finished it out. The bypass will need to be expanded further out and may end up being about 9 miles.

My lower back was sore toward the end of the ride from the last few climbs through St. Clairsville, OH, but my legs felt pretty good. The ride starts in the Columbus lowlands and climbs toward the hills of the Ohio Valley and then drops down to the river valley in the last 10 miles. see stats below

I want to send out a huge thanks to my wife Christina for supporting me on this ride. She is an angel! Thank you to my friends Kevin and Carolyn for being there at the end with cheers (and a hot shower). A big shout out to Kenny for getting me around the obstacle and back on track. he truly is a generous person.

The stats

124.6 miles
Ave 12.8mph
Max speed 39mph
6589 feet climbing
Temps at start 30, peaked at 55
Started in Columbus - 8:15am
Arrived in Wheeling - 8:30pm

The ride was powered by
1 NOZ energy drink
2 power bars
2 gatorades
1 chicken sandwich/fries from McDonalds
2 bottles of water

Thanks for reading,