Saturday, December 27, 2008


Since it snowed A LOT since mid-December, I've reluctantly put the commuter bike in mothballs (figuratively) until the overnight temps are above freezing. I've heard to many bad stories of slips and falls on black ice during the winter. We had over a foot of snow accumulate and stick around for over a week - unusual for the Seattle area.

With the holidays, I would not have typically commuted as much anyways, however, the commuting got to be such a routine for me, I miss it immensely, especially since I was seeing results with strength, weight, stamina, etc.

Luckily, from my in-laws, I got a gift certifcate from Nashbar, an online bicycling parts and supplies warehouse. I ordered an inexpensive fluid trainer, so I can mount a cross bike to it that I've had sitting around. I heard fluid trainers offered more of a road like feel than a mag trainer or other styles.

After the gift card was applied and tax and shipping were added, I only paid about $30 out-of-pocket. I'll see whether I really get into riding a trainer or not. The "good" ones are easily over $200 and the "really good" ones that output your performance to your PC can exceed $1,000.

I'll be sure to report how this goes when the trainer gets here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

me and my bike

Me and my Novara Transfer "Green Bike" 1 of 200 made.

The only modification I made in the past few months was adding a couple more lights and a set of Shimano SPD pedals. This has made a significant improvement on my uphill return commutes.

Green Bike status report

Since September, I've been commuting by bicycle about 64% of the time. This includes commutes since mid-November, when the program paused until mid-February.

Since it is in the 20s today and snow fell yesterday, I dropped the bike off at REI for their "warranty tune-up" to check things over, make adjustments, etc. About the only thing going on, and is completely normal, was the brakes need adjustment. The cables tend to stretch when new and I've backed out the barrel adjusters to almost their full extension.

Also, I'm having the REI techs look at how my bike computer is set-up. Since last weekend, when I took a 5.5 mile ride around the neighborhood and vicinity, the computer isn't functioning normally. It might have a bad pick-up lead or the magnet on the spokes isn't properly aligned so the computer fails to register movement. The GPS type cycling computers, though expensive, are probably a worthwhile investment. I believe most also record/chart out your path for later download to your computer; a nice feature if one does a lot of backwoods trail riding.