Friday, January 16, 2009


I have had a chance to get out and ride 4-9 miles a couple times each week for the past couple weeks. Due to a minor outpatient surgery, I'll be off the bike or trainer for a week or two. Better to do it in the winter than the spring or summer, I guess.

I did get a few nice things for Christmas in addition to the indoor bicycle trainer, such as the red Novara brand (REI) jacket I'm wearing in this photo. I also got the socks and the under helmet head cover (beanie?) as gifts too. The shoes are new-to-me slightly used SIDI brand shoes. Regular price new is $135 and I found a guy who was selling them for only $35! I suspect he was getting out of road biking entirely.

A pic of me and the bike at the end of the Cedar River where it joins Lake Washington. Roughly the half way point in a 9 mile round-trip ride from my house, roughly the last 2 miles is uphill the whole way.

Pausing near the Cedar River (up river from the mouth) at a bench dedicated to my deceased great uncle, who was a former police chief in our town in the 1950s and 1960s. Impossible to read the small plaque, but it has his name and dedicates the bench to his memory.

Can't wait for more improved weather and health so I can get back to riding again.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"nice" weather was back this weekend

I guess in the winter months, I need to define "nice" as not a rainy downpour, ice or snow on the ground. By this definition, the last couple days was "nice" though the temps were peaking in the low 40s. With adequate cold weather gear, it isn't as much an issue. I did do two rides, one being up to about nine miles of mixed flats, downhill, and uphill. I rode for about an hour on the saddle.

Of course, with the improved weather conditions, the fluid trainer I ordered arrived today. I'm sure if snow lingered longer, it would have taken a few more days. It got here pretty quick, considering I ordered it on the 26th of December.

It's a Ascent brand, pretty much as entry level as you can go. I'm not complaining though. For a list price of about $139 and discounted to just over $100 (plus I had a gift certificate to use on the purchase too) I only had to pay for tax and shipping.

I mounted a 1990s cross bike (Schwinn CrissCross) to it. It is a flat bar road bike with 700c wheels and Tioga City Slicker tires. Not dialed in completely, but it seems to do the job as a dedicated trainer bike. I used a 2x4 scrap of wood for a front wheel elevation block instead of the $24.95 rubber/plastic thingies they sell for the same purpose.

Today for an inaugural run in the garage, I went for more than 30 minutes, equipped with a bottle of water and my iPod. Time went by fast, but I may need to find an old TV and DVD player (to view training videos, like the ones by Chris Carmichael, Lance Armstrong's trainer) if I want to do longer workouts.

I didn't realize how much you can sweat doing this and I'm glad I had the water handy. I went through 24 ounces in that 30 minutes.

I dressed in cycling gear, especially the shorts. The hat was because our garage is uninsulated and I also figured it would help retain some heat and catch any sweat that would otherwise drip down. I need to find a better saddle, as the one on the bike now has absolutely no padding to speak of. Also, I may get clipless pedals for this bike too, as it felt odd to ride in street shoes after having been in SPDs for the past few months on my commuter bike.