Well, yesterday was my first spin since last March and it was good. First impressions are that I’m in much better shape than last year. I only stayed on for a half hour but I was averaging better than 30 mph for all but a minute or two of the session. I was spinning easily in gears that gave me a tough time last year without breathing too heavy. In fact, I was geared out for about half of the session – 53/12 @ 100 rpm. I couldn’t do that last year for more than a couple of minutes at a time. One thing I really didn’t miss was the wind. I’m going to be as bored as you get by February, but for just getting back into the spin workouts, today wasn’t so bad.
I do believe that I’m going to have to lengthen the sessions a little bit this winter. Thirty minutes were simply too short but I’ll mess around with that when I’m stuck inside on a more permanent basis.
I did miss being able to watch a movie while I was riding – I am a serious movie buff. I have a collection in the hundreds and I’ve seen many of them more than 20 times. Cycling outside, I don’t watch near the amount of movies I used to. I just don’t have the time. This is a good and a bad thing – it’s good that I’m not on my butt as much, but I do have those times where I miss my movie time… Though admittedly, cycling is a MUCH more enjoyable escape than movies.
On the agenda for the weekend is a ride tomorrow (weather permitting) and my second first ever trail run with my buddies English Pete and Aaron out at a local state park… Now I’m really looking forward to that.
I ride every day. For the longest time I would check my tires with the pinch test. I’d pinch the tire and the rim, if the tire squished I’d fill them up. I would usually fill my tires every three days or so. This is what happens when you fill your tires every third ride:
Notice the flat center of the tire? Yeah, that should be round. The Specialized tire on the left came with the bike. The Continental Gatorskin on the right, I purchased in the spring – it was supposed to last for the season (thankfully I didn’t pay full price). Either way, both of the flattened treads are due to running the tires at lower pressures. The Specialized had about 2,000 miles on it. The Gatorskin only has 1,250 miles on it (give or take).
Here’s my new Specialized Espoir Sport rear tire with more than 1,500 on it:
While the tire does show wear, it’s nowhere near the wear on the Gatorskin or the other Specialized tire. In the next couple of days I’ll be rotating the back tire to the front for the rest of the season (the front tire looks like the day I bought it) – yes, it’s wise to rotate the tires. When the snow finally does fly, I’ll put that Gatorskin on the back wheel so I don’t wear a perfectly good tire on my trainer.
The reasoning behind this post is simple: When I did my 200k up north, one of the guys in the group I met at the start was cracking a joke about people who fill their tires on a daily basis because, according to his shining wisdom, the tires don’t lose that much pressure over a few days, they “show less pressure because when you hook up your pump, some of the air backs up into the pump and that skews the reading on the pressure gauge”.
I laughed along with him because he’s a dope. Above is irrefutable photographic evidence of what happens if you don’t fill your tires before every ride, and what happens if you do. It’s a no-brainer… Unless you have money to throw at new tires every couple of thousand miles. Of course, I picked up this brilliant idea of filling the tires daily from Matt at the bike shop, who has forgotten more about bikes than I can hope to learn over the next five or ten years.
Mountain bikes and road tires for mountain bikes are a completely different story, you can easily get away with skipping days in between pressure checks, but don’t mess with your road tires – unless you’ve got money to burn… In that case, light up.
The Tigers WIN, the Tigers WIN!!!
I can’t believe it, after that long season, at the end of which, the boys surged onto the lead.
The players played well and did their job.
And once and for all, their manager Jim Leyland did his. I may have disagreed with some of his decisions, but when it comes down to it, dammit the man knows baseball. I hope they keep him on next year because he is good at what he does.
And to all of the talking heads who called for Leyland’s: You guys can suck it!