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Home » Cycling » A Bike Ride for Tinkering and… Um… Thinkering? Tinkering Yes, Thinking, No.

A Bike Ride for Tinkering and… Um… Thinkering? Tinkering Yes, Thinking, No.


My weekday riding buddy, Chuck decided to work late, so I was on my own.  I’d already put in ten miles before I’d gotten to his driveway and I was well over a 19-mph average and I had another 19 miles to go (give or take – there were opportunities to cut it short).  Part of me wanted to hammer it out for a 20-mph average.  There was another part that wanted just one more easy evening before all hell breaks loose this weekend with fantastic cycling weather and nothing to do but cut the grass.

After a lackluster performance Tuesday night, I decided, at the very least, I needed another handful of miles at a decent effort, then I could reevaluate.

I’d put my old saddle back on the Venge and, even though it’s massively heavy by racing saddle standards, it’s light by normal standards and it feels like a perfectly broken in baseball glove.  Sadly, my bike goes from 15.5 pounds to 15.8 but I’ll live with it if it’s comfortable to ride on (until I find a better option).  That’ll work out to about 16-1/2 pounds decked out with pedals and cages.

Also, with new wheels on the bike, the shifting needed to be dialed in a little better, something I had little trepidation in messing with.  After I crossed over 20 miles in just over an hour, I decided to stop every now and again and get the rear derailleur set a little more to my liking.  And so it was.  I’d ride a mile or two, stop, dismount, give the barrel adjuster a quarter turn and head out again for another mile or two…  I loosened the adjuster till I got a result I didn’t like, then went back the other way till I didn’t like it, then split the difference right in the middle.  I went from “Okay” shifting with a little drag in the system last year, to zero drag and so much play in the adjuster, it’s actually tough to find dead center – but I found it last night.

And the rest of the ride, another six miles, was just a fun cruise home.  I kicked it for a couple of those, but otherwise kept it easy between 18 & 20-mph.

I pulled into the driveway with a little more than 28 miles and a well-tuned ride, ready for the weekend.  Oh, and a happy ass after swapping saddles again.  I’m a little disappointed, of course, that I couldn’t stick it out with the lightweight saddle, but ultimately being a weight wienie has to stop at the comfort door.  I don’t care if I could get that thing down to 12 pounds – if I’d rather ride the 18-pound Trek because it’s more comfortable, why?

What I didn’t do on my ride last night was think about all of the craziness going on.  There are new reports out now about crisis fatigue* in which people are becoming run-down due to bad news.  I don’t participate in that, other than to continually evaluate that which resides in my personal space.  My part is doing what’s right.  As long as I’m doing that, the whirling dervishes shall whirl.  And I think I’ll let them.


*I didn’t actually read the article beyond the first paragraph.  I have no idea what the rest says, but it’s about crisis fatigue so I linked to it.  As I wrote earlier, I don’t participate in that.


  1. unironedman says:

    Know what you mean. It’s the same as compassion fatigue. There’s a limit.

  2. According to this –

    If you were to ride up the 8.6 mile 8% grade climb of Alpe d’Huez and had to haul the extra 0.3 lbs of that chubby saddle up there, you’d be around 10 to 20 seconds slower to the top (of a climb that takes well over an hour). I’d take that for a little extra comfort!

    On a fast, flat course it probably makes less than a second difference. 🙂

    • bgddyjim says:

      No doubt about it – it was worth the exercise to give it a shot. Where that bike calculator would be interesting would be in calculating the time you lose for being uncomfortable in the saddle. I’ll bet that gain of 10 to 20 seconds with the heavier, but comfortable saddle, actually works out to a savings of a minute. Maybe more, when it’s all factored in, is

  3. OmniRunner says:

    There is a lot going on in this country and the world right now. So it is easy to become fatigued if you are paying even a little attention to the goings on.
    We have to resist the fatigue and try to at least stay informed about what is going on and not turn away.
    I’m paying attention, learning and yes, I’m getting fatigued.
    But, I’m not doing anything and I feel like an observer, a bystander to history.
    I was a young child in the late 60’s and today’s environment reminds me of those times.
    Though I was a child at the time I recall my mother’s fear and nervousness. I think a lot of people are having those same emotions today.
    The changes that came out of the 60’s moved our society forward and I’m hoping current events will move us towards a more perfect union.

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