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An Excellent Video for Fitting Road Bike Cleats

This video has a lot of excellent cleat fitting pointers – especially for getting the cleat properly under the ball of the foot.

I’m going to use a couple of the pointers myself, especially the “ball of the foot” tip.


Better to Make Due with what I’ve got than Long for what I haven’t.

For the last five years I’ve taken my trainer to the office and ridden there, during lunch, in the off-season.  

This year things haven’t quite worked out as they had in the past.  Sadly, I just can’t easily fix what’s keeping me from my normal trainer time… so I improvised.

No more noon rides, I put in my 45 minutes on the trainer after I get home, around 5.  

That’s my commitment to fitness.

I can whine and lick my nuts on the couch, or I can get busy making use of what I’ve got – and let’s be clear, I’d need a whole lot of yoga to… well, let’s stay on track here.

I thought it would be interesting to break that down fully.  There are 168 hours in a week.  I only need seven of them to stay fit through the off-season.  Only twelve in-season.

Digging further, I need 50-ish for work and 42-46 for sleep.  Call that 101 on the high side.  That means I’ve got 67 hours left to fit in my seven hours for fitness (and sanity).

I can make that work.  For me, it’s fit and happy or…. not.

Muck, Mud, a Little Slippy, and Cycling with the Crazy Crew on a Tuesday Night

The Weather yesterday was outrageously beautiful.  Not exactly warm, but it wasn’t anywhere close to freezing either, and that’s something to be grateful for this time of year.  I sent out the text in the morning:

Dirt road night ride tonight at 5:30 – my house.

I ended up changing the time to 6 for my wife and Matt, both of whom needed the extra half-hour, but ten till six people started showing up.  I love it when my driveway fills up before a ride, getting a good bunch of us together always means a good laugh is only a mile or two away.

We are the crazy kids – when everyone else is sitting home, warm in their homes, we’re out cruisin’ the dirt roads in the dark:

It rained Sunday but with the glorious weather during the day, I was certain the back roads would have dried out.  I was very wrong.  We dealt with a lot of mush, especially if you were unlucky enough to get out of the tire tracks.  I found my lane and stayed in it so I didn’t get all that muddy – a couple of friends of mine weren’t so fortunate.

Even though it was a squirrely ride at times, I had that “I’m fourteen years old, riding my bike with my friends” grin on my face the whole time.  No matter how stressful life is, give me a ride with my buddies and all of that crap fades to the back for an hour or two.

I love that about cycling.

Are eBikes (Electric Pedal Assist Bikes) the Wave of the Future?  I Certainly Hope not.

A friend told me he read that Focus bikes believes they will, eventually, migrate to making only eBikes.

I know the City of New York doesn’t like the idea.  Bill de Blasio and the fun-hating commies in the New York bureaucracy have already banned them…  They’re actually confiscating them 

On the other hand, apparently there are actually idiots who ride them on sidewalks.  From that perspective, how do you fix that much stupid?

I am not personally impressed with eBikes either.  I have no desire to own one – and I enjoy owning a fairly diverse bunch of bikes.  

That said, I am not lost on the fact that there are plenty of people who could benefit from the electronic assist.  Sadly. I can imagine that many who would need the help would be, how do we say this, technologically challenged.  One could imagine an old-timer cruising down the sidewalk and being afflicted with a case of whiskey throttle.


Beyond that, the reason for my dislike of the bike is the concept itself.  While nobody could be against someone who needs an eBike riding one responsibly…  My God, I’ve been watching that whiskey throttle .gif over and over again – just makes me laugh out loud…  Anyway, what I don’t like is the idea of the lazy using them as a means of weight loss.  How long will it be before we hear of complaints that cycling is a lousy way to lose weight because some dolt is tracking calories based on real cycling but is riding an eBike?

Next will be class-action lawsuits against bike manufacturers, fast food joints, and calorie tracking apps.  “Did you gain 50 pounds whilst riding an eBike to lose weight?  Call Dewey, Cheatum & Howe because you may be entitled to a cash settlement based on the fact that you’re stupid and couldn’t figure out that an eBike that does half of the pedaling for you doesn’t count the same as riding a bike that doesn’t.

Insanity, I tell you!

Next you’ll have STRAVA KOMs being taken with an eBike….  Monkeys will start riding them – hell, at that point you’re only a matter of years away from Planet of the Apes!

On the other hand, those who can’t keep up with the fast groups anymore, all of a sudden would again.  Imagine drafting a dude on an eBike rolling down the road at 25 mph.  That would be awesome!

Hey, on second thought….

I HATE Riding in a Cold Rain.  Sleet?  Now that I can Live With.

We rolled out Sunday morning at 8:30, the temperature a balmy 35 degrees… Fahrenheit.  That’d be 1.6C, so using the word “balmy” is a bit tongue in cheek.  Thankfully, I’ve managed to accumulate quite the set of winter cycling clothing and everything works really well.  I can ride down to 19F/-7C before I get cranky – and compared against Friday’s breezy 24 degree (-4C) start, what we had felt reasonable.

We had a small group, just my wife, Matt and Mike, but it was definitely enough for a few laughs.

We started out heading south into the easy 3 mph breeze.  Normally, we turn west after a mile, but this time we just kept heading south – best to get all of the headwind out of the way first, yeah?  I think we had twelve (or more) miles in before we were passed by our first car.  While I won’t be riding much dirt in-season, I’m absolutely digging the lack of traffic in the off-season.

The weather took a turn about 19 miles in.  What had been an “on again, off again” light “sleet”, intensified.  It was bad enough that rather than continue on, we headed for home on a road we knew would be a straight shot.  We were only eight miles from home.

We made it home just as it was starting to get messy – 27 miles on the dirt, in the sleet.  Not bad for a November ride.


As you can see, I picked up a new saddle bag the other day…  Ahem.  I won’t be forgetting that one any time soon (also note how well it matches my bike…. yeah, a fella’s gotta be stylish).

Oh, and I got my miles in…  8,533 miles for 2017 (and counting).


The Dark Sky Weather App is Exactly What Cyclists Need…

For years I’ve relied on the Weather Channel’s app for my weather forecasting to schedule rides.  I have been nominated to be the B-group’s weekend ride scheduler – I suppose I’ve failed to mention that previously.  I’ve suggested more than a few times that a ride be scrapped or postponed due to harsh conditions forecast by the weather channel app.

One day, my buddy Chuck (Chuck C.) suggested that we should ride based on his assessment of the forecast when the Weather Channel was calling for certain ugliness.  Chuck sent me a screen shot of his Dark Sky app that showed cloudy and cool, but no rain.  I scheduled the ride and we rode in comfort.

Saturday, I was going to skip scheduling a ride for yesterday morning based on the Weather Channel again.  This time, rather than rely on TWC, I checked Dark Sky.  TWC showed snow mixed with rain starting at 7am, turning to rain at 9am, until 3am Sunday morning.  Dark Sky predicted cloudy and only a slight chance of light snow – or in other words, Ridin’ Baby.

Lo and behold, Sunday morning rolls around and the Weather Channel app finally catches up, showing exactly what Dark Sky showed yesterday.

My friends, Dark Sky hyper-local weather is what you want for scheduling rides.  Whoever they have working on the forecast knows what they’re doing – and this is coming from a guy who takes the weather seriously.



Yesterday was going to be a big two-a-day.  18 miles with my wife and buddy, Mike.  30 with Chuck and Doc Mike…  It was going to be prefect – I needed 33 total miles to pass my personal best mileage for last year and I’d get 48… 

On the gravel bikes.

If you didn’t know, gravel miles count more than road miles.  Gravel riding is harder.

The early ride went well, even if it was cold.  24° F or -4C.  You know, cold.  I dressed appropriately enough that I had to change my base later for the 30 miles.

I ate a banana before we rolled but felt a little flat starting out.  Five miles in and I thought for a second about heading back.  A minute later and I’d popped my head out of my @$$ and loosened up.  11.5 miles in. I had a flat.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my saddle bag on the gravel bike, it was on my 5200 for the night ride four days earlier.  Chuck had some patches with him, but they didn’t work.  The tiny holes were right next to a seam so the patches didn’t work.

I was stuck, almost twelve miles out.  I called my wife but she didn’t answer.  My daughter was playing Taps for the local Veterans Day observance…  Now I was nervous.  It was barely over freezing and it was breezy and 11-1/2 miles was too far to hoof it.  Chuck suggested I call Mike.  Mike answered, got my location, and rolled.  20 minutes later, after huddling behind a guardrail to get out of the wind, he rolled up.

So guess who learned a valuable lesson Yesterday.

I needed 33 miles to pass last year’s total mileage.  I ended up with 29-3/4, because I was stupid.  With any luck, I’ll be passing that milestone shortly, but we’ve got a chance of snow in the forecast.  It could be fun, though.  It’s supposed to be less than an inch – that sounds more like fun than not.

One thing us for certain, I won’t forget my freaking seat bag!  Dammit!