Tag Archives: biking

The Challenge of Getting Quality Miles In

One of the challenges of being able to stay fit, and do endurance rides is being able to get out there.  I didn’t have this challenge before, because I typically was able to have my weekends free to ride.  However, lately, that has changed.  My weekends have been occupied by either a weekend on call, a weekend visiting dad, or a weekend free to myself, biking.  This rotation is a 3 week period, so as you can see, my weekend to bike is once every 3 weeks.  That is tough to keep fit, especially if I do all these double centuries.

This means having to squeeze in whatever I can during the week.  I would have to really prepare myself on how I commute into work.  You may ask, in what way?  Well, consider this schedule:

Monday:  Commute in with my normal commuting bike (with panniers, maybe carrying my laptop with me)

Tuesday: This is the day I usually have my mid-week ride, with the Meetup group.  I usually bring my Volagi, and stash my change of clothes in my backpack.  When I take off for my Meetup ride, I leave my change of clothes in the office

Wednesday: Ride my Volagi into work, wearing a T-shirt as a base layer (this is Silicon Valley, and as a tech, a T-shirt is my normal work attire).  On my ride home, I take my change of clothes with me, in my backpack.

Thursday and Friday: Take my commuting bike into work.  Friday, I put the laptop in my panniers.

This sure is a lot of prep work to get in extra miles during the week, but it is necessary.  Even then, the amount of miles I’m able to get in is not that spectacular.  Yesterday, I was able to accumulate 40 miles (10 in the morning, 30 on my evening ride).

Now that it is getting darker earlier (by 6:40 pm), I also have to be well equipped with blinding light display.  It is pretty cool, to get out there, enjoying the night scenery, while everyone else is stressing on getting through rush hour traffic to get home … Me?  My struggles are to lug myself up that big hill, so that I can get these great views.



Getting the Mileage Back up Again

It’s been awhile since I last blogged on here … Sorry about that.  I’ve had a bunch of other things going on.

I think I’ve finally been able to get some consistency in my riding (recovering from an accident in March, which took me out for 2 months, and a little more time, from a fall where I broke my fall with my left hand/wrist).  It hasn’t been a really productive year so far, but I am glad to report that the month of August reveal a 700+ mile month.

It’s a bit strange, as I compiled all this much mileage, but I didn’t really have a 70+ mile day in the entire month.  The largest was a solo 62 mile ride, but I guess all the medium distance rides do add up.

I was able to get in 780 miles, and I wasn’t even training for an event.  I don’t think I’ll have any centuries or double centuries lined up.  My weekend schedules are so up in the air these days, it’s hard to schedule, and train for something.

Saddle Slip, How Does That Happen?

I was riding along, just getting in some miles before my first climb.  It’s a flat stretch along Foothill Expressway, then all of a sudden, I felt something sink.  It wasn’t a flat, and it felt like my saddle position dropped.  It wasn’t too dramatic, and I decided to keep riding on, until I reached the intersection.  I checked, and it looked a little low, and my knees were bent a little more than usual.  I better head back, then suddenly, the saddle height dropped quite a bit more … it got to a point where it sank about 1-2 inches.  I couldn’t even ride seated.

I proceeded to ride standing … it is difficult to ride without your saddle.  I knew it would be tough, but this was ridiculous.  I went back to Los Altos Community Center, where I saw Dillon there, getting ready for another Pescadero ride with Steve.

Luckily, Dillon had a torque wrench, specifically designed for the saddle.  We loosened it all the way, and even then we had a problem raising the saddle height.  If we had this problem changing the saddle vertical position, then how in the world did the saddle height sink?  I did a ride the previous day, climbing Saratoga Gap, with a good 40 miles, 4000 foot climb … good thing my saddle didn’t slip while on that ride.

I took the bike over to Bicycle Summit.  There was ample grease on the seat post, so it wasn’t a lubrication problem.  Perhaps it just wasn’t torque’d down enough.  I still find it strange that it suddenly sank on me, and then we had problems raising the saddle height.  Oh well … I guess that’s one mystery that will not be solved.

Oh, while I was there, I might as well ask for a torque wrench.  The guy goes back, grabs a torque wrench from their tool kit, and gives it to me.  Let me say again, he gives it to me – For free.  “Are you sure”, I ask … he says they have plenty of them.  Really .. Well, that’s customer service for ya!

Storm of the Decade Tomorrow … So Will I Be Riding?

They really have been hyping up this storm for a whole week.  Biggest storm in nearly 10 years in Northern California.

I just got my bike back from the shop, as I took it in to get all the gunk I collected from plowing through a flooded bike trail (2 feet deep of standing water) from last week’s rain storm.  That was a pretty good soaker, but tomorrow’s storm should be even more massive.

Water collected in the frame, to the point where my seatpost (Aluminum) seized up in the frame (Titanium).  Titanium has great anti-corrosive properties, but the combination of Aluminum, with Titanium, and water …. not a good combination.  It took 2 guys, and a bike stand to free up the seat post from the frame.  Replaced the seatpost with a carbon fiber one … hopefully that won’t corrode as much.

So, with that in mind, ride or drive?  If I do ride, I think I’ll avoid San Tomas Aquino MUT … Or do I wimp out and drive?  Supposed to also be hella windy.

Bike Commute Disrupted Again due to 49ers Game

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The 49ers had their home opener last night … first NFL game, that counted, being played in Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.  The game ended sometime after 8 pm Sunday night, and it was anticipated that the gates would be open for the bike path.  When the 49ers do play, the bike path is closed, but as soon as the event is over, they should re-open the bike path, right?

Well, it wasn’t.  The gate was locked, on the northbound side of Tasman.  That meant I had to backtrack to the other side, and then re-enter through Tasman on street.  The same thing happened during the first exhibition game that the 49ers had.  It’s bad enough that they close the bike path for the entire day (game didn’t start until 5:15 pm), but to keep it closed the day after?

Oh, and by the way, they also closed Great America Amusement Park, golf course, and probably the soccer field on game day as well.  Not everyone is a football fan, especially with the backlash against the NFL with the domestic violence issue.

Daylight Savings Time .. Yay!

Daylight savings time .. yay!  Not only does that mean I can leave the office with daylight, but it also means I can do a little more riding after work.  It’s really nice not having to carry that big extra bulky battery for my Stella 300 (even though I still carry the Urban 400, but I can just mount that on my handlebar.  This also means I don’t have to mount it on my helmet, and have a head heavy ride.

Meetup rides are more fun … I get to see what everyone looks like … LOL.  I also get more aggressive with daylight, and I think everyone else did too.  We did Los Altos Hills, and it just felt like a more frisky ride.  Paloma gave us a swift kick in the ass, and if that weren’t enough, we then attacked Mora.  I think I over prepared myself for Mora, and just went on the easiest gear, but that did make my time suffer a bit.  By the time I finished this, I went back home, and only had to turn lights on with 3 miles to go.  That’s a win win!

Funny note about yesterday’s commute … I rode all fall and winter, in the dark, and without a flat.  Now, riding in bright daylight, I get a flat.  Doesn’t make sense does it?  Go figure.

October is Done Already?

Wow, that month flew by.  Not sure what happened there.  I probably missed the 30 Days of Biking in September (actually, was there one?  I didn’t check).  I wasn’t going to set off to ride 31 days in October, but I came pretty close.  I missed a fewdays, but still, 28 out of 31 days of biking is not too shabby.

Part of this was rebelling against the surging gas prices (it didn’t get up to $5, but I think I saw it at $4.70/gal) .. and since my route into work is extremely doable on bike, why not.  I wound up with 721 miles.  It didn’t feel like I did really long rides, but riding every day does add up.