27 February 2014

Packed and Ready

The PowerLock/PowerLink loosener was successful. The tool is actually called Park Tool MLP-1.2 Chain Link Pliers. Another one of those tools that are necessary (like cassette removal) to have in your arsenal. So chain separated, cleaned, and examined only to determine I needed a new chain. Oh well, it would have had to come off anyway for replacement. The interesting thing is that going from 8-9 speed to 10-11 speed chains SRAM has changed both the terminology and "recommended" usage. This tidbit of information had escaped me. The PowerLink (8-9 speed chains) was billed as reusable. This actually was one of its best features. Was easy to pop the chain off, clean it, and put it back on. The fine print, which I did not read, on the 10-11 speed chains is the name. I suppose that is bold and not really fine print. It was my mind's total ignorance of the terminology change because it was so similar. The PowerLock (10-11 speed chains) is billed as a single use item although the main functionally is the same as the PowerLink. This points to a debate my husband and I have continuously which is that an item is manufactured with such a tight tolerance [precision if you will] that the window of optimal function is extremely narrow. The moral of the story ... I now have 4 PowerLocks in my possession to clean my chain at will this riding season! It increases sales too [single versus multi-use]. The next item I'm awaiting arrival and test is a quick release for my pedals. The chief advantage is when packing my bicycle in its suitcase for travel transport.

19 February 2014

Tour Readiness

This week's chore is to get the Pink Princess ready for my tour the first week of March. I've cleaned her and got all the paraphernalia chosen and packed. The last two items on the list is to clean the chain and replace my handlebar tape. Easy you say. I want to remove the chain and soak it while I clean the chainrings and cassette cogs. Again a normally simple task. However the PowerLink doesn't want to budge at all! So I gave up and ordered a new tool from Park that is supposed to make the chore a snap. No puns intended and I hope no snaps in the process. We shall see!

17 February 2014

Training Update

It was nice to have a break from bicycling. I was off the bike until a week after my return from Peru. This was the first break from the bike I had taken in at least a decade. So I geared up for my upcoming tour by completing the SPINeRVALS December challenge. This was promptly followed by the flu for two weeks. So everything I had gained in December was wiped away by illness. I slowly added the bike back in and ramped it up by completing the Tour of Sufferlandria. Now I am hooked on TrainerRoad. I hadn't even heard of it until the tour. For an analysis geek like me, this is pure nirvana. How could I have possibly missed the existence of such a site! The problem I now have is that I track data on no less than five websites. And each offers something uniquely different that I want and love. Paralysis by analysis at its peak!

16 February 2014

What's next?

Ok. So I wasn't abducted by aliens while in Nazca. I remain awed with my Peruvian experience. I actually hand wrote a journal for the first time. Maybe someday I will transcribe it to the web and add photos. Maybe not. So what's next?

In two weeks, I will do the Historical Hotels tour again in Tucson. As I sit here, we still have about 18 inches of snow on the ground. I'm really looking forward to Tucson and riding south. I hope the weather stays warm while I'm there and no freak winter weather for Tucson and surrounding area.

I will leave Tucson and head for Portland, Oregon. It will be my first trip to Portland and the state of Oregon as well. I will spend two weeks in a hostel while attending a bicycle mechanic class. Since, I will be directly from a bike tour I will only have my bicycle with me for transportation in Portland. I will get to experience that city via bicycle and foot. At the suggestion of my friend Karen, I will blog about my Portland experience. Until then ...

01 August 2013

It's time for accountability ... again! 81 days until my alien abduction . . .

I haven't been posting but I haven't been slacking either. I have been planning my strategy and basking in the joy of retirement. I have another countdown timer running. It is 81 days until my trip to Peru and as my husband jokes ... alien abduction. He says I'm going for a two week tour and when I return 20 years will have passed. He jokes because I'm taking a short tour, after my hike is completed, in Nasca. I have a flight booked over the Nasca lines. I have always wanted to see these geoglyphs from the air. I believe he has watched too many episodes of Ancient Aliens.

So for the next 81 days, I am training for my hike which PAC Tour lists as equivalent to riding 60-80 miles a day on bicycle. Those are energy expenditure terms I can understand. I am doing Tour #1 - Hiking Tour of Colca Canyon. Plus I'm trying to sneak in a 200k ride for hospice next month.

Accountability for this week so far ...
Monday: Typically is rest day
Tuesday: SPINeRVALS UltraConditioning 3.0
Wednesday: Elliptical in climb mode for 30 minutes + Lower Body Weights
Thursday (today): SPINeRVALS UltraConditioning 2.0

16 July 2013

Has it really been 1 month since I last updated my blog?

Saturday was gravel and dirt day on the bike. Candi and I rode Kal-Haven trail. The trail is always fun. Yet it has changed much over the last 10 years. Here's the activity file link via Garmin Connect. We rode from the South Haven trailhead half-way in to the town of Bloomingdale and back. In the past, Bloomingdale had a nice deli and ice cream store complete with picnic tables and a shaded deck. It has since closed. The only options available now are what appears to be the single grocery store and a gas station. The grocery store does have a deli so you can grab a sandwich and replenish fluids.
A little history lesson ... Wow 100 years of railroad!
Oil derrick
My Vaya adventure bike
For Steffi ... remember the pedal incident?
We plan a repeat soon. This time we will ride from South Haven to Kalamazoo and back in one day. That's 78 miles (125 km). I've done it before. Actually Kalamazoo has a trail that links off the Kal-Haven for another 13 miles or so. It is paved however. I like trails. Sometimes it is really nice to ride without cars and trucks.

16 June 2013

Take advantage of every free moment you have.

Taking advantage of my free moments, I chose to indulge in the annual Pumpkinvine Bike Ride. Usually, I do this every year with the distance varying from 50 to 100 miles. This year I did the 61 mile route. I love spending time on the bike. It frees my mind like no other activity. And I rode the Pink Princess. Why you may ask (like one guy on the route)? My reply is the fun factor. She is fun from the moment I get on her until I get off. Because she is unique (she's a Bike Friday), she's also a conversation starter. I receive lots of questions like have I traveled with her, does she ride strangely, do I have a full size bike, and so on. I meet many interesting people because of her. She's heavy, made of steel, and I usually have a front and rear rack on her. I've also been accused of carrying everything but the kitchen sink when I ride. Hey, I've lost the screws to my cleats and saddle clamp in prior rides so now I carry an assortment of parts ... It's probably overkill but I'm prepared. Anyway, it was a wonderful ride through Amish country. My bike needs cleaned from all of the horse apples! The weather was iffy the entire ride with showers at the start and finish. However, it didn't deter me, especially when there's cherry pie and ice cream waiting at the finish. Here's the stats: