I had a great ride planned this morn but a terrible night’s sleep canceled that. Again a picture perfect morning. Looking at this mornings pic, all those black dots are dragonflies. Millions of them. I stopped to watch them awhile and was amazed that they never run into each other. Or maybe they do and I can’t see it.
My disastrous summer help took yet another bad turn. Having another part timer’s hours needing to be cut way back due to some personal stuff. That pretty much ends my chances of any real time off until things slow. Including Interbike\Crossvegas in Sept. Im a bit bummed but really nothing I can do about it. Its all part of the bike store experience I guess. Working with part timers has advantages and disadvantages.
Im pretty sure I will get some time away. I just need to be patient. Just a change in plans.
Tomorrow I’ll get out on the bike before the store opens, Sunday Im alone at work but will plan a long ride home after at 2pm.
Now that the tour bike is done and ready my thoughts turn to the MTB. I’ll start riding that more soon too.
Thats about it heading into the weekend. Get outside.
Did some testing on the 920. Well, not really a test but just a commute home and back to the store this morning fully loaded less my clothing. Im not sure when I will be able to leave but I will have the bike pretty much packed and ready to go when it happens.
The bike rode great and Im sure its a bit faster than my trusty Long Haul Trucker due to the bigger wheels. Compared to the Trucker it rides a bit rougher tho but that’s to be expected when you go from a 26in wheel steel bike to a 29in wheel aluminum. I did opt to put on a carbon seatpost to try and cut the vibration. i was going to throw on a carbon stem too but I’ll pass and save the money.
The added weight sure changes things. No sudden movements. Once you get all that weight moving in one direction it takes a while to stop and change that direction. But after awhile you get used to it. Always keeping the bike as upright as possible, no leaning. As far as speed I go by the rule of twelves. Under 12mph you pedal, over 12mph you coast. For the most part. You sure do ride differently when touring. No out of the saddle sprints away from stop signs. You work your way up to speed slowly. Once your cruising along on the flat it’s remarkable how easy it is to hold your speed. Up hills are an exception. Slow and easy. Which is the way Ive been climbing for years anyway.
The gearing on the 920 is low. Ive yet to get off the big ring. True, I have not seen any huge hills but Ive seen some. All in the big ring. Which is fine by me as I still do not like bar end shifters. So the less I have to shift the better as far as Im concerned. Sometimes when Im starting out from a stop sign I’ll estimate what gear I will end up in and just go to it right away. Its a slow acceleration but at least Im not constantly reaching down to the end of the bar.
Sometimes I just ride with my left hand on top of the bar and my right hand in the drop to shift. Its weird. I wish I just had normal levers.
Last nite on the way home into a good headwind I held 13 to 14mph down pretty good on the flat. So its all good there. Some small tweeks on the seat height, which is not quite the same as my other bikes due to the Brooks saddle.
A few words on the Brooks B16 (now the B17). For touring this thing is amazing. You sit IN a B16 not on. No shammy cream needed. Big, heavy and comfortable. You can’t move around on the seat like on your road or MTB. Just sit in and go. A must for any tour bike.
Ive decided to bring the good camera. Its big and takes up the entire handlebar bag but big deal. I have the room and since picture taking is a thing for me its coming. Used it for today’s pics. I know most of the time my phone will be all I need but I’ll opt to pull out the big gun once in a while.
Anyway, the bike is ready to go on a moment’s notice. Because that might be all the notice I will get. I’ve been staring at this bike for a few months now and its going to get used come hell or high water.
This will be the first summer I will not be doing a MTB race in 15 years. I retired. As of today I have not signed up for any fatbike race this winter either. But that might change. As far as the MTB racing I was never in it to win it. Always racing the Clydesdale category. I was (am) a true clyde. Look at the other two in the pic below. Shame on them for racing a fat guys category. Those guys are a tick over the 200 pound minimum. Im like 260. But I still gave them a run for their money.
So many things I miss about race weekends. And a few things I don’t. Of course I miss the social aspect of those days. Even during a race I would strike up a conversation. The longer point to point races were the easiest to do that. Most of those races are hours long and some parts are boring so you always talked a bit.
The WORS races were only about 50 minutes long and that was different. You pretty much had to go and talk later. Both still fun to do. Im not real sure why I don’t do them anymore. I don’t mind a little pain and suffering. I guess Im just way slower than a few years ago and it gets kinda of a bummer when these races take me longer and longer to do.
It was always fun to match my times on the long races from other years, once I started falling many minutes behind and due to age and weight really have no chance of matching my prior times the racing loses it luster. That, and the cost increase the last few years. Do I really want to spend $70 ( or more ) on a race that I know I will not do good at? Im sure i will beat somebody but at my age its just not worth it anymore.
So this year I did not get a cross country MTB but a trail bike instead. I hope to attend some of those races but just in a different capacity. While others are out suffering I will be riding the local trails. Most likely also suffering. But in my own way. Both O2S and Shuammy are fun races to be at. And I hope to be there at both this year. Riding, not racing.
I was proud of that one. I came back after 10 years of absence and busted my time by a lot. At 10 years older! I remember how bad I hurt after it too. Limping for a few days.
Today I limp without a + 3 hour race. The only way I could do that again is to “tour” it and finish an hour slower. Not worth the $100 bucks to enter. And that makes me a bit sad.
Sad that part of my riding is pretty much over. There are many ways to ride a bike. Racing, group rides, woods or touring is just a few and I did them all well at some point. But now, as I age one by one they will be dropping off. Im sure I have some time left to do most of them pretty well or just OK and that’s fine by me. But you cant stop age.
I guess I’m thinking about all of this today as the Ore to Shore is in a few weeks and I might not even be there. And if that’s the case I will be pretty bummed out on that weekend just 10 days away. Missing a weekend in Marquette will be hard to take.
Last nites shop ride was a short one for me. I pulled out 45 minutes in. The store was busy right until the minute I left so I was a bit stressed and forgot all my water on a hot day. I just was not feeling it and got back with 20 miles in. I brought my gear with me today and hope to ride home tonite. Most likely the 920. I maybe cant race but I can still tour. Now all I need is some time off…..
I guess this is what they refer to as the dog days of summer. Hot and muggy. Tons of sun. A million people out before 8am. In the spring we swear at the lake for keeping us so much colder, but days like this we love the lake for giving us relief from the heat.
Ive lived next to Lake Michigan all my life. Never more than a mile from its shores. For a while I was 100 yards from it. I could hear it at nite with my window cracked open.
The love\hate relationship with the lake is not as bad as I make it out to be. Sure, when its 15 degrees warmer just a few miles inland in spring it can be a bummer but I could not imagine not being here. I see it everyday. Not everyone who lives here can see it. Some get so used to it they do not notice it anymore. I am not one of those people. I just don’t see it but really look at it every morning. I hang out by it for awhile everyday. I have a gazillion pics of it. But you already know that.
Its a privilege to live next to one of the Great Lakes. Just like it would be living in the mountains. Its something not everyone see’s everyday. When I head up to Marquette,MI the first thing I do is hang on the shores of Lake Superior. For the most part it looks like Lake Michigan but its not. The the same but different and maybe that’s just another reason I love Marquette.
The Ore to Shore race is there in just a week and a half. Ive been there and raced it for the last four years. But not this year. Im trying to get up there for a short weekend but store coverage issues again prevail.
My original plan to tour up to the race that weekend is dead. I just can not find the help to cover the store for all those days. The summer help just did not not work out as planned this year. And that just happens sometime. For me, it was the last two years in a row. I might get up there on the 8th, we’ll see.
Tonite is the Tuesday nite shop ride and it will be a hot one. I am already starting to drink water this morn, which is so unlike me but near 90 degrees and humid makes me pay a little more attention to details.