Cycling

Handruin

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Tonight's ride with some pictures. Haven't built up the nerve to ride with my DSLR, and I like posting pictures to FB while I'm riding (another way to encourage people to ride with me), so I bought a Canon S110 with WiFi. Pairs directly to my phone in the field.

http://app.strava.com/activities/61083889

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Edit: 49mph! Sweet!
Your ride looks very scenic; I'm jealous. I wish I had that kind of route around where I lived. It looks more enjoyable than the town streets around here. I would also need a bike more suitable for that kind of ride. Right now I'm using more of a recreational bike with the combination tire for light trials and basic street use. I'm finding the bike is tiring over 10 miles.
 
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Your ride looks very scenic; I'm jealous. I wish I had that kind of route around where I lived. It looks more enjoyable than the town streets around here. I would also need a bike more suitable for that kind of ride. Right now I'm using more of a recreational bike with the combination tire for light trials and basic street use. I'm finding the bike is tiring over 10 miles.
And that is the ugly, local ride. My Saturday ride through Pebble Beach is probably the prettiest in the country. Once you start going over 15-20 miles you really need a proper road bike and some appropriate clothing (padding/breathing). Otherwise you will not be enjoying yourself. Once you get comfortable with longer distances, all kinds of pretty places become feasible destinations.
 

jtr1962

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I set up routes with climbs because it punishes me for my extra weight (probably 25 extra pounds at the moment, 220 total). Of course, that does lead to some awesome downhills. It seems I'm cadence limited at about 49mph (50 in front, 11 in the rear). Might be time to switch to a standard in front.
I've been trying for a long time to lose about 30 extra pounds (I used to be 160). The extra weight hurts on climbs for sure. It also hurts everywhere else because it seems the rolling resistance of my airless tires isn't linearly proportional to weight. I wouldn't doubt my average speeds would get at least 2 mph faster if I lost ~30 pounds. Ugh, I rode 4300 miles in 2012 and didn't lose a pound. I guess looking on the bright side I probably would have gained 20 pounds if I didn't ride.

On the gearing, 49 mph with a 50-11 gear is about right. I've done 35 mph keeping it on the small chainring (39-12). That translates to 49 mph with a 50-11 gear. I actually have 53-12 as my max. When the 12-23 cassette wears out, I'm going with 11-24. I could use something a little lower for the worst climbs, and want something a bit faster for descents or drafting large vehicles. 53-11 should be good for about 55 mph.

Yeah, your routes look very scenic. Much better than the "nice" view of the Long Island Expressway I see on my rides. I need to get out there one of these days.
 
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My cassette is a 11-28, and I long for my 12-32 on most days. Beyond 25% grade I can't sit at all in 39-28. The local monster climb means standing for 30+ minutes at a time; not efficient.

I wouldn't mind larger gaps between the gears; my useful range is pretty large at this point. Putting a mountain bike RD on and going 11-34 would be awesome. Perhaps in addition to adding a tooth or two on the front big ring?

I only rode ~1,000 miles last year (but I've only been doing it for 19 months so far). My goal for this year is 2k.
 

jtr1962

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If I had to climb grades like 25%+ I think I would have a Rohloff Speedhub. 526% total range with 14 evenly-spaced gears. If you made the top gear equivalent to 53-11, your low gear would be the same as 39-42.

Have you considered a chainring with a triple crank? Those are usually used in situations like yours where you want speed on downhills but also need to climb some really stiff grades. The usual triples are 53-39-30. That gives you a 30-28 low, which is equivalent to 39-36. You get greater overall gearing range than going with a mountain bike 11-34 cassette without having to use a mountain bike rear derailleur. Fortunately the steepest grades I regularly climb average on the order of 9%, and they only last 5 or 6 blocks. I can do those in 39-23 without needing to stand, even at my present weight.
 
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If I had to climb grades like 25%+ I think I would have a Rohloff Speedhub. 526% total range with 14 evenly-spaced gears. If you made the top gear equivalent to 53-11, your low gear would be the same as 39-42.
That is sexy. Can't find a price anywhere, and I suspect it is way outside of my range. The US distributor is a 3-hour drive away (Berkeley) so it wouldn't be tough to take the bike up there and have them fit it.
 

Handruin

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That is sexy. Can't find a price anywhere, and I suspect it is way outside of my range. The US distributor is a 3-hour drive away (Berkeley) so it wouldn't be tough to take the bike up there and have them fit it.
I agree. I don't have a bike or riding skills worthy of such awesomeness but that doesn't stop me for wanting it.
 
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Less than I was thinking, and less than the Shimano Ui2 system I was looking at. Of course, I'd need to price in the price of the rest of the wheel and having it built.
 
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So who's busy with the baby?
Mom. I was on baby duty until 2AM, then woke up at 5AM to start setting up the course and closing roads. Finished clearing the roads by 10PM and was back on baby duty until 2AM again. Then on Sunday I moved us out of our house and into the garage and demo'ed 1200sq.ft. of flooring so the new flooring could be installed this week. Since then I've been on baby duty from when I get home from work until 2AM, and I've been going to work before 7AM every day.
 
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You must be some kind of alien. You have way too much energy, stamina and endurance to be human! :bow:
Nope. It is really starting to take a toll. Tired all the time, IQ down probably 30 points. Can't win a card game to save my life (normally I do better than average).
 

jtr1962

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You could try to do slightly less and sleep a little more.
+1

I learned the hard way years ago that sometimes you just have to let some things slide. People will always make demands on your time. At some point you just need to say "sorry, I can't do it". Sleep deprivation sucks. I was on a schedule like Dave's through high school and much of college. 3 hours a night sleep during the week, although I partially made up for it with 10 hours on Friday and Saturday nights. At least I didn't feel like a zombie by Sunday but the rest of the week I did. Now I can't run a schedule like this for more than a few days. I prefer my 8 or 9 hours sleep (not necessarily all in one shot, either).
 
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That is the plan. This is just a push based on some inconvenient scheduling. And of course the baby cannot be delayed ever. Hopefully by mid-next week I'll be back to at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
 

Newtun

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Multi-tasking - cycling with the baby? Baby Bike Seat?

I recall ≈ 30 years ago, driving around semi-aimlessly in Berkeley with the baby, just to try get her to go to sleep.
 
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This one likes to bounce, so I walk around on the balls of my feet getting a calf workout. I'll be getting a bike trailer for the baby as soon as mom lets me.
 

Handruin

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I've found that during this week while out in the adirondack mountains the fastest I can get my bike going is around 35mph based on strava. In the top-most gear going down a steep hill with a tail wind and peddling as fast as I can that's the most I can get out of her. I need to practice more, lose a bunch of weight, and maybe some day get a more appropriate road bike.
 

jtr1962

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Doug, I suspect it's a combination of both the bike and your gearing. The fat tires and upright riding position of mountain bikes tend to make reaching high speeds problematic. And a lot of mountain bikes have something like a 44-12 gear as the maximum. That's only good for maybe 35 mph unless you can get your cadence well past about 120 RPM. I can peak my cadence at ~180 RPM, which in theory would be good for close to 70 mph in a 53-11 gear on a road bike. Of course, aero drag will probably limit me to much less than that 99% of the time.
 

Handruin

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Doug, I suspect it's a combination of both the bike and your gearing. The fat tires and upright riding position of mountain bikes tend to make reaching high speeds problematic. And a lot of mountain bikes have something like a 44-12 gear as the maximum. That's only good for maybe 35 mph unless you can get your cadence well past about 120 RPM. I can peak my cadence at ~180 RPM, which in theory would be good for close to 70 mph in a 53-11 gear on a road bike. Of course, aero drag will probably limit me to much less than that 99% of the time.
You're absolutly spot on with all those comments. I was at the highest cadence I could peddle in any gear so it's definitely a gearing limitation at this moment and then very soon after would be all the various drag resistances (tires, upright position, fat bike frame, etc) that would soon be my next challenge to overcome. I was too busy pushing my own limits that I wasn't paying enough attention to figure out my cadence speed.

I don't have a real practical purpose for getting to very high speeds it was mostly out of curiosity. I would like to be able to go further distances without the saddle killing my ass. I find that starts to wear at me before anything else.
 
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Only three things for that. The right shorts, the right seat, and (over time) a lot of time in the saddle. I find that if I don't ride for a week the next ride isn't nearly as comfortable.
 

jtr1962

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Man, what I would give for 11°C temps right now. We're having a heat wave all week with highs in the 90s F. Rode at 3 AM last night. I was still warm ( ~23°C,73°F) and 100% humidity. I was plastered with sweat after 15 minutes. Surprisingly, I last nearly an hour and a half. It's going to be more 2 or 3 AM riding for me all this week. I would pass out trying to ride much earlier.
 

Handruin

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That is a nice view fb. It's been around 29-32C in my area making it a ride more like jtr's description. The humidity has been really high.

jtr, you mentioned riding at 3AM. What do you do to make yourself visible during your ride? During the daytime rides I wear bright colors and also have a rear-facing red-blinking LED in the rear reflector location on my bike. Is the blinking light a bad idea?
 

jtr1962

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jtr, you mentioned riding at 3AM. What do you do to make yourself visible during your ride? During the daytime rides I wear bright colors and also have a rear-facing red-blinking LED in the rear reflector location on my bike. Is the blinking light a bad idea?
I have a rear blinker (modded with a red power LED to be visible from at least 1/4 mile), and a fairly bright front headlight ( ~150 lumens). I have a ~1800 lumen headlight of my own design which I'll eventually be using as soon as I have time to finish it.

Blinking lights are fine in the rear. In fact, a blinking red rear light is usually associated with "bicycle" by most drivers. I notice cars giving me a pretty wide berth, which means they see me from far enough away to do so. Blinking headlights in general are a bad idea IMO because they might be associated with strobes on emergency vehicles (and hence might be technically illegal). For that reason, they're likely to confuse drivers. Also, a blinking headlight will do a poor job of lighting the road. although most I've seen are simply of the "to be seen", rather than "to see" variety. That leaves the last part-do you need a headlight which simply helps drivers see you, or do you want something bright enough to see with? I'd say in most cases you want the latter. Even in cities with streetlights, many roads are dark, especially those with trees. To actually see, I'm finding 150 lumens barely adequate, although that might be enough for a slower rider. I'd say 500 lumens will do most of the time if you have a tight beam. The light I'm making will have variable levels. Based on my testing a middle level of around 500 lumens will be adequate 95% of the time, but I'll have up to 1800 lumens for when I really need it.

As for clothing, I just wear my normal clothes, but I try to avoid black. In truth, the lights are going to make me a lot more visible than any clothing. Oh, and side marker lights of some sort (or just having sidespill from the front/rear lights) isn't a bad idea. The best safety tip for night riding (actually for any riding) is to ride as if you're invisible. In other words, don't depend upon anyone seeing you in order to be safe. I always ride in such a way that I'm not directly in front of cars, and therefore not dependent upon them going around me in order to stay safe. And never pass any vehicles on the right, unless there's no chance they will be moving (i.e. they're stopped at a red light). The "right hook" is a very common type of cycling accident. I'm sure you also know enough to ride at least 3 feet away from parked cars to avoid doorings. Those are the primary tips for riding safely regardless of time of day. They're more important at night when bikes are less visible. When I see bikes without lights at night, it's actually scary how invisible they are. Even from my vantage point of 360 degree visibility with no windshield, it's hard to notice a bike without lights from half a block down. On the flip side, even a bike with a feeble rear blinker is quite visible from 3 or 4 blocks away.

Yeah, this weather stinks, even at 2 or 3 AM. I've been limiting myself to ~20 miles. Last night I was close to passing out towards the end of the ride. The winds had to do with it. During the time I was out, wind speed picked up dramatically.
 

jtr1962

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Todays ride wasn't fun 7 m/s wind from NW and 16 m/s in the gusts... And only 923 meters of climbing.

http://app.strava.com/activities/67284733
That ride seems pretty respectable to me also. You averaged 14.9 mph in spite of the climbing and the wind. I hear you on the wind. Despite Chicago being called the windy city, the average wind speeds in NYC are higher. Yesterday towards the end of the ride there was easily steady winds of at least 15 mph. Average speed was only 14.1 mph. Then again, I'm running on a really worn rear airless tire and a not so great front airless (Amerityre). The bike is a good 2.5 to 3 mph slower than it was with air tires. When these are finally available, hopefully things should be back to normal.

Speakling of wind, back in December when I rode to apairofpcs place in Coney Island I hit 15-20 mph headwinds both ways. The wind shifted direction while I was there. Basically, I was fighting headwinds for 75% of the 17.5 mile each way trip. I managed to average 13 mph overall, but it was exhausting.
 

jtr1962

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Building myself a faired recumbent from scratch would be one of my dreams. I don't know if I could improve much on the aerodynamics, but I would certainly like to try. If you ever move beyond the planning stage, be sure to post pictures.
 
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