Monday, February 28, 2005

Ride home for Monday, 28 Feb

Bit of a tough ride home, feels like my legs are still getting used to the new positioning. Even so, a pretty fast ride, all things considered - I suspect due to the maintenance. Fire trail is still a bit iffy with snow all over, no doubt it'll be even more fun in the morning...

Distance logged: 11.917km
Time: 38:46
Average speed: 18.5km/hr
Max speed: 49.3km/hr
Temperature: -1C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 593.921km

Ride into work for Monday, 28 Feb

Riding was amazingly smoother today after the maintenance I did - unclogging the jockey wheel seems to have helped an awful lot. It was a bit tricky riding along the fire trail as there were snow drifts that slowed me right down, plus there were a few sections where for some reason someone had (by the looks of it) dumped snow on the trail, which required slowing right down and riding round. Also there are two old dears who every time I come up behind them ringing my bell keep walking saying "what's that noise?" Today, I slowed up right behind them (since they were blocking the trail and ignoring me) and said loudly, "excuse me, ladies, could I get by?" - they jumped into each others' arms and looked terribly scared. I'm sure there's a story there - perhaps Alzheimers or something? - but it doesn't make it any less annoying. Almost as bad as the old couple in summer who go walking together but each has their own walkman cranked up to full blast.

More snow due tonight, followed by ice pellets tomorrow morning. Should be fun!

Distance logged: 12.419km
Time: 37:27
Average speed: 20.0km/hr
Max speed: 82.8km/hr (mmmno.)
Temperature: -10C to -8C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 582.004km

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Maintenance day

(Actually spread out over two days)

The salt, dirt and grime are really starting to take a toll on the bike. I'm having problems with brakes sticking, which (as far as I can tell) are a combination of salt in the cables causing friction, and gunked up brake assemblies. I disassembled the rear U brakes completely, there was rusting in the works which probably didn't help. I cleaned it all out with degreaser, rinsed it all off, then greased everything up and reassembled the assembly. I also had to flush out the cable housing (I used White Lightning for that, then dribbled some Tenacious Oil in) and move the brake pivot assembly around to use different parts of the cable. I rinsed and reoiled the front brake pivot, which seemed to do the trick. I'm going to have to replace all the cables come spring, though.

It looks like the thinline brakes are wearing extremely quickly; they're almost halfway worm already. Hopefully the non-thinline Koolstop pads will come back in at MEC soon.

The jockey wheels in the derailleur seemed a little stiff, too, so I disassembled them and found the reason was all the grease inside had magically turned into near-solid black gunk. Again, there was some rusting starting, so a full cleanup and regrease was necessary.

I also did the regular maintenance - clean and relube the chain, clean off the rims, clean the brake pads, etc.

More snow and rain is forecast for this week; I suspect the maintenance I've done today has prevented either brake lockup or deraillleur failure later in the week...

Ride home for Friday, 25 Feb

My boss told me to leave early as it was snowing, who am I to argue? Only around 4cm on the ground, I took a few backroads on the way in order to avoid traffic. It was tough riding, I spent most of the ride on low gear with a lot of fishtailing. The hills were particularly difficult, my back wheel was spinning out whenever I stood up. It was a fun ride, though! My wife took a picture of me when I arrived home:

Distance logged: 13.213km
Time: 1:02:17
Average speed: 12.8km/hr
Max speed: 54.4km/hr (definitely false!)
Temperature: -10C, snowing
Cumulative distance: 569.585km

Friday, February 25, 2005

Ride into work for Friday, 25 Feb

Tough getting warmed up today, I still wasn't there after the fire trail, I don't think I was really warmed up until about halfway through the ride. Nice clear ride in, though, and it's supposed to snow today. Yesterday there was a blizzard warning for today, which got downgraded to heavy snowfall, which got downgraded to 2-5cm, and has now been upgraded to 5-10cm. Currently there's around 3-4cm of snow fallen, hopefully we'll get the full ration of 10cm or more. Co-workers are looking at me oddly for wanting more snow.

The saddle was very comfortable, though.

Distance logged: 12.597km
Time: 38:10
Average speed: 19.8km/hr
Max speed: 93.2km/hr (mmmmno.)
Temperature: -13C, clear
Cumulative distance: 556.372km

Ride home for Thursday, 24 Feb

Got my new seatpost and saddle today. The seatpost is brand new and significantly longer than the old one, so I can raise it up a bit more - handy with the big clunky winter boots. The seat was one that was kicking around - the mechanic called it "buried treasure" and said no-one else would have it since it's so big, but it should fit me fine. It's a Schwinn saddle, something like the ergonomic model but an older version. I can slide the seat waaay back which is comfy on the knees, and it tilts up just about right. Unfortunately I wasn't able to adjust the seat before leaving work, so it was less than entirely comfortable on the legs, and I really had to work at it to get any speed going.

Distance logged: 12.486km
Time: 45:56
Average speed: 16.3km/hr
Max speed: 53.1km/hr
Temperature: -6C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 543.775km

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Ride into work for Thursday, 24 Feb

Tough ride getting started as the bobcat had been along the firetrail and "smoothed" it out - along with leaving tracks and occasional marks where it'd done 360's in the snow (I guess a snowplow operator's job has to have some perks). Smooth ride all the way in on the main roads, back roads are still snowy and slippery and rather more fun.

Distance logged: 12.952km
Time: 39:43
Average speed: 19.6km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr
Temperature: -13C
Cumulative distance: 531.289km

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Ride home for Wednesday, 23 Feb

Not quite just a ride home; I had a meeting this afternoon about my son's school starting in September, and took the opportunity to do a loop round town and go through Point Pleasant Park. The snow had accumulated nicely to a depth of around 2 inches in the back streets, which is where I mostly went. Lots of riding in very low gear apart from on the main roads, where the snow had melted to semi slush, which was pretty icky. It stopped snowing while I was in the meeting so I had a nice sunny ride home. Fun!

The weather forecasters are saying chance of flurries for the next few days, but I won't hold my breath on that one...

Distance logged: 24.527km
Time: 1:29:09
Average speed: km/hr
Max speed: km/hr
Temperature: -5C to -4C, snowing clearing to sunny
Cumulative distance: 518.337km

Ride into work for Wednesday, 23 Feb

Yay snow! Not much, only a couple of centimetres or so, but still enough that (a) I was bombing around having a great time, and (b) drivers were driving slowly due to poor tyre choice. Not that I'm gloating or anything, of course...

The snow's supposed to stop by this afternoon, then there's just flurries. After NY got 5 inches (from what I heard) I was hoping we'd get something similar, no such luck, I guess.

Distance logged: 12.210km
Time: 41:04
Average speed: 17.9km/hr
Max speed: 53.4km/hr
Temperature: -4
Cumulative distance: 493.810km

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ride home for Tuesday, 22 Feb

The temperature warmed up, and the promised-for snow failed to appear. Oh well. I managed to round off the nut on my seat last night trying to adjust it, I think the thread may be stripped as it was extremely stiff. I took the bike into the bike shop after work for them to have a look at. The mechanic got the nut and bolt off, after some discussion I decided a change of seat would be an idea so I can change the seat position more easily - it looks like the seat is shot in any case, as it's originally from a department store bike and really didn't hold up well to the winter use. The only problem is, I have an extra-long seat post which they didn't have. The mechanic is going to stop off at another shop on his way in tomorrow and pick up an extra long post, and then I'll pick a seat out from their selection on Thursday when I come by to get it switched over.

After all that fun I forgot to turn on the bike computer when I left, and only noticed a couple of km down the road. Oops!

Distance logged: 10.501km
Time: 33:26
Average speed: 18.9km/hr
Max speed: 47.1km/hr
Temperature: -3C
Cumulative distance: 481.6km

Ride into work for Tuesday, 22 Feb

Forgot to take the stats off the bike computer before I left work today - oops. Stats are extrapolated from the ride home stats (ie - current cumulative stats minus ride home distance). Bike computer either needs new batteries, or really doesn't like the cold. Or both.

Nice ride in, clear and cool.

Distance logged: 9.545km
Time: ??
Average speed: ??km/hr
Max speed: ??km/hr
Temperature: -15C, cool, clear
Cumulative distance: 471.099km

Monday, February 21, 2005

Ride home for Monday, 21 Feb

Another nice cool ride home. Unfortunately I picked up what turned out to be a chunk of aluminium in the front brakes; I thought I hadn't toed in the brakes properly and they were rubbing against the tyre, so I took it easy and tried to use just the rear brakes. I picked it out this evening and it must have been 1mm by 2mm, and left a nice big gouge in the brand new pads I put on yesterday. Oh well...

I've added a cumulative distance tab to keep track of how far I've ridden so far this year, since the bike computer seems to be having issues. I'm not sure what happened to the distance, since I took my regular route home.

Distance logged: 11.554km
Time: 40:17
Average speed: 17.2km/hr
Max speed: 45.2km/hr
Temperature: -12C
Cumulative distance: 461.554km

Ride into work for Monday, 21 Feb

Nice ride in today, apart from someone in a car deciding to pull out right in front of me so I had to lock on the brakes and skid round the car. I caught up to the driver at the red light, knocked on the window and had the following conversation:

Me: "Did you see me back there?"
Ditzy Young Blonde: "Yes, I did!"
Me, rather surprised: "Why did you try to hit me with your car?"
DYB: "Oh, sorry."
Me: "... Well, don't hit people with your car, it's not very nice, OK?"
Her: "OK, sorry."

I had to go into baby talk to try and get my point across, some people really aren't bright enough to be driving on the road.

No idea on stats, it was cold enough that my bike computer crashed and reset itself.

Distance logged: ??km
Time: ??
Average speed: ??km/hr
Max speed: ??km/hr
Temperature: -19C to -17C, sunny

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Warbiking redux

Maintenance day, so I cleaned the bike pretty thoroughly. Now I have quick-release levers on both wheels I can pop them both off and really get in there to clean the crud off. That meant clumps of gunk were falling off the bike - euw. Also, I gave in and replaced the front brake pads.

So, after doing all that cleaning, I went out and did some more warbiking. It was just riding around the area (since I'm a bit limited by the rather short battery life in my Toshiba, even after pulling tricks like turning off the LCD panel and the hard drive). 234 access points found, 136 open, 98 closed - I suppose that's about right for a mostly residential area where people probably just buy their hardware from Futureshop, plug it in, find it works, and leave it running.

I suppose the next step is to integrate a GPS, and possibly to try to associate to open APs with a strong signal using my onboard wirelss NIC as I pass to take pictures and upload them, or some such.

Also, we had snow today! A whopping almost 1 centimetre! We're supposed to have snow on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday, too. Best keep the snow tyres on!

Distance logged: 12.120km
Time: 36:23
Average speed: 20.0km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr (went through a traffic light)
Temperature: -8C

Friday, February 18, 2005

Ride home for Friday, Feb 18

A nice cool dry ride home, as pretty much everywhere is starting to freeze up again. Rode home with my laptop, as I was doing some warbiking on the way; picked up 300 access points broadcasting SIDs, of which 117 were encrypted and 183 were unencrypted. Also saw some odd SIDs; it's never a good idea to have your home address or phone number as your SID! There were only a few SIDs that showed much originality:

Colins Brain Box
Crappy 802.11b

Carry the extra 10lbs or so that the laptop weighs seemed to have some effect on my speed, though it might also have been me distracted listening to the tuneful beeps as it listed out the number of APs per channel...

Distance logged: 13.203km
Time: 43:39
Average speed: 18.2km/hr
Max speed: 52.3km/hr
Temperature: -2C, sunny

Ride into work for Friday, 18 Feb

A nice crisp clear day. Took the fire trail, since it was nicely frozen. Had 3 people this morning try and overtake me on the approach to a red light; one was 5 metres from the light when he tried to overtake me - and I'd taken the lane, too, so he was blocking the other lane. I wonder about some drivers, sometimes...

Snow has been pushed back a day, yet again. I think that the forecasters are keeping it there just to hedge their bets - if it does snow, they can say, "look, we said it was going to snow!" It was supposed to snow today, originally. Tsk.

Distance logged: 13.035km
Time: 37:05
Average speed: 21.1km/hr
Max speed: 62km/hr
Temperature: -6, some clouds

Ride home for Thursday, 17 Feb

Went round to see a friend after work and found my front brake was sticking on one side. I disassembled the brake and found the spring was all clogged up with road salt, grime, gunk and general dirt. I ended up stripping both brakes down, cleaning them, reassembling them (and lining up the springs on the brakes took quite a while, too!) and then testing them. It looks like the cable might be coming up for replacement as it's not sliding too well.

It was dark enough when I left that I couldn't see if the bike computer reset to zero, so of course, it didn't. The figures are based off the logged values less those from the morning ride. I was a bit quicker due to the lack of traffic and flashing yellows letting me pedal without stopping. I didn't think I was quite that quick, though...

Distance logged: 8.637km
Time: 18:59
Average speed: 26.77km/hr
Max speed: 76km/hr
Temperature: --2C to 4C, clear

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Ride into work for Thursday, 17 Feb

Another misty, drizzly, foggy ride into work. It seems like all the gunk is melting out of the snow and accumulating on the roads, my brakes were starting to clog up whereas normally I can be most of the way home before the start clogging up. I'm going to have to try to bodge something up with kitchen towel to clean the brake pads and rims before I set off home - what fun!

Popped into MEC at lunchtime and picked up a copy of Zinn's Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance ($23), a sleeveless jersey (a steal at $9!), and another jersey ($20).

I checked the tyre pressure last night, somehow since the weekend the rear tyre had deflated to 20psi - that explained why the ride home last night wasn't as fun as it might have been.

Distance logged: 13.7km
Time: 34:50
Average speed: 23.6km/hr
Max speed: 77.2km/hr
Temperature: 1C

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ride home for Wednesday, 16th Feb

The roads are still very goopy due to drizzle, fog and snowmelt. I took a detour on the way home as the fire trail was turning into mush, which meant fighting my way through piles of melting snow/ice/slush. Yuck. The figures are off as I waited at the lights which triggered my bike computer into running 99.9km/hr for a few minutes, adding 2 or 3 clicks onto the total...

Got the cranks replaced today. I have, essentially, a completely replaced drivetrain. Unfortunately I was rather hoping to get what I had to last till after the snow had melted... oh well.

Distance logged: 16.722km
Time: 46:14
Average speed: 21.7km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr
Temperature: 2C-1C, wet.

Ride into work for Wednesday, 16 Feb

Another grim and grotty day; drizzle, fog, warming temperatures melting snow, resulting in a goopy mess on the roads that spray up onto my bike, and me. Yuck. The weather forecasters are taunting me with promises of -15C on Friday, -17C on Saturday and Sunday, and periods of snow on Sunday. The weather network allege more snow on Monday, too. I'll believe it when I see it...

Distance logged: 13.707km
Time: 36:48
Average speed: 22.4km/hr
Max speed: 65.2km/hr
Temperature: 2C

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Ride home for Tuesday, 15 Feb

Left early today as the weather was looking ominous (rain and fog, with gusts of wind) and I had nothing to do since the server I was developing on decided to lose its backplane over the weekend and I have to wait till the new part arrives (hopefully) tomorrow.

Difficult ride home due to the conditions - heavy headwinds and sidewinds with just the occasional tailwind. Still, it was nice to have all the gears back, and the gear changing was smooth.

Distance logged: 13.532km
Time: 45:20
Average speed: 17.9km/hr
Max speed: 58.2km/hr
Temperature: 2C, raining, windy

Ride into work for Tuesday, 15 Feb

Rode into work with only 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears working. Low gear was dead, high gear kept scraping on the chain so I was basically stuck in middle gear. Not a fun ride in, although I went faster than I expected.

I took the bike into the bike shop at lunch to get the rear cassette changed. The mechanic did it while I was there, saying it'd only take a few minutes. Then he checked the front derailleur and found the bolt and/or nut (I didn't hear which) had sheared the thread and the derailleur kept slowly slipping down. He fixed that by putting on a new derailleur out of the parts box, then realised a new cable would be needed so he threaded on a new cable. Finally he finished off tuning the derailleur until it worked perfectly. For this I was charged... $20. Gotta love the friendly LBS :-) I dropped down an extra $5 for the mechanic to get himself a drink with since he'd done such a good job.

Distance logged: 12.683km
Time: 39:13
Average speed: 19.4km/hr
Max speed: 59.1km/hr
Temperature: 1C

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Ride home for Friday, 11 Feb

So, I took the bike in on the back of the car and got the bike shop to replace the rear wheel. I picked up the bike at 4:30 and brought it back to the office as a client was having problems. I set off at 6:00 and found I had problems with the brakes rubbing and the right crank knocking against the frame. I took it back to the shop (since it was on the way anyway) and they adjusted the rear brake for me. They also looked at the crank, somewhere along the way the crank actually became bent. The mechanic beat it straight, then I took the bike out for a test ride. Now the pedal on the right was jamming. I took it back, and the mechanic took the pedal apart. It looked like the pedal was shot (no great surprise, a $20 pedal set that I've had for 8 months and put through a fair bit of abuse), when he was beating the crank back in place it (a) knocked some dirt through and (b) jiggled a worn bearing out of place. The mechanic was going to rebuild the pedal, but I figured I may as well pick up another set of pedals at MEC, so I ran down and got another set. He put the pedals on and I headed back home.

Unfortunately, the chain is now slipping in 4th and 5th gears. I'm not sure if it's just the derailleur needs adjusting, since I can't get into low on the front, nor first and sixth on the back (I always need to adjust the derailleur since I'm heavy enough that the frame flexes out under me) or if the rear cassette is shot. I adjusted the derailleur today (Sunday) and I'm going to try it out tomorrow. As a result of this, on the ride home I was basically stuck in 2nd and 3rd gear in middle gear, which made things... interesting.

Distance logged: 14.603km
Time: 50:32
Average speed: 17.4km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr (more like 30)
Temperature: Around freezing

Friday, February 11, 2005

Ride home for Thursday, 10 Feb

Well, the alleged snowfall turned to freezing rain, which aggregated on the road as slush. Not particularly exciting, what a ripoff; we seem to have a cheap, chinese made winter this year. I want a refund, please.

Also, more spokes broke, so I ended up calling in the cavalry for a ride home. I think the killer is going over the railway tracks; the crossing is in such poor condition that I bounce 3 or 4 times going over, which stresses the hell out of the spokes and shatters them if they're at all marginal. Oh well... time for a new wheel, I guess. And perhaps a new route - which will mean more traffic, unfortunately, as the Fairview route is the most quiet of the 3 at that time of the day...

Distance logged: 8.755km
Time: 26:43
Average speed: 19.7km/hr
Max speed: 58.2km/hr
Temperature: 1C - 0C

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Ride into work for Thursday, 10 Feb

Visit to the chiropractor, so a longer ride in than usual, coming in from Bedford.

Weather is now forecast to be rain instead of snow. What a rip! Picked up a new cheapy chain from MEC for $10, hopefully it'll hold together. Checked the clearance section, long sleeve cycling jerseys on clearance for $20 - sweet!

Distance logged: 22.013km
Time: 55:57
Average speed: 23.7km/hr
Max speed: 92.8km/hr (such a wonderful work of fiction)
Temperature: 4C-1C

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ride home for Wednesday, 09 Feb

Definitely time for a new chain, mine is now feeling like it's on the verge of slipping in low gear - it's amazing quickly the salt has worn away the chain. Also, I need some more bike shorts so I've got one for every day of the week, plus some more cycling jerseys/t-shirts. Then I'm picking up my new touring bike in April. Plus Canadian Tire have a set of really...
odd looking panniers
that at $20 are damn near disposable if they suck. And I'm getting really tempted by the idea of a Brooks saddle, too...

How on earth am I going to afford all that?! Well, obviously, by riding my bike instead of going by car - saving $300/month!

Nothing exciting happened on the ride home. Forecast is ice pellets, snow and freezing rain for tomorrow and Friday, though, so things are looking up!

Distance logged: 13.818km
Time: 43:18
Average speed: 19.2km/hr
Max speed: 46.5km/hr
Temperature: 6C-5C, overcast/sunny

Ride into work for Wednesday, 09 Feb

After cleaning the rims last night, my front brakes have started squealing again. I'm tempting to just replace them now. Oh well. Also, I checked my chain for chain stretch, since first gear is getting a bit crunchy; completely worn out. I suppose I'll pick up a cheap chain at MEC to last me the rest of the season (another month and a half or so) then see if I can get away with a decent chain for summer beater use.

Distance logged: 13.804km
Time: 37:21
Average speed: 22.2km/hr
Max speed: 81.7km/hr (errr, hmm. Fastest I saw was 65)
Temperature: 1C-2C, sunny

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ride home for Tuesday, 08 Feb

Thanks to an ISP who decided to route all traffic destined to a client's firewall to their honeypot machine instead (thus triggering off a cross-Canada security alert at a large national radio network) I got to leave late tonight. The highlight of the ride was discovering that the batteries in my lights have run down far enough that they're only good for being seen and not for seeing, which was rather a disappointment on the fire trail...

The weather tomorrow is supposed to go up to 9C. Thursday, we're due to get slightly more seasonal temperatures of -5 to -1 with a few flurries, then Friday we get periods of snow - yay!

Distance logged: 14.114km
Time: 44:25
Average speed: 19.0km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr (hurrah for wireless interference)
Temperature: 6C to 5C

Ride into work for Tuesday, 08 Feb

Worked late last night for a client so I came in late today, and took the opportunity to get a longer ride in by coming in via Bedford. It seems like the runoff has evaporated all the salt onto the road, which is then getting stirred up by all the trucks, leaving a salty haze hovering over the road. As a result, I was (like my American blog reader in NY) getting blasted in the face with salt, which wasn't overly pleasant. Apart from that, it was a nice ride out. Stopped off at CycleSmith to see if they had the free air out to pump up my tyres, but unfortunately not - I guess it's still not warm enough.

Distance logged: 32.426km
Time: 1:18:20
Average speed: 24.8km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr (yeah, right)
Temperature: 1C - 4C, sunny

Monday, February 07, 2005

Ride home for Monday, 07 Feb

Picked up some new lenses and V brake pads for my rear brakes, and toed in my front brakes. Still a tiny bit of squeal on the way home, but I think that's just the brake pads wearing off a bit of excess after being switched over. Managed to knock the magnet for the bike computer off-centre, and I wasn't able to stop safely for a while to fix it, so the ride was a touch longer than listed.

I took a detour through the back of the fire trail where there's still some snow left. It turned out there was actually a foot or so of snow in places with ice paths on top, which made for some fun (if slightly slow) riding.

Distance logged: 13.631km
Time: 42:37
Average speed: 19.2km/hr
Max speed: 74.3km/hr (waaaay off)
Temperature: 6C to 5C, extremely sunny (until the sun set)

Ride into work for Monday, 07 Feb

Note to drivers who overtake cyclists at the top of a steep hill: make sure your car can go fast enough to keep in front of the cyclist, as that way you don't look like you're driving an embarassingly slow car that can't manage to overtake a cyclist when you're driving parallel to the cyclist almost all the way to the bottom of the hill...

Yay, blindingly bright sunshine is back! Boo, I managed to snap my dark lenses taking them out of the bag! Oh well, time for another trip to MEC at lunchtime.

Also the front brakes need toeing in or replacing, they're squealing like they've been painted with a coat of extrasqueal. I'll probably just replace them and keep the old ones for spares in my "just in case" drawer.

Distance logged: 13.733km
Time: 35:43
Average speed: 23.1km/hr
Max speed: 65.9km/hr
Temperature: -8C to -7C, extremely sunny

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Maintenance day

Today was maintenance day, cleaning out the crud from a week of winter riding:

  • Frame cleaning - wiping off all the salt and grime that stuck to the frame with a piece of dry kitchen towel. I'm really glad I put several coats of turtle wax on before winter hit.
  • Chain cleaning:

    • First pass rinse with hot water in the chain cleaner to clean off the salt
    • Second pass rinse with chain cleaner (fluid) in the chain cleaner to clean off the grime
    • Third pass rinse with hot water in the chain cleaner to clean off the chain cleaner (fluid) and any remaining grime
    • Fourth pass with WD40 to get the last of the grime out

  • Inside frame cleaning - take the seatpost out and squirt some WD40 down to protect from the salt. I think I may have overdone it a tad - due to the angle it sounded like there was nothing coming out, so I tried it at a couple of different angles, and it still seemed like there was nothing coming out. Then I saw WD40 dripping out by the bottom bracket. Hopefully it didn't strip the grease out of the bracket, or I'm going to be fixing that up tomorrow...
  • Brake cleaning and rotation:

    • Disassemble front brakes
    • Pick out bits of metal from pads with (cough) handy steak knife
    • Put brake pads, nuts, bolts, assemblies in tin with hot water, swirl and rinse out
    • Put chain cleaner in tin, swirl, rinse out
    • Hot water in tin, swirl, rinse out. Put parts on piece of kitchen towel to dry
    • Clean off brake caliper assembly with chain cleaner and hot water
    • Reassemble front brakes, putting pads on opposite side they were on before
    • Disassemble rear brakes and do the same

  • Stem is creaking, unscrew the front plate, clean with hot water / chain cleaner / hot water, dry, grease, reassemble
  • Wash off rims and spokes with toothbrush, using chain cleaner then hot water. Probably the dirtiest part of the whole job
  • Wash off studded tyres with hot water and toothbrush to check if any have come out or look iffy. All present, two off them had rust on so I scrubbed them clean and they seem fine now.

2 hours later, the bike is ready to go again... There's something a tiny bit wobbly on the front stem that I can't quite figure out (possibly down by the forks, but I'm not sure), so I think I might take the bike into the bike shop on Monday for them to have a quick look at it. I suspect something just needs a little tightening, but everything seems fine to me. No individual part seems loose, but when I wiggle the handlebars I can feel movement. Most odd.

Ride home for Friday, 04 Feb

Another damp ride home. A lot of the salt seemed to have rinsed off the road, which was one minor benefit, so I didn't get coated in the stuff. I'm going to have problems acclimatising to the warmth, though - I really didn't enjoy the trip home too much, especially the steep hill up through Fairview (I'm guessing there's around a 20-25 metre climb in just over 1km... but it's 50% climb and 50% flat, so it's a real killer, with the steepest climb being the last one, of course!) It felt like a really slow ride home, but the figures don't look too bad - I think it might be because the snow on the fire trail had melted so I could zoom along there at speed.

Took the route along Barrington to miss out the steep downhill just in case there was ice forming, and forgot to turn on the computer until I was nearly at Spring Garden, which may have thrown the figures off a touch...

Distance logged: 13.672km
Time: 44:51
Average speed: 18.3km/hr
Max speed: 54.1km/hr
Temperature: 3C to 2C, cloudy

Friday, February 04, 2005

Ride into work for Friday, 04 Feb

Note to drivers: if your car is covered in bike stickers and you have a bike rack on your car, you look a real tosser if you cut off cyclists.

No precipitation, but there's so much salt on the roads that it was precipitating on my glasses. I ended up having to rinse them in the sink at work.

Distance logged: 13.875km
Time: 38:13
Average speed: 21.8km/hr
Max speed: 54.0km/hr
Temperature: -5C to -4C, cloudy

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Ride home for Thursday, 03 Feb

The excitement continues... I had to take a detour from my usual route as the side road I take was blocked off by a police car (the other side of the intersection from this morning's excitement, oddly enough). I took the side road prior and zigzagged my way back to the other end of the side street and found another police car there blocking off the road. Further down I could see a fire engine; it looked like the fire was out, though I could still smell smoke. Ah, the relentless round of excitement that is my life.

Rode through some freezing rain/sleet/drizzle, which cooled me off a little. It looks like we might be getting a teaser taste of spring, which means slush and wet crud on the roads, followed by ice when winter returns and it all refreezes.

Distance logged: 14.582km
Time: 49:52
Average speed: 17.6km/hr
Max speed: 56.4km/hr
Temperature: 0C to -2C, cloudy

Ride into work for Thursday, 03 Feb

Weather was fairly warm again this morning, hit a couple of black ice patches but was saved by the studded tyres. The snow continues to melt, my boots have a layer of road salt on them now that are going to need cleaning off, and the salt has oozed into the laces and dried, making them a real pain to tie and untie.

Highlight of the day was seeing some Cops style action when a couple of police officers grabbed a drug addict of some flavour off the street - I missed the reason why, but it looked like she was known to the police and had done something - "I'm not going to put you in my car until I get whatever you've got on you out of your pockets, have you got needles on you again?" - and she was definitely not happy. The price you pay for making the wrong choice in life, I guess...

Distance logged: 13.944km
Time: 41:04
Average speed: 20.4km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr (false, fastest I went was around 60)
Temperature: -5C to -2C, cloudy

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Ride home for Wednesday 02 Feb

I don't know what was going on last night, but traffic was backed up all over Halifax, and I could hear police and ambulance sirens almost continuously - I could still hear them when I got home. The only people getting anywhere were cyclists and pedestrians.

The weather is warming up, unfortunately that means all the snow is starting to melt and dribble over the road, leading to spray all over. I'm now wiping chunks of ice and road dirt off my bike in the evening - yuck. I definitely preferred -20C to this.

Distance logged: 13.939km
Time: 48:15
Average speed: 17.4km/hr
Max speed: 59.3km/hr
Temperature: -1C to -4C, sun and cloud

Ride into work for Wednesday 02 Feb

Underdressed slightly today, as the weather ended up getting colder during the ride rather than warmer. Oops. Goggles steamed up towards the end of the ride, I kept wiping them clean, finally about 1 km from work I gave up and just dropped them down around my neck. I think they probably need a good clean and the headband tightening a bit.

Distance logged: 13.960km
Time: 39.02
Average speed: 21.5km/hr
Max speed: 87.3km/hr (false, fastest I went was around 60)
Temperature: -12C to -13C, clear

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Ride home for Tuesday 01 Feb

Seems like the temperature is starting to warm up. I had to hit MEC to return the mirror that flaked out on me, and there were streams of water from melting ice running down Barrington. I was worried that the ride home would suck from all the water, but it seems like it cooled off just enough that (a) the ice stopped melting, and (b) the water drained off before it could freeze and turn to ice.

Distance logged: 13.955km
Time: 47:26
Average speed: 17.7km/hr
Max speed: 49.2km/hr
Temperature: -2C to -5C, clear

Ride in to work for Tuesday 01 Feb

Quite cold today, so I wore most of my gear; 2 pairs wool socks, -30C rated boots, kneewarmers, cycling tights, rain pants, cycling cargo shorts, undervest, vest, windbreaker, neck gaiter, earband, goggles, helmet. Took off the earband about halfway through as I was too warm, then had to take off the goggles and swap them for glasses as the goggles had become terminally fogged and smeared. Took the long way round so I had the chance to go through some snow (what's the point of buying snow tyres if you don't use them?)

Distance logged: 15.221km
Time: 43:14
Average speed: 21.1km/hr
Max speed: 52.6km/hr
Temperature: -18C to -14C, sunny