Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Ride into work for Wednesday, 31 August

Rode in on the mountain bike due to the rainy weather we're getting from Katrina. I hadn't ridden it in a couple of months and I forgot how fast it is taking off... I span out quite a few times at traffic lights until I remembered I had to start in second gear. No rain in the end but the clouds were looking ominous and threatening so I took a short way in.

Distance logged: 13.015km
Time: 33:59
Average speed: 23.0km/hr
Temperature: 19C, overcast, humid
Cumulative distance: 4722.696km

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Ride home for Tuesday, 30 August

A surprisingly fast ride home, as I was racing trying to beat the rain, and just made it in some of the 40% of the afternoon that didn't include showers...

Distance logged: 14.334km
Time: 39:32
Average speed: 21.8km/hr
Max speed: 46.5km/hr
Temperature: 22C, overcast
Cumulative distance: 4709.681km

Ride into work for Tuesday, 30 August

Rode in late this morning as I had an EKG scan this morning (it's now medically confirmed that I have a heart, which should surprise my mother-in-law, and it's also healthy - the technician said it wasn't a formal diagnosis, but she couldn't see anything wrong). Hot and humid ride in, but cloudy - 60% chance rain is forecast for later in the afternoon, and over the next few days; I guess this must be the after-effects of Hurricane Tropical Storm Katrina. At least we're only getting the edge of it, I rode home in a tropical storm last summer and it was a bit excessively wet...

Distance logged: 16.880km
Time: 41:46
Average speed: 24.3km/hr
Max speed: 60.4km/hr
Temperature: 22C, overcast, humid
Cumulative distance: 4726.568km

Ride home for Monday, 29 August

Surprisingly fast ride home considering I was about half a litre of blood down and still tired from yesterday.

Muppet of the day: if you're going to get off your bike to cross at a traffic light, don't jump on your bike and ride straight into the road without looking or you might have another cyclist coming up behind you at speed not expecting you to jump into the road. Just, you know, a thought...

Distance logged: 14.341km
Time: 42:07
Average speed: 20.5km/hr
Max speed: 49.9km/hr
Temperature: 26C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 4709.688km

Monday, August 29, 2005

Ride into work for Monday, 29 August

Bit of an odd one today. Had to go get some blood work done, as I'm getting dizzy spells when standing which is probably due to cycling but nothing to be really concerned about, but there's a chance it might be diabetes, so I went to get it checked out at the doctor, and she sent me off for blood work. As a result, I had to fast for 8 hours, get my blood tested, go eat breakfast, wait 2 hours, then get my blood tested again; all this after riding 160km yesterday, which in retrospect may not have been a stellar idea. I rode in to work on a shorter route and left my bike there, walked over to the hospital, and saw racks upon racks of bike racks right in front of the front door and quietly cursed to myself. I finally got my blood tested after a 50 minute wait, then went for breakfast and walked back to the office. After hanging around at the office, I stripped off my panniers and rode over to the hospital and had my second blood test. I was mildly surprised at how fast my bike was without 10-15 pounds strapped onto it...

Distance logged: 17.374km
Time: 47:40
Average speed: 21.9km/hr
Max speed: 58.1km/hr
Temperature: 17C
Cumulative distance: 4695.347km

Ride for Sunday, 28 August

Rode down to the Aspotogan Peninsula and managed to avoid getting waylaid like last time. Quite a good ride, with some great weather. Some of the highlights:

* Lots of stereotypical Nova Scotia scenery - plenty of small harbours with fishing boats. Part of the scenery was also a whole load of hills.
* A bizarre happenstance when I hit Aspotogan. I could see this huge fog bank hanging over it as I approached, and as I rode up the hill into the fog bank I passed a house with two identical blonde twin girls dressed the same, singing some rather strange song in harmony. Not spooky at all.
* Stopping at Hubbards to take a break and picking up some odds and ends in the store there, and being asked by the cashier if I was ready for my 4 litres of water yet. I said not yet, but when I came back and stopped on my way she said, "ah, now you're ready for your 4 litres, aren't you!"

Did a little ride around the subdivision to knock the kilometres from 158km over 160km just to make it a century ride, too. No photos, unfortunately, as I forgot my camera, but I do have a blogger breaking map:

Distance logged: 161.86km
Time: 6:36:49
Average speed: 24.5km/hr
Max speed: 54.1km/hr
Temperature: 20C-26C
Cumulative distance: 4677.973km

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Ride home for Friday, 26 August

Rode home carrying all my stuff plus a laptop and docking station. Rather surprised at how fast I went, considering how I was feeling riding up hills...

Distance logged: 13.325km
Time: 38:40
Average speed: 20.7km/hr
Max speed: 52.4km/hr
Temperature: 27C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 4516.113km

Friday, August 26, 2005

Ride into work for Friday, 26 August

Came in a bit late after a Dr's appointment so I was able to go a bit faster with less traffic on the road. I have to go for bloodwork on Monday, which should be interesting; I have to fast for 8 hours beforehand, so I'm going to be riding in without any food, then walking over to the hospital, getting a blood test, walking back to the office, eating breakfast, walking back to the hospital, and then getting another blood test done 2 hours after the first one. I can't help thinking that some of my levels are going to be aaaaaall weird as a result, but I'm not a doctor (and I don't play one on the internet, either).

Distance logged: 17.245km
Time: 40:35
Average speed: 25.5km/hr
Max speed: 61.5km/hr
Temperature: 15C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 4502.788km

Ride home for Thursday, 25 August

Took my tyre into MEC and got a refund on it and used it to buy a long sleeve Freeride jersey (on clearance, $19), a pair of fleece liner gloves (on clearance, $4) and yellow lenses for my glasses ($6). I got the yellow lenses after seeing how well Knox's yellow lenses worked. I used them to ride home with since it was overcast and rainy, and while they weren't quite as good as Knox's, I'm still pretty happy with how they worked.

Distance logged: 13.086km
Time: 39:01
Average speed: 20.1km/hr
Max speed: 50.0km/hr
Temperature: 16C, rainy
Cumulative distance: 4485.543km

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ride into work for Thursday, 25 August

Still no joy with the pinging. I can only guess that it must be somewhere in the fork crown, and unfortunately I don't have enough tools to be able to disassemble the nuts to try to grease it up. I should be picking up the new wheel in the next few days, though, so hopefully I should be able to get one of the guys at IdealBikes to take it apart for me to have a look at what's up.

Distance logged: 17.426km
Time: 42:48
Average speed: 24.5km/hr
Max speed: 57.7km/hr
Temperature: 14C, overcast
Cumulative distance: 4472.457km

Ride home for Wednesday, 24 August

Picked up some panniers from MEC, they turned out to be quite a bit less than I was expecting; $69 for a set of Z31 panniers, which hold 31 litres - significantly more than the Canadian Tire ones, and I think just the right size to safely hold my laptop!

I also picked up a new tyre to replace the Top Touring 2000 tire that I picked up in July The tire had started to split along the sidewall, just along the rim; research on the net shows I'm not the only one. I bought a Continental Country Ride tire to replace it, since all the other tires at MEC are smaller and designed for speedy road bikes rather than the longer distance, loaded riding that I do. If this one doesn't work out, I'll have to trek round all the bike shops in Halifax to see what's available - I want to get something in the 35-40C range, rather than a skinny 28C or something.

An oddity at MEC, they must have wireless security cameras or something that sent my bike computer haywire, so I had to reset it - the figures are a little off as a result.

Once I got home, I swapped out the tyres and greased (possibly even over-greased) the stem. I also noticed I'd broken a spoke on the rear wheel - I've had a vague feeling that something was a bit off for the past week or so but figured it was just due to whatever was pinging. Interesting that with the new cyclocross rim it's just faintly off, but with the old rim it felt like the wheel was about to disassemble under me!

Distance logged: 11.234km
Time: 33:07
Average speed: 20.4km/hr
Max speed: 48.3km/hr
Temperature: 20C, overcast, rainy
Cumulative distance: 4455.031km

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ride into work for Wednesday, 24 August

Greased up my stem last night, it seems to have had an effect on the pinging noise but it's not completely eliminated. I'm starting to wonder if it's the bolt itself, I'll disassemble the stem again tonight and grease everywhere I can find.

Found my cheap $20 Canadia Tire Panniers had split, too, so I guess I'll be looking at a new set. I think this time I'll splurge out on a decent pair from MEC, since the Canadian Tire ones only lasted me 3 or 4 months.

Uneventful ride in, though a little chilly this morning. Autumn is starting to bite a little earlier this year, it seems - the trees are starting to shed their leaves already.

Distance logged: 17.417km
Time: 44:34
Average speed: 23.5km/hr
Max speed: 57.7km/hr
Temperature: 15C, foggy turning to overcast
Cumulative distance: 4443.797km

Ride home for Tuesday, 23 August

Forgot to turn on my bike computer until a km or so into the ride, oops.

Hot and humid day, possibly one of the warmest days so far...

Distance logged: 12.726km
Time: 36:43
Average speed: 20.8km/hr
Max speed: 51.1km/hr
Temperature: 28C, humid
Cumulative distance: 4426.380km

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ride into work for Tuesday, 23 August

I think I adjusted the seat and handlebars pretty much perfectly how I'd like them. Now, however, I have a pinging sound coming from (I think) the headset or stem, which I suspect means I need to take the stem out, clean it up, grease it up, and try to put it back in exactly where it was. There Is No Winning Just Not Losing So Bad.

Speaking of losing, I had two muppets in quick succession this morning as I was headed along Brunswick Street in the bike lane. First was a coach that was parked in the layby in front of the Metro Centre; nothing wrong with that, apart from the driver deciding to stand slap bang in the middle of the bike lane to polish his mirror as I was coming up to him doing 45km/hr with a Coke truck on my left. I leaned on my horn and he turned round and stared at me and didn't bother moving. Fortunately the Coke truck driver showed better sense and swerved over to the left to give me room to swing around this idiot. Continuing down Brunswick across the lights (with the Coke truck still beside me) there was a mini van parked just off the bike lane in front of one of the apartment buildings. Nothing wrong with that, apart from a couple of people stood in the bike lane looking inside the van. Again I leaned on my horn, and again the muppets did nothing, and again the Coke truck driver swerved out to give me space.

Muppets. Good on the Coke truck driver, though, for anticipating what was going to happen.

Distance logged: 17.262km
Time: 42:50
Average speed: 24.2km/hr
Max speed: 59.6km/hr
Temperature: 19C, foggy clearing to sunny
Cumulative distance: 4413.654km

Monday, August 22, 2005

Ride home for Monday, 22 August

Bit of a slow ride home as I decided to experiment with my saddle - it's still not quite right, I played about a bit with the handlebar height and position when I got home as well. I'll see in the morning if I managed to nail it or not...

Distance logged: 13.325km
Time: 39:52
Average speed: 20.1km/hr
Max speed: 49.1km/hr
Temperature: 24C, humid
Cumulative distance: 4396.392km

Ride into work for Monday, 22 August

First day back at work after my 3 week vacation and the ride seemed a bit harder than usual. I'm sure this had nothing to do with the laptop, PSU, phone chargers, etc that I brought in, though...

Distance logged: 17.500km
Time: 46:02
Average speed: 22.8km/hr
Max speed: 60.9km/hr
Temperature: 18C, foggy
Cumulative distance: 4383.067km

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Ride for Thursday, 18 August

Went to a Dr's appointment, then went into town to hit IdealBikes to see if my wheel had come in. No joy yet as the hub hasn't arrived yet. Should be a nice beefy cyclocross wheel when it's done. One of the downsides of being a clydesdale is having to lash out extra money on stronger, more hard-wearing equipment, which is usually special order...

Distance logged: 47.457km
Time: 1:59:58
Average speed: 23.8km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr
Temperature: 11C-16C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 4365.567km

Monday, August 15, 2005

Ride for Sunday, 14 August

Ride back from Truro to Musquodoboit Harbour to Halifax. My strategy was to stop at every rest stop and eat a couple of oranges, a granola bar, and drink some Gatorade. This meant that I was stopping long enough that all the slower riders caught up with me, so I kept overtaking the same riders. One rider in particular had no oil on her chain (probably due to the torrential rain on Saturday) and was having real difficulty changing gear, so I oiled her chain for her - my good deed for the day.

Since it was dryer today I was able to take some pictures, viewable at

Distance logged: 145.24km
Time: 6:03:10
Average speed: 24.0km/hr
Max speed: 58.2km/hr
Temperature: 20C-26C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 4318.110km

Ride for Saturday, 13 August

Day one of the MS150 ride. Started out early and rode over to Musquodoboit Harbour. It was a bit further than I thought, so I ended up being about half an hour late. No big problem, as things were slow starting anyway. I signed in and got my t-shirt and bike jersey, packed stuff from my panniers into my backpack and got that sent off to Truro. I set off and immediately hit the rain. I put on my knee warmers and stuck it out, as I figured putting rain pants on would just make me sweat more anyway. I was on my own for the first 10km or so until I started coming to more riders; as a friend of mine would say, Team Numpty was out in full force. Some things I remember:

* Two cyclists riding side by side being overtaken by another two cyclists side by side, with a car coming the other way.
* Coming up to a set of railway tracks, a volunteer leapt out in front of me waving his arms and shouted "look out for the railway tracks!"; I had to swerve around him and hit the tracks at an angle, thus making them more dangerous.
* Riders swerving from side to side on the road, not to avoid anything but just to have fun. Naturally, they didn't look behind or pay any real attention to what they were doing.

The ride itself took around 3 hours or so. Since I left late, the faster riders were all way ahead, and I was stuck running past all the slower riders on toy bikes.

Blogger breaking map:

Distance logged: 153.57km
Time: 5:56:04
Average speed: 25.9km/hr
Max speed: 67.0km/hr
Temperature: 15C-17C, rainy
Cumulative distance: 4172.870km

Friday, August 12, 2005

Ride for Thursday, 11 August

Rode into town to get my front derailleur checked - it turns out my big ring is slightly out of true; Roger bashed it back into place but warned me it was a sign that the ring is starting to wear out, and recommended I look at a Deore crank set and replacement rings. I decided to wait until I've completely worn out the chain and cogs - hopefully it'll last out till next year.

Also went to MEC and picked up a couple of inner tubes to make sure I'll be good to go for the MS150 ride.

Distance logged: 25.982km
Time: 1:20:29
Average speed: 19.4km/hr
Max speed: 56.8km/hr
Temperature: 19-21C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 4019.300km

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Ride for Wednesday, 10 August

I was planning on going for a ride down to Tantallon and back, but I got a flat. Not only that, but my spare tyre had a bad valve. Not only that, but the first patch didn't take. Not only that, but the second patch didn't take. Fortunately, the third patch took, or I'd probably have ended up using a tyre boot or something to fix it...

Not much riding lately as I've been busy doing some building work in the garden. So much for my vacation...

Distance logged: 34.183km
Time: 1:27:37
Average speed: 23.4km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr
Temperature: 29C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 3993.318km

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ride for Saturday, 07 August

Did a ride to Peggy's Cove and back with my dad. My dad took the mountain bike, and I really don't think he was comfortable on it - even with me carry all the water, food and tools he was still rather slow. Maybe he'll be tempted to pick up another bike from IdealBikes? It probably didn't help that he somehow had the idea that the trip to Peggy's Cove was 50km total; I think he had it confused with the trip to Tantallon or something.

The route we took was the same as I usually take, with the same route map.

Distance logged: 100.05km
Time: 4:00:06
Average speed: 25.0km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr
Temperature: 19C-25C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 3959.135km

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ride for Friday, 05 August

Took a ride into Tantallon and back again. The dust on the BLT trail gets everywhere on my bike.

Distance logged: 52.115km
Time: 2:06:34
Average speed: 24.7km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr
Temperature: 18C-22C
Cumulative distance: 3949.130km

Monday, August 01, 2005

Ride for Monday, 01 August

Did a ride out to Upper Tantallon and back on the BLT trails. There were a lot of bikers out this morning - some really sullen (as per usual) roadies, and some friendly novice bikers.

Rode with my new Brooks saddle today - a B67. I was quite impressed, it only took around 7km before it started breaking in.

Distance logged: 50.596km
Time: 2:09:07
Average speed: 23.5km/hr
Max speed: 85.3km/hr
Temperature: 17C-22C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 3897.015km

Ride for Saturday, 30 July

Rode down into town, had a few drinks, went to a friend's place for him to get changed to go for a ride, and fell asleep on his couch - that's the price you pay for burning the candle at both ends! I ended up riding home at 6:30 in the morning... oops!

Distance logged: 24.038km
Time: 1:14:15
Average speed: 19.4km/hr
Max speed: 63.0km/hr
Temperature: 23C, 12C
Cumulative distance: 3846.419km