Friday, September 30, 2005

Ride into work for Friday, 30 September

Had a Dr's appt this morning in Bedford, rode to that then rode in to work. It's definitely getting colder, with the wind I was wishing I had my headband for ear protection in places. It warmed up after a while, ended up being a nice ride. Dropped my bike off to have the wheels trued, I should be getting it back this afternoon.

Talked to a friend out in Calgary who sells all sorts of vinyl sticker type stuff on his site. He mentioned he can get reflective tape, so I'm going to be getting a 30 foot reel of Avery black reflective tape for significantly less that what I would pay for an equivalent length at Princess Auto... He's also interested in printing up "one less car" stickers on reflective tape, he mentioned he was going to stuff in some prototypes with the reel of tape so it'll be interesting to see what I end up with!

Distance logged: 43.007km
Time: 1:50:34
Average speed: 23.4km/hr
Max speed: 57.3km/hr
Temperature: 8C-10C, sunny, breezy
Cumulative distance: 5398.019km

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ride home for Thursday, 29 September

Stopped off at the bike shop to order another space grip for my mountain bike. I figure that I can have one on each bike and swap lights between them pretty easily until the roads start getting salted, then I can have both space grips on the mountain bike and go for a full on mod scooter effect.

I got talking to another customer in there who had a walmart bike of some description and was having problems with it (unsurprisingly). He asked me about my bike, taking interest in the lights and the horn, and asked if I rode in winter or not. He was quite interested when I said yes, and asked me all sorts of questions about tyre types (studded or not? probably not downtown, where the roads are salted so heavily, and he's only riding a relatively short distance) and clothing requirements (just an extra layer). I think he's going to ride his walmart bike into the ground over the winter then pick up a new one when it dies - he figured it's still cheaper than catching the bus twice a day, and obviously way cheaper than driving. He was quite shocked when I sketched out the cost difference for me between riding a bike or driving - around $2000 for a year's biking (which includes two bikes and all the necessary equipment) versus around $9500 for a car (with a large chunk of that disappearing in insurance and fuel).

I think I may have volunteered myself into updating the bikes on the IdealBikes website - I suppose it's the least I can do for all they do for me, and the guys down there don't have the equipment to really do it themselves (ie, a digital camera).

Distance logged: 13.811km
Time: 41:26
Average speed: 20.0km/hr
Max speed: 45.8km/hr
Temperature: 18C, overcast
Cumulative distance: 5355.012km

Ride into work for Thursday, 29 September

A lot of cyclists on the road this morning, three that stood out; one was a guy riding a bike with a rear wheel so out of true I was surprised it didn't collapse under him - it looked like the bike had been rusting away in a garage somewhere for a few years and had been pulled out to save money on commuting. The other two were two females who rode next to each other, taking up the entire lane, oblivious to cars behind them.

Distance logged: 16.621km
Time: 42:58
Average speed: 23.3km/hr
Max speed: 55.2km/hr
Temperature: 8C-10C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 5341.201km

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ride home for Wednesday, 28 September

It was one of those days where for no apparent reason, if you were in a car, you weren't moving much. I didn't feel like showing solidarity so I broke my usual rule of not riding in the gutter and rode past most of the stationary queues. It's amazing how car drivers fixate on a set of roads though, once I was on the back roads there was hardly any traffic around.

Today was also new toy day, I picked up a Super Microft jacket from MEC, and my Minoura Extra Long Space Grip came in. The space grip was a bit fiddly to get the hang of, and I think I need to put in a rubber shim on the handlebar attachment as it may still be a bit loose, but it looks like it'll be really handy; it's easy to detach the bar from the pillar, so I'm going to get another one for my mountain bike so I can switch lights around pretty easily - the only hassle is going to be unwrapping all the velcro that's keeping the wire tidied away...

Distance logged: 13.837km
Time: 40:54
Average speed: 20.3km/hr
Max speed: 47.7km/hr
Temperature: 18C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 5324.580km

Ride into work for Wednesday, 28 September

Starting to get chilly in the morning, it was cold enough today that I had steam evaporating off me when I stopped at traffic lights and stop signs...

Distance logged: 16.802km
Time: 43:16
Average speed: 23.3km/hr
Max speed: 54.7km/hr
Temperature: 8C-9C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 5310.743km

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ride home for Tuesday, 27 September

Still windy out when I rode home today, but fortunately it stopped raining long enough for me to get home. Summer's definitely over, it's back to wearing cycling pants for the ride in and the ride home...

Distance logged: 12.837km
Time: 39:47
Average speed: 19.4km/hr
Max speed: 46.2km/hr
Temperature: 12C, windy
Cumulative distance: 5293.941km

Ride into work for Tuesday, 27 September

Took a short ride in today as I'm still feeling the effects of the drugs from last week, and also we had the remnants of hurricane tropical storm post-tropical storm heavy showers Rita passing over with winds of 40-60km/hr. I also discovered that my new panniers are not at all waterproof, and barely water resistant, so I think I'll look into some waterproofing for them.

Distance logged: 12.822km
Time: 36:16
Average speed: 21.3km/hr
Max speed: 62.1km/hr
Temperature: 18C, rainy, windy
Cumulative distance: 5281.104km

How to lose a week out of your life

I came down with a cold Friday evening which got worse and worse (so bad that by Monday, I was throwing up from coughing so hard). My wife went and got me some cough medicine, which seemed to do the trick, but I was getting dizzy spells which got worse and worse, then I started feeling constantly nauseous, tired and getting really bad headaches. I got in to see the doctor on Friday (earliest I could get in) and she examined me and said "your pupils aren't responding, I don't want to worry you but I think you may have a brain tumour". Naturally, I was not worried at all by this news of doom and gloom (last time I went to her with indigestion she thought it was possibly stomach cancer), but I went down to the emergency dept at the hospital to get a CAT scan. After waiting in emergency for around 8 hours I got in to see the neurologist who checked me out and said that I was having a major reaction to the cough medicine, specifically the dextromethorphan. I stopped taking it and slowly started feeling better over the weekend, but even today 3 days after stopping I still have a headache and feel tired...

The neurologist also commented that generally speaking cough and cold medicines should be avoided, and the best bet is to treat the symptoms with honey and lemon. He reckoned taking the medicine would make the cold go away in a week, otherwise it would take 7 days. I got the feeling that was one of his favourite jokes.

Ride home for Friday, 16 September

Distance logged: 13.332km
Time: 38:28
Average speed: 20.8km/hr
Temperature: 23C
Cumulative distance: 5268.282km

Friday, September 16, 2005

Ride into work for Friday, 16 September

Still very humid out, hopefully Ophelia will hit over the weekend and settle everything back to normal. Rode the mountain bike in, it was surprisingly fast, although I think that may be partially because it's so much lighter than my road bike, since I don't have the battery or anything attached to it...

Distance logged: 13.942km
Time: 35:19
Average speed: 23.7km/hr
Temperature: 18C, humid
Cumulative distance: 5254.950km

Ride home for Thursday, 15 September

Hot and humid ride home, the incoming Ophelia is making it very oppressive.

Fixed up my mountain bike as it looks like the storm is going to hit soon. Unfortunately with the riser handlebar I put on since last winter I don't have enough room for the handlebar bag, plus the lights, plus the bell, plus the horn. Either something needs to go, or... I'll get a Minoura Space Grip to solve my problems!

Distance logged: 14.005km
Time: 41:16
Average speed: 20.4km/hr
Max speed: 45.8km/hr
Temperature: 25C, humid
Cumulative distance: 5241.008km

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Ride into work for Thursday, 15 September

Humid ride in, I guess the front edge of Hurricane Ophelia is pushing the weather ahead of it - we're due for up to 100mm of rain on Saturday. Something tells me I'm not going to be out riding this weekend...

Cleaned up my bike last night. I started by dropping out the rear wheel and fixing the fender with the nuts and bolt I got from IdealBikes, and then I noticed how much dirt and gunk was stuck between the gears on my rear wheel - I was picking out clods of the stuff. I used a strip of rag soaked in chain cleaner to clean it off, then a dry strip to get the rest of it out. I also cleaned the chain after putting the wheel back on. So much for dry lube keeping the chain clean and dirt just "dropping off"...

Distance logged: 16.752km
Time: 44:04
Average speed: 22.8km/hr
Max speed: 59.6km/hr
Temperature: 16C, overcast, humid
Cumulative distance: 5227.003km

Ride home for Wednesday, 14 September

Another day with a lot of cyclists on the road, traffic was also backed up all over the place. I took a childish pleasure in slowly weaving past stopped traffic while blatantly putting no effort into pedalling.

Distance logged: 12.787km
Time: 39:30
Average speed: 19.4km/hr
Max speed: 46.6km/hr
Temperature: 23C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 5210.251km

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Ride into work for Wednesday, 14 September

I'm going to have to look into an alternative route, it looks like the street I take after the pedestrian crossing is getting dug up for repairs. Time to sit and pore over the map book.

Muppet of the day was a police van that decided to park in the bike lane. I really ought to take a camera with me to take pictures of some of the stupidity I see...

Distance logged: 16.752km
Time: 43:51
Average speed: 22.9km/hr
Max speed: 58.6km/hr
Temperature: 13C, overcast
Cumulative distance: 5197.464km

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ride home for Tuesday, 13 September

For some reason there was a lot of cyclists around this afternoon - I stopped counting after 40. It was quite a novelty to see a queue of cyclists at a stop sign. They weren't all young students, either - there were a lot of middle-aged women around on city bikes.

Distance logged: 12.805km
Time: 38:25
Average speed: 20.0km/hr
Max speed: 48.5km/hr
Temperature: 19C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 5180.712km

Ride into work for Tuesday, 13 September

Took it fairly easy this morning as I seem to have ripped a muscle in my thigh after some cramps I had Sunday night.

Muppet of the day was a blue SUV who seemed to think that he had priority crossing the bike lane to turn right. Oh, for a portable EMP device!

Distance logged: 16.778km
Time: 43:21
Average speed: 23.2km/hr
Max speed: 56.1km/hr
Temperature: 10C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 5167.907km

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ride home for Monday, 12 September

Caught a tailwind coming out of the car park at work heading uphill, which I thought was a pretty good sign. Then I had headwinds for pretty much the whole of the rest of the way. Also had quite a few student muppet cyclists cycling randomly (across crosswalks, on the sidewalk, on the wrong side of the road, etc) which meant extra vigilance was required...

Distance logged: 12.783km
Time: 40:50
Average speed: 18.8km/hr
Max speed: 49.7km/hr
Temperature: 20C, breezy
Cumulative distance: 5151.129km

Ride for Sunday, 11 September

Went for a ride to Aspotogan again, but decided to do it the easy (counterclockwise) direction this time. Sunny day, but very windy in the morning - a headwind, of course. I saw a few roadies out who were quite definitely underdressed and not happy about it. I was in a long sleeve jersey with a sleeveless wicking top over it, and cycling shorts with a pair of cycling pants on top, which I wore until around 1pm. No GPS map as the batteries gave out, unfortunately.

I also had a mechanical problem; I heard a strange scraping noise coming from the bottom bracket, and I was concerned it was the bottombracket acting up again. I eventually found out it was the cable end rubbing against the fender. I cleaned off the fender and put a tyre boot on, and noticed the tyre was loose. Closer investigation showed the nut had come off the bolt holding the bottom of the fender to the frame, and the bolt was bouncing against the tyre. Obviously I had to fix this before it wrecked the tyre. so I dropped the wheel out, took out the bolt (which was pretty seriously corroded) and bodged a fix with a cable tie to get me home.

I rode on the road pretty much the whole way, as I think the trails were to blame for my rear wheel coming loose. Interestingly enough, it looks like the trail adds an extra 10km or so to the ride; I wouldn't mind if the trail were smooth, but it's the section that's covered with drifts of rocks and pebbles, so I think I may well give it a miss in the future...

The headwind in the morning switched around to become a headwind in the afternoon. I started suspecting there was something magnetic in the bike attracting the vegetation to bend towards me after a while...

I took some pictures as I went around, including some stereotypical "picture of boat in harbour" Nova Scotia type pictures.

Distance logged: 147.21km
Time: 6:06:21
Average speed: 24.1km/hr
Max speed: 56.9km/hr
Temperature: 12C-19C, sunny, windy in the morning, breezy in the afternoon
Cumulative distance: 5138.346km

Ride into work for Monday, 12 September

Took an easy ride in this morning since (a) I rode round the Aspotogan Peninsula yesterday (didn't get a chance to write it up yet, I'll do that tonight) and (b) it was windy as anything.

Distance logged: 12.677km
Time: 33:10
Average speed: 22.9km/hr
Max speed: 62.5km/hr
Temperature: 14C, windy
Cumulative distance: 4991.136km

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Ride home for Friday, 09 September

Dropped my bike off at the bike shop to get the rear wheel trued. Went down to MEC and got a new bike computer and rear light. Naturally, on the way home the bike computer functioned perfectly. Regardless, I've changed it, so hopefully I shouldn't have any more problems with dropouts (until the battery in the computer dies, at least!) It'll be interesting to see how it copes in the winter, too - last year the wireless computer had problems around the freezing point, but oddly it was fine as soon as it got a few degrees below.

Picked up my bike from the bike shop, apparently every single spoke was loose. I'm definitely considering getting a spoke tension meter; they're a touch pricey, $80 from MEC, but that's 8 sessions of truing at the bike shop, which isn't all that many...

Distance logged: 12.862km
Time: 38:59
Average speed: 19.9km/hr
Max speed: 54.7km/hr
Temperature: 18C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 4978.459km

Friday, September 09, 2005

Ride into work for Friday, 09 September

Laughable totals on the bike computer, I think it was only picking up every 4th or 5th revolution of the wheel. I'm going to pick up a new wired bike computer today, it makes more sense to spend $13.50 on a new computer than $9 on a new battery twice a year...

Distance logged: 2.503km
Time: 22:27
Average speed: 6.7km/hr
Max speed: 39.6km/hr
Temperature: 15C, overcast
Cumulative distance: 4965.597km

Ride home for Thursday, 08 September

Picked up my new wheel this evening, the difference is really amazing - the ride is a lot smoother, I don't know if it's the rim absorbing more vibration, or if it's the hub being significantly smoother. Also fitted the new lights, they're pretty impressive, but I need to fiddle with cabling runs to get the cables out of the way.

Broke another spoke on the rear, I'm starting to think about getting a spoke tensiometer; there were quite a few spokes that felt a bit loose.

Muppet of the day was a taxi driver who tried to pull over into me to pick up a fare. I leaned on the horn and he stopped, then he turned round, shaded his eyes from the glare of my lights, and said, "sorry, I didn't see you there". I asked the fare if he really wanted to take a ride in a taxi with a driver who had such visual acuity problems - he looked a bit shaken. I didn't stay to see how it panned out but I wouldn't be surprised if the fare called for another cab...

Computer is way out, I think the battery in the remote is toast.

Distance logged: 9.158km
Time: 42:36
Average speed: 12.9km/hr
Max speed: 46.1km/hr
Temperature: 25C-18C, sunny, clear
Cumulative distance: 4963.094km

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Ride into work for Thursday, 08 September

Rode down to the chiropractor's in Bedford this morning for my regular session, then rode into work. I hit the muppet of the day on the way in, as I was riding downhill at he decided to turn from the other side of the road in front of me. His defense was, "I was turning, didn't you see me?" but he had no response to my question of "yes, but I was coming down the road already, didn't you look for oncoming traffic before you turned?" Odd, that.

Picked up a deal at MEC, too; the Nite-Hawk Viper Dual was marked down from $119 to $59. For any of my other readers in the Nova Scotia area, there's also some other Nite-Hawk models marked down 50% too; from memory they're starting at $39. Oddly enough they're not listed on MEC's web site. I also stopped in at Ideal Bikes and my wheel is ready, so my plan for tonight is to get the lights mounted (the battery is currently charging), the wheel changed, and then go do some test riding in Point Pleasant Park...

Distance logged: 34.597km
Time: 1:18:11
Average speed: 26.6km/hr
Max speed: 73.0km/hr
Temperature: 13C-20C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 4953.936km

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ride home for Wednesday, 07 September

Nice sunny ride out with lots of cyclists around. A lot of them did not appear to be students, but regular workers on their way home, so I guess the gas prices are starting to hit harder and harder; it'll be interesting to see how many of them stick with it through the winter.

There was also a massive gridlock on the way home due to roadworks. Naturally, all the cyclists just pedalled around it, whilst the car drivers were stuck in traffic.

Distance logged: 14.292km
Time: 43:19
Average speed: 19.9km/hr
Max speed: 55.2km/hr
Temperature: 27C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 4919.339km

Ride into work for Wednesday, 07 September

Short ride in as I needed to be ready for 8:30 to head off to a presentation (which I'm now leaving for!)

Distance logged: 13.178km
Time: 32:55
Average speed: 24.1km/hr
Max speed: 61.8km/hr
Temperature: 11C-14C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 4905.047km

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Ride home for Tuesday, 06 September

Looks like the battery in my bike computer is fading again, it kept dying on the way home. Odd, I put a new battery in the remote only a couple of months ago. Perhaps it's time to break down and get a wired version ($13.50) instead of buying a new battery ($9) two or three times a year.

Had lunch with a client who works at a car dealership, he was relating how SUVs are getting traded in by the bucketload - the second-hand lot is full of them. I also stopped in at Ideal Bikes to see if my wheel was ready, and they were really busy - the store was half empty, and there was a queue to get to the counter, which I'd never seen before. I talked to Jenna briefly and she said they're running full tilt and bikes are flying out the store, especially commuters. Go figure! My wheel wasn't quite ready as the wheel needed to be tensioned against a tensiometer - I guess they're trying to build up a really bulletproof wheel for me there. It looks pretty nice though, an all black rim with triple butted spokes. I'll pick it up either tomorrow or Thursday, depending on how things go at work.

Distance logged: 9.927km
Time: 31:35
Average speed: 18.9km/hr
Max speed: 46.8km/hr
Temperature: 24C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 4891.869km

Ride into work for Tuesday, 06 September

Cold ride in this morning, cold enough I could see my breath when I started. I had on my cycling pants and armwarmers, it was still pretty cold, I think I'll add my windbreaker tomorrow if it's as cold. Autumn is definitely arriving...

Distance logged: 17.690km
Time: 44:11
Average speed: 24.0km/hr
Max speed: 99.9km/hr
Temperature: 10C-13C
Cumulative distance: 4881.942km

Monday, September 05, 2005

Ride for Monday, 05 September

Looks like I forgot to log the entries for last Friday, oops...

Today is a public holiday in Canada (labour day) so I went for a ride to see the Salt Marsh trail in Cole Harbour. I rode to Dartmouth, on to Shearwater, through Eastern Passge and Cow Bay on to Cole Harbour. None of the maps I can find online show the trail, but the Google Hybrid map shows it pretty clearly. I rode the length of the trail all the way through to Lawrencetown Beach, the trail varied from packed gravel to rough rocky trail. Part of the trail at the Lawrencetown Beach end was unfinished, but it was still pretty rideable.

I also stopped off at IdealBikes on the way back and Dave was working on my wheel as I walked in! He said if I could wait 45 minutes it'd be ready, but that was cutting it close to be home in time for supper. I'll go in at some point this week and swap out the wheel.

I took the camera with me, so there are some pictures of the ride. Blogger breaking map:

Distance logged: 91.193km
Time: 4:05:29
Average speed: 22.3km/hr
Max speed: 59.9km/hr
Temperature: 20C-22C, sunny, breezy
Cumulative distance: 4864.252km

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Ride home for Thursday, 01 September

Took the bike into the LBS after work as the bottom bracket is slipping again. Roger took it apart and had a dig round assisted by another guy, and found a tiny piece of crud (either from the original brazing or a chip of clear coat, he couldn't tell) that he reckoned was the cause. He also tightened everything up on the headset to see if that would eliminate the pinging noise. I took it on a ride out to Dartmouth and back and then through downtown Halifax, and it seemed pretty good so I headed back home. Riding up the hill into Fairview the pinging started again, so I'm wondering if something's stripped somewhere...

Distance logged: 23.065km
Time: 1:08:23
Average speed: 20.3km/hr
Max speed: 50.8km/hr
Temperature: 21C, overcast, intermittent drizzle
Cumulative distance: 4773.059km

Ride into work for Thursday, 01 September

Took a short ride in as I was running late, and it was really windy out due to the last gasps of Katrina. Despite all the windiness and fogginess, it was really humid, which seemed to send the car drivers into some sort of frenzy - I had people swerving around me, saw a couple of close calls, people trying to overtake me coming up to a 4 way stop when I was signalling for a left turn, etc. Hopefully the weather will break today...

Distance logged: 13.057km
Time: 34:23
Average speed: 22.8km/hr
Max speed: 60.9km/hr
Temperature: 22C, windy, misty, overcast, humid
Cumulative distance: 4749.994km

Ride home for Wednesday, 31 August

Got caught in intermittent rainshowers on the way home. Unlike most of the pedestrians I saw, I didn't treat it like it was hydrochloric acid falling from the sky...

Distance logged: 14.241km
Time: 39:56
Average speed: 21.4km/hr
Temperature: 22C, cloudy, intermittent showers
Cumulative distance: 4736.937km