Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ride home for Tuesday, 31 January

Managed to get out of the office by 10:30, not as early as I'd hoped for. I decided to go for a ride around Point Pleasant Park, which was quite enjoyable; it was late enough that most of the morning people were gone, and early enough that there wasn't a lunchtime crowd, I only saw 20 or 30 people on the whole way round.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, so I decided to ride around Belcher's Marsh, the trail behind my house. That was a bit more fun, as there was still thick snow around, I ended up doing most of the loop in my granny gear trying not to spin out too hard...

Distance logged: 22.520km
Time: 75:20
Average speed: 17.9km/hr
Max speed: 45.1 km/hr
Temperature: -6C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 520.404km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.43
Monthly distance: 520.404km
Monthly cost per km: $0.43

Ride into work for Tuesday, 31 January

Early start (3am) today as I was doing an outage. Great ride in, there was hardly any traffic on the roads, it was as if I were in a car commercial or something. My bike computer started working, too, which is impressive seeing as one of the cables is cut. I can only assume that it's somehow running through the frame and conducting through that. Digging through my spares drawer last night I found a bike computer harness, so while I'm waiting for Windows to grind its way through updating I'm going to install it and get that going.

Distance logged: 12.677km
Time: 40:43
Average speed: 18.7km/hr
Max speed: 41.4 km/hr
Temperature: -10C, clear
Cumulative distance: 497.884km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.45
Monthly distance: 497.884km
Monthly cost per km: $0.45

Monday, January 30, 2006

Ride home for Monday, 30 January

I found out that my handlebar bag breaking also took out one of the wires on my bike computer. It's not really fixable without a soldering iron with a 90 degree tip on it, so I'm going to have to get another one - I'm hoping I can just get a harness. I used the distance from one of my regular rides home, and calculated the time taken by looking at the time when I left and when I arrived. Low tech, but it works.

I went into MEC and took a look at the options. The handlebar bags they had didn't look like they'd fit my riser bars - they looked more like they were designed for touring bikes and just wouldn't fit around all the junk on my handlebars. I picked up a smaller bag that would fit, and a seat bag (neither of which are on MEC's web site, for some reason). After I repacked everything from my handlebar bag into the two new bags, I was let over with my pump (wouldn't fit) and spare lenses (nowhere decent to put them). I think I'll go in tomorrow and look at either a rackpack or a frame bag, depending on which one works best...

Distance logged: 14.166km
Time: 55:00
Average speed: 15.5km/hr
Temperature: -4C, overcast
Cumulative distance: 485.207km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.46
Monthly distance: 485.207km
Monthly cost per km: $0.46

Ride into work for Monday, 30 January

Fun ride in this morning, there was about 4cm or so of snow on the ground and the snow ploughs and salt trucks didn't make an appearance. The fire trail was solid ice under the snow and glassy smooth, going up the hill I suddenly hit a point steep enough that even the studded tyres weren't biting enough to ride and I slid backwards. I turned back at that point and got on the main road, I hope that bit was cleared quickly as a lot of schoolkids walk along there to get to school.

The roads were a bit of a mess, it was fine riding where there was either bare road or virgin snow, but anywhere where snow had accumulated and been driven on the snow had turned into hard packed ruts, which made steering a bit of a challenge. I took it easy and managed to get into work without incident. However, on arriving, I found that one of the straps on my handlebar bag had snapped, incidentally taking out one of my bike lights with it. Most odd, I don't recall hearing it snap, or going over a bump that was particularly sharp...

Distance logged: 13.490km
Time: 50:10
Average speed: 16.1km/hr
Max speed: 49.1 km/hr
Temperature: -6C, light snow
Cumulative distance: 471.041km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.43
Monthly distance: 471.041km
Monthly cost per km: $0.43

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ride home for Friday, 27 January

Left early today as I had yet another lurgy passed on to me. Took a slightly different route home to see if I could work my way around some of the more polluted roads; I didn't succeed as I ended up waiting about 5 minutes to cross a busy road with no cross lights...

Distance logged: 14.185km
Time: 47:41
Average speed: 17.9km/hr
Max speed: 42.9 km/hr
Temperature: -8C, clear, breezy
Cumulative distance: 457.551km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.44
Monthly distance: 457.551km
Monthly cost per km: $0.44

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ride into work for Friday, 27 January

Great ride in with just the right temperature, although I was a bit spacy from lack of sleep - I took the route I normally take in summer without realising before I was halfway along. This weather isn't supposed to last for long, though, it's supposed to go up above freezing tomorrow.

On another note, there was discussion in the office this morning about replacing parking passes with bus passes, for those who don't use their parking pass. I asked about bike riders, mentioning how my current cost per km is around 50c/km, and it looks like I may be getting a monthly allowance to cover my costs for riding in (since I'm saving the company money by nor needing a parking pass).

Distance logged: 16.720km
Time: 49:05
Average speed: 20.1km/hr
Max speed: 52.4 km/hr
Temperature: -11C, sun and cloud, light snow flurries, breezy
Cumulative distance: 443.366km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.46
Monthly distance: 443.366km
Monthly cost per km: $0.46

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ride home for Thursday, 26 January

Bit of a nasty ride home, it started out with hail, which faded away after a while to intermittent snow flurries, and I had a fair bit of wind to contend with - Environment Canada reckoned it was 39km/hr winds with 54km/hr gusts, but it felt like more than that. The fire trail is starting to ice over from all the people walking on it, unless we get a fair bit of snow to cover it up it looks like it might be off limits for a while, since it's so rutted.

On the upside, the forecast for tomorrow is -10C, which is just about right. The forecast for the weekend is sun and cloud with a high of 3C, so with any luck I might be able to get out for a longer ride.

Distance logged: 13.051km
Time: 45:13
Average speed: 17.3km/hr
Max speed: 39.1 km/hr
Temperature: -4C, windy, intermittent hail and snow flurries
Cumulative distance: 426.646km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 426.646km
Monthly cost per km: $0.48

Ride into work for Thursday, 26 January

The snow day was an absolute bust. The heavy snowfall warning was called off shortly before I went to bed, and the heavy wind warning was called off at 4:45am - as I found out at 5am when the pager went off with an outage alarm. I guess I'm not the only one wondering what happened to the snow storm, either.

The ride in was still a bit windy, but I caught several tailwinds. One of my coworkers observed yesterday that the prevailing wind seems to have changed with all this odd weather - I hadn't noticed it as we haven't had much wind apart from the one windy day where I had all the tailwinds, but going by today he seems right.

Distance logged: 12.677km
Time: 38:16
Average speed: 19.9km/hr
Max speed: 50.9 km/hr
Temperature: -1C, overcast, breezy
Cumulative distance: 413.595km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.49
Monthly distance: 413.595km
Monthly cost per km: $0.49

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ride home for Wednesday, 25 January

For some reason, the roads were pretty deserted on the way home - I can only assume that people either were at the stores panic buying, or had used the upcoming storm as a convenient excuse to leave early...

The heavy snowfall warning has been ended for Halifax - we're now forecast to get around 5cm overnight. The wind warning is still in effect, though - 60km/hr winds with 90km/hr gusts. Add to that temperatures of just below freezing (enough to make it really slippery) and it's starting to look like working from home would be a good idea...

Distance logged: 14.166km
Time: 44:43
Average speed: 19km/hr
Max speed: 46.4 km/hr
Temperature: 1C, overcast
Cumulative distance: 400.918km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.51
Monthly distance: 400.918km
Monthly cost per km: $0.51

Ride into work for Wednesday, 25 January

A messy ride in today, I think the temperature was actually slightly over freezing; combine that with the excess of salt on the roads and the end result was a bike covered in grime - along with my boots and gaiters.

On the up side, we're under a heavy snowfall warning - 20 to 40cm is forecast. On the downside... There's a heavy wind warning to go with it, with gusts of up to 100km/hr. I have a suspicion I'm going to be working from home tomorrow...

Distance logged: 12.690km
Time: 37:35
Average speed: 20.3km/hr
Max speed: 52.5 km/hr
Temperature: 0C, overcast
Cumulative distance: 386.752km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.52
Monthly distance: 386.752km
Monthly cost per km: $0.52

Tape destruction for beginners

In a departure from my normal posting... A taste of the sort of stuff I get up to at work: how to destroy a DLT tape in 12 relatively easy and pretty much completely unsafe steps.

Step 1: Unscrew the bottom casing.

Step two: Remove the casing. All sorts of little bits of plastic will come flying out; these can be safely disposed of. Any remaining little bits of plastic and the springs can also be removed.

Step 3: Remove the spool from the housing. An optional step is to cut off the metal leader strip on the tape.

Step 4: Insert a serrated blade or other similarly dangerous item between the thicker (dark plastic) spool and the tape itself. Wiggle the blade until the spool cracks. You should then be able to snap off slightly less than half of the spool, exposing the tape.

Step 5: Pause to allow admiring over-caffeinated co-workers to snap a picture of the exposed tape.

Step 6: Manly men with big manly strong fingers should be able to snap off the thinner top portion of the tape spool with relative ease. Manly men with big manly strong fingers should be careful, however, not to slice open the side of said big manly strong fingers with a particularly sharp bit of plastic.

Step 7: Pause to demonstrate to co-workers that look, the plastic really is broken on both sides and there's no magic involved!

Step 8: Find a trusting co-worker who is not familiar with the phrases "health and safety" or "worker's compensation" to hold the tape spool for you. Line up a serrated blade across the top of the tape.

Step 9: Start sawing though the tape. Be prepared for the tape to suddenly fan up in a beautiful display of synchronised fanning.

Step 10: Continue sawing all the way through. Try to avoid inhaling particles of plastic and ferrous oxide - just because all the cool kids are doing it doesn't mean you should be doing it too!

Step 11: After you saw all the way through, the tape will flop out (to use the technical terminology) and you will be left with a fairly flat stack of tape.

Step 12: Mix up all the strips of tape by using a handwashing type motion. The paranoid may, at this point, set fire to the tape in a well ventilated area to ensure complete data destruction.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ride home for Tuesday, 24 January

Went into MEC at lunch and picked up a couple of new chains and a set of brake pads. I've seen a couple of people around the blogosphere musing over whether to buy expensive gear or cheap gear; I go through gear at such a rate that I always buy the cheap gear, unless it's safety critical, in which case I buy the best I can afford. So, today I bought the $15 chain (they were all out of the cheaper $8 chain), and the expensive Kool Stop Brake Pads. Unfortunately MEC don't carry the salmon version for threaded brakes, only for cantilever style - I have the salmon pads in front and the wear is comparatively low, and the breaking is particularly good in wet weather.

The ride home was a bit of an endurance test, it started out OK but after about 10 minutes the freezing rain started, which coated my glasses nicely. I had to take them off at every stop to wipe them off, I ended up with them halfway down my nose and looking out over the top of them and using the visor on my helmet to keep the rain out of my eyes. About 10 minutes from home, it turned to heavy snow, which was at least a little less painful.

I took off my chain this evening and laid out the new one next to it so I could count off how many links to take off the new chain. I was more than a little perturbed to find that over the length of the chain, it had stretched by almost an entire link...

Distance logged: 14.176km
Time: 46:44
Average speed: 18.2km/hr
Max speed: 42.7 km/hr
Temperature: 0C, freezing rain turning to heavy snow
Cumulative distance: 374.062km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.54
Monthly distance: 374.062km
Monthly cost per km: $0.54

Ride into work for Tuesday, 24 January

Decided to take the long route in this morning as I was running early. Started out taking the fire trail, but that was unploughed and took way too much effort, so I came off at the first crossing and took the road instead. I hate to think how much salt had been dumped on the roads, I think the council had come in for some adverse commentary from the local newspaper for not salting the roads enough last time they were icy so this time they overdid it - on some roads I was skidding on the drifsts of salt!

Distance logged: 16.810km
Time: 49:09
Average speed: 20.5km/hr
Max speed: 51.5 km/hr
Temperature: -3C, overcast
Cumulative distance: 359.886km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.45
Monthly distance: 359.886km
Monthly cost per km: $0.45

Monday, January 23, 2006

Ride home for Monday, 23 January

Quite a fun ride home today. It started off well when all the traffic was blocked both ways going out of the car park due to everyone driving extremely gingerly due o the snow. I was mildly surprised to find that my studded tyres (which I thought had pretty much worn out) gave me near perfect grip! Things were a bit iffy cornering so I had to take it slow, but the two or three times I started skidding the studs caught and I straightened out. It was the same story most of the way home; most people driving extremely slowly and carefully (apart from a few people with snow tyres on), which meant they were going at about the same speed as me. The fire trail was great, all the bumps and ruts from the soggy weather over the past few weeks were filled up with snow, giving me a bit of a cushion.

The forecast is calling for 5-10cm, there was about 2-3cm on the road when I got home and it's still snowing out there; I think it may end up being closer to 10cm at this rate...

Distance logged: 14.199km
Time: 48:45
Average speed: 17.5km/hr
Max speed: 38.7 km/hr
Temperature: -3C, snowing
Cumulative distance: 343.076km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.47
Monthly distance: 343.076km
Monthly cost per km: $0.47

Ride into work for Monday, 23 May

No ride for Friday as I picked up a lurgy from the sprog and worked from home.

Nice ride in today, it actually seemed like winter for a change. We're supposed to get snow starting this afternoon, 5-10cm overnight. Wednesday is "periods of snow or rain" but for the rest of the week it's all snow. That means the temperatures going to be going up again, but hopefully the fact that we're getting snow means it's going to cool off more over the next month or so. I can hope, anyway...

Distance logged: 12.696km
Time: 35:20
Average speed: 21.6km/hr
Max speed: 54.1 km/hr
Temperature: -9C, overcast
Cumulative distance: 328.877km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.49
Monthly distance: 328.877km
Monthly cost per km: $0.49

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ride home for Thursday, 19 January

Picked up a new rear blinky light from MEC at lunchtime to replace the one that snapped off, hopefully the Planet Bike model will last longer than the MEC no-name one.

Had to leave early due to a sick sprog, so I got to ride home in the sunshine - twice in one day. I noticed my front wheel felt a bid odd, checking it tonight after cleaning my chain it felt loose. I took it out and found the locking nut had worked loose a bit, so I took it and the cone nut off, cleaned them, and put them back on with sufficient force to (hopefully) make sure they don't come off again...

Distance logged: 14.176km
Time: 45:23
Average speed: 18.7km/hr
Max speed: 41.6 km/hr
Temperature: 3C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 316.181km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.51
Monthly distance: 316.181km
Monthly cost per km: $0.51

Ride into work for Thursday, 19 January

Got to see the sun on the ride in for the first time in several weeks, which was a pleasant change.

According to Environment Canada, the weather's supposed to start cooling off - a low of -12 is forecast for Monday. It looks like winter might finally be starting!

Distance logged: 12.708km
Time: 36:11
Average speed: 21.1km/hr
Max speed: 59.1 km/hr
Temperature: 2C, clear, breezy
Cumulative distance: 302.005km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.5
Monthly distance: 302.005km
Monthly cost per km: $0.5

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ride home for Wednesday, 18 January

After seeing a weather warning of high winds I was a bit dubious about the ride home; 50km/hr winds with 80km/hr gusts sounded a bit iffy. Starting out along Market Street was pretty painful, I was in second gear on the granny ring and it was still a real effort. Once I got over to Spring Garden Road the story changed, and almost every wind was a tailwind - most bizarre, and something that's never happened for me before. The strongest gust was probably when I got onto Bayer's Road from Romans Avenue; I went from a standing start to 40km/hr in about 35 metres as I got a massive gust pushing me along - I even managed to out-accelerate a minivan that was trying to overtake me in the other lane! The tailwinds continued the whole way, up the steep hills, all the way home - no matter which way I turned, the tailwinds seemed to follow me. I doubt it'll happen again for a long time, but I really enjoyed it while it lasted!

Muppet of the day was a woman in a minivan who tried to overtake me about 10 metres from the intersection of Dunbrack and Main; I wanted to go straight ahead, but because the minivan cut me off and stopped with the rear wheel right next to my front wheel, I continued up to the red light. As she started to turn into me I banged on her window a couple of times, which caused her to start shouting at me. Since she had her windows rolled up, I have no idea what she was saying, but I'm sure it was less than complimentary. As the light then turned green I rode across, with her leaning on the horn as if it would help matters (ie, not at all).

Distance logged: 14.140km
Time: 42:05
Average speed: 20.2km/hr
Max speed: 47.2 km/hr
Temperature: 4C, windy, damp
Cumulative distance: 289.297km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.53
Monthly distance: 289.297km
Monthly cost per km: $0.53

Ride into work for Wednesday, 18 January

Bit of a hard ride in, it felt like the grease in my hubs was congealing in the cold and slowing me down... That, or perhaps the extra helping of custard I had last night (surely not!). I also lost a blinky light, it snapped off at the clip somewhere - it didn't feel like it was cold enough to make plastic break, but I guess repeated wear might have done the trick.

Distance logged: 12.692km
Time: 36:43
Average speed: 20.7km/hr
Max speed: 50.7 km/hr
Temperature: -7C, cloudy, windy
Cumulative distance: 275.157km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.55
Monthly distance: 275.157km
Monthly cost per km: $0.55

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ride home for Tuesday, 17 January

Left work late today as I was stuck working on a firewall out west and got caught up with timezone troubles ("I'll be ready at lunchtime" means around 4pm for me...) I took a more direct route as there was less traffic on the roads, but the wind made it a wash in the end anyway.

More rain forecast for tomorrow, with a high of 8C. Tomorrow night is supposed to be "heavy" rain, but there's no heavy rainfall warning... yet.

Distance logged: 13.141km
Time: 42:32
Average speed: 18.5km/hr
Max speed: 45 km/hr
Temperature: -5C, windy
Cumulative distance: 262.465km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.58
Monthly distance: 262.465km
Monthly cost per km: $0.58

Ride into work for Tuesday, 17 January

Nice cool ride in apart from some occasional headwinds that hit me. Muppet of the day was the SUV that tried to overtake me approaching a line of traffic at a red light; he ended up stopping with me still to the side of him. I never know quite what to do in these situations as muppettry like this is not well covered in the Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act, so I rode around him and continued on.

Distance logged: 12.694km
Time: 35:41
Average speed: 21.3km/hr
Max speed: 55 km/hr
Temperature: -6C, cloudy, light snow, intermittent gusts
Cumulative distance: 249.324km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.61
Monthly distance: 249.324km
Monthly cost per km: $0.61

Monday, January 16, 2006

Ride home for Monday, 16 January

Cold and windy ride home, with snow starting to settle on the roads. It was actually quite enjoyable apart from the wind, it was cold enough I didn't overheat too much. I had to push it hard on the fire trail, the duty pager went off just as I turned onto it and I figured it'd be more helpful to read it from home than to stand there digging through my backpack in the dark. Of course, "push it hard" in the teeth of a strong wind and snow doesn't mean a whole lot...

I think it's time to investigate some new studded tyres, too. Mine had issues with gripping in the snow, and the studs are pretty much worn. I guess I'll pick up some Nokians, but the problem is finding somewhere in Canada (let alone Halifax) that carries them at a reasonable price...

Distance logged: 14.187km
Time: 47:22
Average speed: 18km/hr
Max speed: 43.0 km/hr
Temperature: -7C, windy, light snow
Cumulative distance: 236.630km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.64
Monthly distance: 236.630km
Monthly cost per km: $0.64

Ride into work for Monday, 16 January

Quite a smorgasbord of weather this morning, starting at fog and working through various permutations of rain all the way to snow. The roads were well salted, in some places there were drifts of salt that were more dangerous than a snow drift would have been...

Distance logged: 12.682km
Time: 36:33
Average speed: 20.8km/hr
Max speed: 51.7 km/hr
Temperature: -3C, foggy, drizzle, sleet, freezing rain, snow
Cumulative distance: 222.443km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.68
Monthly distance: 222.443km
Monthly cost per km: $0.68

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Maintenance day

The rear brake pads were worn down to the wear line, so I replaced them today. I also tweaked the front derailleur low limit but other than that, apart from swappng the chain out, there wasn't much to do. I guess the upside of all the warm weather is a lack of salt on the road!

Ride home for Friday, 13 February

Picked up my bike from Idealbikes on the way home, the cause of my wobbly wheel was a snapped axle in my rear hub. Roger replaced it for me for $15 and I was back on the road.

Bit of a foggy ride home, the fire trail was rather muddy but I made it through OK. I had all my lights going, they lit up the fog quite nicely...

Distance logged: 13.672km
Time: 41:54
Average speed: 19.6km/hr
Max speed: 44.6 km/hr
Temperature: 6C, foggy
Cumulative distance: 209.761km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.73
Monthly distance: 209.761km
Monthly cost per km: $0.73

Friday, January 13, 2006

Ride into work for Friday, 13 January

Nice ride in, it looks like the weather is finally starting to break as it was below freezing this morning - far more comfortable to ride in. The forecast is rain for the weekend, but flurries on Monday and Tuesday has a low of -10 forecast!

I'm going to have to take my bike back in to Idealbikes, the rear tyre is rubbing on the frame somewhere when I push too hard; I thought it was just the frame flexing, but checking the wheel there seems to be some play somewhere - possibly the hub.

Distance logged: 12.692km
Time: 35:56
Average speed: 21.2km/hr
Max speed: 58.5 km/hr
Temperature: -1C, sunny
Cumulative distance: 196.089km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.70
Monthly distance: 196.089km
Monthly cost per km: $0.70

Thursday, January 12, 2006

How worn can my equipment be before it really needs replacement?

Knox and I had a little discussion offline which covered jockey wheels. To illustrate how badly worn my jockey wheels were (and, I suppose, how bad I am at maintenance - Roger at Idealbikes calls my style "ride it into the ground"), here is what my new jockey wheel looks like:

new shiny hotness

And, for comparison, my rather spiky worn out jockey wheels:

old dull coldness

Surprisingly enough, these wheels were still mostly working when they came off the bike.

Ride home for Thursday, 12 January

Took the bike into Idealbikes for a new derailleur and chainrings, and also some cork tape for the barends - the overmittens don't have a particularly good grip, so I was looking for some grips, and Roger mentioned he had half a reel of cork tape left over that would be just about enough to cover the barends. All told, it came to $80. While I was out, I stopped at MEC to pick up a new tyre gauge, as mine has died a death - it no longer registers anything under 40psi, and is slowly creeping up on that value.

Muppet of the day was the minivan (why is it always minivans or taxis?) that overtook me as I was signalling left (and had been for about 5 seconds), just as I was about to make my maneouvre left. He passed close enough that my fingers bounced off his window. Mmmmmmuppet.

Distance logged: 13.612km
Time: 44:03
Average speed: 18.4km/hr
Max speed: 41.6 km/hr
Temperature: 6C, cloudy, windy
Cumulative distance: 183.397km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.75
Monthly distance: 183.397km
Monthly cost per km: $0.75

Ride into work for Thursday, 12 January

Had a doctor's appointment in Bedford today. The weather forecast gave chance of thunderstorms, but it was just really windy. The rain actually held off on my way into Bedford and I thought I was going to get lucky, then about 10 minutes from the office the heavens opened on me. Luckily my gear managed to keep the wet out long enough to get into the office.

On the way into Halifax from Bedford, there was just intermittent drizzle, but the wind really picked up. I decided to take the shortest route into work, and it was quite a battle.

This really isn't proper weather for winter.

Distance logged: 34.874km
Time: 90:43
Average speed: 23.1km/hr
Max speed: 60.9 km/hr
Temperature: 9C, rainy, windy
Cumulative distance: 169.785km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.23
Monthly distance: 169.785km
Monthly cost per km: $0.23

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ride home for Wednesday, 11 January

Another unseasonably warm day, with some rain in the afternoon that turned the fire trail into a bit of a morass. There was a section where there was still a strip of ice down the centre, which made for some tricky riding...

Distance logged: 14.294km
Time: 45:07
Average speed: 19km/hr
Max speed: 42.6 km/hr
Temperature: 4C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 134.911km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.29
Monthly distance: 134.911km
Monthly cost per km: $0.29

Ride into work for Wednesday, 11 January

Fairly pleasant ride in, if a little warm. The ice on the fire trail has mostly melted apart from a band running down the middle, so I'm going to have to watch out for that tonight. The weather forecast is calling for 7C and thunderstorms tomorrow; January 12th last year had a high of -7C, and a low of -14C, with the day ending in snow showers - quite a difference...

Distance logged: 12.799km
Time: 35:19
Average speed: 21.7km/hr
Max speed: 62.3 km/hr
Temperature: -1C, clear
Cumulative distance: 120.617km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.32
Monthly distance: 120.617km
Monthly cost per km: $0.32

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

No ride for Tuesday, 10 January

After being up at 4am to reboot a server, I was rather rudely surprised when I got a call at 8am complaining that the sites were down, after I'd checked them all after the reboot. Through sheer coincidence, the UPS died, so I had to get downtown ASAP. I jumped in the shower and got dressed in record time, then got the wife to drive me in. Where we got stuck in traffic. It took about 45 minutes to get in in the end; if I'd taken my bike and gone the quick route, I'd have been there in around 35 minutes - although I'd also have spent about 15-20 minutes getting ready on top of that. Oh, well...

An interestingpost at Bike Refugee about energy use - as calculated in litres of apple juice (or the calorific count thereof, to be precise). Darren's bike commute is 19km, which works out at 1 litre of apple juice. Darren then works through different activities though the day, increasing the calorific usage, until he gets to "if I decide to drive my car to work"... The total there is surprising.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Ride home for Monday, 09 January

A pretty nasty ride home, it was snowing for most of the day, then it changed over to rain just in time for me to head home. It wasn't too bad until I was about 5km from home; going up Central Avenue, a fairly steep hill, I started hitting ice patches, which made it interesting trying to pedal. The fire trail was ice all the way down the middle with water on top, I ended up riding on the edges where there was enough snow and bare dirt to get a grip. The weather tomorrow isn't looking much better, rain early in the morning changing to snow. I have to be up at 4am to reboot a server, hopefully it will come up cleanly and I won't have to ride downtown at some ungodly hour, and I can have a lie-in and ride in a bit later...

Distance logged: 14.302km
Time: 45:55
Average speed: 18.7km/hr
Max speed: 37.5 km/hr
Temperature: 1C, raining, foggy
Cumulative distance: 107.818km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.36
Monthly distance: 107.818km
Monthly cost per km: $0.36

Ride into work for Monday, 09 January

Slow ride in as I forgot to reinflate my tyres from Friday - oops. I think they were running at around 30psi, and I did a pretty good job of wearing off the studs. Hopefully they'll last me the next 2-3 months and I'll pick up another pair next winter.

The administration in the building changed over the access cards for the car park this morning, and they were stopping every car that entered to get the old access card. As a result they managed to back up all the traffic, which spread back for miles around. Several drivers looked at me enviously as I sailed past them. I think that might be the reason I saw so many cyclists on the road today, too - I counted 12 on my way in, and several more bikes chained to lampposts and signs.

Distance logged: 12.693km
Time: 42:05
Average speed: 17.8km/hr
Max speed: 48.7 km/hr
Temperature: -5C to 1C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 93.516km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.42
Monthly distance: 93.516km
Monthly cost per km: $0.42

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Maintenance day

After cleaning and swapping out the chains, I decided today would be a good day to repack my front hub, as it was starting to feel a bit rough. I stripped it down and found the green bearing grease had turned into a milky brown/green goop, which explained the roughness. After cleaning out the hub completely I filled up the raceways with grease, replaced the bearings, and put everything back together. After putting the wheel back on, I found three bearings rolling about on the floor. After swearing for the best part of a minute, I took a closer look and saw they looked quite a bit smaller than I recalled the bearings in the wheel being. However, three bearings potentially missing out out of the hub meant I had to disassemble the whole thing all over again, and check. Naturally, the bearings weren't from the front hub. I'm not sure where they're from, I think perhaps they just materialised out of thin air to piss me off.

I also retuned my rear derailleur as it's come off shifting into first a few times. The jockey wheels are almost completely worn, so they're not keeping the chain completely straight and it's rubbing against the derailleur housing in first gear. I think this week is going to be a good week to take the bike into Idealbikes and get a new derailleur and crank set...

Ride in the general direction of work for Friday, 06 January

Possibly the shortest ride ever. There was freezing rain overnight so the road was a sheet of ice when I set off. I deflated the tyres so the studs would grip and continue on. As I was approaching the end of the road, I heard a car gun its engine to overtake me, he passed me, and then... he locked his brakes, failed to stop on the icy surface, and slid across the road and bounced off the curb on the other side of the road (it sounded like the front left portion of his bumper got cracked, too). After I stopped laughing, I decided this was another occasion where discretion was the better part of valour and walked my bike back home and worked from home for the day.

Distance logged: 0.184km
Time: 2:11
Average speed: 5.1km/hr
Max speed: 14.8 km/hr
Temperature: -1C, icy
Cumulative distance: 80.823km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 80.823km
Monthly cost per km: $0.48

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ride home for Thursday, 05 January

I noticed this morning that my Tiresparx had stopped working, so at lunchtime I took a look, thinking the batteries had gone flat. The batteries may well have been flat, however I couldn't say for sure because the salt and slush had turned the innards into a pile of iron oxide and assorted chemicals (largely from the batteries leaking). Just for kicks I tried putting fresh batteries in, and one of the Tiresparx still functioned - although it was permanently on, rather than flashing, as all that rust seemed to have done a great job short circuiting the flip-flop circuit. I went into MEC at lunch and picked up a new set, and this evening I tried a new approach; instead of sealing the Tiresparx with packing tape, this time I used weatherproof silicone sealant, and when it cures tomorrow I'm going to put another layer on top, and then after that seal it over with more packing tape. It looks like there's a design flaw in the Tiresparx, they can't be closed too tightly or the contact will be on permanently and the light will always flash. In addition, the packing they come in has a little circuit board with a contact that goes into each Tiresparx to do the "tap to activate" routine. This contact needs a hole in the Tiresparc to fit in, which is left open to the elements and seems to be where most of the gunk got in.

Still, I think I got $7.50 (plus taxes) worth of enjoyment out of them, and it should be interesting to see how the next ones hold up to the weather, too...

Distance logged: 14.197km
Time: 45:23
Average speed: 18.8km/hr
Max speed: 47.6 km/hr
Temperature: -1C, clear
Cumulative distance: 80.639km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.48
Monthly distance: 80.639km
Monthly cost per km: $0.48

Ride into work for Thursday, 05 January

Although Environment Canada said it was -6C, I don't think it was anything like that downtown, it felt more like -2 or so. This meant I was, yet again, overdressed for the occasion, and ended up with some extremely soggy clothes when I got into work.

Distance logged: 12.680km
Time: 35:02
Average speed: 21.6km/hr
Max speed: 54.2 km/hr
Temperature: -6C, clear
Cumulative distance: 66.442km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.46
Monthly distance: 66.442km
Monthly cost per km: $0.46

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ride home for Wednesday, 04 January

Another warm ride home - I didn't need to wear a t-shirt over my long-sleeve jersey, nor did I need to wear a headband. It was a little chilly now and then, but I needed to dump a fair bit of heat, and I could feel my ear radiating on the uphill sections. The weather's supposed to go up to 4C by the weekend; I know I keep saying this, but hopefully winter will kick in soon...

Distance logged: 14.157km
Time: 43:08
Average speed: 19.7km/hr
Max speed: 45.3 km/hr
Temperature: -2C, clear
Cumulative distance: 53.762km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.57
Monthly distance: 53.762km
Monthly cost per km: $0.57

Ride into work for Wednesday, 04 January

I can only describe the ride into work today as "uneventful".

Distance logged: 12.728km
Time: 36:41
Average speed: 20.8km/hr
Max speed: 49.1 km/hr
Temperature: -8C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 39.605km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.77
Monthly distance: 39.605km
Monthly cost per km: $0.77

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Ride home for Tuesday, 03 January

Went to MEC at lunchtime and picked up some odds and ends; a replacement set of brushes and sponges for my Park chain cleaner, a 13mm/15mm Park cone wrench, some more brake pads (I think I go through more brake pads in winter than anything else), and I stopped off at Idealbikes to pick up a Y socket wrench. I picked up the Park stuff as there's a persistent rumour that MEC are going to stop carrying Park equipment this year, and it certainly seems to have some truth - none of the Park stock is being restocked as far as I can see.

Muppet of the day was a close fought contest between minivans. Muppet #1 was the minivan driving muppet who overtook me as I was going around a parked minivan, with another car parked opposite. Since muppet #1 had been tailing me for several hundred metres when there were very few cars parked on either side of the road, I don't know why it was necessary to overtake me then. Muppet #2 was the minivan driving muppet who tried to overtake me after I'd been signalling left for about 5 seconds, just as I was manoeuvering to the left and slowing down to wait for the oncoming traffic in the opposite lane. Muppet #2 then hauled on the brakes and swerved around on the right and accelerated off; a maneouvre that is particularly pitiful in a minivan. I think muppet #2 is the winner of the muppet of the day award for sheer muppetry, although it was a close fought battle...

Distance logged: 14.168km
Time: 45:07
Average speed: 18.8km/hr
Max speed: 45.3 km/hr
Temperature: -7C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 26.877km
Cumulative cost per km: $1.13
Monthly distance: 26.877km
Monthly cost per km: $1.13

Ride into work for Tuesday, 03 January

First ride in of the year, I think a lot of people are still on vacation as the roads were pretty dead - all the more surprising since school started today, too. Near-perfect weather on the way in, I was pretty much dead-on equilibrium in terms of heat generated being sucked away by the cold. Not sure if it's going to hold out, though, as the rest of the week is supposed to hover around the freezing point.

Distance logged: 12.709km
Time: 36:02
Average speed: 21km/hr
Max speed: 56.7 km/hr
Temperature: -8C, cloudy
Cumulative distance: 12.709km
Cumulative cost per km: $0
Monthly distance: 12.709km
Monthly cost per km: $0

Monday, January 02, 2006

Ride into work for Friday, 30 December

I didn't make it into work today as it was so windy I was getting blown around on the road. According to Environment Canada the gusts were supposed to top out at 90km/hr but they felt quite a bit higher than that. I decided to turn back and work from home for the day, discretion being the better part of valour. Not the best way to end the year's riding, but at least this way I know I'll be ready for another year of riding...

Distance logged: 3.151km
Time: 15:02
Average speed: 12.4km/hr
Max speed: 41.5 km/hr
Temperature: 11C, windy
Cumulative distance: 7070.331km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.23
Monthly distance: 527.497km
Monthly cost per km: $0.18