Friday, April 29, 2016

I needed that ... Beer Stop!

My week in Tennessee put a bit of a damper on my training schedule.  To make up for it, when I got back to Connecticut on Friday and wrapped up a few loose ends with work, I headed out on a little Ride After Work.  It was 56 degrees so figured warm enough for shorts but I would definitely need something on my arms.

I headed down to the Steel Bridge in Sandy Hook thinking that if it was still closed then I would do some ride through Newtown but if it was open I would ride through Southbury and Woodbury. As I was sprinting along the flat part of Walnut Tree Hill I caught a glimpse of the bridge and saw a car driving across it. It reminded me of that scene in "A Bridge too Far" when the Germans couldn't blow up the bridge and the American Sherman Tanks started rolling across.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Please Support my MS Challenge

I've signed up for Bike MS—a fundraising ride that is changing the lives of people affected by MS and helping fuel progress toward a world free of MS. 

I'd love your support as I prepare for this incredible experience. I'll go the distance for MS. It will take training, preparation and ongoing commitment from hundreds of other people in Connecticut and thousands of cyclists all over the country. 

What will really put power in my pedals is your support and commitment to those impacted by MS. 

Every mile we ride brings us closer to our goal—a world free of MS. 

I know that with support from people like you we can get there. The money raised will help fund amazing progress in MS research, as well as programs and services that ensure people affected by MS can live their best lives. This cause is really important to me because MS has affected some of my relatives, so I hope you will help me end MS forever.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pardon Me Boys, but is that a Chattanooga Bicycle?

I flew to Chattanooga last week for a business trip and when I got off the plane I saw this awesome Litespeed Ti Framed bike.  Turns out not only are Litespeed bikes manufactured here but also Lynskey and Quintannaroo, too!

After two long days at work I was jonesin to ride and really wishing I could ride a sweet Ti framed bike or even a fixie, but instead I had to make do with this ...

Sunday, April 24, 2016

2016 Dirty Dover Gravel Grinder (D2G2)

The 3rd Pedaling of the Dirty Dover Gravel Grinder started out with a new twist - more riders! I posted the ride on Le Gravle Randonneur and Christian Bratina (pictured above in a purple jersey) who maintains a ride email list for the Litchfield Hills Cycling Club, saw the post and sent it out on his weekly email.  It wound up on in a thread on the Eastern Block Cycling Club, and I made sure the Newtown Pedalers new about it as well, and voila, there were 8 people on the ride.

From Left to Right:
Christian Bratina, Paul Meyer, Alan Watkins, Randy (?), Will Mansfield

It had rained the night before, in fact it was raining when I left my house Saturday morning but the radar said it wasn't raining in Kent.  It started out kind of cool so I tried something different, I wore leg and arm warmers and a riding jacket, which was a mistake because it came off as soon as we turned onto North Kent RR No 1, which is a jeep road that goes up the east side of Skiff Mountain and has to be the steepest dirt road climb in CT!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

This week in Bike Commuting: More bikes in the rack

Spring seemed to have return to Southwestern Connecticut and the morning temperature was 55 degrees - that's shorts riding weather.  After being in Florida most of the past week it wasn't such a shock.  This week I was trying a a twofer, bike commuting Tuesday & Thursday in order to prepare for my upcoming Gravel Grinder, D2G2, so I needed the miles.  

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Riding a Beach Cruiser

I took the family down to Ft Meyers for a little Spring Break vacation and on when we arrived I was looking into the window of the local Bike Rental Shop and spied this hot looking fixie!  I had called around to the various shops during the prior week and found you could rent road bikes and beach cruisers.  Being that Ft Meyers is so flat, a fixie would be perfect but I had no such luck finding one but when I saw this I thought there was hope.

What I wanted to rent

What I got.

Monday, April 11, 2016

RBW: Pimping with Huggy Bear

Gavin and I met at the Big Y Thursday morning at 5:30 for what seems to be now our once, weekly Ride Before Work.  I was really eager this morning for some reason and left my house a little earlier than normal, I only need 15 minutes to ride to meeting place.  I detoured down to Edmond Road and then climbed up part of Church Hill to the Big Y.
The Religion Barn at the top of Tauton Hill Steps
Gavin rolled in just as I was getting there and he had a new XM, early rap station booming on the stereo!  The weather was weird because the temperature was hovering around 40 degrees but the roads were slick and there seemed to be a lot of humidity in the air.  Rain was predicted for the afternoon so perhaps that was why. Gavin was on his game and totally hammered the Tauton Hill Steps. I wondering if the new bike had something to do with it.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Another cold bike commute

OK, perhaps not as cold as my first bike commute, in fact it was 10 degrees warmer than last week but it was still cold.  The only questionable wardrobe decision was the gloves.  My hands eventually warmed up but I was kicking myself the first hour on my decision to go with lighter gloves.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The unhappy stem

I switched out the Bike Nashbar stem and went to a shorter necked, flatter angled Nitto stem to see what the difference would be.  As I mentioned in my previous post, the happier stem didn't feel right and I knew I needed something flatter.  I got everything put together, threw on my cold weather riding kit, and rode up to town to vote on a referendum on how best to use free money that was given to the town post the Sandy Hook Massacre.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Schwinn Paramount Single Speed makeover

I finally mounted up my new Serfas Seca 23mm tires on my old Mavic CXP 33 rims after a 3 week Online Shopping Fiasco with an retailer called OutdoorEquipped.  I love these wheels because the hubs are Shimano 105s and they roll for evah and I just knew they would look really hot on the Schwinn.

DIY: Front Rack Light Mount

After my first bike commute I had to come up with a different way of carrying all the crap I need to have with me on the bike in case of a breakdown, rain gear, spare tubes, cables and locks, and stuff needed for the office.  I decided to go with the handle bar bag my friend Cliff gave me last year however, that meant that I had to find a different way to mount my headlight.  If you want to see the steps to get this point, please click the (Read more >>) link.

A former work colleague and one time bike commuting buddy gave me this front rack from one of his bikes and I have had it on the Cross Check for a couple of years but never used it in the way it was intended to be used by putting a boxy, rando bag on it.  It has really just been an ornament.  

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Garmin Fail

Woke up to a light rain Saturday morning and decided not to ride.  My riding buddies opted for their trainers but later in the day there was a break in the weather, and it was kind of warm, so I headed out to do a reverse loop of the Saugatuck Reservoir.  The rain started again when I hit Hopewell Road and was full on by the time I got to Newtown Turnpike.

Online shopping fiasco

I had some leftover credit on Amazon so I used it to buy another pair of Serfas Seca's, this time for the Schwinn Paramount because I was loving the tire on the Synapse.  I found an offer on Amazon for two tires for $50 and that looked like a steal, so I pulled the trigger.