Tuesday, June 30, 2020

MINI Bicycle Holder, Looks can be deceiving

Here is a close up of the bike rack

And this is what it looks like with a bike on it.

If you release the holding mechanism the rack slides forward so you can open the rear hatch

Looks can be deceiving because it looks like it won't open without hitting the vertical portion but it clears it with a few inches to spare.  The vertical bike holder also can be folded down when there is no bike on the rack to open the hatch.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Northern Rail Trail - fka B&M Northern Line

The Northern Recreational Rail Trail, also known as the Northern Rail Trail, is a 58-mile multi-use rail trail in western New Hampshire, USA, running from Lebanon to Boscawen. It uses the right-of-way of the Boston and Maine Railroad's former Northern Line, which was acquired by the State of New Hampshire in 1996. - Wikipedia

My goal for this ride was to ride the entire length of the trail from Boscawen to Lebanon and back. I decided to go with 5 water bottles for this trip because in my reconnoiter of the route I didn't see many places to stop near the trail and didn't want to be caught short. The weather report wasn't looking good either, there was 60% chance of rain today so I was glad for the fenders and I brought a rain jacket, too.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Lake Winnespaukee Gravel Grinder

After I solidified my plans to drive up to Epsom, NH to buy the MINI Bike Holder (what a dumb name, probably mis translated from the BMW version, Fahrradtr├Ąger, meaning Bike Carrier), I started looking for 50 to 60 mile gravel routes near Epsom, NH.  Didn't find anything that looked good so I started looking at the maps and marking roads on my Roubaix to Brew Gravel Map. Once I found enough dirt, I developed the following route:  

It will be interesting to see how the Sex Machine works have only the granny and big ring available for the ride.

First Dirt, pictured above, occurred around mile 5.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

MINI Bicycle Holder

I have never been happy with my rack mounted bicycle trays for the MINI Cooper. The road bike rack just never seemed to hold the bike tight enough and I could hear it rocking. Don't get me wrong, they worked fine, none of my bikes ever came off but the rocking noise is what bothers me the most.

5 Bottle Mounts on the Sex Machine

I am starting to explore new areas and some of them can be remote so access to stores along the route could be limited or non-existent during the Pandemic. So I mounted two more water bottles holders on the fork of my bike.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Friday Morning RBW to OOF

Just about all the Lunartics were present for this ride and it was a perfect Friday morning for a ride to our favorite French Pastry shop in Woodbury, CT. We started out riding in Pandemic TT fashion with one minute intervals but ended up catching up with one another on Transylvania Road.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Morning JoeSS

The intention of this morning's ride was to take the flattest route to Bethel and stop at Molten Java for a cup of coffee and then ride back. Unless you are riding with 3 miles of the coast there is really no flat riding around here.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Father's Day Dirt

We decided to have a socially distant family get together this Father's Day at our house this year. This is actually the first time I have been around for Father's day because I am usually fishing in Canada this week. However, since our country's leadership has been unable to effectively contain the COVID virus, Canada is keeping its borders with the US for the foreseeable future. So the plan was that Will and his family would drive down from Spencertown and we would meet in Gaylordsville, where I would ride up there to meet him and then we would ride dirt roads back to my house.

First Dirt on this ride was Pond Brook Road.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

First Ride on #JustGoodBeer

I picked the flattest route I could find from my house for the inaugural ride of #JustGoodBeer. 

The only thing that I noticed is that the chain line appears to be off somewhat because it sounds like the front ring is hitting the chain on one side. I might try a smaller chain but for now I just going to make sure the rear wheel is aligned properly.

Two other things that I don't like is the stem and the bars.  The angle, 17 degrees is right, but length is not so I will have to get a longer stem. Theses came with the Voodoo and short of going to Carbon are a weight weenie's wet dream.  They are, however, too narrow and that's why I replaced them on the Voodoo and that's why I am going to replace them on this bike, too. 

Other than that, it rides really nice and smooth. That's what you get with the steel. Climbing is tough with city gearing 42:16 but it just means I need to get stronger. This was a great test but what I am really looking forward to riding is a Metric and America century on this bike.

Monday, June 15, 2020

State Bicycle Co Carolina Singlespeed Build

For my birthday in February, I purchased this singlespeed frameset from State Bicycle Co. My company added a new cycling team event in addition to the CT Challenge this year, the 5 Boro Bike Tour of Manhattan, and I decided I would build up a singlespeed for this event and other charity rides that I like to do throughout the year that don't have an insane amount of climbing.

It came with a headset and a seatpost collar. The selling point for me, however, was the drops because they have built in tensioners. There were a few drawbacks to this frame. The steering tube came pre-cut and since it was a 59 cm frame with a lower profile it meant that I was going to have to run a longer stem and one thing that I didn't realize is that I would need a stem with a greater rise. It also only comes with one bottle cage mount but I plan on riding some distances on this bike so I am going to have to figure out the best way to add cages without spoiling the look.

My plan was to try and use as many parts from my box of tricks as possible and then upgrade things as needed.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

I need 5 dollar to make u holla!

Riding down to the Shack (aka the Burrito Shack, favored Newtown Lunartics meeting location when riding south) I noticed that my rear wheel felt squishy so I pulled off the road and sure enough it was going flat. That snap that I had heard earlier while riding up Hanover Road turned out to be my tube. I have a sidewall tear/hole that I thought I had fixed with a patch but the tube must have pushed out regardless.

I had two fives and a twenty on me, so it was Abe Lincoln to the rescue!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

2020, the Year of the Toilet Paper Roll

I drove over to Cheshire after work on Wednesday to buy a used single speed mountain bike frame that I wanted to build up with all the extra parts that I have laying around. I planned out a route before hand that I wanted to ride afterwards that included a new section of the Farmington Canal Trail, Mountain Road in Cheshire and the ridge that the ski area Mount Southington is on.

Given all the hoarding that initially took place with the Pandemic I found it amusing to see someone making fun of the situation with a congratulatory lawn sign for someone moving up in the world. This will also go down in history as a lost year for graduations, too.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Friday, June 05, 2020

Morgan Pond Trails after work

On Friday, I rode Wednesday's route in reverse and came in on those trails off of Maltbie Road.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Exploring singletrack in Southern Newtown

I headed out after work to explore some roads and a trail system in the souther part of Newtown that I had seen on one of my prior rides. As I riding on Sanford Road, though, I found a tree blocking the road and the way it was wedged into another tree, I couldn't move it.

With my mountain bike out of action due to the fact that the rear wheel finally died and couldn't get a replacement due to the Pandemic I have been riding my CAADx more as a mountain bike now.  I figured the dirtiest way to get to Aunt Pat was to climb up Deep Brook, cut through Bentagrass, then take Beaver Dam to Ox Hill, which lined me up perfectly.