Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Rainy and Windy Ride to get Some Fenders

Well, Monday has arrived.  It was an exciting day.  The air was warm and the sky was blue.  A few clouds floated in the sky; some white, and some not so white. The only question was, how long would it last?  Would the rain hold off?  Could the sun shine another hour?  Could I get home in time to climb aboard my Surly LHT to make a dash for The Bikery?  I needed to get those Cascadia fenders installed. The installation of the fenders is the next step of preparation for a finished touring bicycle.

I made it home and things started to become ominous.  The air grew just a bit cooler, and the sky darkened.  I quickly changed my cloths and climbed aboard my LHT and started for The Bikery.  Just as I hit route 31, the wind blew strong.  My bike was pushed back and forth while the head wind held me back.  I pedaled on regardless.  I wanted t get the fenders.  I rode up the hill passed the Budweiser Brewery and approached the car crowded village of Baldwinsville.  I was a bit scarred.  The wet roads, traffic, and overly cautious drivers always make me nervous.  As soon as i was able, I turned off of route 31 and headed for the high school.  This slight deviation would give me an opportunity to add distance to my ride and get me to the main intersection with less cars buzzing by.  It ended up being a nice detour because I could listen to the Baldwinsville Marching Band practice for the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.  As a matter of fact, as I approached the band  riding down the school driveway, I was forced into a patch of muddy, wet grass.  The first adversity for the Surly to overcome; the surly did an awesome job cutting through the muck and returning me to pavement.

Well as I reached the intersection, the sky opened up and poured rain from Syracuse St all the way to The Bikery.  I was soaked.  Even my wind breaker soaked through.  I was cold from head to toe.  Yet, I made my destination.  Without fenders, the ride was wet and dirty.  The back of my jacket was mud splattered.  The chain and cranks were mud splattered.  My cycling shoes were a mess.

I made it and gave the Surly LHT to Mark, who proceeded to install the fenders.It took about 20 or 30 minutes.  Once installed, I climbed back aboard the bike and headed home, the long way since the rain stopped and the sun was out.

I cruised down Canton Street and turned just beyond the supermarket toward the Riverside Cemetery and the Erie Canal Lock.  I followed the canal around St. Mary's and turned back onto Syracuse Street which I followed back to Smokey Hollow and home.  It was a nice ride, almost 18 miles.  Now the surly has fenders and looks more like a touring bike.  Soon, I will order he rear rack and panniers.  I can't wait.

Til then, I will see you on the road.

Friday, November 21, 2014

My Surly Long Haul Trucker

Today was an exciting day.  I finally went to The Bikery in Baldwinsville and picked up my Surly LHT.  Mark, unfortunately had to order the fenders since the fenders in the store did not fit properly.  But, I did get to ride this gem of a touring bicycle home after Mark installed clipless SPD pedals.

As you can see, its a green LHT.  No other store had this green available since it is an out of stock color; i believe its a 2012 model.  The 2014s have a cappuccino light brownish/white color or you could get black, which was sharp to, but not exactly what I wanted.

The good news is that I was able to pay cash rather than using a credit card or financing as a coupleTubus rear rack and Ortlieb rear panniers.
of other stores wanted me to do. So, on Monday I will ride back, have the fenders installed.  On Friday, I will order a

Each week pay check through the winter, I will add another piece to the bike or an item necessary for my first bike tour which I plan on taking in the early spring of 2015; a simple overnight tour, s24o.   My first tour is in the early planning stages, but it will be an Erie Canal ride.  I will head east from Syracuse and head toward Rome.  Not sure how far I want to go or wear I will camp, but I am excited.

Well, I shall post more as I collect more items for the LHT and for touring.  Until then, I will see you on the road. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

What is BikePacking? From BikePacking.US

This is what I plan to do.  From running to road cycling and bicycle touring.  This video explains what bicycle touring is.  I have my bicycle and fenders are being installed.  Soon it will have its rear racks and panniers.  I can't wait.

See you on the road.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My Longest Ride to Date Outside

This morning I woke up tired.  I was just dead to the world.  My wife, Pamela had gotten up, got the kids together, and picked up her sister from the airport and went to breakfast while leaving me alone.  I took that as the time to finally roll out of bed, toss on a few layers of clothes and hit the road for a ride on my Caad 8.

I checked the temperature n my ph which displayed 39 degrees.  I selected a tight fitting base layer that had some insulation, followed by a half zip under armour jacket followed by a short sleeve cycling jersey which I used to keep a face mask in case the temp dropped any lower while riding. a bright yellow windbreaker/rain garment was the last item to cover my upper body.  The lower back zipper pocket held my wallet and a spare set of keys.  I wore running gloves on my hands and a NY Mets ear warmer beneath my cycling helmet.  I was (in the words of Larry David) "pretty, pretty, pretty," warm.

Well, I rode out of Radisson and headed into the village of Baldwinsville and down Budweiser Highway to Route 370 and made my way to Onondaga Lake Park.  I love riding in the park because its simple, one yo arrive.  There are no cars; the pavement is smooth.  The only things to lookout for are leashes and dogs.  The walkers (not the walking dead kind) don't realize that allowing their pets to roam on a fully extended leash wrecks havoc on us cyclists who are not always expecting a cord extending across the path.  I smoothly rode from the dog park passed the boathouse to the Wegmans playground and started my journey into the village of Liverpool across Tulip and up Morgan Rd when my left big toe started to get cold.

When wearing cycling shoes, you cannot move your toes very well.  Keeping your feet warm must come from extra insulation or cover.  I wiggled my toes as much as I could, but it did nothing to generate the required circulation to make my little piggies warm or, at least, warmer.  I knew by the time this ride ended, I would be driving to the bike shop for a few items.  The priority would be some shoe cover to keep my tootsies from freezing.  I also bought a cap to wear under my helmet to keep my head and ears warm, and a chain cleaner to remove the gunk and extend its life as I increase my riding in the cooler weather.

Bottom line, I rode 28.25 miles this morning.  Burned 1,382 calories.  Bought some new gear.  All in all its was a great day.  I look forward to my first winter riding as weather permits.  Next Friday I will be picking up my Surly LHT for bike touring.  I am very excited and I will take picks and write a tale or two about my Surly as I start adding touring components.  Until then, I will see you on the road.