Saturday, August 18, 2012

Birthday ride (not mine)

4 miles from home great coffee and treats
dirt cruising
reservoir road
on the reservoir
store in Washington VT
survey mark at library in Washington
Parked in Washington with post ride clothes in panniers

We were headed out to Washington, VT today for a kids birthday party. The route also happens to be one of my favorite in central VT. It is a very gradual steady climb up Brook Road and Reservoir Road on dirt for 5 miles or so and then it turns to pavement for another 11 miles or so. Then it intersects with 302 to the roundabout. We have gotten several roundabouts around here lately in high accident areas and they work great. Then a ride out 110 to Washington where the family drove out to pick me up for the rest of the way. It was a very pleasant 20 miles. I tried something new...low tire pressure. I loved it. I ran 85 lbs in the rear and 75 in the front on 28's. It was super comfy. I was concerned about pinch flats but even climbing on loose sharp gravel it worked fine.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Harpoon Point to Point Ride...

Here was my route...

View Larger Map

Here is a link to the google maps list etc. For some reason the link only works if you copy and paste it into your browser.

50 mile start

cue sheet, number, beer tokens

6 am

foggy ride in

river view

I left Plainfield and rode to Montpelier, VT. It was a beautiful ride in to town. It was foggy and cool and I felt great on the way in. When I got to town at 7AM I grabbed a new battery for my computer and went to Capitol Grounds for a breakfast sandwich and coffee. I chatted with a guy who thought I had already made it in from Williston from the 115 mile start! He had dropped off his wife and come into town to meet her at the rest stop later. He was wounded in Afghanistan so can't ride long distances anymore.

I rode to the Montpelier rest stop and met John and we rode in to the 50 mile start in Bethel. A pack of 9 racers flew past us in Randolph coming from the 115 mile start. A note to all is not cool to swarm around a car on both sides in a small town because you want to go faster. It is not the Tour and having drivers like bikers is more important than shaving 3 seconds off your century time.

When we got there I was feeling good but way too hot. I hydrated and snacked and started out with the big pack. I had a great ride except for about 1 hour 80 miles in when I got light headed and felt terrible. I hate the heat! My legs got heavy and when I got to the next stop I drank 5 liters of water! I took 2 bottles of ice water and continued to dump them on my head. After that I felt really good and finished out strong.

Somewhere around 2:00 it finally started a nice cooling rain. Everyone rode well as there were only 2 minor road rash cases related to 4 mile downhills in the rain. 

It is a very nice route. The climbing is steady and long but not too steep and is followed by long sweeping downhills. By long I mean 3-4 miles. There are several nice valley rides where you can cruise along to recover from the climbs. The end is a loooong downhill so when you get to the brewery you feel great.

My ride ended up being 106 miles and took 8:10 to complete. For me that is a fairly fast ride for that distance. When we got there there were hot showers, cold raspberry hefeweisen and bar-b-q chicken! My wife and 6 year old met me at the finish and we ate and had ice cream.

It was a great ride with really nice friendly folks. Highly recommended as a way to enjoy a bike and help out hungry folks.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Surly Pacer update...

Overview of Pacer rando rig
Front view
Wired computer and cue sheet light
Rando gearing
Double stem setup to lower bag
Not much clearance but enough
Yes, quick release. In ride adjustment to change pressure points.
My rear loves this seat.
Flat for now.
Rear view.
Lately I have been in deep summer mode which for me means very little riding and  lot of swinging the hammer. Since I haven't had any great ride updates I decided to do a bike update.

At this point the Pacer has served very well and would be the perfect rando rig if I could raise the brake pivot mounts to get 1/8" more fender clearance. If anyone has any ideas to increase the fender clearance please share them! The fenders are fine except when on gravel roads sand and such make a sort of nonstop shhhhhhh sound.

I love the handling and fit. Why didn't I just get a Long Haul Trucker? This bike felt much better in terms of handling and that ever debated and elusive category of speed/responsiveness.

The Pacer was also a great choice because if I ever build up a different bike with more braze ons and such and better clearance I will know exactly what I want since this bike fits perfectly now. It has basically been a multi-year Fit Works test. Don't expect any new exciting bikes for a number of years though because unless I have a lot more time to ride it just isn't justified.

The pictures and captions mostly say it all. The changes I have made are mostly gearing and fit related. Mechanically the bike has performed very well.

Harpoon Brewery Point to Point Ride...

Tomorrow I'll be riding in the Harpoon Ride which benefits the Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank is the organization here that collects and distributes food to all of the foodshelves around the state. I am officially riding the 50 mile course but will ride to the start, resulting in a 95 mile ride.

If you would like to donate to the Foodbank you can do so here...

Check back for a ride report later.