Archive for April, 2010

Saturday commute, parked the Norco indoors

Beautiful weather today, I wore shorts and a jersey. No gloves. Dare I say winter is over? Parked the Norco in the office today. I didn’t want to leave it on the street all evening for fear of thieves. It’s Saturday, no suits, the skeleton crew was running, so nobody noticed the bike locked to a support post in the unused office space.

I broke a spoke on the Simpsons Sears road bike on the way home from work last night so I had to take the Norco. I do remember pushing extra hard, and not going any faster. But now I see, that when I spin the wheel,  it’s so out of true, it’s knocking the caliper brakes at every revolution.

The source, a spoke broken right at the hub. It could be all over for those wheels. All the spokes may break one at a time, I was lucky up until now. Do i rebuild a set of corroded rims, or buy new 27 Inch wheels?

They are probably 40 year old rims and I punished them all winter long. What ever brand they are, they’ve done all I can ask.
For now I’ll just replace the broken spoke, and buy a few extras to store in the seat tube, just in case I snap another one.

Friday Commute “Tail Wind?”

40-80km winds every day this week. Man, am I beat after a five day stretch of commuting. Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. I love a good tail wind. Being able to maintain top speeds all the way to work makes the commute thrilling and exciting. Unfortunately, and more often than not, you face a headwind the entire way home. I have to admit, a strong  headwind is always a reminder aerodynamics…

Cycling Commuter Wind Fighter Techniques!

  • Bringing your head closer to your handlebars will reduce your drag surface area.
  • Take a backpack or messenger bag instead of panniers when the winds are howling. Panniers catch a lot of wind. On blustery days I’ll leave the panniers at home.
  • Bringing your hands and elbows closer together, at least to between your shoulders, will decrease wind resistance significantly. Tuck in your your knees as you pedal so you can cut through the wind.
  • Make sure you are spinning at a higher cadence for more torque, you wont get bogged down in gusting winds.
  • Take an alternate route. Cut across the wind, and avoid open areas.
  • Flapping clothing, hoods, open zippers and the like are all a major drag.  Choose wisely.

Monday Commute, “I met M.J. today, another all weather cyclist.”

Working nights this week, so I found it unlikely to find this very friendly lady walking her beat up mountain bike out of the downtown Winnipeg office building at 10pm. As I held the door open for her, she tells me that she rode her bike all winter long after getting tired of waiting for the bus, standing in the cold, only to be sweating like a pig moments after getting on board. She refused to pay for parking in the downtown area so she started taking her bike to work everyday. I sincerely congratulated her on her accomplishment, but never told her that was my bike locked up across the street.

I had to agree with her on all counts. As you know, I hate bus’s, and the only thig worse than riding behind one is riding in one.  As far as parking is concerned…. Don’t even get me started. See you around M.J.

Friday Commute, Clean the roads already!

Its April already. The snow has been gone for a long time now. I’m already riding in shorts. Unfortunately the roads are like every parents worst nightmare. A sandbox full of broken glass where you can play in traffic!

The gutters and side streets are covered in sand . Heaven forbid you have to follow in the wake of a transit bus sandstorm. Even the multi use paths are in nasty shape. Don’t be afraid to take the lane when you need too to avoid a sandy potholed oasis or a gritty corner. The drivers don’t want to drive through this broken glass hazard anymore than cyclists do. I’m sure they’ll understand…

Wear glasses with good coverage. Don’t forget to bring a patch kit and spare tube. Be sure and hold your breath if you can’t outrun the dust devils.