It was a much better experience to ride above zero today and my mechanicals worked better. But I have to say, after wiping out before I left my neighborhood today, that the snowy slush keeps a person on edge, especially when worrying about traffic when the shoulder is slush and snow.
Its kind of stupid to ride below zero, but hey....I was chilly and my rear derailleur froze up and the bearings were sluggish and didn't want to move. I made it to work and home, saved 8 miles of gas, plus letting the car warm up...so it was worth it.
Nitto Bars, KHSremovable fenders and lights pretty much turned this mediocre old Gary Fisher Alfresco hybridbike into a great winter commuter...its been doing well so far...getting a handlebar angle that worked took some adjusting, but other than that it happy commuting!!!
I wiped out for the first time today on ice...I decided to take a side street and upon exiting Cedar Lake into Dakota Park I came across a sheet of ice about 15 feet long that I didn't see until it was too late...I laid it over without injury. The bike was fine but I broke the clamp on my nice Cateye Opticube light...so, unless I can get a replacement clamp, I am out 50 bucks for a light...
It snowed a couple of fresh inches while I was at work....so I took Cedar Lake Rd to Virginia Ave and got on the Cedar Lake Trail towards Hopkins and then took the SW Corridor home...really fun night ride in the snow...Swamp Monster was stupendous!!
The name comes the fact that this bike was in a flood...therefore it was severely dirty and has a lot of oxidization on the aluminum components.
I took the parts off and washed them in solvent and since there were no brakes, I added a set from my 1985 Trek MTB, which work swell.
I added the fenders, which obviously need adjusted, the Bontragercyclocross tires (b/c this is a winter bike), the nice Bontrager saddle, my SPD pedals, a rear light and a couple of stickers to spruce it up.
I don't like Grip Shift, but it functions fine and I took it out for a 20 mile test ride today and the Monster rides great. I wish I could ditch the flat bar, but that would be too much work.
This is primarily a winter bad weather bike...so I can retire my Trek "winter bike" and save that nice old frame from the salt!!!
The Trek will get Extracycled next year!!! That I cannot wait for....
Was going to do the Greenway/Minnehaha Parkway loop but decided against it due to the windy cold...I figured that if it got too chilly I could just hop off the Lake Trails and head home...it was a good idea...I hit all the lakes from Cedar to Lake of the Isles to the E side of Calhoun and 3/4 of the way around Lake Hariet...I went through Linden Hills to trader Joe's to finish up my grocery shopping...so I had to ride with both panniers and my backpack - no big deal really...not too excited about taking "pleasure" rides in this weather...
My two dilemmas are: 1. figuring out how to dry my lobster gloves...I put them in the dryer tonight, but I don't want to waste a half hour of electric just to dry my gloves...my other thoughts were a) use the hair dryer shoved inside them on low, or b) take a piece of PVC pipe and shove it into the wrists to open them up to air, or c) a combination of both. 2. finding a system, besides just taping under the sole of my shoe to keep the air out. I was thinking that my Am-Phib shoe pullovers just don't keep the cold wind out enough. I may try and Velcro something over the toe area, because the pullover only covers the top of the shoe and allows air to get into the front of the shoe.
SW Corridor to Dunn Bros on lake St...by Lake of the Isles/Cedar lake/bridge over Cedar Lake Trail to Cedar Lake Rd...west to Penn Cycle/work...home and then to Trader Joe's and back...chilly ride...on the way to work my index finger and thumb swelled and went numb on my right hand...
My very slow, but very comfortable winter bike put together with a vintage Trek (1981 or 82?) Ishiwata tubed lugged steel frame.
It has Tektro brake levers and Tektro long reach caliper brakes on a Salsa "Moto Ace bell Lap" 44cm cyclcocross handlebar. The bar is attached to a new origin 8 80mm long quill stem. The stem sits inside a newly installed Shimano STX headset.
It rides on Serfas Vida Cruiser - 700x38 80psi tires. I've installed the best fender set available, which is the Bontrager Select removeable fender.
022 Ishiwata steel frame.
Bontrager mountain bike saddle (very comfy actually) and a Bontrager aluminum seat post - 26.6 I believe. I have a bracket for a Planet Bike rear light - the best on the market in my opinion.
The coolest feature is the vintage Shimano bar end friction shifter, which came of a very old "Sentinel" bike frame...the find of the year!!! Its works great. I say it because I do not use the left hand shifter - I find that there is no need for a front derailleur here in Minnesota.
Vintage Shimano bar end shifter states "patent pending." I also installed Bontrager grippy handlebar tape - great stuff!!
New stem and headset as noted before...
XT rear derailleur...I may replace this with an LX or something....I don't want to risk ruining a great rear derailleur this winter!! The 5 speed cassette may contribute to the slowness of this bike, but it may be hard to find a faster geared cassette to fit this wheel...
My wheelset is culled from a 1990 Trek 330 road bike. It has a sturdy concave rims that I feel will be great for what I need on this bike...
Origin 8 175mm crankeset with Shimano SPD 520 pedals...
18.38 miles avg 15.8 max 20.7 cal 524.9 1.09.48 Trek Winter bike
First real ride on the winter bike as a complete bike...I took off the cyclocross tires (700x38 - 90psi) due to lack of clearance from the knobbies on the side and put on the Serfas Vida (700x38 - 75 psi)....it is very slow - feels like I am riding in slow motion....but it is very comfortable - I prefer fast!!!!
50.24 miles 16.7 avg max 33.0 cal 1653.5 3.00.23 Poprad
November...70 degrees....what??? It was absolutely gorgeous outside today....I had to split my ride today - afternnon and then evening...even the evening ride was great. I got hoem at 11PM...can't wait 'til next year!!!
26.69 miles avg 16.7 max 28.1 cal 866.7 1.35.24 Poprad
35 degree ride in evening and then night....new AmPhibs work well on the feet, but still got pretty cold toes...fun ride - I spent 10 seconds or so inside a leaf dust devil on the E River Parkway and nearly ran into a pack of raccoons coming down the hill after Lyndale Ave on the Minnehaha Parkway!!!
24.83 miles avg 16.3 max 27.4 cal 798.5 1.31.14 Trek 330 single speed
Wow...I am going to take more night rides. I took Cedar Lake Rd and crossed Cedar Lake Bike Trail via the walking bridge that leads to Cedar Lake. Then I rode over to Lake of the Isles and stopped at the canal bridge overlooking the lake with a full view of downtown - it was serene, urban and beautiful. I sat for a while and enjoyed the silence. I got a little mixed in Downtown, but eventually made it across the Hennepin Bridge and into Dinkytown. The sights and the feel of the city were sensational. It makes one appreciate Minneapolis and the various connectivity in the suburbs.
This is the frame of its previous existence - nice Reynolds 501 steel frame from 1984...it is presently up for auction on Ebay...
This is the 1982 Trek winter bike, with Bontrager Jones cycocross tires, Salsa cyclocross bars, Trek concave wheels from 1990, an XT rear derailleur, Origin 8 SS crank set and stem, a Bontrager seat post and saddle, and a really cool vintage Shimano bar-end shifter (the set came off of an early 70's "Sentinal" road bike). Thanks to Mr. Eric Guse, we ended up installing a new head set this evening in the switchover process from 1984 to 1982 Trek road frame.
25.09 miles avg 17.4 max 28.1 cal 838.1 1.26.19 Poprad
Nice ride, but with a strong E/SE wind that really slowed me down....still a great time of the year to ride. I enjoy the parkway a lot, but it tends to be rather bumpy...I took some pictures on the ride of Cedar Lake Bike Highway and a few of downtown MPLS from the arch bridge.
I also wicked up a vintage Trek frame and fork today....I may swap it out on my winter bike and sell the Reynolds frame that is currently on the winter bike...we'll see.
I have been using the wired CateyeVelo 8 computers on all of my bikes (I don't mind the wire) because Cateye specializes in computers and lights. I really didn't understand how great the Cateye cycling computer is until a couple of days ago, when I failed to push it onto its holder all of the way and it fell off on busy Excelsior Blvd in St. Louis Park. I stopped ASAP and tried to rescue it, but it was too late. Two cars ran over it. It popped under at least wheels and on the third wheel it flew over to the shoulder of the road. As I watched I yelled F#%K and swung my arms thinking I am going to have to lay down some cash for a new computer for my road bikes.
Alas, I picked the computer up angrily, looked at it and started pushing the buttons. Unbelievable, it was still working totally fine and totally intact. I was shocked. I simply stuck it back on its holder (correctly this time) and rode away!!
I would recommend the Cateye cycling computer. Its affordable, dependable, easy to use and obviously indestructible!!!
Its got some road rash, but hey, it was run over 3 times...what do ya expect!!!
22.68 miles avg 17.4 max 25.4 cal 773.2 1.17.48 Trek 330 single speed
Great ride to work this morning - stopped at the Harvest Moon Coffeehouse for some bread pudding. Then rode out to Cedar Lake and took the trail to Virginia Ave and then to work. Rode the opposite way home and stopped for dinner foods at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. Gotta love this fall weather!
25.40 miles avg 18.5 max 28.5 cal 938.3 1.22.27 Poprad
Replaced the Race x Lite tires with Coninental Ultra Gator Skins for better protection against road debris...I like them so far. They ride a bit harder, but they seem to be just as fast. Beautiful time of year!!!
13.05 miles avg 19.1 max 29.7 cal 510.5 0.40.58 Poprad
Flatted on the Hutchinson Spur Trail portion between Excelsior Blvd and Minnetonka Blvd - same place I flatted with the same bike earlier this year. I think I am going to change my tires out to the Conty Gator Skins for the early and late parts of the season from now on...there is too much debris in the roadway and trails this time of the year!!!