Category Archives: Bicycling

Bicycles are the means to all ends.

Harrisburg Tweed Ride Nov. 2nd!

tweed

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!  

There is going to be a tweed ride in less than a month.  You should come.

Official Announcement Plagiarized Below:

Harrisburg, PA Tweed Ride Sunday Nov 2, 2014
Don’t think this is a sweaty bike ride – but a fashion show on wheels. The fancier and frillier the better. Of course, the bikes may be decorated also – but any ole’ bike will do. •Awards for the best dressed man, the laciest woman, fanciest millinery, and coolest bike

  • Kids must wear helmets, and all traffic laws are to be obeyed – this is just a public ride that looks like a fashion parade with wheels
  • Bring cameras, because we will make numerous stops for photo ops at various Harrisburg sites
    Ride Details:

  • Meet at the Obelisk on Division Street, at 11 am Sunday, Nov 2, for pictures at Italian Lake.
  • At 11:30 am we start cruising down Historic Green Street
  • Photo Op at Stash’s (one of our sponsors) on Green and North Streets
  • Circle the Capitol Complex with picture taking at the fountain.
  • Then ride RiverFront to McClay Street for an ending ceremony at Little Amp’s Coffee Roasters, 1836 Green Street
    For ride information: call Ross at Recycle Bicycle (717-571-2008).

CoffeeWhiskeyBeerCheezeburger Ride

Sloth and I were both looking for a ride of about 25 miles this Saturday, but neither of us wanted to drive somewhere to ride bikes. So, the plan was hatched that I would ride solo to the coffee shop, and Sloth would meet me there, then we would ride to my house, and Sloth would ride solo back to his place. Everybody gets 25 miles, nobody had to drive.

So, I rode down to the coffee shop. I drank some coffee. When Sloth showed up, he had forgotten his GPS or something, so we had to ride back to his place.

Once we got there, he had some sort of French whisky for me to try. Under normal circumstances, I don’t drink intoxicating liquors before noon, but this was just a taste[1], and it would have been poor manners to decline so generous an offer. So, I had a taste, and it was a very nice whisky indeed.

Now that we were fully caffeinated and had a wee nip[2], it was time to go ride bikes. We made it almost 11 whole miles before we decided it was time for lunch. So, we stopped off and had some beers and some cheeseburgers.

Beers.  Cycling caps carefully posed for the picture
Beers. Cycling caps carefully posed for the picture

This worked out pretty well for me, because the restaurant was only a mile from my house. Sloth had to ride back over the mountain with a gut full of bacon cheeseburger.

People will tell you that riding bicycles is a good way to loose weight and be healthy. I do not see how this can be true.

Total distance: 23.08 mi
Max elevation: 525 ft
Min elevation: 157 ft
Total climbing: 1850 ft
Total descent: -1886 ft
Average speed: 5.67 m/s
Total time: 04:13:42

[1] It may have been more than just a taste.
[2] A double

Drivetrain Woes

Drivetrain
Drivetrain

A couple of weeks ago, I had a strange thing happen. I was just riding along; downshifted the rear derailleur, and WHAM! Chain skidded off the big cog and into the spokes.

So, I get off, and think “Wow, that was random,” and I unbend the bent derailleur and get on with my business. Shifting was a little sketchy after that, but I assumed it was because of the bent derailleur. I friction-shift, and my setup is fairly tolerant of things being pretty messed up, so I didn’t think much of it. I ordered a new chain and derailleur a few days ago, and figured I’d install them when I take the studded tires off for spring.

Well spring never came. On Saturday’s ride, the shifting got really sketchy. I could ride in the big ring, or the granny ring, but not the middle ring. In the middle ring, the chain just skidded all over the place when I pedaled.

So, I bailed on my ride and limped back home. I installed my new chain and rear derailleur a bit early.

Nashbar / Microshift Derailleur
Nashbar / Microshift Derailleur

Here it is. It’s the Microshift / Nashbar rear derailleur. $30. A bargain at twice the price.

So, Sunday, with bright and shiny new bits, I head out to the coffee shop to meet up with the Sloth.

Oh, sweet Calamity! Middle ring still doesn’t work. I guess it wasn’t the chain or derailleur after all. “So what,” I thinks to myself, “I still have a granny ring and a big ring, so everything will be fine.” And fine it was, for a while.

IMG_20140316_112522

I made it as far as the Conodoguinet Creek without incident. About two miles out from the coffee shop, the granny ring lost its mojo, too. So, it was me and the big ring the rest of the way to the coffee shop.

PANO_20140316_122415

I met the Sloth, had some coffees, and begged a ride home.

An informal survey of people who know about such things revealed that my problem was caused by worn-out chain rings. So, I ordered some new ones. When they arrive, I will have replaced the chain, chain rings, and rear derailleur. I’m wondering if maybe I shouldn’t renew the cassette while I’m at it.

chainrings

These are the chain rings that I totally ground to dust with my mighty force of my epic awesomeness. Looks like I’ll be spending some quality time in the garage with wrenches and tools and whatnot. Maybe it will be springtime when I have the bike put back together.

Here is a map chronicling my epic journey to the coffee shop with a half-working bicycle:

Total distance: 13.29 mi
Max elevation: 558 ft
Min elevation: 125 ft
Total climbing: 1453 ft
Total descent: -1430 ft
Average speed: 5.05 m/s
Total time: 02:49:29