Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Odd day.

I was planning on a winter bike ride with CBC. It starts at Logboom park so I rode there last night to make sure I knew the distance and time it took. It got dark during the ride so I kicked on all my night lights and noticed that my headlight was low on juice. No big deal, I was only 7 miles from home and I had more than enough power for that distance.

I rode home, worked out a few alternate routes that avoid needless downhills followed by 8% grade climbs. Excellent. I cleaned my chain, filled my water bottles, and checked my tires. All good.

This morning, I get dressed and head on out for the CBC ride. At 5 miles out, 2 miles to Logboom, my shifter cable snaps. Great, now I am a single speed, I turn around and head home. Climbing up the 10-12% grades was interesting but not too bad, I am not sure what gear I left the bike in but it was low enough to climb with a bit of grunting. I get home and decide I want to have the Corsa ready to ride. I take out the floor pump and work on the tires. BAM! A seal goes out on the floor pump. So now I have only half the work done on the Corsa, so I take out my trusty Topeak Road Morph and fill up the tires. Prefect, the road morph is a trooper, no issues, in fact I over filled the rear tire and had to dump a bit of pressure as I don't run 120psi in the winter. I love my road morph, it is the model from 2002/2003 or so and has a pressure gauge, flip over tab for my foot and a hose to prevent bending the stem of my tube off. A nearly perfect device, and one I love.

So now I need a new floor pump and I need to take my Rohloff hub + Raptobike to the shop for new shifter cables + an oil change. Ah well, the sun is still shining, I guess I will go for a pleasure ride on the Corsa.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I love this picture of Lucy rolling around in the dirt. It really conveys her playfulness. I find Lucy so cute and fun. She has such wide range of behavior, and really is a doggy dog. She goes from Fashionista:
to Playful:
Lucy chasing Casey for the ball
to Intent:
JRT Fun Day - Lucy go to ground
to Competitive:
Tug of War
to lounging:
Marymoor 139
she digs:
Dog Walk
And she always is part of our pack with Casey:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Project Streamliner

Munzo TT
As some of my readers may have divined, I am deeply interested in getting a practical streamliner. I want it to be useful for commuting, long ride such as randoneurring or the stp, and hpv racing in the super-street class.

The idea is that I start with a tilting trike such as the one above. Then I work with Coroplast and make a shell for it. Garrie Hill has already done this for his trike, the model of his shell is below:
From RandomPictures

Then I clean up the surface, paint it, mount it and end up with a nice red streamliner. Something like Lonnie's below but made of coroplast and a different shape. But I do love the red with silver striping.
Preparation for 200m Sprints

I am thinking of using PVC piping for internal struts to mount the rear especially since the tilting wheels means I have to allow for them to move. A front strut coming off the BB will provide the mounting location for the fairing as well as a place to mount a front light. I will also have a strut pointing straight up to brace the fairing. I will probably talk to terracycle and replace the stock idlers as well. I will want to raise the seat a bit and I am thinking that I could use side mount drum brakes on the rear wheels and then wire them up to one brake lever. I would move the tilt lock down under the seat and put the rear brake lever on the left side. The front brake would be on the right. I will cut the fairing into pieces so it can be removed and reattached. I am currently thinking a front section, two cockpit sections (top and bottom) and a rear section. With the trike separable, that means I could separate the entire thing into 5 pieces for travel or transport. I would paint the fairing red, and put silver reflective stripes on the sides similar to Lonnie's streamliner. I will also put numbers on the fairing for race events and organized rides such as the STP.

Currently this plan is all potential and no actualized in any way. But if all goes well, I may end up with the trike in 2010.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

More on Practical Streamliners.

After posting the other day about the following streamliner that was at the Ford HPV challenge 2009, I was reminded of a streamliner from Portland.
Practical Streamliner 03
Jester in F40-like clothing

Preparation for 200m Sprints
Todd's Streamliner in Portland

I believe that Todd's Streamliner above also has a Jester at its heart. It is based on a Varna shell and he added gull wing doors and a larger canopy. He takes it on the street and always does well at the Human Powered Challenge in Portland since he knows the handling and abilities of his streamliner much better than most riders do.

I have to admit I am very tempted to look into this.

Monday, November 30, 2009

What Features I want in a potential streamliner and why?

Practical Streamliner 03
Recently I have been considering streamliners as commuting platforms. The so-called "practical streamliner" bike problem. This is an interesting problem to be solved.

Commercially there are a few approaches that have been taken.
  1. The Velomobile, a tadpole trike platform with a shell. Examples include the Quest, the Go-One, the Sorcerer, etc. Most are heavy (~70lbs) and the tadpole format adds a certain about of tire scrub and rolling resistance. Even so, this is the format that is the most common for practical applications today. It is also very fast as long as you don't have too many hills.
  2. Fabric and wireframe Faired bikes, the Lightning F-40, which holds the fasted time ever in RAAM is the classic example. Faired Easy Racer Gold Rushes are another common example and the lowracer above with a customer carbon fiber front fairing and cover is within reach. These tend to be lighter, in the 30-40lbs range and the cost is lower. The speeds are good, especially since the weight is low and low weight means that climbing is not as affected.
  3. Hardshell streamliners, tub bikes, these are the real speed bikes, also about ~70lbs with limited steering radius and other practical limitations. These tend to be individually produced with custom design features. There are examples that have been made more practical and can be used in general traffic and riding applications. Joe's streamliner built around a varna clone shell is one example

The question is what makes a good platform to build a streamliner around. You want a number of components.
  1. Suspension, a streamliner is faster and due to the opaque body generally has reduced forward visibility for road bumps and hazards. You will hit bumps fast and you want to be able to handle it. Suspension also helps stick to turns better at speed. Most streamliners can easily average in the mid 20s MPH or low 30s MPH if the road is reasonably flat or rolling hills. Suspension helps make this comfortable and keeps the tires on the road.
  2. Large Gear Range, a streamliner wants high gears to avoid spinning out in the 25-30mph range. It also wants low gears to climb hills with the extra weight. A gear range from 17 GI to 120GI is adequate for most practical applications. This can be accomplished with a jackdrive (intermediate drive), an internal hub, or something like the SRAM dual drive.
  3. Indirect Steering, indirect steering or some other method to control how much your steering apparatus goes to the side during turns. Traditional Tiller and U bar steering can take up quite a bit of width during turns, widening your profile and reducing the aero benefits of the streamlining. Indirect steering can eliminate this entirely though it does add complexity. Other solutions are sitting very close the the fork and putting a small T bar steering directly on top of it.
  4. Entry, Exit and Stoplight solutions, a trike of some sort makes a good practical streamliner since entry, exit and stopping/starting are all pretty simple as long as you can get in and out of the fairing. Bike solutions have to worry about bomb-bay doors for the feet, clearance for derailleurs , etc. The inherent stability of trikes helps a lot for low speed handling like climbing. Most of the practical 2 wheel streamliners have either open bottoms or do something with bomb bay doors (complex) or fabric (simple) to improve the aerodynamics on the underside. Entry and exit is also very tricky with a 2-wheel streamliner. The F-40 and other fabric/nosecone solutions solve this reasonable well. Many 2 wheel hardshell solutions require helpers to launch/catch them. This is not very practical.
  5. Storage, some form of storage and luggage capacity. A streamliner is useful for both speed and weather protection. You will want to carry the odd bit of groceries, a change of clothes or maybe a laptop. 20 -to 40L of storage is a nice thing to have. The extended tail section of most streamliners does provide a location that suits many designs. Even a way to add a small basket back there provides useful storage.

Looking at this list, you can see why tadpole trikes do well as velomobiles. I am looking for a bit more speed and less tire scrub so I am considering a tilting trike as a platform. Though a lowracer modification such as the one pictured above is also highly tempting. I suspect I could invest $1000 or so into such a solution and come up with something workable.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Posting Schedule and random news

From RandomPictures

I haven't been posting much lately. Mostly due to the new house and because work has changed lately requiring more hours but also due to the fact that it is the winter. I will continue to run this blog and will post interesting items. For instance Arnold of Raptobike is planning a FWD trike design and has reserved the name Raptotrike.com. I am hoping for a tilting trike out of this.

With the winter and my longer commute I find myself wishing for a trike to commute with. Especially a trike with a fairing, aka a velomobile. In the US, Bent Up Cycles has become the premium velomobile dealer. Dana carries the bluevelo Team, the Greenspeed Glyde and seems likely to start carrying the Quest version produced by Bluevelo under license from Velomobiel. Dana imports VK2s from Poland and carries a number of other European brands. If a tilting trike comes to the US my money says Dana will carry it, especially if there is a velomobile version.

At least that is my hope since I don't want to ever get a second car and prefer to find a car alternative in a velomobile. I don't think I will need the large carrying capacity of the quest. If I can carry groceries for dinner and a gallon of milk then it will be enough for me. My mostly likely day to day cargo is the commuting load. A laptop, a change of clothes, tools and a jacket. With this in mind I want a lighter weight velo and a narrower track. This leads me down the narrow wheelbase of a tilting delta trike framework. I see enough room for the basics in a turtledeck behind the seat and the tilting delta format is good for stability even in the wet leaves I sometimes traverse. Something like the Munzo TT would be nearly ideal with the indirect steering and the take apart frame for transport.

I think a functional, fast, velomobile would be nearly ideal 3/4s of the year and my raptobike would be my summer bike. I could outfit it for fun, lightweight, road cycling and keep the velomobile platform setup for commuting and foul weather. I would love to try this. If I have to make my own shell I will need to experiment with a tailbox for the raptobike first. Cleaning the garage of all the crap from the move becomes a priority then. Ah well, back to the reasons why I am not posting as much, too busy. I will continue to post but not quite as much as I had been.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Still Commuting

The Puget Sound rainy season has started. I am still cycle commuting, even in the rain but I have wimped out a few times. I added more lights to my helmet which gives me a bit of control over where my light goes and allows me to turn the lights on or off while in motion. It also lights up my cockpit controls without having to turn on the backlight for the gps or bike computer.
Raptobike 002

Lately I have been wondering what it would take for me to have a foul weather bike without sacrificing too much performance. The Munzo TT trike caught my eye. A 40cm track width, tilting delta trike with indirect steering and suspension. It is a very good platform to put into a homebuilt shell and the guys at FastFWD.nl seem to be planning to make it into a velomobile as well.

Here is the video of the trike in action:

Tilting trikes don't experience the same tire scrub that a normal trike does in turns. Delta trikes are also faster than tadpole trikes though normally aren't as stable in turns. The tilting changes that equation and makes the trike even better in turns than a tadpole. The narrow track width means a shell will be narrow as well. Suspension is always a good idea for a streamliner since you will hit bumps at speed. Disk brakes are also a good idea and this trike has the mounts for them. Additionally the Munzo TT separates which makes transport much easier. If the shell also separates (as it should) then you can transport the contraption pretty easily. Overall a very exciting idea and one sure to occupy my thoughts this winter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday Dog park visit

Kristin and I headed to the dog park on Sunday. We ran into a number of friends and had a great time.

Fuck 'em

STP 2009
Today some asshole yelled "Get off the road!" at me while I was riding to work. Now you may or may not know but the "approved" method of dealing with this is to just put your head down and take it. Personally I am tired of this crap and tired of the complete lack of empathy when a cyclist gets yelled at then hit or whatever. The standard response is to ask what the cyclist did wrong to deserve such attention. Or maybe some other cyclist did something that apparently means that I need to be punished for.

Well in my case it is very clear. I yelled "Fuck you" right back at the asshole. And I am tired of all the "blame the victim" chatter that always gets offered up when a cyclist or pedestrian gets hit by a car. So to all the enablers and assholes out there "Fuck you" too.

Just a fed up rant from an Ex-NYer.


Recumbent Panda
I have been riding the Corsa lately. The White Rabbit is in the shop getting a new front wheel and new brake pads. I miss the raptobike greatly. With the rear rack on the Raptobike I have a much higher carrying capacity and can take my laptop home which I cannot do confidently with the Corsa. The internal hub and easier start off the line makes the Raptobike a much better commuter as well.

The new rim is in and Kirkland Bike Shop is doing their normal stellar job of building me a new front wheel. So soon I will be back to this:
Commuting 001

Monday, October 5, 2009

Kitsap Color Classic

Kitsap Color Classic 007
Last Sunday I rode the Kitsap Color Classic. This is an Cascade Bike Club organized ride, one of the last of the season. Aden was kind enough to give me a ride to and from the Ferry. The ride was great, if you click through the picture above you can see all the shots I took. I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted because I am still using my old canon. The new canon died and I am still waiting for the replacement camera to arrive (a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3).

The ride was moderately supported and since I was with Aden I was with 6 riders besides myself who were looking out for me and vica versa. If you click through the pictures you should see the riders, Susan, Allen, Al, Amy, Lee, and Aden. We got a later start to let the day warm up. The ride was absolutely beautiful and not insanely hilly. It was about 3800 ft of climbing if you did 62 miles. My bike handled wonderfully. I rode my Raptobike as you can see in the photo above. There were some significant hills including one of more than 20% grade. I saw a number of riders walking up that one. I rode up it though I was short of air at the end of the 1/2 mile hill. I had no issues with the FWD slipping on such a steep hill, though I am sure it would have been an issue if it had been raining.

I only rode 54 miles as I discovered a crack in my front rim at mile 25. My poor rim hasn't been the same since the STP abuse in July. I have been trying to "get by" while waiting for the new rim to arrive but now my front wheel is dead. I rode it home and it is now in the garage. I am working various options to get the raptobike out of the shop as I don't want to ride my backup bikes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fastest woman alive.

Barbara Buatois broke the woman's world speed record this past week. She was riding the Varna Diablo 3 at Battle Mountain. With a 5 mile runup she was clocked at 72.534 mph average through the 200m speed traps. This is on level ground with no drafting. She is offically the fastest woman and the 6th fasted human in the world. She is also the first woman to break the 70mph mar. It is also the new national French speed record.

Here is a picture of the Varna Diablo III:

For more Battle Mountain 2009 results see this thread on www.recumbents.com

Friday, September 11, 2009

Casey Slideshow

Casey is Kristin and my first dog together. He is 4 years old now and the greatest little rat terrier. He loves fetch and loves to run. I assembled a slideshow of pictures of Casey here to share.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Malric's Latest - Kouign Amann LD

From Malric's World

Malric has a new design. He has updated his frame geometry on the FWD MBB lowracer, it is now adjustable for rider size and has more aero handlebars.

Ever since Malric introduced his design a year or more ago I have been following the progress of his designs. His company Zockra Bikes is a sponsor of a few HPV athletes including Barbara Buatois who recently set the female hour record at the Ford Michigan Proving Grounds Test Track in August. She actually set it twice, her second go at 84.02 kph/52.2 mph in an hour was faster than her first. This was on the Varna Tempest, a streamliner.

I am very happy to see Zockra sponsoring HPV athletes including both max speed and long distance riders. I certainly give more attention and desire toward their bikes knowing that Zockra both supports my chosen sport and that top performers of this sport are riding Zockra bikes at speed events. Take a look at the various Zockra bikes, they are all drool worthy carbon beauties. My personal favorite is still the Kouign Amann LD, I love the clean chainline and the practicality of being able to turn sharply and go FAST. I also have to admit, I like their paint jobs. They give the bikes a very finished look.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bike Thief

Bike Thief vs Street Justis from triple on Vimeo.

A bike thief ends up in a confrontation with his targets. This was on Cyclelicious . Check out the drill the thief drops early in the video. I noticed that the thief while scared out of his mind was not really harmed in this video.
(restored video)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bike Lust - Thundervolt M1

Thundervolt Manufacturing is a custom shop that makes a beautiful carbon lowracer. The Thundervolt M1 is available as a frame kit that includes fork, carbon/aluminum tiller, front and rear brakes,headset and front wheel. You can see John Morciglio's ad for it here.

This is a beautiful bike and a dangerous thing for me to look at. Here are some pictures:
Thundervolt M1

Thundervolt M1

Thundervolt M1

Thundervolt M1 - from above

One of the things that intrigues me is how it has integrated storage under the seat and in the shoulder fairings. This bike is designed for racing but it is very beautiful and I find it quite alluring.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Commute Pictures over time.

I love commuting by bike. It is fun, it keeps me in shape and I get to decompress after work with a beautiful ride and workout. I thought it would be fun to show a number of the pictures I have taken commuting over the Spring and Summer. So here goes:
Commuting 001
The Recumbent Point of View.

Raptobike - Morning Commute
Raptobike Commuting in the Rain.

on my commute
The View from behind me.

Post Ride Raptobike
Me and My Steed.

Commuting 003
The Raptobike at the Office.

Commuting 013
The traffic I avoid

Panda in sequence
The view behind me on the Sammamish River Trail.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Home and Commute

My Commute Route
I now live in Woodinville and my commute is 14.5 miles, most of it is on the West Sammamish River trail. I love my new commute, it is not too hilly, it is longer and it is beautiful. The trail is basically a bike highway during the morning commute. No intersections or cars, just a nice smooth trail with ramps to exit or enter at various roads. A great way to start the day. Once I replace my camera I will take some pictures.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I despise blame the victim chatter.

Why is it that every single car/bike crash or tragedy story is marred by everyone and his brother rushing to blame the victim? A man gets dragged 150 ft behind a car and immediately they story is about the evils of fixies. About how you must avoid confrontation, about how the cyclist must have been drunk, about how he curses at his mother, about how the cyclist must be a devil worshiper, etc.

This is the standard fare for all cycling stories. I have never seen a single crash story involving cyclists and motorists that didn't blame the victim. Not one. The best part is how we are all supposed to be very hands off with the motorist since we don't know the circumstances yet. So everyone just unleashes all their suspicion on the cyclist.

So for everyone blaming the victim, enjoy your final vacation in hell.

Friday, August 14, 2009

SlowCoach's Raptobike in Scotland

Raptobike with Tailbox
Wow! (more pictures on SlowCoach's thread at BROL)

This is Slowcoach's raptobike in Scotland. It only recently arrived; he and I had been corresponding regarding his bike search and he went for the Raptobike after a test ride and loaner from Laid Back Cycles. It is beautiful and highly functional. I have to admit I am drooling.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hilarious Cycling Video

Performance - the name of the game.

This is just way too funny. You should watch it.
(h/t Bike Portland)

Busy Busy Little Bee

Commuting 001

I am closing on a new house, my Father-in-Law is in town, I have two major projects due at work and am still trying to coordinate my bike stuff. I am swamped and not posting much right now. Sorry.

I did at least put up some new dog pictures and some commuting shots. So take a look and see.

Cyclelicious is running a contest

Cyclelicious is running a contest for a free tee-shirt from Strange Cargo.

It sounds like a bit of fun.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Insanely funny video

You need to watch this, Tiffani Thiessen on why she is too busy for the "Saved by the Bell" reunion.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Great fun at the Dog park today

We went to Magnuson "Small Dog" Dog park today early in the morning. We saw Uno and his family (Aden and Mark) as well as Lola and her family. We also met the cutest Italian Greyhounds. 3 in one family and 1 in another, the stars were Blaze and Neville, both very cute and unusually dog friendly Italian Greyhounds. There was also an unknown black dog who played fetch with Casey and hung out. Lots of very cute pictures with the two of them hanging out and playing fetch.

This was one of the best days we have had for Casey playing with other dogs and Lucy had a ton of fun with the Italian Greyhounds and the French Bulldogs (no pictures of that unfortunately).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Raptobike "White Rabbit" is home again

Raptobike Front right view
The "White Rabbit" is home again. She has a new frame, new Terracycle idlers and a new rear rack by Tubus. The rack will allow me to use my Ortlieb panniers in the near term and will be the mount for my tailbox longer term. I need to be prepared for my new commute. BTW, the idler kit for the Raptobike is not on Terracycle's web site yet, just call their office and Pat or Robert will get it out to you. It is very nice and comes with Raptobike specific instructions. The Kirland Bike Shop put everything together for me and got my Raptobike running again.

I am still waiting on my Schwalbe Kojaks, and the new front rim from Velocity but the bike is a dream. I took it for a 20 mile test ride today and loved it. The new idlers eliminate the two issues I had with my Raptobike. I had been having trouble with the chain jumping due to my chain line not being perfectly adjusted. If I hit bumps while coasting it might jump off. That problem is gone, but was specific to my setup, not a Raptobike issue as much as a tuning issue. The other issue I had was that the stock power side idler use to grab jeans, shorts or any non-lycra clothing on my right leg. This includes hair and flesh. I had been just careful to wear 9" inseam lycra shorts. Now with the thinner toothed idler this problem is GONE.
idlers and me
As you can see in the picture there is now a decent distance between my thigh and the idler. I also rode around wearing regular shorts and there were no issues. This is a bigger deal and very welcome.

All in all the bike seems to be better than ever and it was a dream before. I can't wait to move into my new house and set up my workshop so I can build a coroplast tailbox.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Too Funny

William Shatner is a national treasure. Here he is reading Palin's tweets as free verse. Very funny.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sunday Dog park pictures

On Sunday, Kristin and I met some friends at Magnuson Park for some fun. We tried to schedule it later in the day to avoid the heat but it was still very hot. Though not as hot as it is today in Kirkland, 110.5 F right now.

Raptobike upgrades

Raptobike being assembled
With the Raptobike in the shop, I am performing a few upgrades while it is there. Terracycle idlers are now available for the Raptobike. My stock idlers were a big draggy so am upgrading to the Terracycle product. I am switching to 35-406 and 35-559 Schwalbe Kojak tires front and rear. I am also adding a rear rack to serve as support for my soon to be built tailbox and a front fender. Oh yes, I am also adding 2 B&M cyclestar mirrors.

I should have the White Rabbit back next week sometime. I await completion impatiently.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Raptobike being assembled
The Raptobike is in the shop right now. It took some big hits during the STP and so I am not riding. I have the Corsa and am commuting on it but I am not training right now. Part of this is my left ankle is still healing from a sprain, but part is that I miss my White Rabbit.

My brain has been occupying itself with designing new bikes and tailboxes in my head. I have a decent mental plan of a tailbox for the White Rabbit. My current plan is to join the various coroplast parts using a hot glue gun and a technique that Garrie Hill published for joining coroplast. There should be 5 major components of the tailbox. The part that goes against the seat back, the left side, the right side, the bottom inverted U shape part and the top cover. The entire structure will rest on a tubus rear rack and have 4 thumb screw attachment points to the seat. This should make the tailbox easy to remove for transport.

The bike designs are more fantastical. Flowing shapes that want to be carbon fiber or maybe aluminum monocoque. Dual 520 wheels, forward triangulated seat that is integral to the frame, triangulated rear end, front suspension, front wheel drive, etc. I think I need to buy turbocad to start putting ideas into more rigorous form. OTOH, I have convinced myself that if I can get a front fork for the raptobike with suspension, I want it.

Ah well, I wish I were riding but at least I managed to get some ideas in more concrete form than daydreams. Just couple of weeks to be without the Raptobike, so maybe I will have it in time for the new house.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I am a little short tempered right now. The Raptobike is in the shop being repaired after my STP crashes (multiple). I am buying a house and one of the seller's banks is being annoying. These minor personal annoyances mean that I am having trouble taking other issues in stride.

Here is a list of highly annoying things:
  • Press coverage of health care reform. It is startling how easy it is to see the hand of corporate money in supposedly neutral press coverage.
  • Libertarian morons who all apparently believe they are Renaissance men, capable of doing everything for themselves and anyone who might need help is weak and should be purged.
  • Actually all libertarians are annoying, I find it amazing how a group that self identifies as intelligent is so short sighted.
  • Motorist apologists and the dangerous drivers who threaten cyclists every day. One of that tribe hit a pack of 5 cyclists in Ottawa recently.
  • The religious right and their parade of hate, guns and bigotry.
  • Overt in your face religion of all stripes really pisses me off right now. Probably the side effect of being a preacher's kid. Right now, if you are overtly Christian, I will happily assume you are a bigot, a misogynist, and a republican. Redundant as that list is.
  • Science deniers, this includes the anti-vaxxers, the global warming deniers and creationists. I hate the selfish con-men that most of you are. And without a doubt you are all selfish bastards or sad deluded tools.
  • Bankers. This includes anyone who works for Goldman Sachs.

I could go on but you get the idea.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

STP 2009 Collage

STP 2009 Collage, originally uploaded by Watson House.

Here is a nice link to all of my STP photos. The Seattle to Portland ride was great, I had a lot of fun and learned that I can and will push through adversity when I am properly motivated.

210 miles over two days was a big accomplishment for me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Marymoor Park with the dogs

Marymoor 001
We went to Marymoor park today instead of our previous plans. It worked out well as both Casey and Lucy love the dog park. It is hot today so Lucy spent a lot of time lounging around.
Marymoor 147
and Casey played fetch the whole time.
Marymoor 003
We did see a number of other dogs, including this beautiful German Shepard
Marymoor 068

All in all a great day. Click through on the pictures to see all 130 photos from today.

Friday, July 17, 2009

STP retrospective

STP 2009
The STP is over and I have had time to recover and mull over my performance as well as the bikes performance. I had a bit of bad luck going in. I broke my prescription sunglasses at my house the morning of the STP. I hit 2 major potholes on a 33mph descent at around mile 15 during the STP and crashed with a front flat at mile 20 and mile 155. My rim needed to be repaired by use of pliers and sandpaper. And I received some 12 sq inches of abrasions during those falls. All of this obscured the performance of my riding and my bike.

Looking back after a week I can now see how I did without the blur of the accidents that occurred. I averaged 16.9 mph for the first 120 miles, I slowed down from Winlock onward after a near brush with heat exhaustion. I now know how important it is to douse myself in water while riding to keep cool in hot weather. This is something I have been told before but it didn't really sink in until I noticed symptoms of heat exhaustion on the way to Napavine. Clammy skin and feeling cool at the skin layer (best I can describe it). I stopped when I noticed the clammy skin and used my spare water bottle to cool down.

Due to my wheel issues from the crash I also climbed Puyallup using a gear of 34.6 inches. I didn't love it but I was able to without too much issues. This tells me that I could and should bump up my gearing on the raptobike putting my low at 25gi instead of 20gi. I will also add a water bottle cage to the raptobike on the handle bars. This will free up my jersey pocket that I dedicated to this.

I also found that Cytomax is awesome and I do very well with it as long as I have water besides. Next year I will do the STP in one day. I have a number of modifications to the raptobike that I plan on.
  1. Terracycle Idlers - the current ones are not as efficient and the power side idler currently is dragging badly.
  2. Water bottle cage for the handlebars.
  3. A second mirror (B&M Cyclestar 901/3)
  4. A rear rack probably from Tubus, maybe the airy. A good base to mount my tailbox too.
  5. a homemade Coroplast Tailbox. I have a design in mind that will be aerodynamic, have a decent carrying capacity and have a latching enclosure. I will also build cargo stops inside to allow me to keep smaller loads closer to the front and near the seat.
  6. 38mm Schwalbe Kojaks to replace the 28mm Schwalbe Duranos.
  7. A front fender.
  8. A larger front chainring (62T)
  9. slightly lowered handlebars
With all of these changes the Raptobike will be an all weather bike that can handle the rough roads and carry decent cargo. It will also be more aero and have water bottle and hydration bladder options. I will have locking storage via the tailbox and the tailbox will be removable via thumb screws high and low on both the left and right sides. Cheers to winter projects!

Monday, July 13, 2009

STP 2009 - a great ride.

I have now successfully completed my first STP. DKW and I started at 5:30 or so on day one. Here we are riding away from the start line.
STP 2009
Coming down some of the hills I hit some potholes at 30+ mph. I could feel the new dents in my rims when I tried my front brakes. I cursed but since the wheel was still true I just rode onward. Later at mile 20 or so, I turned a bit to the left to avoid hitting a women rider in front of me and down I went. A pinch flat took me out and I skidded to a stop on my left side. A nice rider named Tom was behind me and almost went down with me but managed to miss me. He stopped and helped. We didn't know why I went down until we saw the flat front tire. An STP support vehicle was helping us before I even managed to get the front wheel off. I switched modes as Larry took over the wheel, tire, tube maintenance. DKW borrowed the first aide kit from the support team and gave me an excellent field dressing.
STP 2009
After Larry bent my rim into shape with a pair of pliers and I sanded down the interior rim edges to prevent any more pinch flats we were back on the road. I did have to repair a double set of classic vampire bite holes in my tube. This patch job lasted over 130 miles.

We stopped at the next rest stop to use the port-a-potties and top off our water.
STP 2009
I unfortunately needed to help some one day riders who wrecked with directions for their support car to pick them up. They were through for the day.

As Day one progressed DKW and I both stuck mostly together and regrouped at mini-stops and/or hills. We made good time and averaged well over 16.5 mph for the first 100 miles. There was 13 miles of bike trails that were nice except for stop signs on the path yielding to driveways, which annoys me to no end. I am feeling good as we ride through here though I am keeping an eye out for potholes or bumps as I don't want to go down again.
STP 2009

We continued onward and left the trail about 13:30. Though it looks dark here it will soon be the hottest part of the day.
STP 2009

Later at the hills approaching Napavine on Rush Rd I started to feel clammy skin and I got cold instead of hot, these are signs of heat exhaustion. I stopped on the hill and dumped my spare water bottle all over my head and neck. I rested and waited for DKW to catch up. While recovering I snapped this shot of people climbing up Rush Rd.
STP 2009
A Gullwing rider stopped for us as well and gave us some bottled water which DKW and I both used to cool ourselves down. The temperature had spiked to the 90s here and we just weren't prepared. From this point onward I took the advice of a cyclist friend of mine (Willie) and kept dumping water on my head and neck any time I felt too dry. Another excellent example of the CBC support crew on this ride, I needed that extra water and I should have been keeping my skin wet with it well before the 110 mile mark.

DKW broke a spoke somewhere between here and Castle Rock. So we found an excellent stop at Castle Rock with a full bike repair crew setup. The repair team from Bothell Ski and Bike replaced DKW's spoke, trued his wheel and got him going again.
STP 2009

At this point the Broadus team caught up to us finally. They got a late start and it took them a hundred and twenty miles to catch up. One of the other riders took a picture of us all together at Castle Rock
STP 2009

At this point the Broadus team took off and DKW and I chugged along the final 35 miles for the day. I tried to keep up with the Broadus's for a bit but it was a fools game and I dropped back. I ended up following a pair of one day riders all the way to the bridge into Oregon. This was a bit too far and luckily DKW called me. I biked back to DKW and we went to the drop point to pick up our bags. I managed to hit another pothole at this point right in front of the drop point. I went down with the second bent rim and pinch flat of the day. I was not a happy camper but we walked to the drop point and then to our hotel. After dinner I bought a pair of pliers and DKW helped me get my rim back in shape. Even after all this abuse the wheel is still true. Only the rim bent which is amazing. I know the wheel is through though and after the STP I will need to get a new wheel built with my Rohloff hub in it. All of the accidents are due to reduced sightlines, I was following people too closely at mile 20 and at mile 155 I was just tired and my glasses were covered in sunscreen. I could barely see shapes let alone shadows.

Sunday morning we get on our bikes, ride back to the drop point with our bags and I start my computer again. Here we are riding off in the sun, happy to ride our final 55 miles to Portland.
STP 2009
STP 2009

Day 2 is nice but almost all of the riding is on RT 30 which is not the nicest experience. I am taking care not to hit any more bumps as there is no way my front rim will survive any more surgery. After 50 miles we finish the STP in Lloyd Center.
STP 2009
STP 2009

It was a great ride and I really had a blast.