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!

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