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Month: July 2008

Work is 15.4 Miles Away via Bike

On the Fourth of July I rode to work, then up to Lake Orion, then back home. Total of about 56.5 miles. Since Google Earth would only save this as a blank black image I had to take a screenshot instead.

I’ve been curious how far it is to work via the safe route (no riding on high speed roads), so today I tried it and found out: 15.4 miles.

After getting to work I used the bathroom, refilled one water bottle, ate a food bar, then rode up Squirrel to Tienken, down to the Paint Creek Trail, up to Lake Orion, then back home. Google Earth (even the latest version as of today) wouldn’t save the displayed route out as an image, so what you see above is a screenshot.

If you’d like to see this route for yourself, here is 04-Jul-2008.kmz and here it is in Google Maps. There is an odd mis-track there, which I don’t quite understand, but it seems that my GPS occasionally figures itself to be somewhere it isn’t.

Total food consumed before and during the ride was:

· 1 each GU Energy Gel in Chocolate Outrage and Lemon Sublime flavors. The Chocolate Outrage and Vanilla Bean (both with 100mg caffeine) are my preferred flavors of these.
· Approx. 1 cup of mixed golden raisins and raw almonds.
· Vegan Organic Food Bar (These are very, very good. Sort of like a nut and fruit smoothie paste in a bar.)
· Four hard boiled egg whites, some overly salty hot smoked salmon, vanilla yogurt with granola, an english muffin with olive oil and black pepper, and a pint of coffee (this was the before-ride breakfast).

The stats for today’s ride are, per the bike computer:

Total Distance: 56.55 Miles
Moving Average Speed: 13.3 MPH
Maximum Speed: 25.9 MPH
Moving Time: 4:13’54

This is the longest ride I’ve been on, particularly if one figures during my last 50 mile ride I stopped at home, ate a pile of leftover Thai food, packed some stuff up for shipping at the post office, then set out again. The only time I stopped for a period of time today was at work (~10 minutes) and to sit in downtown Lake Orion in a park and eat nuts and raisins (~15 minutes).

Now to shower, eat something, and figure out where I’m going to end up this evening. Party invitations are three deep, and all sound very good. I’ll consult with Danielle (who is at her house at one of the parties) first.

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33 Miles == Working Brakes

After riding 33 miles this afternoon the new brakes seem to be working great. The intermitant creaking sound still has to be worked out, but I’ll try to do that tomorrow when double-checking torques before riding.

I ended up riding down to Dodge Park, through there, up to Riverbends, then I wound my way around some neighborhoods there and back to my house. Part of this included two runs through the 5km hiking trail. All in all, a nice ride.

Tomorrow I’m going to try and do a long ride. Hopefully that’ll go well.

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My Bike Works Again

The Wheel Master 365-MACVXT5 wheels as shipped, built with Mavic XC 717 Disc rims and Shimano Deore XT HB-M756 six-hole disc hubs.

I’m very happy, my bike works again. Today I received a package containing the new wheels and front brake and got everything installed and working. The delivery was supposed to come yesterday, but at 8:30pm UPS changed the status to indicate that it would be delayed and delivered today.

When the box arrived the label on it indicated that it was a Wheel Master 365-MAVXT5 set, consisting of Mavic XC717 Disc rims, 32 hole, in black, with matching Shimano M756 hubs and black DT spokes. I’ve been unable to locate any info on Wheel Master online, but it appears that they assemble wheels in the US for sale through other shops. I’m quite happy with these wheels, as they were almost perfectly true when received, reasonably well packed, and cheap. There was no rim tape, prompting a quick run out to REI to pick up some 17mm Velox rim tape. It also seems that the rims are painted (or powder coated) black, so there is the risk of scratching them and exposing metal beneath. Hopefully this won’t happen.

I had a bit of difficulty making the rim tape stick, but hopefully it’ll get better as it sits under pressure from the tube. Mounting the disc brake rotor was trivial, and it was particularly easy to fit the tires on to the rim. The size of the rim seems just perfect, and my normally-difficult Continental TravelContact tires seated automatically, without the need for glass cleaner as a lubricant.

The Avid BB7 brake received was listed as a 07 version, but it was manufactured in 2008 and doesn’t match my rear brake dated late 2006. They don’t match, but they do both work. Part of me is considering returning the one from REI and getting a new rear BB7 to match, but it’s probably not worth it

Everything else with reassembling the bike went great, and I took it for a ~8.5 mile test ride in the dark (with lights, of course) after everything was done. There is a slight creaking-ish sound coming from the bike, but I can’t tie it to any particular effort or movement, so I think that it may either be a brake cable housing rubbing against a cable tie or possibly the seat post. I’ll try and sort it out tomorrow.

The brakes themselves are working better than they were when I first left on the ride, but they still aren’t properly broken in. I’m not able to lock up the rear brake yet, and squeezing hard on the front brake while pushing the front end along by hand still allows the wheel to turn, albeit with quite a bit of effort. I imagine that with another 10-20 miles and some more good hard stops the brakes will start wearing nicely and they’ll stop like my BB5s did.

Overall I’m quite happy with things. The wheels are lighter and the bike seems to move better than it did before, and having nice, true, non-flat-side wheels makes everything seem like it rolls by better. Hopefully soon I’ll get to go on a nice, much longer ride; maybe this weekend.

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