Monday, November 28, 2016

Lefty in Action

I'm still not quite used to the look, BUT I have come to trust my Cannondale Lefty.

Here's a neat shot from the trails .. look forward to riding them again in the Spring!

For now, the Lefty makes a pretty good & safe bike for the dusk into dark rides on the road near my home.

Today was 14.4 miles averaging 16.6 mph on an out and back loop with a 2 mi and 1 mi sub-loop
at the midway point that I just add loops to bump up the miles. Tonight was 3 of each the 2 mi and 1 mi plus the out and back.

Stay safe! If you see clouds like these ... go back home (live to ride another day).

Saturday, November 26, 2016

MTB modifications for winter use on the street with lights

With the passing of long sunny days to days with short sun .. I've decided to modify my MTB by putting some 26" road tires on it: exactly what I did about 10 years ago when all I had was a heavy rigid framed MTB. The tire's I've had in my closet from that time period and they are working great! My Lefty looks a little funny with this road tire on the front; for that matter the whole bike looks a little strange with road tires on it. I've also added a trusty Super-Binky tail light and a new Cateye Volt 700 (which is proving to be a GREAT light).

Due to traffic where I live, I'm not comfortable riding my road bike on the longer rides that I could when the sun was up later. Now it's just not possible. So rather than ride on my trainer, which I've done for years, and will likely due later when winter fully kicks in, for now that additions of lights and the change to road tires has made my MTB a very good bike to ride through the neighborhood. The road bike is to rigid and the tires are to small, plus no suspension ... not a good bike for the neighborhood.

You can see in the photos it's a little odd looking, but it's still fun to ride. Tonight it was a little over 18 miles and a little over an hour. This beats riding inside just as running outside beats running on a treadmill. So, consider converting your MTB for dusk and dark rides if there are no close trails and you don't want to invest in some more serious lighting. This Volt 700 is an Excellent road light. I've yet to really need the full power beam: low and medium have been working great.

Monday, June 27, 2016

MTB protection from Poison Oak

I still have some scabs on my right arm from a ride two weeks ago when I brushed up both arms with some poison oak .. they were pretty badly affected .. itching .. and its taken over two weeks to heal.

I've ridden on the road with sleeves and found them to work great for sun protection and even cooling. This time I bought some just for MTB'ing and to protect my arms from getting poison oak. I went riding on Sat and used them for the first time; here it is Monday and no reaction .. yeah! The trails are very over grown .. I've walked the trails with my sheers before and did some trimming; looks like it's time to do it again.

I've been working on our home off grid solar system, and haven't been riding much with work and everything else going on. The bike still works Great. Need new tires, but that's about it.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

MTB riding at 100% and higher ... not recomended

On my last ride this week, I had the nice opportunity to ride at 100% + of my ability. I would not recommend riding like this - it can be dangerous. Thankfully for me, for the time that it lasted, this time it wasn't.

On my bike, the thing I like even more than catching someone, is not letting someone catch me. When I ride on the trail, I'm usually alone and will occasional come up on someone who will let me pass. On this day I was riding moderately. Twenty 2 minutes into the ride I heard someone on the trail behind me. I didn't see them, but I heard them say something. So, rather than pull over immediately, I know that I'm riding at 70% or so, ... so I step on it. I was able to maintain my lead, but could hear him behind me at sharp turns. After 2 minutes and 22 seconds my Garmin is beeping .. letting me know that my HR is over 181. One last burst of 110% and I pull over after a long fast stretch. About 6 seconds later a rider comes by and gives a few compliments / encouragement as he passes by.

I start back out at 70% - allowing my HR to come back to a manageable level. It was fun, the highlight of the ride, going at 100+% and not wiping out. The bike is working great. (I have noticed some flexing in the rear wheel that I hadn't notice before, but I think this is much like hitting golf balls every day - you start to be able to feel where the ball is hitting the face of the club. Much like a NASCAR driver can tell if the a tire needs more air.)

Every once in a while during a ride, I like to step on it. Usually it's when the wind is blowing through the trees and it sounds like someone is on the trail behind me...! If you see someone on an old 'lefty' pull away when you get behind them ... maybe it's me ... and you just encouraged me to bump up the effort and training level... Thanks!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Camelbak valve - don't forget it needs to be cleaned...

I use a Camelbak on the trail and on the road when riding my bikes. I clean it regularly, but don't worry to much as I only use water from my reverse-osmosis system in it. I'll even take the bite-valve apart and clean it once in a while too.

Caution: do not inspect the bite valve unless you are ready to clean it - and maybe be a little grossed out! The photo is of my bite valve; but it's what's called Macro Photography. It's something I like to do and have another blog just for it here. This photo clearly show's I should have cleaned this valve .. a while ago .. certainly before my ride two days ago .. and probably even a few weeks before that!

So, remember, clean your bite valves - even if you only keep water in your Camelbak.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sprocket teeth marks on calf...

I've lost count as to how many times I've had the familiar partial "Sprocket" imprint carved into my calf. Today it happened again - withing 20 seconds of starting our ride!

When that happens, it's a good reminder to be careful and not be overconfident. For me it also happens if I go slower than I'm used to: things that I'd normally ride over at speed, now have the ability to catch my tires and knock me over. I'm also using Crank Bros peddles that are over 10 years old and I'm having a difficult time, some times, getting my left foot out. I've change the cleats last year, but may need to do that again, or maybe by some new system.

I also hit some balls this evening. The photo shows my practice 6 Iron, Mizuno MP-62; which hits very similarly to the Mizuno MP-60 which are in my bag. I'm finding that I often seen speeds that are close to my driver speeds .. it's fun. Today there were several in the mid to upper 120's with the 6 iron. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

167 mph golf swing ... broken golf balls, broken birdie balls

Still hitting balls out back; still seeing some very high swing speeds at times (>130 mph) and still breaking golf balls. If these were actual numbers I would play my hand at a Long Drive competition, a Senior one of course...

I recently bought a backup or practice 6 iron. I am playing with MP60's and have a MP62 as a practice club - it's very nice and close to my game club. Even this club will see speeds in the 120's and 130's.

The above photo shows the ball mark on the face, just a little high of dead center. This was before I cut the rubber tee down to the correct height. Then a few swings later ended up breaking the base off the rubber tee. They normally don't last very long, but this one lasted a couple months - longest yet!

This is not a Titleist commercial, but I have and hit balls of all brands and to date I've not had a Titleist ball split, crack or break. These balls are under stress as they are stored outside and hit most every day. I've never bought any ProV1(x) balls (yet) but will find them on occasion when I play and have found them to be nice. Those ones stay in my bag - not out back.

Looking forward to my next round. I normally start with my 3 wood on the first hole or two, but am about ready to use my driver more. Especially if I can connect one of these swings and keep it in play .. it'd be fun to see what happens!
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