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Occasional ride log and other cringey babbling

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Occasional ride log and other cringey babbling

Old 04-26-19, 03:44 PM
  #76  
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Bike commuting for a while would probably make better car drivers out of a lot of people.
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Old 04-26-19, 10:53 PM
  #77  
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Re-reading through some of my cringey work life whining makes me wish Iíd decided rather to keep a separate journal and maybe share highlights here. Or maybe that I didnít look at this blog as an open notebook. I guess if nothing else the writing about it helped me to paint a portrait of that which Iíd previously only been seeing little bits and pieces of, one at a time. Itís not easy, any of it. It doesnít make me feel better that most other people suffer just as much as I do. I wish we didnít suffer so much. Buddhism has a lot of cool stuff to say about suffering but you gotta be pretty open minded to take any of it seriously. I do take it seriously to an extent, I just get caught up where most people seem to do with detachment. I have a little pink Buddha hanging from the saddle of my daily bike.
Weird thought: it might just be knowing that Iím logged into Bike Forums that helps me feel inspired to write in the first place.
Yeah, now that Iím thinking on it this is all stuff Iíd realized before and since forgotten.
I started a cringey thread about it, I probably smoked a joint and got to staring at one of my bikes and got to feeling all inspired and just wanted everybody to be able to have a bike. Theyíre inspiring objects to own. All but the very worst ones are functional. It doesnít take much to get a pretty good one. For the same energy cost as going on foot you get to your destination 3-5 times faster and its easier to carry stuff while you do it. Even the nastiest ones will do this. If your body is up to it you can get ones that will let you ride 20-25mph for long stretches of time.
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Old 04-26-19, 10:58 PM
  #78  
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They come in all shapes and sizes. There is no scarcity of used ones or new parts to keep them running basically indefinitely. Itís a good hobby, ďbikesĒ, that is, no matter which end of the spectrum youíre coming from or headed to.
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Old 04-28-19, 07:02 PM
  #79  
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Today I swapped out the nasty brake levers for the Tektros on the Voyageur. I was having a time getting used to the saddle so I put a flatter one on that has some more setback as well.
I wouldnít say it looks good, but itís a decent looking bike. Iíll put new tape on probably in the near future. These tires are starting to look tired. I look forward to the next time I get to ride it, and it may be a few days with rain forecast to some degree every day next week.

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Old 04-28-19, 07:24 PM
  #80  
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The crank on the Voyageur is noticeably narrower than the one on the Trek, 30mm, enough that my knees feel weird. I think I might like to try some of those pedal extenders, you know the ones that screw into the crank arms, not just washers. I think theyíre like 10mm wide.
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Old 04-28-19, 07:27 PM
  #81  
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I think it might look cool in all black. I really liked how it looked with the skin walls and brown housings and stuff but I think itíd look nice in all black, too.
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Old 04-28-19, 07:32 PM
  #82  
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If I donít like how it handles with a pannier and donít get a handlebar bag I might take the racks off. It takes nothing to put them back on.
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Old 05-10-19, 06:47 PM
  #83  
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I took that saddle back off the Voyageur. I should set it on fire, for all the grief itís caused me, but I keep thinking itíll be good on something, someday.
See the thing is is that that saddle (see what I did there?) has more setback than any other saddle Iíve owned. It sits about 1/2Ē further back at its forward most setting than any of my other saddles at their most rearward. I like that itís narrow and mostly flat with not a lot of padding. But the setback thing is a problem for me. I realized about a month ago or so that my saddle had gotten a little high over the winter so I started taking it down, this was on my other commuter, the Trek (that Iíve now decided to give to my brother - not the one I gave to my other brother from that other thread like 3 years ago, my other brother). It was I guess about 1/2Ē higher than I had set it when I first started riding the bike back in November. My knees were starting to feel pretty thrashed and I wasnít making any further progress with my flexibility. Taking my saddle down was good but then my feet and ankles started hurting some, so I changed my foot position a bit (like moving my cleats back, only without cleats on platform pedals), which made me want to take my saddle down some more, and move my feet forward some more. My bars came down a little too in the process. When it got to the point I didnít feel like moving my saddle down any further, I measured and itís now 7/8Ē below where I had been riding it for the last several months. And my feet feel like theyíre halfway back on the pedals but theyíre not, I just have size 12 feet, and had been riding effectively on my tippy toes for so long it just feels strange, but it feels good.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:02 PM
  #84  
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But somewhere in the process I started looking at my saddle setback too because with the drastic height change and foot position change my butt didnít want to sit in the same place anymore. I couldnít get that flat saddle to come forward enough. I knew it was a little different than my other saddles but I didnít realize how different until I measured and also measured from where my sit bones sit on the saddle instead of measuring to the nose of the saddle like I had been. Itís a wreck, I know. After having a few weeks to adjust
to the new position (and bike), and to think about how I got to where my setup was, I realized a few errors.
The first was that I was fixated on the idea that my feet should sit on the pedals with the balls of my feet centered over the pedal spindle. I think this is worthless advice that Iíd been faithfully adhering to for at least 5 years.
The second was (and this may be due to where Iíd been putting my feet) since I couldnít seem to find a good saddle height/setback, I became fixated on a number, my ďidealĒ saddle height by modern internet calculation standards. What I think I failed to consider was that using platform pedals with various different shoes, the number was going to need to be different than the ďidealĒ as I think most of those calculators assume a clipless cycling shoe. I believe I should have been erring on the low side but instead went high. Iíve heard a lot of cautionary tales about making sure your saddle isnít too low or else youíll blow out your knees.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:05 PM
  #85  
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The third error was that of measurement, I had been measuring and setting my saddle height to the middle of the saddle, the lowest point. Either I had never seen before or had seen and forgotten was to use a level across the top of the saddle and measure to the bottom of the level (highest point). Which on my saddles is about a 1cm difference.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:08 PM
  #86  
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So I think all those things were sort of conspiring against me and IF the current setup is a good one (and it feels pretty good so far, the best itís EVER felt, actually), I had my saddle basically 2cm too high and too far back and my feet about 2cm too far back as well for the last 5 years roughly.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:13 PM
  #87  
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Some other contributing factors along the way were some toe clips and straps I bought from the LBS, you know the plastic ones with nylon straps, ďone size fits allĒ - I remember putting those on my old Raleigh (also with the too high too far back problem) and having to move my feet even further back. It literally felt like I was pedaling with my toes. But I had myself convinced that toe retention was definitely what I was missing and my LBS said they should work great and Iím on a first name basis with them.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:23 PM
  #88  
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And itís not entirely accurate to say that everything feels good now. My knees are pissed. Everything else feels better than I even thought it could, but my knees arenít very happy with the change. Iím hopeful that over the next few weeks theyíll continue to feel better. All in all I feel a little foolish about it. Thereís a lot of good advice out there about ďgo get a professional fit doneĒ and, somewhat conversely ďtrust your bodyĒ. I did neither of those things. But I always felt like I was doing the best that I could with the tools and knowledge I had. And I do honestly have serious doubts that trusting my body would have gotten me to a good place with my bike fit. My previous leg injury combined with a desk job, weak core, and some preexisting asymmetries has told my body to do some pretty weird things, like a 130mm stem one time. It only took about 3 weeks to realize that error. Iím now using an 80 and itís just about perfect I think. But I do have to admit there was sometimes a little voice in the back of my head making me want an 80, I felt like it would have been more comfortable. But you know, I put all my measurements into that one calculator and it told me to use a 120 for that top tube length and the 130 was cheaper.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:32 PM
  #89  
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I sípose if nothing else, the whole experience has taught me a couple things:
1 - a single cm adjustment in terms of bike fit is a lot
2 - make changes just a little bit at a time, and then wait
3 - if you change one thing, youíre probably going to have to change the other 2 (saddle, feet, hands). Itíd be nice to be able to predict how much and which way.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:39 PM
  #90  
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Back on the Voyageur though, the more time I spend on this bike and the better I get the fit dialed in, I really like it. I mean a lot. There are times when I can forget Iím riding a bike, just floating along face in the breeze not looking down. As a person who travels almost exclusively by bicycle, this is a highly desirable trait. It goes where and how I expect it to go and it doesnít take a whole lot of effort on my part to coax it to. Itís a full 10 lbs lighter than the Trek, even with the rack and fenders on it. That makes more of a difference than I thought, even on my rather flat commute and local area in general. Our garage is full of bikes and weíre always having to shuffle them around, and itís always a pleasant surprise when I pick it up.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:44 PM
  #91  
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Current state of the garage and upcoming post topic, my Collegiate that my kid and I painted.


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Old 05-10-19, 07:46 PM
  #92  
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Anybody needs a Honda Civic hubcap gimme a holler.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:51 PM
  #93  
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And Iím thinking about putting a sticker on the Collegiate that says ďMy other car is a 1983 Schwinn VoyageurĒ. I think people will get it.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:53 PM
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Now thereís something for you: My Raleigh, my Collegiate, and my Voyageur all 1983. The year I was born? A couple years before that.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:54 PM
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My (2) Fujis? 1973 and 1988. (R.I.P. both)
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Old 05-10-19, 08:09 PM
  #96  
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I also had a Ď72 or Ď71 or Ď73 Schwinn Super Sport. It was really cool, opaque green. It was a 21Ē frame (they called it a 22), I should have gotten a size bigger. I gave it to this guy I gave another bike to after the first bike I gave him was stolen. I didnít know him, I just gave him a ride one day, I was pumping gas and he walked up and asked me
for a ride, it was pouring down rain and he said he didnít drive, walked 4 miles each way every day to the university. I told him I had some extra bikes if he wanted one. I ended up giving him two. That day sucked, too, while I was en route to the university my truck backfired for some reason real hard and then started spewing clouds of smoke. After I dropped him off I went home and parked it in the driveway and it never started again, the motor was locked. It was an old truck that I bought when it was already old, drove it for three years as a family minivan, gave it to my brother, he gave it to my dad, and then my dad gave it back to me. When we bought it it had 120,000 miles on it. The odometer quit working at 270,000 while my dad was driving it. It was a Ď92 GMC S15 Jimmy. It was a very good truck, and I was sad to retire it but it lived longer than it should have anyway.
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Old 05-10-19, 08:14 PM
  #97  
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All I ever had to replace on it was an intake manifold gasket really early on, a distributor, brake linings, and tires.
I managed to get 23mpg out of a tank of gas in that truck by adjusting the shift cable, accelerating gently, and coasting in neutral (which as I understand is considered unsafe), as compared to the 12-15mpg my dad and brother would usually complain to me about. But they are very emotional drivers. The emotion is usually anger.
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Old 05-10-19, 08:15 PM
  #98  
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That was the 4.3L V6 with the throttle body injection (TBI - we called it ďtoilet bowl injectionĒ, as thatís what the injectors were shaped like).
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Old 05-10-19, 08:16 PM
  #99  
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My wife wants a Tesla. She wouldnít mind me telling anybody that.
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Old 05-10-19, 08:18 PM
  #100  
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I believe my car-free days are coming to a close. It really is too difficult for all but the most stubborn people to live without a car in suburban Indiana. My wife and daughter are indeed stubborn, just in different ways than I am. I consider this a good thing.
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