10.17.2011

Ride of the (mostly) fallen leaves

The foliage in north-central Vermont is now mostly past peak which means that most -- though not all -- of the tourists have departed.   A fine day for a long, hilly ride on my newly-rebuilt road bike.

Bottom of Loomis Hill in Waterbury Center.
Sweet Farm Road.
Waterworks Road.  
My bike is not delicate and I don't hesitate to ride on the many dirt roads in the area. Vermont Route 100, with heavy traffic, a poor road surface, and glass and other debris is much worse to ride on compared to a relatively smooth and quiet unpaved road.

Trapp Hill Road in Stowe. 
Rt 108 riding towards Smuggler's Notch. 
Looking pretty grubby heading up into the  Notch.  

Loomis - Trapp Hill - Smugglers - home. 

10.14.2011

Forty-six turning 38

Little ring. 
Every October marks another turning over of my personal odometer, a few more kilometers closer to the grave.

Showing that I am perhaps a little wiser -- as well as fatter, and slower -- in my advancing years, I set up the drivetrain of my road bike with 52/38 chainrings, and am running a 25 cassette.  The idea is to make climbing at least a little easier going forward.
Waterbury to Waitsfield by bike. 
Small gears make ride profiles like this easier to manage -- and Route 100 through Duxbury does not count as one of the longer, or steeper, climbs in the area.

10.09.2011

Back in the saddle again

My road bike languished in my garage for the better part of three years.  Its components were worn out, I had started collecting parts and brought it to a local shop, which told me that the frame was cracked, which sent me back to square one.  In the meantime, wasps built nests in the crank bolts and pedal spindles and the frame and fork served as a forlorn ornament hanging from the rafters.

Further research, however, revealed that the frame was not in fact cracked, but procrastination and other projects prevented me from putting the bike back together.  I was going to get to this project earlier this year -- like spring time -- but only recently was the project finished, thanks to help from Iride in Stowe.

Resurrected:  My 11 year-old, size 52 cm, Chinese-made titanium, Habanero road bike. 
After years of inelegantly hammering on my undergeared rigid mountain bike it feels very strange to get out on a road bike again.  The muscle memory of sitting in the saddle and trying to be smooth and keep a high cadence -- especially climbing -- is almost all gone.  And there have been some issues getting the new drivetrain parts to work together:  the photo is from an aggressive chain degreasing/re-lubing session.

I haven't had any close calls with cars yet, but with distracting personal technology even more prevalent now then when I last was out on the roads, I wonder if it is only a matter of time.  It is disconcerting to do something perfectly innocent -- ride a bike -- but to know that it is a bit like playing the lottery with potentially catastrophic consequences.
A tour of devastation along the Winooski and Mad River valleys in Vermont.  It is strange to ride along local river valleys and see debris from the flood high in the treetops, gutted homes and collapsed bridges, silent testimony to the passing of Irene.