Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
Miserable ride home last night- gusty headwind, wet roads and occasional shower- felt better when I got home and it absolutely dumped on and off for the next couple of hours. Need the commuter back from the shop, apparently of the two items ordered from the same supplier at the same time (BB and Headset) only the headset arrived, up to COB yesterday!!
Don't like the sound of SRAM Red being ground into oblivion by sand and mud (SRAM Rival sounds much cheaper when being ground into oblivion)
Lovely cold morning this morning - the Gipps St bridge had the usual slippery frost on it (not as slippery as Monday though) and the Kew side of the Walmer St bridge also had its covering of frost. Was ready for the cold on the ride into work and had a good time pootling along. Last night on the way home my tyres ran over two stones or something and then flicked them out to the sides. The crack that made as they were flicked out was quite loud. I thought that my tyres had gone! But no, all good. Although maybe not so good for whatever the rocks hit on the sides of the road...
The bike is now in the shop getting its wheelset replaced (after a service two weeks ago revealed that the freehub was about to die at any time on the current wheelset and the specific freehub the wheelset had couldn't be sourced by the LBS) - it should be interesting to see what the bike and the old freehub look like when I get the bike and the old wheelset back.
I'm looking forward to riding the new wheels (Pro-Lite Merano) on the way home tonight!
EDIT: Forgot to mention the cyclist in front of me on the Cecil Walker bicycle on Collins St this morning - his brakes were LOUD. Sounded like they needed a checkover as the screaming goat type noises coming from them when engaged were turning the heads of cyclists and pedestrians alike.
My front brake pads are loud, don't really know why that is happening but the back pads which are a different brand don't make any noise. The brakes are V brakes if that makes a difference.
Riding: Cannondale Quick Speed 2
Slacked off a bit yesterday afternoon - met up with the family at my old local and got a little too comfy. Accepted a lift back in the smokebox. Was a nice afternoon for a ride in Melbourne though.
Frosty again this morning, a little sluggish after yesterday's sojourn at the pub.
Decent ride into the CBD nonetheless.
Soma Double Cross 2012 - Commuter || Giant CitySpeed (Alfine 8 IGH) - Commuter || Bakfiets Long 2011 - Cargo Bike
Perhaps the brake pads are at the wrong angle? Try adjusting the toe-in. Also check the front wheel rims for any dirt (or rubber from the brake pads) that might be stuck to them.
While VRE gives good advice on how to fix them, my advice is don't - they are a far more effective audible warning device than anything short of an air zound
They certainly fit that requirement, although if I were the cyclist I might get hearing problems from the constantly screaming goat I'm riding. That or learn how to brake without using my brakes.
DavidS, you aren't the Cecil Walker bicycle rider I'm talking about, are you?
My toes were cold on this morning's commute - colder than yesterday (although that might have to do with wearing thongs outside this morning and going swimming). Still they were cold.
The new wheels were purring last night and this morning. Now that I've got a new set on I can really notice how gritty and grainy the previous set were - apparently the issue the LBS was talking about with my old rear wheel was the freehub bearings (not sure if that is the correct word for them). Apparently there are three of them inside the hub and one had broken meaning the other two were taking more of the load and were under more stress. I think I'm riding faster on the new ones too although that's probably my imagination. And I also think the new ones are slightly lighter than the old ones because when I was carrying the new set to the LBS in the morning and then carrying the old set back to work after the change in the evening my arm hurt more carrying the old ones than the new (great scientific analysis there. ).
Had to go home in a car last night, which left the commuting bike out of position for this mornings trip into work. With constant intermittent rain up here, it looked like the stand-in was going to be the MTB, however, radar indicated a sufficient gap in the showers for the ride, so the roadie was given the honours. Such a fast commute at sub half hour for the 16 km run. Time saved was spent cleaning it down after accumulating the usual road filth that adheres to it from the wet roads.
Have been a bit quite of late. Didnt ride yesterday as the commute tuesday gave me a good slapping across the head.
I didnt give the bike a real good clean the previous weekend as the weatherman said rain coming up. Well they got it right for once...Tuesday was a commuting in the rain day. The morning commute was cold too with the rain as constant drizzle. Then in the afternoon just as I was getting ready to leave, the rain came back and it wasnt light rain either. When I got the bike from the rack I thought the rear looked a bit down, but when I felt it, bounced the back tyre it seemed ok so off into the rain I went. As I am riding along, I could actually feel the grit on the gears and chain up through the legs, wasnt liking what I was feeling. Then to add more misery to the trip I get a flat tyre about 5 k's into my trip (was this due to my rear tyre maybe not being as inflated as I normally have it..who knows)...the upside was it just before a servo, so in I go to fix it, out of the rain. The flat was due to a piece of metal that looked like and was about the size of the metal clip you get on pens to hold it to the shirt or a book. Jammed in nice and deep...no salvaging that tube. The rear wheel, the whole bike for that matter has that much black gunk on it from the road that I get absolutely filthy changing the tyre.
Did have a guy ask if everythihng was right and if I needed help...even came over and assisted (i didnt ask) me in putting the tyre back on...I was using levers and he just used his fingers..despite the filth...so that was nice.
I was down to one tube, 40 odd k's to go and weather was miserable...luckily I got home but cold, drenched and filthy and the bike performing like a dog....engine wasnt at fault of course lol.
The next day, Wednesday, was slated as more rain and as I was feeling down about the day before and really didnt want to repeat the same performance, I piked out and worked from home. I cleaned the chain/gears/jockey wheels somewhat last night and put plenty of oil on the chain.
Ride in this morning was a good one, the day off the bike had me feeling a little invigorated and the legs had a bit of go in them. No rain thankfully and surprisingly a little warm, especially compared to the last week. I sweated buckets.
Bike will get pulled apart this weekend and given a good cleaning...ready for the next rain patch and the filth of the road.
I will hit a little milestone riding home today...10 000 pure commute k's since Jan 1. Big improvement on my riding last year, I achieved just under 13 000 for the whole of last year, so am doing a little better this year. Worked it out given my recordings, that I have spent a full 16 x 24hr days on my bike achieving this...why oh why?????
I think you deserve a break - how about til jan 1 2014?
Better than spending that time sitting in the car in peak-hour traffic going nowhere fast.
Have yesterday and today off commuting- training in Scarborough with nowhere to put the bike if I want to ever see it again... Going to make up for it with a ride with the big guns on Saturday and get crunched (I am hence tapering )
Jason...I will take a break once I get a decent lead on you and TW
Summer....sometimes in the rain I think the car drivers may have got it right lol, but the next sunny day ride tells me I am just dreaming...the bike has got it hands down on the car
I can never understand the people in sydney who spend hours in traffic jams, yeah I know they have to get to work and public transport isnt the best, and we all dont have the luxury of riding a bike...but still, why waste so many hours of your short life sitting in a traffic jam!!!
My entire ride this morning was done in fog. It went from very thick (less than 50m visibility) to thin. Made everything nice and damp but still so much better than rain.
Vehicular traffic behaved itself which was surprising, maybe school holidays helps..not so many vehicles on the road as normal. After having the body/legs yesterday up for a ride I ended up being very flat this morning...no ooomph in me at all
Don't you think you've done enough already???
Somewhat unusual commutes yesterday and this morning.
Yesterday afternoon was pleasant in Melbourne, so there were lots of people about on the trails, and being mindful of the fair-weather pootlers, my spidey senses are on hight alert. Riding along the gravel section of the MYT just behind Burk Rd, I come across a couple on MTB BSOs, man on the left, woman on the right. The gravel is crunching under my tyres, so she hears me from 50m back and checks behind, but I give them a polite heads-up ding of bell from 30m away anyways. As I approach she moves to the left out of the right rut in the path. Thinking she is going to continue moving left, or at least hold her line, I pass on her right with a fair margin, when suddenly she hooks right again and clips me with her handlebars.
Neither of us went down, but it was close. Politely expressed my wonder at her action and carried on. As a clarification - this path is pretty wide - more like a little road. Anyway, incident free remainder of the commute.
This morning there were lots of eyes reflecting out of the shadows on my way down the Darebin Trail, definitely more critter activity than usual. Also, a couple of teenagers on BMXs on one of the suburban streets at 4:15am.
Then, a few minutes later, I encounter a chap walking his dog on the trail. Happily, he had a blinky going, very sensible! He's probably the second person I've seen at this time of day this year.
Overall, more critter and people activity than I've seen in a while.
Soma Double Cross 2012 - Commuter || Giant CitySpeed (Alfine 8 IGH) - Commuter || Bakfiets Long 2011 - Cargo Bike
Last day of school holidays today in Victoria I believe so I should enjoy the reduced peak-hour traffic while I can.
Good ride in. Felt faster than my usual Friday struggle. I'm going to credit the new wheels, because I know the engine isn't the best at the moment as I've been waking up the last few days with really, really stiff calf muscles (on the point of cramping, although I have sort of taught myself to relax the muscle before it gets to full cramp stage in my sleep so haven't had a real cramp yet - asleep is when I usually get my calf cramps). They also protest during the day. I'm not sure what I'm missing or have added from the usual that would cause this issue. Maybe it is the cold.
The part on Albert St, East Melbourne where they had those water issues a couple of weeks ago and had to pull up the road and separated bike lane in peak hour... Well they've replaced the bicycle lane green stuff with this disgusting highlight green paint - I'm glad it is a straight section as it just looks like they put dye into their usual white road paint and lathered the area so that 10m section would be quite slippery when wet, IMO.
I should post a video of the lane so you can see how vomit-looking it is.
EDIT: Oh, and last night I passed a cyclist riding a tandem bike... Without a friend on the back. Me, of course being the smart-donkey's-behind-like person decided to jokingly say to him "You're missing a person." To which he responded "Opportunity arises". I replied back as I was passing him "Got my own thanks".
Thinking about it I'm not sure he was referring to having me join him on the tandem... I'm a bit of a fool for thinking I can talk coherently, understand, reply and cycle all at the same time.
I had an unusual encounter last night. I guess we’ve all come across teenage ninjas on BMXs but last night I came across two middle-aged ninjas on matching folding bikes happily pedalling along an unlit section of bike path. As I passed I heard them discussing in unfavourable terms the brightness of my light. Shezzzzz If it wasn’t for my lights we might have an opportunity for a real discussion.
This weekend I have yet another weld (AKA thinly applied chewing gum) on my Chinese carrier to repair and a strange noise to track down and fix.
It would not be at all strange if history came to the conclusion that the perfection of the bicycle was the greatest achievement of the nineteenth century.
Well... After having a fairly good run of non-eventful commutes, it was a crash (not literally, mind you) back to reality tonight.
Riding down Collins St, Melbourne CBD between Queen and Elizabeth a car that doesn't indicate and moves into the huge cycling/parking lane without indicating or looking (he stopped to pick up his passenger with still enough room for me to survive and stop and look him straight in the eye and tell him off).
Then it was the cars who just couldn't stick behind the slow horses and carriage up a section of Macarthur St which has the tram lane raised strips (ie. illegal to go over them unless going around an obstruction, which a moving carriage is not).
Then there was the lady driver who turned left over the dedicated bike lane in Albert St, East Melbourne without looking for cyclists and made the cyclist in front of me (as well as me) have to brake to avoid her.
And THEN a block later a taxi stops to let off passengers - stays in the car lane instead of blocking the separated bike lane (Yay!!!)... And then gets completely blasted by cars behind him (BTW. I believe it is in fact legal, yes legal, for taxis to stop in clear ways to pick up and let off passengers) so said taxi decides to be nice to the cars and moves out of the car lane... But in order to do so blocks the bike lane... Without checking for bikes and me coming down the hill. So he got a few OIs from me and I actually banged on his rear window to tell him off (I had come to a stop by then). I haven't banged on a car window before. His rear passenger window was open so they clearly heard me telling them off and either he or his passenger apologised, which was at least some comfort. Hopefully they'll take my advice next time and actually look.
A lot of motorists clearly took a moron pill before hopping in their cars to head home tonight.
Summerknight perhaps your solo tandem thought you were hitting on him
I was hitting on his bicycle. Or maybe my bicycle was hitting on his bicycle and I was helping the courtship.
Nah, not me. I ride in from the South and ride a Cannondale flat bar. I'll look up toe in and see if that might help. The noise is irritating.
Riding: Cannondale Quick Speed 2
Now for something a bit different - I've been in the UK for the past week on a work carry-on, in a coastal university town. They were mad for the bike there - every fixture on the main strip had four or five clattering old grids tethered to it, every cycle of traffic lights had four or five bikes go through. I sounded out somewhere to hire one but the only place that offered this was a straight tourist trap, the cost for a week with a pretty dumpy looking front suspension hybrid was more quid than I would have been willing to buy one for, so: yeah, nah. All the riders I saw had good confidence and traffic smarts, all ages, both genders and all styles of dress & equipment, and the only aggro I witnessed was me having to yank a fellow pedestrian back from a kerb by the scruff of the neck to keep her from getting pole-axed by a guy cutting a corner through queued traffic at about 30kph. All in all it was cool!
Had a day off in London at the end, feet were hurting and I needed to get to a train station about 1.5km away from my hotel, so I availed myself of a Boris Bike. I'll confess to major trepidation about the traffic, but I figured if at any stage I really wasn't happy I could bail onto the pavement and play the dumb tourist if push came to shove. Then, on the approach to my station I couldn't spot a docking station (surely there'd be one at a traino!? Apparently not) and then I suddenly found myself funnelled between a series of trucks and buses through an underpass with roadworks and the pavement fenced off. Ok alright Ok alright, I say to myself, I've got this ... then with still nowhere to go but onward I end up on London Bridge, then as soon as I had options I ducked into an alleyway somewhere in the financial district (I think), to keep looking for a docking station. None on the bridge! None on the waterfront! Absolutely none in sight, shoulda done my homework! By the time I finally found one I ended up having to walk about 3km extra in the attempt to save myself 1.5. Fail
“Lexa”: 2012 Trek Lexa S; “Bluey”: 2006 Trek 7.0FX
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