Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snow and ice

Alas, the forecast for the Amenia NY area this past Sunday had snow, albeit .2", until 11AM -- alternating with rain. That alone wouldn't have scared me off completely, since we would only have reached somewhere on Main St. in Millerton by 11 AM with the climb up Mt. Washington not until after 12pm, but the wind chill of 31F with 10-12 mph wind raised the possibility of ice in shaded areas at least. That's just too much, so I stayed home and did some spinning on my trainer while watching part of Mel Brooks' incredibly funny "Blazing Saddles". Eventually, my daughter Hannah came home and I had to stop the movie (it's rated R) but I got a good hour of spinning in overall.

Bicycle travel

Interesting article in today's NY Times about bicycling while on business travel.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bear Mountain

Leading from the pack has its definite issues, I thought to myself as the front 2/3 of my riders disappeared into the distance.
Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Untitled

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Time for bib tights already

Today was very pleasant weather here in Manhattan. I had hopes for more of the same for tomorrow's ride to Bear Mountain and Storm King. The forecast for NYC is 47 degrees F at our 8 AM departure. I expect we'll get to the top of Bear Mountain around 1 PM, at which time the NWS forecast is 50 degrees F; when we reach Beacon for the train home, NWS forecast is for 53 deg. F.

I have tried getting away with just leg warmers on my May 3rd ride in the Shawangunks and I was unhappy, though that was partly due to the rain while tomorrow is calm and no rain. I think I'll wear my Pearl Izumi insulated bib tights and a regular long sleeve jersey. Autumn is here, and it's not Indian Summer yet (if we get one). NYC will go to 56 degrees in the evening, which is a nice comfortable temperature for a hard ride -- if I have anything left I can try to play keep-up-with-the-cars going up 6th Avenue but it's more like dodgem.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I found the L-bolt for my trainer and now it is all set up properly. Still no sign of my missing pliers *sigh*. I hooked up the trainer, upped the tension and rode for over an hour with a 5 minute break after 30-some minutes.

First half hour, watched 1st episode of "Yes, Minister" (old BBC series from 1979). Very funny. Since I work in the (NYC) civil service, perhaps I get the jokes even more. The rest of the time I watched the first part of "Ice Pirates". I was forced to stop when my wife came home. My daughters objected to the bit they lifted from "Alien", with a creature hatching from a large egg. I tried to continue anyway but got massive flack/grief. Sure, I'm 'the boss' but the girls (and that includes my wife) can inflict sufficient mental anguish....

"Yes, Minister" was funnier than "Ice Pirates".

Bikes as transportation

A Wired article talks about an overhead mount for your surfboard on your bike. If you look at the photo for a moment you notice several things:
  • No sign of a lock or chain so where's this surfer dude going to park his bike and does he really expect to still have it when he gets back from surfing if he just leaves it on the boardwalk or even on the beach?
  • No helmet -- but he's wearing sunglasses.
  • Where's his towel, wetsuit, etc. supposed to go or does he put his street clothes back on over his wet bathing suit? I suppose he could have a 'wet' bag strapped to the board but he doesn't in this photo. I'm not a surfer, but my brother Ken does and he always wears a 3 mil shortie wetsuit.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Trainer vs. riding outdoors

My daughters took a pillow and put it on the top tube then used a chair to each take a turn climbing atop the pillow and pedaling my bike on the trainer. I put the bike in the easiest gear and they pushed it through a few revolutions. More than I've gotten to do so far.

One key difference between riding out in, e.g., Central Park vs. trying to use the trainer: when you're out on the bike in the Park, your family can't come up with priority requests for assistance with their projects etc. etc. -- once you're out the door, you're more-or-less free (esp. if you turn off your cell phone :-) ). I think the thing to do is get up very early, slip out the bedroom door and spin. Admittedly, part of the interference issues come from parking this contraption in the family room where everyone is coming and going etc.; if I clean out my office and get the file cabinet put back I might have a chance at the "out of sight, out of mind" effect.

Mind you, most of what was asked of me was important -- the trouble comes from lack of pre-planning on the part of the requester (or her teacher). Perhaps that's an overly-cynical system sort of administrator perspective.

I had to start work extra early this morning for a system migration test (which failed due to ineptness of various other departments who are notorious for things like hard-coding IP addresses into configuration and source code) so I get to leave at 5PM instead of 6PM (I already did my overtime this morning . Of course, that still gets me home well after my daughters get home from school -- and even if I do get in some spinning, they will subject me to much loud complaining if I dare to put on a TV show/movie of which they do not approve (not on moral grounds, mind you -- it's not the 'mature audiences' thing, it's Daddy's taste for things like "Enter the Dragon", "Golden Voyage of Sinbad", "Fistful of Dollars" etc.).