September 15, 2010

Winds of Imagination

Riding home last night, as I changed direction of travel I felt a great wind in my face.  I thought that for sure I was losing efficiency, and thus had no chance of competing with my best times.  Then I saw a flag up ahead...hanging limply...not even a flutter.  I kept my eye on it, but it didn't even indicate any gusts or even wisps.

The good news is that the wind I felt was self created...which means I am stinking fast!  The bad news is I, being so fast, have no excuse for not posting a good time.

September 14, 2010

Clear Minded

I love to get on my bike and ride and not worry about anything else.  Except cars.  And traffic lights.  And shifting gears (when I'm on a multi-geared steed). 

Every work day I look forward to the ride home because it is a chance to clear my mind in preparation for being home.  I leave everything at my desk and go change clothes and get on the bike with nothing trailing me.  I start pedaling and exert myself to my limits and sometimes beyond them, and by that excercise whatever remained is purged from my mind. 

When I reach the house I sometimes find myself gasping for air.  My entire thoughts are to recover my voice.  When the weather is hot, I end up laying on the floor in front of the AC vent.  Now that the weather is cooling again I find myself refreshed rather quickly and able to talk to the kids as they play on the porch while I take off my shoes. 

I haven't spent much more time on the bike this year than on my commute, but it is enough, and it is not too much.  This sustains me. 

September 13, 2010

Creak...Pop! What was that!?

Owning a carbon fiber bicycle was never really high on my to-do list.  However, when shopping to replace my injured steed I was overcome by the fact that I could, actually afford that super-light, shiny woven frame.  The first time I picked it up, I realized that is what I was going to shoot for.  I'm an emotional's not always healthy.

So now I've been riding that uber-light bike for a few months and I still love it.  When I first started riding it I decided that I would not treat it like an origami creation.  I didn't want to change the way I rode.  I have ridden that bike over curbs and washboards, and have had little trouble.  I say "little" because there has been one little thing...

After a few weeks, the bike began to pop and crack when I hit bumps in the road.  I could not locate the source of the noise.  I'd hit a bump and I would analyze the sound.  It wasn't always consistent with bump type and size either.  This drove me batty.  How was I to describe it when/if I took it to the shop?  To replicate the sound...think of PVC pipe with a moderately tight fitting slid onto twist that fitting.  Hear it snap and pop as it releases, slides, and stops again as friction rebuilds?  That's the snap-crackle-pop sound I have been hearing.  But where is it happening?

I think I have found it.  It was such a slow transition that it made little difference at first, but last week I finally realized that my legs are not quite getting to the almost-fully-extended point that I prefer.  I think the seatpost has been slipping down millimeter by millimeter as I hit bumps...popping and cracking as it slid.

Here's my newest fear.  I do not dare touch my new bike with tools.  Crap.