16 May 2011

Long(er) ride

I was off today and had some time this morning, so I went for a long ride(for me). This spring has been really busy and riding time has been hard to come by, so I was looking foward to getting some miles in. It was a perfect day with little to no wind and cool temps. Ended up with 47 miles of gravel and felt great. I wanted to get 50 miles in but I had two flats that took some of my riding time since I was on a schedule. I had changed to wider tires and stupid me didn't bother changing to wider tubes, so it was my own fault.
A perfect gravel road has grass in the middle.

A wonderful gravel bike

09 May 2011

Vapur anti-water bottle

I am sure this isnt' new, but I just found these Vapur bottles at Eddie Bauer.  They are easy to fill, fit perfectly in a jersey pocket, and roll up when empty.  Perfect for a long ride. They come in .5 liter (shown) and a smaller .4 liter  The Vapor company claims you can freeze them, top shelf dishwash them, and use a Sharpie on them.  They also have a caribeaner hole and caribeaner. I of course got rid of that immedieatly, but it might be a neat idea for future hikes. 

The Broom Wagon

I have the ultimate set up (for me) with my Toyota 4Runner.  I have been rescued many times by my spouse after a 2nd flat or a major mechanical.  That said, the vehicle was hand picked to serve my cycling needs.

I used to have a Volvo 240 wagon.  It was large enough to lead a funeral procession.  With the back seat down, I could lie comfortably all stretched out (I'm about 6ft).  But the problem was this:  upright bike storage required seatpost removal.  Every time. 

I ride at work every day and needed a way to transport my bike to and from work, leave it in the car, and not have to take it off and put on a roof rack at home every night.  I took my bike with me when I went SUV shopping.  I needed a vehicle that would take a 2x6 across the back with a Yak mount that would allow upright storage in the back.  Honda Element?  Rejected.  Nissan Xterra?  Cute, but nope.  Oh, and I didn't want a Chevy or Ford or Dodge piece of shit, so no Suburbans or any monster like that (Before you domestic freaks hammer me check this out:  210,000 miles on the 4Runner with no major mechanical issues). In fact, besides a wheel bearing and a muffler, no issuse at all.
Rear view

Now, the set up. 

The bike goes in on the passenger side.  Then two EagleC reek Toy Chests (1 is a 3 compartment and the other is a 2 compartment) slide in.  Usually the bags are closer to the driver's side, but as you can see, there is room for a 2nd bike if I need to in the photo on the right.  The only bike that will not go in with the saddle up is the 29er.  And with a mountain bike, I'm not nearly as concerned with fixed saddle height.

A floor pump slides in up front, behind the driver's seat

Backup bag and pump
 The gear bags are the key.  The backup bag has three compartments and each compartment will hold 2 cargo boxes.  I have four clothing boxes:  one for bibs, jerseys, and socks and the other 3 are labled COLD, COOL, and WET.   Each one has appropriate gear for whatever conditions I might have on a ride.  The middle compartment has an equipment bag with spare cleats, tools, fork pump, embrocaton jar (in a baggie!), road rash kit, helmet pads, tubes, etc.  There is also a zipper bag with all my non-whole synthetic foods.

The smaller bag is my daily use bag. It has 4 or 5 zippper bags in one side.  One for gloves, one for head gear, one for socks (waterproof and insulated).  The 2nd compartment has my helmet, Oakleys, HR montior, shoes, and headphones. On the outside handle I put my road id, simple lights, and my sunscreen.

Since I have a long walk from the car to the office, I take a gear bag with all my cycling gear in it.  Then I kit up and head back out to pick up the bike.  Another gear bag has running gear inside incase of inclement weather or if I only have 20 minutes or so to workout.  They fit neaty on the opposite side of the rear wheel between the wheel and rear passenger door.

Inside the back and on the left is a cargo bag for backup water bottles, GU, as well as quick use tools such as a 15mm for the track wheelset and a set of park quick tools  (AWS-8, AWS-9)  That way I don't waste time getting into a saddle back with Brent or #3 bitchin.

Overall it's a perfect set up for me.