Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Team Saturn Lemond

I just noticed that I haven't posted any pics of the Team Saturn Lemond I acquired several years ago. Two of the pics are from the internet, the others were taken after I got the bike.  I really do not know which Lemond model this is. It bears a Reynolds 853 tubing sticker. The bike handles very nicely and is several pounds lighter than my daily rider.

I have replaced the 105 compact crankset with the standard road Dura Ace double that was standard on this model. I sold the wheels and am now running Mavic Open Pros with Ultegra hubs because I felt like I needed the extra spokes. I also swapped out the saddle for a Brooks B-17 -- nothing is too fine for my behind.

Enjoy. ..

Team Sponsors: Timex, Saturn, Time, Reynolds, Shimano, Michelin

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Schwinn World Sport Fixie

Here are pics of my latest creation, a Schwinn WorldSport fixed gear conversion. I picked up the bike from a guy on Craigs List a few weeks back, and just finished converting it to ride fixed.

The bike was dirty with tarnished components but it cleaned up nicely. The paint was really dull but a bit of rubbing compound followed by some Turtle Was brought back the color and shine.

All the bearings and cups were good, even those in the hubs. I decided to use the Mavic wheels that you see in the pictures, though, simply because I had them. Every thing else is original save the stem, bar and brake levers.

It measures 48, ST, center to center, and 53 TT, center to center. Current running gear is 44 x 13, which yields about an 87-inch gear.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Pegoretti Giordana

I have in my possession a new bike. Let me know what you think.

This bike is dressed out with 9-speed Campagnolo Veloce and Scirroco wheels. I am told that everything here is stock, save the fork.

Since taking these pictures, I located and have installed the original steel fork. I will post an additional pic really soon.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

I'm back ....

Yea!! I've just remembered how to access this account!!!

This blog faded over three years ago because I couldn't remember how to access it. I know, I know. That was dumb. Lazy is more like it. I was too trifling to save the log in information in a place I could find it. But I have it now and we're back bloggin' .

More to come.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Time Trial @ LMS

I hope no one dies from shock, but I’m making my second post in as many weeks!

The reason for this one is that on Wednesday June 26, I, along with several hundred of my closest friends, raced the Time Trial at Lowes Motor Speedway. For background on the TT Series, check out http://www.carolinatt.org

As you may know, I’m not a racer. I only go fast when attacking downhill. I’m more about Smiles-per-Hour than Miles-per-Hour. A soul rider, some have said.

Still, when Bill Wiseman, President of the Carolina Time Trial Association, in appreciation for the work we did on their application for tax-exempt status, invited Amy Novinc and me to come race the time trial, we both accepted the challenge. Bill believes that the time trial is something cyclists either love or hate. He said that after riding just one, you know which it is. I have got to say that my race against the clock at LMS has made a convert of me.

The entire experience was great. It started at the entrance to the infield of the Speedway. When you drive through the tunnel and come out on the inside of the track, with 150,000 seats looking down on you, you should get goose bumps. If you don’t, there may be something wrong with you.

Even neater is the fact that for 5 hours, we (cyclists) have the run of the track. That means not only the racing surface, but the garages and pit areas. I was able to drive my car right up to the garage, get out, go inside and open the door to the bay that I’d selected. I pulled out my bike, work stand and trainer and felt (even if I didn’t look) like a pro. Others had brought folding chairs, tables, coolers, etc., and had made themselves right at home.

Let me add this: the CCTTA is a class organization. The Series attracts racers from all over the Southeast. Everyone from pro’s, collegiate cycling teams, recreational cyclists and even kids participate. The rules are simple and the process ran very smoothly. The volunteers are dedicated, patient, and very helpful.

Joe Price was in charge of the registration area. He walked me through the registration process and offered tips about what to do just before my start time and made suggestions about where and how to warm up.

After picking up my registration and confirming my start time, I went out for an inspection lap of the track. LMS is a big track, about 1.5 miles long. I don’t know if you’d call it a tri-oval, but it basically has two straightaways between turns Four and One, and one long straight going down the backstretch. It seemed as if the track is slightly uphill between turn 4 and the start/finish line. Turns 1 and 2 struck me as a bit neutral, but coming out of Turn 2, you feel as if you’re going down hill towards Turn 3. This is a place to pick up speed, some of which you give back up coming out of Turn 4.

I ‘went back to the shop,’ got set up in the trainer and warmed up for about 20 minutes before my time. I drank plenty of sports drink and water, and ate an energy bar. About 10 minutes before my start time, I went to the men’s room (I parked very near the restroom), took the bike off the trainer and wheeled over to the start.

John Price was one of the volunteers working at the starting line. John gave me some last minute pointers, and offered assistance when my rear wheel fell off just before my start. (You didn’t expect my first race to be completely without trouble, did you?)

When the last seconds ticked off the starting tower, I was off. In just a few turns of the pedals, my speed reached 19 mph. I started in my small chainring (39) and waited until I had cleared Turn 2 to shift into my big ring (53). My speed soon jumped to 22, then 24 as I breezed down the backstretch. Before long, I was passing a rider. Wow! Just like that, I’m riding faster than another racer. Pretty cool.

Going from Turn 3 to 4, I felt the headwind that someone had predicted. I downshifted and headed towards the start/finish. There were maybe 40-50 people in the grass along the finish line. Everyone appeared to be cheering someone specific, but there was enough encouragement for us all. As I approached the line, it felt as if the grandstands were blocking some of the wind and my speed picked back up to over 20 mph – my goal for the day.

I felt a bit winded after that first lap and had to remind myself to keep things under control. A time trial is a test of how hard can you go over a given distance. It’s not who starts out the fastest, but who finishes the distance with the shortest time. My second lap was slower than my first, but by the time that I crossed the line for the second time, I was feeling pretty good. I had hit my rhythm and was pretty sure that I could achieve my 30 minute goal — so long as I didn’t blow up or have a mechanical.

I passed a lot of other racers and was passed my many more. Cyclists riding special time trial bikes with disc wheels and those tri-spoked carbon wheels make a particular noise as they approach and overtake you. There were kids out there, grandmothers and big guys like me. Folks were riding tandems, hand cycles, and fixed-gear bikes.

The race rules say to ride to the left and pass on the right. I thought it would be a hard rule to follow since on the road we ride to the right and pass on the left. However, once on the track, it seemed intuitive to do it their way. Some folks passed me without giving me a heck of a lot of room, but I never felt threatened or unsafe.

So how did I do? My goal was to finish the 10-mile TT in 30 minutes or less – and not to be passed by Amy. I am pleased to report that I achieved both goals: my time was 29:02 (avg speed of 20.67) about 1:08 faster than Amy’s time. Also, despite starting before me, I managed to pass her on the final lap.

So I am hooked. I am signed up for the rest of the season. You’ve really got to come join me.

Monday, June 25, 2007

2007 BSG Ride Report

Okay, y’all. Enough time has passed for me to be able to do my Ride Report on the 2007 Blood Swear and Gears Century. I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first? No opinion? Okay, then, we’ll do it my way.

Here is the bad news.

Snake Mountain kicked this fat boy’s butt. I got off and walked up a good portion of the steepest part of that hill. To my credit, I did make it to the steepest part of the hill before getting off, and I did get back on the bike near the top, where the road levels off, and rode over the summit.

The other bad news is that despite what the results show (http://www.rmssports.com/results/07BSG.TXT, #508) , I didn’t ride a full century. I missed the time cutoff to do Georges Gap, so the time I posted is for only 88.5 miles. Honestly, it didn’t matter. I decided that after limping up some of the smaller inclines after Snake Mountain, my legs didn’t have another mountain in them – so I wasn’t going to do Georges Gap under any circumstance.

Now that we’ve got all the bad news out of the way, let’s look at the good news.

I think it’s fair to say that the BSG was the greatest physical challenge that I have ever faced. I spent over 7 ½ hours on this ride, 6:48 hours of that in the saddle. I achieved a max speed of 46.5 (could have gone faster, but there was some traffic). My average speed was 13.5. Based on the reported cumulative climbing of 13,000 feet, I estimate that I climbed close to 10,000 on the part of the ride that I did finish.

The weather was in the low 60's and overcast at the beginning of the ride. The sun came out but most of the route was under a canopy of leaves, which kept things most bearable. It seemed like we almost always had a slight breeze in our faces, but it was a cool breeze that took the edge off the heat.

I rode every turn of the pedals with Mark Borkowski, except that Mark stayed in the saddle on Snake Mountain. And, to his credit, he didn’t leave me when I told him that I wouldn’t be doing Georges Gap. As a matter of fact, Mark even smiled good-naturedly when I blew by him about 50 yards from the finish on my soon-to-be-patented sneak attack sprint to the finish line.

Others from this area who did the ride include Mike Scott, Pat Scott, John Price, Joe Price, Troy Bush, Ralph Rutledge, Jim Weant, and Paula Weant. All posted excellent times.


Things Doc did right. Food and drink.
Before the ride, I decided to carry food that I was familiar with. I have found that you really cannot rely on ride organizers to furnish the kind and quality of food that you know you’re gonna need to finish the ride. Even at a well-supported ride such as Murray’s Mill, there was no sports drink at any rest stop. So, I carried small zip lock baggies of Gatorade to make my own. In addition, I carried my old standbys of NutraGrain Bars (a.k.a. ‘Doc’s cobbler’) and Marathon Bars, along with some Cliff Bar organic whole grain bars. I also took a minute to cut the bars in half, leaving the food in their wrappers. That way, I was able to feed myself going down the road without having to fool with tearing off wrappers while riding.

Things Doc did right. Gearing.
I deliberated over what gear ratio to select for this ride. I ride a standard double, (ultegra 9-speed 53-39) with an XT rear derailleur. I usually take a 32-tooth cassette to ride in the mountains, but I also have one with a 34 tooth cog. Either cassette yields pretty low gears, but I feel that I have more useable gears when I take the 32. However, given Snake Mountain’s reputation as a leg buster, I made the final decision when I saw that Borkowski’s Campy Record triple was matched up with a 29-tooth cassette. This little guy (maybe 150 lbs) was taking a 30 x 29 low gear up Snake Mountain? That made the decision for me -- I'm not crazy, we'll use the 34.

Was that a low enough gear? The short answer is that it was. As a matter of fact, it might have been too low. Just before getting off to walk up Snake Mtn, I actually pulled the front wheel off the ground on 5 or 6 pedal strokes. Maybe it was a sign that I was getting out of control or perhaps something else, but I don’t think I needed any more gearing than I had. In other words, the failure on Snake Mtn was software, not hardware.

Things Doc could have done better. Knowledge of the Route.
Although I had ridden parts of this route before, I wish that I had known the route better. I was prepared for Shull’s Mill Road’s deceptive gentleness. I had also ridden Greenhill Road, the street that takes you from 321 to the Parkway in Blowing Rock. Railroad Grade road approaching Todd was no stranger to me either. And, I had ridden up Snake Mtn (in my car) the night before the ride, but that didn’t prepare me at all for the challenge that awaited me there. Similarly, with no knowledge of smaller intermediate hills, I was kind of on my own as far as having some idea of where to power up a hill or where it was better to settle in.

Things Doc could have done better. Conditioning.
Let’s be clear. I did train for this ride. I logged nearly 1800 miles since January of this year. I slowly increased my distances and included some mountain miles in my training regimen. Actually, in a lot of ways, I had been preparing for this ride since last year’s BSG. In 2006, I had registered for the ride, but picked up an intestinal bug the week of the ride. I decided that I was too dehydrated and weak to attempt such a challenging ride so, this year’s ride became, from that point forward, Unfinished Business.

So what went wrong? I cannot say with certainty, but I do have these observations. If you’re going to do a hard ride, you must train hard. I think that means if you’re going to ride up some sustained 18-20 degree inclines, find some of them to train on. If it’s going to be a long ride, train long. An 8-hour bike ride probably requires several 6-7 hour training rides. Another thing that I underestimated was the importance of upper body strength when climbing steep, gut busting mountain hills. The only parts of my body that really felt bad after the ride were my arms and shoulders. I know that it was my pulling on the bars while climbing Snake Mtn that caused me to pull my front wheel off the ground. If I had been better conditioned, I believe that I could have been under firmer control and perhaps completed that part of the ride.

This was not an unpleasant experience for this fat boy. I am in the best physical condition of my life. On the long hills, I was able to recover while climbing. It was only on stretches of hills such as Snake Mtn and Big Hill Road that really took it out of me. I made some good decisions in preparation for the ride and really cannot think of any single decision that I would change. For the most part, I controlled my mind and emotions. I did pace myself (mostly). I resisted the urge to push too hard at the beginning and I actually felt pretty good at the finish. I could have ridden further – just not up another steep grade.

Monday, September 18, 2006

First Blog Entry

I know that this post is going to be pretty lame, but I've got to put something here just to get things started.

The Coasters, from Gastonia, NC, are bike riders. We had a busy weekend of riding. Some of our members participated in the MS 150, Breakaway to the Beach. Others did the very challenging Bridge to Bridge Ride from Lenoir to Grandfather Mountain.

I am pleased to be able to report that all Coasters returned home safe and sound.

Regrettibly, there was a tragedy on the Beach Ride. A 15 year old girl from Charlotte, Rachel Gilbin, was riding tandem with her brother when they were struck by a truck pulling a trailer on US 15/401 just north of Society Hill, SC on Saturday. According to published reports, the Gilbins family were riding single file along the edge of the paved portion of the highway. Her father was leading, with his son and daughter on the tandem; the mother was bringing up the rear. The driver apparently came over into their line, striking the tandem and traling bike.

I was at the lunch stop at Society Hill when I saw a fire engine and 3, 4 ambulances headed up the highway. At the time, it seemed too large of a response for a bike accident, at least for the kind that we're used to seeing (zero mph, wheel touch, etc). Later, word spread of a crash involving numerous bike riders, but no word of anyone's condition. It was not until late afternoon that the MS folks made an announcement on the subject.

Here is a link to Rachel's obit:


According to the Charlotte Observer, "the truck with the trailer was driven by Rudy Robinson of Hartsville, S.C. The highway patrol will not decide whether to file charges against Robinson until later this week, after troopers meet with prosecutors." http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/news/15545943.htm .

I cannot believe that charges haven't already been filed against the driver of the truck that struck the cyclists.

Bikes are vehicles under the laws of all states. Subject to minor exceptions, they have the same right to use the highway as motor vehicles. When the operator of a vehicle attempts to overtake or pass another, the overtaking vehicle is charged with a legal duty to ensure that his movement can be made in safety. He is required to stay not closer than 2 feet from the overtaken vehicle. Obviously, that rule of the road was violated here. Deaths that occur when someone is violating the law constitute some form of manslaughter, either involuntary or voluntary. The driver's state of mind would be relevant to the determination of which charge would apply. My guess: the driver was upset that these bike riders were inconveniencing him by holding him up. He took chances with their lives and this child and her family lost.

I think it only fair that he be inconvenienced by dealing with the criminal justice system and SC Dept. of Corrections. I'll bet that if this accident had involved the truck attempting to pass two or more motor vehicles and the truck driver struck them, with a death resulting, charges would have already been filed.

Let me know what you think.