Friday, May 22, 2009


Not too much to report recently. Still being encouraged to bike to work every day since my truck is in need of new tires and begins to vibrate madly at 40mph. Those will come Saturday, with any luck. Interesting event to report from this morning though...

They have been repaving along part of my commute. For those in the know, I am speking of Indian Ripple Rd, specifically near the North Alpha Bellbrook intersection. I come up N Alpha every day and then turn left to get to work. It is both lower in traffic and a less steep grade (though higher elevation change) than taking Factory to Indian Ripple and turning left.

Anyway, Wednesday's commute had me waiting for a little while at a four way stop while they worked on a bit of paving. The far side of the road where I would be riding had been done for a while, and thankfully I got through before they put the tar down on the near lane....I think riding through that would be challenging at best. I made my left turn and then hammered as hard as I could up the hill because I wanted to get through as quickly as possible and not delay other people too much--not only could no one pass me on the single lane, but traffic was stopped the other way as well becase only one lane could go at a time. So I arrived at work quite tired and sore. I need to work on exerting myself more on rides, right nw I just kinda cruise at a comfortable speed. Pushing myself is the only way I'll improve. But I digrress.

Fast forward to Thursday's ride. I get to the same point at the top of the hill, wait way longer, and then when traffic goes through....I sink. Apparently a big guy on a bike has higher pressure on asphalt than a big car with 4 wide tires on the ground. It was like riding into a patch of mud. When I turned the handlebars left, the front wheel washed out and left a big divot in the asphalt, like a big black sticky snowdrift. It was like sudedenly itting 3 inches of mud. I didn't go down since I got my foot down (I was probably only going 5mph or so at the time), but I ended up getting asphalt stuck to the end of my shoe as well. Thankfully it didn't stick in the cleat area so I was able to clip in with no problems. I ended up riding the .7 miles or so to the office with asphalt-encrusted tires, listening to the crunch of them on the pavement, hoping that there wasn't sticky tar and rocks all over my braking surface.

I wore my cycling shoes all day at the office, and whenever my right hand was free it was feeling asphalt off my left shoe. So there is a little pile of it next to my desk. It looks like the bike didn't come out of it too bad, just the tires got asphalted and the center tread is clear now after running on pavement for a few miles. There's still some on the sidewalls, but I am just going to leave it. It looks like there was just a little bit that got on the braking surface as well, but it scraped off pretty much immediately when I stopped the bike next, so that's not a worry either. Guess I came out of it all pretty well, considering. Maybe now I will finally treat myself to some new bike shoes. And brake pads, since mine are pretty much worn out.

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