pre-memo-weekend trip & other things

We got away for a few days before the rush, and watched the bay bridge traffic backup from the opposite side of the road coming home Friday. I took the folder and was looking forward to getting out for some early rides, but I had no idea how tired I was before sleeping in for 2 days in a row.

A little refreshed and working on some new perspective for personal goals.


My significant other wants (and has) been getting in on the fun over the last few months. She wants me to work with her on a training schedule to get her prepared for a metric century ride of the Seagull this year. I think that’s great! The problems it creates are:

  1. I am not a natural born leader, so inspiration for her in tough weeks is a difficulty for me.
  2. I want to ride with her, but I need to be going the opposite direction myself. Not shorter rides but longer ones. The solution to this appears to be do both…

For myself, events over the last few months have punctuated the need to push myself in to the next category of rider which is a solid 15-17 mph group participant. I see lots of rando rides popping up like the Monument 2 Monument last month that I would love to do. Problem is that I can’t hang on varied terrain at 16+ mph for 6 or 7 hours. I also am adamant on completing the CWC this year, which is another situation I really wished I could run at a better pace. I can roll all day at 13-14, or 15-16 on flats, but that doesn’t do me any good when I’m last of the pack watching the next closest rider disappear over the crest of a hill 3/4 mile ahead. I’m going to do a numbered series of ride posts and see how high I can get the count before October. Commutes and rides to the store will not be included unless I add an extra loop or destination. Haven’t decided on the rules as to what minimum distances should be included, but 10-15 miles seems kind of right.


I started rebuilding my old alex wheel after reading The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt. I spread the work over 2 weeks, and tried to work on it for no more than 1/2 hour at a shot. It’s much like solving a rubix cube, where you have to continually destroy your progress to get closer to a complete solution. The biggest change from my previous workflow was that I could use the tension meter to periodically measure and record the tension across the wheel. This made it much easier to visualize the areas where spokes had to be loosened/tightened to bring the wheel into balance than it would ever be to just pluck adjacent spokes. There were a few places where the wheel was out of round that forced me back to square 1 in the truing, but the final result is laterally true within 20/1000’s, radially just over 1 mm, and tension between spokes on either side is within 10%. The radial true was a compromise. I won’t be surprised if a spoke breaks as there were a few damaged from an incident where I over-shifted off the biggest cog a year or two ago. After the experience, and making observations about lacing patterns, building a wheel makes perfect sense now. I’ve worked out all the problems I was having with the truing stand too.

Getting zen about building something, making it work perfectly and learning its inner-workings inside out is a nice substitute for buying things, which I still have a massive itch to do. I did give in and get a handlebar bag on sale this week at REI…

weight loss

I’ve been stalled out since before the large snow storm (15wks) with no significant gains or losses (+- 5lb). I’ve been doing portion control and eating better food. ‘Better’ can be used in instances to describe both the quality and also my enjoyment of things I eat. An example would be if I have ice cream now, I’ll eat something full fat and premium instead of the low fat guar-gum-additive-filled-mutant stuff that I used to have. To make up for the fact that it’s ‘worse’ for me I’ll eat proportionally less. Another example would be that I’ve been consuming much more fresh, unprocessed produce, fruits, and other good stuff. If I want to splurge, I try to hit Petit Louis, Woodberry Kitchen, the Golden West or cook something nice at home instead of something that isn’t good for me AND doesn’t taste good. With all the riding I will be doing over the next 5 months, I should have no problem dropping a few more pounds. I’ve kind of given up on chasing numbers. The goals in the riding department are more than enough motivation to keep me working on this one too.

work & degree

These are still pretty much the same. Trying to absorb as much knowledge as I can every day. Taking more math classes in the fall.

art & images

This is something that has been so buried for the past 10 years that I haven’t even thought to mention it. I’m going to try and couple this with the ride goal and find one thing of memory to take a photo of on each ride. That may be a starting point for something else. At a minimum it will get me looking at the world around me again.


2 thoughts on “pre-memo-weekend trip & other things

  1. The best way to step up your speed is probably doing some shorter intense rides interspersed with the longer, touring-paced rides. The Trucker seems a tad heavy for extended rando riding, but I think there are a lot of riders who use them.

    I’d love to get my wife riding more.

  2. Thanks for the training tips, it’s similar to what the training dvds I have say. Do some short “go-all-or-go-home” rides; recovery days with long slow miles. The main thing is prepping for the time involved with training that much. I guess if it was easy everyone would be doing it… As far as the Trucker goes, I think it’s a fine bike for randonneuring. The 2 things I would consider doing are changing tires to something smaller/smoother/higher pressure and removing the rear rack. I use the rack too much to drop that and harder tires would be a death-knell for the wheelset given my clydesdale status coupled with rotten Baltimore streets. It looks like my only option is as Grant says, “If you want to go fast, ride harder and more often”.

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