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The Rules

Right on!

Milestone: Scotty gets a Flat

Took advantage of the small window of good weather to log some seat time with Scotty, my road bike. Got to the furthest point away from the car that I intended to go, and immediately got a pinch flat.

Didn’t even see the rut in the road. I was in the middle of a cool new park I discovered, which is actually closed for the winter (for cars/campers), but you can still bike in by going around the gate. It was a beautiful day, and the park is right on lake Lanier, so I was gazing around not paying attention while hurling down a hill.  Yeah, I didn’t see the rut, but I def felt it.

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After stopping at the very far end of the park so Scotty could get an Instagram Glamour Shot, I hopped back on to head out and discovered the flat. Dug around in my bag to see if I had a 700c tube, but no luck. I did have 3 c02 cartridges/pump though.

At first I started to walk back to the car which was several miles away. After about a mile I got tire of the cleats grinding on the asphalt, so I decided I would try to make it as far as I could by using the c02 and hauling butt.

Used only about half of the first c02 cartridge, hoping to stretch them out, and made some good time pretty much to the top of the first decent sized hill. At the top, I used he rest of the cartridge, which was quite a bit, and big ringed it for the rest of the way.

I actually made it back to the car on a single cartridge! 

Actually, I had enough air left that I took a quick loop around the front of Historic Downtown Flowery Branch just to add a little length to the ride.

Def had fate on my side this time around, but I won’t be riding the road bike again without a couple of spare tubes and a few more cartridges. Whew!

What’s your worst “flatting during a ride” story?

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Haw Creek Trail Strava Leaderboard Fun

After riding haw Creek with my buddy Jay today, I hopped on Strava because I always like to see the elevation map, even if there isn’t a lot of elevation change on a ride. I was kind of suprised to see that during one of our loops today (most likely the first) I ended up 9th out of 29. I’m not fast, but I’ll take my kudos where I can get ’em, and Strava leaderboards have been a fun way to gauge how well I’m doing.

Here are some interesting things about this particular stat though:

  • Haw Creek is NOT a hard trail by any means, it is short, wide and easy. The only real difficulty is a few very rocky sections and a bunch of off camber hairpin turns. But it is under 3 miles and no -real- climbs (IMHO). HOWEVER, we have been pounded by rain here in GA for a few days, so at the moment the trail is very muddy, slow, and has a few sections of straight up standing water.
  • I did not feel like we were going particularly hard today, and would have guessed we didn’t even place on the leaderboard since it certainly wasn’t a goal.
  • But the craziest thing is, the route we rode was actually about a mile (probably more) longer than the times segment! Check out the graphic below to see a comparison of our route VS the timed segment.

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Why is our route different / longer?

As I said, Haw Creek is not a hard trail, or a long trail. In order to make the trek there worth doing, Jay and I like to ride the extensions marked in pink on the lap above…one is a short section with wooden bridges up to Samples Road, and the other is a climb up a gravel road then along Echols Rd and around the fire road of the high school…a section which actually includes one of my fave climbs, a short but steep “out of the saddle” hill back up from the school which I always try to blaze up as hard as I can.

So, now I am wondering…what will happen if I go back when it is bone dry, fast trail conditions, and straight up time trial it, without the extensions? I’m thinking I could move up a few places. I’d like to crack the top 5. hell, I won’t lie, I’d like to be FIRST if even for a little while, on an easy trail.

That would be kind of RAD!

Bonus: On our third loop, I used Jay’s single speed old school StumpJumper, which was alot of fun. It’s running 36/18 and I had no trouble with any of the hills. Very fun. Of course, I want a single speed now.

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Schwinn That Found Me

A few weeks ago, while riding Haw Creek with my buddy Jay, I was noticed some junk about 30 yards off the trail. The most obvious piece was an old refrigerator, but as we got closer, right there standing up against a tree, was an old school rustbucket of a bike. We stopped and headed back into the brush to check it out. It was an oooold Schwinn…old enough that I knew it would be American made, so I stashed it a little further back behind the fridge, and vowed to come back for it later.

Fast forward a few weeks, and Jay and I are at Haw Creek again. The ride didn’t go so well, in fact we never actually got to ride. But since we were there I thought it would be a good time to go back and retrieve the bike. I’m glad we did, because when we hiked back to where it was stashed, someone had actually drug it up out of the woods and it was leaning against a tree right on the trail for everyone to see. I wasted no time in hoisting it up over my shoulder and hoofing it back to the car before someone else came and snatched it. Finders Keepers.

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Once I got it home I was able to find the serial number on the left rear dropout after doing a bit of rust scraping.

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I was able to find info for it using the Schwinn Serial Number Database, which told me that the bike was “Traveler” manufactured May 24, 1960!

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My plan was to bring it home, and try to get it working mechanically again, while maintaining as much of the rust/patina as possible. Whatever parts I did have to replace, I’d make sure to try and adhere to a flat black/ bright red/ color sgheme, hoping to make it into a “Rat Rod” kind of thing. 

A few days ago I hit it with the first round of B’Laster rust penetrator, hoping it would help knock some of the bolts loose. Of I can get it apart the rest is easy, but man this thing is completely rusted together. Worst rust I have ever seen on anything…ever.

Today I tried to see if I could crack the headset lock nut loose, which did not work, so I moved on to the stem bolt, which promptly sheered off. Damn.

I’m not going to give up yet though. It’s not like it is going anywhere, and I am thinking that there are some methods of removing rusted together materials that are beyond my scope. Fortunately I have a few old school car mechanics in the family which I can call on for some ideas. A quick internet search says that using a torch/heat may be helpful. We’ll see.

Even if the project fails it won’t be a total loss, because the very minimum that will happen is the bike will get taken to the dump and disposed of properly, so by bringing it home I may have hooked up ol Mother earth by cleansing her surface. She likes when that happens.

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STRAVA stats for 2012

Add me to your STRAVA friends

A lot of riders on STRAVA might log in a single month what I logged all year (6 months actually, started logging in July) and I am fine with that. What I would be really bugged out about would be if I had no stats at all to show. I decided that for 2012 my strategy was going to be to ride and have fun, and not worry about keeping stats as I had in years past, but when I found out about STRAVA, and how easy it was, it was impossible not to get on board.  I had the crazy good time riding in 2012. My only goal for 2013 is to have even more fun than I did the previous year, but of course in the back of my mind I am already starting the race to beat my 2012 stats by the 6 month mark.

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HOW DID YOU DO IN 2012? TELL ME ABOUT YOUR BICYCLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS, STATS BASED OR OTHERWISE!

Add me to your STRAVA friends

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Self Inflicted Stick In Spokes

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Found on REDDIT, but did not see who to credit as original artist.

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Giant Time Trial – Ugly or Ugliest

This has got to be one of the ugliest bicycles I’ve ever seen. Seriously

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Broken Derailleur Hanger

We were three miles into our ride at Chicopee trails, and had just stopped for my friend Jay to adjust his stem, as he is still dialing in his freshly built vintage Specialized. The repair completed, we saddled up to push on, and on my first pedal stroke, I heard a heart wrenching CLUNK, felt the resistance on the cranks disappear, and looked down to see the derailleur hanging off the side somewhere around the middle of the chainstay….it was smirking at me.

Broken Derailleur Hanger

Couldn’t help but laugh! I felt kind of bad that Jay had traveled so far to ride with me, and now obviously our day at Chicopee was over. On the upside, we were only a few miles in, but we did have to go against the directional traffic for a good while in order to get back to the parking lot. I actually had a blast coasting down all the downhill sections.

 

Rather that waste the rest of the day, we just went back to my hut, switched out the broken ‘Goose for Ye Olde Talera, and headed over to George Pierce Park to log some easy miles. Ended up being a fun day regardless of the mechanical early on.

I was a little worried that I may not be able to find a Replacement Derailleur Hanger, but sure enough they have one at DERAILLEURHANGER.COM. Pretty stoked about that! Although I haven’t bought the part yet, so I can’t offer a testimonial on their c-serv/shipping/etc, that site does look like a great resource and if you find yourself with a cracked derailleur hanger, head over there and check them out.

The ‘ol 2007 Otero Super may be down, but she is far from out.

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Murray Chopper Bicycle 1978

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TRACKIN’ WITH THE CATS INDEED

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