Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Add a little dirt to your diet.


I posted on this last fall...but it seems a the local bicycle world is a bit slow these days in terms of news and blog content.  So here's a reminder.  If your commute is getting a little routine, look between the roads and hunt out a 1/10th of a mile of trail here or there.  This little gem (3/10th of a mile!!) is right here (see below) if you happen to live in my neighborhood! 

Yellow=Normal Street Route, Green/Red=Modified Street and Dirt Route

The resulting route change adds about a 1/10th of a mile to my total commute and gives me 3/10th of a mile of dirt riding.  It's not an everyday thing, but it's there if I want it.  So look around your commute....there's probably a back alley, service road, or path that might just provide a little fun on those days where things are getting boring!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March Madness Slow Roll....and Free Basketball!!!


Dust off any bike you have and come join us on March 14th for the next slow roll.  All ages encouraged to join.  Pace is just as it says...slow...and nobody will be left behind!  And it looks like the Reno Bike Project (RBP) has scored us all free B-ball tickets!!  So come enjoy downtown, meet your neighbors, and ride your bike!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Bikepacking Kit Completed....

Ok, I had most everything (light weight) I wanted for bike touring.  The only heavy thing left was my tent...which when just pitched as a ground cloth and rain fly was about 3.5-4 lbs.  Today, thanks to ebay, I reduced that total by 3+ lbs.

1 lb!!!


The OR Helium Bivy is the lightest waterproof bivy I know of (that you can find on ebay).  So, I'm now the proud owner of a new/used bivy.  Just in time for our March trip to Davis Creek.  Now if I can get used to sleeping in a convenient bear snack pack....I should be just fine!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Weight for me...uphill light bike vs. heavy bike.

Ok, yesterday we started to dissect a ride with a light bike (sub-20 pounds) and a heavy bike (30 plus pounds).  The numbers weren't all that different....less than 2 mph or a couple minutes time over ~6 miles.

Today is a follow up with comparison of the numbers on the way home (e.g. uphill).  I had to go back in time a bit (last July) to match my exact route because last night was a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meeting that gives a different route from my "normal".  So temperature could have played a factor in the numbers.   Anyway here they are.

Last nights ride home on the light bike.
Stats from the ride.
Same route on the heavy bike.
Stats from the ride.

So the ride time varied by 3 minutes and 30 seconds over 6.7 miles and the average moving speed varied by 1.4 mph with a elevation gain of ~600 feet .  Both are in favor of the lighter bike (as you'd expect). 

So if we combo the stats for the commute, riding the light bike will save you 5 min 30 seconds for the day and you'll travel about an average of 1.5 mph faster during your ride.  For this time gain because the light bike as no racks....you will have a sweaty back from your messenger bag or backpack, get to spend 5.5 minutes more at work/home, and if it rained you have a stripe up your back (no fenders). 

I'm not sure there is a clear winner.  One style of commute is supposed to be faster and nimble.  The other is almost a daily "tour" of Reno.  Either way, that's the comparison.  The only definitive finding is that either method is definitely more fun than driving!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Weight, Weight, don't tell me (that it matters that much)!?

Ok, I guess you'd have to be an NPR listener to get the title spoof.  Anyway, my point is I rode my light weight bike today.  No real reason, just was bumbling around the house last night and felt bad that it was dusty.  Now light is a relative term....my road bike is a Cannondale Synapse from 2008(?) (back when they were made in the USA), so it probably weights sub-20 lbs.  However, when compared to the Salsa Fargo loaded with fenders, frame bag, seat bag, rack, etc......it's light.

 vs.

My question is how much of a difference does it make.  So here's the two rides (just going to work...aka downhill).  Not really that different.  If you look at the moving speed...the road bike is just 1.7 mph faster (moving speed).  And you could argue I knew I was doing this comparison....so I might have been going for it a bit.

The real test is really how the weight will affect the climbing performance on the way home.  There's no doubt its easier to roll less weight up a hill (darn physics).  My question is does it really matter on a 11 mile round trip commute in terms of time / effort.  I don't think so, but we'll have to see what the numbers say tomorrow.


Cannondale Synapse (light)




Salsa Fargo (heavy)




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When you just don't want to ride....ride anyway.

I realized I could have taken this picture any time...but it's from today (I promise), just to prove I rode.

Yep, that was my sentiment this morning.  I even went bed early last night....thinking I'd get in a run before the ride to work.  I tossed and turned and woke up a lot throughout the night.  In general I just didn't sleep well.  When I did wake up, I condemned the run option in favor of an extra cup of coffee.  It was 22 degrees out and I just wasn't feeling it.  I guess I'm not used to cold this year since winter has never arrived in the Sierra!

These thoughts quickly rolled into....hmmm....I could drive today.  At which point my brain announced to me that I was a complete pansy and that we would be rolling on only two wheels today...because that's the routine.  It's what we do every day, and today would be no different.

And there you have it.  Routine.  Yep, routine.  Sometimes that's why you ride.  Normally I'd argue that a little adventure, some exercise, slowing things down, or enjoying the things around you are what should put you on the bike.  But when the day is cold, the car is just sitting there, and the excuses start piling up....it's nice that the routine keeps you in line!