The 18th

Yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary. We went for a ramble about town that included brunch and a serious bloody mary, some relaxation by the lake, a fine cup of pour over, and perhaps a little too much sun.

We’d also wanted to fly our kite, but we seemed to have picked the one day in the last several months with no wind. Another time…


Testing, Testing…Cambium

Having grown tired of moving the too-small collection of Brooks B17 saddles amongst our too-large fleet of bicycles, I bought a Brooks Cambium (C17) to fill one of the gaps (and yes, there are several…).

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I mounted it on the Devil this weekend past and have been riding it now for a few days. Just initial impressions so far, but here are a couple of things I’ve noticed right off the bat:

  • Unlike the B17, the C17 does not require a seatpost with setback to get it in the right place (though I do have it all the way back on a zero-setback Thomson Elite)
  • The cloth cover is tougher than it appears, and dries very quickly.
  • It’s slightly narrower, slightly longer, and shaped differently than a B17. When mounted so that the bars are basically level with the saddle, my inner thighs will rub on a B17, but not with the C17.
  • The rivets look cool.

That’s about all I can say for now. I’ll write more after a few thousand miles and a couple of bike changes.

Long and Fat

There are some days when there’s nothing but a long ride to set things right. And sometimes, long isn’t enough. For those times, there’s long and fat.

Nate and I left early, both rolling fat, and picked up his friend Kep as we left town for some add-day riding that included sandwiches at Brennan’s in Monroe, horseshit-dodging in Illinois, several cold-water head dousings, cold cans of beer after 85 miles, and a post-ride steak with pitchers of beer at Alchemy.

This also represents the single longest ride I’ve done on the fat-bike (I’d ridden a fat-bike century a while back, but this one was slightly longer). I look forward to doing it again–perhaps going all the way to Freeport, IL next time–but not until it’s a little cooler.

And not until I’ve sorted out why my cranks (Surly Mr. Whirly) keep loosening themselves up.

Stats: 105.7 miles at 14.9 mph average. Seven bottles of water + nuun, two sandwiches, two bags of chips, one Clif bar, and three Miller High Life tallboys.

Not Bad…

Another quiet weekend, with another Sunday ride. Not bad at all.

Stats: 73.8 km at 26.6 km/h with a cafe stop.

Sticking the Landing

Reminds me of the last time I was hit by a car–about ten years ago. While riding at about 20mph on a separated cycle track, a car came tearing down a driveway from the left, blowing through the stop sign in order to hit traffic at speed on the road parallel to the track. I braked hard, went into a bit of a powerslide, drove my left lower-leg into the passenger-side front quarter panel, and then did a perfect roll over the front of the car and landed on my feet. In the process, I broke the windshield and put a man-sized dent in the hood. The messenger bag full of work clothes no doubt helped with that.

While I suffered only a deep bruise on my left leg, the bike was totaled. One broken wheel, the other badly damaged. One bent crank. Bent fork. And the frame–a steel Specialized Stumpjumper Comp from the early 90s–broke in two places.

In my case, no insurance dispute. She just wrote me a check and offered me a ride home. I accepted both, though I should have called a cab. Scariest ride in a car I’ve ever had.