40 miles

When I’m not commuting I am realizing that the 10 years between when I was really cranking out as many miles as possible and now have done a number on my overall abilities to crush the number of miles I would like. I got 40 in on Saturday and here’s couple pictures but I’m gonna need to get out there a bit more if I set a goal like completing a century before the snow flies. Also, since she’s in the picture, let me tell you a bit about my 2004 Lemond Poprad. I love it, but she needs some attention. Headset is a little jhanky and the shifting really deteriorated on the ride but she started off pretty good!20180922_082458~2

So a couple of things. About nothing on this bike is original. I have replaced the Shimano gruppo with Campagnolo 10 speed Record brake shifters mated up to SRAM 9 speed cassette and an Ultegra 9 speed chain along with more Campy triple crankset…WTF indeed. I also have an Ideal saddle on here which is my first one of these and I really like it. The gearing is supposed to all go together and work courtesy of a JTEK Shiftmate and it has been doing really well until about mile 28-32 of this ride last weekend when the bike decided it wanted to start dropping down a gear on the rear and drop the chain off the front when I went into the big ring. This was also about the time I got into the gravel as well.

To start, I left my house in north Denver and headed south on the Platte River trail. I knew I would probably take the Cherry Creek trail once I hit the confluence and I was thinking if things were going well I would head to Castlewood Canyon State Park and turn around and come right back. I stuck with the first part of the plan and took a left onto Cherry Creek trail which was still pretty lightly travelled at around 8:30am when I got to that area. When I finally arrived around the area of the dam I made my move and passed a couple recreational cyclists at that point. I wasn’t really trying to kill it but it made me feel pretty swell to be peddling along and pass a couple folks, especially on a pretty steep incline. When I got to a split in the road I checked the map and while I had gone 18 miles it was another 35 to Castlewood Canyon State Park so that’s when I decided to do the loop. I also noticed during this time that although the snot and spit was dribbling out relentlessly and I was busy trying to stay up on personal hydration, I hadn’t coughed or hacked once throughout the ride.

I’ll make a separate paragraph to tell you: I QUIT SMOKING CIGARETTES ABOUT 5 MONTHS AGO.

Back on the trail I was on top of the dam by this time and made my way over to the what I think is called the Aurora spillway but basically it’s a path that heads north from Cherry Creek State Park in the direction of Aurora. It’s also where I saw 2 young coyotes and a couple deer when I did this route the last time in the opposite direction (and in a rainstorm). There’s a park in Aurora called Olympic Park which had some baseball games going on but I knew the area from getting trapped in the rainstorm at this place before. I stopped at the beach volleyball area where they have filtered water and continued on after a light snack. Map showed I could hop on Moline St and head north into Stapleton and onto the Sand Creek Trail which I knew would go to the Platte River trail where I needed to be. It was around this time the driveline started to fail me.

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Also this section of this ride is unpaved and better suited to hybrids or these fancy new gravel bikes they have now but I got through on 28c width Rivendell Ruffy Tuffys with only a couple of spots where I cut down through the sand layer which was somewhat dicey. Also by the time I got to this bridge I had the tool kit out and was adjusting cables and trying to take out any slack which had developed as my shifting was really deteriorating. Thankfully, although I didn’t put a bunch of mechanical technique into anything, my short bust of problem solving got me on down the road and I was regularly seeing my cycle computer clocking in at 18, 19, and 20 mph speeds again and before long I was at the confluence of Sand Creek and the Platte River which is only a few short miles from my house.

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While 40 miles is no great distance it has always seemed to be a perfect distance to really get back into things or to sort out your equipment. In my case, I need to throw some wrenches around again but as another surprise showed up this week as well (future blog posting this week maybe?) the wrenching I need to do includes a couple different projects all coming together including taking the Tektro Cantis I stripped off my wife bike last night and installing them on this Lemond. Until later, happy cycling!

 

 

 

 

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What ever happened to?

…….Look, I don’t even know if people will want to read these ramblings at this point. While traveling back in time through my own blogroll I realized so many of the “bike boom” blogs of the 00’s and 10’s have gone by the wayside. Perhaps this medium has become obsolete, I don’t actually know, I’m still using Facebook like it hasn’t swayed elections and riled our collective consciousness with divisive talk and wedge issues.

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Point is, the sustainability of the bike blogger seems to be more on spec with the durability of Lance Armstrong’s career or a high end crabon frame than the well known indestructible nature of real “STEEL” and 10-speed suntour gruppos. And why should these things last anyway? I look over the past 5-7 years between regular posts here and my own renewed interest and I can say a with certainty things really have changed. We’ve hit that moment where cycle commuting HAS become part of the conversation around urban transport but don’t expect a critical mass or amazing sea change. Indeed that’s how we know this has worked…..it’s just like anything else, we ride a bike to get places, and what bike you ride doesn’t really matter (unless your a bike nerd like me). Bike lanes and sharrows seemingly are everywhere, just look at how angry the cagers get about all the infrastructure being dedicated to cyclists. UPROAR! PITCHFORKS!

But you certainly don’t need to hear my ramblings on the matter to know that traffic is getting worse and too many people are moving to Denver for us to continue to build the city out as though this were the 1960’s , 70’s , or 80’s and continue to enjoy the quality of life this amazing city affords us. At least, not as it relates to the automobile. So while I may have taken a break from writing for several years, the forces at play have taken none and only served to strengthen the argument for better facilities for cyclists to move about the city. While CDOT spent their week beginning their 1.7 BILLION dollar project to replace the viaduct on I-70 to accommodate more autos, I’ve only been spending my capital on investing in a couple leg muscles which haven’t seen the regular use they deserve. While I may be getting close to 50 years old by the time the rebuilt viaduct actually comes into use, my 30 min commute will probably still be 30 mins while those in the ditch (or the sky on the viaduct) will most likely see their stress and commute times continue to rise.

Thanks for coming back…hope you enjoy this ride.

 

Will

Quick evening Ride-Welcome to Denver!

Welcome to Denver, Colorado! 

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So while it’s been awhile some things remain the same. As you can see I’m still riding one of the same bicycles I had 5 years ago the last time I published a post and testament to the “steel is real” mantra it’s holding up quite well. Prior to this evenings ride I actually changed a couple items around on this bicycle. Since I work from home now and the amount of utility necessary was probably overkill on my part with both a front basket, the rear rack, and a saddlebag all on this bike I actually removed some of these items before this evenings ride. Also I must admit that I’m anticipating of hopefully rebuilding and maybe upgrading this bike a bit over the winter which is why I started pulling things off. I’m also working on prepping another bike I picked up at the pawn shop to use this winter (more on that in another post!) instead of this bike. While the blog has been inactive, the bicycle certainly has not and the amount of grime on this thing makes her deserving of a complete teardown and rebuild by next spring. She’s been up into Waterton Canyon, around town, Winter Park area with friends and elsewhere. Since my last post years ago I’ve upgraded the tires to 37c width Panaracer Paselas (my favorite tire by a lot) and removed the fenders as the weather here really doesn’t require you to have them (unless maybe I was commuting to work still) with our supposed 300 days a year of sunshine.

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Cycling infrastructure is growing here, and this is the newly striped 47 Ave bike lane which got put down a couple weeks ago. My advocacy here in the city starts and ends with this bike lane as I’ve tried to remain out of these conversations but did attend a community meeting here about this project. Of course, everyone was against it…..scared to lose their parking. That includes the liquor store owners (who got concessions from the city in front of their building where there is no lane, only sharrows) and my neighbors who are worried about their parking on game nights with their friends. I like it, but I could have gone without. Traffic is actually a big issue on this road closer to where I live and I would have rather seen some traffic calming like a diverter to reduce vehicle volume and no bike lane as a concession. This would have reduced traffic, possibly saved parking, and bikes could still easily use the quite neighborhood street with sharrows rather than the traffic which is present now and cuts from from York to Brighton when the train is present.

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Like everywhere in Denver, construction and new residents demand upgrades to our infrastructure and as you can see in this picture some designated bicycle routes are closed (at the end of this block in the picture above) or under construction.

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Of course there’s still lots of bike lanes like this one on MLK which are segregated from traffic. Not a great road to ride on, but get’s you where you want to be (in this case the Bicycle Co-Op where I was looking for a shifter for that bicycle I alluded to building up earlier).

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On my way back, on the really round-a-bout route through the downtown area of the city, I had to make a quick stop at ink! coffeeshop for the coffeenuering challenge which I’m halfheartedly doing here and there or just using as an excuse to get some miles in.

Lastly I got this shot from the new pedestrian bridge at the 38th and Blake light rail station. The trainyard splits the city up such that from where I live it’s difficult to get to some of these areas except by taking one or two routes that go around the trainyard. Why not take the pedestrian bridge I figured as 38th under the train tracks is heavily traveled by autos, dimly lit on the walkway, and frequently used by pedestrians as well plus, I wanted to try out the elevator.

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So I guess things haven’t really changed that much just some different scenery to take pictures of. Either way somehow this still feels like a rebirth, or the first time I’ve done this before but I know it’s not and I certainly know this blog can be resurrected easily and brought back with more or less the same intentions.

Get People on Bikes

Highlight and showcase adventures had while cycling

Observe and reflect on how people are getting around on two wheels

…and maybe a little bike pron and simple tips along the way

 

Welcome to Denver..I think you’ll like cycling here as much as you have anywhere. Cheers!

 

 

Been Awhile!

colorado-wordpressWell Well Well….though you were done with me! Lol.

Firstly, it’s been five years since I’ve posted….so much has happened in that time and to start, I moved away from Richmond Virginia over 2 years ago to start a new bike life, in Denver Colorado. Oddly, I work from home now so the premise that one should utilize their bicycle to commute to work remains the same but for me isn’t applicable. I’d like to think that in the couple years of posting more and more folks in RVA have begun to use bicycles as transport, I know I’ve built a few up bikes for friends to use and others have done so themselves. Similarly, I’ve been exploring new places, seeing new things and craving out a new lifestyle here in Denver. I’ve trying to get back on the bike more for sure but Colorado has a much different climate, different environment, and bigger hills. That being said, I’m posting up here cause I think it’s time to bring what I’ve always enjoyed back a bit, albeit in a different form. So that being said, the name will stay the same, but I’m not your local cycle commuting blogger anymore but I would like to and hope to be able to show you some of the cool bike adventures I have here in Colorado hopefully with more camping! So that being said, here’s to a second go around!