Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Not the candy, although, I do love me some peanut M&M's that come right out of the freezer. No, MM for a marvelous May of riding. Setting up a good summer I hope!!

Let's re-cap!

The month actually started with another winter storm blowing through which left the bikes in the garage for the first week. I pushed the ride in cold temps just because I had to get some miles in before heading to Santa Fe.
Got in a nice day of riding with Kyle down in Ft Collins!

Kyle took happy possession of the Univega and I turned my attention back to my Schwinn road bike to get ready for Santa Fe.I was more worried about my conditioning to ride a century than my bike.

Mid-month it was time to head out for the Santa Fe Century! Last year was my first time for a century and my friend Richard motivated me and kept me going to the finish line! This year he had other commitments so I was on my own. Met up with old cycling friend Teesie and her friends soon to be old friends I hope!!

Wind had her back up on the Saturday before so I planned on an early start to beat the wind.

Off we go!
It is becoming a pattern for me on these long rides that I am a slow starter but a strong finisher. Today was no different. I felt like I was pushing "water buffalo" legs for that first leg to the first food stop. The ultimate pedal shame was when a really big dude on a Surly Ogre rode up next to me on the hill that comes out of Cerrillos up to Madrid. We talked Ogre's for a few minutes and then he pulled away.

Limping into the first food stop.

Felt like a new man as I headed up through Madrid. Madrid is kind of a funky artsy place with many pretty painted up buildings. Or not so pretty! Not sure if this guy lived in this RR car or just ran his business out of it!!

I think the toughest part of this course is the climb out of Madrid up to the top of the ridge. I just put my mind into Rocky Mountain National Park climb mode and grinded it up. I even caught and passed Ogre dude! The payoff at the top is a great see forever view!
The route takes you through Golden, an old mining town.
A few ruins of bygone buildings
Then it is time for the infamous "Heartbreak Hill"
Everybody talks about this being the toughest part of the ride, but not for me. It's a no-brainer! ride up a little at the bottom and then jump off and hike-a-bike! I was walking my bike up and this "fast fred" was doing the side to side of the road weaving thing to stay on his bike and ride up.....I was keeping the same pace as him by just walking! Great run of downhill after the top and pretty soon you are out in the flats of some New Mexico high desert.

Some where they put a town I'm supposed to ride back to......
Hard to believe about an hour ago I was up in those mountains riding
Came out of the food stop at Stanley really feeling good about my ride. I was even passing other riders (I never pass anybody!) and just had my scherve on, ready to gobble up the last 40 miles. Then I felt a bit of squirrely-ness coming out of my back wheel. Checked it out and my tire was worn through and the tube was bulging up and out some. Rode it for about ten miles until I lost the tube. Got the tire off and glued a couple of patches to the inside of the tire and ran a little strip of duct tape on the inside of the tire. put in a spare tube and nursed it along for about 3 more miles until I lost that tube. Put in my last spare tube and made it about a half mile until total failure! The tire would not allow any pressure at all. So, my 100 mile ride turned into a 73 mile ride and then a ride back to the start in the SAG truck. A bummer at first but turned out OK. I had spent so much time screwing around with it, that the afternoon wind had blown up to make it almost unride-able out there. Found my self back for a nice dinner and a cold beer with my friend Teesie!
Pretty good day of riding!
Turned out the tire failure got me moving on a change I have been wanting to do on this bike. Move up to a bigger tire. I had 700/25's and changed to 700/32's. Richard, you are right! The rough ride I was not liking was a function of tires. The wider, taller tire give me a much smoother ride at 80lbs of pressure instead of the skinny tires at 100 lbs of pressure. I'll never go back!
The month ended with the passing of my old friend Greg Hurt. We shared some great times being ski instructors together in the late 70's early 80's. There was a nice memorial for him on Saturday and then on Sunday I thought I would ride up to Hidden Valley to think of him and the times had up there.
View of Upper from Horseshoe Park. Good Times skiing up there!
Pretty day for a ride with all the views that anybody could want!

 It was not so much losing Greg that affected me but the time gone by and the knowledge that those kind of times will never return for me. Lost youth as it were. I was so carefree and happy at that time in my life. Maybe that is the base of bike riding happiness that I seem to find out there when I pedal away. That feeling of carefree, zero responsibility.
 I know in my mind that I embellish that time in my life, it is just the passing of Greg that brought it to a lot of thought of a past lifestyle. It sounds like I am an un-happy person with my current life. That is not the case at all, it is just a different life of grown-up responsibility. I enjoy today's life and embrace it and live it! Just all these different events brought the past back to fondly think of and remember.

At Hidden Valley after riding up, I hiked up to the middle of Raven, the practice slope where I gave many, many lessons. Looking up over my shoulder at Spruce where the revegitation of trees is beginning to take away the site of the ski run.

After I got back to town I felt more at peace with myself that I had done something to remember and honor my friend.
Memorial day, I got in a nice ride with Kyle again. We pounded back up through Horsetooth except went north to loop through Bellevue and La Porte and back to Kyle and Lea's apartment. I'm able to commute now everyday and lunchtime rides are going well so, all in all in was a very good month to get things rolling for a summer of bike fun!

I hope everybody is getting out and enjoying their time on their bikes!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Move it Forward

Being a Dad is one of those jobs in this world that I managed for the most part to get right. My kids actually like having me around!
In talking to my #2 son, Kyle this last week back and forth about his life and what has been going on he mentioned that his girlfriend wants to get going with some bike riding. This gets me fired up because it is a new possibility to fix up another bike!
A little history. When I retired from the running world after battling through two bouts of Plantar Fasciitis I found my way back onto a bike. I started with a purchase of an entry level commuter bike, a Schwinn World Avenue. Featured an upright riding set-up, it did the job well which was get me back and forth to work for a whole summer. Then came the Surly LHT and a return to my touring roots. Then I rebuilt my Univega the first time and this was the bike I let Kyle use for his college bike.

First rebuild version!

He rode the crap out of this bike for two years getting around Ft. Collins. It also was stored outdoors and came back after he was done...... a little rough. Then he and Lea got a place together in Ft Collins and got a job that was within close commuter distance so I gave him the Schwinn World Avenue and he has been happy! I have also been happy with the total rebuild that I completed on the Univega and it has been my bike of choice for these last six months or so.

And as Paul Harvey says....The rest of the story......

I decided to return the Univega to Kyle so he can move the World Avenue on to Lea and they can enjoy some bike time together!
My wise friend tim joe tells us "nothing lasts forever". I would add, except family. So, I am very happy to see the bike go to him. He will ride it everyday plus has started to show a desire to go out on rides just for the sake of riding!!!! More and more like his old man everyday!!!
I drove it down to him this last Sunday and we went for a nice ride together. We did the loop up through Horsetooth, down through Masonville, around to Loveland and back to Ft Collins. Had a blast!!

Here's Kyle on his new/old ride at the top of the second of three hills to get up and over Horsetooth.

As for me?? I am back on my Schwinn Le Tour. It is a good bike that I like to ride very much. It is a bit of a harsher ride mainly because of the alu frame and the skinny tires at 100psi. I have plans to change the tires to a 28-622 that I can run at 75-80psi which will smooth out the ride. The geometry is actually better on this bike for long road riding for me. I have done 100 miles on it and felt pretty good afterward!

Here we are post-ride about ready for a cold adult beverage!

 And full circle to the start of this blog......it is great to have your kids that want to go out and have some fun with the activity that you enjoy so much!!!
Plus now I can start doing a little bit of hunting for the next old steel bike that is begging to be recycled for myself!!!!
Have a great day everybody