Friday, December 31, 2010

Cycling 2010

Cycling clothing.The cycling year is over and since I’m not planning to cycle in the last 8 hours of this year I decided to calculate and post the final stats. There are many valid excuses I can come up with for such unimpressive results, but it’s better than nothing.

In the last months the weather got really cold and I had no proper clothing. However a week ago I finally bought a couple of items that allowed me to put some miles in without freezing to death. I had the long pants from the last year and my helmet came with a winter insert which I installed.

I bought a thermal layer that goes under a jersey (basically a t-shirt with long sleves that soaks up sweat) and a really nice cycling jacket. I’m thinking that I should’ve gotten it one size smaller since the rubber strip on the bottom doesn’t prevent it from sliding up. Otherwise it’s water and wind proof, has a lot of convient pockets and a long back.

I think what I need to get is a long sleeved jersey to replace my summer one, get some thermal layer on the head to cover the ears, get a pair of booties that go over the cycling shoes, some real gloves and it should make cycling comfortable during winter.

Here are the final numbers:
MonthRidesTotal DistanceOverall Time
8 months34707.0453:54:54
April10160.2412:21:29
May596.8207:17:42
June6116.9908:12:32
July115.5001:10:50
August131.1102:40:17
September366.7306:11:19
October6185.6713:24:11
December233.9802:36:34

So there you have it. Total of 707 miles and almost 54 hours on a bike. The fastest speed was 32.8 MPH and the biggest single time distance is 51.16 miles. By my standards (they are pretty low ones) that’s not too shabby. Hopefully next year will be better and even more hopefully Alena will join in. Arosha will probably have to wait a year or two.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Queens Loop

Here’s a map1 of what we’ve been doing with Mike on weekends from the time when he got his new bike.

Our overall ride length varies from 25 to 32 miles per run and it takes us from hour and a half to 2 hours depending on the detours and stops that we choose to make.

Hopefully Alena will join us as soon as possible. And maybe even Alex will remember to bring his biking clothes back to Brooklyn and not have a hang over one day, but we’re not really counting on that. When Lenchik gets back to living in Brooklyn (if ever) we’ll just have him run with us. Anybody else wants to join? )

  1. Large map. Recorded with Cyclemeter for iPhone. []
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Monday, May 31, 2010

May Cycling

HelmetHere is my May cycling report summed up in one word — pathetic. First we were on vacation, then I was sick, then we were shopping for furniture, then we were putting furniture together. You get the picture. Overall I managed to get out only 5 times during the whole month of May. Goes and hides in shame now.

Sasha and I did a pretty long loop throughout parts of Brooklyn, Rockaways and Queens though this time around — over 30 miles long, which makes it my longest ride yet.

DateTotal DistanceAverage SpeedOverall Time
5 days96.82max 15.807:18
5/08/201012.8012.801:14
5/14/201020.5415.801:19
5/15/201030.5614.102:23
5/29/201012.5015.200:50
5/31/201020.4214.601:30

However the weather wasn’t really cooperating this month — it was extremely windy very often. It’s not my favorite feeling when you’re going 20 MPH and then you’re standing still and feeling like you’re about to roll backwards. Today though was an exception. Even though the winds were pretty strong it felt really nice going against it — the day was very hot and wind would cool you down so quickly that I was almost feeling goose bumps and that seemed to give me more strength to go through it. I really enjoyed that for a change today.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April Cycling

CyclingIf all goes as planned and we do go on our vacation this Saturday I’m not going to do any more cycling this month. Hence my mini report for this month. It certainly feels good to be riding again.

I use CatEye V3 to collect the following data — distance, average speed, average heart-rate, average cadence and maximum speed reached through out the ride.

At this point my average cadence has stayed pretty consistent which is 65-69 since the day I started recording it. My average heart-rate is at 150-164. The maximum speed that I was able to reach was 29.2 MPH, which I’m sure is pretty laughable by any standards, but it is what it is. And the more detailed break down follows:

DateTotal DistanceAverage SpeedOverall Time
10 days160.24max 15.213:21
04/02/201010.699.701:06
04/03/201011.630.001:00
04/04/201021.3912.402:10
04/05/201011.6313.300:57
04/07/201016.8214.101:23
04/09/201011.6813.900:52
04/10/201024.1313.501:56
04/14/201015.7914.801:05
04/16/201013.6115.200:55
04/17/201022.8712.801:56

I did put about 10 more miles on my parent’s fitness bike, but I’m not including those stats since it’s really hard to compare the machine to a real bike. I’m not really sure what’s harder to do.
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

CatEye V3 Cycling Computer

CatEye V3 mounted on the stem. Showing speed, heart rate, cadence and distance.I finally got a chance to install a cycling computer on to the bike on past Sunday morning. I had it delivered a while ago, if you recall. I am a bit of a nut when it comes to statistics of all kinds and riding without the information provided by the computer is just not as much fun as with — current speed, cadence and heart rate, averages and maximums. It also displays elapsed time, distance and included an odometer for a bike among other things.

Rare earth magnet mounted behind the pedal by magnetic force.I did decide that I would like to get a cadence sensor this time around and figured that might as well throw in the heart sensor. One of the objectives was to get a rear mounted sensor so if I decide to stick the bike into the trainer one winter I would still get the data.

Sensor mounted on the chain stay.For the cadence magnet I used a rare earth magnet kindly provided by Ignat to avoid using zip ties on the pedal. The magnet is just about the right diameter, falls right into the mounting hole not filled by the pedal itself. I’ve put about 40 miles after putting the magnet on and it seems to sit sturdy in place without any additional mounting hardware such as glue. The sensor itself is kind of bulky, but again, the supplied mounting hardware did the job just fine fitting it onto a flat chain stay of Synapse frame. The whole install didn’t take longer than 20 minutes.
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5.After 4 weeks of waiting and almost a year long break I’m back on a bicycle. However everything worked out in an unexpected way as it often does.

Shimano 105 shifters.This time around I place an order for Cannondale CAAD9-4. Same bike as I had before, only instead of getting Shimano 105 components I decided to go with SRAM Rival. The problem was that our LBS didn’t have this particular bike in stock. They placed an order to Cannondale and Cannondale folks were dragging their feet.

Shimano 105 derailleurs, FSA Gossamer BB30 Compact crank.This past Wednesday Sasha asked if I wanted to stop by the store, see if he’ll pick anything out. The owner wasn’t supposed to be there on Wednesday, but there he was. He explained to me that Cannondale was expecting to ship the bikes next week and that he would’ve called me if anything changed, but I told him that I’m here with a friend to show him around.

Cannondale logo on the frame, Control Tech handlebar.We went to look at bikes and I suggested Alex test drives a CAAD9 bike and a Synapse. CAAD9 is a great crit bike and is great for racing, or anything else for that matter, but since we’re not really planning to race an endurance bike could be a better choice, and Synapse is exactly that. Synapse comes in alloy and carbon.

Prologo Kappa Pas saddle.Sasha ended up liking Synapse more. We were told that it was a 2009 (last year) carbon model with Shimano 105 stuff. The price tag was $1400, which is a bit crazy, knowing that 2010 model goes for $2150. When Alex agreed to buy it, the owner started checking books and discovered that they, as he eloquently put it, fucked up. The bike was aluminum alloy, not carbon.

Shimano RS10 wheels and hubs.Allan (the owner) apologized for the screw up and said to correct the situation he’s going to give him a very good price — $1100 for aluminum and if he still wants carbon he’ll give him 2010 model for $1550, which is off the hook. I started feeling that my $1500 for $1800 wasn’t as great of a deal compared to this one — although it still was a hell of a deal, judging by the info on the forums.

Carbon frame, carbon fork. BPA-Free Camelbak Podium bottle.Alex took a bike for a test drive and Allan said to me that since I was his customer it would not be right if he wouldn’t offer me the same deal. After a short test drive it didn’t take long for me to change my mind. Although CAAD9 is an awesome bike I figured that for me endurance bike probably makes more sense than a crit bike, since I’m not really all that great of a cyclist at this point. Plus this way I could pick up my new bike right away, instead of waiting. Alex did the same.

Shimano A520 SPD pedals.We picked them up on Friday. I put a little bit over 40 miles up to this point on my bike and I like it a lot. First day I wasn’t sure about my switch, but now I’m just happy to be riding again. We picked up a bunch of other gear which was given to us at a great price as well. I said this before, and I will say this again — THE BEST customer service and shopping experience, only at Sheepshead Cycle Shop. Allan is great to do business with, and I’m one of many very satisfied customers.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

CatEye V3

CatEye V3.I have this1 waiting for me. It can only mean one thing — I’m waiting for something else to come through really soon. So far the ETA is not clear though. I’m hoping for this or next weekend.

  1. CatEye V3 cycling computer. Paid $138 on Amazon. []
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Начало Отпуска

Our cabin at Shoshone Lodge.Отпуск удался. Улетать домой не хотелось очень, но как говорят “хорошего понемножку” — и мы с Данькой уже паримся в наших Бруклинских апартаментах и пытаемся заполнить мониторы компьютеров стройными рядами свежих воспоминаний.

Наш пятничный вечерний рейс был отменён авиакомпанией JetBlue — не очень приятно, но и не очень страшно учитывая то, что вылететь в Денвер мы смогли ранним утром следующего дня. Эльдар встретил нас в аэропорте рядом с крутящейся штукой, которая неторопливо выплёвывала багаж пассажиров нашего рейса. Мы довольно редко встречаемся с Эльдаром — всё же расстояние между Нью-Йорком и Колорадо немалое — но взаимное привыкание происходит очень быстро и, как я уже писала, улетать было очень грустно.

Next best thing to "Welcome to Wyoming" sign.В субботу мы с Даней взяли в аренду велосипеды (а у Эльдара есть свой собственный), и все вместе мы поехали кататься по окрестностям Вестминстера — города, где живут Эльдар и его родители. Денёк был жаркий, поэтому катались мы не слишком долго, но всё равно было очень приятно снова почувствовать как “скрипит потёртое седло” Liberty Bell near Wyoming capitol building.под специальными шортами со смягчающей паролоновой прокладкой и “ветер холодит” разгорячённое под палящим солнцем тело.

Субботний вечер завершился ужином в очень приличном китайском ресторане, несколькими глотками пива, сваренного в местных микропивоварнях (купили мы его в супермаркете), большой коробкой черники и разговорами. Спать мы пошли относительно рано так как в восресенье планировалась длинная дорога. Первую ночь мы провели в доме где живут родители Эльдара. Нам с Даней почему-то не спалось в отведенной нам комнате на втором этаже (было душно), и Эльдар переместил нас в более прохладную комнату в подвале (где я под утро даже замерзла). Данька всё сокрушался, что гости из нас получились капризные, но семья Эльдара который раз согрела нас своим гостеприимством.

Sign near Wyoming capitol building.В 9 утра в воскресенье мы отправились в путь. Мы с Данькой любим посещать столицы разных американских штатов, поэтому вполне естественной была наша остановка в городе Шайенн — столице штата Вайоминг. Мы припарковались рядом с капитолием, который, надо заметить, произвёл очень приятное впечатление, и сделали парочку фотографий самого здания и очереденого “колокола свободы”.

Даня был особенно доволен остановкой еще и потому, что в музее, расположенном рядом с капитолием, ему поставили аж 3 красивых печати! ) По самому музею мы проскакали галопом — не хотелось терять драгоценное время.

Остальной путь не был особенно примечателен — вокруг тянулись то малозаселённые равнины, то горы, то мелкие городишки; время от времени шел дождь, гремел гром и сверкали молнии; на обочине Shoshone Lodge sign.дороги нам повстречался горный козёл, а в полях мы неоднократно видели вилорогов (pronghorn antelope), которых в Вайоминге хоть пруд пруди. Вобщем ехалось хорошо и довольно спокойно (во всяком случае мне как пассажиру).

В нашу гостиницу — Shoshone Lodge — мы прибыли около 8 вечера. Для проживания нам достался крохотный, но очень уютный деревянный домик с двумя кроватями. Как выяснилось, гостиница была построена еще в 1920-х годах дедушкой теперешнего владельца этого места. В главном здании, а точнее в двухэтажном деревянном доме, гостиницы находится ресторанчик, в котором мы и поужинали, а так же комната для гостей с камином, парочкой диванов и огромным количеством разных охотничьих “трофеев” прибитых к стенам (лосиная и оленьи головы, медвежьи шкуры, чучело пумы и т.п.).

First dinner in Shoshone Lodge.В процессе регистрации любезная тётушка-портье выяснила что мы русские, и довольно нам сообщила что у них работае русский мальчик под именем “Игор”. Этот самый Игор, который на деле оказался Егором, подошел к нам после ужина и мы немного с ним поболтали (он явлается студентом из Омска, который участвует в программе “Work and Travel USA” и находится в штатах по J-1 визе). Взять с собой в парк Егора мы не смогли (так как он пол дня работал, а мы уехали рано), и как-то больше мы с ним не общались.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cycling in Colorado

One and only photo of me on my bike.A bit of exciting news for us with regards to cycling — yesterday, with Eldar’s help, I made a reservation for a pair of road bikes at a local to Eldar store.

If we can’t have our cycling in this city at least we’ll enjoy some of it during our trip next month. And not only we’ll do some cycling, but we’ll do it in the heart of cycling country. I think everyone in Boulder owns a road bike.

We’ll be renting a pair of Specialized Roubaix road bikes for $50 a day.

P.S. This is the only photo of me on my bike in existence.
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

CatEye Cycling Computer

Cateye Micro Wireless cycling computer installed on a stem of my Cannondale bike.Yesterday we bought a simple cycling computer — Cateye Micro Wireless. It has several simple functions. It is able to track the distance, elapsed time, average speed among other things. All these were available on iPhone as well, which we were using before.

However while I could rarely glance on iPhone during a ride this computer is right in front of my eyes all the time. Beside the functions listed above it is also able to display the current speed, and save the maximum speed reached during the trip.

My maximum speed yesterday was 28 MPH, but that was going off the hill. Today on a flat surface I was able to reach 23 MPH. I’m sure these are not achievements of any kind for a real cyclist, but so far they are for me. )

The installation was a snap too and didn’t take more than 15 minutes.
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday Morning

Shublik in the hands.Today Katie came over and gave Shublik one of his shots (the last on is due in 3 weeks). For some reason he was a little agitated and not quite his usual self — maybe because he smelled other cats from Katie’s clothes. Katie said that she can see that he’s grown and that he is going to be quite big, just like his father.

Shublik attacking hair.Shublik did not let us sleep too much tonight again, but I hope he will just grow out of it. Katie suggested buying some kind of special cat’s tent where Shublik can be put for a couple of hours in the morning so we could sleep. Maybe, we’ll try this.

2 Cannondale cycling shirts, spare tube and a cycling computer.After driving Katie to the subway, we’ve decided to get summer biking t-shirts since the weather is getting nicer and nicer. We picked two matching red t-shirts, and also got a spare tube and a cycling computer. The funny thing is that Alan did not recognize me at first, and when it finally hit him, he said to Danya: “And I was thinking – are all of his girlfriends 6 feet tall?”. Alan noticed that I dyed my hair and kept saying that I look different today. What can I say – no makeup and new hair color can do tricks! )

Shublik and Alena being cute. :)It was also funny that one of the guys who works there told us that two people came to their site from our blog (I am amazed that he easily figured out who we are when we entered the shop today). I can only say again that I am very happy that we bought our bicycles from the local bike shop, and that dealing with people there is always a pleasure.
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Hitch Installed

Mopar OEM hidden hitch for Chrysler 300C.The 2nd hardest thing after choosing all the components was actually installing the hitch. Not that it’s a complicated procedure — lower the exhaust, screw in 6 bolts, raise the exhaust back up. But it’s not possible to do without a lift, so a shop has to be involved.

Hitch mounted on the car and L-shaped adapter is attached.Either way, it’s done. Dealer has quoted me $135 for the job (are they insane?), and my regular guy took $50. The hitch is completely invisible on the car when not in use because of the hidden design. To attach anything to it I need to put on an L-shaped adapter (15 second ordeal) and we’re good to go.

Now we just need for the bike rack itself to get delivered (Monday) and we can travel. Questions is — where to? )
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