Sunday, March 30, 2008

First Ride of the Season

March Weather

I remember some forcast last week saying that it was going to be warm this Sunday afternoon. We'll it looked warm, but wasn't in reality. It was sunny out and 40-ish. I probably should have warn my winter riding shirt and full fingered bike gloves, but I was in denial and dressed what I thought the weather SHOULD have been as opposed to the reality. I was a bit chilly riding, but it was bearable.

Benchmark Ride

Since this was my first "official" road ride of the year, I figured I would do what has become my benchmark ride. A ~16 mile loop circumnavigating the town of Franklin. It's a route I used to ride a lot on my mountain bike before learning how much better a road bike is for riding on the road. (Imagine that!)

My Knee

Over the course of the ride, my knee was beginning to complain. I remembered that this time last year it complained all the was into May (Mother's Day Ride (...and Tendonitis)) and was due to Patellar Tendonitis from a combination of an incorrect seat position and "pushing BIG gears - cadence too low" too early in the season (see: CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS - Leg, Knee, and Hip Pain). Armed with the knowledge (gained the hard way last year) I stayed in my small ring as more often than not.

One thing that is different this year: I think this is the first time this early in the season that found myself not wishing I had a granny gear. I guess my legs have retained some strength over the long winter...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My 1982 Schwinn Varsity

Ever since I had been working in downtown Boston I often thought it would be cool just to have a beater road bike. I figured I could go to NJ and get my old bike and convert it to a single speed or something. Well, the first time I recently lifted the bike I nearly pulled a muscle in my back. It turns out that my "Lightweight" Schwinn Varsity weighs 38 lbs. That's heavier than both my mountain bikes. logic and reasoning told me that if I really wanted a cheap, no frills, single speed, that I could get one real cheap on Craigslist.

Well I no longer work in downtown Boston and I never really would have spent the time, effort, and money to convert my Schwinn. So I moved on...

So much for moving on...

This past weekend I was visiting family at my father's house and I saw my bike hanging in the garage. I took it down and put air in the vintage Panaracer tires and took it out for a spin. The bike was filthy and had seen better days. However it rode solid. I imagine at 38 lbs. that the ride should feel solid.

I'm not sure what I am going to do with it. I am pretty sure I am not going to do anything major to it. I will definitely have to clean it. From there we'll see. I imagine that maybe this could be my winter bike while the expensive, shiny bike is on the trainer. Then maybe put the Schwinn on the trainer while the expensive, shiny bike is on the road in the warmer weather.

The bike has all original parts.

There isn't a quick release lever to be found! It still even has the bike shop sticker from where it was purchased.

It needs:

  • new brakes,
  • probably new tires.
  • It could stand to have an upgraded seat post and seat.
  • The pedals WILL be replaced!
    (I think I still have scar tissue where the original saw toothed pedals often hit me in the shins.)
  • New handle bar tape (or no handlebar tape)
  • New handlebars?
  • and whatever breaks in the course of use...

38 lbs.! Maybe I should mount a tank turret on it ;-)

UPDATE: Project Schwinn

I've dedicated a section in my Amazon aStore to my Schwinn Project. I plan on listing an parts I find and use on my Schwinn there. I would like the tires but they seem to have been discontinued. Right now I just have some single speed conversion kits listed. NOTE: these aren't Schwinn specific.

Visit the Project Schwinn section on my aStore!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Do The Test" British PSA

A cool bicycle awareness PSA from the UK.

Direct Link:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring Training

I set my alarm to wake up at 4:45 AM this past weekend so I could get on my bike trainer. Yesterday it went off, and I rolled over and turned it off and then went back to sleep.

This morning it went off again. I almost went back to sleep. I got up and got on the bathroom scale. Then I went down into the basement and got on the bike. Nothing like a discouraging number on a scale to encourage one to do some exercise.

Phat Tuesday Ride

I received a notification via email (from The Cycling Site) that the Phat Tuesday Rides are starting up again.

So that's one less excuse for not getting out there riding ;-)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bike Trainer

My youngest daughter decided to start crying at 4:30 this morning. Notice I didn't say wake up. Elizabeth has the unique ability to cry while she is still asleep. Really! Anyway, I got up and rubbed her back and that settled her down. I wasn't really going to get back to sleep myself and I was planning on hitting the bike trainer today anyway so I really have to thank my daughter for getting me up so I can work out :-)

Chris Carmichael's Weight-Loss Workout

I got up early enough to get on my bike trainer at 5:01 AM. I was able to push through and complete the full hour of Chris Carmichael's Weight-Loss Workout that I had mentioned in the previous post. Man did I sweat a lot. It felt good. Maybe next time I'll set up a fan.

Clif Bars

Normally after a decent bike ride I would wolf down a Clif Builder Bar. They are 270 Calories but have 20 grams of protein in them. They are great for post ride recovery and satisfying enough so that you don't undo all the hard work by pigging out. However, this morning, I decided to take a pass on it. I am trying to lose weight after all.


Side-note: Did you know that there are actual music videos on VH1 at 5:00 AM? Imagine that!