Friday, February 18, 2011

Fixin' a Bike Feels Right

Amy and I try to keep our lives simple so we can chase the things in life that make us happy, running and biking respectively. Therefore, we own one car. She drives the car to work, while I get excellent gas mileage on my bike.

Now, as important as it is to keep the car in proper working order the same can be said for my bike. After all, not only is this a tool to keep my fitness up to par, but it's how I get around. The dead of winter has a way of causing a guy to put things off, not to mention with a training schedule that's leaving me wiped out. Most nights I've just been hoping the bike would fix itself. Long story short, the thing has been running like crap! All the salt, grit, grime, and tears (mine) have it groaning over the smallest of demands. Last night's ride home was the last straw. I really thought some thing was going to snap, maybe even me. Into the stand she went and I prepared to get dirty. Believe it or not, it was one of those rare times when every thing went smooth, which was vital, because if something were to go dreadfully wrong my LBS wasn't open and I didn't have another machine I was prepared to take into the slop. Well, I guess I could have taken Big Mama off the hook, but damn, she's soooo clean right now. 

I attacked the supposed issue with "plan A", only to find a different issue that had me in one of those "Ahhhhh, that's the problem" moments.  A short time later she was running smooth in the stand and a little attention was given to some other issues and I felt good!

The ride into work this morning felt even better, as I was able to actually use all the bike had to offer, rather than avoid certain gear combos, and the "ooooh, better not do that" factor. Too bad I was faced with a 25 mph head wind for over half the ride. At one point I had to drop down the middle ring going DOWN HILL, I just couldn't turn over the big ring any more. Now that's wind.

Fix your bike, it's worth it!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winter Lonliness

The winter doldrums have landed squarely on my shoulders. I've become irritable with myself. I complain out loud while riding to work. My training partners won't ride with me, they're too busy skiing. I curse the cold. And, when I say cold I mean, minus 35 degrees with the wind chill. It really hurts! Lately, I have resorted to shifting my commuter with my right foot manipulating the rear derailleur. You see, the ole girl is protesting just like I am.  I gave her (the bike) a bath at work the other day just to show her I still care and I think I could have made a little sand box out of all the grit that was on the floor.

I've been trying to be positive, but clearly losing the battle. I've tried to imagine how all of this will pay off in the summer when I'm wearing about 3 oz. of clothing and trying to flex a new frame. However, as the cold continues and the weather guy talks about more snow coming I can't help but wonder if it's all been worth it.

I know, I need a vacation! Hmm, Jamaica???