Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for June, 2007

A hot ride

Friday, June 8th, 2007

I went mountain biking at Brown County last night. It was about 92 degrees, I think, when I started my ride. It was windy, though, which made the heat a little more tolerable — and wind is less of a problem on the trails than it is on the road.

It was a much harder ride than usual due to the heat. Sometimes I forget how much harder it is to ride when it’s really hot. I’m fine riding in 10-degree weather, but when it’s 90+ degrees, I’m pretty sluggish. Partially, it’s because you can always put on extra layers, but there are limits to how many you can remove. And partially, I just don’t handle heat very well.

My bike was acting up a little bit. I had to stop to realign my front wheel because the disc rotor was rubbing the brake pad. I’ve had quite a few problems like this — I am hesitant to remove my wheels, because sometimes it’s really hard to put them back on without having the brakes rub. I’m told that this is abnormal, that most disc brakes don’t have this problem, but I sure have no idea how to fix it (and neither does any bike shop I’ve taken it to, either). I also had a couple of shifting problems, probably due to my bent-then-straightened derailleur hanger.  I have a replacement, but I’m not too confident in my ability to replace the other one, or at least in my ability to do so and adjust the derailleur properly.

Also, the more I ride my mountain bike, the more I can feel the fork working against me. It’s a cheap RST fork that came with the bike, and sometimes it feels like my front wheel has been replaced by a pogo stick. When it hits something, it absorbs the shock (somewhat), but then it bounces back. Really annoying. It’s also a problem when I’m climbing, especially out of the saddle. The front end of my bike bounces up and down, and I lose a lot of pedaling power.

Despite those problems, I had a good ride. It was just a little more labor-intensive than usual. I rode the North Tower and Aynes loops, and it was a lot of fun. The Aynes climb has actually been getting a little easier — it’s still hard, but I’m getting better at it. And the descent always makes it worth the effort.

The trails at Brown County are extremely dusty. We’ve had very little rain lately, and the trails have had a lot of traffic, which just chews up the trail surface and creates a layer of dust on top of everything. We’re supposed to get some rain today, and I hope we do — although I hope it stops in time for me to ride on the road tonight.

Cycling update and weekends

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

It’s been a while since I blogged. I didn’t intend to wait so long between posts, but I have been extra busy this week. I’ve still been mountain biking more than road biking.

Dave and I rode at Nebo Ridge again last Sunday. We were planning to ride at Valley Branch, but there seemed to be some kind of event going on there, so we went to Nebo instead. It was, once again, a pretty difficult ride, but it was also a blast. Things were a little more doable than the last time we rode there.

Field by Nebo Ridge trailhead
A field visible from the Nebo Ridge parking lot

Dave had borrowed a helmet-mounted video camera from a coworker of ours, which we tested. It’s a pretty cool little device, but we had it aimed too low and a bit to the right. We’ll have to make sure to double check the angle next time. We got some cool footage, although a lot of the detail on the fast-moving trail below us is pretty blurred, obscuring a lot of the obstacles. At one point, Dave goes around a corner to see some hikers, and they look extremely startled, grasping their chests and moving out of the way.

We also had some problems with the audio. I’m not going to be surprised or upset if we never get the audio working, though, I expected that to be problematic. I think there’s a clip with the mic on it, and clipping that to something might help. I might post a clip or two if I can edit them down to a good one.

Sarah and I spent the whole day in Indianapolis last Saturday. I took my mountain bike in for a free tune-up at Indy Cycle Specialist, and then we went out for breakfast and headed to the Indianapolis Zoo. It was really cool, they have a new exhibit where you can pet sharks. The sharks you can pet are small ones called dog sharks.

Petting a shark
Petting a shark

Jellyfish
Cool jellyfish exhibit near the sharks

We also fed the giraffes, which we also did last time we went there. Giraffes are Sarah’s favorite animal, so it’s imperative that we get to feed them while we’re at the zoo.

Feeding a giraffe
Not gross at all

We went to see the Indianapolis Indians play against the Charlotte Knights (minor league baseball) with my nephew, my sister, and my mom. It was a lot of fun, and the Indians won 9-5. They were ahead 9-2 until the last inning, when they put in a new pitcher who allowed some more runs. But I think that was the idea, I think he was a new pitcher who they wanted to let get some experience without worrying too much if a couple of runs got by.

Sarah and I also went swimming in our apartment complex’s pool on Sunday. Some neighborhood kids showed up, and I was playing around with a $2 underwater camera I got at Goodwill. It took some pretty cool photos.

Holding her nose
Hungjen, a girl in the neighborhood, holds her nose

Sarah
Sarah

Sarah is going to see her family after work today for the weekend, so I won’t have much to do. I’ve got a lot of biking planned, definitely mountain biking tonight, probably riding on the road tomorrow, and mountain biking Saturday and/or Sunday. It’ll be fun, but I’m really going to miss her.

May cycling recap

Friday, June 1st, 2007

During the month of May, I rode 393.69 miles, averaging 13.51 mph overall (including road, mountain, and commuting rides). That’s 29 rides, and a total of over 29 hours in the saddle.

  • 15 Commutes (93.20 miles, averaging 12.31 mph)
  • 9 Road rides (247.29 miles, averaging 16.69 mph)
  • 5 Mountain biking rides (59.20 miles, averaging 8.34 mph)
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