Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for May, 2010

Brooks saddle tweaking?

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

I have a Brooks B-17 saddle on my Long Haul Trucker. It was very comfortable for a long while, but lately it’s feeling less so. After around 6,000 miles, it had sagged a bit, so I tensioned it about 1/4 turn. That brought some improvement, but I can’t shake the feeling that something else needs to be done. The problem is the leather is a little higher in the center than on the sides. I also feel like it sits a little lower now so it feels like the nose is pointed up a little more, even though I haven’t changed that.

I think the answer is to add laces to the bottom of it, to push the sides up and provide more support on the sides. Has anyone out there done this? Was it successful? I’ve read about a few different ways of doing it and I thought I’d get some more input before I take a drill to my saddle …

Thanks in advance!

Mixed feelings

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

A bit of a rant … feel free to skip down below for some recent photos

Riding lately has been a mixed bag. I’ve done some fantastic weekend rides, long and short, but aside from commuting, I’m hardly riding during the week at all. I am planning on riding an upcoming century ride with Bill Lambert, of the Bike Oak Bikes blog. I should be training for that, but I’ve been having a hard time finding time for evening rides. And it’s rained the past two weekends; I still got out a little bit, but not the long miles I’d like to be riding. I have enjoyed the weekend rides I’ve been able to do, and I’ve enjoyed my commutes and even the few weeknight rides I have done, but for some reason that isn’t translating into frequent rides during the week.

I think part of the issue is my new commute. My round trip is now over 10 miles each day, and hillier than my old commute. I like that this encourages me to ride more miles each day, but I feel less inclined to go out for training rides afterwards.

I’m also trying to strike a balance. Family and work are important to me, and cycling is not my only hobby, either. ¬†Each year, the balance seems a little different. This year, riding seems like a little less of a priority. But oddly, at the same time, I reached 1,000 miles for the year a couple weeks ago, which is earlier in the year than ever before. So, obviously I have been riding more than I realize.

I think what I really need is a few defining rides to point me in a new direction. I’m itching to do more mountain biking, and to find new gravel roads. The obvious solution is to further explore Hoosier National Forest; it’s nearby, and has hundreds of miles of gravel and trails. I also want to branch out and do some longer road rides, and of course some touring/bike camping. There is so much I want to do that it’s almost paralyzing.

So, it’s safe to say that I’m in a bit of a rut. I need to mix things up. With a few upcoming riding opportunities, maybe that’ll happen.

New camera

On a positive note, I got a new point & shoot camera. My old camera got some scratches on the lens and developed a real problem with lens flare. Plus, I wanted to upgrade a bit anyway. The new camera is a Ricoh CX2. This is a bit of an oddball camera, with limited US distribution. It’s only available in the US from Adorama.com, for some reason. This will be my new primary camera for rides and such. It has a fantastic high contrast black & white mode designed to simulate high-contrast film photography, complete with lots of very pleasant grain … and lots of other tricks up its sleeve as well.

I’m finding I can tweak the settings more on this camera, to the point where I think I will be able to get the results I want directly out of the camera, with little or no post-processing. All these images are directly from the camera. Note that the color shots are in “vivid” mode, which yields more-saturated images. In general I like to push the saturation a bit, but some of these are a little over the top, I think. I’m still learning.

I’ll write more about the camera later, but here are some recent photos.

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