Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Pulled out the instructions trying to improve the trimming adjustment, and found this statement:
To improve gear shifting performance, the SIS adjustment method for the FD-7900 front derailleur is slightly different from previous derailleurs. In addition, the trimming mechanism has also been abolished to improve shifting performance.

OK that explains why I'm having problems with it trimming.

It Is Done

Met up with an old buddy at the Depot and rode about 20 miles with him. We haven't seen each other for a year, so it was nice to catch up. He's just getting into cycling, so we kept it simple, which I try to do anyways, around the lakes and along the greenway.
We got together about 3:30. I'd been working on the bike build, but wasn't quite done with it. All that still needed to be done was program the computer and tape the bars. When I got back from my ride with Andy I finished everything up on the build and took the finished product out for a test drive. 40/16.8
Pre-Test Ride

Post Test Ride
Everything was dialed in just right. I was careful to use the same measurements from my CAAD9. The only problem is from the front derailleur. The trimming isn't working right, and I get a little chain rub on the chain guide. I stopped at Mid-Town Freewheel and borrowed a Phillips screw driver to put an end to the rubbing.
D/A 7900 is fantastic! The clean look from routing the cables along the bars is something I've wanted since I started cycling.
The frame is as stiff, quick and responsive as my Arin was, and is not nearly as sluggish on the hills as my CAAD9 is. Now I've just got to get the sludge out of my legs.
Oh yeah. The bike as you see it weighs 1.60 pounds less than my CAAD9.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No Complaints

Nice ridin' weather out there. I could put up with this for awhile.
So I'm riding along at a nice easy pace, and a guy just blows by me. I mean his draft almost knocks me over. He's a big boy....Hey! That's Mike! I dig deep and try to reel him in, but he's flying. He comes up on some other cyclists and has to slow down, so I gain on him a little. Another flock of cyclists and then an intersection and I finally got his wheel. I have to yell to get his attention, because he has his earphones in. We rode the for 15 miles together. He was nice enough to slow down a little for me.
Good talking, I really enjoyed it. We're in the same business, but we talked more about cycling. That's hard to believe, isn't it? 33/17.5

Haven't worked on the bike build since Friday. Changed that today and spent some time getting the cables and housings put on. Wheels, cassette, computer and chain, then I'll be ready to set the derailleurs and ride. I don't know why I'm taking so long to do this. I've built a few bikes. These are the most expensive components and frame I've ever worked with, so I think I may be a little nervous. You know, I probably just don't want to f%#k anything up, so I'm taking my time. Maybe it'll be done by....uh, I don't know. Let's say this, when I want to, I'll work on it.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Yep! I showed 'em again today. The weather forecast indicates this maybe a trend. 33/16.6

Sunday, March 28, 2010

SSR With The Team

Met up with the team at Lake Harriet to ride out to Wayzata. These are the teammates who showed up ON TIME!

A Rest At The Caribou
Takin' In The Sun
Amy, Steve and I continued around the lake into Excelsior. The rest headed back home.
Nice, easy recovery ride. Good friends, lots of chatter, laughing and even a contested sprint won by the Pres. 46/17.6

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hurt Good

We did good today. Nine started. Dealt with cross winds for the large part of the ride. And the rollers...seems like that's all there was on this ride...rollers beyond rollers. Who plans these routes anyways?
Lots of clouds, but we were generating plenty of heat and really didn't need any help from the sun. No rain, although there was evidence that it had been around.
This was a pretty hard effort and I have to admit I was concentrating more on the technical parts of the ride, rather than the scenery. We got a rotating paceline in for a bit, but it wound up being a little rag-tag, so it was abandoned. Just tried to keep a steady pace taking the hills hard and resting on the descents. BK, Taylor, and Charles helped up front sharing the work load. Charles has that sprinters itch. He sees a green city limit sign and he's got to have it. Taylor's rear derailleur cable broke. He did 50 miles with only two gears. He was always in his 11, and only got to choose between his 53 or 38. He hung in there. I was also very impressed with Amy and Cam. These women are really tough. As Charles says, pound for pound they kick our asses every week. Never averaged over 20mph in March...I've come close. Today that ended. 78/20.2
Hell of a ride today, guys...hell of a ride.

This was the route

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bike Heaven

I was a little tempted to head out on the single speed Schwinn for a quickie, but wound up thinking staying off the bike would probably serve me best.

I'm having fun with the build, and am taking it slow. The big project for today was measuring and cutting the carbon steerer. You get it wrong and there's no putting it back. Measure thrice cut once.
Taking measurements from my existing bike I built the headset. Surgery on a broken clavicle about 8 years ago is now starting to give me some arthritis pain (getting old sucks) so I added an 1/8th of an inch to my measurement, which I hope will take a little pressure off my shoulder. Then I scored the steerer tube, with a knife, at the top of the stem. I removed the fork and placed masking tape around the steerer over the mark I scored.
I pulled out the old miter box and hack saw, held my breath, and started cutting on the short side of my mark. The result was a nice clean even cut.
It wound up being a perfect fit.
I'm building it with all D/A 7900 and got both derailleurs, brakes, bb and cranks on. Cabling and white bar tape might get on tonight still, but I doubt it. 7900 cabling is a little different than 7800. It's more like Campy where both cables run along the handlebars.
The view from my balcony through the front triangle is of the greenway.
This photo shows the truest color of the frame.
I got the frame from Orbea for $550.00 as a warranty replacement for an aluminum frame that cracked where the seat tube, top tube and seat stay meet. All the 7900 components are from Nashbar and Performance for about $1600.00. Stem was $170.00. I already had the saddle, bars, pedals and Ksyrium SL3 wheels. A new computer and bottle cages will round it out.
I thinks it's a pretty good deal. I estimate this bike would retail for around $7500.00 and I'm into it for about $2500.00.
Also, I took the D/A 7800 I had on my old Orbea and put it on a new 2008 Cannondale CAAD9 frame, which is turning out to be a great bike.
I'm in bike heaven.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Twenty degrees colder today than yesterday. No doubt Amy was out in shorts, but I layered up.
Got bonky about 8 miles into the ride. Just slowed it down, wanting the miles more than the speed. Another good week for me with 275 more miles. I'm about 200 miles ahead of my March 2009 miles. Last March we had 16 inches of snow pile on us, this year 0. I was sick and or in the gym 6 days last March. Only been off the bike for two days this March, so a few more miles accumulated this year. 33/15.8

Got the last part for the new build via UPS today. Probably will have it built tomorrow, and may test ride it then. Earliest first official ride will be Sunday, or Monday. Not a good idea to play hard on Saturday with an untested machine.

Traffic Circle By The Falls Tonight

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Old And Cold

You know you're old when the person you're riding with says so. Apparently I had on a few too many clothes tonight. Hey! I was comfortable. Fifty-five and sunny, tights, long-sleeved jersey and a vest. Come on!
A very pleasant, if not frank, unexpected extension to my ride tonight. 43/17.4

Still Waiting For My New Stem To Come In. Until Then Here Are A Few More Peeks.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A First For The Season

Bared the old hairy legs for the first time this year. I'll spare you the picture.
Team jerseys were everywhere this evening, and I saw the gathering for the first Tuff Ride of the season. You gotta be cool to ride with them. Don't tell anybody.
Ice on the lakes is getting very dark. They should be opening up soon. Even saw a little BBQing at Thomas Beach. 37/17.0

Looks Like A New Bike Will Be Getting Built Soon

Monday, March 22, 2010

Just A Good Ride

Another nice Monday recovery ride. 36/16.6

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Down By The Lazy River

Went down to the Minnesota River this evening to see how high the water has gotten.

Looks like it will be awhile before I'm back on this bike path.
This Beaver seemed oblivious to the flooding.
Couple of Eagles getting ready for sundown
Just one now

Getting Into Form

Woke up feeling pretty good. Maybe these old hairy legs can still respond positively to a little training.
Met up with some Birchies (my team) for a leisurely (coffee) ride to Wayzata. Nice talking to everyone and catching up on the off season news. Amy and I continued on and did our standard Sunday route through Baker and down around Lake Minnetonka. Plenty of sun. Even though we've got some flooding issues here, we've had little to no snow or rain for about a month now, so the cycling has just been delightful. Today was no exception to that. 50/18.1

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Still Crazy

Only a little less insanity this week, and only 3 showed, the smart ones deciding to find options with a little less suffering on the first day of spring.
It was a cool start, below freezing, but the sky was solid blue. The wind, less noticeable than last Saturday, made up for its lack of umpf with a sting of cold that we haven't felt for a few weeks. The cold sting quickly went unnoticed as we started to play on the roller coasters up in Baker and around Lake Independence. Unfortunately the sting was replaced with burning quads and oxygen deprived lungs.
We decided to stay away from Delano as some of their roads are closed due to flooding, and took County Rd 6 straight in to Watertown. Nick took the city limit sign as Charles accosted him with verbal epithets. The lime Gatorade and Snickers bar at the Watertown gas station were delightful, and the ambiance hard to beat.
The halfway point, on my rides, usually means a favorable wind direction change, and today was no exception. I will never get tired of hearing the tire hum off of asphalt and having the wind at my back.
A few more wind aided rollers and all of a sudden Charles was gone. A quick scan of the rolling landscape found him about a 1/2 mile back doubled over his bike, maybe practicing his camel calls. Come to find out he aquired a pretty nasty gash in his rear tire. Charles is a smart guy and used an empty Gu packet as a boot. He made it home...30 miles.
It was fun watching Nick and Charles fight for the city limit signs. I kept them honest on the hills and rollers.
Good ride today. The Saturdays of March have all been over 19 mph so far. I gotta admit I'm pretty pleased with that. With my luck this will have burned me out for April through September. Today 76/19.4

Here's the link to the route we followed. You can click on an elevation chart, if you're interested. No big climbs, just a lot of pain-in-the-ass rollers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

No Cure

As needed, I took the day off the bike, but still riding wasn't far from my thoughts. I was in two bike shops and am heading to another now.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It's been a good, but tough week, on the bike, and I'm feeling old. From Friday through today, I've logged 280 miles. Met my goal. Last time I put that many miles on in a week was September 18th through 24th, 2009. Tomorrow looks prime for a day off, then it's back at it on Saturday. I'm down to one hard ride a week now. It's been like this for a couple of years. Younger days (early 40's) I was fine with three hard rides. Late 40's it was two. Now I need a whole week to recover, from my one hard ride. Ahhh to be young again.....not really, I'm quite content. 33/16.6

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another "A" Day On The "A" Bike.

We know winter here in Minnesota, but I'd argue we know spring, summer and fall even better, because of our winters. People were out and everywhere today. Temps at 60 got the tank tops and shorts out of the chest of drawers. Lawn and house work, dog walking, jogging, cycling, cars with windows and tops down, motorcycles and of course cyclists, all provided proof of my premise. 37/16.9

Before my ride, I was over at Minnehaha Falls. It's flow is falling fast, with few vestiges of winter left.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


"A" bike again. Not a lot of sun. Tired. I hate to say it, but it felt a little cold, for 50 degrees. I know...I know. 33/16.3

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not A Bad Monday

This makes three days in a row on the "A" bike. Cool!
Another sun filled 60 degree day. Sooooo good.
Recovery mode. Nice and easy. 33/16.0

The balsa wood rubber band powered glider came down over night.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Grandchildren Report

Last night I went over to Kelsey, Bryson's and Taylor's home. (my grandchildren) I was recruited to buy some products for a school fundraiser, by my very persuasive granddaughter Kelsey. Before I left I had them sit down by me and I read a few pages of Kate Dicamillo's The Magician's Elephant. It might be a little old for them. It wasn't too long before they started losing interest. I'll take it slow.

Elijah and I could not stay inside today, so it was a couple of hours with things that fly including a Frisbee, balsa wood gliders, (one had a rubber band powered propeller) and a Nerf football.

Here's A Frisbee Coming At Me.
An Unbelievably Long And High Flight (world record setting) Wound Up Here.
Elijah To The Rescue. Only About 20 More Feet To Go. He Went No Higher Than This. His Feet Were About 6 Feet Off The Ground At This Point.
A weekend of bikes, kids and grand kids. Very nice!

Where Are Those Endorphins When You Need Them?

Mighty shot from yesterday's insanity. Just did what I could do. It was a solo effort until the sun decided to tag along. It's been awhile since we rode together. Not much of a conversationalist but nice company, nevertheless. 48/16.9

Saturday, March 13, 2010


First ride of the season on the "A" bike. A tough 15 mph wind out of the north is never pleasant, but early in the Spring? Actually, it's another week before Spring springs. About 8 of us decided to take it on. There was the usual moaning and groaning at the ride start. A couple of, I'm-hung-overs, and I-got-in-bed-at-5:30-this-mornings. You can never believe a cyclist. They are always playing mind games, you know, trying to get the edge.
Up to Wayzata was all well and good, then we got into some open country and turned directly into the wind. It got tough...grinding away at a relentless foe. We were sharing the pain taking turns up front, and working a paceline.
Finally we turned for Rockford no longer having to take the wind on directly, but this is where the carnage started. Rollers are a bitch and they were merciless today. Four of us gapped on the hills, just kept rotating, staying away into Rockford. We regrouped there. Now with a tail wind we all stayed together into Delano, where we refueled and tried to dry out. We'd been working hard and I'm sure we'd out sweated a bikram yoga class. Took a few minutes to warm up once on the bikes again, and we made short work of the 7 miles to Watertown, which is where things started getting ugly.
The cross wind we encountered out of Watertown joined forces with the rollers on County Rd 6 and was brutal. Again we started a paceline and echelon trying to keep ourselves sheltered from the onslaught. Slowly guys started falling off as the wind and rollers took their victims. Eventually three of us were left to work our way through the invisible quad and lung killer. After about 6 miles of this we stopped and waited for our comrades. Another mile or two and we turned South brokering a treaty with the wind that put it on our side.
A very hard effort today. It was a head down grind it out kind of ride, but it felt so good to be out in mid March acting like it was June. 80/19.9

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Little Rehab

Like any good doctor, I came in on my day off to see how the patient rides, after last night's organ transplant. I'm happy to report the patient is doing very well, and is over 300 grams lighter. Just easy around the lakes. 16/14.4

Barn In The Fog Near Henderson (while working today)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm Getting Soggy

Nothin' comin' out of the sky, but it was still plenty wet. Couldn't find a dry spot so it was the Evil One again. I was tired. A little over 230 miles for the week. I feel good about that. Today 25/15.5

The years of salt and sand have been pretty hard on the Evil One. The drive train has been suffering the most so I modified it tonight: New crank with only one chain ring, took off front derailleur, new chain and cassette. I also put in a new rear derailleur cable. It needed all of this really bad. It looks happy now.

A Stand Of Birch Trees Near Foley Minnesota (saw during work today)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Not Really Rain But Wet

The Wicked Witch of Winter is melting, melting, melting.... I hope I didn't just piss her off and she comes back, with a vengeful March snow dumping.
No rain drops creating circles rippled on puddles, instead the moisture was a misty, milky drizzled fog that accumulated silently, slowly sluffing off my slicker, helmet and glasses in drops that tried so hard to hang on. 25/15.2

Hard To See Harriet Today

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ridin' In The Rain Just Ridin' In The Rain

Not such a glorious feelin', but, even at 38 degrees, it wasn't bad. Full fenders were a must, so the Evil One was called on. And to keep the engine dry I had my waterproof O2 jacket on. It all worked well. Kept it simple, kept it easy. It's still March... just building right now. Trying to add miles on each week and increase my speeds. 25/14.7

Monday, March 8, 2010


Took the Salsa out and was met with a dreary, dank, damp, dark and drab day. Oh how quickly we get spoiled by the sun in March. Even the jacket was donned to insure climate control comfort. 24/15.0

Things that make you go Hmmmm!
Saw a guy coming down he greenway on a mountain bike. He had shorts on and was spinning studded tires.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Discoveries Today

Fort Snelling State Park

Hard To Beat

Day started off a little questionable. There was rain out there! And the roads were wet! We can send a man to the moon, but we can't figure out a way to keep it from raining on the weekend? Come on!
Rain stopped, roads started to dry, the appointed hour arrived and we mounted our bikes for the SSR. Despite yesterday's effort we were feeling pretty good. It's hard not to feel good this time of year on a road bike, even if it is bike "B". It needs to be said, the Salsa is a good ride. It's "B" status should not be taken as defining its status, but, instead, defining its job.
Just Amy and me today, which is always nice. We noticed how far the ice has receded off the roads commenting that only a couple of weeks ago the shoulders were inaccessible.
Sun broke out for the last hour or so of our two and a half hour trip. Tired, dirty and hungry, but smiling at the end. 47/17.5

Saturday, March 6, 2010

This Is What I Live For

There just aren't words, but I'll try.
First real road ride of the season and it couldn't have been better. The predicted weather was cloudy and light rain. We saw more sun than clouds and no rain. The weather gods were on our side today. Seven of us started with one falling off at about the 20 mile mark. Started out at a good pace and it felt like the wind was with us. We busted up some rollers and had to work hard to keep our breakfasts off the asphalt. (Rodents with 20 year old legs should be shot.)
Long roads with views of forever, snow covered farm fields, excellent cyclists, and machines that felt lighter than air (compared to the Winter Beast) helped to make this a great beginning to the road season. Just so you don't think it was all fun, the hill out of Carver hurt like hell and lasted for an eternity. 73/19.2

Post Ride Smiles
From left to right Dan, Rich, Derrick, Amy, Mike. Thanks you guys! Great Ride!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Quickie

Just around the lakes, nice, short and easy. 14/12.5
Big ride tomorrow.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Missed It By That Much

Only hit 39 for a high, but still loads of sun. I saw two women out running in shorts. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of women wearing shorts, but...well let's just say that I expect that out of guys, we've got to prove how tough we are. Ladies, I thought you were above that, and a whole lot smarter. OK, sorry for the rant.
Almost made it to 40. Cars aren't used to cyclists being out. I can feel the tension, and the roads are still a little narrow because of left over ice from the snow piles. No complaints from me though, I was only in the gym twice in February, and the last time was February 8th. Being out and about that's what it's all.... 26/15.7

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Forever Spring

Spring continues to force itself on Minnesota, with no one complaining about the new overlord. Water is everywhere as the ice recedes and the pot holes increase in width, depth and numbers.
Less layers look like the new trend for the foreseeable future . 25/15.1

Walk Along The Minnesota River Earlier Today

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Cedar Lake Trail from 100 to Hopkins has numerous sections that are covered with ice. The spur between the Greenway and the Cedar Lake Trail still has a couple of areas covered with ice.
The Greemway from Hopkins to the River is all clear smooth asphalt. In the morning I'm sure there would be small areas of refreeze ice, but in the afternoon it's just wet.
Temps went into the low forties and I donned a vest instead of the previously required winter jacket. These old hands only needed one pair of light gloves. I shaved my head and face today, otherwise I probably could've gotten away without the balaclava. Sunglasses were a must.
Lots of cyclists out. I even saw Cam and Eric. Again lots of joggers, dogs and their walkers. I even saw 4 guys on a snow covered baseball field and heard the clink of a softball on an aluminum bat. It's amazing what the 40's in March can do to you.
Lots and lots of water all over the place. I find full fenders keep a very wet and messy ride dry.
Daylight Saving Time is less that two weeks away. Spring less than three.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Getting Crowded Out There

Lots and lots of water on the roads, but I stayed dry as I opted for the comfort of the full fendered Evil One. Trails were crowded with walkers and joggers as the temps are flirting with forty. I came in under an hour and a half so I guess it's time to up the miles now. I'll start tomorrow with 25 to 30 miles regularly on the weekdays. Today 21/14.7