Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Posted by James at 8:37 PM
Posted by James at 8:35 PM
Posted by James at 8:33 PM
Posted by James at 8:31 PM
Posted by James at 8:30 PM
Posted by James at 8:26 PM
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
This morning I decided that (because the weather was looking good) I should ride my road bike in, rather than the commuter. I like riding the road bike because it is light, quick and agile. It's also all black, with black decals, so it is stealthy. I also wear the road bike uniform, lycra shorts with a flashy jersey, so I feel like I am in the peloton. This makes me work harder. When I am on the 30 pound behemoth I call 'the commuter' I tend to wear baggy clothes and take my time.
So, I am riding my fast bike and manage to go through the school zone (20 mph) next to a semi-truck. Well, I can manage 20 mph on my own without too much trouble so I decide that this truck is my ticket to speed after the school zone. As the semi speeds up, I pop in behind him. As he continues to pick up speed I shift into my hardest gear and hammer, trying to stay as smooth as possible. I am not sure how fast I got going, but I do know that I hit 182 beats per minute on the ol' heart and my legs were shaking when I pulled off.
You know it's a good workout when your limbs are shaking from the effort!
Posted by James at 7:59 AM
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
The Epic - it does deserve capitalization - went well. My only mechanicals were a twice broken chain. I don't really blame the chain, the conditions were ripe for drivetrain failures. Wet, sloppy mud followed by dry, fine sand. The course itself was interesting, since they didn't have a ton of are to work with, they made a bunch of loops. This worked well, but was a bit disorienting. By the time I was near the end, I could only tell west from east by the wind. In the afternoon, the wind there was blowing out of the west with near gale-like ferocity. I'm glad I wasn't on a road bike!
unfortunately I left work in a bit of a hurry and it was waiting for my return. Ah well, such is the life a cog in the mighty wheel of industry. It was a good visit to sunny SoCal.
I was able to reaquaint myself to some industry friends and acquaintances. It was nice to see them all and meet some new folks. The biking industry is made up of some fascinating people from all walks of life and education levels. All are thinkers, though, and are enjoyable to talk to. Everyone was excited about bikes. That common interest brought people together that would normally eschew each other.
I promise pictures from the event in the next few days. I left them on a different memory stick so I don't have them with me.
Posted by James at 12:33 PM
Monday, April 11, 2005
I think I'll type in italics this time... just for fun.
9:33 pm, and it feels much, much later than that. A few months ago I was discussing with others at GearReview.com how we need to attend the Sea Otter Classic at Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA. We decided that I should go. So, plans were made, the wife was brought into the plans and reservations were made. Reservations, I must point out, that I can't get refunds for.
I had been riding a bit; my commute gives me over 100 miles/week, so I have a better base than I normally do this time of year. Fast forward to the beginning of April. One of the projects I bid out at work is to thermal cycle a rather large piece of silicon carbide (17 pounds worth) from room temperature to 22 Kelvin. That's -420 F. I'm talking cold here folks. There is one little problem with this. It takes Liquid Helium to get this cold. Liquid Helium is at 4 Kelvin. Really cold. At this temperature Nitrogen is solid. If I vent the tanks I get solid nitrogen around the opening and I get liquid oxygen dripping off of it. It's cool stuff to be sure, and I never get tired of watching it. The problem is that it is very, very expensive. 250 liters is $1300. I am using over 1500 liters of the stuff to cycle the part 8 times. "Fine," you are saying, "what does this have to do with Sea Otter?" Good question, and I am getting to that. You see, this part was supposed to be done in March, but customs - a whole other story - held it up. Now I am scrambling to get it done. And to make matters worse, the test isn't autonomous, meaning I have to babysit it the entire time. All day, every day for 9 days straight. I am on my last cycle now, but I leave tomorrow to drive to Monterey. This in and of itself isn't a problem. The problem area is that I am signed up for the 50 mile epic. 50 miles off-road with 8000 feet of climbing. In the last week I have barely ridden and to make matters worse I have worked 156 hours in the last 10 days. Not a lot of time to sleep, much less ride. So I am going into this ride sleep deprived and out of shape.
I hear that they sweep the coarse with motorcycles... I wonder if they'll give me a lift?
Posted by James at 9:33 PM
Monday, April 04, 2005
So, I got a Hello account but I still don't have any decent images of my commuter. I did take the following ones on a ride in one day, though. Today, on my way home, I will have surpassed 2000 miles on this bike since roughly the middle of October, 2004.
Moustache bars... Love 'em or hate 'em, they are undeniably unique.
Posted by James at 7:48 PM
Posted by James at 7:47 PM