Author Topic: April Cycling Challenge 2016  (Read 6237 times)

jordanread

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April Cycling Challenge 2016
« on: April 02, 2016, 12:53:20 PM »
The cycling challenge for April is up and ready for you to start (or continue) riding!!
If you logged miles last month, and selected "Remember Me" on the form, you have been added to this month's sheet already.

If you didn't log miles last month, or are a new participant
Click here to fill out the form.
You can access the sheet directly at this link.
I can manually grab your historical data too, so if it's off, just let me know.  If they aren't there within a day, or you have any other issues with the sheet, hit me up via email, Google+ Hangouts, PM, or just comment on this thread.
Happy biking!!

EngineerYogi

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2016, 03:46:07 PM »
I'm in! And got my first ride in too :)

ohyonghao

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2016, 01:15:23 AM »
In celebration of my first day without a job I rode my bike 40 miles and took it on a sail boat to the other side of a lake with friends and beers on the boat.  Then rode to my friends house to solder my headphones with a new cable and rode back another 30 miles to home.  Speeds exceeded 44 mph :-D  The weather was perfect, sunny and warm.

Today was a great group ride getting about 54 miles in.  Beautiful day again, about the same as yesterday but with a few more clouds.

Tomorrow is a recovery day, I'll ride about 20 miles sort of flat at a slow pace, maybe run some errands too in the afternoon.


Nancy

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 10:34:22 AM »
ohyonghao, that picture makes me so happy! What's better than a bike on a boat with beer?

aetherie

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2016, 11:58:18 AM »
ohyonghao, that sounds like a perfect day for sure!

TrMama

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2016, 11:59:41 AM »
ohyonghao - That sounds like the best day ever. Congrats!

Eric222

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 11:48:47 AM »
ohyonghao, that picture makes me so happy! What's better than a bike on a boat with beer?
I have now have a new item on my bucket list...

ohyonghao

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2016, 08:03:41 PM »
Today I got to go test some new cycling equipment and get paid to ride a bike!  User study on some equipment that I can't talk about, but did I mention I get paid to ride a bike?

EngineerYogi

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2016, 08:53:55 AM »
Today I got to go test some new cycling equipment and get paid to ride a bike!  User study on some equipment that I can't talk about, but did I mention I get paid to ride a bike?
Score!



I am a new rider, and made it to work now two days in a row! Hills are hard, tell me they'll get easier fast?

jordanread

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2016, 09:01:51 AM »
Today I got to go test some new cycling equipment and get paid to ride a bike!  User study on some equipment that I can't talk about, but did I mention I get paid to ride a bike?
Score!



I am a new rider, and made it to work now two days in a row! Hills are hard, tell me they'll get easier fast?

Hills are hard. I feel like they get easier, but I'm actually in the minority here I think. Most people agree that you get up them faster, but they are just as difficult. So time is the only factor. You've got a relatively level commute (I know it doesn't seem that way now) and with your level of fitness, you are going to progress quickly. I'd say within a month at the most, you'll be kicking that commute's ass!!

EngineerYogi

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2016, 11:53:01 AM »
Today I got to go test some new cycling equipment and get paid to ride a bike!  User study on some equipment that I can't talk about, but did I mention I get paid to ride a bike?
Score!



I am a new rider, and made it to work now two days in a row! Hills are hard, tell me they'll get easier fast?

Hills are hard. I feel like they get easier, but I'm actually in the minority here I think. Most people agree that you get up them faster, but they are just as difficult. So time is the only factor. You've got a relatively level commute (I know it doesn't seem that way now) and with your level of fitness, you are going to progress quickly. I'd say within a month at the most, you'll be kicking that commute's ass!!

I mean, it's no mountain biking... but it's a good sized hill, I swear! People at work are all shocked I am riding my bike in, I'm literally the only one who is/does. One guy tried it once and said never again. :P

TrMama

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2016, 11:54:16 AM »
Today I got to go test some new cycling equipment and get paid to ride a bike!  User study on some equipment that I can't talk about, but did I mention I get paid to ride a bike?

Congrats! You're a pro now!

I am a new rider, and made it to work now two days in a row! Hills are hard, tell me they'll get easier fast?

Hills do get easier. Part of it is fitness and part is technique. Most new riders grind away in too high of a gear, even on the flat. Gear down so you can pedal faster (about 80-100rpm). As you approach a hill, try to ride as fast as possible on the lower part of it. This helps build momentum that will carry you farther up the hill before you have to start working really hard. As you go up and it gets harder to maintain your fast cadence, gear down. Keep gearing down until you hit your lowest gear. Again, most newbies wait too long to gear down as they pedal uphill. This kills your momentum and shreds your legs. Remember, "Spin to win".

I haven't been able to ride at all this week. Some muscle in my lower back decided to seize up this weekend. I'm in agony anytime I try to move or walk. Who knew you used your lower back for every. single. movement? Physio helped yesterday, but I think I'll be out until at least next week. Blech.

EngineerYogi

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2016, 12:10:03 PM »
Hills do get easier. Part of it is fitness and part is technique. Most new riders grind away in too high of a gear, even on the flat. Gear down so you can pedal faster (about 80-100rpm). As you approach a hill, try to ride as fast as possible on the lower part of it. This helps build momentum that will carry you farther up the hill before you have to start working really hard. As you go up and it gets harder to maintain your fast cadence, gear down. Keep gearing down until you hit your lowest gear. Again, most newbies wait too long to gear down as they pedal uphill. This kills your momentum and shreds your legs. Remember, "Spin to win".

I haven't been able to ride at all this week. Some muscle in my lower back decided to seize up this weekend. I'm in agony anytime I try to move or walk. Who knew you used your lower back for every. single. movement? Physio helped yesterday, but I think I'll be out until at least next week. Blech.

Thanks for the tips. I do need to find my sweet spot on when to gear down, I definitely end up in my lowest gear pretty quickly (bonus points for me I read an article on hill climbing before my ride! lol). I can see with some time I'll get better at gaging when to start dropping gears. Yesterday going from downhill right back to uphill (it's almost never flat/level for this ride(and no alternative routes)) I changed from high to low too fast and my chain slipped off all my gears :/ fortunately I was at the parking lot of where I was headed by that point so I just hopped off and walked my bike in and fixed it before heading home.

Are you experiencing sciatic pain? I experience that if I don't stretch out my hips, hamstrings and IT band properly. :( but you're working with a physio so I'm sure they'll get you fixed up! I hope you're well soon!

ohyonghao

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2016, 01:08:09 PM »
Hills do get easier. Part of it is fitness and part is technique. Most new riders grind away in too high of a gear, even on the flat. Gear down so you can pedal faster (about 80-100rpm). As you approach a hill, try to ride as fast as possible on the lower part of it. This helps build momentum that will carry you farther up the hill before you have to start working really hard. As you go up and it gets harder to maintain your fast cadence, gear down. Keep gearing down until you hit your lowest gear. Again, most newbies wait too long to gear down as they pedal uphill. This kills your momentum and shreds your legs. Remember, "Spin to win".

I haven't been able to ride at all this week. Some muscle in my lower back decided to seize up this weekend. I'm in agony anytime I try to move or walk. Who knew you used your lower back for every. single. movement? Physio helped yesterday, but I think I'll be out until at least next week. Blech.

Thanks for the tips. I do need to find my sweet spot on when to gear down, I definitely end up in my lowest gear pretty quickly (bonus points for me I read an article on hill climbing before my ride! lol). I can see with some time I'll get better at gaging when to start dropping gears. Yesterday going from downhill right back to uphill (it's almost never flat/level for this ride(and no alternative routes)) I changed from high to low too fast and my chain slipped off all my gears :/ fortunately I was at the parking lot of where I was headed by that point so I just hopped off and walked my bike in and fixed it before heading home.

Are you experiencing sciatic pain? I experience that if I don't stretch out my hips, hamstrings and IT band properly. :( but you're working with a physio so I'm sure they'll get you fixed up! I hope you're well soon!
Interesting that your chain slipped off, there's a neat trick to get it back on while riding.  I did it a couple weeks back and my riding buddy was impressed, he thought we'd have to stop and fix it. 

Generally the most likely time it falls off is when shifting into the big ring on front.  If this happens and you're able to coast (i.e. Not going uphill) you can shift the front back down a gear and pedal softly and it should grab it right on, no dirty hands. 

Same principle works if you stop to fix it.  Instead of getting your hands dirty, shift the front gear down and lift the rear wheel off the ground and turn the pedal with your hand, chain should go right on.

To prevent that from happening again in the future you can tune the limiter a little to prevent the derailleur from going too far out and allowing the chain to come off in the first place.

EngineerYogi

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2016, 01:46:34 PM »
Hills do get easier. Part of it is fitness and part is technique. Most new riders grind away in too high of a gear, even on the flat. Gear down so you can pedal faster (about 80-100rpm). As you approach a hill, try to ride as fast as possible on the lower part of it. This helps build momentum that will carry you farther up the hill before you have to start working really hard. As you go up and it gets harder to maintain your fast cadence, gear down. Keep gearing down until you hit your lowest gear. Again, most newbies wait too long to gear down as they pedal uphill. This kills your momentum and shreds your legs. Remember, "Spin to win".

I haven't been able to ride at all this week. Some muscle in my lower back decided to seize up this weekend. I'm in agony anytime I try to move or walk. Who knew you used your lower back for every. single. movement? Physio helped yesterday, but I think I'll be out until at least next week. Blech.

Thanks for the tips. I do need to find my sweet spot on when to gear down, I definitely end up in my lowest gear pretty quickly (bonus points for me I read an article on hill climbing before my ride! lol). I can see with some time I'll get better at gaging when to start dropping gears. Yesterday going from downhill right back to uphill (it's almost never flat/level for this ride(and no alternative routes)) I changed from high to low too fast and my chain slipped off all my gears :/ fortunately I was at the parking lot of where I was headed by that point so I just hopped off and walked my bike in and fixed it before heading home.

Are you experiencing sciatic pain? I experience that if I don't stretch out my hips, hamstrings and IT band properly. :( but you're working with a physio so I'm sure they'll get you fixed up! I hope you're well soon!
Interesting that your chain slipped off, there's a neat trick to get it back on while riding.  I did it a couple weeks back and my riding buddy was impressed, he thought we'd have to stop and fix it. 

Generally the most likely time it falls off is when shifting into the big ring on front.  If this happens and you're able to coast (i.e. Not going uphill) you can shift the front back down a gear and pedal softly and it should grab it right on, no dirty hands. 

Same principle works if you stop to fix it.  Instead of getting your hands dirty, shift the front gear down and lift the rear wheel off the ground and turn the pedal with your hand, chain should go right on.

To prevent that from happening again in the future you can tune the limiter a little to prevent the derailleur from going too far out and allowing the chain to come off in the first place.

Thanks for the tips! I think there is definitely some fine tuning that can/should be done with the bike, DH and I assembled it ourselves with the help of some Youtube videos... we may visit a bike shop in the future to get some expert assistance.

It took me a bit to get the chain back on, I did shift the gears all the way down but definitely got dirty. Lol. I figure I'll get better at these things with time. I need to research/practice changing the tire so I can handle that when the time comes.

ohyonghao

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2016, 09:52:01 PM »
I was riding to another test ride and about a mile out I got the nastiest flat.  I've learned a lesson about carrying 2 co2 cartridges now, as one was not enough when you have to pump it up twice.  I also have a Lezyne hand pump coming in soon as a backup.  co2 is still faster to use, but I'll have good old upper body muscle to get back and running again if need be.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 09:59:44 PM by ohyonghao »

TrMama

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2016, 11:04:19 AM »
I was riding to another test ride and about a mile out I got the nastiest flat.  I've learned a lesson about carrying 2 co2 cartridges now, as one was not enough when you have to pump it up twice.  I also have a Lezyne hand pump coming in soon as a backup.  co2 is still faster to use, but I'll have good old upper body muscle to get back and running again if need be.


Ugh, was that a piece of glass? I gave up on CO2 cartridges years ago. Now I just carry a regular frame pump. I had too many instances of user error where I didn't have the CO2 adapter sealed onto the tube stem properly and nearly froze my hand off when the CO2 discharged all over the place. Plus, the hand pump doesn't have ongoing costs like the cartridges do.

aetherie

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2016, 10:38:41 AM »
I usually work an early schedule, about 7:30-3:30. Yesterday I stayed until almost 5 to finish something up. NEVER AGAIN. The traffic... oh god. So many people in so many cars almost hitting me so many times. I felt lucky to make it home.

change_seeker

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2016, 11:21:02 AM »
Hi guys, regular bike commuter here, fairly new to MMM.  I have a 6.5 mile commute through rural NC.  I am pretty good about riding every day, could use encouragement (facepunches?) to do other (longer) trips by bike.  My backup vehicle is a 1960 Ford F-100, so mileage is miserable.  Added my miles up to this point from Endomondo to the spreadsheet.

I had a refreshingly rainy ride to work today.  Nice change, and good for the garden too!

TrMama

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2016, 11:35:31 AM »
Hi guys, regular bike commuter here, fairly new to MMM.  I have a 6.5 mile commute through rural NC.  I am pretty good about riding every day, could use encouragement (facepunches?) to do other (longer) trips by bike.  My backup vehicle is a 1960 Ford F-100, so mileage is miserable.  Added my miles up to this point from Endomondo to the spreadsheet.

I had a refreshingly rainy ride to work today.  Nice change, and good for the garden too!

Welcome! That's fantastic that you bike to work regularly. I've been struggling with just keeping that up this year. If my backup ride was a 1960's vehicle, I'd probably try to drive it as little as possible so I wouldn't have to deal with the maintenance.

Ohyonghao - You can add me to the "tire sliced by glass" club. I got a slow leak on the way into work on Tuesday. Pulled over to check and realized there was a big slice in my rear tire. Limped the rest of the way into work and then called DH to rescue me in the car for the trip home. My bike now has a nice shiny new rear tire, plus I ordered a backup to keep on hand for the next time this happens.

On the bright side, biking doesn't seem to aggravate my back. So I'm back in the saddle :-)

ohyonghao

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2016, 01:25:50 PM »
After that last puncture I posted I haven't had another one.  I did go through the inside of the tire and place a piece of duct tape over any place that looked to have a small gash on the outside, especially where that huge puncture happened.  Raced last weekend without trouble, but did have a flat the next day, turns out the patch on the innertube had come unsealed so I had to take it off and repatch it, but group ride and sitting in the garage the past couple days and it's still holding pressure.

In Oregon the government put together an app called Orcycle, where you can stop, take a picture of a violation, or glass, or whatever else, and send it in and they will help forward it to the correct jurisdiction.  It can include pictures, GPS location, and a comment.  I used it once for a car that was parking in the bike lane in front of their house and got a response from them, soon after the car has stopped parking there.

change_seeker

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2016, 06:50:08 AM »
Was wavering on riding or driving this morning because I slept in AND I have to leave early to watch the kids while my wife is at the doctor's office.  Mentally muscled through the laziness and rode!  Now to get through the "I'm here but I don't want to do any work" malaise...

BTW, here is my commuter rig last Friday, when I was taking my weekly laundry home.


Mrs. PoP

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2016, 05:53:30 PM »
Dropped my bike off for a pro tune up today.  Mr PoP wanted someone to get the gears back in good shape since they've been even worse than usual after my fall a couple of months ago.  Fingers crossed they do the trick! 

change_seeker

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2016, 06:30:13 AM »
Feeling good about the consistency of commuting this month, and it shows as this is my highest-mileage month this year!

jordanread

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2016, 07:38:03 AM »
OUtstanding!!

Jack

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2016, 09:15:22 AM »
BTW, here is my commuter rig last Friday, when I was taking my weekly laundry home.

Interesting; how is that "bar-ends-in-the-middle" thing working out for you?

change_seeker

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2016, 09:21:48 AM »
Interesting; how is that "bar-ends-in-the-middle" thing working out for you?

Those are a nagging thorn in my side.  Breezer calls them "Joe Bars" after the company founder.  Unfortunately my bike has a minor death wobble when my hands are anywhere but on the regular grips.  I can hold the bars right near the stem and tuck into a more aero position if I put a concerted effort into stiffening my elbows.  Usually I'm not in that big of a hurry.

I need to pull my grips off and get them off as they serve no useful purpose for me. 

jordanread

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Re: April Cycling Challenge 2016
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2016, 11:00:33 AM »