Keeping the Rubber Side Down

I have had a great deal of mail on the tires.  I had my tires recommended by the folks at Rivendell Bicycle Works and that made all the difference.  Keven may not think I am riding on a wide enough tire, and he had to work a great deal for him to get me on these, but they made the whole difference.  The wear is critical, the flat issue fun to tease other riders with, but the primary difference is safety and comfort, or maybe comfort and safety.  The larger tires handle better, absorb shocks better, and simply ride better all day every day.  Yes, they were the difference when I was run into the ditch of staying “afloat” or “digging in” like my 700x25Cs that I rode my last tour with.

I put pictures up so you can see there actual wear.  I will actually ride on wider tires, and inflate them a hair less, Rivendell has provided me further education, and I am can understand what it means after having collected more experience.

The tires are from Schwalbe and the details are in the picture off the box below.

From Eye-Fi

I have included pictures of the tread wear after 4800 miles across every imaginable road surface in the US.  You can see the rear tires, under the greatest load, have the greatest wear.  Otherwise, wow, these are the best touring setup I saw out there.  Yes, I pulled glass out of them once halfway, but hey, that is regular maintenance on any tire.

Front Tire

From Eye-Fi

Rear Tire

From Eye-Fi

Keeping Goals

I completed the Adventure Cycling TransAm from Yorktown, VA to Portland, OR this summer.

I had two cycling goals for the ride.

First, try to ride as close to 100 miles per day as possible, given that towns are so far apart, I averaged 98.6 mpd.  I like how I chased this goal as I never sacrificed anything to achieve the mileage, I took what the road gave me and went how I wished to go, I did not let the goal drive my trip.

Second, the most important goal was to establish and join the TransAm Triple Crown and TransAm Thousand Mile Club based on the California Clubs of the same name.  I actually completed 7 double centuries while riding across the country AND one stretch of 6 centuries back to back.  So I complete the TransAm Triple Crown as well as the Thousand Mile Club and I am very pleased while cleaning the bike today to reflect back on the effort and the results.

The California website says that completing these requires “a lot of training and mental determination” and that doubles are a “Personal Growth Experience” and I would second that.

Summer 2010: Rode Across the US

This summer I haven’t posted as I was out riding across the TransAmerica, TransAm, #acatransam!  The trail took me from Yorktown, VA to Portland, OR.  See the trip, with notes and pix on Google Maps or TrackMyTour.

I am decompressing at present and haven’t even cleaned or performed maintenance on my Rivendell Atlantis: Home 4,143 miles, 0 flats, original tires!  It was a sweet bike to take on the road and saved me!

Using RondePDX as a Training Ride

I am writing this in the room closest to the front door where I await UPS delivering my Atlantis from Rivendell Bicycle Works.  I leave for VA in mid June and I am contemplating attempting the RondePDX legendary route for training purposes.  While I know it seems silly, I do recall the mountains.  It seems silly as I am no longer starting in OR and won’t see the first set of hills now until day 5 when I cross the Blue Ridge Mountains.

And I still wonder if this applies That wound will never fully heal. He will carry it the rest of his life.

Choosing the Right Bike Shop – Rivendell Bicycle Works

So my plans changed, apparently the Sam Hillborne was not the right bike for me.  It sounds silly to say it as I would have been happy to have had it and happy to have ridden it.  I believe it would have been with me a very long time.  But the frames weren’t going to arrive on time and so I have upgraded to a Rivendell Atlantis, which of course is my dream bike.

I leave from Charlottesville on the 20th of June, a change in direction.  One woman writes, it isn’t the wind, as we all know that isn’t so, but I won’t have the sun in my eyes in the morning and I will be out of the hotter areas by late summer and into the mountains in a warmer and drier set of months.  And that made perfect sense to me.  I also heard from my son (@petebikes) and he mentioned motivation and the desire to be home helping guide him.  All of this got me thinking that it was the right thing.  And then it occurred to me that having travel plans when I could actually schedule them would keep my cost down and so it goes.   I know the mountains would have built my legs into a powerful Kansas beating engine but they will still be there later in the trip and I will have good legs when I reach them this time.

So why is the bike shop so important, because it helps to have a shop mirror the values you have and frankly this place simply lived up to what I have always heard, always expected.  I love my local shops and the my favorite mechanics are great.  What these folks did is calmly assist me in Plan B, and with a tremendous amount of elegance they get it.  It is another bike for them to build and at the same time it is a very special bike for me, a bike that I have waited for and wished for over a long period of time.  I know that many adjustments will go into it, and many things will be great, and some will be different, but at the end of this day I find myself extremely happy and aware of my good fortune.

TransAm Thousand Mile Club: A Trip Inside Myself

Inspired by the California Triple Crown I have crystallized one of my secret goals into an actual goal for the adventure which is the TransAm.  I was reading on their blog about “The Rollercoaster” which is the whole emotional up and down that comes along with riding long distances.  I didn’t know it existed as a major component, although I certainly have experienced it, and did not realize that folks have written about it.

This has been in the back of my mind and I didn’t know how to explain it.  I would very much like to be a “Thousand Miler” on my my trip, that is to say…complete Five Doubles or Double Centuries (back to back days).  I really haven’t a clue other than I think it has to do with my idea of fitness, or learning to ride within myself, or understanding “how to be” and probably all of them at once.  I haven’t a better explanation for the entire justification, it  simply feels like an itch, something I would like to try to do.

The trick that I see is to apply myself hard enough to the task to overcome the obstacles and put myself in a position to do it without becoming so obsessive that for one minute I fail to have as much fun and positive interaction with the people and the land I am traveling through.  To not go so fast as to miss what touring is, but fast enough to get it done.  I just think the balance will be something to contemplate: a trip inside myself

Wish me luck.

Sauvie Island Ride and iPhone Shakeout


My iPhone shakeout continues to prepare for my cross country TransAm ride later this year.

I was able to upload a waypoint to  And this morning, on Danielle’s advice, I did download MS Windows Live Photo Gallery and stitched together my first panorama. I am learning to overlap all the images as it was a glorious view of all the local mountains and I didn’t connect the entire set, so only these two of Mt. St. Helen’s and Mt. Adams from the edge of the Bridge to cross the Columbia to Sauvie Island. 

I was unable to get my pictures to upload to Posterous, I intend to use Posterous as a WebSite as well as distribution tool to everything else.  What I hadn’t done well was learn to synchronize my contacts from Google.  I didn’t realize one does it manually from Google to iTunes each time, so my contacts were behind.  I tried texting Posterous which has worked in the past, but the message left but never arrived.

Still learning the ins and outs of the iPhone after all this time, it lost track of my computer, so I reauthorized that again, and then 16 of my Apps were out of date, but according to iTunes, but not the iPhone itself which said “All Apps were up-to-date”.  I trust this will not give me further complications this summer.  I am not going to be tethered for 90 days.