Monday, July 30, 2012

Top 10 Driving Pet Peeves

This one is a little different.  I recently spent some time driving on the highway and noticed a few things about the drivers in the USA. Even though some things are not illegal, you still wouldn't do them in front of a cop, but out on your own with just the other drivers, it seems to be fair game...... Here are some of the offenses I would like to see penalized....

#1 - Texting while driving. Seriously? You should NOT be doing this at all. If someone is sending you a text, then it cannot be important. It can wait until you are stopped, or at your destination. I will not text you if your child broke an arm, your mom was in a car wreck or what ever, I promise I will call you.

#2 - Weaving through traffic like Speed Racer just to slow down after you pass everyone. Seriously You put the moves on everyone like AJ Foyt in the traffic then slow down after? What was the rush?

#3 - When you merge on to the highway from the on ramp and try to take more than one lane as you merge regardless of where the traffic is you are merging into... or better yet, if someone else is doing the multi lane merge and it causes an even bigger multi lane merge from someone else.

#4 - On the highway with 3 lanes of moving traffic... you run across the occasional driver that has to drive in the fast lane.  Seriously? I even had one guy I came up on and he was in the center lane, only to move to the left lane to let me pass. Really? SLOWER TRAFFIC MOVE RIGHT.

#5 - As you drive down the highway and sometimes other cars will end up driving with you.... you get the occasional driver that is scared of the left lane. They will only pass on the right. Thinking they will be hidden from the Do they realize that a car passing on the wrong side stands out more?

#6 - Just because my truck down shifted going up that hill doesn't mean I want to race your rice rocket.

#7 - I don't care about the graphics, the wheels, or how loud your exhaust is... a VW Beetle is still a chick car. Other chick cars are Mazda Miata, Mini Cooper convertible, and others...

#8 - Passing some one just to get in front of them to turn. This has happened to me 2 times in the last week. The worst was as I turned on Shrine road by Fents Ice Cream (come on everyone knows where that is) I had a bunch of kids in a Ford Ranger pass me only to slam on the brakes to turn into Ryman Baseball Field. Did I mention the rocket scientists in the truck had a kid jumping around loose in the bed of the truck too. Nice.....

#9 - Speed limit drivers in the Fast Lane. The fast lane is for passing... not driving the speed limit. If you are going to drive the limit with everyone else - just get in the slow lane and drive with everyone else.

#10 - Turn Signals. Some people do not use them. For what ever reason... carrying their coffee, talking on the phone, not paying attention.... the turn signal gets ignored. It is a very useful bit of info for the drivers around you. Use it - they are not optional equipment on your car.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Repairing a Garmin Edge 500

OK - so last Monday on the TNP ride, I got a little crazy. Ended up on the ground. Biggest thing was that when I went down I plainly remember my hand going from the brake lever across the bars and hitting my Garmin. knocking it off the bike. Well.... it came off and still works - but it broke the mounting tabs off the bottom.

The Tabs..

The problem is now it will no longer stay on the bike.. those tiny little tabs are what keep it in place. Turns out this is a more common problem with them the tabs breaking off after I did a Internet search. If your unit is less than a year old and it wasn't wrecked - there is a chance you can get it warrantied. Mine is out of warranty... so after checking around it is $90 in the US to get if fixed. Which consists of sending the unit back and getting a newly refurbished unit back.  Now this is where my cheapness kicked in... if it's $90 to send it back because it broke - I might as well try to fix it first... what am I out - just the time I spend trying to fix it and whatever supplies I buy.

Doing research on Loctite's website for the best adhesive - this is what I used.....

The package says after 24 hours it can be filed, drilled, and worked. So we shall see.

The mix....

And applied to the Garmin...

I let it dry for 24 hours (just... because I had a ride I wanted to use if for that night). I first filed the blobs flat with the round cam... and it filed nicely. Next I filed the tab shapes (a dremel works fine here). Now I had to notch them. The file didn't want to do this to easily - so I took a hack saw blade and made the grooves - then went back with the file and made them a little wider.

The finished product....

I have since used the computer now 5 times over the last 10 days and took it on and off probably 100 times - showing everyone, and I don't transport my bike with it on. Still looks good. Actually when I filed the tabs I kept fitting it into the Garmin bike mount and I made sure to leave it on the tight side, as compared to the factory fit.

 So for $6 at Lowes - you can repair this your self. Get the resin, spend 5 minutes cleaning the Garmin and applying the resin, let it sit 24 hours. File it to fit the mount. Back in business. Worst case is that is still costs $90 to send it back to Garmin as a broken unit.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

160 miles in 4 days.... highs, lows, wreckage and PR's!

Well - Sunday Carisa and I were able to get out for a bike ride. We chose to do the Young's Jersey Dairy Charity Ride Warm Up #4 Training ride. It is a well supported 60 mile bike ride.

Carisa and I before the start

When I say well supported I couldn't believe how nice it was. We got there early day of the ride - each paid the $5 fee to ride. We got under way. 120 cyclist. Big group. As we headed out on the road towards Clifton - it was fun seeing all the riders all down the road. The bikes stretched out for miles. The entire day there were always bikes in sight. The first rest stop came up around mile 10 I think. Carisa and I were just getting warmed up and still had plenty of water so we skipped it. Knowing the 2nd stop was around the 27 mile mark. He headed on. We got to the 2nd stop - refilled our water bottles with ice cold water, had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a cup of trail mix, talked with Curtis and we headed back out on the road. Now the rolling hill section. The hills were enough to break up the monotony of the ride. Rolling down one side to blast up the next hill. It became a game with the hills. A game that Carisa and I dominated. We rolled into mile 46 the 3rd rest stop - the lunch rest stop. Asked the people working the rest stop how long they would be here - they said at least another 90 minutes... so Carisa and I headed back out and road for 30 minutes down past Spring Valley and turned around and headed back.
Here is the average at the 50 mile mark - 50 miles in 2 hours 31 minutes = 19.87 average speed

Returning back to the lunch stop now with 67 miles. The lunch there was catered by BarleyCorns (I had heard of it but never had it before) - and it was delicious. They had either chicken salad sandwiches, or turkey sandwiches, sliced watermelon, homemade pasta salad, homemade potato chips, soda, water, cookies, trail mix, tons of food. All you can eat. I love these kinds of stops.

On the way back to Young's Carisa tells me she wants to make it a Century. As we road along I came up with a route for her to ride to hit the correct mileage and I would go get the truck so that I could pick her up and get back to Grandma and Grandpa's house to pick up the kids. I peeled off and ended up with 90 miles, leaving Carisa to finish the last 10 on her own. She did it like a Champ. I am so proud of her. Ride time was 5:27 - total time was just a hair over 6 hours (and that was because I would not stop eating at the lunch So average speed was 18.3mph total for the 100 miles - pretty darn strong for the first century ever (and for someone who got into road biking basically 5 months ago).
Carisa at mile 100- still smiling, Got to love that!

Monday was the TNP Ride at the reservoir and on the last race lap - I was riding with Mike chasing down Colin - we went through the last turn and there was a on coming car coming - and we were flying wide around the corner. I ended up bumping Mike and went down on the road. According to my Garmin - I was doing 29mph, and 8 feet later I was stopped. Other than a bruise on my hip, and a sore shoulder I was fine. The bike had torn up bar tape on one side (which of course was new that and the brake hoods had holes burnt into them, and a huge scuff on my saddle. I laid there for a moment trying to catch my breath... I was still at race pace laying on the ground - heart rate still at 180 bpm. Everyone was asking me if I was ok - I was, just needed a second to breathe. I saw some people checking my bike out and it was beaten but still ride-able, just like me. I get up and stand up - hop back on the bike - finish the lap and head out on the cool down lap. I feel like an idiot. I can't believe I wrecked. I was just glad I didn't take down Mike. This was my first major road wreck. the funny thing was I have no idea how I can land on the road at 29mph - only end up bruised. My clothes were not even torn up, no blood. I have now used all my luck up. No Lottery tickets for me.

Tuesday was the STSP Ride. I was beaten and bruised - could barely lift my left arm above my head. I  did manage to swap out my brake hoods, and re-wrap my handle bars with new tape. I swapped the scuffed seat with the one off my mountain bike (its a mountain bike - gives it character now). And showed up to the ride like nothing happened. I found out quickly on the road - there would be no sprinting for me - and the hills would definitely be a workout as I could not stand and pedal. The left shoulder wanted nothing to do with it. Ended the ride with 25 miles and felt better, glad I got to spin my legs out some.

Wednesday - the Blue Streak Time Trial at WPAFB. 10 miles of Speed... 10 miles of Pain..... 10 miles of truth. Just you vs. the road. There is no hiding on the time trial. You must find a place that pain doesn't matter, suffering is enjoyed, and no matter what your speedometer says, it is not fast enough. I no longer have a time trial bike, no areo bars, no fancy aero wheels. I made the choice at the beginning of the season to do it on the road bike. Today's time 25:34 which translated into 23.2mph average speed. Not too shabby, I really wanted to break a 24 average. I think recovery will make the next one better. Riding 150 miles in the 3 days leading up to the time trial probably didn't help either. But what you going to do, if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger.  Tonight's time was my only 10 seconds slower than my Personal Record. I road my non-aero bike almost as fast as I have ever done this course before. Beaten and Bruised... nice. It is on for next month. Also a shout out to my wife - she road a PR also tonight... 27:53, Great Job!!
Carisa coming in at the finish!