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Old 08-08-07, 12:53 PM   #1
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Freedoms and little adventures, or Crosstown Traffic

My work truck developed a serious vibration over the last couple of weeks, that seemed transmission related. The transmission shop my company uses is in Springfield. Friday afternoon, rather than have one of the guys that work for me shuttle me to the shop and back home, I decided to grab my bike and just ride home. It was great. A 35 mile ride with a purpose. I'd never ridden on that side of town before and had to find my way through some neighborhoods (some a little suspect) and deal with a couple of railroad lines that led to several dead ends and a little backtracking. An attempted shortcut through a huge old cemetery had the same result, one way in and one way out only, so backtrack. But hey no big deal. I finally wound up on a marked bike route that took me most of the way across town. Rode with a 30 something roadie chick a good bit of the way through town who was on her way to work. Nice conversation, especially the part about her admitting to having to work to catch me, which she finally did at a light.

Made it out of town and onto familiar roads and then headed towards home. I'd not ridden cross town during rush hour before. It was not that bad at all, actually pretty enjoyable, especially after finding the bike route.

I got the word yesterday the truck was done and ready to pick up. Since I'd enjoyed riding to home from the shop so much, I decided to ride on into town this morning to pick it up. Son Chris was off today and he thought that sounded like fun too, so we both had a very nice early morning ride. While it was still cool. It's in the upper 90's now, it was in the 70's and low 80's most of the time we were on the bikes. Perfectly comfortable. Of course we were riding during rush hour again, this time in the morning. Lots of places we were making better time than the auto traffic.

Had to fix a flat again, the second one in the last four rides. I think I have actually worn out my back tire, it feels very thin and has a very noticable flat area on what used to be a round tire profile. I'm a little surprised, I would have thought a tire would last more than 1300, but I guess that is better than needing to replace them due to dry rot from lack of use.

Being able to just decide, hey, I think I'll ride my bike instead of making this into a production is a nice side benefit of this whole cycling thing. Plus it was a nice even if small adventure. A year ago, I'd have never considered this a viable option.
It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.
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Old 08-08-07, 01:34 PM   #2
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Glad you had fun. I usually enjoy a ride a lot if it has a purpose. My tires wore out faster in the Denver area then in California. I wrote that off to all the rough chip-seal road surfaces there. Rain, wet pavement, snow, and melting slush didn't help much.
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Old 08-08-07, 02:19 PM   #3
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I work about 35 miles from home and a couple of Weekeneds- I have cycled into work, or home from work when vehicles have been at the wrong places. Quite a good ride for me and I just curse that it is a bit too far to commute on a regular basis. 70 miles in a day- and a hard days graft might finish me.

Now on those tyres- Earlier this year I bought Michelin ProRace2's and I suppose they have about 700 miles on them. Mostly round my local area but about 200 were on the superb Cycling roads in France.(Barring Ventoux- I was riding on the "D" roads. Thats "D" for diabolical.) The new bike has Vrederstein Fortezzias,. The Michelins still have the Mould marks on the centre of the tread. The Vredersteins have done 350 miles and the rear has a definite flat on it. So far I haven't tried the Michelins on the Boreas (The're the wrong Colour you see) but I also feel that the Michelins might have less rolling resistance.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

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Old 08-08-07, 02:48 PM   #4
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Rides with a purpose are extra nice. Your report is what biking can be about if we take a little initiative and think just a tiny bit outside the box. I occasional go to a meeting on the far side of DC on my bike and find that I make nearly as good time as by car. The folks at the meeting are always impressed that someone would come "all that way" (15-20 miles) on a bike.

Very nice report, by the way. Must be great riding with your son.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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Old 08-08-07, 03:42 PM   #5
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Had to fix a flat again, the second one in the last four rides.

Time for Continental Ultra Gatorskins!!!!

Envy abounds.....
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Old 08-08-07, 03:46 PM   #6
John E
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I have always enjoyed bicycling home (and later back again) after dropping a car off for service. The service writer at one car dealership really liked my red-white-and-blue Schwinn mountain bike and was fascinated by my 24-tooth granny chainring (I was running 48-40-24 at the time).
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
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Old 08-08-07, 04:18 PM   #7
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I'm headed for the same kind of adventure tomorrw. The bike goes up on the roof of the VW; the VW gets driven to the shop for some brake work, and I get to ride from the garage to my office across town. I like not having to depend on someone else to pick me up or having to find a garage with a shuttle service. Two wheels equals freedom!
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