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New Flatlander

Old 08-18-15, 07:00 AM
  #1  
Cheddarpecker
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New Flatlander

Hello, and thank you for the opportunity to join the community. My name is David, and I live in West Texas where the temps are high and the hills aren't. Cycling found me at the perfect time in the form of an old beach cruiser on top of some free equipment from a friend. I had been considering finding a flight of stairs somewhere to climb in preparation for ski season, but I couldn't see myself driving somewhere to exercise.

I aired up the tires on the new to me Micargi cantilever, and rode four blocks. My lower back was set aflame, hips were in pain, and my knees threatened to go on strike. I still had to ride home. The next day was much better, and within a week, I was riding a three mile route every morning. Of course, I had to turn the front fork and fender around. Comfort increased dramatically after adjusting the seat and bars for my stature. Wondering if I really knew how to ride a bicycle, I picked up the finer points from our good friend, Sheldon Brown. More adjustments followed.

That's when economy materials began to show their age. I repacked the bottom bracket first. After about forty miles or so, it's back where I started. The front wheel bearings went south, so I swapped the front wheel from a Schwinn Mesa Runner mixte. Another ten miles or so, and the rear hub is dragging. I had ideas, but I didn't want to be without a bicycle for a day, so I stole my Dad's old bike, and consider myself quite fortunate for what I found.

I got hooked by a 1982 Schwinn Le Tour. I've since repacked everything short of the head set, replaced the seat, tires, and bar tape. The crank spindle and bearings came from the Mesa Runner, as they were like new, and the left hand cup has a 1" hex, so I have the proper wrench to fit. Really, I started riding it just to see if it would suffice as a backup, and instead it outright replaced the cruiser.

In the meantime, I had to have a backup, so the beach cruiser took the rear wheel from the Mesa runner, complete with derailleur and cable, with the shifter mounted under the seat. As I no longer had a coaster brake, I cut the posts from the mixte and positioned them on the rear of the Micargi, welding them in place. I now have a functional five speed beach cruiser which is exponentially more practical than before.

So it's getting late. I rode almost twenty miles yesterday circling my neighborhood. I think I might aim for ten this morning, up from the present six miles.

This is an extreme departure from who I was only a short time ago. I quit smoking after nineteen years in December, cold turkey. Taught myself to carve on the ski hill inside of three days by February, and now I'm considering the Tour De Ruidoso next month. A video of a gent hitting over fifty miles an hour on the first downhill told me I need to get my poop in a group if I plan on doing the same, so here I am.

Anyhow, enough about me. I have to get out there and ride!
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Old 08-18-15, 07:15 AM
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RonH
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Welcome to Bike Forums. What bike will you ride for the Tour de Ruidoso? Is there a new bike in your future?
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Old 08-18-15, 07:24 AM
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Nope, I plan on taking the Schwinn. I think I'll ride it until it doesn't. Downhill mountain bike has a certain appeal, but for the present, I'm hooked on the road bike.

New stuff really isn't my style, unless I have to buy something new to stand the rigors of tough trail abuse. I ride antique motorcycles and collect vintage cars, so a vintage bicycle fits quite well.

I'm going to stand out as it is in jeans, steel toes, and western shirt. I will at least wear a helmet and gloves. I'll be there for the love of pedaling, if someone wants to look down on me for riding a well maintained antique, I probably won't notice. I'll smile to everyone all the same.
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Old 08-18-15, 07:32 AM
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Jeans and boots? How many miles will you be riding in jeans? Anything longer than 5 miles and I need padded cycling shorts. Will the temps still be warm in late September? If I were you I'd rethink the plan.
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Old 08-18-15, 07:58 AM
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Well, drag. flat tire, broken spoke. The beginning of reasons for buying something new. I have much to do today now.

I rode nearly twenty miles yesterday. It's cool in the mornings, but my evening rides average about 85-90. Been wearing heavy denim since as far back as I can remember. I bought cargo shorts for canoeing, first shorts in over twenty years. I still paddle in jeans most of the time. My only other pair of shoes are for use on the water. I'll come around... one day.

Ruidoso is not high elevation, but it is somewhat cooler around 7500'. The start will be around 45 or so, warming up to the high 80s or low 90s in the afternoon. I'd be entering for the first twenty five miles, as I'm still a beginner.

I don't see the spokes in this wheel coming quietly, or being reuseable. At this point, I suppose I should take the discussion to the proper technical forum. Perhaps somebody can bring my hard headedness to the surface and convince me to upgrade.

Otherwise, it just started raining, so perhaps it wasn't such bad luck at all.
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Old 08-18-15, 08:45 AM
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Welcome to Bike Forums, CP!
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Old 08-18-15, 09:07 AM
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welcome to the forum... keep it fun.
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Old 08-18-15, 02:42 PM
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Thanks, y'all.

Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Jeans and boots? How many miles will you be riding in jeans? Anything longer than 5 miles and I need padded cycling shorts. Will the temps still be warm in late September? If I were you I'd rethink the plan.

I missed my morning ride due to technical difficulties. A bubble in the chrome had a physical disagreement with the inner tube between the strap and the bead. Instead, I ran errands, and picked up some contact cement in the process. I then spent a good while getting to know my front wheel before mounting the tire, sans broken spoke, and dumping eighty pounds in it. It's only slightly off, but it's not going to work for any kind of serious braking or uneven road surfaces at speed.

I turned six miles in the full sun after lunch. Two and a half miles in, I reversed my route, taking a long pull uphill into the wind, which had kicked up to 16mph gusts. The morning clouds gave way to clear skies, while the early showers caused a lovely spike in humidity. I checked the temperature when I got home to find it was 96. I won't say I didn't sweat, but not nearly as bad as I did during the previous month long heat wave which seemed to average 103-106. I was not without discomfort in the saddle, either. Doesn't seem to bother me much early or late, but in the heat I wasn't excited about pushing it to twelve. I had chocked up what little discomfort I had to a need for a decent saddle, and use the present piece of poorly padded foam seat as incentive to keep weight off of it.

tl;dr, I think you have a valid point there.

As for boots, they'll have to be given up soon enough for toe clips.

Between the many projects which drain my income as fast as I can make it, I don't know if I'll be able to have the bike equipped and afford a long weekend of four wheeling which every trip to the area inevitably becomes. That doesn't mean I can't go ride the same route sometime later in the fall, before the snow falls, and after I have a good set of wheels.
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Old 08-21-15, 03:50 AM
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Hey there CP! I personally love rides after dark. Here in Portland, we even have a monthly Midnight Mystery Ride, Having spent time long ago in Lubbock/Odessa and furtherr West in Marfa, I can just imagine what a midnight ride under those dark Texas skies with all the stars. Cheers.
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Old 09-24-15, 10:18 PM
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Well, I'll be riding a Trek hybrid 35 miles in Ruidoso day after tomorrow, wearing helmet, gloves, and padded shorts. Tennis shoes, even. And warm ups, start time should be about 50 with a high around 75.

Little did I know, there were a ton of new bikes in my future. Well, not new per se, but new to me.
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