2020 Rides

I’ve been looking at a calendar and conversing with some fellow C&V enthusiasts (inmates) about meeting up at some rides next spring, summer, and fall.

There will be the Wednesday evening shop rides, and the Saturday morning rides throughout the season.

March – we’re going to pre-ride the Bourbon and Tobacco Tour route towards the end of March to be sure everything is ready.

April – the Bourbon and Tobacco Tour will be the weekend of he 18th-19th.  Road on Saturday, gravel on Sunday – should be a good weekend of cycling in the hills of western Kentucky.

May – on the 9th, I’m planning on the Rockin River City Ride, a metric century in Evansville, Indiana.  Should be a good warmup for the Storming of Thunder Ridge ride later this month.

Later in May – on Sunday the 17th is Storming of Thunder Ridge in Lynchburg, Virginia, which is a very popular ride and a challenging century.  Registered for this one.  I’m planning to ride the Masi, but if the weather is iffy, the Merckx is well set up for climbing.

June – nothing on the calendar – YET.

July – on the 18th is the Ride Across INdiana (RAIN) that goes from Terre Haute to Richmond in a single day.  165 miles, mainly on US-40.  I sure hope it’s not as hot as it was last year, that was brutal.

August – the Wabash River Ride is on the 29th.  I haven’t ridden this one before, so right now it’s tentative.

September – the Tanner’s Orchard ride is planned for the sometime this month.  I hope the weather is cooperative, I don’t want to miss the ride this year.

October – the Kent Jones century in Jackson, Tennessee.  A nice route, good rest stops, and a good warmup for the Hilly Hundred later in the month.

Later in October  – is the Hilly Hundred century, in and around Bloomington, IN.  Unusually for a century ride , this one is split into two days of riding over Saturday and Sunday.  A good time, great route, hills (as you would expect), and fun rest stops.

This is a tentative set of rides.  Life happens, so changes are possible.

An interesting ride

The temps were close to 60 degrees which is a little unusual for early December in Kentucky.  Not willing to let that pass us by, we headed over to Land Between the Lakes for a paved/gravel/trail ride.  I rode my Cannondale ST600 with 35mm tires, Bobby was on his Trek Boone.

We started at the same place the Bourbon tour started, and rode north.  There are some good climbs in the first few miles – all of them over 8%, one at 10% and one at 11%.  A quick wake-up for the legs.  We went north to the 4-way stop and turned right.  On the Bourbon tour route we went straight north to the nature center.  Today we chose a more circuitous route.  We rode to the old Empire Farm and saw the Silo. Quite the visitor attraction a few years ago, closed now. Check out this article about it.  For some reason that I cannot remember, we rode back to the nature center on a hiking trail.  We crossed a gravel causeway over Honker Lake.  Roots, slippery leaves, a creek crossing, a sketchy descent down a hill with leaves covering the trail and roots hiding under the leaves, and some stairs going up and down all thrown in for good measure.  I’m not sure we should have been cycling on the hiking trail, but we made it just fine.  Maybe not our best decision, but we made other dubious decisions today – just to keep things in perspective.

It was getting dark when we left the nature center with about 18 miles to go.  West to to the Trace road, then south to the visitor center, then east back to where we had parked.  Riding on 68-80 with only 1 rear light and no headlights between the two of us was just another not-so-bright (pun intended) decision.  We got back to the parking area just fine and headed home.  Trying to stay on a hiking trail in LBL at dusk is not recommended. In retrospect, we should have started at least an hour earlier, 90 minutes would have been better.

I had a bright yellow jersey on, and Bobby’s bike is painted bright yellow too, so there’s that.  I know both of us should have had front and rear lights, and we will next time for sure.

Our route was a bit over 31 miles, with over 2000 feet of climbing.  Most of the climbing was in the first half of the ride.  Tired legs are the result.

Masi Nuovo Strada – the wrap

The Chorus polished alloy calipers seemed a little sluggish.  So I took them apart and gave them a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner.  Lubed them with Chain-L, and reassembled them.  They’re now installed and centered – they look great with the rest of the alloy group.  The replacement pads arrived, but they are loose in the Campagnolo holders.  I’m going to use some Koolstop pads and holders for now, and I’ll sort out the Campy pads/holders later.

The 32 tooth small chainring arrived, so I removed the crankbolt and pulled the crankarm off the BB.  Switching the chainrings took less time than the disasssembly, and then it all went back together.  The 12-30 cassette is here, and I swapped it onto the rear hub.  I installed the Wippermann chain and sized it to big-big plus 1.  That’s the drivetrain ready for cables.

I traded another 13-26 cassette to Rob for a Cinelli 1A stem and Cinelli 64-40 bars.  A little polishing on the stem and the center of the bars and they’re ready to install.  I took a guess at the stem height and bar angle – it’s as good a starting point as any.  The levers are slipped on and tightened (mostly) so that the cables can be installed.

I installed the shift cables and checked to be sure that cable is pulled and released by the shifters.  Fit the front housing sections and put them in place, then cut some cable liner to use around the BB shell – there are grooves for the shift cables, and hopefully the cable liner will cut down on friction and prevent road dirt from causing shift problems.

There is a small hiccup with the rear derailleur housing section – the “diver’s bell” cable stop on the DS chainstay has an opening too small for the stepdown ferrules I have.  I don’t want to zip tie the housing to the chainstay, I want the correct part.  The proper OD of the small section is 3.5mm.  I’m looking for the correct ferrule now.  Found it, and the shift cabling is complete.

I taped the cables to the bars and will wrap the bars once the lever positions are correct.  It will take a few miles to be sure they’re right, but it’s worth it to wrap the bars just once.

Now on to the brake cables.  I usually install the brake housings first – it probably doesn’t matter in the long run but that sequence works for me.  This is the only frame I have where the rear brake cable runs inside the top tube.  It doesn’t use any additional ferrules, and the install was straightforward.  I’ve read that some internal cable runs are a nightmare, but fortunately this was an easy one.  That’s the brakes installed and adjusted.

A test ride is next, so I double-checked that all fasteners are properly tightened, aired up the tubublars, and rode out.  Firstly, the brakes work.  That’s the important part right up front.  Shifting the chain to the middle of the range in back, I checked the front shifting – works fine, but takes 1 extra click to shift compared to the double chainrings on my other bikes.  Staying in the middle ring up front, checked out the rear shifting.  It works fine, but the top pulley makes contact with the cogs in the lowest three gears.  I need a Roadlink to move the rear derailleur down a little bit.  The chain has some sag in small-small, but that combination is pretty severely cross-chained and I won’t use it anyway.  Such is the result with a medium-cage rear derailleur with a triple.

Afterwards, I crimped caps on the ends of the shift and brake cables, and wrapped the bars.  For now, that’s the Masi finished.

Dhnvtv

Masi Nuovo Strada – the build begins

An Italian bike – a Masi no less.  They’re none too common in the smaller frame sizes, so when this one showed up, I picked it up straight away.  Getting it home took some finagling.  The seller dropped the bike at Village Cycle Shoppe in Cocoa, FL, and they packed it up for me.  I sent them a bikeflights label to get it up here.

I stripped the frame and cleaned it up, and shipped it to my paint guru, Duane at chestercycles.com.  There are some scratches that need attention, but he will (as usual) do a fantastic job with it.  I picked up the frame from Duane on March 7th, and it is stunning.  The red paint looks about an inch deep and the chrome fork is a great accent.

I have a full Chorus 3×10 drivetrain that I was going to install on the Lemond Zurich, but Rob taked me into Dura Ace on the Lemond.  The Italian Masi practically screams Campagnolo, to me, anyway.  So, the Campy group goes on this Masi.

I’m going to use the Chorus-hubbed Mavic rims with tubulars on this one – that combination seems appropriate too.

I sprayed Framesaver inside the frame tubes, and twisted the frame around to ensure that all tube surfaces have been coated.  Then, it sits for a day or two.

I greased and pressed the headset cups into the headtube, installed the crown race onto the fork, and installed the fork.  The wheels for this bike are already built, I laced Chorus hubs to Mavic GP4 tubular rims with DT Swiss spokes.  I have a rolling chassis (frameset?) now.

2019 Ride Across INdiana – the RAIN ride

It’s ambitious – a one day ride across the state of Indiana – 165 miles from Terre Haute to Richmond.  Not impossible, but definitely a challenging ride.  The forecasts had temperatures in the mid-90s, with a light wind out of the southwest.  Those forecasts were pretty close, but on to the story.

I got to Richmond about 3 in the afternoon, just minutes after my riding buddy Rob.  We got our bikes ready to go on the bike truck for their trip from Richmond to Terre Haute.  We were supposed to leave at 4pm, but we wound up leaving at 4:45, and after some rerouting around a crash and road construction, finally got to Saint Mary of the Woods College, the start point and our accomodations for the night.  We picked up our bikes, rider packets, and dorm room keys.  I took my bike, overnight bag, and the bag with my cycling gear up to the room.  I put lights, the GPS, and top tube bag with energy bars and gu on the bike.  It’s ready to go, just need to air up the tires before we head out tomorrow morning.

Went out to get a bite to eat with Rob, Allan, and Allan’s wife Donna.  Good conversation and dinner, but we all needed to get some sleep as tomorrow’s start is coming early.  Rob and Allan were going to ride from the Illinois state line to the start, and I was going to meet them at the start at 6am.  While we got ready to go, it was dark but sunrise was imminent.  Filled the water bottles with Gatorate, and the Camelbak with ice water.  Since we weren’t coming back to Terre Haute, my overnight bag went in the back of Allan’s truck for the trip to Richmond.

Turned in the room key, and I was off and riding. not knowing what the day would bring.

The first bit of riding is in Terre Haute, basically south on IN-150 towards US-40 which is our main road to Richmond.  There were some climbs in the initial miles, but nothing I would call a major climb.  Made it to the first rest stop at 40 miles without too much trouble.   I fell in with a group of riders from Columbus, Indiana.  They were riding at 16-18mph, which is a good pace and the paceline made it very manageable.  About 30 miles or so into the ride, the group ramped up the pace on a climb and I let them go.  I probably could have stayed with them, but I would have paid a price for that effort later in the day.

From the first rest stop to the second at 66 miles in, the route was basically east on US-40.  A few climbs,  again nothing huge, and made it to the second rest stop.  Close to the rest stop, we left US-40.  The temperature was climbing and the sweating was in top gear.  I was drinking a lot, and eating as I rode.  I filled my bottles and the Camelbak, and set out for the lunch stop.

The third stop, the lunch stop, came at 95 miles in.  I stopped several times in the shade of trees on this stretch, to drink and eat, and to rest a bit.  This was the hard stretch for me, as the temperature continued to climb and the heat was catching up with me.  This section was on narrower roads, 2-lanes, and being later in the day there was more traffic.  There was a detour around construction just before the lunch stop, by the time I got there I was pretty much done.  Sat around a bit, drinking and eating a little, and made the decision to call it at 95 miles into the ride.  Not an easy decision, but it was the right one to make.

However that left a minor (major) problem in that my truck was waiting for me in Richmond, 65 miles away.  I needed to find a ride from Franklin Community School that could take not only me, but my bike as well.  Luck was with me, because the first people I asked about a ride to Richmond were happy to haul me and my bike.  Really nice folks, and a sincere thank-you to them for their Hoosier hospitality and the ride back to Richmond.

Back in Richmond, I was there to see my riding buddy Allan finish the ride.  That left Rob still out on the route.  Went to take a shower, which was good but would have been better had the water been a little cooler.  Oh, well.  I was back in Richmond, Allan had finished, Donna was there as well, and Rob was inbound.  When I got back from the shower, Rob had texted Allan that he was a couple of hours out.  I made the difficult decision to head south for home instead of waiting 2 hours for Rob to finish.  I know he will be OK with it, but I will probably regret that decision for a while.  I told Allan and Donna goodbye, and headed back home.  With construction delays and closed roads around Indianapolis, I finally got home at 11:15pm.  A long day, but I will be back to start and finish next year.

Lemond Zurich build – wrap up

The maiden voyage was a success.  The Vittoria Corsa tires and latex tubes are great at 90/95, I give them an “A” rating.  Coming from Campagnolo groups, it was a little different to downshift using the brake lever, but that sorted itself out pretty quickly.  Upshifts are done with the small lever behind the brake lever, instead of the button on the side of the lever housing.  Again, just a little mental adjustment to make.

Brake modulation is good and they stop well and silently.  No need for new pads just yet.

I made a couple of small adjustments when I got home.  I tilted the saddle up a little bit, and straightened the right lever on the bars.  Ready to wrap the bars.

A little grease came out around the axle seals, so I cleaned that up and rechecked the preload on the front and rear axles.  All good to go.

There is a small issue with shifting.  When I shifted to the largest cog in the back, the first shift to a smaller cog was a “blank” in that the lever moved, but nothing happened.  Pressing the lever again worked properly, and all other shifts are fine.  I need to sort this out, but may need some help with people more experienced with Dura Ace shifting and setup.

All things considered, this is a very nice ride.  I like the Lemond geometry, and the 853 steel frame is first rate.  I must admit that the Dura Ace group is very nice (being a Campagnolo advocate), and with a little tweak it should be perfect.  Coupled with the tires and tubes, this is definitely a keeper.

The bars are wrapped and the Zurich is finished.

 

Lemond Zurich build continues, part 2

When I bought the 7800 group, it came with an 11-28 10 speed cassette.  I have no real use for an 11t cog, and a larger cog would be useful on the hills around here.  So I picked up an Ultegra 12-30 cassette.  Normally, the Dura Ace RD won’t handle a 30t cog, so I installed a Roadlink to give me the clearance I need.

Ran the cables and housing for the brakes.  I chose yellow housing (Jagwire Pro) for both brakes and shifting, as it is compressionless, lined housing for good braking and reliable indexed shifting performance.  I may need to replace the brake pads, don’t know that just yet.  They look fine, but we’ll see how they perform on the test ride.

I removed the old downtube cable stops and installed the new ones.  I’m looking through my bike parts to find the BB cable guide I need for the shift cables.  Found it, and installed it.  Ran the shift cable for the front derailleur.  No issues with it so far, limit screws are set, but will have to wait for the rear derailleur to be sure that it’s good on both chainrings and at either end of the cassette.  Ran the rear derailleur shift cable, and it’s shifting up and down the cassette without any real issues.  The FD adjustment seems good, but I needed a little more tension on the RD cable to dial in the shifts perfectly.

Taped the brake housing to the bars, and checked everything over.

Received the 50t chainring, so loosened the chainring bolts and swapped the 53t chainring for the 50t, being careful that the chain drop pin is oriented with the crankarm.  After installing the smaller chainring, removed one set of links.   I also lowered the FD just a touch.  Might be able to remove another set, but will hold off on that for now.

It’s ready for the maiden voyage, and I’m planning on a 30+ mile ride on Saturday morning with some folks that leaves from the Hoptown Y at 7am.

Lemond Zurich build continues, part 1

I cut some 3M paint film for each side of the headtube, for the bottom of the downtube, and for the top of the DS chainstay.  Now the most commonly chipped and abraded paint is protected.

The steerer/headset issues have been sorted out (thanks to Rob and an extra keyed washer) and the fork is installed.

Installed the Hollowtech II crankset, which took just a few seconds more than typing this sentence.  The front and rear brake calipers are installed, along with the front and rear derailleurs.  The Ritchey Classic seatpost and the Brooks saddle is installed, and I’ve positioned it to match the Merckx measurements.

The stem, a Nitto Pearl, is installed along with the handlebars which are Nitto B115 alloy.  The brakes/shifters are next.  Handlebars set and semi-tightened, levers are installed and lined up.

Next I laced the H+Son TB14 rims to DA 7400 hubs, using DT Swiss Competition double-butted spokes.  I need to swap the 7401 freehub for a 7403 freehub so that I can use a 10 speed cassette.  I was lucky enough to pick up a 7403 hubset and the tools I need to do the swap.

It was a bear to remove the 7403 freehub from the donor hub.  I had to lace it into a spare rim to be able to apply enough torque to remove it.  But it’s off, and cleaned up now.  Removed the 7401 freehub from the “real” hub so I can replace it with the 7403.  Then the 10 speed cassette can be installed.

I cleaned up the 7403 freehub and let it soak in a bath of Mobil 1 gear oil for a couple of days.  Let it drain for a couple of days, then cleaned the oil off the threads that go into the hub.  Odd not to use  any kind of lube on these threads, but that’s what Shimano says, so I followed their directions.  The freehub is on, and the 10 speed cassette fits fine.

2019 Bourbon and Tobacco Tour – a great weekend’s riding

We hit a weather jackpot this weekend, low 80s for a high and sunny on both days.  You can’t do a lot better than that in Kentucky in June.  The postponing of the ride from the original April date worked out well, and also meant that Allan was able to come and ride, as he had a commitment in April.  Even better.

Just a great ride on Saturday.  Drivers were very courteous, no close passes, didn’t hear a single car horn, waited behind as we crested a hill, and one driver even stopped in the northbound lane so that we could turn across the lane in front of him.  Makes me proud to live in Kentucky.  Allan, Rob, Bob, Ron, and I rolled out at 10am.  The hills come quickly and are unrelenting.  There are 5 climbs in the first few miles, all of them over 8%, a couple at 10% and one close to 11%. They wake up the legs pretty quick. Then there were some rollers, and some flat sections as we worked our way north and then west towards the Woodlands Trace road. The Woodlands Trace road has several climbs, not overly steep but longer than the earlier climbs.

Rob had positioned his truck at the midpoint, and we had coolers with ice water, gatorade, coke, cookies, and bananas waiting for us. Worked out great. The second section had a navigation problem, in that the ridewithgps maps showed a road connecting back to the main east-west road, but it doesn’t. It turns to gravel and dead-ends at Lake Barkley. Asked a park ranger how best to get where we needed to go, and got there just fine. There is a steep hill, 11% grade, on the second part of the ride. It is a butt-kicker with a few miles already in the legs. I was with Bob and we went up it once – I walked a good part of it. Going back down was fun too, once we had the proper route in our heads. My top speed was 42mph on the descent.

We met back at the start point and headed out to grab a shower and meet back at my house for a cookout, some libations, and of course, bike stories.

Rob and Allan brought pizza to my house for an appetizer, and we had burgers, chips, pasta salad (made by my wife Amy), and spent the time talking and figuring out riding plans for the rest of the summer. A good time, great people, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s ride.  Bob had to head back to Memphis after dinner, so that left Rob, Allan, and I to ride tomorrow.  Ron had plans for Sunday and couldn’t join us.

Now to get things in order for the gravel ride tomorrow. The creek crossing should provide some entertainment.

Sunday was another great day out riding in LBL. We decided to take a shorter road ride today, instead of riding gravel. We met at the Visitor Center at 8am, and headed south shortly afterwards. We wound up at the Kentucky-Tennessee state line again, and took some photos for proof that we were actually there.

A few hills, but less demanding than yesterday’s ride. Rob got a flat a couple of miles from the end, so we stopped and offered sage advice and constructive criticism of his tube-changing skills even without being asked. It seemed like the proper thing to do – you know, being helpful and supportive and all that. Afterwards, we were back at the truck in just a few minutes.

Rob and Allan headed for home, and the 2nd Annual Bourbon and Tobacco Tour is now in the historical documents.

2019 Rockin River City Ride

Went to Evansville, Indiana for the 2019 Rockin River City Ride on Saturday, May 11th.  It was a little cooler than in previous days, mostly cloudy, with temps in the 60s.  A nice day to ride.  Rain was forecast for later in the day, more on that later.

The start point was Sunset Park, and packet pickup went smoothly and we were ready to go.  The police escort through town was ready to go, and the National Anthem was played.  We rolled out right at 8am and the escort through town was a very nice touch.

My friend Rob and I started together, and I kept my pace a little subdued, as I have a bad habit of starting faster than I should and wind up paying a price for that later.  Settled into a nice pace and it seemed like the first rest stop was upon us fairly quickly.  Rob had already been through when I got there.  Well-stocked and nice folks helping out.  A great start.

Then, it went a little pear-shaped.  We (myself, John, and a young lady named Jocelyn) missed a turn to the west away from the river.  So we continued along the river for 10 miles or so, until the road we were on turned into gravel.  I was pretty sure that our route wouldn’t be on gravel, and I didn’t see any other tire marks indicating that others had gone through ahead of us.  Checking google maps on our phones, we decided to backtrack and find: 1. another paved road to the west, or 2. the road we should have turned on.  As it happened, the next paved road to the west was the one we should have taken.  Apparently all 3 of us were  rubbernecking and completely missed it.  Oh, well, the weather was good, we were enjoying being outside and riding, so we just joined the route and rode on.  This little exploration along the banks of the Ohio River added 20+ miles to our tally for the day.

We came upon the second rest stop and had some ice cold water and gatorade, a couple of chocolate chip cookies, and continued.  There were a couple of short but moderately steep hills and nice descents after that, and then we decided to freelance our way back to the start point.  We weren’t that far away at this point, about 12 miles if memory serves.

We got back to Sunset Park, where lunch was waiting, and as we rode past the start/finish point I noticed that it had just started sprinkling.  So in spite of our off-route adventure along the Ohio River the timing on the return worked out very well.  John and Jocelyn were fun riding companions, and I invited them to come to Land Between the Lakes for the 2nd Annual Bourbon and Tobacco Tour ride.  I hope they decide to ride with us.

I emailed the organizers with a suggestion that they should include RideWithGPS file links so that riders can download the route to their navigation devices.  That would have helped us to stay on the route.  Maybe this is a hint that I’ve become overly reliant on devices for navigation, but following a cue sheet obviously isn’t my strong suite.  That small point aside, the ride was nicely done and I will plan to be there again next year.

UPDATE 5/13/19: I heard back from the ride organizers (thank you for the prompt follow-up) and they are planning to add the gps files and links for next year’s edition.  Should work out well.