2018 Bourbon and Tobacco Tour – in the history books

The weather for Saturday’s ride was basically perfect.  Temperatures topped out in the low 70s, with light winds.  The winds out of the east picked up later in the day, which didn’t help as the final few miles had a long climb, into the wind.

This ride kicked my butt.  The time I’ve spent behind my desk working didn’t actually contribute to my riding fitness.  Hmmm.  A 55 mile ride in (relatively) flat Illinois is much easier than a 55 mile ride in the Kentucky hills.  Clearly I have some work to do.

It was great to meet some BikeForums members in the flesh and on the bike, and the cookout afterwards was fun as well.

Some things to take away from the ride:

1. My 1989 Cannondale ST600 performed very well, no issues at all – not bad for a 29 year old bike.

2. The Compass tires were everything they were advertised to be, a nice smooth ride and good traction.  I ran 60F/65R tire pressures.

3. The Selle Anatomica saddle is very comfortable (for me).

4. I need to be in better shape.  I have a shape, the problem is that it’s rounder than it should be.

5. Drafting behind Adam and Jamie would have been a smart choice.

6. Ex-Pres and PilotFishBob are very patient riding companions.

7. Apparently everyone that owns a boat was pulling it on a trailer today, but with a single exception, we were given plenty of room while we were being passed.  We were riding single-file for the most part, and moved to single-file when we saw a vehicle approaching from the rear.

Will definitely do this again next year, and since the new bridge across Lake Barkley should be finished by then, the route will be different than this year’s route.  Might even go south into Tennessee and back.

Thanks again to the kind and generous sponsors that provided prizes for our ride – Road ID and Chain-L chain lube.

Finishing up the ST600

The shim I cut to use the 25.4 handlebars with a 26mm stem wasn’t holding very well, so I picked up a replacement stem with a 25.4mm clamp.  A Nitto Technomic stem, 150mm tall – great fit and finish, and it’s installed.  The bars are on and the brake levers are reinstalled and positioned as best I can without riding it.

Got out for a short ride, and the stem/handlebar/lever positions are good.  Now the mechanicals are finished.

I wrapped the handlebars and finished the ends, but I think the right side ended a little too close to the stem.  I have a GUB gps mount that fits on that side of the bars, so I might redo the end.  Removing a half inch would give better clearance for the front brake cable.

Barring that change, or even including it if you’re generous, the ST600 is finally ready for the road.

Bourbon and Tobacco Tour – the final details

I need to check the gps file for the upcoming Bourbon and Tobacco Tour.  Gotta make sure the route is clean (no unnecessary turns) and correct.  I also need to add the sprint points to the cue sheet.  I’ve made a list of the things I need to bring to the ride, I’ll go over it to be sure I haven’t missed anything and we should be ready to ride.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate, I can’t do anything about it but good weather would be really nice for the ride.

I’m back from driving the route and the gps file is good.  I added the sprint points to the cue sheet.  That part of the ride is ready to go.  Now, if I only had a finished bike to use.  Decisions, decisions…

New rim tape, installed

When I left you, the tires on the Cannondale ST600 just fit too tightly for comfort.  By that I mean that removing the tire, well half of it anyway, to patch a punctured inner tube was going to be very difficult at the side of the road.

The new rim tape was delivered, and I removed both tires and tubes, the old rim tape, and installed the new rim tape.  Remounting the tires was still not an easy task, but was easier than the last time.  I’m confident that I could do this on a ride if necessary, which is a relief.

Need to ride it now that the tires are sorted out, and make sure that the handlebars and stem are properly adjusted.  The final step will be to wrap the handlebars.

Then it’s time for some “all done with this one” photos.

Stay tuned.

New rim tape

No bicyclist likes a flat tire.  Fixing them on the side of the road is at the bottom of most rider’s list of fun things to do.  Mounting tires for the ST600 was difficult enough that I don’t want to try it on the road.  Of course the first long ride will probably result in a flat, and at the point I’m farthest from home.  Karma, you know.  Well, a cell phone rescue call isn’t my first choice as I’d rather be more self-sufficient while out riding.  So, I need to try to make tire removal/installation easier.

Mounting tires on my Boyd wheels on the Merckx took less time than powdering the tube, so maybe I’m just spoiled.  Box section rims can be more difficult due to a shallow (or nonexistent) channel for the bead to rest in while mounting.

Pro tip: Always mount tires with the label over the valve stem hole.  Since you know how the tire was oriented, and you know where the patch was applied, you’ll be able to check the inside of the casing before remounting the tire to be sure there’s nothing in there waiting to cause another flat.  The little wires from steel belted auto tires (a common cause of flats) are hard to see but it helps to be checking in the right spot.

I used Velox tape, as I have always used in the past, but for this rim, the combination is simply too tight.  I’ve just ordered some Kapton tape 16mm wide and I’m going to go through the work of removing the tire and tape, and then try the Kapton tape.  It’s significantly thinner than the Velox tape and hopefully will make mounting the tire an easier job.

I’m not looking forward to removing the tire, but better to do that at home than at the side of the road in pouring rain.  Hey, if i’m going to get a flat it will probably be the trifecta – a hole in the tube, a REALLY hard to remove tire, and pouring rain all at the same time.  Not that I haven’t beaten the odds before, but why make it so easy for Murphy to assert himself?