2022 Riding Events

The emails announcing upcoming events are starting to roll in, so I suppose it’s time to begin planning for the 2022 events.

I need to get the planning going for the 2022 edition of the Bourbon and Tobacco Tour.  I’m thinking this one will be up here in Indiana and I’ve selected a route.  It’s not an easy one but it’s not a leg-killer either.  Plan on saying hello to Bean Blossom and Nashville along the route.

The first event on the calendar is Storming of Thunder Ridge, in and around Lynchburg, Virginia on May 22nd.  A very well organized ride, and the climb up to the ridge is not an easy one.

Registered for the Unbound Gravel 100 mile ride in Emporia, Kansas in early June.  There is a drawing for the start positions from the folks that register, the drawing is at the end of January.  Might get to ride, might not.  Only one way to find out.  UPDATE 1/26:  I was lucky enough to be selected in the lottery!  So I need to get the Focus Mares build finished, and get the miles in so that I’m ready for the ride.  Found an airbnb up towards Topeka so lodging is handled.













Also planning on a repeat of the  Big Dam Bridge Century in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the end of September.  Another well organized ride and a lot of fun.

Of course, the Hilly Hundred in Ellettsville, Indiana is on the calendar for early October.  Live bands at the rest stops and just a good time on the bike.  And whether you like it or not, Mt Tabor awaits.

Other rides will undoubtedly be added to the plans as they come up.

Parlee Z3, part 2

The parts are all here and I’m hoping I didn’t miss anything.  I’ll know soon enough, so time to dig in and get this bike ready to go.

First things first, let’s get the DI2 shifting set up.  The battery fits into the lower hollow part of the seatpost, so it comes out with the saddle/seatpost.  Easy enough to replace, and the BT module plugs in at the same time.  Installing the new seatpost just required the seatpost clamp to be installed first, then the battery into the seatpost.  A little carbon assembly past and it’s in place, in approximately the right position.  After some measurements and adjustments, the saddle is properly position fore and aft, and the correct seatpost height is set.  Snugged it down, but not too tight, since we still have to test the shifting.

I connected the charger to the “A” junction box under the stem, and let it charge for a couple of hours, per the directions.  Once that was complete, I plugged the charger/programming cable into my laptop and started the Shimano E-Tube software.  It connected to the system and told me that there were software updates available.  I updated the charger first, having read that this step should be performed first, and without updating any other parts of the system.

Now that the charger is updated, I reconnected to the laptop and ran through the remaining software updates.  Once complete, I checked that the installed components were recognized and enabled the “Synchro-Shift” option.  This option automatically shifts the FD (the chainrings) depending on the chain position on the cassette and the direction of the shift.  All you need to do is to shift the RD (cassette) up or down as needed and the system will shift the FD (chainrings) as needed.

The first problem – the RD would not shift to the smallest cog on the cassette (the 11 tooth cog).  I could not figure out what was wrong, all other shifts were fine, the low limit screw was properly set, and the high limit screw was backed almost completely out.  I kept thinking it over and figured out the problem.  Shimano has you shift approximately to the middle of the cassette, and then enable “micro-adjust” mode so you can fine-tune the left-right position of the RD.  The position had been adjusted to the left one complete cog’s worth, effectively eliminating the smallest cog position.  Once I figured this out, it took less than 5 minutes to have the system shifting perfectly up and down all 11 cogs on the cassette.  Watching the synchro shift mode change the FD as you shift the RD was actually pretty cool.

There are two buttons on the shifters, at the top of each shifter.  You can program the buttons to several different functions.  I chose to program the right button to shift the RD down (towards the largest cog) and the left button to shift the RD up (towards the smallest cog).  That’s working properly and the DI2 system is ready to go.

Next, on to the remaining upgrades.

Parlee Z3, part 1

The Parlee is here, and I’ve checked the chain elongation and a new chain is needed.  Dura Ace chain is difficult to source, so I went with Ultegra chain for now.

Removed the wheels and went over the frame from top to bottom, front to back, and everywhere in between.  It is in excellent shape.  The rim brake pads are SwissStop yellow pads, by all reviews and experience an excellent choice for the carbon rims.  They have plenty of life, so no need to replace them.

The bar tape does need to be replaced, and while the tape is off it makes a lot of sense to replace the brake cables and housing.  So some red Jagwire compressionless housing is in order.

I also chose to replace the seatpost clamp and the headset spacers with red custom anodized parts, they look great on the carbon weave frame.

Now to the part I have little to no familiarity with – Shimano DI2 electronic shifting.  So I started reading.  This system is a Dura Ace 9070 system, and it came with an SM-BTR2 battery.  The seller did not include a charger for the battery in the sale, but he was nice enough to charge the battery before he shipped the bike.  This would give me some time to pick up a charger.

However, there is a newer battery available, BT-DN110-A, that also has an upgraded chip in it to support additional shift modes beyond manual shifting.  Not knowing how long the original battery had been in service, I decided to purchase an upgraded battery.  There is also a BT module that allows the shift parameters to be customized using a phone app from Shimano, so I added that to the order.  This stuff ain’t cheap, but this isn’t a cheap bike either.

I swapped the Fabric saddle from the Merckx onto the Parlee, but I couldn’t get the proper distance between the handlebars and the saddle.  The seatpost that came on the bike was a zero setback model and I needed a setback seatpost to get the saddle into the proper position.  I found one that will work so that’s handled.

Now the dreaded “parts pause” takes effect.  Figure out what you need, order the parts, and wait for them to be delivered.