Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fixie Fun With Lugged Boys and Girls

I made the Hiawatha ride. I procrastinated in the morning. I like mornings, but I've become proficient at dawdling. Yet I got my act together and made it on time, so there were three four folks there when I arrived. I pulled the QuickBeam off my RhodeGear bike rack, pumped up the tires and stuck with a thin wooly, a Kenwood wooly jersey by Spot, standard bib cycle shorts and wooly Warm knee warmers. I used a skull cap, plus my usual cotton handkerchief headscarf. I had the wool gloves on for my hands.

My riding in a group with a fixed gear went well. We did one fairly steep climb, and one long climb. The steep climb I had a good view and spun up speed, eventually switching to standing up and was able to not collapse and die before the top although my cadence was about 3 per year by then end. Serves me right for spending too much time diddling with the QB build and not enough riding. On the long climb I struggled a lot more alternating between standing and trying to find any cadence I could maintain while seated.

Yet the QB felt good. At first the dashboard seemed too close, but after awhile it felt very comfortable. I'm glad I went with the dirt drop stem, bringing the bars up and reasonably close. The padding under the bars seemed great at first but by the end of the ride I was back to shaking alternate hands on a regular basis trying to dispel the numbness. This will improve as the season goes on, as long as I continue to train/ride. Saddle felt great. No trouble with the fenders. Minor goof, when I had put the front wheel in my haste I had put it backwards making the odometer sensor on the wrong side so that I got no speed or mileage reading. Tough. I didn't let it bother me. The pace was perfect for me, right around 12-14 most of the time, I'd guess. My kinda ride.

We went around Fort Snelling and the Airport and the place to "Run for your Life" Sprawl of America. Beyond that, I haven't a clue where we were as I'm terribly ignorant of that area. I did enjoy the ride a lot as I met a fellow and spoke to someone with a beautiful Kogswell which was gorgeous and fit the fellow well. There were also at least one Curt Goodrich which was simply gorgeous. There were other brands which I couldn't remember as well as one fellow riding fixed on a aluminum frame. Can't say we're snooty, as in all are welcome regardless if they pray at the altar of steel or not. I was really pleased to see three ladies show up, all mates of one of the male riders, but still. A mixed group is far more interesting. At least one fellow recognized and inquired if I was that (I think he would have liked to say, "lunatic" or "wacky" or something) guy Gordy, from the Bob List or else where. Dang, guilty as charged.

We had coffee at a shop called Minnetonka Coffee, which was a former gas station (how appropriate!) where they had a decent selection, were doing a great business, and we were able to sit outside comfortably. I was thrilled. I had a huge muffin (cream cheese icing) and an iced coffee. I needed all those calories like a hole in my head, but down the hatch! Skoal. Salut. Cheers.

After I studied gear in the shop and swapped the fellas straight up an unused pump I had that fit nothing with one that would fit the QB. Then I plunked down some cash (okay, my debit card) and got a B17 Special for the QB. I've been oogling it for some time and since the B17 I was riding is destined for elsewhere, it was time. Yee haw. Later I stopped back and got a shorter nut for the front rack mount that will permit me to level the rack and remove all the dumb washers.

After I left the cycle shop I met up with pal Donna for another ride. She has been nursing a calf injury (which coincidentally was a topic for conversation at the coffee shop) and invited me on a flattish ride for some miles and to help get the blood circulating. I got lost, about eight times getting to her house. Sat and petted her dogs for a minute or two before we got on the road. She has some great happy eager to be petted dogs and I just lavished them with attention. We went on a rather short by comparison ride, but it was nice to get moving on the bike again.

This time I put the bike in the car by removing the front wheel. There was a big scratch on the frame paint from the trunk rack. Bound to happen. I'll have to quiz Rivendell about touch up paint. Maybe there is a Testor's color that is a close match.

All in all a great day for cycling. Temperatures were good. No repeat of sunburn. I'm tired, but I got more miles in one day than any other this year so, I should be. Criminy its April! The QuickBeam is rolling, close to where I want it, and it is doing what I had hoped. Now I have two commuters for use.

What's next? Ride the buzzards! Happy Easter/Passover to all.

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