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Thread: July riding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    659

    July riding

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    Hope those who can ride are still riding, despite the summer heat. That has not been a factor for me, up north, here, but I know it has been for many. Please be careful folks.

    I have been riding, daily, as always. My minimum, now, is one hour of trail work with lots of leg burner climbs, followed by stunt stuff, i.e. log hopping and rock climbing. Recently, have been adding a short 10 mile pavement ride, afterwards as a way to cool down and add a little balance to my riding.

    Ran into a bit of snag, though. Traded a trail bike for my Salsa Warbird road bike, one day this week, to finish my workout and after only 10 miles of pavement work on this drop bar bike, my old chronic back pain returned. So did my numb hands and all the other issues I used to get when riding many thousands of miles on road bikes in the old days. Didn't result in a pinched back nerve that forced me to cut back on drop bar bike riding in those days, but the pain was there, again. Not good.

    Just to be sure it wasn't a fluke, the next day I did my entire workout on the Surly Pugsley fat bike, including the 10 mile road session. Yeah, the Pugs was slower and seemed I did more pedaling, but arrived back home with no back pain and no numb hands.

    At this point I need to decide if it's worth it to mix these two different types of bikes in my riding. Figure I have only so many years of hard riding left and I don't want to aggravate those old repetitive stress injuries. I'm leaning towards going flat bar for all my biking, even my road biking. Have done it, before. We'll see.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 07-05-2017 at 08:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Maybe you need a new bike fit for that old Warbird...

    Is it really the drop bars that bother you? Or a low stack?
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    659
    Good question. Not one to give up, so tried a few things on the Warbird, today. I switched to a shorter stem, raised the angle of the handlebars to better reach the hoods and moved the seat forward, a bit. I then did the same 10 mile ride after my MTB workout.

    It did seem to help. No back pain when I got home, though still some numbness. Noticeably reduced hand numbness, too. Probably on the right path, since my average speed improved, too. Even did a little half mile of sandy road to practice dealing with fishtailing in the soft stuff, which is a must for riding a 700x35 bike on gravel and that, after all, is what the Warbird is designed to do. I like the bike and have put a lot of work into it. Jury is still out on this one.

    My Trek Domane WSD, though, should go to someone who will use it, so it will get sold or traded. The Warbird does equally well on pavement, but can also go off pavement, which, of course, the Domane cannot. A pavement only bike is just not very useful for my riding.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    So, my bike trip was over Monday. It was hard, but I did every mile. We had one day of rain and 40 degrees, where we were up in the mountains, and we did not ride. Although this was a day of almost all descending, I was glad, in a sneaky way. I hate mountain descents and this gave me 2 rest days in a row. None of the other participants had any rain gear, or barely a wind jacket. Really dumb! I used my leg and arm warmers more than once.
    We did one 10k climb that was hard, but what I expected. There were 2 other 3-4 mile climbs that were similar. But the hardest climbs were in the second to last day and the last day. The last day had 2 very steep and shorter climbs, one where we were on a narrow road with "pilgrims" doing the Camino trek. The bike I was riding had one less lower gear on the cassette as my Trek and 2 less than my Guru. I was dying, and you know it is bad when you are going so slowly, your GPS shuts off! After that last climb, we rode into Santiago, which was hairy, but then we got off and walked our bikes. It was about 100 degrees out and since I could have cared less about the pilgramage aspect of the end of the trip, I just wanted to get to the hotel. That imvolved walking our bikes up a street with about a 20% grade.
    This was definitely our best bike tour yet. I love Spain and we are going to try and get some friends to join us for a private tour of Porto, Portugal, so the owners of the tour company can use it as the basis for a future tour. They are like family, such a different experience than Trek Travel. Not that they are bad, but this is so different.
    We rode 186 miles, with 18k ft of climbing.
    On Tuesday, we drove back to Bilbao from Santiago, stopping in a beautiful seaside town for lunch. Then we had like a 25 mile descent into Bilbao, on the freeway; it made me dizzy! Sort of the reson I hate mountain descents on my bike. We've spent the past 2 days soaking up the culture and eating. Heading back to Boston tomorrow.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    Good question. Not one to give up, so tried a few things on the Warbird, today. I switched to a shorter stem, raised the angle of the handlebars to better reach the hoods and moved the seat forward, a bit. I then did the same 10 mile ride after my MTB workout.

    It did seem to help. No back pain when I got home, though still some numbness. Noticeably reduced hand numbness, too. Probably on the right path, since my average speed improved, too. Even did a little half mile of sandy road to practice dealing with fishtailing in the soft stuff, which is a must for riding a 700x35 bike on gravel and that, after all, is what the Warbird is designed to do. I like the bike and have put a lot of work into it. Jury is still out on this one.

    My Trek Domane WSD, though, should go to someone who will use it, so it will get sold or traded. The Warbird does equally well on pavement, but can also go off pavement, which, of course, the Domane cannot. A pavement only bike is just not very useful for my riding.
    I don't know what kind of handlebars you have on the Warbird, but perhaps check into the Salsa Woodchipper or Cowbell bars. The drops flare, could be a good in betweener for your hands. (Wait, you had a Fargo, you know better than me).

    Haven't looked at the Warbird geometry in awhile, but it seems like it was an aggressive build.

    I suppose the Vaya would be a good option. Unless you really do miss your Fargo. I'm the member of a Surly/Salsa used bike group on Facebook that Skyking told me about. A lot of used Fargos on there. What size is the Warbird?
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    So, my bike trip was over Monday. It was hard, but I did every mile. We had one day of rain and 40 degrees, where we were up in the mountains, and we did not ride. Although this was a day of almost all descending, I was glad, in a sneaky way. I hate mountain descents and this gave me 2 rest days in a row. None of the other participants had any rain gear, or barely a wind jacket. Really dumb! I used my leg and arm warmers more than once.
    We did one 10k climb that was hard, but what I expected. There were 2 other 3-4 mile climbs that were similar. But the hardest climbs were in the second to last day and the last day. The last day had 2 very steep and shorter climbs, one where we were on a narrow road with "pilgrims" doing the Camino trek. The bike I was riding had one less lower gear on the cassette as my Trek and 2 less than my Guru. I was dying, and you know it is bad when you are going so slowly, your GPS shuts off! After that last climb, we rode into Santiago, which was hairy, but then we got off and walked our bikes. It was about 100 degrees out and since I could have cared less about the pilgramage aspect of the end of the trip, I just wanted to get to the hotel. That imvolved walking our bikes up a street with about a 20% grade.
    This was definitely our best bike tour yet. I love Spain and we are going to try and get some friends to join us for a private tour of Porto, Portugal, so the owners of the tour company can use it as the basis for a future tour. They are like family, such a different experience than Trek Travel. Not that they are bad, but this is so different.
    We rode 186 miles, with 18k ft of climbing.
    On Tuesday, we drove back to Bilbao from Santiago, stopping in a beautiful seaside town for lunch. Then we had like a 25 mile descent into Bilbao, on the freeway; it made me dizzy! Sort of the reson I hate mountain descents on my bike. We've spent the past 2 days soaking up the culture and eating. Heading back to Boston tomorrow.
    I really want to do a bike trip. But is it worthwhile for someone to go on one of these by themselves? Or would I feel like the odd one out?
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I really want to do a bike trip. But is it worthwhile for someone to go on one of these by themselves? Or would I feel like the odd one out?
    I've never done one, but from talking to those who have, I've never gotten the feeling that I would be uncomfortable if I went on a group bike tour by myself.

    I am back from my (sedentary) vacation. While I was away I ordered a Rivet Independence saddle which I hope will solve the saddle problems I've been having. I have a bike fit scheduled for Saturday so I really really hope the new saddle arrives by then.

    Last night I did 30 minutes on a stationary recumbent bike at the gym. I guess it was a good workout; this morning at PT I did a 5-minute warmup on a stationary bike and my quads were feeling tired.

    I've been feeling vaguely unhappy that it's July already. Between the ankle problems and the saddle problems I've been missing out on summer. The cloudy windy cool weather during vacation didn't help. Fingers crossed that I'll be able to start riding more now.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    I've never done one, but from talking to those who have, I've never gotten the feeling that I would be uncomfortable if I went on a group bike tour by myself.

    I am back from my (sedentary) vacation. While I was away I ordered a Rivet Independence saddle which I hope will solve the saddle problems I've been having. I have a bike fit scheduled for Saturday so I really really hope the new saddle arrives by then.

    Last night I did 30 minutes on a stationary recumbent bike at the gym. I guess it was a good workout; this morning at PT I did a 5-minute warmup on a stationary bike and my quads were feeling tired.

    I've been feeling vaguely unhappy that it's July already. Between the ankle problems and the saddle problems I've been missing out on summer. The cloudy windy cool weather during vacation didn't help. Fingers crossed that I'll be able to start riding more now.
    Thanks, NY.

    If your saddle doesn't arrive, I'd reschedule. Won't help much if you don't have one of the main contacts points there.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,651
    Crankin, it sounds like you had a good time and even the fact that you'd been feeling under the weather lately didn't hurt. I am sure it is gorgeous there, and I am super envious! Happy for you. Have a safe trip home (if you aren't there already).
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Thanks, NY.

    If your saddle doesn't arrive, I'd reschedule. Won't help much if you don't have one of the main contacts points there.
    Ha yes, normally that would be the case! I should have been more specific -- I originally scheduled the fit appointment to check the position of the current Affinity saddle. I've used the Affinity for years with only minor chafing problems. When it showed signs of wear last winter, I briefly tried the two new Bontrager WSD saddles that were in stock at the LBS, did not like them, then ordered one of the last 11 Affinity 144s still in stock at Bontrager. After getting back to riding after a few months off, the new Affinity started causing problems. I tried putting the old one back on but that was worse. My current theory is that the seat height was changed when I was trying out the new saddles last winter, and this is causing problems. Or maybe something about me has changed and the old saddle position is just not right anymore. So I scheduled the appointment to have it checked. Then while on vacation I decided to order the Rivet and try that instead, hoping it would solve all my problems including the minor chafing. If the Rivet doesn't arrive in time, I'll go back to my original plan of making sure the Affinity is set right, and have the fitter help me do the appropriate measurements so I can match the same position with the Rivet.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,651
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Thanks, NY.

    If your saddle doesn't arrive, I'd reschedule. Won't help much if you don't have one of the main contacts points there.
    I couldn't agree more -- the saddle makes a difference!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    659
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I don't know what kind of handlebars you have on the Warbird, but perhaps check into the Salsa Woodchipper or Cowbell bars. The drops flare, could be a good in betweener for your hands. (Wait, you had a Fargo, you know better than me).

    Haven't looked at the Warbird geometry in awhile, but it seems like it was an aggressive build.

    I suppose the Vaya would be a good option. Unless you really do miss your Fargo. I'm the member of a Surly/Salsa used bike group on Facebook that Skyking told me about. A lot of used Fargos on there. What size is the Warbird?
    I actually replaced the original handlebars with a slightly narrower Woodchipper. Love them. The bike is a 56cm. Have always been a struggle to get a good fit because I'm all legs and need a 55cm or a 56cm for my legs, but then I have to monkey with shorter stems, seat positions and so on to get the right reach to the bars. Old story for me.

    The Warbird geometry is actually endurance for the sake of doing long days of racing in gravel. I rate it about as comfy for distance work as a road bike is going to get.

    Good news is that I woke up this morning after doing a ride on the Warbird, yesterday, and no back pain and no leg numbness, so made up my mind to keep it. We all know how big a hit we take when selling or trading in a used bike. Did check on getting the new Fargo Rival in 27.5+, but they're all sold out. Oh, well.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    There have been single travelers on every bike tour I've been on. Most were women, and no one was left out on any activity. To me, it's a perfect option for a solo traveler. I will describe the solo traveler on this trip, in a future post... it will take too long to do on my phone!
    Sitting in the Bilbao airport, waiting for flight to Paris. Then we have a 5 hr layover. Not a lot of choices flying from Bilbao. We both are exhausted. DH has been coughing the whole trip and I suspect he may have a brochial infection. We must have walked at least 5 miles Wednesday and Thursday. And the eating and wine... we get into Logan at around 8:30 pm, which will feel like 2:30 am to us. Thankfully, we got an offer to upgrade to business class for a very reasonable price and we spent the $! I may have hated all those years DH traveled every week, but it is paying off now, as he has permanant gold status on Delta/Air France. I hope i can sleep, as Lily is arriving for a full day of babysitting at 6:30 am Saturday, while her parents go to a wedding in CT.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    Took my first post trip ride today; since my granddaughter actually slept over (I wasn't aware this was the plan) and I had a hair appointment at 2:15, DH and i went out for a little 12 mile jaunt around 4:30 pm. It's an absolutely gorgeous day. Was worried about my knee, which hurt a lot when I started off, but then felt ok during the ride. It actually felt better after the ride. I am icing it now.
    My only comment is that the worse roads, in the smallest villages in Spain, are in better shape than the roads in Sudbury, MA we were riding on.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    659
    Surprised to hear that on the road comparison, but probably shouldn't be, given the widely held belief that our infrastructure in this country is a mess.

    I do understand the importance of the right seat and seat position for road biking and my sympathies for those suffering from associated problems. It is a big deal, given that so much riding time is from a fully seated position. Has always been one of the many issues of trying to make road bikes that are designed for men fit me, properly. On most bikes, the factory supplied seat is the first thing to go on a road bike.

    Interestingly, though, now that I do so much trail biking, the seat issue is almost non-existent for me, to the point of just going with a minimal seat to keep it out of the way and, yes, for some tech riding, the seat just gets in the way. Even thinking of adding a dropper post on one of the bikes for just that reason. Given that most of my trail bikes are rigid with no suspension at all, I spend a lot of time up off the seat, standing on the pedals, knees flexed, acting as shock absorbers. Even when seated, a lot of seat time is with only light pressure on the seat. I also move forward and back on the seat a lot as I climb or descend. In other words, I'm not fully seated long enough to develop chaffing and so on.

    Of course, there are a lot of other issues and risks with serious MTB riding and I do have plenty of scars and bruises to prove it. Bruised a knuckle, today, when I cut too close to a tree during a tight turn. Ouch! Oh, well, no free lunch with any kind of serious riding. Anyway, best of luck in your search for that ideal seat, NY.

    Steady rain, today, but mostly the light stuff, so rode my trails in the rain. Not unpleasant, though, given the nice temps. Used my fat bike with the biggest footprint to keep trail damage, down, but no problem at all riding through some flooded areas, though it really helps to know the trails. No way would I ride through a swamp, otherwise.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 07-09-2017 at 07:53 PM.

 

 

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