Thursday, May 27, 2010

Race bike to Euro-mule conversion.

This is how the Casati looks all loaded up.  Thats pretty much exactly how it will look for the next couple weeks in Switzerland and Italy.    Actually, I'll be on top of it most of the time, but it looks better without my ugly ass in the frame..

The bags are Epic Designs from Alaska.   The seat bag is a 'Mountain mini' model, the bento box thingy is a 'Gas tank' (size small) and the frame bag is custom fit to the Casati.
These packs are pretty incredible.  The Seat bag which carries all my clothes at ~11lbs weighs less than a unloaded pannier rack and thats not even counting the pannier(s).  I think there is a little over 13lb total on the bike shown.  Only counting the bags and contents so that doesn't include water.

I did a short ride on it a few evenings ago, and the handling is really quite neutral considering.   There is a very slight pendulum effect towards the rear that can be felt when rocking the bike during standing efforts but otherwise it's surprisingly "normal".   
Seated climbing is completely unaffected apart from the weight and standing climbs or efforts are totally fine provided the cadence isn't too high and/or you move yourself over the bike rather than move the bike under you.  If you've ever done loaded touring you know what I mean.  Same effect but much less of it.  Higher cadence and associated faster rocking back n forth of the bike causes the seat bag to sway a little so Tom Boonen type efforts aren't advised ..but really, it is surprising how unaffected it is.

The bike is now disassembled and packed into Fritz's Pika packworks bag which is another really impressive piece of kit.  You can see Fritz's post on the Pika bag here.  

It will be interesting to see how the fine people at Casati  react when they see one of their race bikes turned into a mule for a thunder-arsed Canadian in a few days time..    stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

12 hours and 300kms later

My Ride to Conquer Cancer fund-raising ride last Wednesday was a grand success. I started at 0600, riding at a crisp 7C and was just starting to warm up when the rain began falling. Fortunately, it only lasted about 45 minutes or so. There were many geese, wild turkeys, deer, and a coyote out to cheer me on.

The wind picked up as the day progressed but I spent most of my time marvelling at how beautiful a ride my new R3 is. I had recently been fitted by Mary at Bike2Body and everything just felt right. I switched over to 28mm Grand Bois tires to handle the dirt roads and construction at work so the ride was pretty sweet. Only problem was the lack of clearance with my 3T forks but after a consultation with Matt of Tall Trees fame I solved that problem with a judicious use of tinfoil to shorten the depth of the 3T dropouts. Perfect.

My goal was to ride 250km in 12hrs, but after about 4 hrs I realized a more lofty goal was achievable. By the end of it I covered 302.6km in 12:02. I "cheated" along the way by drafting behind an Ironman athlete friend of mine for a couple of laps, but I figure that compensates for the few laps where I slowed down to enjoy the company of a few friends who were kind enough to join me along the way.

Here's a graph of my progress on the 9.25km course. I owe some gophers an apology.

Some other stats:

Calories burned: 10880
Calories consumed: 3750 (mostly Lara bars and eLoad)
Water consumed: 6L
Average Speed: 26.16 km/hr

Total time stopped over 12hrs: 7 minutes

My back was a bit sore between hours 9 and 11, and my traps were a bit weary, but the only really sore spot was my right foot that didn't like the last hour. Remember to cut your toenails before embarking on one of these things. Post-ride, I did wake up in the middle of the night a bit nauseous, but the only other casualties were a tender achillies and bit of a crunchy knee.

I raised over $1200 towards my ride. Thanks to everyone for contributing.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ride to Conquer Cancer

Hey Everyone!

I'll be doing the Ride to Conquer Cancer on June 12-13 on a team of medical physicists (who do both cancer research and treatment) from the Princess Margaret Hospital. The ride consists of 100 miles (a century) each day with the funds raised for Cancer Research.

I was inspired to do this ride as I've watched a number of people around me struggling with cancer, and because I have friends directly involved in cancer research and treatment.

To help raise funds, I'm taking this Wednesday off and riding laps of my campus at work. I'm planning to ride for 12 consecutive hours in an attempt to cover 250km which would be a new personal best for me. I also expect that by the 25th lap that I will be close to setting a new record for tedium, possibly surpassing that time I went camping with a bunch of accountants and marketing folks.

This is my Donation Page and here is the route for Wednesday's ride. Another 10 people at work have agreed to join me for part of Wednesday's ride with the hope of matching the number of kilometers I put in, giving us a total of 500kms.

I appreciate any support anyone can give. A post-event report will be posted on the Big Ring Racing blog.