Archive for July 2009
Another rim failure. I try to watch spoke tension but only seem to get a few years of loaded touring out of a rim. I am hoping now that I am 45 pounds lighter that will help. At least this one was near home and easy to replace. I have had two failures while touring that were more than 100 miles from a bike shop, Newfoundland and Western Oregon along the Columbia River. No fun hobbling along with your wheel wobbling and no brakes worried that you could have a catastrophic failure at any time. It really take the fun out of touring.
I have been a Mavic fan. I like the design and construction of their rims but was a little disturbed at the bike shop today when I went to buy a replacement. They claim that they have seen quite a few Mavic rim fails this year. Mavic will replace if it is under 2 years old. Mine had under two years of usage but because I was off the bike quite a bit is more than two years old.
I wonder if other riders are seeing a lot of Mavic Rim failures and agree with the guys at the bike shop. The good new is the bike shop has a rear wheel that looked adequate for my industrial usage and I’ll have a replacement by 4PM.
Anyone have suggestions on how to prevent rim failures?
I like a longer compression brief under my touring shorts. They must be light, breathable, and seamless. Cotton just not work for me, it holds too much moisture, gets heavy, and rubs. Polypropylene is what I look for with a little spandex.
I am still fine tuning sources but for now my top sites are His Room, they have several brands available, and Champion. I am not sure about Champion yet; their quality seems to have decreased dramatically. The construction on their stuff is still fine but their Double Dry material is a big drop off from the poly they used when they were Duofold.
I usually ride in a pair of aerobic shorts with no padding. They are the best for just riding in warm weather, light and cool. But if I need to get off the bike and walk around pockets are a real plus; some place for my wallet, iPod Touch and cellphone.
I have been using the ExOfficio Amphi shorts and they are good but not the most comfortable. The briefs that are part of the short can rub a little if I am not careful and just aren’t as comfortable as I would like.
ExOfficio has a new short the Nio Amphi short. They are very much like the Amphi, the only short I find with cuff straps, except no briefs and a little looser and longer cut. I wear these with a compression brief and they feel great no chafing anymore. I love them for touring, lots of great pockets and light. They look good enough that even with my safety green tee shirt I feel comfortable walking around.
The ExOfficio Nio Amphi and Amphi are on sale now at Rock Creek ($44.95) and REI ($49.83). The $65 list price for these short is much more than I usually spend for cycling shorts and even on sale they are on the high end of my price range. But I really like these shorts so I stocked up before my size disappeared.
When traveling self contained keeping your cellphone and iPod charged is always a problem. My problem has gotten worse this year since I stopped reading anything but electronic books. The nice thing about electronic books is that you can carry as many as you want and they are still smaller and lighter than a paperback book. You can also read them at night in your tent without a flashlight. The bad news is I need to recharge my iPod Touch frequently.
My son suggested I get a solar charger. But I found on the solar site and even more interesting way to charge your cellphone or iPod while cycling … a mini wind turbine. They even have a bicycle mount.
The claim is that an hour of cycling is enough to charge the 1200 mAh battery that then charges your cell phone or iPod. I plan to try it out this summer and will update you on how well it works. Check out for your self at Sundance Solar.
I noticed a local recumbent rider with a Safety Green T-shirt and was amazed how visible it was. After a little checking, this was the best deal I could find, $6.50 at G&L Clothing. I prefer 100% Poly but can’t seem to find anymore.
UPDate: Found 100% Poly at JiffyShirts.com for $7.48 and reasonable shipping..
– 6.1-ounce, 50% cotton / 50% polyester
– Seamless double-needle collar
– Double-needle sleeve and bottom hem
– Taped neck and shoulders
– ANSI 107 Standard High Visibility (class 1)
The Gildan 2300G No Pocket T-shirt is made from 6.1-ounce, 50% cotton / 50% polyester and comes in both safety green and safety orange colors. While not approved for use along highways (ANSI Class 2 and above) the class rating may be used for parking lots, security, or another functions. This shirt also features a seamless double-needle collar as well as taped neck and shoulders
First Posting: Shows Route still needs more details
This 35 mile loop ride is mostly along flat, quiet back roads though the oldest settlements in Maine and New Hampshire. It has great views of Cow Bay and lots of houses from the 1700’s.
Background on the Area
The first settlers to what is now Maine and New Hampshire anchored at Cow Bay in 1623 because it had fresh waters. They were mostly from the Bristol(the name they originally gave to the area) and dispersed themselves around the bay. They weren’t here for religious reasons; they came to make money fishing.
Probably the most famous building in the area is the 1675 Damm Garrison, one of the only survivors of the Cocheco Massacre and the last remaining Garrison Home. It is one of the oldest buildings in the New England, currently located on our route in Dover behind the Woodman Institute on Central Ave. This is definitely worth a visit.
The next biggest town on this loop is Portsmouth, NH, an historic seaport and popular tourist destination. Portsmouth has outdoor dining in the summer and lots of interesting things to see. Here are a few of the historic homes: