Monday, April 27, 2009

Season premiere

Went on the first ride of the season yesterday and it was bliss. Painful bliss. As usual, there was a strongish tailwind on the way away from home. Once again I thought that man, this bicycling is easy, I'm doing 40 km/h with little effort, I must be in a great shape. And once again, when I turned back homewards, I noticed that there was a wind after all, remembered all the ways cycling can be painful, but was happy anyway.

The new bike is great. I'm thrilled of the easiness of shifting. I don't have to find the stick from the floor no more, the gears go up and down with a quick flick of a finger. I've given all of you a handicap by using obsolete technology, but watch out, now I'm state of the art. Well, ok, the new, electrified Dura-Ace drivetrain might be even more state of the art, but now, at least I'm hanging in there with my 105/Ultegra mix.

My back was in a shock from the ride yesterday, but luckily that seems to have passed. Also there was a slight pain in my knee today, which I suppose is a result of a non-optimal saddle height. The saddle felt a bit too low but I couldn't be bothered to stop and adjust it on my first ride.

Also my bike computer refused to work, which was a minor nuisance. I'd managed to purchase the cable ties of the correct width (the quality of which was crap), install the computer (even though the length of the cable ties was insufficient for the front fork) and test the functionality (which worked just fine on Friday). Then, nothing. The damn thing just didn't work. I've had connection problems before, which have passed with some adjustment, but this time nothing helped. The computer was just dead. Therefore I don't have specific distance and time for the ride. I'd even measured the wheel circumference and set the meter accordingly. Annoying.

Lately I've had a lot of trouble with entropy. Or at least I've noticed it at work. Things have been breaking a lot. My home computer broke as well as the bike computer, the remote connection on my company laptop hardly works at all, my car keeps on rusting and needing maintenance, perfectly renovated apartments don't stay perfect for long. There's always something to fix. Fixing things requires time and money. A human's life consists mostly of fighting entropy. But possibly it's not an entirely bad thing. The results of entropy can also be charming. You have to admit, it would be dull and uninteresting if things stayed the same forever.

Well, anyway, to end this bout of digression, might I recommend a book for a change? It's got nothing to do with bicycling, it doesn't tell you how to win entropy, but it's a fascinating read anyway. It's The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. I read it a couple of months ago and just thought of it while digressing about entropy.

Distance: some 50 km
Time: some 2 hrs
Avg: some 25-3o km/h

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Incoherent rambling

I've been a proud owner of a '08 Trek Madone 4.5 for nearly three weeks now. Haven't managed to actually ride the bike yet, though. Shameful, isn't it? Although I must say that my excuses are plentiful and, partly, even valid. First of all, I suffered from a persistent cold for some three weeks, during which doing any sports was unthinkable. Then I vacationed for a week in Berlin. And last, but not least, the weather in Finland is not suitable for bicycling yet. In my opinion. Sure, there are plenty of polar bears, disguising themselves as humans, who claim that bicycling through the year in Finland is possible. However, when I'm talking about bicycling, in this blog, I usually mean road bicycling, without winter gear. You know, the kind of bicycling that they do in European countries, like Italy, for example.

Come to think of it, I'm really beginning to hate the local climate. It really is miserable to have a three month summer vs. nine months of trudging in wet snow, coughing and suffering from various colds each year. I don't even ski. Well, you can always move to a warmer climate on pension, but perhaps doing just that should be considered earlier. Berlin didn't seem like a bad place to live at all.

Anyway. The season should be started soon. There's a bicycling event nearby about a month from now, about a 100 km ride. A couple of friends have expressed their interest too. I'm in, provided that
a) weather conditions are not too bad, i.e. no ice storm. No tornados either. Raining s**t will turn me off also.
b) I get to practice a bit before the event. A couple of longer rides should suffice.
c) The wife lets me.

Also I'd like to get a new bike computer and/or heart rate monitor. I can also live with the old ones, provided that I find some cable ties of the correct width so I can install the old bike computer on the new bike. It's not as easy as it sounds.