Thursday, October 13, 2011

been a while

The first couple weeks of October I had a bit of a funk going on.  It could have been the normal week or two off that I always take after 6 gap, except that I didn't do 6 gap this year.  I don't know what it was, just didn't feel like doing much riding, moped around a bit, and generally didn't get too much done.  Happily, I think it's over.  I'm actually writing a post, motivated to get out on the bike, and I've got a little (very) bit of fundraising promise brewing.

Been hitting the SS pretty hard lately, doing the Sat GTR's on it and this week working the hills around work at lunch.  I had gotten a little tired of the SS toward the end of September, probably just because I have been riding it so much this year.  A couple of weeks off of it, and then back on this week, has reminded me how much I love riding a SS.  I think that anyone who calls themselves a cyclist should give a SS a fair shake at some point in their life.  So many positives - easy to keep clean, no mechanical drama in bad weather or dirt roads, great training, and it's just cool.  I converted the LandShark MTB over to SS a couple of weeks ago.  Historically I don't do a lot of MTB riding, but I do enjoy it.  We'll see if the SS makes any difference on how much I do.

I met a friend for lunch last week to talk about some fundraising idea's.  She has just wrapped up a stint with a large, national charitable foundation and was able to give me some insight into how to run a successful fundraising campaign.   Out of the 6 or so good ideas she gave me I've moved on exactly 1.  But, it's looking pretty promising so far, and now that I'm over my funk, I'm planning on trying to work on 1 good lead or idea per week.  And of course work on bikes.  Bike work raised a fairly reasonable chunk in 2010... stick with what you know.

Anyone that knows me or has seen my equipment knows that my stuff is clean, neat, and works, but it isn't new or modern.  Ebay is my friend and retail is not.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  The strongest is likely the reality that I'm not willing to spend a large portion of what is a relatively modest disposable income on my hobby.  Another big reason is that at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter how fast I am.  I don't do any racing (at least not much), don't get paid to ride the bike, it's just what I love to do.  Whether I'm first or last to the top of the hill or back to the parking lot just isn't that big of a deal.  But... RAAM changes that perspective a little.  Next year how fast I am will make an impact on how a team of 7 other riders and 14ish crew members place in an actual race.  So.. I've been thinking a little about equipment.  Now I'm not going to go out and buy a new bike or anything, but I have been trying to find ways to 'speed up' the bits I've got.
Likely the biggest impact I can make is a more aero wheelset and/or aero bars on one of the bikes.  At this point I'm not sure if each rider is taking 2 bikes or not.  If I only get 1 bike then the aero bars are out for sure, I might be OK with the bars on 1 bike but not on my only bike.  But, aero wheels I could justify.  Been doing a bit of reading lately and other than cost and at times crosswind situations, wheels in the 30mm+ range are just about a win-win slam dunk.  Thus is born project 'blue collar aero'.  I've been keeping a pretty steady eye on Ebay and craigslist for a good deal on some deep wheels.  Unfortunately I think everyone actually understands the value of aero wheels and there are the type of deals to be had on Ebay like you could find 10 years ago.  On the plus side, time spent on craigslist does have some redeeming comic value.  So for know, I may have my vintage Mavic Cosmic Equips (which at this time the rear is scattered all over my workbench in the garage) on one bike and the Open Pro's on the other.  But I'm still looking. 

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