I'm truly inspired by some of the winter riding stories I've read over on BikeForums, but its just been too cold and too dark for me to get any rides in this week. My last ride was Tuesday ... Still.Waiting.for.Spring.
 
Yes .. I know that we are only 3 weeks into the new year, but its damn cold out there, it might make it to 30 on Sunday ... I sure hope so, I'll need the ride by then.
 
OK .. I'm very clearly suffering from a bit of the winter blues ... no rides so far this week. I've also been playing around with my home automation stuff a bit this week trying out some new gear and working through some issues. Now that those issues are resolved and there is supposed to be some crazy unseasonably warm weather tomorrow, I'm looking forward to a nice ride (Seriously, 65 in January in Northern Ohio! WOW! I have to get out there tomorrow.)

I also started thinking about the work commutes and remembered something my daughter was giving me crap about last year. "You ride all the way to work without even a pump?!?!". Well look at me now ... 
I snagged a Topeak seat bag / tool kit combo and added in a Co2 inflator and a tube. I went back and forth a bit between Co2 and a pump, but ultimately decided that for a commute, I'd want to be done with the repairs as soon as possible and back on my way to work or home, the same reasoning applies to the addition of a tube. The kit comes with some self stick patches, they look crappy and useless in their packaging, but they are still there as a backup, hopefully I never need any of this stuff. All told I spent $65, I splurged a little on both the bag and the inflator. I liked that the bag was basically quick release detachable and the inflator had an actual valve on it for some better air control instead of all or nothing like most others on the display.
 
I've done a bit of searching to see what an average rider might ride in a years time as a point of comparison before I really set a goal for this year, I've run across a few interesting stories. I'm clearly no Freddie Hoffman, its been a cold first week of the year here and I Haven't been out once yet, the liked article (a couple of years old now) states that Freddie "... is down to 35,000 to 38,000 miles per year" .. that's 100 miles or more per day, every day, pretty impressive. Then there is Tommy Godwin, who in 1939 rode over 75,000 miles, more than 200 miles per day.

There will always be folks hat ride more than me, that is for sure, but after take a look at what other folks are discussing for mileage in some bike forums and ding a review of my planned work commute that I'll be starting when there is more sunlight, I think I'm going to shoot for 3000 miles in 2013.

Now I really need your good wishes
 
I rode 1340 miles last year, only about 25 miles per week. If you consider that I did not ride through the winter last year and really only rode from March through December, its about 33 miles per week. Not really a lot of miles compared to most riders I would guess.
I hope and expect to more than double that distance in 2013. My commute to work is 16 miles each way, if I manage to do that 2 times per week, that's already (nearly) double, I'm shooting for 3 times per week. 

Wish me Luck!

QC
 
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So .. I'm a bit behind on my posts, I've been enjoying the holiday season a bit too much I guess. I've been thinking of some ideas for blog posts and was considering posing about my new fenders and the install. Ultimately I decided to skip writing about that, I do want to do reviews of products that I buy and use, but I don't want that to be the only thing I post about, so I skipped it for now.
The great news, I received my fenders, installed them and have really enjoyed having them on my bike for the last few rides, why did I wait so long to have fenders on my bike, on any bike for that matter?



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The really bad news ... My Bottom Bracket Dynamo died during the install. Actually, I'm pretty sure that this is only a wiring issue and that the dynamo itself still works as well as both of the lights, I might try to rebuild it this summer and give it another shot. 
I have been the butt of a few jokes that I still have this on my bike, but it still works (or did until a week ago). It was very reassuring to have this always on the bike and ready to provide light whenever and wherever I needed it, no batteries to deal with, nothing to remember, just flip the lever and boom .. Light.
Just to be clear, the Dynamo has been my backup light for the past few years, I have a Plant Bike Superflash on the back, and some other form of battery operated headlight for *Planned* night rides, the Dynamo was only there for unplanned night or extended rides. I decided to take it off for the winter and change to strictly battery operated lights for now, I ordered a better headlight, the Cygolight Expilion 350, I liked that it was self contained and rechargeable  I haven't ridden with it yet, but I't pretty bright compared to the no-name lights I've been using so I'm pretty excited to give it a shot.

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Back to the Dynamo, and story ideas. I was really planning on writing a post titled "They can take my Bottom Bracket Dynamo When They Pry it from my Cold, Dead, Hands", but I guess that's on hold for now. I might still write it if it an be rebuilt and re installed, I might even look at updating it with LED's if I can find some. Frankly I'm surprised and impressed that it lasted so long considering where its been mounted for almost 27 years, and consider it a challenge to get it and keep it running. 



- QC

 
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On the plus side, I got a nice ride in today .. just  short of an hour. I'll take any ride I can get in December after work as a good thing, it was dark when I got home though, I'm glad I still have my Bottom Bracket Dynamo on the bike with a couple of lights.

I'm sad to say I overdressed for the weather again, the Temperature here was in the low 40's (4 or 5 Celsius) and I was cold when getting on the bike, but very hot and sweating after the first hill ... Hooray for Zippers! I'm actually taking this as a good thing though, the weather here is only going to get colder, and I'm really going to try and ride through the season (I hate working out inside and remaining stationary).

Staying true to my frugality, everything in the Photo except for the gloves, was bought on sale off season, The Pearl Izumi Barrier Jacket from Amazon last spring, the Starter shirt and New Balance 1/4 zip from TJ Maxx (or Marshalls) over the summer and the no name fill zip from TJ Maxx. The Gloves were a gift from the lovely Mrs. QC last summer when I really started getting back into riding again (Thanks Honey!)
I also gave my new Frasier sunglasses from Bike Nashbar their inaugural run tonight (with the clear lenses installed)  .. they worked out great!

So ... Note to self ... 40's is not 4 layers.

** Also not pictured is my helmet, I always wear one **

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I showed you my upper body fashion ... here is what is on the bottom.
Pearl Izumi Liner short
Pearl Izumi Thermal Tights
Pearl Izumi Fuel Shoes
and last but not least
Pearl Izumi Barrier MTB shoe covers (I love these things for colder riding the shoes have great ventilation for summer riding, but my feet were actually getting cold in the colder weather. Problem solved with the shoe covers).

I think I could probably use this setup on the bottom from weather starting at 50 degrees to maybe the 30s or even lower with some heavier socks .. I might throw in some knee warmers when it gets colder.
All of these were from Amazon and purchased at different times when I thought the price was decent.

You might be able to tell I'm a fan of Pearl Izumi, I'm not sure I'd call it brand loyalty, but it seems like I can always find something from PI on sale somewhere and I think they make pretty decent stuff.

That's it for now ... I have a set of fenders on the way to help with my goal of riding through the winter, I'm thinking of doing a video of the install. I'll also get to show off my ride, she'a old, but she still gets it do