Sunday, March 30, 2008

Breaking Routine

Sunday is usually Early Birds day as Py's blog reader will know, so this Sunday was. But PyZahl very much disliked the very cold early morning temps, which the night before were predicted to be in the 25..26F range, brrrrrrrrrrr. He had thoughts to start a later 10am ride, may be a longer easier one, but there wasn't any short term interest shown by his buddies. So he decided simply to take it easy and sleep in. It was cold, his home did not really wanted to get cosy at all -- but in his sun room behind the glass it was not to bad at all as the sun came a little more around to expose it. Little playin around with this blog design and slideshow widgets -- they work, but suck on slow machines, as his Web Fox on his old G4 TiBook almost got stalled to death :-(
Nice widget, but a total waste of CPU power. So, after all the efforts even trying to get a mRss feed going from his buddies ISMBAT photo album... he decided to get rid of it again.

Chatting and skypin w an old snowboard buddie... hey you are in a really neat job! Callin home... and finally getting hungry from doing not so much at all, heating up some pasta leftovers. It got late already. What now, he really felt like doing some workout.

But wait... that old Lightrider alias Humwee still waits for a test ride to find out if the rebuild rear shock will work OK! Quick thought, quick change into MTB outfit w knickers -- as temps finally rose up to almost 10C. And off he goes... quick spin down to the beach, the air is still damn cold:

A few laps around the neighborhood hills, finding all the huge potholes -- there is at least one use for those, MTB testing...

also he found a few big steps and drops to get it going to the limits. It seams to work just fine, if not ever better that ever before! The stable platform valve was doing great, not the slightest whipping pedaling uphill, no bounciness at all. All perfect :-)
Not to mention he pumped up the SPV over a week ago to about 8bars -- however, it is almost impossible to precisely verify the pressure after, as the tiny SPV air volume is about similar to the volume for the tubing to the pump gauge... But it definitively worked, so it must be still in an OK range.

However, all to say so far -- it survived a one hour test ride and a good number of big hits. He gets a little more confident in it to take it out for a ride on the trail next time -- Rocky Point Park will open soon!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

RP2IPBP - cold, sunny, strong cross winds as usual

One more nice, sunny clear and cold day. Rocky Point, Tildas, 10am -- a group of four gathered for a ride. Again they, went the usual route out to Iron Pear Beach Park. Today again and even strong NW -- most often attacking as cross winds -- blow them out east. Going North always needed some smaller gears...

The stats:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Toys -- Does it go together: Quarq power meter, Open Source & Debian?

More than a bike computer? - A little bit, it runs Debian Linux operating system, boasts 512MB of RAM, the ability to communicate with four ANT+Sport devices at once, a barometric altimeter, 20-channel GPS and a USB interface for charging and communication. It will run Quarq's own open-source software, so the source code for the software will be available for anyone to read and modify :-)

A little box and a set of strain sensors on a spider...
And it will also work with Garmin (705) / GPS / HR / CAD ...

Original Source:

Interbike: Quarq power meter & real bike computer

One of the most intriguing launches at Interbike was a pairing of power measuring crank spider and power meter/global positioning system (GPS)/heart rate monitor/altimeter computer from new company Quarq Technology. What's especially interesting if you're a hardcore bike instrumentation geek is that the display unit will run open-source software, so developers will be able to modify it and write applications for it.

The heart of the system is Quarq's CinQo instrumented crank spider. It will be available to fit a number of existing chainsets from companies such as FSA, Specialized, Truvativ, Cannondale and Sibex Sports. In short, if your cranks have a removable spider, Quarq plans to have an instrumented spider for you.

Quarq claims the accuracy of its strain gauge-based instrument is an a par with power devices that use similar technology, but where it differs from its rivals is in the adoption of the Dynastream Innovations Ant+Sport Bike Power interface, a wireless standard that allows the spider to be used with any compatible handlebar unit.

GPS manufacturer Garmin owns Dynastream Innovations, so it's no surprise that the CinQo will work with Garmin's recently-announced Edge 705 GPS bike computer. It should also work with SRM's forthcoming ANT+Sport handlebar unit. More interesting to folks who have a need for what you might call a true bike computer, is that it will work with Quarq's own Qranium handlebar unit.

Running a cut-down version of the Debian Linux operating system, the Qranium boasts 512MB of RAM, the ability to communicate with four ANT+Sport devices at once, a barometric altimeter, 20-channel GPS and a USB interface for charging and communication. It will run Quarq's own open-source software, so the source code for the software will be available for anyone to read and modify.

The combination of the device's open-source roots and that USB interface means that programmers will be able to write applications to add to the unit's capabilities if there are functions people want that aren't provided out of the box.

For example, according to a couple of developers-cum-bike riders we've spoken to, you could connect a GPRS modem and relay live data to a website, or write an auto-blogging script, that at the end of each ride takes the ride log and pushes it to a blog - or sends it straight to your coach. Or, more frivolously, use USB headphones and use it to store music for your ride.

The Qranium works with its own ANT+Sport heart rate strap, and also with Polar analogue straps.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Renn Velocipeds

Easter Sunday -- just a little dreaming -- and skipping the EBs today.

just a collection of some dream Velocipeds for the road...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

RP2IPBP -- pre Easter day ride

The next day, Saturday, turned into a nice day. Still clear, less wind, just a constant 20km/h North-West Wind, a little warmer, almost 7C at 10am, so Py went out with one layer less, it felt a bit chilly in the beginning, but turned out to be just right for the ride. As usual and Py meet with C at Tildas for the ride out to IPBP.

Here at IPBP, view South, hiding from the wind in the sun was nice.

The ride stats as usual:

All the post ride rituals and some big laundry done.... Py took his time for a visit at Kreb Cycle to pick up a new Cassette... and to look and discuss some Bike frames, as he is looking for an upgrade, but the "one step up" to make a difference seams to get much bigger than he had in mind. Some things to think about in depth. There is time. There are dreams. There is this planet called earth.

Any suggestions for Py?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Karfreitags ride to and from The Camp

One more crisp clear cold and windy day, about 31F in the morning and winds up to 25mph with gusts up to 35mph, but Py went out for a ride to the Camp and added a little extra hilly sections on his both of his ways and summed up a total of 60km for the day.

Here a quick, very quick, stop at Wading River Beach -- a strong and cold breeze blowing from North.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Early Birds #3 - South

Sunday is Early Birds day as usual. This time Py planned to try the extendet version with riding to to start from home, what adds a good 20km each. The start is 8am @ Manorville/KK, so he estimated that takes him a good 45min to get there, meaning to get out of the house a 7:10 with a little reserve.

The night before the forecast still had a 50% chance of snow for the morning hours on display, huh, that's no good -- but he did not care that time so much, let see what we get at 6am in front of the door. And, nothing, only little chilly, not too bad at all at 6. He rushed a bit with breakfast as the very first thing, checked the radar, hmm, some little green blobs coming towards east, but he was somehow confident that little scattered stuff will go some where, but not on the East End of the Island -- all stuff in blue is basically nothing, may be a few drops.

And 7:12 GPS time he took off. Not exactly sure how long it will take, he hurried up a bit... but was good in time and at about 7:53 at the start. A few of the core Birds showed up, they quickly decided to go for the South Route (this shows Py's full ride), next in row.

Still some concerns about rain, but the ride turned out to be nice, steady pace, dry road. Well, except some major flooding on section of Dune Road -- here Py's polarized Sunglasses can in handy, as he was able to see the road (and potential pot holes) under the water without been hidden by total refection.... He is not sure, but thinks that food is mostly salt water pushed into the bay from the Atlantic... and as Dune Rd is some where at 0..?? m elevation....

Here just after "The Bridge":

A good ride, no rain! Just no sun and some wind again, but not too bad. Actually, Py felt a few sprinkels of rain on his way back home, but not enough to get anything wet.

Here the speed stats of Py's full 123km:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

RP2IPBP once more again

It was a while ago, must have been before his Snowboarding trip to the Alps, as he rode his RP2IPBP route lately, unfriendly weather and road conditions after that prevented it to happen earlier, so it was nice to do it again today, even little delayed due to wet condition in the morning, PyZahl meet with C at Tildas as usual at 11p for the ride.

It was pretty chilly feeling, about 5C, wet, overcast and a steady North wind as they started out. But once further out east towards Sound Ave road turned mostly dry and the sky cleared up nicely. Here out at IPBP:

Py had replaced his three biggest worn sprocket, still looking shiny...

A little snack while enjoying the view over the Long Island Sound.

They just have been two, not so much chances to hide behind a big group of wheels, just a little protecting at times, C did a good job moving air...

And before he went back home, he did a little shopping and loaded a load of thick rolled oats into his Camelbag and finished with an extra hill lap around his neighborhood...

More ride stats...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Early Birds #2 - West alternative

Yesterday PyZahl stayed dry indoors as there were over 2 inches of rain poring down while a storm was moving over the Island. A day to do some bike maintenance.

This is how it looked after the storm...

... and the first ride with the all new rings, chain, overhauled dérailleur -- it was a so much smoother ride ...

Today, Sunday was Early Birds day for the second time of the season again. A nice clear and sunny day, if just that strong steady 30F cold 25 mph West wind with gusts up to 40 mph would not have been blowing. A few frozen puddles, some sand piles, but mostly nice washed clean and blown dry road with a few new holes in it.... as usual.

They decided to go for an little more protected alternative route more West, it came out a little shorter than usual but was fine.

This Sunday afternoon was a special event in Rocky Point, the St. Patricks Day Parade. Py is not the biggest friend of such things, but it was quite need, as Rte 25A was fully closed for motor vehicles from noon to 4p. That was quite unusual view and feeling, people all over and especially before the start in Mt. Sinai, a quite empty multi lane road for all folks to play on...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

First Early Birds ride of the season - North Route

1st Sunday of March 2008. PyZahl got the start time wrong as he some how was sure the early season Birds was at 8:30, but 8:00 is the right time, we know now. However, as he told C also that time and this got distributed further to a new Island rider from SUNY they at least were three and went for the North route.

A nice dry and sunny but cold day, just a few ice puddles left. A steady and strong arctic wind was blowing and it seamed it always blew into Py's face -- nothing really to complain, compared to the day before, Snow, Sleet and Slush in the morning with scattered shower all over the day, just a suny hold around noon -- so Py skipped his RP2IPBP ride.

Sunday, March 2 at 8am
Temperature: 30°F Dewpoint: 15°F Wind Chill: 19°F Surface Wind: WNW 14mph
Sky Cover: 2% Precipitation Potential: 4% Relative Humidity: 53%

They started out from Manorville, KK, still temps around freezing and with that wind chill it felt cold, very cold. Taking regular turns pulling they manage a good steady pace and Py was happy grabbing a hot Coffee at the Cutchogue Deli.

Here the ride stats and the route (click):

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Snowy stuff - a good day for fixing things

RP2IPBP ride canceled at 8am -- snow, ice, sleet and other road bike unfriendly stuff on the roads.

So Py went out shopping for a few items he was still missing, including 5wt shock oil... as he finally got to the heard of his Lightriders rear shock, the SPV mechanism:

Inspecting it all... cleaning and reassembling, bleeding the damper and putting back together the whole thing. Well, one little O-ring is still to be replaced and then he hopes it works again.