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16 May 2014, 02:13

F-40 Bummer, lost my KOM to a Cat3 Racer

Yesterday there was a 21 mph (gusting to 30 mph) tailwind on a Strava 5.1 mile segment that I have owned the KOM for six months now by almost a whole minute.

Well yesterday Ryan Coover, a professional Cat3 racer, used the good tail wind to beat my KOM by 23 seconds averaging 29.1 mph for the 5.1 mile segment.

Damn, that is fast!


My excuse is that it was dead calm when I got the KOM.

I’ve made significant changes to the F-40 to make it faster and I’m now much more experienced riding fast on the bike.

After losing a little bit of weight I should be able to do that segment at 30 mph next time (a slight tailwind wouldn’t hurt either).

I guess it is time to get back into shape and maybe in October try to reclaim the KOM.


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10 May 2014, 00:58

F-40 Chisholm Trail Parkway Ride Report

What a beautiful day for a ride! Not a cloud in the sky.

Not sure exactly how many riders - I heard somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000. There were definitely a lot of them!

This was a once in a life time ride on the newly, still under construction, Chisholm Trail Parkway that runs from just outside Fort Worth south to Cleburne. No cars, just 22 miles of somewhat smooth out-and-back tollway concrete.

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These guys in the green and white kits were very fast. They quickly left me in their dust. Greg said he finally caught them about 5 miles from the finish.


A lot of bents also. Greg and Alexis Gross on their M5 and Bacchetta CA2 respectively. I met a couple of other rbent.org members - Dan and Sharron. I don’t remember their last names but had a fun time talking with them afterwards. There were several trikes and two penny-farthings (they are not recumbents, but they are pretty strange none the less). Those penny-farthing guys when sitting on their bikes must be 10 to 12 feet in the air. They rode the 33 mile route. I don’t see how they managed to stay upright with the extreme wind gusting going on.


The winds were horrendous - 18 mph gusting to 28 mph directly out of the south making for a direct headwind for the first 22 miles straight out on the out-and-back course. Working really hard I managed to make 13.5 mph average on the way south out of town. This means the effective headwinds where 31.5 gusting to 41.5 mph on my moving bike heading south. I did hit a top speed of 28 mph on the way out once but the effective wind of gusting to 56 mph were just to much for me and several times I had to back off the speed some when the winds did angle some from the side.

Heading back north after the turn around was a blast. I averaged 24.0 mph for the north segment making my overall average for the ride 17.4 mph. Lots of times on the way back I had to ride the brakes - mainly because I was just too scared to go faster. Greg finished up a good 20 minutes faster than me and he said he averaged 28.2 mph on his M5 on the way back. Good grief he’s fast!

Here you can see the difference the wind make heading south vs heading back north. 1 hour and 39 minutes southbound vs 55 minutes northbound.

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Got a good picture just a little bit before the start of the ride.

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Greg got a great picture of his M5 after the race in front of a sign at the race. I’m pretty sure it is the flames on the front of his bike that makes it go so fast. I’ll have to get some flames for my F-40, then maybe I can keep up with him :)

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I was shooting for a 2 hour 30 minute elapsed time, but I managed a 2 hour 36 minute elapsed time. I’m happy with that considering the wind factor.


Being the big Dallas / Fort Worth area there were lots of cyclists sync’d to Strava. Here is the strava flyby video: (press the start arrow and then wait a few seconds for the ride to start)

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View strava flyby motion video


Post ride wind down. Spent a fair amount of time gabbing with Dan and Sharron after the ride. The Dallas / Fort Worth group is a fun bunch. I’ll have to make sure I hook up with them again when I do another ride in the area.

Once all the bikes were packed up and I put some normal clothes on Greg and Alexis and I went to a great local Mexican restaurant - Salsa Fuegro. Here’s my plug - it was pretty darn good. Note - if you go to the restaurant just after a local bike ride that has 4,000 riders all the other patrons will probably be bikers too.

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By the Numbers

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http://connect.garmin.com/activity/497296511


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http://app.strava.com/activities/139585942


Next weekend is the Real Ale Ride http://realaleride.com

Definitely on the TiAero for this one because of all the climbing!

27 Apr 2014, 01:29

F-40 Red Poppy Ride Report

Georgetown Poppy Ride was a success! 111.1 miles for the day. 3.7 miles riding from my home to the start of the Poppy Ride - 103.4 miles for the Poppy Ride and 4 extra bonus miles when I got lost again.

The day started out overcast and pretty much stayed that way all day.

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A little over 1,000 riders. Recumbents were represented pretty good with at least 5 trikes and my F-40. I did not see any other two wheeler recumbent which was not too surprising because the course had A LOT of turns for all the routes. I do this ride because it starts less than 4 miles from my house.


There was not room in the minivan to load up the two trikes for Robyn and Liz and then put my F-40 in there also. So, I left the house a little early and rode the 3.7 miles to the start on my F-40. It was still dark when I left the house but I had a headlight on the front and flashing taillight on the back so it was no problem. Fifteen minutes later when I got to the ride dawn had broken and I parked the F-40 at registration / packet-pickup and sat there gabbing with other riders as then came by. This picture of me sitting there was take by Brian Buckmaster who rode the 63 mile route on his ICE Vortex. Turns out he got the same 4 bonus miles I did.

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Here is the long routes map (I added the twisty part).

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The 100 mile route must have had over 50 turns. I live in Georgetown and have ridden this ride four times now. I’ve gotten lost 3 of the four times. This time I stopped four times in the middle of nowhere to check the paper map to make sure I was still on course. Even then 6 miles from the end of the ride I zoom by the turn off and end up going 4 extra bonus miles.


Family

Three and 12 years ago when I started riding a recumbent trike I did not get the most encouraging comments from other family members who rode upright bikes. Today several of my family members joined me on the Red Poppy ride and it was really nice to have everyone there. Here is my daughter Alyssa on the hybrid and my sister-in-law Liz on the the Catrike Expedition - my wife Robyn is taking the picture on her Catrike Expedition. The whole family had a great time on the rides.

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They did the short ride this time and really enjoyed it. Robyn and Liz finished the ride and then had time to go home, shower, get dressed and attend a funeral for a friend’s mom, have lunch at Dos Salsas and still make it back to the start of the ride in time to see me finish hours later.

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Ride Strategy

The ride strategy was pretty simple - go as easy as I could - finish the 100 miles.

Unfortunately that strategy is pretty hard to implement with the F-40. Today was successful and this was my first successful century ride this year.

I still started out a little faster than I wanted too, but quickly reined it in. Kept my heart rate in the lower 120s as much as I could. Only allowed it to rise on really steep hills. Even then I would gear down into the granny gear and spin my way to the top trying to keep close to an 85 rpm cadence.

The last 20 miles or so I was doing the ‘coast the down slopes, easy peddle the up slopes’ routine.

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Nutrition and Hydration

Not even a hint of cramps all day! No hunger and no dehydration.

After my disastrous cramp-a-thon a couple of weeks ago I decided to get serious about dehydration, endurolytes and consuming enough calories per hour so that I don’t bonk.

I looked online at several recipes for mixing your own sports drink and finally settled on one that has worked out pretty good.

The recipe for a four hour bottle is:


3.0 cups of water
2.0 cups of maltodextrin (1000 calories)
3/4 scoop GNC chocolate flavored whey protein (100 calories)
6 capsules of Hammer Endurolyte Extreme 

Bring the 3 cups of water to almost a simmer. 
Pull the 6 endurolyte capsules apart and empty the contents into the water.
Put the scoop of chocolate whey protein into the water.
Slowly stir in the 2 cups of maltodextrin making sure it fully dissolves.
Once fully dissolved pour into a 26 oz water bottle.

Do this the night before the ride and put in the refrigerator overnight so it will be cold the day of the ride.

Drink 1/4 of the bottle every hour on the hour.
This will give you about 275 calories per hour and the necessary endurolytes.
You will need to drink at least 8 oz of water when you drink the 1/4 bottle, otherwise the osmolality of the maltodextrin is too high for your stomach.

I practiced with this mixture a few times during my daily training rides to make sure it was something my stomach could handle and that I liked the taste.

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As a side note - you can buy a 2 pound bag of maltodextrin for $20 bucks, or you can buy a 50 pound bag for $49 dollars. I will warn you though - a 50 pound bag of maltodextrin is huge and when the delivery truck shows up at your door you wife is going to stare at you really hard. By the way - if anybody local needs some maltodextrin I apparently have some extra.

I also decided to use the 64 oz beer growler on the ride.

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Refilled this three times on the ride and still had ice at the end from 6:00 am in the morning when I initially filled it.


Stan’s No Flat (Actually a much cheaper knockoff)

It is getting to be goat-head season so Thursday I put some latex based No Flat stuff into my tires. Many people were pulled over during the ride changing tires. No flats for me today. I did examine my front tire at the end of the day and did notice 3 places where it looked like the tire may have been punctured by a goat-head but the white sealant had done its job.

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The Ride

I wanted to start slower so instead of starting at the very front of the line I lined up in the second row right behind the leaders. I picked some young kid with a slick time-trial helmet on and a fast looking bike to start behind.

Just my luck when the announcer says 100 miles and 80 miles GO! The kid just sits there. I could not get around him because people were just streaming quickly by. I guess the kid was doing the 50 miler and was going to sit there in the middle of the starting gate until it was his turn. After what seemed like several minutes (but was probably only about a minute) about a hundred people had streamed by both sides of me the announcer sees that the kid has created a huge jam up starting with me and the lots of people behind me - the announcer yells at the kid GO NOW! and we finally get moving through the start gate.

The best part of that whole sequence was now I’m so far back from the leaders I don’t have the urge anymore to try and keep up with them.

The back roads were rough, I mean really rough. How rough? About 12 miles out I hear and feel something bounce out the back end of my tail fairing. I quickly put the brakes on, pull over that look backwards up the road from which I had just ridden. I don’t see anything on the road.

I start examining the bike to see what is missing. iPhone still there, growler still there, tools still there, check the brakes, brake cables, spin the wheels. Well darn, I can’t find anything missing and the bike seems to be functioning all ok.

Well, I guess I’ll just continue on, maybe I just kicked something up from the road and it jiggled around in the tail fairing for second. You know, while I’m stopped here it has been about 45 minutes ride time already, maybe I should have a sip of my new fangled sports drink before taking off again - what? - where’s the damn bottle? Ahhhh, that is what fell out. Back track about 30 yards and there’s my water bottle off to the side of the road hidden in some high grass.

It would have been a real bummer to get to the first hour mark and then not have any sports drink at all - especially after spending so much effort and experimentation trying to get it right.

It was windy all day. 12 mph gusting to 23 mph. The few time I got above 30 mph it scared the daylights out of me and I rode the brakes a lot of the time to keep the speed down. Even then when the route pointed directly into the wind I started passing people like mad while still keeping my heart rate in the low 120s.

About 30 miles into the ride I take yet another turn, into the wind, and an upright bike pulls right up to my tail. The rider says “don’t worry, I’m a professional and I’m going to draft off you into this headwind”, whatever, but he then proceeds to do really nice draft for a good while, he is keeping up and I’m not slowing down for him. About this time the routes diverge - 100 milers one way, all others go straight. Of course I’m going so fast by the time I think I saw the turnoff arrow I’m all ready by the intersection. So I ask my drafter was that the 100 miler turn off. He say yes but he is only doing the 50 mile ride, I tell him I’m going to need to turn around and go back to take my turn for the 100 mile route. He slows down slightly and says “hey, the road is clear behind us go head and turn around”. Not wanting to get t-boned by him I tell him to go ahead of me and I’ll turn around once he is past. On his way by he says “thanks for letting me go by first, I’m on a fixie with no brakes and starting to get to get little tired keeping up drafting you”!

There was very light misting a couple of times during the day but nothing that stuck long enough to make the road wet.

It was almost 7 hours and 45 minutes elapsed time with 7 hours and 4 minutes ride time. I stopped several times to check the map to make sure I was on course.

When I finished I was still in great shape. Lots of leg strength left, no cramping at all.


By the numbers

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Next Saturday May 3

GASP - Greater Austin to Shiner Peddle

http://shiner.com/shinergasp/

23 Apr 2014, 19:39

F-40 Easy ride, beautiful day

Another beautiful day for a ride!

A little weak from the last two days of stomach flu - but a great ride none the less.

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20 Apr 2014, 14:31

F-40 Leg is good to go! 30 miles @ 18.5 mph!

Just finished my first ride on the F-40 in over two weeks. Looks like the leg is healed and good to go!

Overcast day with a slightly gusting wind. I have not ridden the F-40 for over two weeks so I spent a lot of time riding the brakes to keep the speed under 30 mph. Still, it was a fast ride for me.


I’ve spent the last couple of days working on the F-40 in preparation for the ‘24 Hours in the Canyon’ race. Put a water bottle on to hold my homemade sports drink. Sports drink works like a champ! A couple of swigs every hour and you’re good.

Mounted two rear facing DiNotte red flashing lights. One on to begin with - when it runs out of battery turn the other one on.

Finally fixed my tire flatting issues. I’m going to keep the marathon supremes on just so that I don’t have to fuss with flats for a while.

The other day I busted my Camelbak unbottle so I dragged out a really older version of the unbottle. I like it better than the newer versions.


01 Apr 2014, 14:22

F-40 Very windy, race with time trial rider

A fit guy on a time trial bike with a rear disc wheel put the hurt on me today.

Twenty miles into the ride I’m coming back to the Williams / Ronald Reagan Blvd intersection when I see him round the corner coming from Georgetown and turning to head south on Ronald Reagan. He must have seen me because he immediately takes off peddling like mad and the bike rocking back and forth from him powering quickly up to speed.

I was going to turn back to Georgetown to finish my ride, but instead I take the bait and continue straight on RR to try and catch him.

Well it was not happening today. The wind was 18 gusting to 23 directly crosswind to the road. Everytime I got over 25 the wind would blow me all over the place with the gusting and large construction trucks passing. I kept riding the brakes to stay under 22 to 23 mph and the timetrial guy just slowly walks away from me. Bummer, after about 2 miles of almost keeping up with him I give up and head back to Georgetown.

34.7 miles @ 17.4 mph and lots of wind practice with the F-40.

No way I could have ridden in this wind without the coroplast mod I did last week.

30 Mar 2014, 10:45

F-40 Side winds and top speed over 40 mph

Every since I’ve had the F-40 strong gusty side winds have been challenging. Additionally, no matter how steep the hill I could not get the top speed over 40 mph.

Some feedback from existing F-40 owners on the web suggested that dealing with gusty side winds could be done by poking your elbow out into the windward side. I adopted that behavior and talk about it here: http://danhansenjr.com/2013/09/17/f-40-sticking-your-elbow-into-the-wind.html.

Well, it turns out the problem was actually different and I now don’t have to perform the elbow out maneuver any more.

When riding at the HOT Rally (Heart of Texas) in Austin this year I got to spend some time with Carl Murdock on the warrior ride who took the following picture of me riding the F-40.

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Notice where the red arrow points to the wind pushing the bottom spandex inwards. I was also having a problem with getting the top speed of the F-40 over 40 mph. Carl said that for a fast F-40 the spandex needs to be as smooth as possible down the sides to keep the airflow uninterrupted as much as possible.

In the picture above the spandex is bowed in by the wind and in effect is capturing the wind like a parachute and really slowing me down.

Carl in the past had talked to Tyger Johnson who indicated that installing coroplast sheeting along the bottom area would smooth the airflow. I looked inside Carl’s F-40 to see how he had done it and Friday I bought some coroplast and installed it on my F-40.


In the below pictures you can see on the right how I have installed the coroplast on the bottom section of the F-40. (I positioned the F-40 just right in the sun light so that the sheet could be seen through the spandex).

Before After
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I pulled down the spandex in the next two pictures so that you can see how the coroplast was installed. Basically, I just cut a 12 inch by 48 inch piece of the coroplast along the grain so that bending it would bow it and not fold it. I fastened it with some zip ties.

Rear Left Top
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Yesterday I did the Salado Smoke ‘N Spokes (Salado Texas) charity ride in winds 15 mph gusting to 21 mph. Read about it here http://danhansenjr.com/2014/03/29/f-40-salado-smoken-spokes-100k.html.

The gusty winds were no factor. Several times I was riding 30+ mph when hit with a pretty good side gust and the effect was very minimal.

Additionally, on this ride I was also able to break 40 mph for the first time.

Looks like I need to spend more time cleaning up the airflow.

29 Mar 2014, 01:59

F-40 Salado Smoken Spokes 100k

Salado Smoken’ Spokes - Started out targeting the 100 mile ride ended up with an easy, enjoyable, 100k instead.

With about 200 riders the Salado ride was competing with the LBJ 100 and the Cow Patty Classic.

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Today’s ride was beautiful if not a little windy - 15 mph gusting to 21 mph. Usually the high winds are a challenge in the F-40 but yesterday I’d make some modifications which really negated almost all the wind’s effects. I’ll detail the changes in another blog entry - I used to be challenged when riding in gusty winds over 15 mph but now this does not seem to be a problem.


Just a couple of other recumbents at the ride:

Don Bynum on his Catrike 700 (http://donbynum.wordpress.com). Brian Buckmaster on his ICE Vortex and Tom Roberts on his Cruzbike Vendetta.

I got to talk with Tom a little before the ride. Turns out he crewed for Maria Parker during her 2013 RAAM win. Tom is from Victoria TX, a very nice guy, and extremely fast on his Vendetta. I rode with mainly the 2nd fastest group on the ride and, for the three rest stops I stopped at, each time as I was leaving the rest stop Tom was pulling in on his Vendetta. There is a nice write up on Maria’s RAAM ride here: http://www.ultraracenews.com/2013/09/04/raam-2013-maria-parkers-amazing-comeback-victory/


The Plan

My pre-ride plan was shot to pieces almost immediately. I wanted to start towards the middle of the riders, keep my heart rate under 120 and then gradually try to push it a little bit to see if I could make it the 100 miles. Well, once again I started at the front of the pack because the initial ride out of the park had a good uphill left hand turn that I did not want to try and navigate with lots of other inexperienced riders. Once out of the park the initial mile out of town is climbing out of the river valley and my heart rate stayed around 150 for the first 30 minutes.

I finally managed to calm down my enthusiasm down some. However it was a constant struggle to try and just take it easy.

The increased heart rate at the end of the ride depicted below was because of some unusual road condition.

Twice during the ride the following happened: would be peddling along, when for no apparent reason it would be extremely hard to peddle and my heart rate would shoot straight up. The first time I was on a very slight up hill cruising alone normally and then gradually, but pretty quickly, it got extremely hard to peddle. I finally unclipped and got off the bike to check what could possibly be wrong but found nothing. The wheels spun freely, the peddles spun easily, none of the brakes were dragging. When I got back on the bike again everything was normal again???

The second time it happened I was on a part of the road that was under construction. I figured that some dirt (calliechee sp?) was getting onto the tires and frame and plugging things up. However, once through the construction I got off the bike to clean it up and again nothing was wrong. The bike was perfectly clean, everything moved free and easy.

When talking to Brian Buckmaster after the ride he indicated that he has the same issue with his ICE Vortex at the construction site. If this happens again on another ride I’m going to have to find out what is going on.

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The Excitement

Several times during the first couple of hours I mixed it up with the fast riders. Going up the hills they’d pass me and leave me behind. Going downhill I’d catch them and pass them doing a little over 35 mph. Once I passed them doing 40 mph - when a big pace line of 15 to 20 riders is cruising along at 28 mph and you whip out into the passing lane at 40 mph you can get by them pretty quick. The first time I did passed them seem to startle the riders at the front of the pace line when I yelled ‘On your left’ as I flew by.

Once on a level part of the road I’m cruising with the group gabbing at 18 mph and one of the lead riders asks ‘You have any problems with that thing on a windy day?’.

(Now remember, on this ride the wind is already 15 mph gusting to 21).

My answer - ‘You mean like today?’.

They laugh and said - ‘We noticed that when you got to the bottom of the hill the cross wind shoved you to the left a couple of feet.’.

Shortly thereafter we turned directly into the 15 mph headwind and I was easily able to pull away. (F-40 says ‘Headwind? What headwind?’).

There was a 2 mile stretch around mile 40 where it was a quartering tail wind. The F-40 acted like a sail boat with a keel and I was able to cost slightly uphill for about 2 miles with the fast group doing about 18 to 20 mph. They were peddling pretty good - I was coasting.


That looks Effortless

Several times previously I’ve had other riders tell me how the F-40 just glides by them silently and effortlessly. They always ask if I have an electric motor in the thing.

I know they cannot see any movement because my feet are hidden. But really I’m peddling like mad inside the thing.

Well today I had someone make a comment that helped me understand their thinking.

Riding slightly uphill I’m slowing passing a lady and she makes the usual comment ‘That looks effortless!’. I reply that I’m actually peddling quite hard. She says ‘Well your head is not moving so it looks like you are not doing anything.’ I guess that my peddle stroke is smoother than I thought it was.


Sisters On the Fly

About 30 miles into the ride, turning onto TX190 just outside of Killen I came across a place of business that must do something with Airstreams. Stopped to take a picture for my wife Robyn who belongs to a vintage airstream womens group (http://www.sistersonthefly.com).

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36 miles into the ride the rest stop was at Stillhouse Hollow Lake. One of my favorite places to ride to from Georgetown. The view is beautiful on a sunny day.

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Hydation and Nutrition

I did ok with fluids and food. Started to cramp some around mile 45 but took some extra endurolytes and easy spun out of them. I probably could have finished the 100 miles (instead of the the 100k) but I decided to finish the day really good and just enjoying myself tremendously.


By the numbers:


Last, but not least, the post ride recovery drink sitting on the back porch after a wonderful day:

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25 Mar 2014, 19:29

F-40 Two flat tires, two nails

Was out for a nice ride today when 23 miles in - boom - flat rear tire.

While fixing the rear tire, and finding the two nails in it, I decided I also needed to look at the front tire just in case - it was flat also.

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After I got the tires fixed, back on the bike, the bike put back into the garage, I was cleaning up my area and found these two plugs on the ground.

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Bummer, pull the bike back out, take the rear wheel back off and replace the velo plugs with rim tape.


Today I spent more time working on the bike than riding the bike.

24 Mar 2014, 13:51

F-40 Easy ride to Andice for lunch w/Robyn

Took a nice easy ride today to Andice to meet Robyn for lunch.

Still a little tired from Saturday’s ride. Tried to keep the heartrate under 120 and peddle easy the whole time.

The Marathon Supreme tires are definitely slower than the Kojaks.

Was a little cold when I started - in the mid 40s. Not a single other cyclist on the road today.

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