New cycling gear

New Cycling Gear

I was reminded by my sister that 15 year old helmets provide no protection, so I went out and purchased a new helmet. In this case, I spent more than I normally would have and got the Giro Pneumo, sporting the Performance Bike colors. I also got better eye protection than my standard, everyday glasses. The eye protection is the Cat-1 Prologue with photochromatic lenses. The eye protection came with 2 sets of lenses, the ones you see here, and a photochromatic orange set.

I’m about to use this stuff for the first time in a few minutes as I head out the door to do a quick 20 mile ride.

There are a couple other things that quite a few people have recommended. They are:

Going to a carbon fibre fork – I learned just the other day that this may not be as easy because of the type of front brake I have. I’d have to buy a new brake in order to do this. Next best thing recommended by tons of people is…
Replacing the handlebar with a carbon fibre handlebar. Luckily, this isn’t too expensive, and the guys at Performance in Campbell said they’d install it for cheap. Since I’m using a flatbar roadbike, I’d like to switch out with a carbon fibre flatbar. The carbon fibre flatbar feels like I’m picking up an empty paper towel roll. Crazy!
Replace the seatpost with carbon fibre — everyone’s told me that this really lightens the bike. I know in doing comparisons, the stock tubes are definitely far heavier than the carbon fibre. Like the flatbar, it too is crazy light.
Need to find the right saddle. I’m not sure how to determine which is the best for me at this point other than to sit on it and ride.
I’m going to have to do this slowly… this sport is really expensive.

This is all in preparation for the 2008 AIDS/Lifecycle ride, a 545 mile journey between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Help me raise $2500 by making a tax deductable donation. Help find a cure for AIDS. http://www.aidslifecycle.org/1545

I got a bike for the AIDS LifeCycle

Legato

To further my commitment to my objectives of competing the 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I picked up a bike for training and riding.

I don’t have a whole lot of money to dedicate to this, but I also didn’t want to get something that I would end up regretting. I was choosing between the Fuji Absolute 3.0 and the Schwinn SuperSport, both flat bar road bikes. I had seen the Fuji Absolute 3.0 on sale a few days ago and thought that it might be the bike based on some of the tech specs and the reviews, unfortunately, they had only one in the wrong size.

When I got some help, the bike shop guy pointed out that there was another alternative — the GT Legato 4.0. It’s another flat bar road bike that appeared to be lighter than the Fuji (roughly 24 lbs from what I gathered on the web). I still wanted to try the Schwinn. These were the only two bikes in the price range I could barely afford.

I got fitted for both bikes, they took my driver’s license and my debit card, signed my life away and did a quick test ride on both. The first out was the GT Legato — wow was this bike nice. Nice solid ride without being jarring. The gearing ration was such that I could get this bike up to speed and maintain my speed with little effort on level ground. Since it’s gearing is more road bike than mountain bike, I’m a bit worried about hills. Since I live in east hills of San Jose, I’ll find out what I’m in store for once I get it on the road. Unlike my mountain bike, this bike doesn’t have a climbing gear. Good thing I’m starting the training regiment… only long sucky hills will suck, just suck less when I’m in better shape. I’m not too keen on the thumb/index finger shifting… it could just be that I’m not used to them. I’ve been using the twist shift on my mountain bike for quite some time. Anyway, to the bike. The bike’s seating position was perfect — there was nothing unnatural about my position and could feel that the energy I put into the bike translated into movement… instantly. The Legato felt great!

I returned to the shop and tried the Schwinn. It wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t feel solid. I could feel some of the road reverberate though the frame of the bike, and the stock handlebars were a bit too narrow for my taste. The effort I put into the bike didn’t seem to translate into immediate movement either. I had to put a little bit more effort into the bike to get it up to speed, and worse yet, I had to put more effort into maintaining my speed. They did check tire pressure before taking it out, I don’t think it had anything to do with the tires. Something about it didn’t feel as satisfying or fulfilling. It just wasn’t for me.

In the end, I walked out of the store with the GT Legato 4.0… I might have a chance to ride a little bit on Friday, but more Sunday than anything else… This was one of those cases where I had a budget, walked into the store and walked out under budget (including tax). Yay!

Next I have to formulate a plan for fundraising. The ALC rider pages won’t be up until late Friday… more info to come.

My wife is still unsure about whether or not she will be participating. She’s worried about riding 545 miles — so am I, but I figure that tons of people have done it… so why can’t I.

Also, my sister is riding the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Start to Finish Tour in October in Southern California. It’s kind of neat the both me and my sister are doing something in common. Although we’re really close, we really haven’t had much in common — she’s really out going and I’m a geek…

AIDS/LifeCycle – I'm Registered

There are a few things in my life where I’ve been sure of myself, but extremely nervous at the same time. Signing the papers for the first car I’ve ever bought and signing papers for our house. I can add something new to that — it was registering and committing to the AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to LA, plus raising $2500 before June 2008.

I’ve always wanted to do this, and my wife mentioned that her co-workers were going to do it… needless to say, I’ve got a lot of work in both training and fundraising…

I’m excited and frightened all at the same time… it’s all for a good cause as well as a big personal challenge to myself.

Watch this space for further details…

My first major ride on the GT

Wednesday was the first long ride on the GT Legato 4.0. I went about 35 miles (round trip) from Hellyer Park in San Jose to Morgan Hill along the Coyote Creek Trail. Originally I was only going to do a 20 mile round-trip, but at my destination, I didn’t feel like stopping, so I kept going. The trip wasn’t all too bad — the worst part is my bike’s seat… didn’t feel too good after 12 miles. I put a cruiser seat on my mountain bike, I may end up doing the same on the Legato. I did learn that head winds suck big time…

So, adding the 10 miles that both me and my son did at Yosemite last Friday, I’ve officially broken the 40 mile mark for the week.

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