Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crash report

Okay, so I'm on a short visit to Germany and what happens: I get hit by a car. The most important thing first: I'm fine, not even a scratch. The bad news: My Peugeot is in rather bad shape. I was riding through a traffic circle near Welzheim when a person in a Mercedes ignored my right-of-way, entered the circle, and hit me on my rear wheel. Because speed were relatively low, I somehow managed to not fall and hurt myself. But the rear wheel of my bike is definitely gone, as you can see on the picture. As I'm typing, the LBS is checking if anything else was damaged, but I think that's not very likely.

Badly Bent Bicycle

What's kinda interesting about the accident is the GPS log.

GPS-Log and Map

You can clearly see how I was approaching the traffic circle, slowed down, and then got hit, leading to a spike in the recorded speed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Finally the weather has been nice enough for me to take out Gunnar for a couple of rides. After a short loop through the city and a ride to the FLCC spring seminar two Sundays ago, yesterday I took Gunnar on a real test ride, out to Taughannock and back on Route 89. And Gunnar rides like a charm. I pushed it pretty hard and averaged at 30.7 km/h for the out-of-town portion of the ride. I think the geometry works pretty well for me, but I will keep tinkering with it: saddle height is maybe still a bit too low, but the current seat post is already at its max. And if I have to get a new seat post anyway, I might get one with a different set-back. Currently my KOPS (knee over pedal spindle) position is about 6 cm behind the spindle and my saddle is as far forward as possible. I'm well aware that several cycling gurus are rather skeptical of the KOPS method and their arguments are making a lot of sense to me. But given that my saddle is at the margin of adjustability, a zero-setback post would give me more options to tinker with my position. Probably I should just ask Glenn for advice. Handlebar height might get readjusted downwards, too. At the moment my posture is fairly aggressive, but I think I could drop a spacer or two and still be comfortable.

I'll go for another ride with another German guy today and we'll see how Gunnar feels after 2 or 2.5 hours. I definitely expect my behind to hurt, as the Selle Italia Flite Gel Flow (I have the one without titanium rails) saddle is just too tiny. My knees might also be a trouble spot, as I messed them up a bit yesterday, courtesy of a downward sliding seat post...

I also shot some outside pictures of Gunnar. I hope you'll enjoy:

Odo Wolfgang: 3924 km
Odo Gunnar: 991 km (point zero is at 954 km)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

More ride, less blog

What's a good indicator of the coming spring? That my kilometrage is up and my blog-postage is down.

Just a quick maps-con-pics from last week's lovely ride to Taughannock Falls. If you want more details: I think the accomplice might blog about the ride soon.

Oh, and I've done the first couple short rides on Gunnar. Verdict: nice ride, but still needs some adjustments. More detailed account to follow sometime.

Monday, March 1, 2010

February Summary

March is here, and hopefully that means that spring will arrive sometime soon, too. Well, in any case it's time for a February summary. Total kilometrage for the month was was 398 km, up from 329 km in January. This makes a total of 727 km for 2010 so far. Not bad, given the weather conditions and the fact that the month only had 28 days (average in Feb: 14.21 km/d vs. 10.61 km/d in January). Longest ride was the 58 km to Genoa and back -- anything longer was made impossible mostly by the weather conditions and one weekend lost to a conference. I guess I'll hit the first 1000 km sometime in March, but because I'll spend a third of the month in Germany, I might miss matching this month's mark. We''ll see. I hope that March will at least bring a couple of days that will be appropriate for Gunnar's maiden voyage.

Odo Wolfgang: 3659 km

Ride report: Genoa

In a last-minute effort to increase my February mileage a bit and to figure out the road conditions for part of my planned ride to Lake Ontario, I went on a loop ride from campus to Genoa last Wednesday. Conditions were mediocre: around 0°C, cloudy, no precipitation, but a really gross film of dirt, salt, and water on the roads. A second pair of pants would definitely have been good.

My route led me straight north from Cornell campus, past the Lansing malls and up to the intersection with NY-34. There I turned left to follow 34B for a short portion (lots of trucks on there, going to and from the Cargill salt mine in Lansing) and then turned right onto Brickyard Hill Rd. This road leads you down into the Salmon Creek valley. Salmon Creek Rd is one of those great Upstate New York rural roads: good surface, mostly flat and almost no traffic.

Salmon Creek Road

The valley itself is not exceptionally a pretty, as it is a mix of farmland and more natural areas, but it's still a nice ride.

Deserted Mack in the forest

At the confluence of Little and Big Salmon Creek, the road name changes to Indian Fields Rd, and the road takes you straight north on the only major climb of the route.

Uphill on Indian Fields Road

Up on the hill, I turned right from Indian Fields Rd onto NY-90, which is an awesome, straight downhill into Genoa proper. There's a convenience store and a gas station in Genoafor getting food and water.

Zoooming down into Genoa. Vmax > 70 km/h

From Genoa, I mostly followed NY-34 back into Cornell.

So what's the verdict on taking Salmon Creek/Indian Fields instead of 34 for getting to Auburn? The former is definitely the prettier alternative, but it comes at the cost of quite a bit of up and down. Traffic on 34 wasn't as bad as I thought, but that might be related to the time of day. All in all I think I would take the Salmon Creek route to take me north.

A short PS: I forgot to mention that after I was back from the ride, had gotten myself a cookie for refueling and came out of the Cornell Store, I saw that I had a flat. The changing of the tire was pretty gross, but at least it didn't happen during the ride itself. The Ritchey tires definitely are not very good in puncture protection. This is the second flat in probably less than 2000 km. I suppose I'll nonetheless keep them until the arrival of spring and maybe switch to something better next winter.