Learning To Ride In The Drops

ride 9-11-15

So today was an amazing day for a ride. I decided to push myself and headed north of town up the ridge. I did some great hills and had some great downhills.

I’m trying to get used to riding on the drop handle bars and not staying up on the hoods. It’s challenging as I know it’s good for me to be down on the drops, but I’m still unsteady on them. I talked to my biking friend Joe and he said I should aim to ride at least 15% of the ride in the drops. I’m getting there.

All for now.

Do you use the drops on your handlebars? How did you get used to using them?


Grounded While It Rains Outside

Go Away Rain! I Want To Ride!

I’m so frustrated. It’s raining outside. It’s coming down quite hard. So no more riding for me today. Only a quick 2 mile bike ride early this morning.

Days like this make me want to investigate Zwift, the online community where you can continue to train while stationary. But like all good things it costs money and money is luxury right now.


So when winter eventually comes and I decide what I’m going to do to not get out of the habit of riding, I might invest in a stand for my bike, along with rollers and Zwift. We’ll see.

What do you do on a rainy day, when you can’t get on the saddle and on the road? Do you use Zwift? Do you like it? Post your thoughts in the comments below.


Stupid Rain – Did Hit A Personal Record Though

Today I got up early and just my luck it was raining. I still went out and set a personal record on the Swetland Climb of 55 seconds. I think it helped that my muscles were fresh due to the short 2 mile ride. Usually I’m wiped by the time I hit the last accent to my abode. Hey, small victories, right?

Swetland Climb PR


Hot As Hell Mid-day Ride

Though not from today’s ride. This picture of my bike was taken in Weston Vermont this past weekend.

Now I know why people ride early in the morning and later in the afternoon. Noon time sucks. It is hot as hell out there. I drank all of my 24 oz and my 12 oz water bottles by the time I got home and then chugged a propel.

Only did 8 miles due to the heat. I’ll try and get morning ride in tomorrow hopefully.

I stopped by Cycle Sports on my way and talked to Eric, the owner, about my messed up front brake. I now have an appointment for a tune up next Wednesday. This is a good thing because my bike will now be in top working order for the best season around… The Fall.

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day.


Biking In Vermont

On vacation in Weston Vermont, gone cycling twice. Loving every minute. Done a 7 mile and 8.2 mile.

The West River, Thompsonburg Rd.
View from chateau



Riding Minus The Camelbak Was Great

Minus the Camelbak

Today was a hot day. A really hot day. But regardless of how hot it was I was determined to try riding without a Camelbak. I was talking with Eric at Cycle Sports and he suggested riding with two water bottles instead. His belief was that the Camelbak was slowing me down and was unnecessary for road riding.

I agree and disagree, first riding without the Camelbak was glorious and freeing, but I also noticed that I was drinking less, though be the end of the ride I actually drank more than I would have with the 50 ounces of water in the Camelbak.

I posted questions in the cycling forums and groups about road cycling and using a Camelbak. The general consensus was do what you want, but you’ll enjoy cycling more without the added weight. And you know what?????? I agree.

One thing that I’m realizing now is that I need more cycling jerseys. Oh great. I’ll have to make do with what I have for now.

What do you cycle with? A Camelbak or just water bottles? Post your thoughts in the comments below.


What a Dream… Double Wrapped Handle Bars

Double wrapping handle bars helps with hand and arm fatigue

So I’ve been back in the saddle for a little over a week and I’m loving every minute of it. But with riding everyday I’m noticing things on my 2001 GT ZR 4.0 that need adjusting so that I’m not in pain. The latest was my handle bar tape.

BikeLineI went out for a ride today and half way through, my hands were getting numb. I stopped by Bike Line in Doylestown and talked with Jim. He felt my handle bars and said that with not enough padding your hands can get tingly and numb. The solution double wrapping the handle bars. So, I bit the bullet, paid $20 and had him add another layer of wrap on my bars.

OH MY GOD, it’s like night and day. The cushion on the bars makes riding somuch easier on my whole upper body. Thanks Jim!

What improvements have you found help you get the most out of cycling? Post your thoughts below in the comments.


Cyclo-Cross Looks Wicked Nuts and Lots of Fun

So Eric, from Cycle Sports in Doylestown, was talking  about his Cyclo-Cross racing. This sport looks nuts, but totally fun. Essentially think of Mt biking, but with a road bike. Insane. Check out the Wikipedia entry on the sport.

Cyclo-Cross race in Portland Oregon (credit: Wikimedia)
Cyclo-Cross race in Portland Oregon (credit: Wikimedia)

I think I might be willing to try it out one day. I haven’t been Mt biking since I lost my tooth doing it in New Hampshire in 10th grade, but this just looks like fun. I’m sure my wife and Mom won’t want me trying it though.

What do you think? Would you try Cyclo-Cross? Do you do it now? Share you thoughts in the comments.


Training Ride And Clinic with Eric from Cycle Sports Doylestown

cycle sports

Today, I went out on a training ride with Eric Cutter from Cycle Sports Doylestown and two other cyclists (Jim and Janice). We practiced riding in a group as well as how to deal with bumping and drafting.

Thanks Eric for a great time. See you next Saturday at 7:45am at Cycle Sports!


What I Carry On My Rides

People love showing the gear that they have. They also like talking about what gear they use on a regular basis.

Here’s what I carry on all my rides:

  1. ICE laminated info card – Just in case
  2. USB key with ICE info on it as well
  3. Cell phone handlebar mount
  4. Camelbak Lobo hydration system
  5. Topeak Alien Multi Tool
  6. Digital Tire Gauge
  7. Extra Tube
  8. Presta valve CO2 inflater
  9. 2 threadless CO2 canisters
  10. Water Bottle
  11. Red Flashing light (rear)

What do you carry when you ride? Post your thoughts in the comments below.