Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Weather sucks

edit: getting better.

I'm supposed to ride the Ghost Town Century on Saturday. This is the century that was my first century attempt last year. The one where it ended up snowing with 25-35 mph winds. The one where I ended up abandoning after 68~ish miles due to said winds. Forcast yesterday called for a high of about 66, winds about 9 mph and mostly cloudy. Today's forecast? High of 58, 30% chance of rain.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Huffy Mark 10

So, I was out riding a little over a week ago and passed a garage sale a block or so from my house. I caught sight of a bike leaning against a pole and stopped to take a look.

It was a red and white Huffy Mark 10, which I'd never heard of before.

What intrigued me, though was that it said "made in England" and, even with the little bit of bike knowledge I had, I didn't think Huffy made bikes in England, so I asked how much it was. $10. I told the guy I'd be right back and rode home for some cash.

This is what I ended up with. I had to carry it home (it's heavy!) because the rear derailleur was bent into the wheel.

Thanks to the guys over in the Classics and Vintage forum on Bikeforums.net I was able to determine that this is actually a Raleigh Sprite, rebadged as a Huffy sometime in the late 1950-early 1960 range. Apparently, Huffy would buy other manufacturers bikes and re-badge them. It looks to have all original parts, down the the tires. The Cyclo Benelux drive train components (English made) were a mess, as you can see from the picture. I've stripped everything off but the cranks so far and I have the derailleurs clean and functional! (Pics soon, I hope).
My goal right now is to use everything I pulled from the bike and restore it as best as I can to ridable condition. She'll never be a daily rider but this will be a fun project...one for which I've already been instructed not to spend a lot of money! I think the only thing I'll have to replace may be the saddle. A nice Brooks B72, I'm thinking... :-)

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Got back a couple of hours ago from biking up in Yellowstone. One word, cliche though it is, awesome!

Unfortunately, my camera sucks and on top of that, I forgot to haul it along on Wednesday when we did most of our riding, so I'll have to wait to get photos from the other guys.

When it boils down, we drove from Salt Lake City to West Yellowstone, MT on Tuesday through some very sketchy weather, arriving too late, too cold and too snowy to get any riding in Tuesday night. Wednesday, we awoke to a reported six (6) degrees, and crunchy, crunchy ice on the roads. We walked a half mile or so into the park (the hotel, the Kelly Inn - highly recommended- was walking distance from the west gate) and the roads were looking better. We met a very friendly ranger whose name I can't remember and she told us to hang out and she was driving a few miles in and back and would give us a conditions report on her way out. Oh, and to walk single file and quickly past the sick bison cow who was standing on the side of the road... so we did. Ever walk within 20 feet of a bison before? Neither had I. It was the first of many. She drove out as we were walking back to the hotel and said that by the time we got out bikes, the roads would be fine. Right she was. With the exception of one snow shower as we turned around later Wednesday afternoon, the weather was perfect. OK, not perfect, it was freakin' cold. But highly rideable and highly enjoyable. Wednesday's total, 6 hours 45 minutes in the park, 56.88 miles. Avg. mph (including all stopping) 8.4 mph. The Kelly Inn's hot tub sure felt good!

Thursday, we got up and had to be out of the hotel by noon, so we wanted to get a quick ride into the park again. Ended up doing about 18.93 miles in and out in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Avg. 14.2 mph.

More details to come later when I have more time.

This will be an annual event!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Maybe next week

So, as I kind of thought would happen, we've decided that the weather was going to be a little too much like last year's Ghost Town Century (read: cold and snowy), though probably without the 20+ mph winds...and we decided that next week will be a much nicer ride. So, instead of leaving tomorrow morning, we're going to Yellowstone next Tuesday - Thursday. It's supposed to be warmer (low 40's) and no snow (yet).

That'll be much, much more fun. And really, it's a good thing too...I'm still at work at 7:48 pm on Wednesday. I've been here since 6:40 am. I'm cranky, tired and, frankly, a little pissed off. The only reason I'm not yelling right now is I know I have a bottle of my new coffee stout in cooling at home. That and there's only one other guy here right now and there's really no point yelling at him. Well, yes there is, but hey that's what I get for being the "boss", right?



Well, as of this morning, the chance of snow at Yellowstone for Wednesday is 70%. High temp around 29-32. Not ideal road bike conditions. We'll see...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Plan B

So, I haven't written in a month. I should start by confessing that I have failed at my New Year's resolution to ride a century a month and earn the Larry Schwartz award from the UMCA. March got away from me. A combination of shitty weather, travelling and ill times illness - and if I'm honest, lack of will power or laziness. I'm bummed but it was probably too much anyway. I mean, I just started riding distances like that last year and other than the organized three that I completed last summer, I've only ever ridden one "personal" century and my friend organized that ride and rode it with me, on his route. So, I failed. Now for Plan B.

I was the nineth rider to sign up for the Desperado Dual . Well, actually I was the seventh rider to sign up for the dual, the other two are registered for the 100 miles. It's up to 14 riders as of today. I'm really excited and nervous about this ride, even though it's over four months away. But I wanted to sign up now so that laziness thing I mentioned in the first paragraph wouldn't prevent me from doing it. Now I'm committed. I'll try to do better keeping this blog posted regarding my training. I should probably do some.

I'm also very excited because I'm going up to Yellowstone on Tuesday with a couple of guys to ride for three days. They open the roads to non motorized traffic for a few weeks between the end of snowmobile season and when the open the roads up to cars. They plow, so hopefully the roads will be clear. It's going to be beautiful. It's going to be fun. And it's going to be cold. Tuesday, high 34, low 13, 40% chance of snow. Wednesday (the day we plan to do most of the riding) high 35, low 17, 40% chance of snow. Thursday, 33, 14, 30%. It's going to be cold. Honestly, though, it's the snow that is freaking me out a bit. I mean, it's one thing to ride the five miles to work in the snow, I actually enjoy it. But riding 50 miles. In the middle of an empty national park. Well, not empty, there are the animals. That's a little different. I'm not chickening out, but still. It makes me nervous. A little. But the roads open to traffic on the 25th, so it's pretty much now or never. I think. Both of the other guys I'm going with are, how should I put this, under (read un-) employeed at the moment so I guess it's possible we might delay a week or so. We'll see.

Oh, I should also mention that I'm still planning on riding all or most of the organized centuries that I listed in my plans earlier, so I will be riding two next month, starting with the Ghost Town century on the 3rd of May and then the Cycle Salt Lake Century on the 17th.