Winter Has Arrived

As mentioned in a few previous blog entries, as nasty as our weather sometimes seems in the Atlanta area, our weather paled in comparison to what our family and friends in the Mid-Atlanta States and a few other select areas experienced this past weekend. My parents up near Reading, Pennsylvania, had 30+ inches of snow and lost power for eight hours, friends down in Florida saw tornado’s and severe wave action tearing up homes, docks and infrastructure and the list goes on.

Here in the A.T.L. we were spared the slushy, wet snow falling during a mid-week rush hour of past January storms that turned to ice and shut down all major secondary and tertiary roads for 2-3 days as frigid temps settled-in. Instead, we had a very nice transition from several days of rain to a very windy wintry mix and then a dusting of snow during the late hours of the evening. By mid-morning the roads were blown clear of that snow as the sun began to peek through the clouds on what was just a cold winter day with only remnants of snow on the shaded parts of yards and other green spaces.

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Cycling’s On Our Mind

However, from a cycling standpoint, the near freezing temps with 10-15 mph winds were anything but inviting of an outdoor road ride and our local off-road trails remained closed due to the rain that fell ahead of the snow. Miss Debbie made the most of it by swinging a emotionrollersleg over her Calfee up in the exercise room where I had it set up on one of our CycleOps Fluid2 trainers. As much as I’d like to get in some saddle time, I’ve just not been able to muster the will to sit in place on either the rollers or Fluid2 trainer. Perhaps I’ll find a way to dig deep during the work week, either outside before work or – ugg – on the trainer in the evening.

While my enthusiasm riding a stationary bike may be lacking, I will say that it’s in good shape on most other fronts. More specifically:

  • I’ve gotten our room reservations over in Huntsville, Alabama, for the Alabama Tandem Weekend on April 22-24 and we’re pretty excited about that.
  • We’re pretty sure that we’ll make it out to the annual Tandem Club of Georgia (aka, PEACHES) planning party on Sunday evening the 31st down closer to Atlanta.
  • We’re anxiously awaiting the opening of the Georgia Tandem Rally’s “Hall of Fame” registration period for the always anticipated May event.
  • I’ve just received a ‘new and improved’ version of the Hubbub mirror for field testing; thank you so much Diane! The refinements look to be good ones so I’m looking forward to seeing how it compares to our trusty five-year old Hubbub mirrors which continue to hold-up very well.
  • As hinted at in last week’s blog entry, I did in fact pull my Erickson single road bike frame out of storage on Saturday so that I could press it back into service; more on that in a moment.
  • I’ve got several updates to make to TheTandemLink.com’s tandem event calendar, some of which I’ll highlight in another blog entry here in a week or so after getting that calendar of events updated.

Full details regarding our weekend are over on our other blog. No real adventures to report, but good times with friends are always worth writing about if only so that I have a place to catalog the photos!

A New Old Bike Just For Kicks

As for the rebirth of my ’99 Erickson Signature single bike, as I mentioned it became a parts-donor bike for Debbie’s new-to-her Calfee Luna Pro in 2009 and has been in storage ever since. As often times happens, I got an itch for adding back a steel bicycle to my road bike stable and as I started to look at previously owned Colnago’s, Serotta’s and other somewhat high-end steel bikes it dawned on me that I had a very high-end steel frame in my office closet. It also dawned on me that I had a lot of very nice bicycle parts sitting around not being used that I could hang on the Erickson to put it back in service.

With the cold weather upon us on Saturday morning, I used being house-bound as the catalyst to put the Erickson in a work stand and figure out what parts to use. As I was taking inventory of what I had and what I still needed the one thing I had to have but didn’t was a spare 1” no-thread headset. To make a long story short, my gaze drifted up to Miss Debbie’s Ritchey Logic Pro hanging above me – which no longer gets ridden – and a light bulb went on: turn-about is fair play!

ritchey1It took all of about 2.5 hours to strip all of the parts off of the Ritchey and move those over to the Erickson before putting air in the tires and taking it for a very cold ride down to the end of the cul-de-sac to make sure the shifting was dialed-in, etc. It’s a frame that looks best with bright components instead of black, dark grey or carbon so the Campy Centaur 10-speed triple group that come off the Ritchey really made the bike look pretty sharp in my eye. Interestingly enough, the Campy Chorus wheelset that was on the Ritchey started off on the Erickson as part of its full Chorus group. The Campy Chorus wheelset was replaced by a set of Campy Eurus G3’s which are now on Debbie’s Calfee Luna Pro.

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This incarnation of the Erickson is also the first single road bike I’ve personally owned that has been fitted with a triple drive train. But, going further, this drive train also a compact triple with 50/40/30 chain rings mated to a 13x29t rear cassette: definitely uncharted waters for me. From a historic perspective, the Erickson started off life with a 53/39 crank mated to a 12x23t cassette back in 1999. Somewhere in the late 2000 time frame I changed-out the cranks for a 50/36 Stronglight Compact Drive just as an experiment to see if a compact double would be preferable to a standard triple. It worked well and when the Calfee replaced the Erickson and my titanium Dean Castanza as my primary road bike, the Calfee was fitted with a compact drive. The Dean retains a standard 53/39 so I now have my choice of three different drive trains: standard, wimpy and really wimpy!!!

Again, this is probably more of a hobbyist’s exercise than a paradigm shift in frame material of choice for my every-day bicycle. There are a few things I still need to sort out with the Erickson, like the rear brake cable housing & routing and perhaps a change to all-black handlebar tape all of which I have parts and materials on hand to do. So, in what is perhaps a first for me, I have completed a bike project without spending a dime! The Ritchey Logic Pro frame and fork is now in storage and we’ll see if my snow-day project yields a bike that I enjoy riding as much as the Calfee or Dean: carbon & titanium are hard materials to match for old-guy comfort!

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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