This blog

I just spent about an hour or so reorganizing the way my blog publishes, and the links to content from the homepage. I had to learn a little more about how WordPress uses categories and tags in order to do it, but i think its a lot cleaner now. I think for the time being i can get by using drafts to capture text, then pushing the text to Ulysses for more complicated editing and revising, then using the built in functions in Ulysses to publish and maintain my site. I’m not sure yet about how images and such will work, but right now its a start.

Ive been using just my iPad for a couple of years, with the occasional more complicated edit on my work laptop, though I haven’t worked on WordPress from work since i got the iPad Pro and keyboard in December. At this point, it works for everything i want it to do except photo management. The keyboard really makes a big difference in text generation, and general usability. As a portable platform, it doesn’t get much better. I would rather work from a real laptop, but this is a 90% solution, and I can live with it.

I need to set up a real photo management solution at some point, and if that is a MacBook Pro using Lightroom, or a PC using Lightroom, or some other thing I haven’t even thought too much about yet, I don’t know. I have 15 years of family and personal photos i need to be able to manage, as well as a budding interest in real photography coming on quickly. It’s not really budding, its fully in bloom, and has been for several years, but I’m only just recently in a position to actually buy some better equipment. So I’m saying ill finally be able to indulge it.

In the eyes of others

Ive been thinking lately about the need to get my riding back on track, if for no other reason than I’m turning into a large mammal. As significant as that is, it’s really secondary to my bigger concern, it’s mostly for my mental health. I’ve definitely felt the impact of not riding in my state of mind. I haven’t had the lows I get in a big training cycle when I miss a ride, but I have been kind of “meh” about everything else. So no highs either, you know.

I did 20 minutes on the trainer the other night and it felt like a stage of Le tour when I was done, but it broke the ice, now is the time to get out there on the roads, and go like a real boy. I think I’ll do an hour or so today, nothing crazy and nothing off road other than the trails to get through places.

I read an essay yesterday where the author was discussing how he felt that real life begins after fifty. He made many cases for his stance, but a few things stuck with me over the others.

  1. You care less what other people think. This is one of the most concrete facts for me that I wish I could get my kids to understand and believe.
  2. There isn’t a point a where the tap turns off. Society would have us believe that we’re just done with life at 40 or whatever, and that after that you’re just waiting to die.

I’m 45 and from the neck up at least I feel better than I ever did. I understand things so much better now than I did when I was younger. The trick is to bring the body into line with the head, and then keep it there as long as possible. Certainly there is an inevitable decline, but as I’m not competing with anyone else (see 1. above), I only have to answer to myself. If I feel I’m working hard enough, and seeing the results I want, then I’m happy. It’s that simple.

My new boss is over 50, he made sure we all knew that on his first day. While he’s certainly kind of a knucklehead, he’s also a smart, vibrant guy. He seems very different from those were accustomed to, and I know that some of the younger leaner guys see him as out of touch and less “aggressive” than they think he should be, but it’s pretty obvious that he’s very much aware of what’s going on around him, he is simply unconcerned with their opinions. I’ve seen this several times before with leaders I’ve worked with, and I’ve come to realize that most of the time, they just don’t care what you think of their style. They’ve found what works for them, and as you don’t write their performance reviews, your opinion of their style is pretty low on the list of things they care about that day.

More than Zero

I finally got back on the bike after the hip freak out a few weeks ago. I absolutely felt the weight of not riding for so long, but as the title says, it was more than zero.

I took advantage of the chill training to sort my power meter and sync my new HRM.

I picked up a new TICKR run and passed my old TICKR to my son.

I’m hoping to slowly get him enthused about riding for more than transportation, and keep him riding even after he starts driving next year. (Fingers crossed)

More than Zero

Four Wheels good…Two Wheels Better

I spent the weekend working on my truck. I originally intended to just do the brake rotors and pads out of expediency, but I found at least two frozen pistons in the drivers caliper, so now I’m doing the full monty.

The pad in the picture shows the frozen piston problem. Since those pistons don’t retract, that pad is in constant contact with the rotor.

The new rotors are “so choice” with drilled and slotted surfaces, and that nice shiny silver, which will immediately wear off. They look strange in there with the 250,000 mile hubs and such around them. I also took a few minutes to repack the wheel bearings on both sides. It’s an every 50,000 mile service per the manual, and I last did them less than 20k ago, but it was one of those, “since you’re in there..” things.

I replaced my front sway bar bushings, as the drivers side has been banging under me for a few hundred miles now. You can see from the picture why. The new bushing is on the left. While the fronts were toasted, I have the rears and I may go ahead just to get them done as well, though I’m having no problems with those.

I will order the new calipers today, and another tub of redline grease as i finally used the last of the tube I have, after 20 years, no kidding. I would guess it will be next Monday before I’m able to finish the work due to the lead time on getting the parts, which is going to put us in a bind next weekend. Maybe I’ll get lucky.

1600- I spoke with NAPA, the calipers are in Dallas, and I’ll, have them Wednesday morning. A quick look at the weather says Wednesday will be acceptable for installing them, so maybe if things go my way, I’ll be up and running Thursday morning. That would be nice.

Power and Weight

That title might lead you to believe that this will be some post about how much difference my newly lost weight has made in my riding, but that would be untrue, as to the best of my knowledge, I’ve not lost an ounce off my fat ass post surgery. I’ve been doing physical therapy and strengthening work, and I’m way better, but that’s another story. This one is more of a bike tech geeky tale about how things change over time. So the weeks I’ve spent riding my KICKR have convinced me that I want to ride with a power meter which is something I’ve resisited for years, using various rationales to justify. They are expensive, they are finicky, they are heavy, I just like to ride, I don’t want to be a slave to the computer, and the most common, I’m just not that much of a data geek. So while some of those were true at some point, they were expensive (I paid 200.00 with free shipping for this stages though), these blue tooth and ant meters just work, no finickiness at all, this one weighs 38 grams, though there might be some validity to the freedom argument. Despite all those arguments back and forth the last he was reason was the most decidedly untrue, I’m definitely a data geek through and through. So I had to weigh some stuff out, I ride Campy on my road bike, and an Ultegra/105 mix on the cross bike. I have every intention of switching to Ultegra for my road bike, but probably not until I buy a new bike next year, so I was looking for something “cross platform compatible”. I ended up going with an FSA 386evo crank in 50/34 on the road bike which just happens to be the exact same crank albeit in 46/36 on my cross bike. So if you’ve been keeping up til now, you may have put together that with about 45 seconds and a hex head wrench, I can use my power meter on both bikes. See, yeah, method.

“But Dave” you say, “why would you take that beautiful and light Record crank off to put that boat anchor of an FSA on?” Well, I was somewhat worried about that too, but allow me assuage your concerns the same way I did my own. First, no one makes a crank based power meter for older alloy Campy. Simple fact. Sure there are other options, pedal based, hub based, etc, but then we’re right back into the above problems. So the Campy was out no mater what, so I was stuck with the “heavy” FSA alloy, that also conveniently worked with my cross bike. Out of curiosity and at the prompting of my youngest son, we weighed both cranks complete, including their respective bottom brackets before I installed the new one, and quite surprisingly, the FSA was exactly 2 grams heavier than the Campy, and that is with the power meter strain gauge installed. So if I am to believe the literature from stages, the FSA is actually 38 grams lighter than the Record. Now I will say that there is an elegance to the polished alloy of my old cranks lacking in the new one, but never fear, the Campy will find a new home, on my old Pinarello, where they will be most appropriate. The FSAs are a simple polished black that kind of disappears into the bike, which is just fine aesthetically. They are undoubtedly significantly stiffer, and this should also do away with an annoying square taper creak I’ve had for about 4 years as well.

Lost one of my KOMs

I’ve never cared before, but post surgery, I’m recovering very slowly, and I know it will be a long while before I’m that fast again. ☹️.

But, I find it strangely motivating. I guess that’s why people get so worked up about it huh?

Surgery day

I’ve been putting this off for months, actually for over a year, but I’ve finally gotten it scheduled and today is the day. It’s not a big procedure, but the injury itself and subsequent secondary injuries have had a huge impact on my core strength, to the point of having basically zero core specific training for over a year.

I’m treating this as a reset time, with basically zero expectations beyond a hopefully steady improvement for the next few months. I’ve got a few lose goals if all goes well, recovery wise, something simple like finishing a 5k this spring (late spring), and maybe doing a 50 mile gravel ride late this summer.

More soon.