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topaz: (respect the bike)
So [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth and I rode from Boston to Provincetown on Saturday, on a tandem bike borrowed from [livejournal.com profile] moominmolly and [livejournal.com profile] dilletante.

What happened?

  • Tandems are way cool. Everyone we rode with seemed to be cheered up just having a tandem on the road. We became known to the rest of the riders, and later, by apparently random people in Provincetown, as "those crazy tandem people."
  • [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth did not keel over and die from biking on her broken ankle.
  • [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth actually finished in way better shape than I did.  By the end of the ride, she was doing the bulk of the hard cranking.
  • [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth is clearly a mutant who has supernormal healing powers and possibly an adamantium endoskeleton.
  • Good bike fit is really important.  Really really important. Like, as important as you thought it was, and then more important than that.  I did an okay job of sizing the tandem to me, but "okay" is not good enough, especially for a trip like this.  I finished the ride with severe numbness in the ring and little fingers of both hands, and profoundly diminished gripping strength.  Right now I can barely turn a key in a lock, put on my socks, or write my name.  Calling the doctor first thing in the morning.
  • As important as it is to wear sunscreen, for the love of god remember not to wear it on your face. Because then when you start sweating, it melts and trickles down your forehead into your eyes, and it stings and you can't see and THAT WILL MAKE YOU DIE.
I have many many heroes today, but especially [livejournal.com profile] keyne and kids for their love and ongoing support of my madness, [livejournal.com profile] moominmolly and [livejournal.com profile] dilletante for the loan of their contraption and for invaluable technical advice, [livejournal.com profile] soong and [livejournal.com profile] sandhawke for sharing their homes (sometimes unexpectedly), [livejournal.com profile] bubblebabble and [livejournal.com profile] bitty for sharing their home and for gamely going along with our insane plans, [livejournal.com profile] inseriatim for repaying the favor and registering me when I started acting lame, and [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth for being such an amazing, untiring, perpetually upbeat and inspiring ride partner.  This life is sometimes an amazing place to be.
topaz: (Default)

117.9 miles: Truro sag stop, originally uploaded by qwrrty.

And massage break!

topaz: (Default)

106.7 miles: Wellfleet, originally uploaded by qwrrty.

The end of the Cape Cod Rail Trail!

topaz: (Default)

99.3 miles: day of repairs!, originally uploaded by qwrrty.

This rider had to fix a flat on an ancient road bike, no quick
release, old caliper brakes. No wrench, no tools. Fortunately a good
Samaritan who lives nearby stopped to bring tools from home.

topaz: (Default)

Awesome Braid Chick's shift lever failed on her. We were unable to
repair it but got her in shape to make it to the next bike shop.

topaz: (Default)

84.3 miles: Yarmouth lunch stop, originally uploaded by qwrrty.

My world right now: lying on my back on a hill in Yarmouth with a
nutella sandwich, looking up at this tree.

topaz: (Default)

74 miles: Barnstable stretch break, originally uploaded by qwrrty.

I am a lot more tired at this point than I usually am. Bleh! Pace
yourself, I said.

topaz: (Default)

63.78 miles: Sandwich lunch stop, originally uploaded by qwrrty.

No sandwiches in Sandwich. They ran out of bread!

Here I am trying to adjust the front derailleur so the chain doesn't
keep popping off the big ring.

topaz: (Default)

61.54 miles, originally uploaded by qwrrty.

The first rule of riding over the Sagamore Bridge is that you DO NOT
RIDE over the Sagamore Bridge.

topaz: (Default)

33.03 miles, originally uploaded by qwrrty.

First adjustment!

0.0 miles

Jun. 19th, 2010 06:03 am
topaz: (Default)

0.0 miles, originally uploaded by qwrrty.


Jun. 19th, 2010 05:00 am
topaz: (grinnybike)

It's that time of year again! By evening we will be in sunny Provincetown, MA. I will be photoblogging the ride as usual. Please feel free to take me off your default reading list for the duration if the picspam annoys you too much. :-)

Posted via LiveJournal.app.


Jun. 13th, 2010 01:57 pm
topaz: (Default)

45 miles so far today, about 20 left to go.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.


Jun. 8th, 2010 09:46 pm
topaz: (omegabeth)

Left Kendall: 4:55pm
Arrived Mosaic: 8:50pm

[livejournal.com profile] moominmolly warned me that riding a tandem means communicating constantly about everything. So true! Braking! Shifting! Turning! Stopping!

In our case it was particularly about shifting, since changing gears unexpectedly is really mean to Beth's ankle. By the end of the ride I was getting a lot better at doing it smoothly, but still need practice.

And pedaling! Pedaling needs to be coordinated. The cranks on a tandem are locked in sync, so you can't coast unless your partner does too. So weird!

• tighten shifter cables
• swap seats
• rotate stoker handlebars up a bit
• thank Molly and David profusely

On Sunday, a couple of 30-mile loops to see if we think we can make it the whole way to Ptown. Onward!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Test ride

Jun. 8th, 2010 07:37 pm
topaz: (grinnybike)

[livejournal.com profile] omegabeth and I take the Beast (courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] moominmolly) out for a spin, 38 miles from Cambridge to Mosaic.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.


Feb. 26th, 2010 01:53 pm
topaz: (madblog)
 Outriders registration is open for this year!  Yay!  June 19!

I have done this ride twice now with [livejournal.com profile] inseriatim.  [livejournal.com profile] omegabeth, who has volunteered at the rest stops for the last three years, has decided this year to ride with me.  Together we are going to be "TEAM HELPFUL" and we are now soliciting volunteers to join us.

Seriously: you will probably never have a 130-mile bike ride more fun than this one: you get five rest stops with snacks and sandwiches and brownies, at the end of the ride you're in Provincetown and you get brunch the following morning before getting on the ferry back to Boston.

If we get enough people on the team, we can look into splitting a bigger fancier room at a B&B!

If we get enough people on the team, we can look into getting TEAM HELPFUL JERSEYS.

Oh this is going to rock.
topaz: (respect the bike)
No more picture spam, I promise.

Time this year was around 11 hours 20 minutes.  This is only slightly longer than my time two years ago, which surprised me for a lot of reasons.  I think that if I trained reasonably well for the ride and spent less time at the rest stops / checkpoints, I could bring that time down quite a bit.

I am never, ever, ever doing this again without training.  Never ever.  You heard me.  Never.  Oh my god that was a bad idea.  I'm still glad I rode, but, wow.  Now I know why they tell you to do that.

By the end of the day I had sharp pains between my shoulder blades (no doubt from my hunched-over road bike posture), nasty saddle sores, and very sore Achilles tendons.  Other than that, however, I didn't really have sore muscles.

The back pain has gone away; the saddle sores are probably still there.  The Achilles tendons worry me.  They started hurting about 30 miles into the ride and I knew I was in trouble.  I tried to take it easy and stretch them whenever I could, but they are still not happy, particularly the right one.  Time to ice them and stay off the bike for a few days.

Also: it's a good thing you got a new bike, but not having time to make sure the fit was good -- very unwise, my friend.  (The officemate reminds me that poor pedal positioning may have contributed to the Achilles injury.)

Despite all that?


[livejournal.com profile] omegabeth has decided she's going to ride it with me next year.  We are going to be "Team Helpful," and this is to put you on notice that you will be joining us.

April 2012


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