Thursday, July 14, 2005

Airport Security Makes it Tough to Bike Tour

In the old days, airports had storage and lockers you could rent short & long-term. I called Hancock International Airport today and spent 30 minutes in automated voice menu hell before finally calling someone at the aviation department. Although she was very nice, she told me there would be nowhere to store my bike case for the three weeks I'm in NY. She transferred me to United Airlines (my carrier) who also told me they couldn't store my case. So, I called the Best Western (adjoining the airport), and Ron, an angel who happens to be the assistant manager (and who's mother is a senior olympian cyclist) very kindly said he would store my case for me and I could take the shuttle from the airport. Thank you Ron and Best Western!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Unveiling the Bike!!!

Well, I finally finished building my bike. Couple of tiny touches left, but all in all, she's tour-ready. For those of you who are curious, here are the details. I decided to match the frame with silver components. Sweet looking bike!! I'll take a photo tomorrow and post it here.

Still working out the accessories. I'll probably keep my small saddle bag on the bike (tire levers, CO2, patch kit, tube). I also ordered a small handlebar bag and a separate map case that attaches to the handlebar. Oh, and I got the coolest pump in the world. It's a Topeak Road Morph. It has a pressure gauge and a little platform that folds out so you use it just like a floor pump. One of the trickest inventions I've seen in bike equipment in years!!!

Rode the Atlantis for a short ride tonight with the racks, fenders, and kickstand installed. Feels good. Front brakes squeak like crazy even after Josh adjusted them. May try new brake pads.

I just love this bike! It's the first bike I've completely picked every single component on. And I actually helped build a good portion of it (including installation of the fenders, racks, and kickstand -- big pain in the ass). My trip still feels like a very long way off in the future, but I'm getting a bit excited. Planning to go out for a short ride loaded tomorrow -- that should be an adventure.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The final, final!

Okay, confirmations back from everyone and just a bit of tweaking. This could be it!


Here's my initial packing list for my trip. I'll likely add or subtract to this as I get closer and actually pack my bike and also when I take my test trip on Wednesday.

Bike Stuff

Camping Stuff

Food (pack light – can replenish on the road)



Misc Stuff

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Maiden Voyage of the Atlantis

So, my Atlantis frame (by Rivendell) arrived on Tuesday. It's in almost perfect condition (one little scuff in the paint). We ordered the components on Tuesday and Josh and I planned to build it up on Friday. Well, Friday didn't happen, so Josh and I met Saturday morning at 7:30am to build my bike. How fun!!! First, I've never hand-picked different components for a bike. I wanted to do everything in polished silver. It's a real mix of old school and high tech components -- Nitto bar & stem, Thompson Elite seatpost, Shimano XT derailleurs & cassette, Race Face cranks & bottom bracket, Avid Shorty 7 cantilever brakes, and Shimano Dura-Ace bar-end shifters. I left at 10:00am to go ride and I'd put on the all the components. Josh was going to run the cables, adjust everything, tape the bar and mount the computer. Well, he wasn't done when I got back from my ride, so I hung out and we finished around closing time (6:00). Too tired to do my fit, so I did it this morning (Sunday) and then went on an awesome ride with Kim Perez. I love this bike! It handles great. I thought the 26" wheels might be slower, but I had no problems keeping up with her. I spent most of the ride in my 46t big ring, but I know I'll need the two smaller rings once I load the bike.

Still to do.....mount the fenders and racks. Oh, and the front brake squeaks like crazy. And I need to see what's wrong with my right pedal (can't seem to tighten the tension).

I'm planning a trial run on Wednesday night. I have a client until 5:30pm and then I'm going to go for a two-hour ride, camp, and then come home Thursday morning. Want to test all the equipment and also test the bike once it's loaded. Now I just need to figure out where to go.

Back to the Drawing Board

Okay, I totally forgot that Diana Coles' daughter, Holly, is getting married on August 6th, so my plan to do the western/Rochester leg of my trip the last week just won't work. Drat! Let's see if I can find a way to do Rochester first and still make it back to Cortland by August 23rd:

Saturday, July 09, 2005

OLH in five weeks (four, really)

Old La Honda (OLH) is one of the more infamous climbs in the San Francisco bay area. It's a 3.4 mile climb averaging an 8% grade. If you had told me five weeks ago, when I got back on the bike and struggled up Crystal Springs (and could barely make it to Woodside), that I'd be climbing OLH in July, I would've thought you were crazy! Well, I did it. The 29 sure helped. It took me 38 minutes (slower than slow), but I did it!!! And then we climbed West Old La Honda. If I can do that, I can do anything in NY!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Well, for the past two weeks, I'd been stoked about going to a Backpacking clinic at the Sports Basement tonight. I arranged my schedule to work with my cyclocross client in Golden Gate Park beforehand, but when I arrived, the clinic was cancelled (the speaker was sick). I had hoped to learn all the ins & outs of packing light, light, light. Oh well! Since I was there, I decided to do a little comparison shopping. Ended up buying a tent, a sleep sack (it's too warm for a sleeping bag in NY in the summer), a nifty little camp burner (with a coffee press) and a can of gas (need to ship to NY), and a super light-weight therma-rest, and a cool water carrier thing. Ooh, need to remember to get insect repellant.

I decided tonight that I'm going to do a one-night trip before I leave, so it's even more important to get the bike built up soon! The bike should arrive tomorrow or Monday. I'm going to try to order all the components tomorrow so I can build it up by the middle of next week and start riding it.

Decided to go with a mtn bike triple. My client's husband showed up at the park on his new Waterford built for touring. I like his set-up. Sunigo triple cranks, XTR rear derailleur, bar end shifters. He also had Ortleib rear panniers (no inner pockets). Hmmmm.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Lessons Learned -- route planning & flights

Okay, so I finally revisited my routes. I wish I'd ironed all this out before booking my flights -- I would've liked a few days on one end and fewer on the other. Oh well! I think I've finally knocked out something that takes me to most of the places I want to go and gets me there on the days I need to fit into people's schedules. I can't get everywhere I'd like to go -- Niagara Falls and Alexandria Bay are both out of the itinerary now. Maybe this warrants another trip to NY sometime?


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