Posts Tagged ‘Shaw’s’

Updates and Whathaveyou…

Right, then…

So it looks like it’s been almost 2 months since I last posted.  In my defense, I was traveling most of April for work (with one week of vacation).  By the time I hit may, I didn’t want to see the inside of an airplane ever again.  Lots have been going on.

The living situation.  The one roommate that is getting married finally found an apartment and is in the process of moving out.  Right now the remaining roommate and I are still in limbo as he’s vying for a job in Novato – if he gets it, we all move out; if not, we stay.

The job situation.  It looks like I’ll be picking up another 2 day/week gig up in Berkeley.  So if I wind up moving, I’ll be going back up to Fremont.  That would put me at the end of the BART line for when I need to go to Berkeley, but will be 20 miles from my Santa Clara job, which would help me get my weekly riding miles in.  If I wind up staying, then I’m riding to Fremont BART at Bitch:30 in the morning on the days that I ride.  So we’ll see how that shakes out.

Riding.  Naturally, my miles in April were off.  My miles in May really weren’t better due to work, fatigue and general malaisiness.  It’s frustrating in that I was doing quite well and in the groove before April, but this always happens:  I get a good routine down then something comes up and jacks it.  Right now I’m just trying to ride it out until I get back into the swing of things.

Bikes.  As part of the Berkeley gig, I know that I’ll be riding some hills from the Downtown Berkeley BART to the site.  Not just wanting to rely on the Dawes, I converted the old mountain bike from single speed back to multi-speed.  This required some parts, so I wandered down to Willow Glen Bikes.  Upon arriving Tahn asked of my whereabouts and informed me that he had something for me.  It seems that when Shaw’s closed down, all of their excess inventory was purchased by Phil Wood, who was now selling it from their shop in downtown San Jose.  When Tahn was there, he came across a Bob Jackson (hand-built lugged Reynolds 531 frame – very desirable) for – get this:  $20.  It’s a bit big for me, but not nearly as large as the Dawes – I think the Dawes is 63cm and the Bobby J is 60cm – so I have an extra inch of space.  My original plan before all of this was to refurbish the FG Dawes with upright handle bars, flip/flop wheel, wider tires, powder coat the frame, etc…  Now I’m going to convert the other Dawes to an upright single speed and move the drivetrain, racks and such to the Bobby J.  So there’s that.

Drinking.  Last Sunday it has been four months since I took a drink.  Proud of that, but it’s still hard at times.  I mean, it’s not like I’m white-knuckling it at all, but there are times when I just want to go and tie one on…but I don’t.  I’ve been doing some substitution still, so I’m trying to get that under control.  But I’m still better for it.

Aging.  Whilst on vacation, I had a Pirate Looks at Forty moment.  Sue and I were driving down the freeway trying to locate Everglades National Park.  She was driving and I was reading the map.  I was trying to read some printing and realized that I was having a hard time…so I borrowed her Dr. Dean Edell glasses.  “Welp,” I thought, “There it is.  Aging.”  Further during that week, I noted more eye strain and headaches.  When I got home I tried to find some glasses at the CVS, but none seemed to be right.  Finally today I stopped by the Optometrist at Costco and had an exam.  The good Dr. told me that right now I’m on the cusp of needing glasses:  Glasses help, but they’re not necessary.  For now, at least – in 6 mos, I’ll need them.  He gave me a prescription for a low-powered lens (0.75 left and right) and sent me on my way.  I wasn’t ready to blow $150 or so on such a light prescription so I just ordered some pre-fab ones off of the internet (CVS glasses start at 1.00).  So we’ll see how that one shakes out.

So lots of stuff, but boring stuff.  It will be interesting why my life will look like in 2 mos.


Biker on the Run

Right, then.

A quick check of MapMyWhatever shows that I have not been running since January 2, 2011.  That sounds about right.  I think what happened is that I started the year with an annual cycling goal, a new road bike and a sore left Achilles tendon, ergo I went headlong in to cycling.  Which is just as well, I reckon – part of my plan, I think was to give the Achilles time to heal – if memory serves, towards the end of last year, I was limping around quite a bit in the mornings due to soreness.

Well, about a month ago, I started to get an itch to run.  As my pair of runners were effectively dead (runners usually last me ~300 miles), I had an excuse to not run.  Mind you, I was still experiencing some soreness, made more noticeable due to recent work that required a lot of walking, so I’m not entirely sure my plan to give the Achilles a rest really worked.

I have a mental glitch.  When there’s something I need to do, but don’t want to do, I’ll do everything else under the sun.  Do I need to write a paper for a class?  Well, then I’ll get to that as soon as I shred the past 7 years worth of bills.  There’s a project do for work?  I’m sure that’s true, but I’ve been walking all over the pile of clean clothes for the past three weeks, and I really must fold and hang them up.  Does the bathroom need to be cleaned?  Sure…and I’ll do it right after I’m done researching Master’s programs.

This is the part of the conversation where I tell you that I need to do my taxes – something that I view with dread.  Thus, I went out and bought new running shoes and ran 4.91 miles…the first time I’ve run in over four months.

I’m happy to say that overall, I feel good.  I feel a little muscle twinge in the legs, as obviously riding and running use different muscle groups.  Also, the new shoes are awesome, and I’m stoked that I found a running store close to home.  I originally was going to go to Sports basement and get a pair of Asics GT-2160’s, as they are the 2011 version of the 2150’s I have (and the 2009 2140’s that I had before that).  Well, SB had 13’s, but not in the 4E that I need.  Almost drove down to Willow Glen to Athletic Performance, when I remembered that my chiropractor told me about a shop in Santa Clara.  Ryan’s Sports Shop is in front of where Shaw’s Lightweight Cycles used to be (they closed down at the end of March – Shaw is out of play, needing a heart transplant).

Gary, the owner, is a high-energy type.  He reminds me a bit of Jack LaLanne.  Some folks find him a bit off-putting, but I was OK with him…he reminded me of a coach or a trainer that was just really into whatever he was trying to teach you.  He had me try the 2160’s, which I almost bought until he wanted me to try a Mizuno Wave Nirvana 7.  Oh,  holy shit – I’m not sure what it is, but these fit great – better than the Asics.  They are about $140 (or ~50% more than the Asics) but they’re predicted to last 50% longer, so that equals out.

The run was good, though a little tough – it was four months after all.  Also, I suffered some fueling issues towards the last 1.5 miles or so – the gel pack did not have enough go power, alone.  Comparing the Jan 2 run to today’s run, I was 2 seconds/mile faster, but burnt 25 less calories due to being 10 lbs lighter.  Fair enough – I wasn’t pushing it and it will take me a bit to get back in to condition.  I’ll have to get back to doing sprints soon so as to build up my speed like I did last summer.

As for riding, things are going well, but I can see April being an off month, due to 3 weeks of travel.  That said, I’ve built up enough miles since the beginning of the year that I should still be able to easily make my goal of 3000 miles this year.

On the drinking front, this Sunday, it will have been 10 weeks since my last drink.  I’m doing well with it, I’m happy to say.  The worst was when I was in Florida last week, which has natural booze association to it.  I had to squelch the urge to drink with Chips Ahoy…but I did squelch it, so that’s a win! (in a non-Charlie Sheen sense of the word).

OK – enough of this.  Back to the regularly scheduled bullshit.

Errands Day

Right, then…

As the supremely cold “I pay extra to live in the Bay Area so I don’t have to deal with this shit” weather has subsided (for now), today was a rather nice day.  Did some work, then set out to run some errands on the Dawes.

The first stop was Willow Glen Bicycles to get the chain tensioner that I had Tahn order.  This is going on the Biscayne that I converted to single speed.  Currently, it works as I have the rear derailleur sort of forced in place by cutting the shift cable, giving it the correct amount of tension (to hold the derailleur in place) then wrapping the cable around the chainstay.  Okie engineering, it’s true, but it works.  That said, this bike is not only about having a cheap knock around bike but also having something that I can wrench on without fear of breaking one of the “good” bikes.

All that said, I flatted on the way to WGB at Park and Davis.  The last thing I remember was looking down and seeing a key on the ground, then pop.  Got the wheel off, swapped tubes – did not find anything sticking in the tire – then tried to air up…to no avail.  I was using the Crank Bros pump, which I’m never really sure works right.  It’s an ingenious design – compact shaft that lets the user select either high pressure or high volume.  You can also select whether you’re filling through a Presta or Schraeder valve.  The problem lies in making sure you have all your selections made and that the pump is set up to actually move air…

…but, I digress…

So, I switch over to the CO2 cartridge.  This I have a decent grip on how it works.  Again – some slight inflation, then I hear it seeping out.  Well, shit.  I remembered taking the patch kit out of the seat bag and putting it on the Raleigh, as I was doing a long ride; the plan was to pick up a few more tube kits at WGB (really – just dandy timing).  But for now, I was fucked.  I put the rig back together and – through the magic of Motorola – was able to determine that I was slightly closer to WGB than home.  Started out, then realized that Shaw’s Lightweight Cycles was somewhat nearby – the Droid said 0.7 miles, so off I went.

I’d guess that Shaw’s has been there for 35  years if not longer.  Not the cleanest or tidiest shop, mind you, nor does it have the newest items.  There were wool jerseys that I’d guess were from the 80’s and a few spandex-ish ones from the 90’s, I’d reckon.  They did have some new bibs, however.  I’m guessing that clothing is not their big money maker.  As for bikes, they had some Bianchi’s, a couple of brands I hadn’t heard of, and an old Dave Moulton.  It was sort of cool to see the DM, live and in person like that, with chrome lugs and all.  What was interesting was the frames they had hanging from the rafters – all different brands.  Makes me think that I should look a this place for a frame if I want to do a build up.

After about 1.5 hours of futzing about (another customer came in to pick up his Fuso (also built by Dave Moulton), which they just installed a new Campy groupset – they asked if I had time to wait, while he dealt with the customer, which I did), I was back on the road.  [As a bracketed aside, while the bike was on the stand, I noted how dirty it was – time for a good cleaning.  If nothing else, the greasy bits have 950 miles on them – might be time for a deep cleaning.]

It was probably the shortest stop to WGB ever – Tahn and them were in the back, and I was dealing with some guy I hadn’t met, yet.  Nice enough, but that was it.  He got my tensioner and a few other items (tube, 3 patch kits, energy bar) and back on the road to Target (out of Cafe Bustelo) and Trapper Joes (out of almonds).

All in all, a ~13 mile trip – not too bad, but not the 50 milers I’ve done, so far.

For 2011, my goal is to ride 3000 miles, aggregate, between all the bikes.  That works out to 58 miles/week, approximately.  Some weeks, I can see that being easy, but some are going to be harder as there is business travel coming up.

Going to try and ride tomorrow, then do some bicycle maintenance.

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