Thursday, January 11, 2018

It's All About Performance

Further to my post about Citi-Biking to the Icarus screening, a commenter commented thusly:

Anonymous said...

Good post, but 50 minutes to go 8 miles?

January 11, 2018 at 11:08 AM

Two days after a blizzard, 15 degrees, riding through snowed-in bike lanes, fighting icy headwinds along the waterfront and stopping repeatedly to call and text with my wife who was having train trouble?

Yes, that 8-mile ride took me 50 minutes, but sure, whatever makes you feel better about yourself.

Sometimes bike people really are the worst.

Speaking of stats, today I took a ride on Ol' Foodie:


Unfortunately this picture is misleading since that short section of trail is snow-free only because of some freak confluence of wind direction and building and tree cover.  Otherwise, it was very slow going indeed and I stuck mostly to the road.  Still, as aesthetically questionable as Ol' Foodie is, it's not so bad in the context of dirt, now is it?


Okay, fine, it's still ugly as hell.

Anyway, my brief dirt detour aside this was mostly a road ride.  Typically in these conditions (warm, wet, lots of melting snow), my choice of bike is a no-brainer:


Alas, as I am now committed to one bike for the entire year this was not an option, so Ol' Foodie it was.

Anyway, I know what you're wondering (especially if you're a Fred, and especially especially if you're the dork who left the comment I mentioned at the beginning of the post):

"Did you sacrifice any performance?"  

Good question!  Let's go to the Strava:



Shit, sorry, wrong link:

Sweet Fancy Lobster I feel like a douchebag embedding a Strava ride.

Anyway, looking at the steepest climbs on my ride, I did the one by my house in 2:12, which is my slowest-ever time by a pretty decent margin:


As for the one I do up in Westchester before heading back, I did that in 2:26, which one second off a personal worst (and that personal worst was set on a longer ride so I was probably tired by that point):


So yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and say the bike is definitely slowing me down.

Fortunately however this doesn't matter, for a couple of reasons:

  • Except in cases where it's too snowy or wet I almost always incorporate some trails into my ride so the bike's aptitude in those conditions should make up for the fact that it's slower on the road;
  • I really don't give a shit how fast I go anyway.
Still, I'm not going to lie: it was hard not to reach for the Milwaukee today.  It's not hard to imagine I'll be desperately grasping for excuses to break my resolution, and in fact I almost did just that when I broke a spoke on the ride today:


"Oh well, that's it, I guess the bike is ruined now," I declared.  Unfortunately not only is it an easy fix, but I also have a drawerful of spokes, one of which will no doubt fit, so it won't even cost me any money.  Plus, it didn't even really affect my ride since between the 31 remaining spokes and the dick breaks, once I removed the offending spoke I barely even noticed a difference.

Of course the flipside of using this as an attempt to excuse my way out of my resolution is to use it as a pretense for getting some new wheels ("How can I ever trust you again, wheel!"), and it's not hard to imagine that sticking to one bike will end up costing me far more money in the long run than simply continuing to spread my riding across a whole bunch of bikes would have.

Ah, who am I kidding, if I stick to this resolution through March it'll be a miracle.

55 comments:

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Podio !!!

Now to read ...


vsk

Kevin said...

Oh buggers 3 hours behind and almost made first

Anonymous said...

Popo
Would you go as far as to sell your now disgraced pedal bicycles?

Grump said...

One advantage of dick breaks is that you hardly have to stop. I, on the other hand, when breaking a spoke on a 32 hole wheel, have to stop and open up the QR, and just maybe have open the barrel adjuster....As a fail safe, I also carry a Park spoke wrench.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk also said ...

Wow! I deeeeed it! This not riding a bike thing sure helps with my desktop performance.

I think, ... back when I was not taking the subway, I've respoked all of my rear Bontrager Select Aero low spoke count wheel. Just cause I'm fat. They're an oddball size I think, but no big deal, I have a couple of spare wheels laying and lying around from being taco-d or beat up real bad. Plent of spares. Just a pain when the nipple gets lost in the aero section of the rim.

vsk

Cyrus Andrews said...

I have a similar set up where i can change wheels and tires for dirt or road. After finally getting it done, after about a week already the thought of changing the wheels, easy as it is, was a hassle. I remember thinking, i should have just done what the bike snob said and got another bike. Did you at some point say its more convenient to have two bikes than to mess with swapping wheels? Seems like something you'd say. Maybe i saw it somewhere else. Also how is using different dicks in the same brakes going? Mine are just a little off, i need to adjust my avid bb7s but still get some annoying rubbing, though it makes no real difference riding.

Get Your Yah Yahs Out said...

What is your cassette? A 44?!

The funkiness of your self-imposed and sole option is growing on me.

If anyone is interested, I am so out of shape and blame it all on an excess of drinking and lack of exercise over the holidaze. Quite the opposite of WRM.

Jason said...

I have done the N=1 thing for the last year, and have to say, a backup would be better than a spare set of wheels. I have 42mm 650b tires, so they work well on pavement to gravel and hard-packed dirt, so I wouldn't necessarily buy another set of tires, but one mechanical problem *can* lead to having zero serviceable rides for a short time. I think I'll pick up a mtb at some point.

mander said...

Getting into the top 10 is all about performance

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Scranus.

N/A said...

I've never used the Rock n Road tires, nor have I seen them in the real-lifes, but they seem like they'd be passable on mild trails and offing the roads. Doesn't Panasonic make those? So you're still in the same family as the Paselas.


Just riding in snow and sub-20 freedom degrees is more than I'm doing, so I'm not going to diss the 8miles/50 minute ride. Shitty weather sucks to ride in.

jellyfishsalad71 said...

Perhaps 3 bikes would be an appropriate compromise? It's where I'm headed. (Drop bar Road, hardtail mtb, flat bar road)

Bill said...

Break the resolution already! Return to your senses!

Russell Miller said...

my second set of wheels are shod with snow studs. i convinced my gf it would save space in the apartment. then i bought an old miyata912 that now is in our living room. i am living the dream.

Pist Off said...

What do you all think about towing a trailer vs. bike-mounted racks and bags for grocery schlepping? It’s way cheaper to buy/make a used trailer for cargo than to buy/make a reasonable utility bike. Any informed opinions out there?

Freddy Murcks said...

I am on the verge of having a wheel swapping system where I can swap one set of wheels for MTBing with another, different set of wheels for even more MTBing. I am, however, not trying to ride only one bike this year. I didn't buy 10+ bikes for nothing.

Anonymous said...

I used to swap wheels but found the Kenda Krisp is good for all but the muddiest of rides.

Mike Barrett said...

If I could only afford one bike, I get the one bike thing. But you have more than one, so who cares. It pains me to see you do this to yourself. F resolutions.

Resolutions are made to be broken said...

Yeah, i agree that you should renegotiate your resolution to limit yourself to 3 bikes + Citi bikes. You can do something like raise the running penalty to 3.5 miles, if you feel some need to appear more self-reflective or something. This whole resolution business is an unforced error, but it may lead to some degree of greater simplicity, if you are not a monk about it.

Bikeboy said...

Good post, but 50 minutes to go 8 miles?

Oh! Somebody else already said that? Well, never mind then...

Anonymous said...

I have to agree; the Ol' Foodie looks like shit.

At first glance I thought it was just because of that lurid fluro orange fork throwing the bike's aesthetics way out kilter, but on closer inspection the thing's a dog's breakfast, the wheels being only one contributing factor.

~ That squished down frame on a no-suspension bike is quite disorientating, such a long seat post has no business being on any bike other than folding and other clown bikes, the seat stays are an abomination in and of themselves, the bridge on the fork looks like it belongs to another bike, the way the front end thrusts itself forward demanding attention will soon find itself caught up in the #metoo thing and your additions/alterations have only compounded the mayhem.

Having said that, I think in it's original configuration it was, if not a sterling beauty, winsome in an inoffensively wholesome sort of way.

But I'm not one to criticise in a nonconstructive manner, so I humbly suggest that its unbecoming features be camouflaged: racks front and back always adorned with attractive panniers, shove a large bag in that jones hole on the handlebars and fit frame bags all over the friggin thing. Hell, you could carry a sizable arsenal on the seatpost alone. Any structural components still visible should be covered up with stickers and any accumulated dirt and grime should be deliberately allowed to remain for the purposes of adding character.

Hope you found that helpful.

Anonymous said...

I hate to admit it but Ol foodie is starting to wear on me. in this weather it's not a bad idea. We will see how strong your resolve is come spring.

Buffalo Bill said...

While the weather is crap, riding one and only one bike should be a pretty easy resolution to honour. But when the weather gets nice? I have my doubts.

So as resolutions go, I predict you will do better than most. But by June if you aren't back on the clicky pedals and curly handlebars like the tour de france guys ride, I'll be surprised.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 4:51pm,

I can argue with exactly none of that.

--Wildcat Etc.

Luke Luddite said...

Listen, Douche, you can do it. Just pretend you don't own any other bike. Hell, I've been riding a Trek 4100 for for 14 years. Bullet-proof. Love ya, man.

dancesonpedals said...

8 miles in 50 minutes: Not bad on a citibike. In traffic, dealing with stoplights/pedestrian crossing etc, my usual pace is 1 mile in 10 minutes (unless I'm sprinting to GCT to catch a train.) WCRM's fast pace is probably explained by the extended section on greenways. (snow & ice notwithstanding)

Spoke question from a recovering Fred: A commenter on this blog once said to loosen all spokes before replacing the broken one & then tighten & true afterwards. I feel guilty about just swapping in a new one & truing the wheel. After 3-4 broken spokes I say to hell with it & get a rebuild. What's the WCRM broken spoke routine?

NYCHighwheeler said...

If you are concerned about your bikes appearance, the best solution is to get some aftermarket parts in bright anodized colors! I'm partial to purple ano, but you could also have good results with a 'Rasta' red/black/green set-up. Also, don't stop at just ano quick releases and peace sign shaped cantilever brake hangers,- go for spoke nipples, derailleur pulleys, hubs, headsets, etc.! If people are busy admiring your cool ano, fresh mullet, zebra stripe tights, and Oakley Blades, they aren't going to even notice some fork or frame geometry or whatever.

Also, while I may not be a robot, my robot has sweet Irish anodized(green/yellow) aftermarket parts that totally distract from his general sense of humiliation in public.

dancesonpedals said...

Tax 'Reform' Douchery Sticks It To Cyclists

Anonymous said...

I knew when you wrote 8 in 50 some competitive dick would turn up

Dooth said...

Kudos, Wildcat, a true cycling ascetic doesn't care about his bike's aesthetic. I, however, am shallow as fuck with my three lovely bikes.

Anonymous said...

Ol" Fooide looks like it's recovering from polio

Ki Ho'Alu said...

Holy crap. One less spoke will have a negative impact and less aggressive dork transferable energy to the ground.

HDEB said...

Fifty minutes from Astoria to Old Fulton Waterfront is decent time during daylight hours in any weather by any mode of transportation.

RTMSstencil said...

Trailers can be a huge pain in the ass, but they are the best way to move heavy or bulky loads

Fredder said...

Doing laps in Prospect Park, I hear a non-stop litany of imaginary snark from the passing carbon-boys. How fortunate to not have a blog where I can receive actual snark!

As to cyclistic aesthetics, riding in this weather, any bicycle is sure to be covered in schmootz, so beauty is not likely to be found.

McFly said...

Your wife has a train? You can't hide money.

Bikeboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

in true Fred fashion you probably didn't "take out the zeros" on your epic 8/50 sojourn. You are suffering the punishment of total elapsed time.

Skidmark said...

The ascetic aesthetic is of a higher order than a beauty contest.

Anonymous said...

Pasela

Anonymous said...

The bike looks fine. Does the guy riding it look better? (just asking)
On the other hand, the name Ol’ Foodie would drag most anyone’s resolution down. How often do you go anywhere and ask for old food, please, if you have it.
I always thought if I ever got a bike worthy of the name, I’d name it Ol’ Piney. There’s a good name, has a nice character. If you’re flexible, you should give it a try.
Stick with it! Keep your resolution at least until to the end of March. The withdrawal symptoms may subside. One ride at a time.

Anonymous said...

50 minutes on a city bike in inclement weather. are you getting paid for that.

Anonymous said...

Let your foodie flag fly (efff) snob. Add a small aftermarket e-motor in front of the BB. Make sure to put on adjustable layers plastic bag bar mitts for the next cold spell. The neoprene ones look like scuba gear on a bike. Poor Louis SeeKay. He and Chris Rock were truth tellers.

Tim Lindenburgh said...

Shouldn't you just ride all year long with the plus sized tires ? The Rock'n'road don't looks to provide anything more than "marginal gains".

I must admit my 3" wide 29+ MTB tires roll very well on smooth pavement when I use it to commute or connect to a trail and my guilty pleasure is sometimes to either catch and drop some Freds riding it. Sure the bike feel a bit slower than my road bike with veloflex tubulars but it is not the draggy thing that people would make it to be, especially when dialing pressure accordingly. After all rolling resistance decrease with volume. The biggest detriment in performance comes from the weight and aero profile of those tires. But since your are not the least interested in how fast you go this is not a

The only big downside is noise and maybe the lack of full fender options with huge tires but since your riding with barely effective ones you could just use some of those Mud Rudder fat bike fenders.

Olle Nilsson said...

Take this 8 in 50 thing a step further and fully embrace the slow ride. It's winter - keep those 3" tires on.

JLRB said...

31 spokes is the new standard

Unknown said...

Here’s a thought- stop swapping out wheels/tires and go with chubby semi slicks. http://shop.veetireco.com/product-p/speedster27.5-n-27.5x3.0.htm

Anonymous said...

WTF pressure are you running??

Anonymous said...

I think I'd do 6 miles in 60 minutes next time, as my response to that guy.

Anonymous said...

Snobby, Suing Oil Companies, because the product that you used in you car causes Pollution is a bit like suing a prostitute for giving you Herpes! -masmojo

dancesonpedals said...

31 is a prime number

janinedm said...

I support the 1 bike thing. Of course it's hard and annoying right now, because you've had a lot of time with a multi-bike strategy. But that's what always happens with stuff like this where you impose radical. You get frustrated and you break because the rewards are not enough or break through when you start getting whatever it was you were looking for. Either way, that's good reading for me and increases the chance that I will stay with the pack on the next Fondon't. (I don't have bikes to blame; I've been drag assing since it's warmed up this week. I think I lost my cadence during the cold snap.)

Some guy from upstate said...

Wow, sympatico, I broke a spoke on Thursday as well. Fortunately, I was on my way to volunteer night at my friendly local bike co-op, so I had ready access to the pile of old spokes (the same pile as the broken one and all its mates came from). Amazingly, I was able to change a drive side spoke without talking the wheel out, thanks to the holes in the rat bike's sprocket.

leroy said...

Well of course the one weekend I don’t wish folks safe riding, Hawaii gets a missle threat.

FFS, ride safely all.

https://twitter.com/leroys_dog/status/952327181744689157

Paul Heckbert said...

Bike Snob: we missed you on Wednesday & Friday.

Here's s story that might make cyclists feel better. Cyclists aren't the only ones to blame for getting injured when speeding cars plow into them. Mennonite and Amish buggies are a road menace, too. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/12/nyregion/quaint-buggies-with-a-deadly-side.html