May 4, 2016

4 days till we ride! Before I write anything further, I have to wish Happy 1st Birthday to my grandson Ryland. His gang lives in No. Calif. so I won’t be there to join in the upcoming celebration. Every grandfather thinks his grandkids are the greatest–me included. We think he might also be a lefty –now that would be especially cool since both Denise and I are southpaws. I may finally have someone to pass the old baseball mitt on to! We have 3  adult children and not one lefty was among them.

So, this blog is for the bike geeks who are wondering what I am riding and the bike specifics. I am not a bike junkie who knows every piece of my bike and how it works but here is some of what I do know. I’m not riding a touring bike. Those are designed to carry the weight of panniers and sleeping bags etc. Since we are doing the hotel and meals out “luxury” travel plan–no need. I’m riding my road bike, a Specialized Roubaix Expert.It comes with their stock  package: Shimano Dura-ace shifters and Ultegra parts for everything else. The cassette is 11-speed with an 11-32 cogset which should help with those hills! I’m riding their standard wheels with 700 x 28 tires, the Specialized Armadillo all condition. I’ve been advised to expect plenty of flats in spite of this tires great design. The big culprit seems to be the steel belted truck tires that you see shredded along the roads–small fragments of the steel are serious threats.  I chose not to ride with aero-bars, I’ve used them in the distant past and never felt totally comfortable with them. We have all the other “stuff” on the bikes such as; front and rear lights. a top tube bag for snacks and seat bags for a few tubes and tools. There is a  map carrier or “cue sheet” for quick reference draped  over the handle bars and “big” water bottles that are augmented in the desert with mandatory CamelBak packs. I carry 4 CO2 canisters that are screwed into a device that attaches to the same braze-on as my water bottle. I also carry a hand pump for inflating tire tubes — you can never have enough air!!  I’m wearing  SIDI Mt. Bike shoes instead of racing shoes. My reason for that choice – I want to be able to walk around easier when I’m off the bike, and for me, they are a bit safer. That’s it for the bike etc. It weighs in at just over 27 lbs. Maybe later I’ll describe the eating habits that I hope sustain me through this ride and  I hope  will keep me from turning into a replica of Gumby. Some people might like the weight loss–but not on a ride like this. As the ride leader has stated repeatedly–“this is not the time to try and intentionally lose weight”!! So, I plan to eat my way across the USA!!


4 thoughts on “May 4, 2016

  1. You may want to consider adding Mr. Tuffy tire liners. Armadillo tires won’t stop flats caused by bits of wire on the highway. I had multiple flats on my trip across the country until I added tire liners. BTW, if you need anything once you get to El Segundo, let me know.


    1. Thanks, I forgot about them . Used liners in the distant past. Just put them on.Still lighter than my original idea of using the Schwable Marathon Plus tire. Jim let me know if you get this- Kevin is having trouble w his blog and the back and forth talk. Thanks see you Sat- I’m the tall, slender guy!


  2. Hey Jim,
    Good luck on the ride. Glad you said something about Kevin’s blog, because I have tried several times, but all I get is a white screen.
    It’s probably too late now, but do you have a Garmin? You can load a course into it and it will supply turn-by-turn directions, eliminating the need for a cue sheet.

    I also think the frame pump is a good idea, specifically for when you are replacing a tube so you can put a little air in it when you are fitting it back into the tire. When the tube has some shape, it’s less likely to get pinched between your rim and the tire bead.
    Don’t forget your rain gear!


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