Thursday, May 31, 2012

Running, Sunset, and Sea Nettles

Hi there.  Blu Bike here with another update from Brooksies (the running shoes) about Buttercup on his sailing trip.
Seems they had a really good run Wednesday morning going 4.5 miles in just over 39 mins.  And only got a little wet from the rain. 
Then they left the marina and anchored out for the day while it rained.  It cleared up just in time for the nice sunset picture below.  Cool!  Onancock has a pretty anchorage!
BC looked down to see something not so good, tho... the sea nettles are already in!  They usually don't appear until mid summer!  Eeeeek!
I'm glad to hear that BC's run went well, since we've got that 75 mile ride on Saturday!
OK.  That's the update for now.  See you soon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More Sailing!

Hey all, Blu Bike here again.  Our least favorite Buttercup (for the moment, anyroo...) is still off sailing.  I'm doing my duty to report...
Sounded like they had a fun couple of days with some great sailing.  I'll see what I can't do to post a little of stuff, but keep in mind that he doesn't exactly have super internet access to be uploading major amounts of vid or anything.  So the vids will have to wait, but I can tell you this- they were hauling the mail today!
Check out this pic BC sent me of their max speed:

Now, to us bikes?  That's about 8.5mph or so.  Big whoop, right?  But it is my understanding that 8 knots is pretty darned fast, especially given the type of boat that old "Sequoia" is.  And the fact that they were towing a dinghy.  Not bad, BC... Not bad.

Now, we do have an issue that we need to talk about.  BC and his bride are sailing around on the Chesapeake Bay- and one of the big attractions there is these two islands called Smith Island and Tangier Island.  They are sort of the last holdout for the old ways of the Chesapeake Bay waterman.  I'll take his word for it.  So when they were in Crisfield (at the very nice Somers Cove Marina), they took a ferry over to Smith Island and took a tour.
Here's a pic of  on the way in to Smith Island on the ferry.

So evidently things have gotten a little more tourist friendly since they were there last several years ago and you can now rent golf carts and bikes to get around on.  Seriously?  You went to some backwater island to rent a damned bike and left all of us sitting at home?  Jerk.  And look at what he ends up on...

Good Lord.  He looks like friggin' Pee Wee Herman.

Anyway.  I just figured I'd give you a quick update.  Maybe I'll be able to post some vid when he gets back home.  Although we have a 75 mile charity ride scheduled for the day after he gets back, so it might be a day or two!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Running & Cruising!

Hey all!  Happy Memorial Day Weekend from all us bikes, me (Blackie), Blu Bike, and old man Ingolstadt.  Well Buttercup FINALLY got that stupid boat all put back together and he and his Bride are out sailing.  Where do you think he left me?  That's right, stuck at home.  Even the dog got to go to "doggy camp", but not us.  We just wait here patiently.
But at least BC is keeping up his physical fitness where he can.  I got a message from Brooksies (his running shoes) this morning.  Here's what it said, "Hey Blackie- Brooksies here to let you know that BC and I went for a nice 3.5 mile run here in Crisfield this morning before it got hot.  The sailing thing is fun.  The wind has been good and the weather has been sunny and fair.  So we're having a great trip so far.  See you soon.  Brooksies."
And they sent a picture of them on the boat ready to go.

and another of the racing boat they crew on who is also out for the cruise...

Anyway- I hope he's having a good time out there, cause I'm going to bust his ass for some miles when he gets home so we can catch up on our training for the Total200!!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Back in one piece!

Quick mobile post from Blackie here... Buttercup got me back together over the weekend and even took me for a ride!
And I got cool suede feel bar tape.  Check it out in the pic!
BC is also doing some experimenting with Strava but we can talk about it later.
Just wanted to say hi since I am back together!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Fuel Injection: Inspiration

Hey everyone (and everybike)!  Blu Bike here with this week's "Friday Fuel Injection".  This week- Inspiration.  I know what you're thinking, we already talked about passion in Another Post, what the hell?  Peeps, passion and inspiration are two TOTALLY different things.  I'm going to tell you where Buttercup (and through him, us bikes) finds inspiration.
There are 2 things that are currently fueling him:

  • First, is that there is some really good bike racing on TV right now.  The Giro is going on and is a pretty great race as always, but Buttercup has been focusing on the Amgen Tour of California.  Why?  We don't race, so what's the point?  Watching the top competitors who are amazing athletes in top form (did you see Jens Voigt put in the blue collar effort in yesterday's time trial??? Wow!!) is inspirational.  And it's cool to see super hot rod custom and "production" bikes.  And check out the cool scenery in the pic above- what an awesome ride!  Lastly in this category is the young and the old.  The Bontrager/Livestrong under-23 team is busting ass, and so are some of the older guys.  Big George, Jens Voigt and others are doing great despite the fact that some of them were racing pro before the young guys in the race were born.
  • Second?  Body Weight.  This whole journey for Buttercup started 4 years ago now with an effort to dump some weight.  It's been a real struggle (since he loves to eat), but as of this morning he's down 15lbs from the start of winter training.  In addition to riding and running, he's also working on a lifestyle change for him and his Bride with their eating habits.  BC's sister and the "not-so-terribly-observant-on-the-bike" Bob have lost a whole bunch of weight with a diet change based loosely on Vegan eating.  BC has been incorporating some healthier ideas from vegan and other diets to help with his weight loss.  I could here the "WooHoo!" all the way downstairs this morning when he stepped on the scale and it read 194.8 (and it wasn't even his "light" time of day)!!

So that's today's discussion.  Go find your inspirations.  Spouse thinks your sexy when you have that funky upside down "V" in your calf muscle?  Or maybe that you've lost a little weight?  Or that you come home sweaty?  Sweet.  You like the fact that you can see your toes for the first time in years?  Awesome.  Biking to work- Happy Bike to Work Day!!- makes you feel good all day long?  Great.

Whatever it is that inspires you- find it, use it, and GO RIDE YOU'RE DAMN BIKE!

Oh, and he says to tell you he's enjoying the feedback from some of the topic on the blog.  And yes, BC's Sister, we may discuss where the name Buttercup comes from some day...

Monday, May 14, 2012

More stupid boat stuff...

Hi again- Blu Bike here.  I'm really starting to get frustrated by Buttercup and all this boat crap.  I mean, when was the last time any of us got any good work done?  What's that BC?  Well yeah, that's true- Blackie is getting a full overhaul... yeah, I did get that nice paint job and new tires... and yeah, I guess Ingolstadt did get the new sprocket and you got him some new rim tape... Touche'.

I guess he's got a point there... So I'll just do the reporting and quit complaining.
It was a long weekend of work by BC and his Bride- but they got the new boat floor just about ready to install.  BC is putting the finishing touches on it today and tomorrow.  He's using an epoxy finish, so it takes a little while to cure in between coats.

Here's a picture comparing the old sole to the new.  The old stuff lasted a long time- over 20 years of being in a wet environment will take it's toll on anything I guess.

And then here's one from just now after BC finished applying the second coat of epoxy.  This is basically the same epoxy that they used on my carbon fork and all of Blackie.  I think it just uses a different catalyst to make sure it cures to a nice clear finish.

Lookin' good, BC.  Now can we get back to bikes??

It is rainy and nasty here today, and I just saw BC head down to finish up Blackie's overhaul.  So I would guess Blackie will be back soon to tell you all about it...

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Sheesh!  Buttercup sucks.  That's all there is to it.  Blu Bike here tellin' it like it is.  The past couple of days have been awesome weather- and he's working on that STUPID BOAT AGAIN.  Jerk.
But I suppose I better tell you about it... that's what this thing is for, I guess.

So for those of you who are much more familiar with us bikes?  Seems like boats aren't that different in that just about any component can get changed out for new and it's not a big deal.  The flooring in the boat was worn and dated- so BC and Bride got new flooring material and has been using the old for patterns and making new.  Then putting a very durable epoxy finish on it, then it will get installed back in the boat.  It's going to look spectacular- however (comma), all this work means no friggin' time to go ride us!  That cool new trailer?  Haven't had a chance to take it out for a spin yet... Poor Blackie?  He's still in pieces!

I'll post some boat floor pics here when I can- but in the mean time, here are a couple of shots of Buttercup and the gang racing last weekend:

At the start- BC is on the leading boat on the left.
BC is trimming the headsail- kneeling just above the boat name...

Well- the very first post here I talked about that old song, "Hello, I'm a truck."  There's a line in there that talks about his driver hustling waitresses while he gets left next to a cattle truck- pining for the pretty pink Mack with nice mudflaps and lots of chrome.  I guess all of us bikes are in the same boat- literally.  Stupid boat.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Morning Maintenance Quickie: Pedals

Hey!  It's me, Blu Bike, here to ask you an honest question... when was the last time you serviced your pedals?  I doubt your local wrench does anything but check they're still attached to your bike at your annual maintenance check up at your LBS, and I'm guessing you just assume they are fine- right?  But yet you'll buy gadgets and stuff to try to make your bike faster or more efficient.  A thorough pedal check-up takes only about 5 minutes per pedal, so let's talk about it real quick... (keep in mind that your pedals might be a little different, but the concepts are all the same- check your model's tech sheet).

First: we need to take it off the bike.  Don't forget that they thread in relation to the pedaling motion, so one is left threaded.
Dirty Pedal!
Next: take the end cap off, and remove the axle end bolt.  Some older pedals might have loose bearings at next- most modern pedals will be using sealed bearings.  But still be careful not to loose anything important.

Note that some pedals use a special tool from the other end of the axle in this process.

 Tired and dirty grease.  Blech.  No way that is efficient...

Now: Clean all that nasty grease off inside and out (pipe cleaners or cotton swabs are really handy here...) and give everything a good going over with some degreaser.  Same with the pedal body.  Use a brush and degreaser on all the exterior surfaces to get everything clean.  Then rinse everything and dry (compressed air is handy here if you have it).

Important note: Don't do too much dis-assembly to the pedal body!  There are springs in there that have a LOT of tension on them and would be very difficult to put it all back to together correctly.  The brush & cleaner will get it clean...

Last: Apply fresh grease liberally to the axle and re-install it.  Make sure to grease threads on everything to ease future removal.  Lubricate moving parts on the pedal body.  Lubricate the contact surface to the cleat.

Clean, happy, and ready for grease and re-assembly!
And put it back on!  Not hard, right?  Or if it is too difficult or time consuming, have your LBS wrench do it.  I guarantee both you and your bike will be happier for it!
If you find something that looks broken or seriously worn- get it checked out.  It could be a serious safety issue.

How often to do this, you ask?  How about we say once per season for most bikes?  Twice, if you are racking up serious (2500 miles or more) mileage.  So 10 or 20 minutes per year.

And more happy bikes!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Time with the Primary Hobby, and Maintenance

Hi all!  Blu Bike here.  One of the things that us bikes have to come to terms with is that we are not always the primary hobby or interest in our rider's life.  That's the case with us.  Buttercup is a sailor.  He was sailing long before he started riding, and will be sailing long after his pathetic body gives up cycling.  No worries.  So a quick report on where he's been for the past week!  Sailing!
Buttercup went to sail in the Annapolis NOOD (North American One Design) Regatta in the J-111 class.  The boat is new to the owners this year, but luckily BC & his Bride have some experience with similar boats.

A J-111 sistership
He and the crew evidently had a good time and learned a ton about the new boat (they had never raced that boat in a race that competitive before).  
Us bikes will also get left at home when BC and Bride go cruising on their boat as well.  We've talked about that stupid boat in a previous post- not looking forward to being left behind again this summer.  But luckily BC has really committed himself to this 200 miler at the end of June, so we won't get ditched all summer.
Longer term, BC has a plan that involves living on a boat full time.  Um, BC?  where the hell are we supposed to fit?  Boats like you're thinking aren't going to have enough room for us...  A WHAT?  what little brother?  a FOLDING BIKE?  Good Grief.
Always the last to know- evidently Buttercup has been doing some early window shopping for a little brother to us that would fit on the boat.  One of these...

I guess a folding bike makes sense.  And it seems like it might be cool- it's got an internal gear hub like Ingolstadt does, and that MTB-esque thing might make sense.  I guess it'll just be one more thing to distract him from the rest of us.  Wait.  If that thing fits on the boat... and we don't??? OH CRAP!


I also have some fun "private" pictures of my dirty brother, Blackie.  He's getting a spring tear down to make sure he's ready for the heavy training miles that he's going to have to put in over the next couple of months.  Then he'll probably get another one just before the big ride.
I can talk more about his maintenance later, but here's a sneak peak!

In the rack, ready to get work done.
ewww... bee carnage.  That's disgusting.

Dirty!  Dirty, dirty, dirty!
The Supervisor.  He's evidently got an owie, thus the sock.
Anyway- I'll chat more at ya in a bit, okay?  And we can talk more about Blackie's hygiene issues...