Sunday, March 08, 2015

Dirty Kanza 200 Chronicles V2: Cheater Bike

The roads were clear- just- and so they were very mushy!
My friend Ari of the Slender Fungus Cycling Asscociation has a term for road bikes. He calls them "cheater bikes". I suspect it is because they are so easy to motivate and keep going due to their light weight and what not. I'm guessing here, so Ari: If you read this correct me if I am wrong!

Anyway, I've spent the last two months either sick and not riding at all, or on a fat bike. I had not ridden any of my gravel bikes save the Vaya on a few short commutes, and nothing outside the city limits on any bike all year long till yesterday. It's just been a tough year so far. Either weather, circumstances, or sickness has prevailed against me in riding bikes, but now that should be changing. At least it did yesterday.

But enough of that. Back to the "cheater bike" theory. Since I've been slogging around town on either the Blackborow DS or the Ti Mukluk, I have become accustomed to heavier bikes, heavy wheels, and soft surfaces. Yesterday I eliminated two out of those three things! The bike was the Tamland Two, and the tires were the Soma Cazaderos, but the soft surfaces- at least on the gravel roads- persisted. And man! Were they ever soft in places!

A rare, drier section, heading West.

Barns For Jason: Tin roof. Rusted!
You can see how the road is saturated with moisture. Right here your feet would sink in several inches if you attempted to walk on the road.
The weather, until yesterday bitterly cold and often below zero degrees Fahrenheit, finally punched above freezing, and soared into the upper 40's with a clear sky and stiff Northwesterly wind. That made for massive amounts of snow melt and that is what saturated the roads. I found very few stretches which I would deem "dry" out there. Between that and the wind, it was rough going North or West. Really slow! Managing 10-11mph was about all I had. However; when I turned with the wind, I could really motor. The bike would feel incredibly light, and on some pavement sections I could easily cruise at above 20mph, even though I am really not in very good riding shape. Yes- the wind helped- but even into the wind, I could turn the cranks over easier, so, ya know.......cheater bike! 

A bit of snow melt covered bicycle path once back into town.
 It was a great first gravel ride for 2015. I am really sorry it took this long to finally get that in there, but really happy to say that I was actually healthy enough to do it. It wasn't all that long of a ride, just two hours, but "baby steps", as they say.

I have a long, long way to go before I get "DK 200" ready, but this upcoming week helps with the temperatures finally staying above freezing daily and no precipitation for several days. That will help eliminate the super mushy places out there and hopefully firm up the roads overall. That said, the mushy, wet roads combined with the wind made for a real kick in the junk and should help put me back on the road to becoming better fitness-wise.

A couple tid-bits. I was asked to participate in the DK 200 trading card deal. Would anyone actually want a DK 200 card with me on it? Anyway..... On the hardware side, I have something happening soon that will kind of dictate bike choice, or at least severely narrow things down Stay tuned on that front. I also will be doing some training on a single speed coming up as well. I suspect that will get me the "steady miles" and keep me from racing like a dog off the leash as weather and roads improve.

Okay, more soon......


youcancallmeAl said...

Are you saying that a lighter bike will have a higher steady state top speed than a heavy one on level ground? Or is it the tires?

Guitar Ted said...

@youcancallmeAl - Don't over think this Al. My Tamland is ten pounds lighter than my Blackborow DS. It doesn't take much thought to figure out which bike is easier to accelerate and what surface conditions are going to allow easier travel (Mushy gravel or deep snow versus dry roads and pavement)

This all is subject to the rider on board, which is a bigger deal than anything else being discussed here.

youcancallmeAl said...

of course the road bike will accelerate quicker

Guitar Ted said...

@youcancallmeAl- Exactly Thus "cheater bike". ;>)

youcancallmeAl said...

"I suspect it is because they are so easy to motivate and keep going due to their light weight and what not."

"but even into the wind, I could turn the cranks over easier, so, ya know.......cheater bike!"

The weight of the bike has nothing to do with the effort required to maintain a given speed or the effort required to turn the cranks to maintain a given speed.

Guitar Ted said...

@youcancallmeAl- So....rotational mass is nothing then.


youcancallmeAl said...

Rotational mass does not affect the steady state top speed , just the time it takes to reach that speed.

Guitar Ted said...

@youcancallmeAl- In a perfect situation.....maybe. Factor in rolling resistance factors with fat and skinnier tires due to mud, uneven road conditions, wind resistance on fat tires vs skinny, varying wind speeds, and well......

none of that matters either.

Again=- you're over thinking, Al. Ten pounds difference.


youcancallmeAl said...

none of those items you just mentioned are related to the weight of the bicycle. My original point was and IS that bike weight has nothing to do with steady state speed.It is a common misconception.As for rolling resistance, see Jan Heine's field tests on tire rolling resistance.

Guitar Ted said...

@ youcancallmeAl- So you don't have to accelerate, reacelerate, or push against varying winds or vary power applied to go through varying road conditions? Going up or down has zero effect on effort?

Wow. Cycling is easier than I thought. Thanks Al.

Well aware of Jan's work. read it every chance I get. thanks for the reference.

Ten pounds difference.......

youcancallmeAl said...

none of that has a thing to do with my original statement that the weight of the bicycle does not affect steady state bike speed or the effort required to maintain it!!

Guitar Ted said...

@youcancallmsAl: See......the thing is that all along during this debate, Al, you have singled out one sentence in my entire story and tried to make a statement.

You are trying to make a point out of context. This was my experience and on roads and bicycles you have no experience with. All the while you were taking one facet of that experience and trying to doggedly make a point while blindly refusing to deal with the entire post. You know what? That is...well, it's rather droll and it isn't getting anywhere with me.

Ten ponds difference, Al. Ten pounds.

youcancallmeAl said...

Youre right I'm concentrating on one point in your story. Because it is wrong and you are spreading inaccurate information. You may think your experience defies all the known laws of physics but I can assure you that aint happening. Newton didnt develop one set of laws for Iowa and another set for the rest of the universe.
And you have no idea what kind of roads and bicycles I have experience with.

Guitar Ted said...

I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. maybe there is resistance to motion that can cause extra energy to necessarily be exerted or used to maintain a state of uniform motion.

Yeah, that's what I am saying.

II. The relationship between an object's mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma. Acceleration and force are vectors (as indicated by their symbols being displayed in slant bold font); in this law the direction of the force vector is the same as the direction of the acceleration vector.

Commentary on this principle: "..... according to Newton, a force causes only a change in velocity (an acceleration); it does not maintain the velocity..."

Again- More force to change velocity, when forces exist that resist the velocity and those forces are constantly changing in reality. Ya know, like consistency of mud, road gravel size/shape, or when gravitational/mass issues are considered which could be different.

Yeah, that's exactly what I am saying.

And finally-

III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

When something is applied as resistance an equal and opposite force must exist against that resistance for Newton's Law of Motion to work. Of course, this value can be changing constantly, or be changed when resistance against a force is changed. It doesn't have to be fixed, or the same in time.

I haven't disagreed with that either.

Ten pounds difference, Al.

And with that, I will no longer entertain your single minded attempts to discredit a casual story that most people find quite simple to understand.