Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday News And Views

Cycling makes me feel great. Now there may be some science to back up the reasons why.
Blinded Me With Science:

I don't know about you, but after I started commuting by bicycle to work, I hated having to drive that commute if the situation warranted it. I never used to be that way. I would just jump into whatever vehicle I had through the years and, ya know......drive to work. No big deal, right? I mean, there were the occasional idiots and near misses, but that's par for the course. I didn't "hate driving to work" then.

But something happened when I started commuting by bicycle. I dreaded driving after a while. Now I never quite understood what it was that switched me around, but I knew I was much more calm, at ease, and mellow after riding to work, and it just felt right. Ya know? I never really had any basis for feeling that way, but now it seems that science has some answers for me regarding this.

It's an older article called "This Is Your Brain On Bikes", and while I cannot verify that any of its claims are based on good science, I can sure find a lot to agree with in that article. Certainly there has to be something about the mood enhancements gained from cycling because I totally identify with that part of the article. Cycling does bring me a good feeling, and it really does help with being depressed. Especially this time of the year when there is little Sun and lots of cold dark time.

So, a plan has been devised..........finally!
Project Inbred:

Two and a half years ago I received my original On One Inbred back. The image today is just how I received it on my bench one day after it had been through two other owners.

Since that time the frame has hung on a hook in my Lab/dungeon/horde and nothing has been done with it. Honestly, I couldn't come up with a good reason to fix it up. I had waaaay too many single speed 29"ers any way, and setting it up geared seemed........wrong. I just wasn't into it and so it hung there.

Meanwhile the original fork also came back to me but it had been thrashed to the point of failure. I couldn't use it. Fortunately I still had the On One Carbon Super Light fork and that's what is on the Inbred now. But other than hanging that fork, I had made zero progress on this.

The mind works in strange ways and sometimes a part or component can spark inspiration. So it was when I received those WTB Ranger 29 X 2.4" tires the other day. They obviously needed to go on a mtb frame, but which one? Since quitting "Twenty Nine Inches" I have thinned the heard of 29"ers and the ones that are left I want to keep the way that they are. But there was that Inbred frame and fork.......just hanging there!  Stay tuned...............

Old Shirey Way (Lower Hartman to you younginz)
 Post Flood Mess:

Yesterday I went down to check on the conditions of the trails near the Cedar River on the South side. The river had fallen below flood stage the day before and with the super-dry air I was wondering how things were going as far as drainage of the backwater was concerned.

Well.......it's a mess.

I feared as much. It isn't going to clear up soon either. With the water table as elevated as it is, that remaining water that didn't/couldn't drain back into the river is just going to sit, and sit, and sit. Obviously it will go away at some point, but by the time it does we will be nigh unto Winter and Fall will be a distant memory here. Brown season will be in full swing and will stay until/if it snows. Who knows when that will be.

In the meantime, I will be gravel riding more and waiting for the Green Belt to clear up. When it does, I'll have to go investigate Marky-Mark- that trail I put in 22 years ago, and see if it needs any touching up. Other than that bit, I'll probably just see how the lay of the land is and determine just what remained and what went down to Louisiana in the flood. Every time it floods the Green Belt changes. You never know what you'll find. Sand in new places, sometimes feet deep. Trail shooting off right into the river where it eroded the banks. Ya gotta take it easy the first time you go in after a flood!

I remember riding back in there years ago after a flood, taking a sweeper at high speed, running through a little wall of tall weeds, only to see nothing but air in front of me. Fortunately the cantilever brakes and 26 inch tires brought me to a halt mere inches from sailing off the new cut bank into the creek several feet below. Exciting, but nearly disastrous.

Now days I usually opt for the fat bike, usually the Blackborow DS, and just slow crawl the entire Green Belt. It helps with the sand and whatever mud I might find. Plus it keeps me safer. I figure on getting back in there in at least a couple of weeks from now. But like I said, for now it will all be gravel travel.

Have a great weekend and keep the rubber side down!

 

6 comments:

bnelson said...

gt have you had to bleed 105 st rs 505 brakes?any links to procedure?

Guitar Ted said...

@bsnelson- Shimano brakes are generally some of the easiest to bleed. You'll need a "bleed pot", or reservoir of some sort to allow more fluid to be pushed out of the system at the master cylinder. You will also need a syringe and some surgical tubing, an 8mm box end wrench, some nitrile gloves, and some Shimano mineral fluid.

The basic procedure is similar for all Shimano brakes, but this Bike Radar pice should get you going: https://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/article/how-to-bleed-shimano-road-bike-disc-brakes-43717/

Steven Butcher said...

Mark, just a few comments on "your brain on bikes". I have been avowed bike commuter though my commute is only about 8 miles round trip. I echo your comments on feeling slighted when I have to drive instead of bike. I'm not a rainy weather commuter unless I get caught in rain en route to work or home; but do not leave home on bike if it is raining or if I hear thunder or see lightning. Also, though I have been known to ride in temperatures in the sub zero range or in the triple digits, I have had to mitigate my rides in these conditions. Also, once we get enough winter weather to require road salt (we lack any sort of bike path between my home and workplace), I no longer bike commute due to not wanting to trash my bikes and I lack enough time at the end of the day to perform the preventative maintenance required. I know I sound pretty fussy but that's the way it is. Now, regarding mood and bicycling, my wife will sometimes ask me: "Are you going to get to ride today?" Likely, the act of physical exertion, exposure to sunshine and fresh air, and enjoying God's creation has a positive effect on serotonin levels. -Doc

Guitar Ted said...

@bnelson- CORRECTION- You'll need a 7mm box end wrench for that bleed port. Just checked it here at the shop. Sorry for any inconvenience!

Guitar Ted said...

@Steven Butcher- Makes sense, and I do likewise generally when it comes to severe conditions and rain. Thanks for the comments!

youcancallmeAl said...

It's simple. We're drug addicts. "Endorphins are only one of many neurotransmitters released when you exercise. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood.

For example, regular exercise can positively impact serotonin levels in your brain. Raising your levels of serotonin boosts your mood and overall sense of well-being. It can also help improve your appetite and sleep cycles, which are often negatively affected by depression."