Archive for February, 2011

Run Fat Boy Run

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment

So let’s make this quite clear.


But still, you can’t do a traditional Triathlon without running, and if you saw my running times last year you know I suck at running. So need to get running. I just haven’t gotten around to it!

I dislike running for a number of reasons.

1- It’s not a skill, nobody has to learn how to run per say. You aren’t born knowing how to swim or ride a bike, but by 2 you can pretty much run. So to get better you simply need to run more

2- It’s slow. If I am outside I want to either take it easy and walk or get somewhere and ride my bike

3- There isn’t a lot of cool technology related to it, running shoes just don’t get complex and I can’t get excited about them

4- It’s hard on the body, a partial list of what you can expect include shin splits, Achilles tendinitis, runners knee, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprain, stress fractures, snapping hip and whatever is happening here in that opus of a running movie Run Fatboy Run.


Still, maybe I can get some motivation from other Running movies.

There are only a few. Chariots of Fire is a decent one, but the running is actually slowed down and basically it says that to run fast, you have to go slow mo and have a great sound track.


After CoF the list falls off. The Running Man doesn’t really have a lot of running in it. Without Limits is a decent one which I may have to track down but looks like an elite story about an elite athlete (there’s a reason there isn’t a Lance Armstrong movie, he came, he saw, he conquered…yawn). I want some soul.


When I think about a running movie that moved me I think of Gallipoli. Huh you say. Take a look at the trailer and tell me it’s not about running. 90% of the trailer is about running. If you haven’t seen this movie shame on you, not for the running, but like Breaking Away (ahhh…now that is how you motivate people) running is just the pretext for an awesome story. Still not something to get me running, but after seeing this movie I no longer dreamed of joining the military.


Time is “running” short. I needed motivation. Spring is approaching. I am doing tons of bike time both commuting and with the trainer and doing a lot of swimming too. But no running.

Yet, today I “ran” for the first time since the Reading Tri last September. I needed something to get me out of my running funk and it came from an unusual source. I have been reading Unbroken, the story of Louie Zamperini. The story has four parts. One part is about Louie the bombardier in the pacific theatre, another part is Louie stranded on a raft for 47(!) days, another part is Louie the Japanese prisoner of war. However, as much as each of those are amazing stories in their own, the first part is what got me. It’s about Louie the runner.

Louie Zamperini was an unlikely Olympic runner in the 5000m in the 1936 olympics, interacted with Hitler, brought home maybe the first stolen nazi flag and was poised to be a medalist at the 1940 Olympics. Then the war happened. I didn’t find the rest of the story as engrossing, mostly as a lot was similar to Tears in the Darkness, but still riveting nevertheless. The story of how he came to be a runner is just so incredible, it made being shot at, crashing, lost at sea and suffering in a POW camp seem tame. And it got my feet moving….

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Fit Kit – Giving a friend a second chance

February 16, 2011 2 comments

There are few true things in life, but sometimes something comes close. And for me my 1986 Gardin is pretty close. Would be gutted if it was ever stolen but for now it’s still with me and I hope it will stay for a while.

It’s been a hard life. I raced it constantly when in my teens, quite a few time trials, crits and hours and hours and hours of training rides. Then I used it to commute and abused it by putting it into the basement etc.

I was still using it last year in Tris. In all that time I did little to upgrade it and it was looking a little worst for wear.

This is how it looked before I really got started with the rehab. You may notice the bar tape a little worst for wear, tires don’t match, wheels out of true etc.

P9241600 (Large)

With the arrival of the Tarmac, I could put this bike into a state of stable calm. I looked it over. It had been used hard, but it deserved a second life. I put some plans in place and started trolling ebay and other online sites as well as picking up a few things on my travels.

This week I finished the “core” of the rehabilitation. Here is what I did

First off, I picked up some wheels. This bike won’t be used for racing or another other than some simple rides. Because this bike is from before hubs grew out a bit, it was hard to find wheels that fit. I eventually found a set at Harris Cyclery. These were SUN M13II rims with Quando Hubs. Pretty low tech and cost me about $140 shipped. They arrived and I got to ride on them a few times before the snow settled in.

They look good, are true and ride well. A few shots below.

Sun M13II rims

Rims are shiny at least


Quando Hubs..have heard a few bad things about these. We will see.

The skewers that came with the set were ok, but the clapped out Fiori I got from my brother had Campy hubs with Campy Skewers so off they came and a swap was made.


That is more like it!

With the wheels taken care of time to look at the rear derailleur. This was an older Mavic model. I wanted to keep everything campy and was thinking about getting a Victory Derailleur to have a complete set. A few things happened. First off we discovered my old Victory Derailleur was with the Fiori I got from my brother. Secondly it didn’t work all that well and thirdly I didn’t find it really looked all that elegant. Even looking at less banged up ones online they just weren’t the most elegant design IMHO. So on to eBay, found a number of mid-80s Super Record derailleurs, bid on a bunch and won one (would have been awkward if I won more than that!). This one came from Australia and with Shipping came out to about $90.

Campagnolo Super Record Rear Derailleur Pat. ’84 Campy
Sale price: AU $75.00
Estimated delivery: Varies
Shipping & Handling:
Regular AU $5.00
Local Pickup 0
Air Mail AU $12.00

Took a while to get it but it eventually arrived, off went the Mavic and on went the Super Record. Had to file down a few rough edges on the cages but that was it. Again was able to do a ride or two and it worked a charm. Very crisp and precise!


Back end taken care of now! Bling Bling!

Next up the pedals. I had cheap older style SPD Shinamo-compatible pedals. I had a better pair of Shimano A530(?) pedals on the Tarmac but I recently picked up a set of new 105 Pedals for that bike so these have now been moved to the Gardin.


Simple pedals…only bit of Shimano I have!

With the Gardin being more about shine and the Tarmac being more about black the pedal swap makes sense.

I also found the seat that came with the Tarmac was a bit hard and I never got comfortable with it, so got a newer one there and the old one is nice and white and really stands out on the Gardin. So that was moved over as well.


Perfect Colour match!

Finally wanted to pick up some tires as the old ones were, well old and they didn’t match. While in the States found these Fortes at Performance Bikes in San Francisco. Ok, it’s their in house brand but reviews are positive and this will be a bike that I just use on the odd Sunday ride. I also liked the overall look. The price at $25 a pop was right. So on they went.


Put on new Bar Tape, changed out one brake cable that seemed shot. And that was it. A few things are still “wrong”. The left crank arm is not campy and cheapish, bottom bracket probably should be replaced, and the stem is loose, but I am very pleased.

This is how it looks now. Ready and raring to go. It’s still Mid February so a few weeks left yet, but this is one retro ride I can’t wait to see how it worked out!


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Categories: bicycling, Fit Kit, Update

Is an Indoor Training Tire worth it?

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Recently noticed that the rear tire on my Tarmac was getting thin, obviously all that time spent with the sufferfest was having an effect. With still at least another 2-3 months before I stop using the trainer I doubt it will make it to the end.

So decided to join the orange revolution, no not the one in the Ukraine, but the increasingly popular decision to put a training specific tire on your bike for the winter. I considered that I also had a boatload of older tires from various past wheels hanging around and maybe those could be put to use, but a training tire has the advantage of being somewhat permanent.

I purchased the Continental Ultra Sport HomeTrainer from my local LBS for about $50.  The person I bought it from said that I probably wouldn’t be able to install this at home as it’s pretty stiff. Aha, a challenge.

Well..she was right. This tire is very stiff and doesn’t have some of the give that a normal tire would. Often I would finally get it on one side, then notice the other side had since gone off. Very frustrating. It destroyed two sets of fairly solid plastic tire levers and the one time I did get the tire mounted fully the inner tube was pinched and leaked. So two sets of tire irons at $4 a pop and a $4 tube. I’m up to $62 and still don’t have it mounted.

So back to and too see what was on offer in the area of more “professional” levers. This time I ordered some Filzer Shop Tire Levers for another $20. I wanted something a bit more robust for home anyways so maybe can’t really say this was a cost of the training tire, but let’s say yes so we are up to $82. The new tire levers were great and I will use these a lot in the future but in the end was still too difficult to mount these on the wheels that came with my Tarmac without risking some major scratching so decided to put it on that old Fiori I have been using from time to time. That way I can keep using it to supplement my training in the summer. I still prefer to use the Tarmac so that one I will just let it eat up the tire then replace them in the spring. Thinking of getting a better wheelset anyways in the spring. Even with the super levers still pinched two inner tubes. One I tossed (another $4) but the other one I patched as at this rate I was going to run out of tubes before I got a chance to see if my investment works. So in the end the tire “cost” me around $85.

Considering I have 3 old tires with some thread still hanging around I think I would have been been a bit better off using an old tire, but it’s mounted now and hopefully will stay there for some time!!

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