Friday, March 28, 2014

In Which I Ride The Hill and Install New Technology

Bottom of Bowman Woods hill. This is looking west from the east  side of the hlll--it's a much bigger hill. The steep part is around the bend. This is on the afternoon ride, in the morning I climbed the west side of the hill. After taking the picture, I rode up the hill.
The computer, the lights and Francis.

I rode the neighborhood hill this morning as the start of more serious RAGBRAI training. I ride up the MMU hill each morning when I commute, so I get some hill practice—but getting ready for RAGBRAI is not just putting in the time and miles (even if it is mainly putting in the time and miles), but also getting comfortable with a lot of uphill riding.

Which is a minor problem in Cedar Rapids. We’re not exactly a flat part of Iowa, but we’re sure not Dubuque (or Muscatine). There are a fair number of modest rolls in the land, but not many monster hills. And even if this is a relatively short, relatively flat RAGBRAI, don’t let that “relatively” fool you. On certain days there will be plenty of hills.

So there needs to be hills in my practice. Luckily, I live near one of the big hills—the Bowman Woods hill. You head up Brentwood Drive and then Crandall Drive to reach the summit, and it’s pretty good RAGBRAI practice.

I rode up the hill twice today—once in the morning during my ride to the gym, and once in the afternoon. More on that ride soon.

The ride up the hill actually felt pretty good. My RAGBRAI legs from last year aren’t totally gone. And it has me thinking—is this the year? Once in my RAGBRAI career, I want to do it.

The 100-mile loop. Maybe in 2014? I’m not sure, but I’m thinking about it.

Anyway, we had to take our van in for service today, and while we were waiting for the work be be done, we did a little shopping. I picked up a new bike computer and some spoke lights.

At around 5, I decided to install the new computer. It took about 30 minutes, and when I got all done, I decided to go for a ride. And the computer didn’t register anything—would not detect the motion of the bike.

Well, I’m sure 100 percent of you bikers know what the problem was. I needed to move the magnet and detector closer together. I fiddled with it several times in the first half-mile of my ride, and by the time I got to the corner of C Avenue and Blairs Ferry, the computer was working.

It’s not has fancy as one I lost—it has no thermometer, for example. But it’s bigger, and my old eyes will appreciate that.

And I never used the old one for the thermometer anyway. What do you think, blog fans? Should the new computer record a 100-mile ride this summer?
Installation done, ready for ride, or so I thought. It took some playing before the new computer would register the motion of the bike, but eventually I got it working.

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