My new ride, a custom built 2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4.

The CAAD9 will be my weekend ride for endurance training. My ‘99 Schwinn Frontier will continue to serve as my daily commuter and touring ride.

Abandoned farm house atop a hill along the Little Miami Bike Trail south of Morrow, OH.

Merry Christmas to Me!

Well, it took a while but they’re on there, the SKS P65 Chromoplastic fender set​. All told, I think it took about 2-3 hours to test fit, measure, measure again and again, cut, re-fit, remeasure, cut again, and install. I’m pleased with the results if their installation left something to be desired.

Also pictured is the Ibera PakRak IB-RA4 rear rack. The rack was a snap to install. I haven’t load tested it yet with overstuffed panniers but I like the look and can’t wait to give them a workout.

Finally, those with a sharp eye will notice the addition of a second bottle holder, mounted on the seat tube. That about sums up the hardware presents from Christmas. I received plenty of apparel to help me get back in the saddle during chillier Winter months. So far so good.

Front Fender Mod

The other day I made reference to the difficulty I had mounting the front fender for an SKS P65 Chromoplastic fender set.

The photos above should amply illustrate the issue, basically that the supplied stays were about 1-1/4 inch too long. It took quite a bit of trial and error test fitting and measuring before I had the courage to lop off the 1-1/4 inch from each stay, figuring that ordering replacements if I goofed would be time consuming and frustrating.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the fender set but ease of installation has not thus far proven to be one of it’s pros, and I haven’t even gotten to the rear fender yet.

REI Purchases

Much like my visits to the Apple Store, I’m unable to leave the newly opened local REI store without putting a dent in my checking account! Pictured in the foreground is my Schwinn Frontier undergoing installation of an SKS P65 Chromoplastic fender set on a new Feedback Sports Pro Ultralight Repair Stand. In the background is my wife’s Schwinn Frontier and my daughter’s Specialized Hotrock in a Topeak B2 bike stand.

I’ve been a bit quiet lately but I haven’t been completely inactive. The weather, well mostly the sub-30°F temperatures have kept me off the bike, but I’ve made some purchases in preparation for my first trial ride this weekend, weather permitting. I’ve purchased way too much clothing to list here, including my first spandex. Fearnaught, I’ll always be wearing a shell or baggy shorts over my bike shorts. I’ve also purchased, but have not yet begun to read “Bike Touring Survival Guide.” Finally, along with the aforementioned fender set, I’ve also purchased an Ibera PakRak IB-RA4 rear rack. It will go on as soon as I’ve completed the fender set installation. More to come about the difficult fender set installation in a future post.

Temporarily Sidelined!

Two weeks ago I hyperextended my left index finger playing volleyball in the house with my daughter (after having twice been warned not to do so by my wife!). I have an avulsion fracture as a result of the hyper-extension. It is safe to say that I did not fully appreciate the joy of healthy fingers until now.

Oddly enough, I rode my bike to work the day after I broke my finger, likely since I hadn’t yet had it examined. Likewise I rode to urgent care and from there home. Halfway to work I knew it would be a short day at the office since I felt every bump.

I’ve only been on the bike once since, nine days after the injury, to and from work. It wasn’t terribly painful but the morning temperature has been hovering around 20°F. I’d have to take my finger out of the splint to get my glove on and without the splint my finger involuntarily moves with every grab of the handlebar or brake lever and with very painful results.

Today it was 60°F and I promised to drive my wife to Columbus to pick up her Christmas present. You remember my wife; the one who will never let me forget that I broke my finger playing volleyball in the house. I decided I needed the marital karma more than I needed a ride. If I sound conflicted about that statement… Well… No comment.

I haven’t been totally unproductive. Still doing plenty of reading about bicycle touring and ride preparation. I’ve also invested in a lot of bike apparel to help deal with the increasingly cold (except for today!) weather. That’s all for now. Oh, the splint may come off this Friday but even the slightest movement triggers pain on occasion. So I’m not optimistic about a splint-free Christmas. Ugh.

My 1999 Schwinn Frontier

It’s stock, for now. I’ve got big plans for it though. I plan to add front and rear racks, both with separate sets of panniers. I found a post that seems to indicate that at least one (rather diminutive) cyclist has found the Frontier an ideal mount for touring. Here are the current specs (with some Amazon referral links!):

Rails Links to Explore


This post has been replicated on Coach Brinkmann’s blog. You should go there immediately!

This post is for Coach Brinkmann’s students at Little Miami High School and anyone else with an interest in becoming a Web developer. That said, here are some links to explore (in no particular order):

That should get you started. If you complete them all, you’ll have no problem locating other resources yourself.

Happy Programming!

Dry Run Details

As part of my run up to the big ride I’ve decided to embark upon a few shorter rides of steadily increasing distance. Here’s what I’ve decided:

Ride #1: 60 miles from Cedarville, OH to home on January 5th with a fallback date of January 19th. My wife will shuttle me and my bike to the jump off point.

Ride #2: 120 miles, essentially the same route as Ride #1 except it will be an “out and back” from home to Cedarville and back home the weekend of March 23-24 with a fallback of April 13-14. I’m thinking of booking a room at the Hearthstone Inn for the overnight stay on the Cedarville end.

Ride #3: This one will be a treat if Rides #1 and #2 go well; 260 miles from Cumberland, MD to Point of Rocks, MD and back along the C&O Canal Towpath! Dates to be determined but some time in June or July, the earlier the better. The plan is to drive the bike in my van to Cumberland and then park the van for the four days of the ride.

In other news, I’ve received some great information from several cyclists about how to pack for my rides, not the least of which are the links below from Tyler Wymer, currently touring New Zealand.

That’s it for now. Any advice or related experiences are gratefully appreciated.