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   Ended the week with another ride to Waunakee at the end of my work day.  I've ridden all 5 work days every week this month and my monthly total now stands at 654.7 miles.  The loaner bike wasn't liking to shift into higher gears.  For lower gears the shift levers pull on cables.  For higher gears there are springs on the derailleurs that are supposed to push the against the pull of the cables.  Clearly the springs were not doing their job.  I thought maybe I spray of oil might fix this, but my oil is at the bike shop as it resides in my handlebar bag still on my bike.  So I took the bike to the shop on the way home.  It took the shop dude about 20 seconds to make an adjustment and sent me on my way.  Not exactly sure what he did but the gears were better behaved after that.
   The week has been rather rainy.  I got a few sprinkles today but wasn't drenched like yesterday.  The nice thing about the rainy weather has been the cloud cover.  Today there were a lot of wavy patterns in the clouds.  This is an HDR shop of the clouds just north of Middleton.
Collapsed Shocks

Collapsed Shocks

   Dropped the Iron Horse off at the shop this wet afternoon.  The rain was forecast to start latter than it actually did and I had rain on the ride into work as well as on the way home.  I was fairly wet by the time I made it to the bike shop.
   Pictured are the collapsed socks on my fork.  While I get a tune-up every year I wasn't told by any of the shops I use that they did not service shocks.  As a result something in them broke and they are as expensive to repair as they are to replace.  Since I don't ride off road I am having them replaced with a ridged fork which should give me a better traveling speed.  My bike shop has given me a loaner bicycle which is cool because I ride almost everyday.  Madison is such a cool city of cyclists.  I've never heard of a bike shop having loaner bikes.  But in Madison there are enough bicycle commuters like myself that the concept of loaner bike is a necessity.
   It is a strange feeling to ride a bike that isn't your own.  The bike I am riding is smaller than the Iron Horse, and sits more upright.  This is nice on my hand and back which give me problems after more than an hour of riding.  The bike doesn't have toe clips.  I brought a pair of normal shoes to change into at the shop as it is rather annoying to ride a bike in clip shoes when the bike doesn't have clips.  Right away I could feel a loss in riding power as there is no energy added in the upstroke.  Hills are slower because I cannot push and pull at the same time.  And my speeds are not as high. 
   The loaner bike also has skinny tires about half with of those on the Iron Horse.  They take between 50 and 75 PSI, and I put 60 in them just to make sure they had enough air.  The Iron Horse takes 50 PSI.  I noticed two things.  I feel the road a lot more which I expected.  What I should have expected but forgot about was the traction offered by smaller tires, or more accurately, the lack of traction.  Smaller tires mean less surface area making contact with the ground.  This is good for speed but not for grip.  I recalled this fact the hard way when I reached the Pheasant Branch trails.  There is a boardwalk through an area that can get (and is right now) fairly swampy.  The wood walkway can be slippery.  It has never been a problem on the Iron Horse, but not the case on the loaner bike.  I was moving about 12 MPH when the bike lost traction and I slide a long way on the wet wood surface.  While unharmed it was a rather harsh reminder that different bike configurations have different limitations.
   My ride today brings my monthly total to a record setting 612.3 miles for the month, and I still have 8 days of June left.
   I really like Indian food, and despite having just eaten at my favorite Indian restaurant on Monday I decided to bike the long way home and eat there again.  In Waunakee I stopped at a grocery store and picked up cookie.  I had a good eastern tailwind for the ride.  Winds are typically out of the west, but much of this month I have been getting strong winds from the east.
High Waters

High Waters

   This weekend I filled out my bicycling spreadsheet and noticed something.  As of the 15th of June I had already ridden 448 miles for the month, and the month was only half over.  I have already met my goal of 417 miles, and I still have 15 days left.  As of this morning I already was up to 500 miles for the month.  Last month I cycled 611 miles which broke my previous record set back in October of last year.  I think I can not only break the record again but hit 700 miles.

June 18, 2018

Happy Birthday Pluvius!

   This weekend Madison had flash flooding with a storm that formed right over the city and pretty much stayed there.  Waters were still quite high on my ride in to work this morning.  Pictured is the dam on Lake Wingra.  Or rather, the picture is of where the dam should be.  The waters on both sides are level.
   Birthday shout out to Pluvius.  Welcome to the 40th year old friend!
   This tree is no longer there.  Back in December we had a tree specialist come to the house so I could get a quote for removing some dead elm trees we had in the back.  She gave me a complete breakdown of the health of all the trees.  She recommended this tree by the driveway be removed as in time it would become a problem.  So Xiphos and I decided on this disgustingly hot and humid day to remove it.  Its sacrifice shall assist our fire pit some evening.
   A magnificent sunrise this morning.  Although the weather was threatening rain throughout the morning hours I was lucky enough to get a couple of dry windows.  I biked to breakfast just after the rain had stopped.  There was a bit of rain while I was eating breakfast but it had stopped again by the time I was done.  This lasted until after I had arrived at work when the rain picked up again.
   Our air compressor at the house quit working a couple weeks ago.  It would pump but never build up more than about 50 PSI of pressure.  I took the compressor assembly apart and believed I found a metal piece that has broken.  Online I found a complete repair kit which included the part and ordered it.  After it arrived I installed it and reassembled everything.  The first couple times I tried to start the compressor, it was working in reverse.  However, once I got all the pieces installed in the proper orientation the compressor started to build pressure.  Soon the tank was up to 120 PSI.  Looks like the air compressor is back in operation.
   When I bought the air compressor more than 10 years ago I used it primarily to air up my truck tires.  They were always losing air due to a poor rim design the last the seal every time the season changed.  Since then it has had a lot of use.  It's filed a number of tires, operates air tools, blows down a number of dusty items including my computer once a month, and fills my bike tires.  Sometimes you just don't know how useful a tool will become until you have one.