CARDS AND LIGHTS

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No, I’m not reflecting on Christmas again, but I must confess it has always been my favorite time of the year.

Today its the “Credit/Debit Card” and the mysteries therein! My business card for Cozy Comfort expired 11/16 and a new one never showed up so naturally the bank was contacted and another one was ordered ………. NOTHING!!!

Once more the bank are called and the sequence is repeated and after the statutory 3 weeks has gone by with zero result they are contacted AGAIN. They claim they have NO RECORD of the request but after a lot of arguing they will order another one. As we get ever closer to the middle of March it finally arrives and I duly activate it at the local bank. Small problemeeee!!! its the same account as my personal one so I now have TWO!! Once more the irate customer orders yet another card for the correct account and the infernal wait begins.

Meanwhile while Brenda is attending her father’s funeral  I look at my personal UK Lloyds account and see I have been shopping at TESCO in Solihull !!! For those not in the know TESCO is a giant supermarket store chain in the UK rather like Safeway. Of course Brenda has never shopped there and its her card these criminals have somehow got hold of ?????  3 test runs for 2 GBP at a store in Cheshunt UK, which is just outside London, and then THREE larger transactions for just under 100GBP each at stores in Redditch and Solihull which are in the Midlands close to Birmingham. The Bank closes her card, issues a new one, and refunds all the money to my account.

Brenda gets her NEW card a week after she gets back from Buffalo but I’m still looking for my new local card and decide I’d better check all the others. My UK  Credit card for MBNA now runs out 4/17 so I contact them and they tell me it was sent on 3/22/17 so be patient for a little longer………. 10 days goes by and now we are in mid April so yesterday morning I contact them AGAIN and this time they will expedite a new card for next Friday, but in the meantime they will cancel the replacement card and put the account on hold until I get the new one. Well that’s the first task complete for Friday morning  so now onto the next annoyance …. The Cadillac running lights!

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New bulb at the ready

The Driver’s side daytime running light had failed so I go and get another one and earlier in the week set about changing it. To do this on the Cadi requires taking nearly the entire front off to get behind the oversize headlights. Rods, clips, nuts and bolts, and the headlight is free but the bulb has not failed but the plastic holder is decidedly burnt and cracked. Put it all back and get the correct holder, which must be “gold plated” as is costs $39.00 for a bit of plastic!

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The monster light unit is free!

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Crispy crittered!

1130, tools at the ready, the Cadi is opened up once more and some minor surgery is completed before buttoning everything up and it is duly tested and works. Second job of Friday morning complete!

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The gold plated plastic holder goes in

A few more minor jobs finished off and now my “dance card” is fairly free. No ride today but never mind its horribly windy.

The post arrives……….. Yes, you guessed it the bloody replacement card from the UK has turned up …….. and to add insult to injury so has the local card.

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Yes, here it is, but no worry WE have cancelled it already!!!!!

Quick phone call to the UK but TOO LATE the die is cast and it can’t be reversed!!

TONY DOWN

THE FITTING

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First fitting

Many of you will remember when there was ONLY ONE, James Bond, and I’m talking Sean Connery of course. Well during those countless early Bond movies you would often see him at his Saville Row tailor’s being fitted for his new suit or DJ. Indeed during my 30 years in the Royal Air Force I can remember my own multiple fittings for uniforms and formal attire with Moss Bros our military tailor.

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Some 50 years later here I am having a “fitting” for my new bicycle. A lot of science goes into this and I’ll settle for the simple rather than plunge into any wind tunnel requirements.

Saturday morning and with all the required cycling bits I’m at Kokkopeli’s in Cortez and ready to see what needs to be changed. The pristine Roubaix is strapped into the frame and its time to start pedaling.

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Phase 1 seat height and fore & aft

Scott, the fitter, tells me I am a “toe pedal” and runs round taking various pictures. With his danglemonitor I’m measured for angles and with more pictures the first adjustments are made. The seat comes up a couple of inches and the seat moves forward an inch or so and now my numbers fit within the prescribed angles.

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It feels a bit different so now the stem needs to be changed for a shorter one and come up from 7 degrees to 16.

Phase 2  Stem & Bars

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Shorter stem and a bit more rise

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Scott, my tailor of the day, says we are about right and shows me the “before and after” pics. I have now decided I need these “shorty” levers as in the event of an emergency I might not get my hand on the main lever in time.

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Very impressed with these little fellas, easy to use and great for my confidence. They fit into the main cables so it becomes an either/or operation.

Back home and time to fit the other speedo as I couldn’t easily read the numbers on the other one!

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That’s better!

A very successful morning and now back in time for pool which goes very well after almost 2 months dithering about in the doldrums and even suffering TWO First Outs! Today I played well, enjoyed it, and finished in 2nd place.

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Fitting complete!

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2nd place today

TONY DOWN

“THE WHEELS ON THE BIKE GO ROUND AND ROUND”

On the last day of Spring Break Brenda’s father died. This was not unexpected as he has had a series of strokes over the last few years.

Arrangements are made and she leaves for Buffalo on Wednesday morning at some ungodly hour for a series of flights to Dallas, then Charlotte and finally Buffalo. We make the 70 mile run to Durango by 0520 but then the “50lb one bag rule” comes into play and hers is on the scale at 60 ! A big plastic bag later and I have 10lbs of clothes to take home. Believe it or not this extra 10lbs would have cost an additional $100 …….. scandalous!!!

The flight gets delayed and after all the rerouting she finally makes it to Buffalo but the troublesome bag did not!

I was also in Durango on Tuesday for my Doctor’s visit and thanks to NOT SMOKING and, no doubt all the 7000′ fitness training, I’m now off my Iron Lung nighttime oxygen and no longer need the twice daily Advair inhaler.

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None of this!

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I hear what you say!

This year my fitness target was set at 3000 miles, which, after last year’s 2031 miles in the book seemed feasible. So far I have already exceeded my ongoing targets. My original thoughts were maybe 400 by 3/28/17  (my Doctor’s visit) as this was the number for last year on 6/4/16, my first visit, after taking up  cycling again. Despite some days of miserable cold, rain, snow and the mind numbing wind, some dogged persistence of the aim banged up 550.90 by Tuesday’s return to the hospital. ……. by the end of March 2016 I had 80.61 compared to this year’s impressive 585.42

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Monday, and Brenda should be back today, so another trip to Durango. The cycling mileage continues to climb and by the time I’m off to work for the afternoon run I’m at 642.59 and if all goes well I’ll be in Durango around 1930 with her ETA at 1952. a good run, although it snows like hell up on the high ground of CR 17 & 18. Time for a quick Shrimp & Lobster sauce at the Ocean Pearl and I’m on the road in the rain, snow and sleet.

Well for the most part its daylight so I can see where the road is going. On time and arrive at the airport and find her flight is running 20 minutes ahead of schedule.  It arrives and the passengers are quickly in the terminal, but once again her bag is not!! Nobody in the building so she will contact the airline later.

Once more the weather changes and its snowing heavy wet snow and hard work seeing through the “Startrek Asteroid Belt”.

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Even worse in Durango itself as there is NO street lighting and bloody dangerous in these conditions. More snow, rain, fog and low cloud to contend with including a couple of spinoffs on the main road but we make it by 2130.

Tuesday, and Very Windy! also cold and bloody miserable with all of yesterday’s snow in full melt. With crappy weather I still manage to add another 40 miles and finish up the week at 682.55 …… and Brenda’s much travelled bag arrives with a broken wheel.

 

TONY DOWN

SPRING BREAK 1/2 WAY

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Wednesday marks the 1/2 way point of this year’s Spring Break. Up until today the weather, apart from some wind, has been very nice,  warm and sunny, but tonight its all set to change.

Well surprise, this morning and so far the predicted doom and gloom has yet to arrive. Still dry, overcast, and precious little wind. Some breaks in the cloud, very much a wait and see day.

Colder for sure, chilly wind and then a couple of snow showers around 1100 but now dry again but pretty miserable. Mid afternoon and now its colder with sleet and drizzle so No ride today and a rest day was probably no bad thing.

At the start of Spring Break there was 374.69 on the odometer and now prior to the enforced rest day I’m at 470.59 . Still hoping to hit my target, and more, by 3/28/17.

Still a few things I need advice about (becoming a bike shop pest) I need to know if my riding position is correct? Is my reach correct? Do I need the bars higher? Time to consult an expert before I do anything. Having read all the articles and seen some of the videos it seems there is quite a lot to this fitting game. A high percentage of it is common sense but you DO need someone to check the angles and measurements. The acid test is how does it feel?

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So the fitting is comfortably connecting  5 of my moving parts to the Roubaix.  The correct length of seat post height is the most critical, which then gives the right power at the pedal.

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Think I got this one correct as I used the same length that I have on the Giant MTB

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Then using ME as the “bendy toy” see if  “my angles” match up with the data sheet and start thinking about how to correct what ever the problems might be.

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……… and if it can’t be fixed, either sell the bike, or go in for some serious surgery!

Of course it maybe the change from MTB and Trials could be part of the issue, a bit like changing from a Trials bike to a Crotch Rocket!

The most comfortable cycling position is with the hands on the cross section of the bars.

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This seems to be about my perfect reach but is not really the brightest position as your hands and fingers are not near the brakes or shifters! About as stupid as  “Highway Pegs” on a “Hardly Albeson” ……. but don’t get me started on that one!!!

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Current set up on the Roubaix

Stem and “angle of dangle” seems to be where I’m looking next. Currently I’m using 100mm/7 degree rise and I think I need to be shorter in length and higher in angles, although of course any rise in angles will bring the bars back closer to me

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Ugly but you get the idea

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Then there are the bars themselves which can be rotated, but the levers and shifters must be in a sensible position.

Having searched the local area my local shop is both the most convenient and cheapest so I’ll be in there next Saturday to see what can be done.

TONY DOWN