Time to Upgrade

Holiday weekends are fun. It is easy to forget that we don’t have to do everything and try to overstuff the days, but this time I took it nice and easy. 

Friday was a party day with some colleagues from my old job… After an early morning run, of course. The drinks gave way to a Rock Band (game) session with lots of singing and bass playing. Excellent fun. 

Saturday led to the traditional Tour d’Omelette ride. I wasn’t sure if I’d actually make it after Friday so I left the arrangements to the last minute. Through some miracle I was up at 5:30 and made it to the start point. 26.5 miles of riding into central Philly to have breakfast at the Famous 4th Street Deli. The food there is incredible in both taste and scale. The omelette is a six egg omelette. Not two or three but six!  

What a beautiful bunch! 

The hardest part of the ride is getting home afterwards with all of that inside your belly. Here’s and example of the Corned Beef Hash.  

It took four people and a carry-out portion to clear this. It may not look it but this portion is about five inches high!

A few of the group decided we should ride up the legendary Wall in Manayunk. It is a steep hill and the crew handled it well. 

En route home our team witnessed and assisted at a nasty bike accident. A wife crashed into the back of her husband’s bike while trying to overtake our group. They didn’t see the bikes coming the other way and tried to slow too quickly causing her to go flying off the bike at about 22/24 mph. 

She was unconscious for a couple of minutes. Fortunately, one of the guys in our group is a trained nurse and he helped her out. Another of the team is a leader at a hospital and was onto the emergency service immediately organising an ambulance. I and another member setup traffic patrol to slow other cyclists and make the area safe. 

Once she was ‘back with us’ and the ambulance was on the way a few of us got moving again to clear the area a little. 

We all wish her a speedy recovery. Some important general safety points to consider though:

  1. Public bike trails that are busy aren’t really good for high-sped riding. Dial it back and ensure you can see before committing to overtaking manoeuvres.
  2. Announce clearly and well in advance before attempting an overtaking manoeuvre as the group may see something that you don’t or may be about to change direction.  
  3. Always, always, always wear a helmet. She was and it probably saved her life. Even if you don’t ride fast, others do. Also, bikes fail mechanically with no warning. Animals jump out and cars are unpredictable. Animals jumping out of cars are even worse; crazy bastards. Always wear a helmet. With a mushed brain you will no longer be yourself if you even survive. 
  4. If you ride or run alone make sure you have a Road Id or similar in case you are knocked unconscious and cannot speak for some reason. 

Today I tried to go for a long run but my legs were toast from the ride and the humidity was very high (waa, I know) so I bailed after just four miles. 

In the afternoon I took my road bike in for a service. It hasn’t had a full one in close to two years and I’ve just serviced it myself. 

I wanted to upgrade the drivetrain ratios because I haven’t used the low ring for three years and I find the bike tops out at 44 mph. The cassette and chain needed to be replaced anyway as they had worn from the 8.5k miles already on them. 

The tyres needed replacing too, so I had them add that to the list. It’s going to be expensive as it is a high end bike, but that’s what I bought into. 

I had to get a new light as my old one short-circuited from the heavy rain the other week, so I upgraded that too. Now I’m at 700 lumens which is about 20x brighter than my old one. Battery and LED tech moves so quickly. Given that I’m riding to work a lot now I guess that warrants spending some money on the gear. But this has been an expensive couple of weeks. Oops. 

In the meantime I setup my wife’s hybrid so that I can use that for work. My backup bike is at the end of its life too. At least her bike only has some small flashes of pink. I’ll cope.  

Ready for work tomorrow. 

But before work I’m meeting my friend for another six mile run and again we are upping our intervals. A new month = a new test. 2:00 easy. 2:30 hard. Kicking it! 


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