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On the road again

It’s been a cold winter. Not by standards of those living in the Northern United States, or some other parts of the world. But cold for South Carolina and certainly cold enough to keep me off my bike.

You can call me soft in my old age, but I’ve done my share of riding in below freezing temperatures over the years. However, those days are long gone, and now it has to be at least 55 F (12.7 C.)  or above to get me outside on a bike.

This last weekend was the first mild one, and the first opportunity I have had to ride since last November. Temperatures were in the low to mid 60s, (16 – 18 C.) warm enough for shorts even. Cloudy, and over-cast, with a fairly stiff breeze blowing, made it cold enough for a long sleeve, fleecy lined jersey.

My wife Kathy, and steadfast riding companion joined me, as we did an easy 22 miles on Saturday. We had both kept our weight steady through the winter, by weighing ourselves daily, and monitoring our food intake. I maintained 150 lbs., (68 kg.) and Kathy 116 lbs. (52.6 kg.)

Sunday was a repeat of Saturday’s weather, and we got in another 30 miles. A little harder this time, I felt it in my legs towards the end, and could tell I hadn’t been riding. My butt told me too, it was a little sore. But all in all, not too bad. Keeping the weight off, I felt, helped a lot.

After an almost three month layoff, I expected these first rides to be harder. I had done a daily two mile brisk walk, most days whenever the weather permitted. Even when it was down to freezing I wrapped up warm and went for a walk.

Walking is okay when it is the only exercise I can manage, but I can’t say I really enjoy it, especially when limited to local streets. In my book, you can’t beat a good bike ride, and actually going somewhere. Looking forward to warmer days and more riding.


Footnote: My bike is a modern FUSO built by Russ Denny, who was my former apprentice. A welded Columbus steel frame with a carbon fork. Kathy’s bike is a 49 cm. 1st. Generation FUSO that I built in 1985. Both bikes are built up using Campagnolo Athena Groups.

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Reader Comments (7)

Geat photos of TWO GREAT PEOPLE ON TWO GREAT BIKES!!! look forward to seeing you in May. I have about 400 miles so far this year on my 2003 Mercian all done at altitude 6500f or so, Feeling pretty good and wish now, that I was riding Eroica, California in April, but we just, can not justify the expense, with Dales event and trips to England etc. I will be 85 in June, SO. your just a youngster mate.

February 19, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjohn crump

Curious: Is 49 cm just about the smallest frame you can make with a level top tube and 700c wheels (i.e. the upper and lower head tube lugs meet)? How much does wheelbase change as the frame size decrease?

February 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Yes, to all practical purposes 49 cm, is the smallest size with 700c wheels. Because the top tube needs to be shorter, head angles and fork rake have to be tweaked to arrive at an acceptable wheelbase, and even then there will be some toe overlap. I wrote an article about building small frames here:

February 19, 2018 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Great to see you riding, and fit! I'm visiting FL and SC in a few weeks and am hoping to ride in warm weather for a 10-day stretch!

February 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Nice pics!

Are those actual Catlike Whisper helmets you guys are sporting? I bought a knockoff of the Whisper for like $15 off of eBay, if you're interested search for "bicycle helmet 41 holes"

February 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRubeRad

Dave, the wife ... she's a babe!

March 4, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTBR

Well you 2 beat me by a month. Where I live in Germany the weather has kept my bike in the cellar till today. And then by chance I just now thought to check DM 's latest entries................

March 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony C.

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