Zwift Setup and Warm Winter Hike

Here’s a picture of the Zwift setup I’ve been using since last winter.  It’s Eli’s 62cm Klein on my Kurt Kinetic Road Machine.  I use a ANT stick for connectivity.  This is a great old bike but it needs an overhaul.  The front derailuer has seized up and no amount of oil seems to loosen it.  I think it needs a solvent soak.  The entire drive train is really noisy and the rough feeling and needs to be cleaned up.  Besides that the bike is two sizes to big and no where close to my road bike position.  I wanted to save wear and tear on my road bike and get some use out of this old bike.


Last night switched bikes and here’s a picture  set up last night.  Back to the CAAD 9.   Wow I was riding this thing with a low position last summer.  It’s way, way quieter on the trainer and feels way smoother too.  The CAAD 9 didn’t have a seatpost in it so I grabbed one with a Brooks B-17 already attached.  The B-17 turned out to be very awkward on a bike with 4 inches of handlebar drop. It seems like the more aggressive the position the larger your saddle feels and the B-17 is a large saddle to begin with.


Yesterday was a very warm day for late January.  I sat off in the morning for 18 miles on my cross bike.   I’d rather have taken the road bike but the roads were wet and had cinders from the recent ice almost guarantee a flat on my road bike tires.  The Cross bike with 32 Gatorskins is ideal for those conditions.

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Later Shauna and I went to the Lusk Creek Trailhead and walked the Circle B trail.  I started to leave the house with a long sleave shirt and jacket, Shauna was like, you’re going to get hot.  I changed to a T-shirt and flannel.  Halfway through the hike I took off the flannel and was wishing I’d worn shorts.  The temps got up to 70.

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Trail featureAt one point on the trail I went to search for a Geocache I knew was in the area, it wasn’t in the place where it was suppose to be but I found the ink pen in the hiding spot.  Scanning the area I came across the Geocache just laying out on the ground with a hole in it.  I guess an animal tried to get in it.  Several people had found the cache and left a few new little treasures.

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Cell Phone Cameras vs. Real Cameras

After a photography post the other day where I compared my DSLR cameras some one said I should have compared cell phones too.  I was photographing a lens to sell recently and thought, here’s my chance.  I set up a piece of white poster board and use two light bulbs, both warmer “soft white” bulbs that were mostly white to the eye just slightly warm.

droid 4

The first camera was my ancient DROID 4.  Nut much to say, it sucks.  White balance is way, way off.  The black of the lens is super noisy and it lacked any way to control depth of field so you can see the noisy background cardboard.

samsung galaxy

The next camera was Shauna’s upscale Galaxy S4, upscale for 2012.  It’s a much better camera but still sucks.  The white is dirty warm grey, and black lens has much less noise and is way sharper.  Again, no ability to control depth of field and it’s wide angle so I ended up getting background in the shot.


Now my newest camera the Rebel T4i, well its better but still not actually white.  The lights were warm but not yellow.  The lens is free of noise and the background is mostly blurred.


Now how about big ol Pro Canon 1D that’s 16 years old.  Wow.  Check that out, it’s white.  The 1D has an external white balance sensor and does a much better job of balancing color.  The 50mm prime lens has far better contrast and excellent sharpness too plus it gave me the best depth of field control to blur out the background.

So there’s this old saying the best camera is the one you have, but if you want to take better photos it’d help if it’s actually a real camera and not part of your cell phone.  Of course the newest high end phones have far better cameras.

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Mississippi Valley Bike Expo and Gravel Ride

Last year the Midwest Bike Expo was cancelled, it returned this year sort of, the name changed to Mississippi Valley Bike and Outdoor Expo, and the date moved up, but it’s essentially the same.  In years past this was a vintage bike show, and we’re not talking about awesome vintage race bikes, we’re talking balloon tire paperboy bikes that looked like they had just been found in some old barn.  There were people into it, but not me.  Luckily the local bike shops would have booths and clearance sales, also lots of individuals would also be there peddling their wares.


The new format was a little different.  The vintage bike show was gone, as well as the bike “swap meet” where people could bring in bikes and sell them.  These were replaced by more local businesses and organizations.   Also many more area bike shops were there with big time clearance sales.  The number of individuals with gear for sale seemed to be down a bit.

I had no idea the Expo was back, I hadn’t seen a thing about it, then BOOM, I get an email from Moe, hey lets go to this thing.  SO I took my camera with the intent of making a cool video blog, but couldn’t really do it.  I just couldn’t walk around with a camera pointed at my face while I talked.  I took a few minutes of footage, but was really more interested in checking out the booths and looking for good deals.


We talked to Tom Welge who I’ve known from the internet but never met in real life.  He was there promoting “Trips for Kids”  a non profit organization which takes undeserved youth on cycling trips.  We talked Southern Illinois cycling and it was great to meet a guy doing great things for the community.


We also talked to the crew from “Touch of Nature” an SIU outdoor environmental center that does outdoorsy stuff like hikes, camping, you know like, nature stuff.  Well they are raising money to put in a mountain bike trail which we whole heartily support.


Besides all the outdoorsy booths and bike stuff there were a few oddballs, like a guy selling rain gutters, and my personal least favorite RICO’S BIO ENERGY POWER BANDS.  For giggles I listened to their 30 second sales pitch would turned into several minutes and ended with an offer I couldn’t refuse, a 175 dollar rubber bracelet that through the power of EARTHS BIO ENERGY give me vastly improved strength, greater balance, better blood flow, and heal pretty much every ailment.  Believe it or not I passed on the miracle bracelet.


So we only had two hours, and really I could have spent all day, well I could have if I’d had more money.  I ended up buying a very lightly used Brooks C13 saddle for 75% off retail and a Marmot rain jacket for 60% off retail with a gift for Shauna thrown in, thanks Bike Surgeon.

wooden bridgeIn other news I got out for a killer hard 34 mile gravel ride with Moe today.  34 miles may not sound like much but when its 50 degrees and raining gravel roads get smooshy, not to mention this 34 mile ride has nearly 3000 feet of climbing.  It’s a killer route and nearly killed me.   It was a wake up call reminding me I need to work on my core and real endurance.  Riding 45 minutes on the trainer isn’t going to cut it.








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Backyard Action

Enjoyed a relaxing day off thanks to icy weather.

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Dirty South 100K Roubaix 2017


It’s the real deal!!!

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Barn Door Tech Tips: Budget 1x Conversion

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Barn Door Cycling Video Review PUMP

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