Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Putting my foot in it.

So here's me celebrating no punctures for a year, knowing full well I was tempting fate. Fate has a way of getting the last laugh. With a little bit of help from my own clumsiness. Let the following be a valuable lesson to you all.
Now I've had some dumb prangs in my time, I've hit things in the dark while riding without lights and clipped parked cars riding home from the pub and crashed while trying to hit a can off the road with a broom. Every perfect ride is somewhat the same, each act of stupidity has its own unique flavour. And this one's no different.
On Saturday morning, Mrs S and I set out for a brisk 50km ride. About 10km in, I threw my chain off the top chainring (again) and the rear deraillieur arched backwards under the pull of the chain. Naturally, I tried to fix this by unclipping my foot and tapping it back into place with my toe as I rolled downhill. What could possibly go wrong?

As it turns out, quite a bit.

Being a bit tired and a little hungover probably didn't help. My foot missed the derailleur and became slightly - um, entangled in the back wheel. Fortunately after about half a rotation it jammed against the seat stay and the wheel stopped turning. So there I was, skidding merrily down the road with my foot caught in the back wheel thinking - ``Isn't this just peachy?". Then the tyre blew. As I skidded to a stop on the rim and pulled my foot from the wheel I watched Mrs S disappear over a hill in the distance, oblivious. Curiosity got the better of her in the end and she returned about ten minutes later.
The tyre was on its way out anyway, so that's not too bad, but I've also pulled a spoke through the rim, which is bad. Oddly my foot wasn't hurt at all.
One of the good things about being married is that your spouse also performs the role of Critical Incident Debriefer and Imparter of Valuable Lessons. For free. For those of you who haven't had the benefit of a Mrs Surly Dave debrief, apparently putting your foot in the back wheel of a moving bicycle is a really stupid thing to do. Should I forget this, fortunately I have her to to remind me that once or twice each time we ride together for the next few years. The rest of you will have to make do with this warning alone.
225km so far this year.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The family that rides together...

As far as pleasant surprises go, it's not a bad one. Mrs Surly Dave wants to do longer road rides. She says the 30km rides we've been doing aren't long enough. I can cope with that - we'll try a hilly 60km tomorrow. At this rate I'll have her doing 200's in no time!

102km so far this year.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A whole lot of numbers.

I'm happy with 2007. I rode 6,002km in 128 rides over 287 hours - which is just shy of 12 days in the saddle. My average ride was 46km and my average speed was 21.62km/h. My last flat tyre was on January 17. It was a bit down on 2006 which saw 6,441km in 136 rides over 300 hours in the saddle with an average of 22.14km/h.

It's a quiet day at work so I'm making some plans. This years goals are less ambitious than last year's. They're all within reach:
  1. At least 7,200km on the bike. A 20% rise.
  2. Finish the year in the top 1,000 riders on
  3. At least 366 hours in the saddle - one hour a day for the leap year. A 27% rise.
  4. At least 183 rides - on the bike every second day. A 42% increase.
  5. Lifting my average speed to at least 22.5km/h. A 4% increase!
  6. Seeing how many days in a row I can ride at least 10km, starting on January 1.
  7. Riding at least 400km in the Oppy (360km last year) and completing the 200km Alpine Classic within the time limit (130km last year).
  8. Blog more!

I enjoy cycling and I enjoy setting challenges for myself, I wonder how many of these - if any I can knock off.

0km so far this year.