« A Week Trekking With Trike | Main | The Ironman Bike Ride 2007 »

My Life With Polly(wog)

Life has been good since I got my Sun EZ Tadpole. ‘course, most nights have been spent working on said bike, but I have to admit I’ve been learning a lot. Spent so much time staring at the bike I had to give it a name…Pollywog would be her official name, but everyone know she’s Polly for short. Fitting for a tadpole bike, dontcha think?

Let’s start off with all the stuff I’ve done to Polly since our last update:

  • Realized cleats all the way to the front isn’t the magic setting, either. Ended up adjusting them forward and backward until I got them one notch behind the ball of my foot. Seems to allow my legs to push against the hard, flat insole of my shoe, minimizes any falling asleep.
  • Notice some unusual wear on the front two tires. After a bit of research, I figure out that improper toe-in is the cause. Purchase three new tires from Calhoun Cycle for mounting later in the week, after I get the toe-in adjusted.
  • Bought a trunk and rear light during my first longish ride over at Erik’s, managed to figure out a way that the rack could be remounted, fender and all, which then allows me to mount my pannier, trunk and rear light.
  • On my way home from the bike shop, my left tire blows out half-way home. Call my Sister to come pick me up and give me (and my bike) a ride home.
  • Mount new tires on front two wheels, replacing the tubes at the same time. Do I quick measurement of the toe-in, it is almost 19mm. Suggested toe-in values fall between 0mm and 3mm. See the problem? Wonder how the previous owner managed to ride anywhere at a decent speed. Find no information online about changing the toe-in.
  • Pack Polly into the CR-V, drive down to Calhoun Cycle once more. The mechanic helpfully shows me the way to adjust the toe-in, performs a gross adjustment, instructs me on how to do the fine tuning once I get home. Spend 6 hours over the next two nights adjusting the toe-in to proper values. After adjusting the toe-in, immediately found a 2mph increase in speed, easier steering, more stable descents at high speed.
  • Realize the chain is too long, when on the smaller sprockets the chain ends up routing through the rear derailleur in such a way that the chain is drawn across itself, increasing wear and pedaling resistance. Remove 6 chain links in order to get the chain to a proper link. Wonder how the previous owner managed to get anywhere when not in “moderate” gears.
  • Remove rack, trunk, pannier. Adjust seat to preferred angle/position/etc. There are just so many different adjustments on this bike. Just your pedal position alone, you can move in/out the boom, slide the seat forward/back or adjust the seatback angle. Each of them alters the geometry of your pedal stroke. Then you can adjust the handles - slide them in/out, up/down, rotate ‘em.

With all the work, I’ve really had a chance to “learn” this bike. I understand how to adjust almost all the systems other than the disc brakes at this point, I’m sure before the summer I’ll have a chance to look at those as well. I never had to break and/or adjust a chain before, now I know exactly how to do it using the multitool I carry around. Adjusting the toe-in wasn’t all that complicated once you figured out how to get proper measurements, either.

Most of the rides during these past few weeks have revolved around commutes to/from work or short little rides to pickup dinner, stop by the mall, etc. I would get out to ride, realize about a mile from home something else I wanted to adjust, then come back home and work on it.

Now that most of it is in shape, tho, I’ve had two great rides with Polly. Monday night I went for a ride, found my way to Staring Lake and along Purgatory Creek, for a 13 mile trip, averaging 11.3mph. Tonight I did a similar ride over to Staring Lake, but practiced hill climbing up and down a 6% grade path between the warming house and the lakefront. Averaged 9.6mph, although speed wasn’t the test tonight, climbing strategy was the goal. Total so far on Polly: 62 miles, 24 of them this week alone.

Sunday is the Ironman Bike Ride. I would have preferred a bit more training, but considering the nice day forecasted I’m thinking the 62-mile route is within my grasp. It isn’t a race, so I can go at whatever pace I need to with Polly. _(It is true what they say, you use completely different muscles on a recumbent…hopefully those muscles realize what I’m gonna put them through on Sunday!)


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 25, 2007 11:50 PM in CR-V and Fitness and Play.

The previous post in this blog was A Week Trekking With Trike.

The next post in this blog is The Ironman Bike Ride 2007.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.34