Having recently busted the crank on my Quickbeam I’ve been sort of stymied on what to do about it. Unfortunately Rivendell Bicycle Works is out of the replacement part and, while I probably could order the set elsewhere they have great price and I like doing business with them.

But still…I hate having that bike down.

Today I was reading the RBW mailing list and lo and behold there’s a slightly different model set offered at a great price. Admittedly it’s lightly used, no problem, and doesn’t have quite the chain ring tooth count, but its’ close and fits on the bottom bracket I already have.

This image was taken by the seller and is up on Flickr.

Now I just have to wait for it to arrive!


R not ARRR…

That’s correct, I’m learning R and not learning to talk like a pirate, matey. For fun I’ve been studying a series of lessons on being a data scientist (which, while it may be beneficial at work is mostly for fun) through Coursera. It’s a sequence of courses on Data Science from John Hopkins. Wow.

I’m really only in the second portion of the class which is on learning the R Language. The first part of the class was really just an introduction to a number of tools including R, Git, and a number of other topics.

So far so good. I’ve gotten one certificate of completion (free btw). I could pay for this if I really want to get involved, but I’m trying it for free first. Maybe I can persuade my job to pay for this stuff. Probably not.

In any case, here’s my first certificate for the first course on the track…

Download (PDF, 69KB)

With “distinction” no less. Pretty nifty, eh?

Okay, I admit it’s mostly a small ego boost, but I did have fun taking that section and am enjoying the R programming section I’m doing now. If you want to learn something, go check out Coursera.

If you just want to play with R, try this:

If you really just want to speak like a pirate (so that this coming September on Talk Like a Pirate Day you’ll be understood), go here, The Original Talk Like a Pirate Day site.




No, I’m not doing crank. Indeed even my crank isn’t doing crank at the moment (or ever again).

First let me say…no injuries, no accident, didn’t even fall over. Having said that, it was a bit unexpected and I’m terribly grateful it didn’t happen this weekend when I rode the 2015 JBK Haleiwa Metric Century on my Quickbeam (and had a great time as documented in another here).

Anyway, I left work yesterday, hopped on my bike to run a few errands and maybe put in an extra mile or two (and I do mean just a mile or two – but still fun, eh?)
I was at a light and when I stood and pushed off with theĀ green light my foot sort of kept going to the ground. Luckily I didn’t fall and stopped, though it probably looked clumsy. I couldn’t figure out how I’d missed the pedal.
I hadn’t. My Sugino XD2-QB double 40/32 175mm and come undone.
Broken Crank #1 Broken Crank #2 Broken Crank #3 Broken Crank #4
I didn’t take an image in place. I got the hell off the road. :-)
I bought the bike in December 2009 and have ridden the heck out of it. I’ve also mostly been a lot heavier than I am today (also documented in other emails around here). I’ve gone from 275 to 197, mostly since November 2014. If you do the math, the crank mostly got me at my heaviest.
If you look at the break it seems pretty clear it’d been a while coming. There are definite differences from one side of the break to the other. As I said, I’m really just grateful that it didn’t happen on the century this weekend, or in heaving traffic (could have too). It was pretty much a non-event.
For those who wonder, I have a Hunq that’ll be ridden a bit more now. If I’m annoyed with anything it’s that I just, and I mean just, ordered some new cork grips from Riv and now will have to order a new crank – twice the shipping charge. If I’d have waited a day or two on the cork grips it could all be one box. Sigh. Luxury problem.
Anyway I ride the bike almost exclusively in 40×16 mode and figure I’ll get new chainrings and a new single speed cassette – all contingent on taking the chain off and actually seeing what things look like – I might be okay.
As for the Hunq I just had a new dynohub wheel made for it and when I got home instead of playing around the with disassembly the QB I put on the new Eyc light, Top Line rear light, and wired it all up. Tomorrow I have a late ride ‘date’ and until now only the QB had that much light going for it. :-)

2015 JBK Ride Report…

My JBK Haleiwa Metric Century started, as most of things do, a couple of days before the ride. It was Friday night and I’d attended the UH Rainbow baseball game against the UCSB Gauchos. They are a really good team with a stunning pitcher, Dillon Tate. That, of course, is a digression.

The point is, when I came out of the game I discovered that my rear tire had flatted. I didn’t feel like dealing with it so I tried pumping it back up. It seemed to hold so off I went. About halfway home I had to stop and pump it up again. This wouldn’t do.
At home I checked and discovered that I only had one new inner tube left and as I didn’t want to trust a patched tube on an hundred kilometer ride I used it. I also decided that as I had a new tire available, I’d use that too. The tire I was using wasn’t completely worn out but I’d had a couple of flats in the last month or so. Good enough I thought.
On Saturday, while running my usual errands and visiting some friends at a picnic at Kaimana Beach I picked up some new tubes. Then I got thinking. Never a good thing, and bought a new 8-speed chain as well…just in case.
Before I headed out to another bas weball game, which we actually won – Go Bows! – I made some hard boiled eggs and counted my string cheese. All good.
Then it was off to the game where i mistakenly had a cup of coffee. The game was great, fun to win, and this time, even better, my bike didn’t have a flat. The new tire was working well. At home I tried to sleep.
It was the coffee. I don’t get all that nervous before a ride, though I’ll admit to some worries about making it time to get on the return bus. Let me explain. Two years ago I did this ride, some 75 pounds heavier. I had no trouble with the ride, nor did I have time worries. I was going with a friend and we took his pickup truck. We got back before the event was over, but not by much.
This year I was going alone, which as it turns out was a great move, and taking the transport bus provided by a local tour company. Actually the provided several buses.

I arrived at the bus at around 4:45 AM. I had to get up at 3:30 AM which only made having the coffee worse. I should know better, but hey, that’s the way I roll.
The bus ride was uneventful. We packed the bikes badly and in an emergency there’d have been some real problems. We solved the problem on the way back just so you know.
When I got off the bus with my bike, an exercise in applied geometry I can tell you, I needed to use the restroom…soon too. The view was one I was all too familiar with from RAGBRAI…

Soon I was finding my place in the crowd of cyclists raring to go for a ride. What else is there to do on a nice Sunday morning after all.

You meet the nicest bike while waiting too. Here’s a Bike Friday Haul-a-Day. It’s their new model of folding long tail. Really…

I would see that bike on the road several times.
And then, after a few obligatory words about being nice to each other, the folks living in the neighborhood and some thoughts on rules of the road, we were off.

That’s a time lapse of the first half of the ride. I use an ‘Re’ camera set to make an image every five minutes. I was surprised it all worked as I had to connect it to a battery. It seems it hadn’t charged overnight and had no juice. Luckily I had one of those batteries you can charge your phone from and yep, it worked.
The ride itself was fine. I was experimenting a bit with food for the road. Having just lost 75ish pounds by cutting carbs I couldn’t very well start eating donuts. In fact, I ate nothing before the ride. I had a two cups of coffee, one blended with a pat of butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil, and one regular, but nothing else. I had packed my eggs and string cheese, but thought I’d see how I did.
Darn it all, I was fast. Fast for me that is. I rode the first half ot the ride in 01:52:00 or so. Basically I was over 15 mph the whole way.
Wow. I’ve never ridden so fast for so long and I did it without a break on no breakfast. In fact I wasn’t even really hungry when I arrived at Swanzy Beach Park, the turnaround point.

I’d been worried about making the round trip in time to get on the bus at 1:30 PM, a six hour ride, or just right at 10 MPH which is a pretty normal time for me (that would have included a couple of breaks and a photo or two along the way – something I do enjoy). Well now I wasn’t too worried. It wasn’t even 9 AM and I was already half finished. I could take it easy on the way home.
Even though I wasn’t too hungry, I ate a couple of hard boiled eggs, had a couple of pieces of string cheese, and drank a lot of water, something I knew I needed.
Then I headed back. This time it was into the wind for the first half of the return, it had picked up a bit and was definitely slowing me down. Indeed on the return I averaged 1.9 MPH slower, though on a few legs, when I was out of the wind or it had calmed, I was almost as fast as on the first half.

Now that I look at the time delays I realize I really need to do something about the mount and my brake cables. Or maybe not…at least you can tell I was on a bike.
I did make a stop on the return. About halfway back it became evident that I had, in fact, been drinking enough water. Whew…I worry about dehydration, it can happen pretty easily out here, especially on days when there’s a cloud cover, it’s kind of cool, and you don’t think about how much is going out and how little coming in. No worries today though.
And then I was approaching Haleiwa. It was almost noon and I really, really wanted to make it in by noon. It was quarter to twelve and I didn’t think I’d make it. Then it was ten to twelve and I thought I might if traffic, which can be bad in Haleiwa cooperated; there was none. Then it was seven minutes till twelve and the road from town to Kaiaka Park was longer than I remember.
I made it. Yes indeed, with a couple of minutes to spare in fact.
Now I figured, I’d pay the price for getting back early, a 90 minute wait for the bus. I had a couple of cold drinks, ate another egg, and…well there’s a bit more to the story.
I met some great folks, had a great bus ride home, went out for coffee with a new friend, rode home and slept great. Yeah, it was a great day!

Still dropping…

I’l be honest, while I expected there was a chance I’d get to my target weight I probably wouldn’t have said I had a lock on it. I was really just hoping I’d get near it. Well, I’m near it.

Screenshot showing weight at 197.8

197.8! I’m past my goal!

Of course now that I’m here I’m faced with the challenge of what to do besides brag about it and become insufferable. I mean we all like to hear a success story (though, and sadly I suppose, we like failures as well), but enough is enough, right?

It would seem I have to set a new goal. Yes, I’m very pleased with ‘under 200′ but ya know…I’ve still got got a bit of a roll around the middle and my BMI isn’t yet quite in the ‘normal’ range, so…

New Target: 185

I’ve given myself till the end of June (the 25th to be exact) to get there. Why did I pick that date? That’s the day I next see my physician for a regular checkup including blood work analysis. I’m quite interested to see the numbers for cholesterol and triglycerides, my A1C sugar levels, and the rest. Mostly, and it’s not a credit to me, I want to see his face when I weigh in at 185.

This week has been a minor revelation for me as I seem to be taking it off faster than before with less trouble. I’m not really eating a lot less, but I’m eating differently.

I’ve been practicing intermittent fasting lately. I’ve done a couple of 24 hours fasts (with coffee) in the past couple of weeks and find they aren’t something I’m likely to do regularly. Basically I’ve gone without food from dinner to dinner, ending the fast with a biggish, though not huge, meal. I had no problem.

Still it’s not exactly user friendly for me as I do like a treat.

Instead I’ve gone most of this week using a six hour window for eating: still with coffee. I’ve been getting up in the morning (4:30 AM) and making my buttery good coffee (one serving). It weighs in at a couple of hundred calories of butter, coconut oil, organic coffee, and a dash of heavy whipping cream. Yes it’s got calories, mostly fat.

I do have a couple more cups of coffee in the morning, one at work when I get there (brought with me) and another I purchase around 9 AM when I take a mile walk. Neither of these have butter or coconut oi and have just a wee bit of cream. So no, I’m not completely calorie free, but there’s not much there.

After work, around 2 – 3 PM I’ve been taking a longer bike ride home, perhaps 8 to 10 miles. When I get home it’s time for a bit to eat. Lately this has been an hard boiled egg, a bit of cheese, a few olives, and if I feel especially hungry, a cup of Greek yogurt. Generally I don’t have all of these.

That’s about 3 PM or 4PM. As I generally have stuff to do in the evening, often involving friends, I can be found out and about, often eating together. This week has been heavy on the Whole Foods salad bar where last night to my chagrin, I found that my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I’d made a salad that was just a bit too big; mostly dark greens, kale, mesclun (yum), and so forth, a couple of hard boiled eggs, an ounce of tombo (tuna), some kim chee (hot pickled cabbage or whatevah), and a dab of this and that.

Then I really don’t eat again till I get home and maybe, but not for sure, have another cup of Greek yogurt fixed up as dessert.

I haven’t had any trouble eating this way this week. I’m not totally rigorous about it, that is to say, I’m not clocking it to the minute. As I said, I’m working with a 6 hour window and if it becomes a 6.5 hour window no big deal.

I’m very interested to see what the affect of all this is on my bicycling in the JBK Haleiwa Metric Century this weekend. A few weeks ago I did about 150 miles of cycling on my Hunqapillar but was loaded down with camping gear. This time I’ll be on my Quickbeam and carrying very little. I did this two years ago on that bike and had a great time but really had to push myself to keep up the same speed as a friend. He won’t be with me this year, but I do have a record of that time and am wondering if I’ll beat it.

Keep in mind, all this weight loss hasn’t really made me a faster rider. It has made riding a lot easier in that I need fewer breaks and can climb hills more easily, but speed is something you need to practice and I’m really motivated along those lines. I’m a distance guy, not a speed guy – though I’ll admit that improving my speed a bit wouldn’t be a bad thing.

That’s enough for the moment, thanks for listening.