The first real ride on my Crust Romanceur, after commuting on it a bunch. Got the saddle in a good spot for my knees, but I still need to pace myself while my leg muscles get used to that.
The real killer on the ride was too much caffeine, dehydration, and poor dietary habits. No more big meals!
More after the break…
Part 1: To Bus
I left home at about 04:45 to make sure I'd catch the 06:00 bus to Issaquah, but ended up catching the 05:30 bus instead.
Managed to catch an earlier bus than I'd originally intended. Always a nice part of doing one of these rides on a weekday.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 27, 2017
The Rivendell shifters may be knockoffs, but they certain are nicer to use than most of today's shifters in friction mode. #cycling— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 27, 2017
Part 2: Outbound
Getting to Issaquah even earlier also meant that I'd need to warm up to handle the freezing temperatures in the mountains, which I did with some coffee at Panera.
None of my bikes have a complete groupset because no groupsets meet my needs. #cycling— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 27, 2017
I headed out of Issaquah just as the sky started to lighten, taking my typical route along the Issaquah–Preston Trail and Preston–Fall City Road.
So far, so good.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 27, 2017
And then I took the gravel driveway out of the valley to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. The bike handled very well on the unstable service thanks to its low-trail front end. The trail itself presented no additional challenge over that ascent, either. Seeing a fox run across the trail during the ascent amused me, though.
When I got to the end of that section of the trail, I dealt with the climb up to Tokul Road and descent to the big Snoqualmie roundabout. I ended up going along Mill Pond Road and through town to get to the next section of the trail rather than using the staircase and bridge over the river.
I'm at Centennial Fields Park in Snoqualmie, WA https://t.co/SbT3DjFWFu— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 27, 2017
Once back on the trail, I was fighting a frigid headwind the whole way, so I decided to stop for coffee in North Bend before the ascent to Rattlesnake Lake. I also got a doughnut since they looked so good, but it ended up taking far too long to digest.
Need to warm up because of a frigid headwind up here. (@ Georgia's Bakery in North Bend, WA) https://t.co/5uEIK6rnwX— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 27, 2017
It was a fairly slow ascent the whole way up, but otherwise uneventful beyond patches of refrozen snow. There weren't many trail users as it was mid-day on a Friday.
When I finally got to Rattlesnake Lake, I noticed some either Park Service or military folks out on the dry, rocky mudflats on the northern end of it.
Part 3: Inbound
The descent seemed the same as usual, too.
However, when I got to the bottom and crossed Tanner Road, I noticed that my front tire had zero pressure and my rear tire was very low as well. I'd pinch-flatted without even noticing it! The handling didn't change at all, thanks to the geometry of the frame and fork.
Getting that front tire off took me maybe ten minutes, as the bead was super-tight, even though the rim wasn't tubeless-ready or anything. After putting on a touring tire with puncture protection, I ended up going to the nearby bike shop for tubes. They even had Slime tubes, so I had them put a new one in the rear tire as I didn't have another spare tire. The mechanic had a lot of trouble getting the tire bead to sit correctly, and recommended new tires even though the tread wasn't done. I've heard that Panaracer-made tires tend to be a bit inconsistent, so this didn't surprise me too much.
Got a couple pinch flats on my way down from Rattlesnake Lake. (@ Singletrack Cycles in North Bend, WA) https://t.co/bR5vwvqJfg— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 27, 2017
With that taken care of, I continued backtracking all the way to where I joined the trail, then continued north along it.
Had to stop a ways behind some folks on horseback as I couldn't get their attention. They weren't too happy when they finally noticed me.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 27, 2017
By the time I got to Carnation, I had definitely bonked. I hadn't felt hungry since I ate that doughnut, and even the trail mix I ate while waiting at the bike shop in North Bend hadn't helped. I stopped at a gas station for some potato chips and a small sugary soda to try to get a boost.
@NoSpandexReq I was, and now I'm in Carnation.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 27, 2017
Since this was this bike's first real ride, I knew some things would need to be changed or fixed.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 27, 2017
The trail north of Carnation had received fresh hardpack since I last used it, which was a major improvement over the loose gravel closer to Duvall.
As I approached Duvall, I saw some partially-frozen ponds, a sign that this frigid Winter's grip was weakening.
Rather than going through Duvall and dealing with that narrow highway to get to the western edge of the valley, I used NE 124th Street, which I found to have nice, wide shoulders. While the road on the western edge of the valley didn't have shoulders, NE 124th Street was closer to my turn-off than NE Woodinville–Duvall Road by a noticeable amount.
I had to push my bike up the steep slope to the trail, which caused the rough padding above my shoe's heel cups to abrade the backs of my ankles harshly.
Once I finally got onto the trail, I was met with a lot of saturated hard-pack and mud. Any significant slope wigged me out to the point where I walked them, as my spare front tire was a bit narrower than the one I'd started the ride with. Once I got to Avondale Road NE, I just took its shoulder and bike lane all the way to Redmond.
The trail's mud was wigging me out too much, so I took Avondale once I got to it. Not a bad choice.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
The granola and trail mix are only worsening my dehydration without providing enough calories. Probably a good time to find something else.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
I also ate too much once I got to North Bend, so the food took forever to digest. Bad idea.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
A combination of a somewhat untested bike, a bad eating routine, and a new fit did me in today.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
No knee pain, but my legs have to retrain like with the other bike.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
Going to take the bus from Redmond to Seattle to get some rest.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
Once in Redmond, I had to stop quite a bit to get my bearings and find my way to the transit center. I also got some Gatorade at a convenience store, which proved a mistake. I really should've gotten water.
The drivers in Redmond were really nice.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
Taking the 542 home because I don't feel like dealing with downtown. (@ Redmond Transit Center in Redmond, WA) https://t.co/R56xiQqb8E— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
The bus ride wasn't fun, as I was sick to my stomach and had a terrible headache. The bus driver was a pretty cool younger guy, though, and he commented on my bike's front rack.
Part 4: Return Home
I felt better once I got riding again in Seattle, but still ended up going to PCC in Fremont to get some water. A cyclist who was waiting for his partner in front of PCC offered his help, but there wasn't much he could do.
Before getting home, I also stopped at a convenience store for some Pepto-bismol, which helped enough to get me all the way home.
Been drinking straight water to reduce my ailment, and took Pepto-Bismol to alleviate the symptom.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
I definitely need to rework my riding nutrition plan. I'll check out what those asked suggest in the morning.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
I think I also need to kick my coffee habit when on my rides. The diuretic effect worsens dehydration significantly for me.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
Caffeine when already dehydrated is also a great way to get sick.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
Now that I've finally figured out my saddle height, I won't need caffeine to help me tolerate sore knees anymore.— 竹下憲二 (@takeshita_kenji) January 28, 2017
Days later, I noticed that with the saddle at this height, maintaing a high cadence is significantly easier than with it any lower.