Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The 30 Day Pledge to Ride Every Day in April

Hello and Welcome
Before I start I would like to thank Ryan from Ryan's Rebuilds for posting this "30 day pledge thing" on his face book page. It really gave me some badly needed motivation to get this riding season started in a good way. You will find the link to Ryan's blog in the right side column in the "Blogs By Friends and Followers" section.

I know my registration card is tough to read so what I wrote is this "Because it has been a long hard winter and I really need to get in shape" Here is the address or HTML if you would like to sign up

April 1st : Day one went really well. I picked the perfect men's bicycle for the short ride, my 1964 Raleigh Sports 3 Speed. Having not been in the saddle for months, comfort was my number one priority. And the comfort level of the Brooks Saddle really impressed me, And I was pleasantly surprised by how well the old Raleigh coasted down hills. And believe me I was coasting as much as humanly possible.

Above: Aesthetically speaking this is not my favorite time of year. The lakes are still frozen and nothing is green yet and everything seems to have that "battered by winter" look. But this year Winter Was So Bad, I will embrace the outdoors as much as I can regardless of how things look right now.

Above: The roads here take a real beating in winter as well. There are lots of stories on the local evening news about pot holes and each cities efforts to deal with them. Which is challenging as most municipalities went way over budget trying to keep the roads clear and salted this winter season. At times salt could not be found anywhere.

Above: I suspect many people do not know this..... There are huge salt mines under Detroit. From what I have heard the salt miners had a boom season. They were hauling salt away as fast as they could bring it up. Funny..... Detroit makes cars.... Salt eats cars..... Mine more salt.... Spread it all over the roads.... Then build more cars! Now that's is a self sustaining economy!

Day 2: Today I decided to take the Diamondback 29'er out, which worked out really well. All that was needed was a little more air in the tires and it was "good to go". When I put the 29'er away for the winter I made sure the chain was on the smallest cog or sprocket in the back and on the smallest chain-ring up front. This prevents the front and rear derailleur cables from being stressed (taunt) all winter and stretching. I don't know how many times I have heard someone say this about their bike "My bike was fine when I put it away, and now it is not shifting properly." And quite often all that really needs to be done is to have the slack taken out of the shift cables. So why not just avoid the whole problem? I have never been told by anyone to do this, Is this like the best kept secret in the bicycle world? Is this not known? Or is it just "bad for business" to tell people to do this simple thing?

Above: Riding along the unpaved shoulder (by choice) I unexpectedly rolled into a real soft spot in the dirt. I stood up on the Shimano PD-M520L MTB Sport Pedals and the 29'er powered through it easily. If I had accidentally rode into this on one of the road bikes it probably would not have gone so well.

Above: I tried to get a correct angle shot to show just how deep the WTB WOLVERINE 2.2 29" Tires sank into this wet spot in the soil. The 29'er never ceases to amaze me with it's ability to roll over or through damn near anything. It is the perfect bike for the mixed terrain around here. And it is really comfortable, on or off road.

Above: Today I rode around 7 Harbors for a while. It is mostly paved, and all the canals make for some really nice views. Another plus is.. there is not much traffic in there during the middle of the day. Just a smooth and peaceful place to ride.
Above: Another nice view from 7 Harbors. Just around the bend in the canal I spotted a small foot bridge. I will try to remember to get a picture of it next time I am there.

This is one of the few places I would be willing to move to around here. But we have good neighbors here and have no plans of leaving any time soon. I am just saying, if we had to move...

Above: I couldn't help but notice the kneeboard sticking out of the ice at the end of the dock.

Above: Back home and feeling a little fatigue in my legs but nothing out of the ordinary after not riding in quite a while. Like most every springtime I am weighing in right now at just under 200 lbs. This year I think my target weight will be 180 lbs.
Above: We have not seen any hummingbirds yet, I have been checking the migration reports online. Hopefully they will be here soon. Until Next Time...Please... RIDE SAFELY!.......And Remember to Always.....RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!
Cheers, Hugh


  1. Salt mines beneath Detroit? Shifting so chain is slack for winter storage? The things I learn on your blog...thanks Hugh. Happy pedaling in April. I just began commuting to work. Winter sure was tough.

    1. Hi Annie,
      It was not real clear about what I was trying to say. I shift to the smallest gears and chain-rings because, that is typically when the cable is slack. When you shift to the larger gears or chain-rings, typically you are putting tension on the shift cables. Parking or storing the bike with the chain on the larger gears or chain-rings means... the whole time it is parked there will be tension on the shift cables. This is what "I believe" causes the cables to stretch. Shifting to the smaller gear and chain-ring before storage will make for little or no tension on the cables during storage. Doing this I believe will prevent stretching the shift cables. Which in turn should keep the derailleurs and the cable tension "in sync" or in proper adjustment. Sometimes I have trouble finding the right words. I hope this makes what I was trying to say understandable. Cheers

  2. Go Hugh! glad the link inspired you, for me it was just about getting my fat rear end back in the saddle, thankfully a brooks b.17, and the challenge seemed heaven sent for that. Hey next year you can modify the challenge to ride a different bike every day in April, you have about a weeks worth now right? ;-)


  3. I also had no idea about the salt mine industry under Detroit. Hugh has always given us an informative take on stuff.


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