Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Feeling more like spring

I took Hybridzilla out this morning for ride all the way in to work. This is 'zilla's first ride downtown in several months. She offers a bit of a softer ride, but the more upright seating position combined with more weight on my upper body from wearing a backpack means that Mr. Perineum is not amused. It wasn't a bad ride. It just wasn't as comfy as The Twelve. I'm sure a proper frame rack and panniers would have made it much more enjoyable.

As far as speed goes, I maintain that Hybridzilla is not much slower than The Twelve, if at all. The Twelve is going to be more efficient for longer rides, and capable of sustaining higher speeds. The fact is, I don't often shoot for a personal best when I'm commuting. Given my usual moderate effort, the two bikes average about the same speed. My top speed today on 'Zilla? 41.1 MPH, and I wasn't spinning out. The upgraded rear cog (11t-24t) combined with an ample 28t/38t/48t chainring reduced the effectiveness of the granny gear by a bit, but gave a serious boost in top speed vs the OEM 14t small cog.

This morning, I held a solid average between 17.0 and 17.3 for almost my entire trip. Once I hit Nieman at 75th, my average slowly crept up to 17.3 until I started climbing up Merriam Lane to Antioch, where it had dropped to 16.9. A few hundred yards later, I was back at 17.0. My average volleyed like this, staying mostly at 17.1 until I started the slog-o-rama into Downtown KCMO. Then, I dropped off. Until this point, the average speed is about par for the course compared with The Twelve.

The slog was a different story. By this time, pain was starting to manifest itself no thanks to my increased cadence combined with the backpack's weight. Fortunately, this leg of my commute is pretty short.

Temperatures were a bit nippy this morning, in the high 40s. Just warm enough for a short sleeve shirt but not warm enough for uncovered knees. I did the goofy thermal pants under denim shorts thing. Supposedly, we're looking at 80°F this afternoon. My warm mocha was still welcome this morning, as Lorin, JR and I drank and discussed the lack of free WiFi in City Center Square.

Assuming winds aren't too bad, it should be a great ride all the way home, and tomorrow should also be pleasant. It's a good thing, too. I can ride in almost anything but I'm pretty sick of temperatures in the 30's in the morning.

I guess I'm not the only one who thought it was a nice day for a ride today. As usual, I was the only one who thought it was a nice day for a human-powered ride.

Random Tunage:
Garbage - Stupid Girl
Plumb - Cut (Bronleewe & Bose Radio Edit)

Have I mentioned how awesome Plumb is? Plumb was a group, but the name kind of got commandeered by their front woman (Tiffany Arbuckle) who now basically uses it as her solo moniker. Regardless, both Plumb's old incarnation and Tiffany's new work under the Plumb brand name is moving -- a fusion of alt-rock and electronic dance music, often with inspirational lyrics. Worth a listen if you haven't heard it before.


Jon said...

I hear you about the load on the upper body. All of the bikes I use for commuting have a frame rack, and I have two sets of panniers I swap between them.

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of my decision to ride my bike to work every day, and I never would have made 210 commutes in a row if I had to carry a backpack or messenger bag.

jferg said...

Re: Free Wi-Fi - Just go across the street to Town Pavilion - Scooter's has free Wi-Fi.

Noah said...

You're talking about the KING of WiFi. I know where every unencrypted, rogue access point is in the downtown loop. Scooters serves water flavored with burnt ass. $* is simply the less of the evils in the loop. My morning commuter clan's honestly pondering moving down to Coffee Girls at SW and Broadway-ish.

I could pick apart every shop in the loop. The hours at Country Club Cafe suck and their coffee is unpredictable. Black coffee has the same problem. Scooters and perk up serve dreck. SoHo isn't all that good, either. Eeh.

jferg said...

Yeah, I suppose I should have extrapolated based on the war-biking commentary. Just call me Captain Obvious. We go to Scooters (the other one) just because it's the closest to UMB that isn't Perk-Up. I don't mind their straight coffee, but not so much about their fancy drinks. Too much syrup, too little coffee.
I've been trying to convince the owner of Espresso Dell'Anatra to open a store downtown, but I think the market is pretty saturated at this point. Ah well.

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