Feels good to have a plan in place, finally, after a few months of sitting around waiting for my shoulder to be back in the game. Although I have surely lost some fitness and some dieting discipline, printing out a waiver and marking a date on the calendar feel mighty good. A big step in the correct direction. Yes, back to my old habits once again... so, I'll wait and see about a few things:
Am I just going to ride?
Will I take a buncha pictures?
Will I have anything positive OR negative about the experience?
I don't know, honestly ---- but, the decision still seems appropriate. Even if it's freezing cold outside, sitting at the keyboard for hours hammering out gigantic posts seems a little ... I dunno, like a waste of saddle-time if nothing else. I know I'm sitting on the fence here. It's not my intent to build up any false drama or whatever. I just can't wait to get back out there again, maybe take some shots to remember thing by, and if nothing else perhaps take things toward equipment, rebuilding fitness, methods, madness, product reviews maybe... even if brief. There's no plan at this point, other than to ride, smile and ENJOY IT.
Oh, speaking of reviews, I posted a teaser about getting
a "natural flat" on the GB Cerf 700x28mm tires maybe a week ago or so... and, while I *did* take some photos, I'm not quite ready to post about the end-of-life longterm review , or whatever that was going to turn into. Not for lack of time, no; but, I ended up putting the existing tire right back in place. The tread STILL appears to have a little bit of life in it, maybe on the order of 1mm - 1.5mm left perhaps before I will begin to see the casing show through. Now the marker may be one of two things: the arrival of winter weather, and the accompanying road grit which will surely invite a plethora of flats to a thin tire.... or, the fact that I'm a little leery of starting a brevet/permanent (set for Nov. 3rd) on an old tire. Not something I'd do normally, so I'm not sure I want to invite a roadside repair on my return to distance riding on the new shoulder. I'll have to see. The third possible scenario involves me finally having pulled the trigger on a long-overdue rear wheel rebuild. The Open Pro is a GREAT rim, and the Shimano Ultegra 6600 (9 speed era) rear hub is pretty much bullet-proof... but, everything wears and has a service life. In the case of the hub, this would be rebuild #4... and, well, I think that's a good enough reason to relegate it to "backup wheel" status. I'll likely rebuild it onto a solid Open Sport or Sun CR18 rim, and leave it on the just-in-case hook in the garage. The rim... well, this time around, with a different choice in brake pads since last time (where I'd worn through the sidewalls), it's the spoke bed that's thinning out and beginning to show signs of cracking around the eyelets - not uncommon for what is essentially light-weight racing/training rim. With the gravel, commuting, camping, gear-mashing climbs and general goofing off... well, I'm surprised I can keep them under me for as long as I do. They really are a tough game to beat - and while I've shopped for other models lately, I'm sorta back on lacing up another Open Pro to a new Ultegra hub. Shimano keeps improving them, now on the (yeesh, time flies) 11-speed series 6800 models. Two generations later, I have little doubt that I'll likely get another 8-10 years from one, for far less money that some of the hubs I'd (honestly) really like to have if I could afford them... White Industries, Chris King, etc... I just can't fault the Shimano products enough to spend three-times the cost for a rear hub. Not yet. Still saving up, after all, for that All-City Space Horse frameset. Priorities.
That's all for now, as updates go... stay tuned! That tire review will come... as soon as it's truly dead and used. And ride reprts? OH, yeah... there'll probably be some version of one. Hard to avoid, if for no other motivation than "old habits." Check ya out on the roads, people!
Thanks for reading!