March 25, 2012

Solar panel on a bike

Picked up a Goal0 solar panel and tested it out today. In the photo I have it strapped to the back of my bike, but I may also try putting it on my camelbak backpack.
In June I'll be biking across Michigan over the course of six days and camping out each night. This makes power outlets pretty scarce. I'm not planning on bringing any big electronics but I do want a working phone the whole time. I'm hoping that a whole day in the summer sun will be enough to charge the battery pack during the day which would then charge my phone at night. I'll be experimenting with it over the next few months and will post again when I have more experience with it.

March 5, 2012

Lubricating a chain - When is it too much?

Back when I first started commuting by bike to work I used to oil my bike's chain about once a week. I used Triflow which I had heard also cleans your chain. I didn't know it at the time but I had gotten into a vicious chain cleaning and dirtying cycle. I lubed and wiped down my chain because it was dirty, but my chain was getting dirty because I had too much lube on it. During a regular tuneup a mechanic, trying hard -- and failing -- to hide his disgust of the caked on oil, gave me the best advice ever about chain lubrication. The oil is supposed to be in the chain not on the chain. Oil outside of the bearings of a chain is wasted and does little more than act as a dirt magnet. From that day on instead of oiling my chain by running it and squirting a continuous flow of oil, I put one small dab of oil on each bearing. It takes longer, but I have to do it far less frequently now. The chain stays clean much longer now.

March 1, 2012

March has come, time for the chub to get speedy!

It's March already! Soon the weather will be turning and the grey of winter will give way to spring. The weather forecast for next week has numbers in it that we haven't seen in a long time. I'm sure we'll get more winter weather this year but these little sneak previews of spring will be taken advantage of fully.

The Sham Rock And Roll run in Plymouth is coming up soon and many Chubs will be taking part in the run. It will be a great inaugural event for the 2012 season, which looks like it could be an exciting one. For me it starts with the Sham Rock And Roll run, then gets serious in May with the TOSRV double century bike tour. Mid-way through the season I'll ride across Michigan in the Pedal Across Lower Michigan tour (about 300 miles in six days). Then in August I team up with more fellow Chubs in a relay team to do the bike portion of the Steelhead half Ironman.

In preparation for such a good looking season we've put in an order for some good looking Speedy Chub jerseys and shirts.