Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back in Iowa, and Time to Breathe

The last few days have been pretty much dedicated to painting, roofing, and general preparation for Kaia's graduation party next Sunday. So finding both the time and the energy to ride have been a little difficult for the last week or so.

Kathy and I rode with the Owatonna Group on Tuesday night, for me it was mostly a Level 3 low level 4 ride which after a day of roofing meant my legs had done just about all they were capable of on Tuesday! It is pretty hard to take a good picture on the fly with an Iphone-- You have to hit a virtual shutter button on the side of the other side on the phone while pedaling, and steering, and hoping you don't drop the darn thing. Anyway, I got Dave and Jim and my shoulder lol. But there is a nice advertisement for My Friend Richard's B&B in Washington Iowa if you are ever in the area....

I have got a first layer of Carbon fiber on the bike frame now, I have decided that I will need to let the first couple of layers fully cure so the I can fill and fair out the imperfections that have become apparent now the the core is covered with CF. I have been trying to figure out a way to bond the dropouts to the top stays and chain stays. I chose Nova Cycle dropouts I did because they are set up for disk brakes. The issue is that I think they were really meant to be welded to an aluminum frame. The challenge is that I have to find a way to wrap them with CF well enough that they are not going to be a weak point. They have a ridge to strengthen them and that makes a sharp corners that is difficult to get the CF to wrap around. I have been thinking about this ever since I first attached them to the frame. Here is what I am trying, first I thickened some epoxy with fumed colloidal silica (my universal thickening agent of choice) to fill take up some of the space. I made some temporary inserts out of a couple pieces of bungee cord wrapped with electrical tape then I folded the CF around the corner and taped it into place-- more to come lol

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Mood is a Slave to the Weather

We had a whole day of outside, getting the backyard garden ready for Kaia's graduation party planned, and the weather, and the weather was not cooperating very well. It started out as a gloomy rainy day in Owatonna, and I had a mood to match, but by mid afternoon the weather and my mood had cleared up a bit, so we did get some of the yard work done and Kathy and I got a nice 30 miler in, in the evening.

Kathy was trying out a heart rate monitor so we spend part of the ride at a little higher intensity to start to get an idea where her HR zones might be. toward the end I started stopping to harvest road ditch asparagus, the other thing that I have a hard time passing up this time of year (a nice dead morel/elm tree would would be the other).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Windy Wednesday

Today was WINDY! but the good thing about Cedar Falls, is that the bike trails next to the river are pretty much out of the wind. I did the today's interval workout on the roads in George Wyth Park, that was pretty much out of the wind too. Anyway, the workout was a pyramid interval at Maximum intensity 10 seconds on 10 off, increases by 10 seconds up to 1 minute on with a minute of rest and back down. It sure felt like Maximum effort, but my heart rate was not anywhere near max. I am thinking that even with the 1 minute interval my heart did not have time to catch up to the effort:

Wednesday"s Pyramid Intervals

I the frame building front, I am starting to layup the carbon fiber with some 4.7 oz. unidirectional CF cloth. I started with some of the trickier odd shaped places like the bottom bracket area, and the junction of the top tube and down tube. It took me 4 pieces of CF and quite a bit of experimenting with a paper patterns to get the Bottom Bracket area covered. I might have a little too much overlap, but I think a little extra material down near the cranks will be a good thing!

I am getting pretty good at poking holes in electrical tape to let the excess resin out when I wrap the CF to compress it. I am thinking I should order a case of electrical tape because I am going to use a lot of it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Does Roofing Really Count as Strength Training?

I spent Saturday, Sunday, and Monday roofing, except for a short one hour ride on Saturday, that is about all I did, apart from spending money on the things I did not remember to include in my estimate-- like metal drip edges, step flashings, 2x6's for the roof jacks, nails for the framing nailer- the list goes on and on. The good news is I am about 1/4 done, the bad news is wow I must really be a fool to do this myself lol!

Anyway, it is kinda nice to have to go to Iowa to get away from "the project." It gives my sore shoulder (and the rest of my body) a bit of a break. Today I rode with the Bike Tech "b" group. It was windy but the ride was nice-- about 24 miles mostly in zone 1 & 2 for me. Tuesday Night's data.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Numerically Challenged I am

Today's workout plan was a set of pyramid intervals. 10 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, 20 on, 20 rest, continuing up to 1 minute on and one minute rest; then back down. Wow I cannot keep very good track of numbers to start off with and it seems to get worse when not enough oxygen is getting to my brain. The heart rate data from Thursday's workout should have been a nice progression up and down, but it looks like I got pretty confused! Oh well, it felt pretty good, and was a lot more fun than shingling (and it did not take nearly as long either!)

On a completely different note, I went out and found some morels this afternoon and dropped some off for my friend John this evening. Too funny-- he had 4 nice big ones growing right by his front door!

Monday, May 11, 2009

All Day Strength Training

Today was a day of roofing! There are several positives about roofing. First of all it really is a strength training exercise, there are 4 layers of shingles to be pried off the roof, and it is a balance exercise, doing all of this on a 45 degree angle 25 feet in the air. (I am wearing a roofer's harness)

But the biggest positive about roofing is it gives me an appreciation for how hard some people work. There have been more than a few who have said I am crazy to be doing this myself, but it is the craziness of how plenty of people work everyday.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Nice Day in Finchford

I did not really commit to doing the Finchford race till a day or so ago. It was looking like there might not be enough people to help at the corners, so I made that my first priority. By Friday it looked like there was going to be enough so I decided to ride with the Cat 5's. So I rode the 9:00 race and then worked the corners for the next 2 races.

The race was good the first lap, then I got behind a crash, and had to stop long enough that I could not catch the pack again. So I made a couple of laps by myself until some of the others that were held up by the crash caught me and together we caught the guy who fell off the pack that I was trying to catch by myself for most of those 2 laps. They all out sprinted me to the finish, but the race felt pretty good all the same.

After That I spend the rest of the day on Corner 2, trying my best to stop traffic coming from the south so that the rider who went wide on the corner (that would be most of them) would not hit a motor vehicle. Wow that is a dance in its own right. Judging when to stop the cars and when to let them through is not always easy, and while most of the drivers were very understanding, one in particular did not think much of having to wait 30 seconds for the Cat 3 riders to clear the corner. Oh well the old adage that says "you only have one chance to make a good first impression" is certainly true for me with respect to Corn Belt Builders. . . (sometimes having a sign on the side of your truck is not an advantage.)

Finchford Roubiax Data

Friday, May 8, 2009

A good workout and TMI (for most people anyway)

Great workout with John and Kat the morning-- 30 second intervals with 30 seconds of rest. Wow do they make you feel anaerobic! I was glad to be doing this around others people or it would have been difficult to maintain the intensity

Thursday's Data

This next part casued me to stay up way too late and was interesting enough for me to stay up even later writing this account.

OK, now I have the jig, and the foam core, so it is time to get to work on the details of laminating the composite. I etched the aluminum parts before bonding them with epoxy. I used West System 860, it is a two part etch that you paint on and them wash off, easy enough!

I understand that if the carbon fiber touches the metal parts directly it will make a battery of sorts and that will cause galvanic corrosion (not sure exactly what that is) BUT I put a piece of 4oz S-cloth around the bottom bracket shell and the head tube to provide a little fiberglass insulation. I plan to do the same for the rear drop outs.

I filled the void between the foam and the bottom Bracket shell and the head tube with micro balloons mixed with expoxy.

A couple of years ago I was looking for some carbon fiber at US Composite's website, and everything, I mean everything was out of stock and not available on account of the world wide shortage of carbon fiber cloth-- Except for some really heavy 18oz cloth. I bought a couple yards and then really had no use for it, until now anyway. I used 2 peices to go around the back (inside) of the bottom bracket shell and the head tube, so it wrapped around the metal parts and then left a tab to attach to when I laminate the rest of the CF.

Then I temporary taped down the CF cloth down against the foam core.

I let the epoxy cure around the Bottom bracket for 4 hours. When I took the tape off I discovered that The foam had shifted to one side. I was worried about this at the time because everything ended up under plastic and tape. I thought about how I might loosen the nicely etched and bonded metal from the composite. I thought out how big of a problem would it be if the BB stuck out 1/8 inch more on one side than the other. Then I realized I could cut the foam around the whole assemble and shift it back into postion and then re-epoxy it in place, and re-fair the foam-- that is what I did.

I repeated the same process with the head tube.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tempo on Wednesday

I had a meeting this morning so I could not ride with John and Kat. Instead, I went out after my meeting and did the level 3 tempo ride myself. It is a different sort of ride-- it is much easier, though not as fun, to maintain a fairly constant HR when you just have the hills to contend instead of moving in and out of John and Kat's draft to adjust the resistance on the pedals, along with the hills, and along with the regular sprints to catch back up with them.

Riding by myself today, reminds me how fortunate I am to have John and Kat to ride with as often as I do!!

Wednesday's Data

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hills and the End of the Academic Year

Well, classes are over and we are in finals at UNI. That made our favorite hill on Walnut street a little less predictable than usual in terms of traffic. For me it was sort of a physical and mental workout where you had to be watching as you were exerting. We did 5 on Walnut Street and then, actually I only did 4 I had a flat and had to catch up after I got it changed. Then we moved over to Lookout hill and did 12x30 second more. Here is a link to my training data for today: Tuesday's workout

In between meetings and everything else today I finally got the foam core for my bike frame on the jig! Now I have a bunch of fixed attachment points so the places where I need to do some more straightening and fairing are really obvious. So far so Good!

A Great Weekend to Shingle--NOT

Well this would have been a great weekend to ride. The weather was great, the wind was calm, It could have been a great weekend for a nice long ride or two. Instead I focused on strength training and my quads are a little sore to show for it. Carrying those bundles of shingles up and down the ladder, and doing those isometric exercises on un-level surfaces while I ran the nail gun re-shingling the garage roof was my training this past weekend. Currently the shingle score stands: one garage re-roofed and one house to go. The house is bigger and is going to be a lot more exercise on account of the steep roof!

I did get a little time in on a metal lathe turning the cones I needed to complete the fixtures for the bike jig I am making. It is just about ready to go. I just have a a little more truing and aligning and then I should be able to attach the foam core on the jig.

Kaia came down to CF with me this week, and I convinced her to go for an easy ride with me. We went north of Blackhawk Park. She was a very good sport considering there still are a few places where the water has not gone down enough to cross on dry land.