Saturday, January 21, 2017


On the virtues of being well-adjusted:

I raised my bike's saddle a bit a week ago on the advice of a more experienced cyclist. Their idea was that I would get more power if my legs were just a little straighter. With the new saddle adjustment, I rode forty miles over two days.

My back still hurts. I didn't know that raising the seat just a few millimeters could make such a difference, and that it could be so negative. I've lowered my saddle back to where it was. And I'm icing my back every morning.

Lessons learned? Everybody is different, and if you're comfortable with how your bike is adjusted, leave it alone. Just because someone has years of experience riding a bike doesn't make them an expert on how you ride or how you should ride.


I'm re-reading It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels by Robert Penn. It's the story of how Penn built his dream bike interspersed with chapters on the history of bicycles and bicycling. In my last post (the one about penny farthing bikes), I said I was interested in the history of bikes; I still am, and the historical chapters in this book are fascinating to me.


I'm training for a charity ride to benefit local schools. It's forty-five miles and will take place around the end of April. So far my longest ride has been thirty-five miles, but I think I can do forty-five. The route is very flat, so that's good.

My ride today will be very short. I will head downtown and then back uptown to the bike store, where I will bend my credit card getting some decent rain gear. It's been raining a lot, and I'm starting to resent that I'm unable to ride in the rain without getting soaked. Note to those of you who do ride in the rain on a regular basis: I would welcome your advice on how best to deal with wet roads, etc. I do have wide tires on my bike, so I think that's covered. But I will probably have to learn some new techniques to ride well when it's raining.

Side note: one thing I've noticed as a pedestrian is that drivers in my area actually drive faster when it's raining. I don't know why that is. Perhaps they're afraid that their large SUVs will shrink if they get too wet.

I've also noticed that California drivers either don't believe in or don't understand the phenomenon of hydroplaning; that scares me a little.


I don't actually have anything to say about arithmetic. It just seemed to follow naturally after reading and riding.


  1. Love the arithmetic part! ha. I can't suggest anything regarding riding in the rain. You have fenders. Perhaps just be very visible, avoid puddles (could be a sinkhole), find alternative roads?

    1. Thanks for the advice. The puddle avoidance is a good tip. I know that there are at least two potholes on the way to work that are at least 6 inches deep. Generally, I'm smart enough to avoid them, but if I were dealing with rain, I might forget them.