Friday, November 30, 2012

Brompton Toolkit - sneak preview

I received my toolkit today from Portapedal. Full review to follow very shortly!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012 El Tour de Tucson photos

I ponied up the money and bought the set of photos with me in it for my (and your) enjoyment.  I know being a photog is a tough gig, especially one with approximately 9000 participants in it, so I feel they've earned it.

Walking up to the start area.
The happiness before the pain!
I think this is on Tangerine Road...
Hauling ass down Freeman Road.
Walking through the World Famous Canyon Ranch
Still walking...
High speed corner (well, it's supposed to be high speed).
Silverbell Road sucks! 
Me & my soccer teammate Tyler on my left shoulder.

Passing the Santa Cruz Church.
Thanks Bike Patrol!
Finish line!
Time to celebrate!

Monday, November 19, 2012

111 miles on the B, aka El Tour de Tucson

El Tour de Tucson is the biggest cycling event around these parts, attracting cyclists from all over. The main event is the 111 mile race that runs around the perimeter of town. I've done this ride twice before on a road bike, but of course this year I had to do it on the B!

Let me rewind a couple of days... I was getting flats on both tires a few days before the event (even though I had Flat Attack in the tubes).  I took the rear tire off and for the life of me I couldn't get it back on.  Had to go to the LBS to get it back on with a new tube and sealant.  The front tire went back on just fine.  I also snugged up my headset at BICAS since I could feel it coming loose.

Back to race day...

First of all, the weather could not have been better!  It was overcast all day, and the morning wasn't very cold.  As usual, all the participants were cheery and ready to roll.  I arrived to the starting area around 6:00, about an hour before the start.  I chatted up with a couple of guys who flew in from Kansas City.  I was able to park the B with the rear folded until just before the start.


The B ready and waiting and getting some stares.

Riders getting anxious.

The dudes from KC checking their phones.

Testing out Apple's new panoramic feature

Let's go already!

Before I knew it we were off and running. I didn't see any other folding bikes... I did see an unicyclist and three elliptiGO-type bikes, along with a hand full of recumbents and hand-powered cycles.  It was relatively uneventful 100 miles in... I did spontaneously find my soccer teammate about 40 miles in, then we parted ways soon after, then met up again with about 15 miles to go.

Me passing the unicyclist

I was beginning to struggle at about 10 miles from the finish.  I ran out of water in my Camelback hydration pack with about 7 miles to go.  I stopped about 5 miles to go and ate another gel, which in hindsight was a mistake because I didn't have any water to wash it down with.  Another 2 miles down the road my body (and especially my arms) were getting severely tingly and numb...I had to pull over again.  A couple of minutes later a bike patroller stopped, gave me some water, made sure I was ok, and escorted me to the finish.

Crossing the finish line

Many thanks to Bike Patrol #11133, who gave me water and escorted me to the finish.  I made Silver status (under 9 hours) by less than 3 minutes thanks to him.

I was hoping to get some cool acquisition data using the GPS from the iPhone, but it didn't work out... the battery ran out before the finish and my external battery kinda malfunctioned.  Oh well.  Luckily the GoPro just barely hung on long enough to get the finish.

One lesson I learned was to keep eating and drinking!  I ate 3 Clif Bars, 3 Larabars, 2 half-bananas, 7 gels and a handful of pretzels, along with 3.5 Camelback's worth of water and it wasn't enough.  And I know that amount was way more than I had last year.

Healthy post-race meal!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The long awaited Brompton Toolkit is leaving me breathless

Wow.  Thanks to Unfold and Cycle Blog, I got to see a video shot by NYCe Wheels on the upcoming Brompton Toolkit.

Holy crap!  I think this was way beyond what any of us were expecting when Brompton announced that they were making a toolkit.  Time will tell, but it looks extremely well designed and a lot of time and care went into making things perfect.  I love that this company didn't just slap together some cheapo tools and rolled them up in some cheap canvas envelope thing and called it good enough.  I will be eagerly awaiting mine!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's official... the Tucson Brompton Bicycle Club is here!

As I mentioned in the last post, I was thinking about starting a Brompton group at  There are two other Brompton meetup groups... one in Washington, D.C. and the other in Edinburgh UK.  The one I am organizing will of course be based in Tucson, but I hope to perhaps get members from all throughout Arizona and maybe beyond!

I'm thinking about organizing events for Brompton owners (and those curious) to hang out, take rides, maybe even do some trips!

Here is the link to the Tucson Brompton Bicycle Club! (Let me know if it isn't working).  Hope to meet some of the readers here sometime soon!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

First kinda-sorta meetup...

Yesterday I met up with the other cool Brompton owners at Sky Bar. It was the first time we all have gotten together since the Gary Fisher ride. It was nice to see everyone again and talk about the future rides and trips they are planning.

It was mentioned that they have seen other Bromptons around town, which is exciting. I think I'm going to make the leap and form a group on, and hopefully that'll make meeting more Tucson Brompton owners even easier! Once I get everything figured out I'll share the group info in a new post!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

First $100 saved!

According to my "back of the envelope" calculations and records (visible here), I've saved my first $100 worth of petrol!  I've got a ways to go to recoup the cost of the bike, but as they say it's about the journey, not the destination.