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Month: August 2007

Tropical San Diego

Tropical San Diego

According to wikipedia and Weather Undeground, at 7:50 am today, the dew point in La Jolla was somewhere between “somewhat uncomfortable” and “quite uncomfortable.” I would agree with that.

For over the last week San Diego has been subject to a flow of warm and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico. The temperatures haven’t been all that high in absolute terms, perhaps as high as 30C (85F), but the humidity has been unpleasant. Furthermore, my apartment is uninsulated and has no air conditioning – so the windows stay open 24 hours a day. By the mid-afternoon, it’s often a few degrees warmer in the apartment than outside. And our neighbors smoke on their patio about dozen times a day, which is annoying. It gets worse: One of the buildings next to us is having its roof replaced and all week the smell of fresh tar has been wafting inside the apartment day and night.

I usually don’t complain about warm weather, I actually like it. But, lately, I’m looking for a little relief from the sticky humidity, the cigarette smoke and the tar.

(P.S. Of my faithful readers, my brother Adam has it the worst, of course, being in Vietnam right now. It’s much more humid and oppressive there. However, Vietnam is 20 degrees farther south than here, so that’s to be expected.)

Leader Track Bike

Leader Track Bike

Yesterday I got the replacement frame for my Broken Fuji track frame. I got an aluminum LD 735TR 61cm track frame and carbon fork for a very reasonable price, especially considering how short notice it was. I have several friends who are riding Leader frames and they are happy with them. Happily, this new bike has considerably less red than the Fuji.

If you look at the full size image (by clicking on the image above), you’ll see that I’ve placed a piece of an old tube around the top tube using two green zip ties. This is there to protect the top tube from the handlebars, which tend to whack the top tube. Regular bikes don’t need this as brake and shifter cables help dampen the handlebar swinging motion.

When I put my Pro-Lite carbon disc rear and aero front wheels (which should arrive soon!) on this black frame, it will look awesome! And that’s what counts.

Broken Fuji

Broken Fuji

Broken Fuji

Click the image for full size

Almost a year ago, during my return trip from Indianapolis, my 2005 Fuji Track Pro was dented due to the TSA improperly re-packing my bike box after inspecting it. I managed to parlay this into an almost $1000 check from the TSA after documenting their liability quite thoroughly.

The bike wasn’t actually fatally damaged. It still rode true and there weren’t any cracks, just a dent. Aluminum tubes are strong enough to use as long as they aren’t creased with sharp edges (this is what I have been told). For the last five months I’ve been riding my Fuji with a dent in the downtube with no problems – until now. Now, I’m afraid, the bike has made it’s last lap of a velodrome. Yesterday I found that the dent has turned into a crack that you can see to the right. The crack starts in the dent and works around the bottom of the tube to the other side.

In my Fuji’s lifetime it has seen four velodromes: San Diego, Hellyer in San Jose, Northbrook in Chicago and Major Taylor in Indianapolis. My cyclometer has 2850 km on it, which works out to 1770 mi. Most of my time has been in San Diego, which is a 333 meter track. Major Taylor is also 333m, while Hellyer and and Northbrook are slightly longer. I’ll simply use a 333 meter lap. That odometer distance gives 6800 laps. I’m sure the actual number is quite different than that, but you get the idea. 6800 laps is a bunch of going fast, and turning left. And not forgetting to pedal.

Goodbye good friend!

Now I need to find a new frame, soon. Hopefully the new one won’t have any red on it, my one dislike of the Fuji. When that’s all sorted out I’ll post a picture of my new single speed steed.