Monday, January 30, 2012

A mild Monday afternoon in January

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Poor Ole' Joe with my Bike.
 It sure was nice to have a Monday afternoon with clear skies and temperatures in the 50s! Since I was off work I made sure to make time to go for a bike ride. This was my second ride with a fixed Powertap rear hub. A Powertap allows measuring of the power output of the rider. Powertap hubs use strain gauges to measure torque and velocity to calculate power.  Many riders these day use power meters when they ride, but it is unusual to have one on a fixed gear bike. A fixed-gear bicycle (or fixed-wheel bicycle, sometimes known as a fixie) is a bicycle that has no freewheel, meaning it cannot coast, as the pedals are always in motion when the bicycle is moving. The sprocket, or cog, is threaded or bolted directly to a fixed rear hub. When the rear wheel turns, the pedals turn in the same direction.  

Fixed Powertap Pro

Fixed Powertap Hub Installed on the bike

I headed out on my bike to the general area of "The Mill Loop". This is a classic loop to ride that is just outside of Winston-Salem, NC and located between the communities of Lewisville and Clemmons, NC.  I knew some of my friends would be riding around there. They regularly leave from Union Hill Baptist Church at 2:00. I was already running a few minutes late and lost a few more when my rear wheel slipped in the dropouts as I hurried away from a traffic light. It's best to   use chain tensioners that keep the rear hub pulled back in a track style drop out. I rode a portion of the ride in the opposite direction than I thought the group would be going. I wasn't exactly sure how they would be riding the loop since it has been awhile since I was able to get out to ride at this time of day. I hadn't gone far when I saw them headed my way. Jenny, Wanda, Alan, Louis and Ronnie. It was great to see everyone and especially on such a nice afternoon. We rode at a casual pace and chatted. After a few variations on "The Mill Loop" I peeled off and headed home before rush hour traffic became heavy on Peacehaven Road. The Powertap made riding a fixed gear much more beneficial as I could tell how much work I was really doing and what my speed and cadence was during the ride. I have a 50x18 gear on the bike and the highest cadence I saw was 178. I hope I have some more Monday afternoons with weather like this in February! Good friends, great weather and a bike ride. It just doesn't get any better than that!
Alan, Ronnie, Jenny and Louis
Ronnie and Alan climbing
Louis Climbing out of the saddle
Jenny cruising by a plowed field

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