Serotta, Surgery, Stiffness and other ‘S’ words

September 18, 2007

First off, the Serotta and I have now finally got some good miles in together and I must say I love the ride.  The shifting is still settling in as any Campagnolo group typically does.  It did it on the Flyte, and things are getting smoother on the Serotta.  The paint is beautiful, and tonight, I think I’m going to go home and tenderly clean every inch of the deep red paint of the road grit and grime I picked up between the Hotter’n Hell and the Cotton Patch Classic the last couple weeks.  Someone on BikeForums this morning made a new thread stating that “Steel is for Retro Idiots”.  Obviously an attempt to stir up an argument, I didn’t take the bait too much, but couldn’t help but respond with my own choice input on the subject.  Steel rides wonderfully, any ride over 40mi, and I’m going to be on a steel frame.  Till I can afford Ti, or have enough reserve cash to not worry about destroying a carbon, steel is real good for me.

Surgery – yes, it is about time for me to go back in for the rest of it.  For those who don’t remember or read about it, I had 4 moles removed back in late April, and now I must go back for the last 3.  A mixed blessing, I don’t have any more in my legs that will keep me off the bike completely.  However two are in my scalp so I will be unable to wear a helmet for several weeks.  This will keep me confined to the trainer indoors till it heals completely.  The last one is in my left arm.  Usually this would be no real big deal… except I’m left handed.  This might actually help me lose weight since it will be real difficult to eat for a few days!

Stiffness – as in stiffness in my back.  Something about my position on the bike, how I’m sleeping, something has been causing some very prolonged muscle problems in my back.  It has gotten to the point that it is causing some numbness to the surface of my skin in my upper back between my shoulder blades.  Last night I went for a professional massage in hopes it would start to relax my back muscles.  It seems to have helped, but a little more time will be needed to know if it did the trick, or more will be needed.  Till then I might have to limit my bike ride distance and speed some to prevent me from tensing up my back too much for too long.  I’m also going to spend some time and money with a bike fitter at a local shop to get the bike(s) set up better for me. 

Squeaking!  I recently replaced the aged and hardened brake pads on the Gazelle’s Campagnolo Super Record brakes with a new set of KoolStop Salmon pads that fit the original campy holders.  Paired with a brand new set of Campagnolo Omega 19 rims these new pads do stop well.   But they also squeak like a dying banshee.  Sounds that I can barely stand for the few seconds it takes to bring the bike down from 20 mph to a stop.  I really must find a solution to this issue as it is more than enough to make me rethink taking the bike out for a ride.  I really love the ride of the Gazelle, and certainly don’t want something like this standing between me and riding it. 

Summer, is just above over with now.  Even here in Texas the temperatures have started to cool considerably already this year.  And for the first time in a great number of years, I’m not going back to school this fall.  I will be doing some studying, getting some software certifications and such, but I am taking at least a full year away from school.  I think it will be good for me, allow me to focus on some other things for a little bit.  Hopefully rediscover the enjoyment in learning that I had somehow lost in the last 7-8 years of college.

Stuff, other stuff (ok, I’m running out of ‘S’ words…).  Velobase is continuing to grow, though slightly slower than it was at the get-go.  There have been new components added and updated every week, as well as new members joining.  Looking at the activity of many members I can see they are just signing up to get a look at the Catalog scans, but it is my hope that some of them will return to be part of the VeloBase community.  I have been receiving some good feedback on how to make the site better and as time allows I am looking into some of them.  By this time next year I hope to be moving on to Phase 2 of the website.  But I’ll go into more of that at a later date and time.  For now, I’m going to wrap up the afternoon, head for home, and hopefully get out on the bike.  Which bike I don’t know…


VeloBase.com – just about there

August 14, 2007

Yes folks, I’ve been entirely too busy lately working on the website to even update this blog about it.  I’ve added quite a bit since the last update.  Tools to calculate gears, front fork geometry, added the elusive Visual Search capability (at least in a limited function), and the component and user list has boomed! 

We now have over 300 components, submitted by many of our nearly 100 users.  I’m not sure on the photo count right now, but considering all components have at least one photo and many have more, I’m guessing somewhere north of 600 photos now in the database.  I have also slowly been adding the the Glossary and the Resource Links pages.  There are a few new Catalog Scans as well to download and view.  I’m hoping to get some new Articles added to that section of the website soon as well.  Just need to find some willing writers! 

Over all the development has gone smoothly.  A few browser specific problems, a few complete and total goof-ups on my part that slipped through my limited testing and out to the website.  My members have been great in pointing out problems and understanding that I’m a one man development force getting this up and off the ground.  But the ball has gained momentum right now, and the site is at a point now that things are more or less finished.  There are a few other features I would like to add, and will add in the near future.  But everything right now is functional.  As far as I know anyways.


More Miles, More Rain, More Velobase

July 27, 2007

Well, we’ve had a few weeks reprieve from the rain.  And in the lull in the monsoon of 2007, I managed to get some miles in.  Including a very satisfying 100k in Paris, TX on the 21st.  It was a great day to be out on the bike, light winds, heat wasn’t too bad.  All said it was a fun trip, and a fast day on the bike with an over all average speed of 18.6mph.  Quite happy with that result.  Now I just need to get around to rewriting my mileage log on my website so I can keep track of the miles.  Maybe that is something I’ll have to do after I get VeloBase completed and the winter months start settling in.

But, looks like rain is back in the extended forecast.  And by extended I mean it’s going to rain for like the next 5-7 days.  Just in time for the weekend.  One which I already have some 80mi of riding planned over the two days.  I just installed my new wheelset on the Flyte to test out before building the Serotta up when it gets back from paint here in a few days.  Went with a build that is just solid: Mavic Open Pros laced to Campagnolo Daytona hubs.  Daytona was the name of the Centaur line some years ago.  They look to be in great shape and should have a ton of miles left in the rims and the hubs. 

And of course, more VeloBase.com.  I have now moved all of the domains to point to the application.  Meaning of you visit VeloBase.com, VeloBase.net or VeloBase.info – you’ll end up on the component database site.  As of last night the component database had 199 components.  I have uploaded 2 articles, there are around 50 entries in the Glossary, and several dozen links in the Additional Resources list.  Additionally there is now a Gear Calculator, and I’m about finished building the fork geometry calculator as well.  Just a few little tools to make the site more useful for more uses.  I still have some more features to add to the component database, a few tools to add, and general enhancements to make. 


VeloBase.info Beta Update

July 9, 2007

I love it when things come together… quickly. 

The VeloBase.com Glossary page is now more or less complete.  There’s no information in it right now, but it is there and ready for stuff to be added to it by anyone with the permissions to do so.  Of course, there is also a ‘report’ link so to keep it clean and crap free.  And I don’t give those permissions to just anyone either. 

Right now VeloBase.info has 5 users other than myself (and actually, I have two users, one for testing and one for admin stuff), there are a whooping 62 components and 77 photos added to the database already.

Next plans are for the Additional Resource links, and a View Profile page so you can view other member’s profiles and stats.  Then it’s back to the Standard and Visual Component Searchs to round off the website.  Oh, damn, almost forgot, still have the Edit Photo thing to figure out.  That too, yeah, that should be worked on soon as well.   


VeloBase.com… err… VeloBase.info

July 5, 2007

Be one of the first people to see the current development release of VeloBase.  VeloBase.Info is the address.  Creating a user currently gives you access to the ‘User’ role type which  has somewhat limited access to the site.  If you wish to help contribute information to the site, please email me at jonfischer@velobase.com to discuss additional roles.  In the future these roles will be automatically promoted after a given time period and/or contributed a certain amount of content.  Right now I’m working on adding the Watch List, Flag (problem) Component, and start the Glossary.


VeloBase.com v0.1 is online

July 2, 2007

It’s Offical, the first interactive version of VeloBase.com is now online.  Granted, if you go VeloBase.com right now, it won’t look any different.  That is because I’ve set the site up on one of the alternate domains for the time being.  Just to keep traffic on it to a minimum till I’m ready to show it to a wider audience. 

Right now I’m looking for 10-12 members to help provide feedback on the website.  If you’d like to help, please contact me at jon@velobase.com.  Thank you.


Baptisted by the Rains of 2007

June 28, 2007

As I’ve mentioned before, the Dallas area (and much of Texas and surrounding states) are experiencing a much wetter than normal year.  In fact, I believe as of this afternoon we will have the second wettest June on record.  Up till yesterday afternoon I had stayed at home when it was pouring rain.  Working on VeloBase.com, browsing BF’s, or other non riding activites while it poured rain outside was my only cycling outlets.  And it sucked.

Yesterday I was determined to ride, regardless of the rain on its way.  I looked at the radar, I thought I had time enough to get out for a short ride and home before the next round of rain arrived.

I miscalculated.  I figured I had time enough to get from my apartment, over to Richardson Bikemart, and back again before it rained.  I, in fact, had exactly half that amount of time.  It started raining the moment I stepped back out of RBM.  With my options being either waiting at RBM for an unknown amount of time for the rain to pass, or riding in it.  I chose to head for home.  However, about 2/3 the way home, it was quite obvious that the rain was heavier than I cared to ride in any further, and I took shelter in the doorway of a school till the cell blew through. 

I arrived home, soaked to the bone, but happy that I got out on the bike.  It wasn’t too bad, even with the water drops stinging my eyes.  I’d do it again… and may just do that today.