The Outdoor Runner

Lessons learned from a habitual outdoor runner

Goose nearing 4k

Earlier posts explain more about the bikes I have, Goose being the primary ride and Kermit the backup. There has been a few times where parts or tools were needed for Goose and I was so thankful to have Kermit.

When I first started cycling I assumed a department store may last up to 2000 miles. I had no idea what I was in for as I had never pedaled anything more than required.

I knew I had exceeded the 2,000 point and was a little surprised to see that my Garmin report shows I’m just one ride from 4,000 miles in a little over a year.

In those 4k miles I still have the original front tire in service and fortunately haven’t had to do any work on the front-end. The middle and back are another story. I’ve replaced the bottom bracket bearings twice and the last time I replaced the crank axle as well. On the rear end I’m still running a standard Bell tire from Walmart. It turns out these wear a lot better than the mountain bike tires in the rear. I did mention in another post that Goose had a cavity (broken spoke), but since those repairs, things have been pretty good.

I do have another mountain bike tire for the rear in the event winter gets dicey and I need better traction.

Heading into Winter 2020

It’s been a while… first, the stats for the last few months.

JulyAugustSeptember
Activities544952
Total Distance443.15 mi441.13 mi414.66 mi
Total Activity Time47:55:13 h:m:s45:43:31 h:m:s44:55:08 h:m:s
Activity Calories30,485 C30,099 C28,932 C
Total Elev Gain1,192 ft1,449 ft1,476 ft
Average Speed9.2 mph9.6 mph9.2 mph

Thankfully, I am able to alternate running and cycling each day. As winter is coming and road conditions become unpredictable, there may be more running than cycling days so I’m hoping my legs are supportive. This morning’s ride (route below) was chilly and the wind was strong enough to be an added challenge

October 24, 2020 Ride

I’m still grateful for the continued injury recovery that has allowed me to keep exercising everyday! It’s been a long road to this point and there is more work to do before I can start running faster and longer. I am okay with that!

Running is an amazing thing for me and when I lost it due to injury it was tough to accept. I really wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to run again so I am jazzed to be doing this much.

The Country Roads to home

Yesterday I came across the familiar John Denver tune “Take Me Home, Country Roads” performed by a young family group called The Petersens. As I was enjoying the scenery on a long ride this morning, I realized I hadn’t shared any photos recently, so I stopped and snapped a few. Here is one.

Looking Southwest

In the photo, the moon is still visible and the corn in this particular spot has to be over 5-feet tall. I will try to capture more photos to share going forward. Have a great day and I hope your roads take you where you want to go today.

Tuesday morning ride

Overall it was a good ride this morning, while the humidity was up, the temperature was comfortable in the low 70’s. The only low point to the ride today was being chased by a dog. I hate it when I have to deal with animals that aggressively threaten people on public roads, also the frustration with pet owners that allow it.

A beautiful Sunday morning ride

Have you seen the early morning sky the last few days? The moon has been awesome to see on these clear mornings, plus there are some other bright objects (like Venus) still in view before the sun breaks the horizon.

This past Sunday (7/5), was one of those nice mornings where traffic was light and the weather was very reasonable. Under these conditions I was able to travel on a few roads I normally wouldn’t in fear of being a traffic casualty. I found myself pedaling to the next town over, then riding the country roads home as the sun was rising in my face.

Many people dislike the flat-land Midwest, however, I have grown to appreciate it, even more since I began my outdoor exercise journey more than eight years ago.

The new helmet with the built-in visor/goggles proved to be of value on a longer ride as well, as it is nice not having to struggle with sunglasses. So many things to be grateful for. Ride on!

Bottom Bracket Education

I like to learn new things all the time and this bicycle bottom bracket issue has more to it than one may expect. I ride cheap bikes for exercise in contrast to the higher-end road and racing competitive bikes. There are many arguments to be found online on this topic, so I just do what works for me. I also like to tinker with things (electrical, technological, programmatic, and mechanical).

I have to say that I’ve put 10x more miles on my pedal-bikes than I put on my motorcycle each year (sort of sad for the motorcycle). If you don’t mind buying some tools and getting your hands dirty, working on these cheaper bikes isn’t too bad and not that expensive.

When I pulled the bottom bracket apart today I was greeted with several little pieces of metal falling out. Below you can see what kind of shape the drive-side bearing was in compared to how it looked when new. It was a mess. Of course, the axle is a little rough now as well, so I’ve placed an order for one of those ($9-12 depending on shipping).

New versus old bearing sets

To add to the complexity statement earlier, there are many variations of bottom brackets out there, and after some research I was able to identify my particular axle (3N). This Sheldon Brown site was super helpful.

Searching Amazon returns more than 20k results for “bottom bracket”, so having some understanding of what you need helps to narrow the results. I learned I have a 68mm shell (British standard), which also means the drive-side is left-hand threaded, and my axle is a Size: 3N, 32.0 x 52 x 36.0 x 120mm. Apparently, getting this too far off can mess with your chain alignment, which makes sense, so if you make alterations on the front, be prepared to adjust other places as well.

Anyway, it was a good day to learn and I’m just waiting on parts now. Reassembly should be fairly easy.

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