Mars Girl’s Biking 411

In case you are not in my immediate group of friends or on Facebook, I’m announcing right now that I have *drum roll, please*

…ordered the…. *expectant pause*

SURLY CROSS CHECK!!
*applause, applause*

What? You thought this was a democracy? Don’t kid yourself! This is my blog and my life. So you think I’m biking obsessed? I own it, babycakes. I prefer propulsion by my own leg muscles to motor. I’d admit to my illness. Are you really surprised?

The Cross Check I ordered is not going to be the stock model. No, I’m having my own special version built with a triple crank, STI shifters, 700x37mm tires, Planet Bike hardcore fenders (because I’m hardcore), and a sweet suspension seat post. I am getting it in the sweet black color with the white graphics and I’m toying with the idea of accenting with purple water bottle cages and handlebar tape just to add my own flare to the bike. We’re giving the back cassette some road-ready gearing, but it’s being set up in a way where I can change out a lower cassette later should I chose to do some hardcore touring. Right now, the bike is set up for touring, but not the kind where I’ll be dragging my own tent–“credit card touring,” as some call it.

I’m pretty excited!! I can’t wait to ride it around on some questionably paved road. I wonder how it’s going to feel to be on something a bit beefier. Fall weather, here I come!! I’m still not planning to ride when the snow is falling, however. That’s what skiing is for.

Michael bought my Trek 7500 FX and I’m infinitely happy that the Beast’s going to a good home!

Last night, I changed out the computer from the Trek onto my Giant because I’m really tired of my stats getting destroyed by random RF frequencies. I will never buy a wireless bike computer again. I think I will move the wireless computer (formerly on the Giant) to the Mike bike since if I ever use that one for anything, I won’t care so much about my stats but I will want to know how many miles I’ve ridden. You shouldn’t waste good bike accessories, after all. Even if they piss you off like this wireless computer has.

I felt a little bugged out about putting all those wires on my Giant (my baby is mucked up with wires!) but you can barely see them. The computer formerly on my Trek was a Cateye Astrale 8 which also monitors cadence so I’m happy to have that feature now on my Giant. The only thing weird is that the reader for the mph mounts on the lower part of the bike frame and reads off the back tire instead of the front. That will take some getting used to when I’m trouble-shooting!

I also bought an Astrale 8 for the Surly. I’m a nerd. I want to know my cadence. Even on this bike which will probably be used at somewhat slower speeds. It’s all about the cadence, though, when it comes to good riding, especially up hills. I’m curious to see what my cadence is now as I used to struggle to keep it up over 75rpms. It’d be nice to see some improvement from all this road biking.

So that’s the bike news for now. I’m just waiting for the arrival of my new baby (my 10th wedding anniversary present to myself). I’m planning to do the MCBC’s Ramble Around Medina ride on Labor Day to bag my 7th century. Weather-permitting, that is. And I probably shouldn’t say “bagging”; all centuries are a challenge and I never count them done until I see that happy “100” displayed on my bike computer.

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3 thoughts on “Mars Girl’s Biking 411

  1. The Astrale 8's pickup works off of the rear wheel so you can see your cadence etc. if you have the bike mounted on a trainer.

  2. Bob, I realized the same thing last night as I was installing the Astrale 8 on my Giant! Now I'll get a real speed and cadence reading while using the trainer in the winter!! It will give me more to aim for while pedaling in the middle of my living room.

  3. The Astrale model works great in the Excel in Cycling class. The people with wireless ones sometimes complain about interference from nearby sweaty riders. My heartrate monitor sometimes picks up other, much higher, heartrates there. And I misspoke. The cadence pickup, of course, picks up the cadence from the cranks and the rear wheel pickup is for speed. But you already knew that.

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