Saturday, July 26, 2008

I bought the Polar Power Meter a few weeks ago. Hey, why not...Since I already have the Polar 720i. I checked into several user forums, and the only complaints were regarding set up, with a couple over mechanical reliability.

Set-up: There were two issues, one that I was aware of ahead of time and one that was a surprise.

1) setting up the chain sensor requires a ruler and removal of the chain. This was the setup issue I knew of. The chain tension sensor uses a magnet attached to a strain gauge. It senses the defection of the chain under pedal induction (this is why you need to weigh the chain). It then uses that defection data, with cadence, chain speed (a separate sensor), road speed, and rider weight to come up with a power value. You need the ruler to ensure the distance of the chain to the sensor - which sits on the drive side stay - stays within distance limits across the gear range, or the magnetic strain gauge will not react to the chain deflection properly. You get spacers to accomplish this.

2) What I didn't prepare for was the lower jockey wheel bolt length. The system measures chain speed through a sensor attached to the lower jockey wheel, so they provide a special bolt that is unfortunately a little too short and will only grab about 1 thread. With a little judicious use of a dremel tool, I was able to shave about 100 mils off of the shoulder of the bolt so I got it to come though just shy of flush with the back of the cage.

It worked right away. So far the only problem I've had is that the wrist unit needs to be completely, perfectly, and firmly seated on the mount. I'm thinking this is the source of alot of the 'intermittent' complaints I've read about.

Since there wasn't any real calibration of the system, I decided to do a little test. Last night, I went out on a flat straight stretch of road with a small downhill run-in. Using the hill, I got the bike up to 30 mph and held it for the length of the stretch of road (slightly under 1/3 mile). The test took about 40 seconds, which translated to 8 samples on the polar.

I averaged 29.96 mph and 427 watts. Then, I went to the on-line bicycle power calculator, punched in all the data, and came up with a theorhetical requirement of 432 watts.

Granted, the numbers in the calculator are assumptions, but if you look at the actual co-efficients, the differences in the margin of error are not that great.

Another feature of the power sensor is pedaling analysis. It shows a right-left balance and what they call a 'pedaling index', which is "the ratio between the minimum and maximum forces of a single pedaling cycle". The polar website says 30% is 'very good', the higher the better. Over the several rides I had the new unit, I'm getting about 25% on average, since over 30% is 'very good, does that mean under 30% is _not_ very good?

I hope not to become a slave to the power meter, but I wouldn't mind becoming a slave to this:

Monday, July 21, 2008

the end of something is the start of something else

Back from a somewhat relaxing vacation, I'm greeted with all the things I still need to get done, as well as new things that need to get done.

At least while I was away I managed some decent riding, two 60 mile rides and one 40 mile ride. Easy paces, no big hills, taking in the lovely scenery of the southern end of the white mtns. At least from that aspect, plus copious amounts of alcohol, I _did_ manage to relax.

Probably the most disconcerting of the new issues was the Blue Screen Of Death on my work laptop. I took on the trip with me because it has the polar software, plays DVDs, and had about 15 Gb of music on it. Fortunately, the failure was a known problem on that model of Dell, so my boss was rather non-nonchalant about it. Also, the big project I'm on right now uses a stand-alone network with alpha-level application-specific server software. IT won't let us hook that up to the corporate network, I can't say as I blame them.

I took the MTB to work today and rode the trails at the Osgood Hill and Weir Hill reservations after work. It isn't too tough, but fun and varied. Weir hill is a 200'hill with two trails aver the top of it. If I start at the osgood trailhead then zigzag the trails at Weir hill in both directions, I get about 12 miles, with 4 trips up the main hill. Each trip up the hill takes about three minutes at AT.

I've decided to concentrate on MTB riding for the rest of the year, just because I can, but I'll still commute on the road bike whenever possible. A ten mile road ride home, then hop on the MTB for a 15 mile ride through the trails at winnekenni should suffice.

Running is OFF for the foreseeable future. I still can't walk for extended periods without heel pain developing. Otherwise, I'd be working in running races and duathlons.

that trip to georgia was one of the most stupid things I've ever done.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Support Your (Not So) Local Bike Racer

Gotta luv my wife.

We went on vacation this week, and this morning I was greeted with this:

An Official Team Rabobank Toothbrush!!!!! But wait, Here's the best part:


Yes, that's right, Aquafresh matches the color scheme of Team Rabobank.

OK, I know, There is no such thing as an official team rabobank toothbrush. But I mean, come on. Here we are watching Ol' Denny Menchov try to make up for past sins, (not his), and my wife very innocently picks out toiletries matching the team from Denmark The Netherlands .

I hereby have no coice, I must pick Menchov for the win.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Latest Addition to the House of Zen

well i sleep all day on the floor in the sun
just a dreamin' bout the things that i haven't gotten done
but when the evenin rolls around
i'm on the down havin fun
on the run

cuz i'm a luck happy pretty puppy mellow old fella
get to know me and i bet i'll turn your heart into jello
tell your newspaper man i leave indelible spots on your mind
(why's that biscuit?)

cuz i'm a dog
i'm a dog
i'm a dog
i'm a dog

now i went to the park with my friend mark to throw my frisbee
when along you came without blame as fine as could be
you were talkin to him but you were lookin at me
i could seeeeeeeee

so come here you pretty kitty
won't you throw this dog a bone
we can go back to your bungaloo
and humpa on the phone
i will promise you poodle
you wont' ever be alone
til i go home
(why's that biscuit?)

cuz i'm a dog
(And we know what doggies do)
i'm a dog
i'm a dog
i'm a dog

get ready
cuz this doggie style will make you smile
cuz this doggie style will make you smile
cuz this doggie style will make you smile
cuz this doggie style will make you smile

cuz this doggie style will make you smile all the while
cuz this doggie style will make you smile all the while
cuz this doggie style will make you smile all the while
cuz this doggie style will make you smile for a long long while

well to the bed you are led
i do not care if you are wed
my great unsung lapping tongue
will cover you from toe to head
mornin breaks
gettin late
weary eyes
to home i sped
i'm on the street
feelin sweet
my appetite has been well fed

i'm a dog
i'm a dog
i'm a dog
i'm a dog
i'm a dog

you know I'd walk a mile
i'm a dog
you know i'd swim the nile
i'm a dog
i'd even stand on trial
i'm a dog
i'd walk a mile i'd swin the nile even stand on trial for your doggie style
cuz in the end you'll comprehend it's a doggie thing (repeat fade out)

Zoe - GoldenDoodle

Lyrics from "the dog" by Chucklehead

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rate My Poop - Feline Version

My ten pound cat took a two pound shit this morning. That small shiny thing on the upper right is a quarter I laid next to it for scale. Yes, a united states 25 cent coin. Now, I don't know for _sure_ that it's a two pound shit, but you tell me...

And no, the lazy fucker didn't bury it, I had to do that.