Continental Tour Ride Tires–Final Word


Yesterday I rode on Continental Tour Rides for the last time.  I think I’ve put maybe 1000 to 1200 miles on them, although during the early part of the year I kept no accurate record of mileage.  On the ride, I again tried out the Magellan Cyclo 505’s “Surprise Me!” feature, which again failed, telling me I’d arrived at my destination only 1.88 miles into a 37 mile ride.  I reset navigation and then just went for a ride using the Magellan to record data.  I’ll post another entry later on about the Magellan.

My ride took me through some of Stepford’s hillier neighborhoods.  I explored a long, dead-end lane I’d never previously traveled; I rode down into a hollow where whiskey is made; I didn’t drink from the stream where a couple of years back, I got giardia; I rode back up a graded but largely unpaved road I descended last Friday, er, Sunday.  I kept my stops short and few, but did take some pictures.



Regarding the Continental Tour Ride tires – they only failed me once, in the silty bottom of a rain-swollen stream.  Never a flat, never a failure to hold the road in slick conditions, never a problem powering through ruts, gravel, dirt, grass, stone, or mud.  My only reason for replacing them is that I’d like something that rolls a little faster.  That’s why, when I got a good deal (using bonus points, two for the price of one) at Bike Tires Direct, I bought a set of Clement X’Plor USH “adventure tires.”

The Clements were more of a hassle to mount than were the Continentals, although tire levers were not necessary for either set of tires.  When mounting tires, I try to position the tires’ logo at the valve stem; makes it easier to find the stem when airing the tires.  On Continental tires (at least Gatorskins and Tour Rides) the tire logo/name is emblazoned in the same place on either side of the tire.  On the Clements, however, they are not so positioned and therefore when the stem is correctly positioned when the tire is seen from one side, it is off-kilter seen from the other side.  I thought I’d messed up the back tire, cussed, remounted it, then cussed again before understanding dawned.  Then, I felt foolish for having given voice to profanity.  Here are some pictures – as with most of the photos on this blog, if you click on the image your browser will load an enlarged version of the image:




Drinking From A Stream?

You’ll recall that last weekend my friend, Adrian, and I drank from a stream close by a spring taking only swiftly running water.  No farm runoff nearby, nor any herd animals in the area.  That was Saturday.  By Sunday night, I’d developed fever, chills, deep muscle soreness at thighs and buttocks, pain at the site of past injuries and surgery.  Other, intestinal, symptoms manifested by Monday afternoon.  By the time I returned home from Gallatin, where I worked Monday through Wednesday, some of the symptoms had resolved, but others had not.  A medical examination Thursday morning revealed that I had, as I suspected, acquired a waterborne parasite.  A couple of scrips should clear it up in a few days, but until then, my gut just isn’t right.  Instead of the usual 12 to 18, I’ve been firing on about eight cylinders and none too sequentially.

The take-away lesson from this is:  Use the water purification tablets if you’re going to drink streamwater, even if it is near the spring.

Another Normandy Bike Ride

Yesterday, my friend Adrian and I rode to Normandy dam and back again.  The day was moderately hot, dry, and a little hazy.  We’d intended to make an early start, but got delayed and left about 11:30 am.

Normandy-Dam-Boat-Ramp Adrian's-Bridgestone-Mtb Looking-Toward-Normandy

We took some pictures at the dam, and Adrian lost his anti-glare glasses after having put them on the rack of his new-to-him 1990’s model Bridgestone MB-6 Trailblazer mountain bike.  We searched for the glasses diligently, but could not find them. 

Normandy-Sky Open-Cafe-Razesa Razesa-&-Normandy-Trailer

On the way back, we stopped and had a quick lunch at the Normandy River Café, but we forgot refill our water bottles there.  Instead of making a longer loop and taking the relatively heavily traveled main highway back to our starting point, we decided to return by the steep, bumpy road down which we rode on the way out to the dam.  Upstream from the distillery, and without a herd of cattle between the spring and the creek, Adrian and I filled our water bottles from the swiftly running water by what I’ve been told is probably a sycamore tree.  I took a couple of swigs, and it tasted better than tap-water, but I was none too confident in its purity, so drank very little of it.


Because I’d failed to follow Gerry’s advice and get the gear-shifting, gear-popping problem tended to, I was unable to ride up the entire hill.  About a third of the way up, I lost momentum when, for about the fifth time, the gear/chain/sprocket-thing popped into a higher gear.

Bike Geometry

Most of the bicycle manufacturer’s websites I’ve visited have charts talking about frame geometry that mention tube lengths.  Lately, when looking at my bikes and photos of bikes, I’ve noticed the shape of the trapezoid made by the frames’ two triangles, and been thinking about wheelbase length, head-tube and fork angles, seat-tube angles, and manner in which all of those together affect a bike’s handling.  Sadly, I lack the math skills to think about these things in a way that facilitates the information’s meaningful communication.  Still, have a look at the angles in the photo below.