Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Data, Gearing and Highwood Plans

Went on a bit of a shopping spree yesterday at MEC. Like a kid at a candy store!

The main thing was to replace the pilfered pack and it's contents. You can never have too many spare tubes, either. Or snacks: Clif bars, Clif Shot Bloks, Honey Stingers, Sharkies... And having lots of water is important too, so I broke down and bought a Platypus "bladder" for the backpack.

I've been thinking about picking up a cycling computer for a while. A Garmin Edge 705 would be great, but I just can't justify spending $600 on something that only works on my bike, and that--according to my wife-- I'll probably just break/lose anyway. So, in an uncharacteristic move, I went for the cheapest 'puter I could find. 22 bucks for speed, odometer, tripmeter, clock, and cadence. That's all I need right now-- we'll see how well I've calibrated and installed them. Yep, got one for my gal, too. She knows generally what her cadence should be, so now she'll be able to see if she's over or under.

I also made a brief stop at Pedalhead to chat with the guys about gearing. Nicole rides a Frankenbike that she bought second-hand, and it has a smaller cassette on the back wheel, meaning that her bike is potentially faster, but requires more effort, especially uphill. Pedalhead had suggested rather than a "granny gear" (a third smaller, "easier" gear near the pedals), switching the cassette for a slightly larger one, ie more teeth, making her gearing slightly easier overall. Since that conversation, I realized that my cassette is larger, and that I could maybe handle the extra effort.

So we're going to experiment. After installing the cycling computer, I swapped our rear wheels, so we can both try the different gearing. I tested both bikes, and had to fine-tune the front derailleur on mine, but hers ran through all the gears no problem. The big test will be tonight-- it's Wicked Wednesday.

If all goes well, I'll bring the bikes in on Thursday for the swap (so I can get my "fast" wheel back) ;) and we'll be ready to rock up to the Highwood Pass on Saturday!

The plan so far is to meet for breakfast in Canmore at 10am, then be at the gate around 11:30-12:00. We'll ride to the summit (if we can), then probably just head back to the cars. I doubt anyone (aside from me) in our group will want to do the climb twice.