First Monday of vacation...

Ah....today marks day of 3 weeks of recharging the batteries, attending to honey-do lists, taking up projects that were put on hold, changing light bulbs, travel, bike riding, learning music, and whatever else comes up during the holiday break before the 2nd Semester begins on January 7th.

Before all of that begins, I do have to go into the office today to take care of final grading, expense report and tiding things up.  And I will be giving some lessons on Wednesday afternoon to my private, non-college students.


I think I have found the magic number in terms of how many weekly minutes I need on the bike to maintain my physical shape - in other words, not to gain weight.  The magic number I have found is right around 5 hours (300 minutes) on the bike.  That includes both aerobic and anaerobic exercise mixed.  If I was just doing Zone 1/2 rides, I would have to bump the volume up to equal the current "magic number" that I found of mixed efforts.  December is also my beginning month every year of weight training, so that helps fire up the metabolism (and appetite).  I have alternated one of my weekly sessions this year in exchange for a grunt singlespeed 100 minute ride at Lake Ahquabi.  I also use the singlespeed for recovery rides on pavement and gravel since I have no way of being tempted to shift gears and up the effort with my route choices (yesterday was a 100 minute recovery ride and I didn't break a sweat due to my route choice and riding the SS Karate Monkey).

I was way under the 300 minute threshold for 2 weeks in November, and it cost me in the waist area as I didn't adjust my food intake.  I stair-stepped back in with the last week of November being 4:15 on the bike, the first week of December being 5:05 on the bike, and the week just completed being 5:30 on the bike.  I will be able to surpass those numbers - weather providing - 2 out of the next 3 weeks thanks to it being vacation.  I should do a minimum of 6 this week - maybe more if I can suit up in bright orange and hit the road bike for some longer duration base building rides.


A little tweaking on the new Karate Monkey.  As I found on the former Campstove Green frame since switching to discs, the newer skewers - known as exposed cam skewers - are weaksauce in the rear of a Karate Monkey with the horizontal dropouts and a Tuggnut.


The older version - known as an enclosed cam -cinches things up enough in the rear to prevent braking force and out of saddle efforts from skewer slippage.  Luckily, I had two pair in the garage to choose between on other bikes.  I chose the black ones on my wife's Bachetta recumbent and gave her the American Classic exposed cam skewers.  Not to worry, her recumbent does not have a horizontal dropout, so she'll be fine.  Here's the black Shimano ticket for my KM:


The other tweak may involve the weaksauce seatpost binder that Surly sends out with the new Karate Monkey frame:


It uses a smaller hex bolt and to get it tight enough to not cause seat post slippage feels like I am on the edge of either stripping the hex key, the bolt itself - or outright snapping the bolt in two.

The older seatpost collar version that came on my original KM is solid, uses a larger hex bolt and has never caused a problem for me:


I may have to swap out the collars before I sell the old one.  Of course, there are plenty of other brands to choose between - but between the two Surly versions, the older one is golden.   The newer one ranks in the weaksauce category by my standards.

I also noticed some squeaking yesterday during turns on the Karate Monkey.  So I need to double check the headset and make sure everything is kosher up front.  I didn't hear any of this on my Friday and Saturday rides, so perhaps something has loosened up - or settled in that needs checking.  I'm not ruling out that it could be the bolt on the weaksauce seatpost collar as I really cinched it down yesterday.  I also note the old REBA Race fork is in need of a rebuild.  I just have to decide if I am going to do it myself or take it in to the shop.

Off to the office to tackle final grading and expense reports....

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