Bicycle

DIY iPhone Bike Mount

My imagination is getting carried away about how to blog from the AIDS/Lifecycle.  I figured out a long and complicated way to post updates here from my iPhone that include embedded video (see Mobile Blogging).  I was originally planning on just recording end of the day thoughts, like a diary, and posting them to my blog.

With my new set up, I realized I needed a handy place to store my phone besides my bento box because my Clif Bar kept getting stuck to it.  I looked into handle bar bags but realized that I don’t really need the extra room.  I started looking at phone mounts because it seemed like the lighter easier alternative.  Then I found the Dahon Biologic iPhone bike mount and started to drool.  I almost whipped out my credit card but figured that I’ve bought so much gear for this ride that I should look into some money saving alternatives.

After much internet surfing, I came up with an alternative that I could make out of stuff I already had.

  • CATEYE Flex Tight Mount (I’m pretty sure it’s this one)
  • discarded plastic container (you could also use a plastic card)
  • duct tape
  • 1 sheet of paper

Tools

  • scissors
  • printer

First I adapted the CATEYE mount.  I unscrewed the screw that held the attachment point on the mount.

Then I cut a rectangle out of discarded plastic packaging.  This plastic was used to hold a roll of electrical tape (Over-packaging, I know!).  You can use any stiff plastic you can find.  I thought that an old plastic card would also be good (think Safeway card or swipe laundry card).

Then I made a hole with scissors in the card (you could use a drill, but that might be overkill) and screwed the plastic rectangle onto the CATEYE mount.

Then, I made the case using the Lifehacker Print and Fold iPhone Case pattern.  I printed it out and then covered the back side with Duct Tape.  I cut out the pattern and started folding it and realized that I did it inside out.  So then I flipped it over with the paper facing outside and realized the case needed some adjustments.  I cut and taped the case until it fit my phone snug enough so that the phone wouldn’t fall out.  I didn’t worry about leaving holes for the speaker, volume or charger because I don’t anticipate using those while I’m riding.

Then I attached the iPhone case to the mount placing the case between the plastic rectangle and the CATEYE mount and then covered the screw with duct tape to prevent it from scratching my phone.

I decided to make the flap on the top longer so that it could close by tucking under the CATEYE mount.

This is what my iPhone Bike Mount looks like on my bike!  (My phone is not in it because I’m taking the picture with it.)

I loaded my camera in and recorded a test video.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkgunCapZjA]

Bicycle

Mobile Blogging

I’m hoping to mobile blog during the ride. I’m still trying to figure out the best/easiest way to do it. There is a WordPress app for the iPhone, but it does not support video. For sone reason, I really want to do video blogging from the ride.

Here’s a photo.

Here’s a video [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyz8BZo5vbg]

And another! [YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tflt8YGhbvY]

Bicycle

Marshall Wall

Yesterday I joined the ALC training training ride to Marshall Wall, the last ride in the CATSeries!  One of the reasons I haven’t gone on more group training rides is because they start REALLY EARLY in the morning.  I understand that the route opens early during the actual ALC ride, but it’s hard to get up at 4:30 in the morning during regular life hours (people got shit to do).

So, yesterday, I woke up at 4:30am to meet up with the group at 6:15.  I drank some coffee and tried to force some food down.  This was difficult, I wasn’t hungry.  I rode to Sports Basement (about 7 miles) and was annoyed that my food hadn’t settled yet.  Blah!  I got there a little late, the group stretch had just begun.

After stretching there is usually some kind of motivational, “this is why we ride” speech that always makes me cry.  This time, someone who works on the HIV hotline that the foundation supports, talked about a recent call from someone who just tested positive. I cried all the way to the bridge. I think it’s a combination of the way this epidemic has effected our community and the world and emotions about the ride being so close.

This ride began like most rides. Cross the bridge, Marin Bike Path, Camino Alto, Fairfax, Nacasio, Cheese Factory… blah, blah, blah.  The most nerve wracking part of this ride was the anticipation of “The Wall”.  Apparently there was this hill somewhere that got the nickname because it was so steep.

I began to anticipate “the wall” as I turned onto Marshall Road.  We were on this road for quite some time.  All there were were small rolling hills.  I began to question the existence of this “wall” and began  creating an elaborate story about how this was all a big joke on the newbies.  The wall didn’t really exist!  They just wanted to psyche us out.  I kept waiting for this hill and finally I got to it.  It wasn’t a joke.

It was a really long climb, and there were definitely some steep parts, but I wouldn’t call it a “wall”.  Maybe it was easier because of the disco support vehicles blasting ABBA, The Bee Gees and Gloria Estefan’s “Turn the Beat Around” (which I got stuck in my head for the rest of the ride).

The iPhone pic app has never really done justice to the views I see riding in the Bay Area, but here’s a view from the top of the wall right before it got even more beautiful. (P.S. If I can find a new camera before the ride that mounts on a bike/helmet, I’m going to get it!)

This ride felt great over all.  The disco support and our other support vehicle encouraged me along the way.  I also ate and drank very well, did yoga at very rest stop (!), and had a lighter more aerodynamic setup.

I didn’t really start feeling the miles until I hit the Marin Bike Path (about 15 miles from home).

This was amazing, the best I’ve felt on a long ride yet.  I take it as signs of getting stronger and learning how to take care of myself on the ride.  I’m super excited/overwhelmed for the ride.  All I have is a few Twin Peaks rides to go!  Whoop!

Bicycle

Getting Ready

14 days till the big ride!

I spent the last week taking care of logistics:  shopping for necessary gear, lightening up my bike, getting a tune up, finding a return trip for my bike. (That reminds me, I need to find a return trip for myself!)

Stuff

I pretty much have everything I need by this point.  I love to camp, so I’m set in the camping gear department.  There are a couple of things I still want to buy.

I’d love an extra pair of cycling shorts.  I have two that I love and one that seems promising (I guess I’ll have to try them out on the ride).  My problem with shorts is that I don’t like a lot of padding.  I think it gets in the way.  Everyone kind of looks at me funny when I say that.  I think it’s because I have the BEST SADDLE IN THE WORLD!  The Selle Ldy.  It’s specifically a woman’s saddle, but so many men were using it that they now have a “Man” version (which looks the same, maybe a bit longer, and says “Man” on it).

I also thought I’d pick up an extra jersy, if there’s a good deal on one.  I’ve always wanted to try out the wool jerseys… but they’re hella expensive.  I think I’m destined to wash some of my gear on the road.

Lightening Up Bluey

New bike setup

My bike, Bluey, is a 2003 Terry Symmetry.  I originally installed a rear rack so that I could carry gear for bike camping!  I’ve been training with that rack and one pannier this whole season.  I love to over pack and feel a sense of safety from just having extra room to stash stuff.  This week, I decided to lose the weight and the wind resistance.

Simplicity is beautiful.  I removed the rack and added a medium seat wedge pack for my tubes (I need to carry 2 because I have two different sized wheels), patch kit and multi-tool.

So far, I have only used one water bottle in addition to my CamelBak , so I installed another water bottle holder and sawed off the top of an old water bottle to make another storage compartment.

I also figured that I have a lot of space in my CamelBack to put any extra layers of clothing.

I still have my Bento Box snack holder, which I carried my snacks and cellphone in (though I may want to consider a different place for my phone, since my Clif Bar got stuck to it all the time).

I’m seriously considering a small handle bar bag because I’d like to take pictures on the ride and want a handy place to keep my camera and or phone. I’d also like a handy place to keep a route sheet besides my snack bag.

More details on stuff to come.  I’m still gathering!

Tune up!

Earlier this week, I called around looking for tuneup availability.  Because I waited ’till the last minute, everyone was booked for at least a week and some ’till June 3rd!  This wasn’t going to work for me.  I still needed to train and needed some time to ride around and evaluate any changes.  I tweeted for some guidance and got a few good responses.  My new roomie, Mo, suggested a new bike shop he saw open recently, Treat Street Bicycle.  It’s a small single mechanic run shop with same/next day service.  How absolutely wonderful.  I love supporting the little guy.  Ben, the owner/mechanic was super nice and got my bike back to me in less than 24 hours!  Awesome.  If you need a mechanic with a quick turn aroud, Ben’s your guy!  Take cash, he’s cash only.

There are more logistics I have to take care of for the ride.

Bicycle

Training Rides in Review

I’ve been so busy training and moving apartments that I haven’t been able to update my blog.  So here’s a brief summary of the rides I’ve been doing in the past month or so.

Twin Peaks

Point Reyes – 80 miles, April 18th

I decided to skip the last day of International Ms. Leather to ride to Pt. Reyes with Lynn to train.  We were going to do the 80 mile Tour de Cure ride at the beginning of May, so this was a good precursor.  The most lasting memory of this day was the intensity of the sun.  We bought some spray on sunscreen, but it was too late.

ALC Day on the Ride– 70 miles, April 24th

The day on the ride was really cool!  We went on this great route to the south bay and Canada Rd.  I wish I still have the route sheet, cause I’d do it again.  There was a significant amount of climbing and people who have ridden in ALC before said it was harder than any day on the ride.

Tour de Cure– To Benefit the American Diabetes Association Ride May 2 80 mi

Lynn and I rode in the Tour de Cure with the SF Citadel team.  I was pretty stressed out from moving apartments and the logistics of getting to Napa, finding a place to stay, and driving a car.  Once we got on the ride everything was great.  The sun was really really intense, but we were pretty vigilant about applying sunblock.  I drank a lot of water but I still got dehydrated.  The most unfortunate thing about the ride was the use of plastic water bottles.  This broke my heart every time I loaded up water into my CamelBak and water bottles.  I ended up with about 3 plastic water bottle carcasses at each rest stop and the beginning and ends of the rides.  I must have used 14 bottles of water.  This really upset me.  I need to give some serious feedback.

Other than that, the ride was great.  Near the end, I started getting some cramps in my feet and needed to stop and stretch.  After that I decided to get some Specialized Body Geometry footbeds for my cycling shoes, and they’ve been working great!

Fairfax and Tiburon loop- 63 Miles, May 8

Last weekend, I went on a solo ride to Fairfax and back around through Paradise Rd.  I ran into a lot of people training for the AIDS/Lifecycle.  Some of which just started training that day!  They looked strong, I’m sure they’ll be fine.

Point Reyes/ Cheese Factory– 93 Miles, May 9

Getting back on my bike for a 93 mile ride after riding 63 the day before was a little bit challenging.  I was sore and not as quick as the day before, but I had a lovely time with Lynn.  We snacked along the way including buying some cheese at the Marin Cheese Factory.  Unfortunately we accidentally got cheese that was supposed to be ready in 90 days, but we ate it anyway!

Petaluma- 101 Miles, May 15

I’m happy to have completed my fist century ever! Lynn and I followed the CATSeries route to Petaluma.  It was incredibly beautiful and hilly (climb of 8059 ft).  There was a section called Wilson Hill where I actually thought to get off of my bike and walk.  My relationship with hills has changed a lot since training for the ride and this was the first time since I started training considered walking up a hill as a viable option… Bu there was no way I was going to walk it.  I just kept at it and eventually met Lynn at the top of a beautiful vista.  It was like a fairytale.  I remember asking “are we still in California?”.

18 more days!