crisscrossing the CT Challenge

First, some hardware discussion:

The new Campagnolo cassette was not loose, but it had been compromised in Maine on sandy single track, and the Zipp freehub’s gear wear notches, now dry and sandy, were causing a creaking up hills on my last ride. I cleaned and greased the whole shebang and it was once again silent. It is truly a pleasure to have enough experience to diagnose a bike creak. It took me about 10 seconds to go from thinking my bottom bracket was creaking, to realizing it was the cassette.

The right (rear) Campagnolo Chorus shifter popped a spring at about the 3 mile point today. Thankfully it still shifts with a bit of effort. The lever does not return. and it doesn’t engage the shifting unless you push out on the lever. It didn’t stop me from having a great ride though, and I now know how to repair/rebuild these, so its a matter of seeing what broke (the carrier or the return spring) and ordering a few. I believe I still have a spare shifter all ready to install, so I can swap them and take my time repairing this one. I do need to get new cable housing though. It is old and sluggish/compromised.

My handebar tape is way overdue for replacement. I have blue jean colored handlebar cork on its way. The color is similar to the blue of my frame. I have never used any color but black, so it should be interesting.

Now, the ride:

Today was the 2015 CT Challenge. My route lead me in and out of their routes. I touched every length a bit, joining the 100 miler in Newtown.

I feel like I am finally crawling back to my game. My average is up and hills are not stopping me as coldly as they did in the spring. My persistence is paying off, but it took longer than ever to get it back this year. I will have to make a concerted effort to keep burning hard when the weather is less than accommodating.

I wore a pair of sunglasses that a friend gave me today. Maui Jim. Very cool indeed. Thanks buddy!

Here are some photos. Click to enlarge.

portableStreetLightportable traffic light cellPhoneAddictioncell phone addiction CT1CT Challenge rider cluster

my butt is sore

nastyHolethis pothole in Ridgefield has been this deep and nasty for years. ridiculous. trainearly in the ride I approached a steep climb, but had to wait for a train to pass at the foot of the hill.


At one point three pheasants were in the road. The one in the middle took off in front of me, and the others moved to the side. That was fun.

A little later on I came around a corner and there was a ground hog that had a specific spot in mind to ditch into the brush, and it was a good 30 yards up the street. He had a great speed going. I wish I got that on the camera.