Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Power outages and hardware failures.

There was a storm in our area the other night and we lost power. Even though my laptop is plugged into a surge protector, I now have a horizontal bar on the lower part of the screen that flickers and won't go away. It appears to be completely hardware related, because if I try to do a screen capture of the flickering bar, it doesn't show up.

Now I have to call Dell and see what I need to do. I also need to call the power supply people and see if this will qualify for reimbursement if I need to buy a new display or whatever. Which I'm guessing is what I'm going to have to do.

The storm happened while I was at my friend Chris's place getting my Fairdale Goodship all ship-shape. I had it mostly built up, but I still needed to do the cables and housing, as well as the bar tape. The handlebar that I bought (3T Tornova LTD) has internal cable routing, so I figured it'd be good to have someone else to help if that got to be at all frustrating.

The internal routing was way easier than I expected, and it's actually really slick. Once I got everything routed, I didn't need to worry about taping stuff to the bar to hold it in place or anything like that. There was a big scare when we were cabling the right shifter, though.

A few days earlier, I had taken it off of the CAAD10, clicked it up and down its gear range to make sure it was in the highest gear, and fastened it to the new bar on the Goodship. When we were getting ready to feed the cable into the shifter, Chris tried messing with the shift lever, and it wouldn't move through the gears at all. It seemed like it was broken, but I couldn't come up with any explanation as to why, since it had been fine the other day, and all I had done since was put it on the new bar.

We took it off the bar and all of a sudden it worked again. Put it back on the bar, and it still worked. Tragedy averted, but mystery not solved. Which is fine, as long as it keeps working. Once we got that settled, we were able to finish everything else without incident. Except for when I wrapped the right side of the handlebar in the wrong direction and had to start over again. But that was pretty easy.

After the bike was finished, I loaded it up in the car and headed home to a powerless house. Which takes us back to the beginning of this post.

Speaking of technical difficulties, the next morning I decided to ride the Goodship to work. I use a Garmin Edge 510 to track all of my riding, and I already had my four bikes on there. I added the Goodship as number five, with the intent of removing the CAAD10 from the list since it's no longer in the fold.

Anyway. The ride recorded and uploaded without issue. At the end of the day, I grabbed the Garmin, hit the power button and... nothing. Held the power button in for a few seconds. Nothing. I tried plugging it back into my computer at work and it wouldn't even power up via USB. Since I had no other options, I did a full reset of the unit, which did work, but of course it also wiped all of the data that I still had on the unit, a lot of which I hadn't saved to Dropbox. Oh well. Note to self: Four bike max on an Edge 510. I guess?

The fun didn't stop there. After I got it started again, I rode home and uploaded my ride. The map showed a short mapped section from my office to the gym where I change after work, and a short mapped section for about the last mile of my trip. Between those two points was a straight line. The Garmin either stopped listening or stopped talking to the GPS satellites.

No idea if I should expect more of the same when I go out to ride today. I kind of hope it just works again since I'm headed to Louisville to ride this weekend, and it'd be nice to record those rides accurately. Yes, I know: these are all first world problems.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

When last we (okay, I) blogged...

So it's been like two years and some months.

Do I bother with a catch-up post? Am I even going to post again after this one? Are blogs over?

  • I did a 6-hour MTB race with my friend Chris in May of 2013. We got 3rd Place Men's Duo. Our team name was Cats Of Instagram. I think that, more than anything, was why we finished as well as we did.
  • I got my first cyclocross podium finish in September of 2013. Finished 5th at Kickoff CX in Point Marion, PA. I didn't finish that well the rest of the season, but I still did okay.
  • I got hit by a car on March 11th, 2014. Or rather, I ran into a car that turned left right in front of me. That was a fiasco. I was mostly fine. My bike was not. The driver was in her aunt's car, and she wasn't on her aunt's insurance policy. And her aunt lives in Georgia. And the insurance adjuster would never call me back. But I eventually got my check in June and replaced my Blue CX6.5 with a Ritchey Swiss Cross.
  • We went to Mexico in April of 2014 for a different friend Chris's wedding. Heather got sick the first day we were there and stayed sick the whole time. We didn't get to see any ruins. Can't imagine we'll be going back to Mexico any time soon.
  • We went to Hawaii (Kauai, specifically) for ten days in June of 2014. Heather didn't get sick. Wedding Chris and his wife Anna stayed with us at our resort for the first seven days. A good time was had by all, and it was over way too soon.
2015 has been nuts. Winter didn't go away until... last week? Seriously, it snowed last Saturday. Nigel, one of our cats, had to spend two nights at the emergency vet because he had struvite crystals in his bladder. After he came home, the other three cats got sick, and all four cycled through various ailments for two and a half months. I don't know what we'd do without pet insurance.

This past week I rode six out of seven days. I can't remember the last time that happened. Although I could look at Strava and find out for you. But I don't feel like it right now. It's been a while, and it felt really good to spend some time on the bike(s). I hope that the coming weeks will bring more of the same and I'll finally get back into some kind of groove.

Upcoming excitement: Heading to Kentucky with MTB podium Chris and some other good dudes in mid-May. The plan is to drive to Louisville on Friday, ride bikes down to Bardstown on Saturday, tour some distilleries Saturday afternoon, ride back to Louisville on Sunday, tour another distillery, and then drive back to Pittsburgh. Pretty stoked. Hoping for good weather.