Around the world…

At the end of Q1 I have logged 3,212 miles in 2023.  From the beginning of 2014 (when I was done working) to the end of 2022 I logged 121,253 miles .  Together that’s 124,465 in a little under 10 years.


The circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles – five times around the world is 124,507.  Should have pushed a little harder and gotten in the last 42 miles.


So, it appears that the annual recap Strava previously distributed is now only for subscribers.  Here’s where I came out:

I was actually on track for a better year, but in Novemer we had several travel / museum days, and the bike days in Mallorca were short.  Then we had Covid followed by snow.  December was recovery followed by more snow and Ice.

In better news, since October I’ve been using RWGPS to track rides with a sync to Strava after the ride is finished. As of today I’ve done 60 rides this way without a single GPS failure.  (That includes several trips through the Mt. Baker tunnel where Strava almost always failed.)  I haven’t figured out how to set which bike I’m riding so I have to do it manually in Strava, but I’m really pleased to be getting the whole rides now.

15-mile rides

In October of last year I posted a list of 15-mile rides that I’d been doing because of the weather.

This year I was off the bike entirely for a week because of COVID and then it was cold and wet and Odette was still sick – so when I started up again I did a bunch of short rides.

One thing I noticed was that my repertoire had expended beyond Ravena and Wallingford. As much as I hate to admit it, the new PBL at Greenlake opens up some options – as does the light rail pedestrian bridge at Northgate. The RWGPS voice turn-by-turn and the bluetooth helmet makes it easy to remember street names.

Here are ten good loops (showing mileage / elevation) that each take about an hour and a half:

Wallingford (14.94 / 679)
Ravena (15.50 / 926)
Roosevelt (14.83 / 985)
Meridian (16.27 / 814)
Magnuson (14.72 / 832)
Third (16.97 / 874)
Blue Ridge (14.91 / 1152)
Woodlawn (15.25 / 763)
Stone Way (15.51 / 803)
Hamlin (16.73 / 870)


I’ve been having problems with Strava pausing rides and not resuming.  It seems like it mainly happens when going through the I-90 tunnel, but not exclusively. It seems much more frequent since I got a new phone last year.

I figured I’d rule out the possibility that it was a Strava bug in handling lost satellites by running a different tracker that could synch to Strava.  I intended to go back to Cyclemeter, but I would have had to pay for an upgrade and I wasn’t very motivated.  We are preparing to leave on a short trip to Mallorca and the routes came as an event on RWGPS.  It was nice packaging and I’m already familiar with the route planning part of the app so the learning curve was short.  I had to pay for an upgrade in  order to get voice turn-by-turn, but I’d upgraded with them before (to get offline maps & routes) so even that wasn’t a problem.

I’ve done eight or ten rides on RWGPS now, maybe four of them with turn-by-turn from an established route and the rest freeform.  It works, it posts to Strava for me, it hasn’t dropped the satellite once.



Tandem Service

Since we got back on the bike in December we’ve been mainly on the Ibis – it’s the one with fenders and Odette finds it easier to get on and off the saddle because of the smaller wheels.  A couple of months ago we got enough slack in the chain that I had to adjust the eccentrics (and ended up taking a couple of links out.)  I continued to feel a little “chain suck” and figured that when I replaced the chain I’d likely need to replace the rear cog.  I was tracking mileage since the last service and realized on Friday that I was going to hit 1,400.  I decided that it was time to call R+E and figure out how to get it serviced.

I wasn’t looking forward to that – the last couple of times I’ve had stuff done there were not great and I haven’t forgiven them for ghosting Will when the free hub on his bike failed.  However, I also needed to start the process for getting a new wheel set on the red tandem and if that was going to happen by mid-July when we leave for Europe, a mid-May start was probably not too early.

Aside:  before the pandemic I’d taken the red tandem in because one of the bolts in the disc rotor seemed to be stripped out. They said not to worry,  pro racers sometimes removed three of the six bolts to save weight!  A year ago when I had it serviced it was making a buzzing sound while coasting.  They said  it was because the free hub had “exploded.”   After some false starts they rebuilt the driver and told me that it would be fine for our Lumi Island trip but that i should think about eventually replacing the wheel.   I emailed them at Christmas time about getting a new wheel set (and maybe a 10th anniversary repaint) but they never replied.  I figured I’d get an appointment for the Ibis and while I was there I’d get them to order new hubs for the other bike and then I waited until I accumulated enough miles on the Ibis to justify taking it in for service., thinking somewhere around 1,500.

Another aside: I was really pleased with the way the Ibis had been working.  I never had any of the shifter jams that had troubled me previously, and everything else was functioning smoothly.  It clearly needed at least one new chain (and likely a new cog) and it was time to change the oil in the hub.  I probably also needed new tires – the Serfas Drifters on the Ibis were fifteen years old when I put them on the bike five years ago.  (I’m still not getting any flats and the ride is cushiony, but they’re starting to look pretty bare.)

Ten miles from home on Friday, just entering Judkins Park by the skate park, I went to shift down and the shifter popped and then went slack.  I knew right away that the head had sheared off of the cable (it’s happened a couple of times before) and we started discussing the route home with the least climbing since we were effectively a single speed.  Luckily it was in about he middle of the range and I figured that we could get up 19th on it.  I figured that I could just pull on the cable hard enough make it shift down before we tackled anything serious but we went up 11th without any problem.  Since we would hit Ravena a couple blocks away from R+E I decided that I’d swing by there and talk to them about an appointment –  if I was lucky we’d leave the bike with them and get a Lyft home.

Unfortunately their reaction was that they were booked up through August and that although they weren’t really making any appointments for service right now they’d make an exception and give me a date 90 days out.  I basically told them not to bother and we rode on home, walking that one block on 83rd.

Now I need to find someplace else to get the tandems serviced.  Someplace that knows a least a little about Rholoff and Gebla Rhobox shifters.   The last time I got fed up with R+E I took the bike to Go Family Cyclery because they were convenient and claimed to specialize in long bikes.  I wasn’t happy with that experience and now their website says they only service bike brands they sell. Counterbalance, on the Burke by University Village, sells CoMotion tandems and I’d expect that they service them, too.  There was a link on Reddit a while ago about bike shops in Seattle to use for  internally geared hubs, and I guess that’s a starting place even though I don’t really have hub issues.  (The cog that I expect to need to replace is Rholoff proprietary and it would be nice if I found a place that that had them in stock or that at least knew how to get them.)

For a tuneup and wheel building on a regular bike I’d go to Recycled Cycles and I think that on Tuesday that’s where I’ll go.  Hopefully they will at least have a recommendation for someplace to take them.  I ordered a Campy shifter cable and on Monday we’ll see if I can fix it myself (since the bike’s got cable splitters it’s just a matter of seating the cable in the shifter and cutting it to the right length – I don’t have to fiddle with the connection to the hub.  If that works I’ll be able to take my time and if not, I’m no worse off…



Yesterday I rode back across the 520 bridge and headed for the Burke like I often do.  There were a couple of cyclists stopped in the curb cut off Shelby so I waited for for them to move and then proceeded toward the bridge.  There was a pedestrian on the left that I wanted to get around before I had to do it on the bridge so I went around him on the right – going slowly and leaving a lot of space between us.  After I passed him I suddenly felt myself propelled forward and landed on my face off to the right side of the sidewalk – the guy had run over to me and hit me on the back and knocked me down.  I picked myself up and yelled some obscenities and then spent ten minutes talking to a couple of cyclists coming in the other direction who had seen me get hit.  (Nice guys, but I didn’t get names  – one of them worked at REI.)  While we were talking at least half-a-dozen police cars with slights & sirens headed down Hamlin toward the trail.

This evening I found this on the SPD blotter:

Police Arrest Man Monday Who Assaulted Toddler, Pushed Women into Lake Washington
by Public Affairs on January 18, 2022 6:30 pm
Police arrested a 33-year-old man Monday after a crime spree that included pushing two women into Lake Washington, throwing a toddler, and kicking a jogger to the ground.

At 11:25 am., a 911 caller reported an attempted strong-arm robbery on Marsh Island near the Montlake Cut. Three women were taking photos at a lookout on the lakeside walking trail when the suspect tried to grab one of the women’s phones from her hand. She held on and struggled with the man, and when her friend tried to protect her, he pushed the second woman into the lake. The man then ran off up the trail and the woman was pulled from the lake by her friends.

Within minutes, another caller reported a man had pushed her off the trail into the lake after grabbing her 18-month-old daughter away from her. She said the suspect came up behind them and grabbed her daughter by the hood of her jacket. He lifted the toddler and tossed her to the side of the trail, causing her to scream and cry. When the mother tried to go to her daughter, the man grabbed her by the front of her jacket and pushed her into the lake. He left the scene, and a witness spotted him traveling north across the Montlake Bridge towards the University of Washington.

Officers notified the University of Washington Police Department, who recognized the suspect’s description. The man had been in the UW Medical Center earlier that morning and threw water on an employee before fleeing. UWPD provided surveillance footage of the suspect and the search continued.

Shortly before 1:00 p.m., multiple 911 callers reported an assault in progress in the 12300 block of 30th Avenue Northeast. A male suspect had run up behind a female jogger and swept her legs out from under her with his own leg, causing her to fall forward onto the pavement. A man in his car saw the assault and got out to help. When he approached the suspect, the suspect punched him multiple times in his face and head.

As police began to arrive, the victims pointed out the suspect running away. Officers chased him on foot, took him into custody, and quickly realized he matched the description of the suspect from the Montlake attacks.

Police booked the 33-year-old man into King County Jail for multiple felonies – robbery, assault of a child, and attempted abduction of a child – and requested charges for multiple counts of misdemeanor assault.

One of the guys that stopped suggested calling the police but we all figured it was pointless.  (They said he was screaming incoherently when they passed him and they were scared that they were going to have to use their bikes to defend themselves.)  I’ve got a bruise on my elbow and road rash on my hip but no real damage.

I spent my ride today puzzling about what I had done to piss off a stranger and it really bothered me that there was no conflict and that I was completely surprised to be hit.  Somehow finding out that I wasn’t alone and that it wasn’t my problem makes it feel better.