This is a rest day. A day off the bike. I don’t feel it is necessary but I know better. I know that rest and recovery are an integral part of training. And, at my age, I notice it takes longer to fully recover. So today is a rest day. A day to hydrate, eat well and sleep more than usual.
I decided to go to town. Town is a euphemism for a bigger place, a place with stores, services and, a lot of people. Town is where you go when you need something not carried in the local markets or at the crossroads. It is place to find a Home Depot, a Wal-Mart and a bicycle shop. I needed building supplies to repair a roof leak, vacuum pack bags (mice destroyed the ones I have used for years) and, chain degreaser.
Since I was not riding, I decided to make a day of it. After shopping, I had lunch in a favourite cafe that I have frequented for years and then took a circuitous route back exploring a new cycling route.
Town is not far. Only a 35-45 minute drive. But it is far removed from the cottage. Not somewhere you go often. Maybe once a week for groceries, supplies and lunch, maybe dinner. There is a different pace in town. Faster. People are busy. Hurried. And, there are street people. People on the street with nothing to do. Mostly young. Unemployed, I suspect.
Today, I will clean the bike. Wash it down. Clean and lube the chain. Adjust the derailleurs and brakes, if necessary. And, inspect the tires carefully for imbedded stones or other items and, check the tire pressure.
On these roads, I inflate the tires less than on smoother roads and am experimenting with the “15% drop” method; a method that takes the rider’s and bike’s weight into consideration; a method that allows for a 15% drop of the tire from rim to road when loaded; a method that takes into consideration that the rear wheel assumes most of the weight so needs to be inflated higher than the front; and, a method that optimizes performance.
There are on-line calculators to assist with the “15% drop” method. I have used them. They are helpful and, some are more accurate than others. I am rolling the Michelin Dynamic Sport 700 x 25C tire. The recommended pressure for them is 6-7 Bars or 73 – 102 PSI. I used to inflate both the front and rear tires to the maximum. Not now, particularly on these roads. I inflate the rear to 85-90 PSI and the front to 75-80 PSI or 10-15% less than the rear. This method attempts to have both the wheels with the same 15% drop when loaded.
I have not measured the drop. I am not certain if I can. I go by looks. I look at both the front and rear to make certain the drop is approximately the same. And, I am attuned to the feel of the ride. How the bike corners. How quickly it accelerates and stops. I can tell if the tires are too hard or too soft.
The weather has turned, typical for the fall. It is cooler and overcast today and rain is forecast for the next 2 days. Hopefully it will not be heavy and there will be breaks so that I can ride when it is dry. I don’t really mind light rain but I hate it when the bike gets wet.