Are we just going to ignore the two very different approaches to boating illustrated by the craft "Full Send" being berthed next to the "Dude"?

Honestly not sure who would have the better party.

<insert why not both meme here> Get your jollies off with Captain Full Send first and then grab some brewskis with the Dude dude? I’m all about “yes, and”!

I'm only a tiny bit jealous of @altoid living in/right next to a marina.

I’m extremely fortunate to have been able to move here during the pandemic. Even if life takes me away from the water in the future, living right by the ocean was truly one of my very few lifelong dreams, and it’s been an amazing two years so far. Though I have yet to actually get on a boat here… 😬
It’s quite possible that when I bought my 58 cm Cannondale in 2020, I ended up buying a size too large. Reach has always been a bit of a stretch (pun fully intended), but some of that’s also likely been due to my (lack of) fitness, so I’m not really sure. Either way, I wanted to see if there’s anything I can do to meaningfully address that without replacing the frame or entire bike, and switching to a shorter stem materialized as an option.

The bike came with a 110 mm stem, and after watching entirely too many YouTube videos, I decided to try a dirt cheap 90 mm one for starters. If it feels really good, I’ll upgrade to something that doesn’t look as sketchy as this bottom of the barrel option, and if not, I can try some other sizes for about $10 a pop until I’m happy enough.

I was hoping to install it this past weekend or these last few days in order to go for a ride before heading out for a vacay tomorrow, but no dice. I’ll get to it sometime after I return on Sunday, and report my findings. 🤞


Went for a short ride after work yesterday.

decided to use the TdF's Alpe d'Huez for a little motivation and went up the virtual Ventoux in Zwift in parallel... only about 500m up for a high intensity half hour or so... and after the ride, was actually surprised to find this on my screen:

positively surprised, because I rather felt I'd been slacking and probably lost some 20 W or so... this tells me I should do a proper FTP test some time, to really see what's what.
The 90 mm test stem went on and a test ride occurred.

The shorter stem felt better, but I’m now a bit removed from my last ride, so it’s hard to tell. Due to that and extremely low faith in this craptastic example’s quality, I’ll put the stock 110 mm Cannondale stem back on for this weekend’s ride. If I still feel like a shorter stem is helpful after that, I’ll order a worthwhile one, but I’m honestly hoping I find the difference minute enough not to care.

Since we all like pictures, here are some!

90 mm and 110 mm next to each other:

Look at the comfortable gap between the bolt and the steering tube on the Cannondale:

Note the relative lack thereof on the el cheapo:

These Wera wrenches are truly a joy to use:

Shop cat tax:
IMHO another sensible addition to the bar ends: a rear view mirror. Either very discrete, but expensive or bigger, but less expensive. Of course when you cycle on the correct side of the road the mirror should be on the left bar end and the bell on the right. ;)
Inspired by this, I found another possibility to spend ridiculous amounts of money on bike tech on prime day: I got myself a Garmin Varia Radar rear-light (the German rtl516 version ozerwize itz illeeeeeeegal!). Basically an expensive replacement for that quoted rear view mirror idea from a while back. yes. if you're confused, watch Ray explain the thing here:

also i put the knog scout on my open birthday / christmas wishlist kind of thing, just announced at eurobike (it's an alarm and "find my" device to be hidden beneath the bottle cage):
I'm certainly not confused, I have the RTL515 version (yes, the flashing one) myself, additional to the rear view mirror - everything helps to keep yourself alive with all the idiots on the roads...
DUTCH ENGINEERING! i kid, i kid... but maybe they just have lacking QC?

so that thing was supposed to be held under the seat by 4 M6 screws. it seems that someone forgot to secure it against vibrating loose... so we lost 3 of those screws and the fourth one was already half gone by the time we realized what was happening. No threadlock, nothing. I can't imagine they specified it that way but it was just forgotten about... in any case, I went and spent 42 cents on 4 new screws, put a shitton of loctite on them, and reattached the damn thing. Let's see how that goes... :|
That just goes to show that they are a dutch company - they can't fathom that cycle paths everywhere outside of the Netherlands aren't as smooth as they are there so they thought it wouldn't be necessary to secure it against vibrating loose... :ninja:
To the surprise of probably no one, I built myself another bike. :ROFLMAO:


Ritchey Ascent, in size small (the medium had a stupid long top tube), Ritchey stem, handlebars and seatpost, SRAM NX 12 speed drivetrain (11-50t/32t), 29'x2.25" Maxxis Rekon Race (for shorter knobs since I couldn't find any gravel tires larger than 700x50) on a Sun Ringle Charger wheelset. Brakes were something I had, they are crap. New brakes on their way.


Worked on a few of my bikes today. Got the Ritchey Ascent ready to go with new brakes (making the bike 99% new), tried to fix a noise on the Surly Lowside (and failed), then replaced a brake hose on the Schwinn Homegrown (success, for now).







I got myself a Garmin Varia Radar rear-light (the German rtl516 version ozerwize itz illeeeeeeegal!). Basically an expensive replacement for that quoted rear view mirror idea from a while back. yes.
Finally managed to try it out on the road and it works rather nicely, I have to say. I was actually expecting it to perform worse. Of course it'll lose sight of cars when you're going round bends occasionally and then re-alert for the same car, but there were surprisingly few (actually none) false alarms and (much more importantly) zero misses. it's a bit weird having the bleep go off on a separated bike lane next to the road, but the radar doesn't know about that, so whatever. happy with the purchase. also i feel the light being on, even during the day, does help to caution drivers a bit more (but maybe that's just me imagining things to rationalize my expensive toys).

edit: also re idiots on the road: also surprising but zero close / dangerous passes during that hour out on the road.

also: screw SRAM factory grease. holy crap what a sticky mess. cleaned my chain and had to do so very thoroughly, because i naively thought it'd be fine to run the factory grease on there for a few hundred km. yeah. should not have done that. should've gotten it all off and replaced with proper oil straightaway. ugh. oh well, at least i'm not running wax, right? :p
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