Monday, May 29, 2017

Bike X & Bike S - one year apart

Posting the 32 mile ride today with a photo of the 2004 Porsche Bike X below the Donner Summit bridge reminded me of the similar photo taken a year ago in the same spot, but with the 1998 Porsche Bike S mountain bike. Last year the snow had melted by May, this year there is still a lot left at the higher elevations. The Guards Red Bike S looks great in that photo!

Porsche Bike X to Donner Summit

Mimicking a ride I did last year with the 1998 Porsche Bike S (there is a photo on this blog with the same view shown here) I rode the 2004 Porsche Bike X from Glenshire, through Truckee, along Donner Lake and then up the Old Highway 40 steep grade to Donner Summit before turning around and riding the route back.

The steep uphill grade is perfect training for the Death Ride and the downhill is so fast and thrilling. The weather was amazing again today. After my ride yesterday, I wasn't sure how my legs would hold up. But I was able to ride well which is giving me more confidence for the July 129-mile Death Ride.

I stopped at a little general store at Donner Lake to check my phone and in the process accidently stopped my Adidas GPS app. So with a restart there are now two logs for the one ride. Add the two together and I traveled 32 miles today and totaled 72 miles for the weekend. Not bad, but I'll need to get to 100 next weekend to have a shot at the July event.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Alder Creek Porsche Bike X ride

Today was more "Death Ride training" with a 40 mile ride around Truckee and up the very steep Alder Creek road into Tahoe Donner. This route is very challenging and perfect training for the five mountain pass, 129-mile Death Ride coming up in July. At the top of Tahoe Donner the snow was still piled high (see photo) alongside the road. But the roads are clear and weather was perfect!

After greasing the 2004 Porsche Bike X steerer tube, headset, handlebars and seat post, the odd creaking sound finally went away. It was annoying! Riding on the wet and sandy roads this spring got some dirt in the bike's nooks and crannies causing the squeaking sound.

The Bike X performed perfectly and my legs felt good. I could have kept riding, but I have a busy Memorial Day planned. I am hoping to ride again tomorrow.

Friday, May 26, 2017

After watching the two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs win the Lime Rock Park race, I rode the 2004 Porsche Bike X 40 miles from Glenshire to Tahoe City and back. The weather was partly cloudy in the mid 60s, perfect riding weather!

I rode the usual route from Glenshire through downtown Truckee, then connecting to Hwy 89 traveling along the Truckee River to north Lake Tahoe. Great scenery and mostly flat riding and the Bike X cruised well the entire ride.

I stopped by the German restaurant, Pfeifer House, in Tahoe City for a photo. Wish they were open when I rode by to have a beer!

Porsche wins Lime Rock!

Porsche won the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Pro AND Pro/Am divisions at Lime Rock Park today. The 911 GT3 R was unstoppable in both classes.

Nothing beats watching a race Friday afternoon all wrapped up comfy on the couch.

Now I'm going to ride out to Lake Tahoe and back with the 2004 Porsche Bike X!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

25-mile Porsche Bike X

Thought I'd go for a nice little bike ride this afternoon but instead a 20 mph headwind turned the ride's first half into a real ordeal. I rode my regular route out to Donner Lake and back. The ride was fun and the 2004 Porsche Bike X performed the usual perfection.

The headwind was a nice tailwind on the way back. Today was a Wednesday ride, but starting next week I'll be switching to a Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday schedule preparing for the July Death Ride.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Porsche Bike X recovery ride

This afternoon I went for a short and very easy recovery ride on the 2004 Porsche Bike X. After Sunday's difficult 55-mile ride in the hilly Grass Valley/Nevada City area called the Gold Country Challenge, I took a rest day yesterday and decided to do an easy ride today to loosen up the legs.

I read on Bicycle magazine's website that the best thing for sore muscles, besides rest and protein, is getting the blood flowing with an easy ride. The magazine went to explain the easy ride should be so slow "your grandma could pass you." So I did just that. It felt weird riding that slow. But my legs do feel better. Tomorrow I'll do cycling yoga again too. 

The hardest part of the ride was only traveling 11 miles. The weather today was prefect! So I wanted to ride and ride. The weather has been yucky for so long that I really wanted to keep going. I may just do that tomorrow.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Gold Country Challenge photo

A friend took this photo at the first rest stop during the Gold Country Challenge last Saturday.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Porsche Bike X Gold Country Challenge

Today I rode the 2004 Porsche Bike X on the 53-mile Gold Country Challenge in western Nevada County. The ride was absolutely fantastic. It did get a little warm toward the end, but the 60 degree start, no wind and excellent road conditions made this ride a favorite so far this year.

My friends and I started at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley at 7am. The ride traveled through downtown Grass Valley before connecting to Ridge Road and heading to Nevada City. I know this route very well. Exiting Nevada City we flew down Highway 49 to the Yuba River. Then ascending a steep grade to North San Juan. The ride to this point was perfect - the 2004 Porsche Bike X and my legs were in great form.

From North San Juan we again flew down Highway 49 but split off to Bridgeport with another fast descent.

Then the uphill and warmer temperatures kicked in for the long slog to the finish. It got rather warm by the end, but a very cold beer awaited us!

This was my second Gold Country Challenge. Last year I rode the 1998 Porsche Bike S mountain bike with road tires. This year the 2004 Porsche Bike X hybrid-turned road bike. Riding up the hills felt easier. Riding on the flats felt faster. Funny thing is, this year took me two minutes longer than last year. Even though the Bike X felt better, my riding friends traveled slower this year. I always ride with them, so I had some wait time included in my final time.

Even though this was a fun ride and I felt I rode well, the real test is coming up in July - the 129-mile Death Ride. So, today was nice but I will need to step up my game in June to be ready for the ultra difficult Death Ride.

Friday, May 19, 2017


... in Grass Valley just now. Unloaded the bike at my friends house. Tomorrow we ride!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Porsche Bike X final preparations

After my afternoon ride, I cleaned the 2004 Porsche Bike X and prepared it for the trip tomorrow to Grass Valley, California.

While cleaning the Porsche road bike I also adjusted the handlebar grips. The Ergon grips have felt a little low for my wrists so I raised them a little.

All of these adjustments and testing is in preparation for the mid-July 129-mile Death Ride. It feels good to have so much testing, adjustment and re-testing time.

The all-black 2004 Porsche Bike X looks great next to the triple-black 2001 Porsche Boxster in the garage.

My goal this weekend is to hammer the relatively short 55-mile Gold Country Challenge ride. But this hill riding will be good training.

As always, I'll report the entire journey.

Porsche Bike X test ride #2

This afternoon I rode the 2004 Porsche Bike X on a familiar 25-mile route out to Donner Lake and back to test out the new SRAM cassette and chain.

Both performed perfectly. And the entire bicycle is riding very well. This was my last ride before packing up and driving the 2006 Cayenne S to Grass Valley, California for the Gold Country Challenge 55-mile ride Saturday. This ride is a challenging hilly ride through the California foothills. So the name is appropriate.

The weather today was only slight cool with light wind. Near perfect riding conditions. This is why I like training in Truckee.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Now, THAT'S better!

I just rode a 15 mile test ride to check out the shifting and overall performance of the new chain and new cassette installed earlier today on the 2004 Porsche Bike X.

And I have to say the Bike X has never performed better! I highly recommend Cody at Paco's Bike & Ski any time!

The Adidas GPS app only recorded 10 of the 15 miles as I stopped it to lube the chain and rode about 5 miles without the app active. I know this up and down route well and knew how much I missed.

The Bike X feels ready for the Gold Country Challenge this Saturday.

New cassette for the 2004 Porsche Bike X

After the new chain was installed I experienced some gear slippage on the smaller gears on the rear cassette when pedaling hard. So I suspected the cassette needed to be replaced too. A very common problem - when a chain and cassette haven't likely ever been replaced before. The wear on the drivetrain will cause this gear slippage.

Since I wasn't a 100% sure and I have a big ride this coming weekend, I took the Porsche Bike X to Paco's Bike & Ski in Truckee, California for a quick look. Young bike mechanic Cody, agreed with my cassette worn-down theory and promptly replaced it with brand new shiny SRAM 9-speed, 11-34 cassette.

I elected to go with a SRAM cassette since SRAM bought out Sachs and still maintains a state of the art manufacturing facility in Schweinfurt Germany. Sachs produced all the gearing and shifting on the Porsche Bike S mountain bikes that I still ride.

The old cassette was a 11-32 tooth cassette. With the pending Death Ride, and all the uphill that goes with it, having a larger big gear in the cassette could prove helpful.

The new chain and new cassette look great on the bike. I'm hoping to get in a little uphill workout this afternoon to test it out.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Reno Rennsport open house

Yesterday before my 2004 Porsche Bike R test ride, I drove the 2006 Porsche Cayenne S to Reno to attend an open house at my favorite auto shop, Reno Rennsport.

Reno Rennsport is located in Sparks, Nevada and is the best independent Porsche auto shop in the area.

With dozens of Porsche street and sports cars on display, and even food, I had a great time with fellow Porsche enthusiasts.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

More parts needed for the Porsche Bike X

After installing a new chain on the Porsche Bike X, I went for a 31-mile test ride out to Donner Lake and up Old Highway 40 to Donner Summit.

It was a little chilly and windy but the ride was fun and legs felt good. However the new chain didn't shift well, particularly in the smallest gears on the rear cassette. The gears slipped under heavy pedaling.

So, tomorrow I'm researching a new cassette since I suspect the old chain wore down the cassette. More work tomorrow.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Road ride updates

I just signed up for the 55 mile Gold Country Challenge bike ride in Grass Valley, California next weekend, May 20.

I'll be riding this ultra hilly event with the same friends I recently rode the Wildflower Century with. Even though this is only 55 miles, it's a challenging ride and I'll push myself to get the most out of it.

I do need to step up my training since the Death Ride is now only two months away. The Death Ride is a massively difficult ride. 5 mountain passes and 129 miles. The above Death Ride chart says it all.

Time to get serious.

Wippermann chain

Tonight's project: I swapped out the original chain on the 2004 Porsche Bike X for a new German-made Wippermann Connex chain.

Using a chain tool, I removed the old, worn out chain and installed the shiny new one.

The original chain is now very old, which could have impacted the sprockets. The first spin on the bike rack, the chain felt a little sloppy.

I'll take the bike for a little test ride tomorrow to check out the shifting and ride-ability.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Truckee Tahoe Triangle again

With amazing weather, I had to go for an afternoon bike ride.

And with Tahoe calling I decided to ride the near-fifty mile Truckee Tahoe Triangle from Glenshire through Truckee, over Brockway Summit to Kings Beach, along the gorgeous Lake Tahoe to Tahoe City and back to Truckee and then Glenshire beside the raging Truckee River. See map above for why people call it the "triangle."

My legs were still a little worn out from the good ride two days ago. But never-the-less, I pushed through the light wind and steep hills, challenging myself and enjoyed every minute of it.

When I completed the Truckee Tahoe Triangle, I was completely out of gas!

New chain ordered

I ordered a new Wippermann Connex bike chain for the 2004 Porsche Bike X yesterday at Paco's bike shop in Truckee. I'm hoping it arrives this Friday. The chain on the bike is the original and at the end of its life. Wippermann chains are German-made, high quality chains. I'll share the process of replacing the chain this weekend.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Worst blog post ever?

Ok, I had to do it. I posted the worst photo ever.

I made a pasta, mushroom and meat sauce dish for dinner. The perfect combination of protein, carbs and vitamins for long distance cycling. But instead of normal spaghetti I used these cool mini wheel pasta.

So, here is a photo of my last bite. A bicycle pasta amuse-bouche!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Late 1990s Votec-made Porsche Bike R sizes

I haven't found anywhere on the internet that illustrates the different sizes of the Porsche Bike R that Votec made in the late 1990s. The Bike R was built in small (53 cm), medium (57 cm), and large (61 cm).

Here's a side by side comparison. Note the height of the seat post tube and steerer tube of each bike frame. All the components are the same though.

Small (53 cm)
Medium (57 cm)
Large (61 cm)

Recovery week

Last week was a week to forget. Got a flat tire on the Bike X and crashed the Bike S. And in two consecutive days. This week I’m back on the...