Thursday, April 29, 2021

Time for summer tires

This evening I switched to the summer rims and tires on the 2006 Porsche Cayenne S. 

Another lunchtime ride

Another quick 14 mile neighborhood ride on the 1998 Porsche Bike S. Great weather and bike rode well. 

Perfect Boxster day


Temperatures in the 70s and a light cloud cover made this morning a perfect day for a Boxster drive. I never tire of driving the 986 in ideal conditions.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

P13 at Road America

I qualified P39 in tonight's first Challenge Class race in the PCA Sim Racing Spring Series 6 at Road America. I stayed out of trouble, avoided all cars and any "offs" and was able to finish in 13th. Not my best race, but I'll take this any day! I did get some good screen time.

The livery on my Porsche 997 RUF Track race car represents my real life 2001 Porsche 986 Boxster. The Boxster is all black with chrome rims, so I created the same livery for the 997 and even using the number 986.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Power Ride#2

Some people power nap. I power ride. Another flat-out lunchtime cruise around my neighborhood on the 1998 Porsche Bike S.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Power ride

Quick late lunch power ride to shake off the extensive “screen time” today. Great ride on the 1998 Porsche Bike S.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Porsche Bike Spyder 9.85: Missing link between Porsche sports cars and Porsche Bikes

I wrote this some time ago for PCA. I wanted to repost here for archival purposes. Link to published story.

Up until a month ago, I rode my 20-year-old Porsche mountain bike believing it was among the first bicycles Porsche ever produced. 

The 1996 Guards Red Porsche Bike S looks as if it’s brand new, although the shifting and braking components do reveal its true age.

I have a lot of fun riding this bike around. I get double-takes and stares from both car buffs and bike riders alike. Enough attention that I wrote a short story about this rare bike for the weekly Porsche Club of America email newsletter.

The day I received the PCA email newsletter, a phone message hit my voicemail inbox.

“I know about how your bike was first created,” Karen Dell’s voice said on the recording.

Karen is a PCA Sierra Nevada Region member whom I met when I lived in Reno, Nevada. Karen tracked down my phone number from the region roster.

I quickly called her back to learn more. 

“I worked with Porsche Cars North America when it was based in Reno. I used to send bike parts to Dr. Ulrich Bez in Germany,” she explained over the phone.

Karen told how she would find and ship parts to Germany, only to hear the components were too heavy, and she was asked to find others and ship them as well.

Dr. Bez happened to be the same man who led the Porsche Vehicle Research and Development Department and the Formula One and World Endurance Championship motor sport programs. He was the man behind the 911 Turbo, the Carrera RS 2.7, the 968, and the 993.

And, apparently, the first Porsche bicycle.

Karen had a magazine with an article that featured this early Porsche bike for which Dr. Bez was seeking parts. Upon my request, Karen found a local copy center that would scan the pages of the magazine and email them to me.

To my surprise, I received images from the May 1991 Christophorus magazine, issue 229, that featured a bicycle unlike any Porsche bike I had ever seen.

Porsche commissioned a few bicycle designs in the mid- to late-1990s, particularly the Guards Red Bike S mountain bike I proudly ride, as well as the ultra-rare purple and yellow Bike R road bike and the extremely high-tech and bright yellow Bike FS Evolution. All are wonderful bikes for the mid-‘90s.

This bike in the May 1991 Christophorus was unlike any of those and predated them all.

The Christophorus article was written by J├╝rgen Pippig and explained in the second paragraph, “Since Weissach engineers and technicians are often enthusiastic hobby sports fans, it was really only a question of time until the strong two-wheel lobby within the technology smithy created a mountain bike which is the 911 RS of mountain bikes.”

The story went on to explain the goal of the Porsche engineers was to produce a prototype bike of consequent lightweight construction, uncompromising function and aesthetic proportions and shape. Sounds like more fun than function to me.

The end result was a very cool mountain bike for the time. And at a mere 9.85 kilograms (21.7 pounds), it was incredibly lightweight. This bike was designed and built before the days of front shock absorbers, let alone a full-suspension mountain bike.

The story ends with a hint of the possibility of an exclusive run of 300 such bikes. But an exhaustive Internet search could find no such record of this bike, not the prototype published in Christophorus magazine, nor the possible 300 produced for lucky Porsche enthusiasts.

This bike, called the Porsche Bike Spyder 9.85, is likely a one-off, an original prototype that led to all the later Porsche bicycles that have since followed.

I also could find no record of Dr. Ulrich Bez’s involvement. Only the mention of “engineers and technicians.” My knowledge of Dr. Bez’s contribution was only made possible by Karen Dell, an employee of Porsche Cars North America in the 1980s and ‘90s and current PCA member, who has an excellent library of historical Porsche magazines and an interest in sharing her knowledge.

The Christophorus article mentioned very selective bike parts were shipped from France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Japan and the USA. Karen Dell was that USA connection.

I'll admit I am a bit of a Porsche bike super-enthusiast. With Karen's help, I think I just found the proverbial missing link between Porsche automobiles and the current limited-run bicycles. Where it all began.

Now if I could only find one of those 300 Porsche Bike Spyder's and park it in my garage next to the Boxster, Cayenne S, and Bike S — that would really be something.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

2021 National Trails Day ride


Celebrated the 2021 National Trails Day with a 27-mile ride on the Baltimore to Annapolis Rail Trail on the 1998 Porsche Bike S. Perfect weather with mid-60s and low wind and the bike performed perfectly. Perfect day for a perfect rail trail ride.

Friday, April 23, 2021

40 miles with a bath after


Another 40 miles looping the airport and down to Annapolis and back. Rather quiet on the trail with slight wind and cool temps. 2004 Porsche Bike X performed well, but it did get a lot of pollen on it requiring a good cleaning when back home (with beer).

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

W&OD 40

With a day off I decided to go out to the Washington & Old Dominion Rail Trail and rode 40 miles on the 2004 Porsche Bike X. Originally, I intended to do 50 miles but somehow got waylaid at the Caboose Brewery in Vienna, VA. I had a Vienna lager as it seemed appropriate.

Weather was perfect with 70s and low wind. There was some construction and detours, but that's the W&OD. Trail traffic wasn't too bad. Overall, a great ride.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

First 2021 60-mile ride

Longest ride of the year, so far. 62 miles riding the 2004 Porsche Bike X around the BWI airport loop three times and then down to Annapolis and back. Weather was cool with low wind. Great cycling weather. And the trails weren't too busy, which was nice.

Today's ride was special as my boss rode with me on his new 1998 Porsche Bike R. We're training together for the fall 340-mile C&O/GAP ride we intend to complete with a dozen other Porsche Bike riders. If we complete this effort, it would be the first time this many Porsche Bikes were involved in an adventure of this magnitude. Looking forward to more training with this Porsche Bike group.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Bike S lunchtime ride


Quick 14 mile lunchtime ride today on the 1998 Porsche Bike S. Stopped by 7-11 for a Dew. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

2004 Porsche Bike X is ready

My 2004 Porsche Bike X is ready for the C&O/GAP ride this fall. The last piece of equipment arrived today ... Porsche Drivers Selection water bottles in matching black with orange/red accents. Looking sharp!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Series 6 practice in the 997


This evening I got in some practice for the upcoming PCA Sim Racing Series 6 in the 997 at Long Beach. I got a new fastest lap, which always feels good. For the spring series, I'm running an all black livery that represents my triple black 986 Boxster. My 997 sim track car looks all shiny just like my real 986. Long Beach is a tricky circuit, but it's on the Series 6 schedule, so I'm hoping all this practice will help later on.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Porsche petal pedal


Another easy 13-miler around my neighborhood on the 1998 Porsche Bike S today. The petals falling from the trees looked like snow. Love spring time!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Post covid shot ride


First ride after my Thursday covid vaccine shot today. Decided to do an easy 13-miler to see how I'm feeling. Thursday and Friday were a little shaky, but today felt good. Back on the horse!

I also switched to using Strava today. A group of Porsche Bike cyclists are using Strava to share their rides, so I wanted to participate.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

2004 Porsche Bike X in "touring" mode

The final piece to the 2004 Porsche Bike X touring conversion arrived today. First I added the Ortlieb 11-liter saddle bag, then a SKS-Germany Smart Explorer phone bag, followed by Continental SpeedRide 700x42 tires, new low profile SKS-Germany Velo bottle cages, and lastly the SKS-Germany Explorer Edge frame bag installed today. The Velo bottle cages were critical to lowering the water bottles, making room for the frame bag.

The Ortlieb bag is intended to carry clothes and food, the SKS frame bag carries bike accessories (pumps, patches, tools, etc.) and my phone, charger and a few other items fit in the easy to see phone bag.

All these changes were made to attempt the 340-mile Chesapeake & Ohio and Great Allegheny Passage ride this fall. Previously, this Bike X was in "hill climb" mode for the Sierra Nevada Death Ride. Now, with this C&O and GAP epic trail ride this fall, I needed more of a long distance hauler.

The Bike X is ready. Now I have a spring and summer training plan to complete before the long ride.

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...