Monday, December 5, 2016

"Goldilocks and the 3'ish Saddles"


You know the fairy tale "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears"?  Well consider this the "Cindy and the 7 Saddles" version.

With TDA - Hippie Trail on the near horizon (7 weeks away!!) I'm still struggling to find a tolerable saddle for my touring bike - Kona Sutra, as we'll be averaging 100km per day on this trip.  This is an important component!!  The other thing that is making this especially difficult is that I'm saddle testing on my trainer at the moment, which isn't ideal.
  • I immediately eliminated the saddle my Kona Sutra came with (1)
  • When I went to Cuba last year I used my mountain bike seat (2) on my Kona, which was OK, but I came home with a saddle sore that took about 3 weeks to heal....
  • Then came a series of shopping trips to various bike stores/online to trial a multitude of saddles over the last 5 months or so.
    • Specialized Power Tri saddle on Argon 18 - hate this saddle (3), so it needs to be replaced

    • Selle Italia - Diva Flow (4, 5, 6) - ordered/returned 2 online (and ordered a third in error), I was so convinced I would like this one - nope for tri bike and touring bike

    • Specialized Oura - maybe on my Tri bike (5)

    • Specialized Avatar - likely on my Tri bike (6), not for Kona
    • Brooks England Cambrian C17  (7) - I think this is it; made of rubber with a cotton fabric overlay; currently being "test ridden".  The big test is 3 hour Sat bike class.

So the following saddles are for sale:
  • Specialized Tri Power Saddle
  • Selle Italia - Diva Flow
  • Specialized Oura
Call me....
Wish me luck - my ass is going to need it.

Ciao, happy training - Cindy

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Temp Check


I have some bike routes that I could probably do in my sleep as they are very familiar.
Today was one of them and I was fortunate to ride outside as the wind wasn't blasting from the north at 50 km/hr.  It was a tad chilly, but I was happy to be out.  Missed my usual Sat ride to due to my confusion on when we were celebrating my Dad's birthday, so completed an outside ride today instead.

I rode from my house to hwy 22 and back via Springbank Rd - 75 km round trip.  I completed this same ride in Sept this year shortly after I decided to sign-up for the Hippie Trail with TDA Cycling.

Some observations from today - the 1 km kick up Edworthy hill was doable today and I didn't come close to falling over b/c I was able to keep my cadence up - yay progress!
The last roller back into Calgary on Springbank Rd can be daunting as you approach it and think you're going to die on this hill (Sept) when I actually had to stop at the top, get off my bike and rest for a couple of minutes vs. today - plough up, albeit slowly, carry on to the finish (home), no stopping.

Tried a pair of clip on tri-bars on my Kona Sutra today, but I didn't really like them.  An experiment for India - thinking a change of position may be beneficial from my regular handlebars.  I think being able to go into my drops should be enough.  These tri-bars don't have a lot of adjustment, so may try them a couple more times and then make the final decision.  Also need to consider it may be more important to be able to mount a handlebar bag than have tri-bars.  Since I'm figuring a potential extra few hundred kms due to being lost and backtracking in India, the handlebar bag to hold my daily trip sheet to refer to at a glance may be the more important priority.

Ciao, happy training

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Steady as she goes....


First month of training for Tour d'Afrique - Hippie Trail in the bag!  No missed workouts and solid start to my preparation for India.  As always - I feel very fortunate to have the supportive coaching from the Talisman Tri-Club custom coaching packages, as well as the coaching from the classes I'm currently in.

I'm training with Paul this year and so far so good (I think - right coach?). I've known Paul since 2005 when I started at the Talisman and through the bike classes he's coached.  He has mountains of cycling knowledge that he willingly shares, a great sense of humour and he agreed to get me to the start line of this big exciting adventure - even though he and his wife welcomed their second son in early Sept.  Congratulations!

You know when you watch a charity event and at the end they parade out the grand total on one of those giant cheques?  Well, when I sent my cheque to TDA to pay for my trip - I felt like it should have been one of those enormous cheques, because it was an enormous cheque!!  It is going to be so worth it.  I've had my eye on this trip since 2012 as it's one of the shorter trips and I'm finally able to swing it with vacation time from work.

I'm also happy to say I can check off all the boxes in my last post!

Carla has been very patient and extremely helpful in my prep for touring too - thank you friend!  She completed the "big one" - Tour d'Afrique and is also a member of my tri-club.  I may have bombarded her with endless questions from the first day I met her in bike class.  I recognized her from her blog (I know kinda creepy, but that's the internet for ya).  Her sense of adventure and travel knowledge is amazing!

The other thing that's happened in the past month are some kick-ass shopping sales - Bow Cycle 30% off customer appreciation night --> BOOM bike parts list done!  Spin Sisters, MEC shopping night 10% off --> more essentials off the list. Trying really hard to pay cash for all the incidentals for this trip.  I know that Speed Theory also has some crazy bike (i.e.: road bikes) deals on at the moment.... must stay focused on India.

OK - back on the bike....
Ciao Cindy

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


  1. Change Blog name to "Traveling - No Triathlons"
  2. Hire Coach
  3. Renew Passport
  4. Visit Travel Clinic
  5. Book Flights
  6. Buy Insurance
  7. Purchase Lonely Planet - INDIA
  8. Start a packing list
  9. Ride bike
  10. Ride bike more
  11. Practice taking photos from bike
.... And so begins another adventure on my bike Jan 24, 2017 - March 14, 2017 which will start in New Delhi and finish in Goa, India with ~3000'ish km in between.