Martins Mill 80 Mile Ride

I took off on the F5 this morning and rode to Purtis Creek, then on to Martins Mill, then to Odem. Then, I took a more southerly route back. I hadn’t ridden this far east before, so was trying out some new roads. Most were ok, but the stretch on FM 279 from Ben Wheeler to Odem had a bit more traffic than I like. I may modify that part of the route next time.

I ended up with 80.4 miles. With all the longer rides I used to do, it’s hard to believe, but this was my longest ride since a 200k last October. I seem to just do lots of short rides from home these days. But, with the Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred coming in two months, I need to start doing some longer rides to get ready for it. I also need to drop seven pounds or so. Maybe some longer rides will help with that.

I had ridden 40 miles on Monday, so ended up with 120 miles on the bike for the week.
Today’s route.

The New RailGun Seat, Part 2

I talked about the new RailGun seat I installed on the F5 in this post. It took quite a bit more work to get it the way I wanted it, so I thought I would tell the rest of the story here.

I raised the safety triangle up higher and bought some small automotive door molding to go around the edge of the seat. The carbon fiber was a bit ragged/sharp around the edges. This molding really looks nice on it. I then added two bottle cages to the back of the seat.

I used the three items below to modify the headrest.

With the hacksaw, I sawed about a half inch off the top of the headrest plate. So, instead of being round, it’s now mostly round, but with a flat top. This 3/4 moon shape seems to fit the back of my upper neck/head better. Next, I followed Kent’s suggestion of putting a pocket microfiber wax applicator pad over the headrest. Finally, I stretched a fabric eyeglass case over everything.

I never thought I would ever use this plush a headrest. All the years I rode the Euromesh seat, I only occasionally used the headrest. But, the RailGun demands more recline than the Euromesh. It just doesn’t feel right unless you recline it a lot. With this much recline, I find myself using the headrest most of the time. Combine that with the rough roads I ride, and this plush headrest seems to be just the ticket.

Several years ago, I had bought a cover for the Euromesh pad. I liked it so much, I decided to make a cover for the RailGun pad. I bought 3557 Athletic Mesh from Seattle Fabrics to make the cover from. It seems very similar to the material used on the Euromesh cover, except it has bigger holes.

I traced the pad shape onto newspaper, and used that for a pattern. The RailGun pad is bigger at the back than the front, so I put the zipper there, rather than on the front where it is on the Euromesh cover. I got a friend to sew it for me. I think it’s going to work great; no more scratchy filter foam to deal with.

This really is a nice seat.

130 Miles on the Bike This Week

I ended up with 400 miles on the bike in May. That’s not as many miles as I like to ride in the warmer part of the year. I need to kick it up a bit this month. I started off with 130 miles this first week of June. As is my pattern of late, they were all just short rides from home.

I took off on the F5 yesterday morning and rode to Purtis Creek, then on to CR 2900. Coming back on CR 2900, just before mile 23, I hit a large dog. I was on a downhill, with a tailwind, cruising along at about 25 mph, and had intentions of out-sprinting the dog. But he charged so hard from the right that even my swerve to the left side of the road didn’t miss him. I hit his left front shoulder with the right side of my front wheel. It was a hard, but glancing impact. Surprisingly, neither dog nor I went down, though he looked pretty wobbly afterward.

I stopped a little ways down the road to check the bike for damage. The only sign of impact I found was dog fur wedged in my spokes. It’s a good reminder of the dangers of trying to out-sprint a dog that’s still in front of you. Now that I have a bottle cage installed on the new seat, I guess I need to start carrying my spray bottle of ammonia again.

I ended up with 40.1 miles for the day.

A New Seat for the F5

My new F5 came without a seat. I pulled the Euromesh seat from my Corsa and have been using it. But, that seat is eight years old, and has over 25,000 miles on it. Plus, pulling it from the Corsa left the Corsa unrideable. I decided the F5 deserved a new seat.

I opted for one of the RailGun seats made by rbenter Kent Polk (goatstick). I received it last week and installed it yesterday. There is still quite a bit of tweaking to be done, but I think the adjustment is getting close. I did 30 miles on it yesterday. This is what the seat looked like when it arrived last week.

My F5 came with only the bottom half of the RANS sprint braces (or rear seat bracket, if you prefer), so I’m using the Corsa sprint braces until I get upper sprint braces fabricated. I didn’t find hefty enough aluminum C-channel to suite me for the sprint brace brackets, so I just bought 3/4″ square tubing from Lowe’s and made this bracket.

I beveled the flat washers on the seat side of the sprint brace mounts, so the flat head screws wouldn’t stick up, and since my front bracket is made for a flat head screw bolting from the bottom, I took a 1/8″ thick piece of aluminum, bent it to match the curve of the seat, drilled and tapped two holes in it, mounted with screws from the bottom, then ground them off flush. It seems like a very solid mount. The Fastback Double Century bag setup mounts very well on the RailGun seat, and sticks out less on the sides than it did on the Euromesh.

The headrest is from a Profile Design Aerobar II. I found one on ebay. It was in an obviously very old box, but looks like it was never installed. The pads had never been stuck on their mounting plates. I used a heatgun to bend the headrest bracket, plus added a longer mounting bolt, to get the headrest where I need it. I’m not sure if this is the final adjustment, but it’s getting close.

The safety triangle I use on the back of the seat is attached to the Double Century bag. The RailGun is a longer seat than the Euromesh, so the triangle is too low and facing down instead of out. I need to move it higher up on the RailGun seat.

As advertised, the RailGun has a very solid feel. Of course, the down side of that is that it doesn’t ride quite as nice as the Euromesh. The 2″ thick filter pad that comes with the RailGun is the right pad, I’m thinking. The seat has a very different feel. While most seats seem like they grab and hold your behind, this one seems to grab and hold the lumbar area of your back. There really is no leg interference. And the narrow front of the seat makes it easier to get your feet on the ground, too. How it does for me on longer rides remains to be seen, but it seems very comfortable so far.

Edit: I forgot to mention how good the RailGun seat feels on my shoulders. Both my shoulders are bad. I’ve already had surgery on my left shoulder, and ruptured my right bicep at the shoulder. I have multiple rotator tears in both shoulders, and for some time now, very reclined longer rides on a narrow Euro style seat with zero shoulder support has been a problem. The RailGun is wide enough at the back that it actually gives some shoulder support. It feels very nice on my shoulders.