The Velo Junkie

Meet my other Half, the Velo Junkie. This is the person who fills our house with all kinds of  metal, both big and small. Frames, wheels, cassettes. Almost everyday there is another box of bike s**t sitting on the steps, kindly delivered by UPS, FedEx, or DHL.

He has introduced me to a life of adventure and I have reluctantly accepted the invitation. Now I will, reluctantly, offer up a page on my blog for his techie manifesto.


  1. The King of Mercia Debut.

    I woke up early on a Saturday to check the weather to see if I wanted to take the new Mercian. Frame out for a 50 mile ride on the Chili Ride Repeat. The weather channel said the rain had passed, and we could look forward to partial sun and 70 degree weather. I loaded the bike and headed to the far northeast section of Cincinnati Metrro(Goshen) Ohio. I arrived in Goshen and it was still quite cloudy. I unloaded the bike and headed over to sign in. Due to road construction the ride was rerouted. Right from the start the King of Mercia has felt tailored to my strengths. I like the riding position and the slightly steeper seat angle allows me to use the big muscles in my legs. I was at the halfway point in 1.5 hours. The strong winds and chilly temps slowed me on the second leg but I still managed to finish in 3 hours and 12 minutes. Not bad for 52.5 miles. The new Campagnolo 11 speed shifts so much crisper than my 2011 athena group. Any command I issued was answered with quick response. The slightly shorter seat stays than my Gunnar are eager to respond when I push hard from stop. Lastly the Brooks Cambium continues to impress. Overall I am impressed with this project, it turned out better than expected!

  2. Today I rode the Salsa Vaya to the City Administration building so I could resolve an issue with my city income tax. I took the Salsa because I have a wheel with a dynamo hub on the front that I have been using to charge a Lime Fuel battery with a storage capacity of 1500 mAh. This battery should be able to charge multiple phones and my Garmin GPS each day on our upcoming trip. Through trials I have found that the battery gets to full charge at around 50 miles. Given that each day of our upcoming trip will be about 55 miles I should be able to charge our phones and the GPS each day. The tour of the Upper Peninsula will be the first time I get to test this method. I will let you know how well it works.

  3. As a bike junkie, it is very easy to accumulate new frames, new wheels and new parts. I currently have 6 bikes and for the most part they have different features etc. I have the Salsa Vaya for loaded touring. I have the vintage Mercian for the fun of L'eroica style rides, the Bob Jackson which is a traditional road geometry for days when I may want to push the speed etc, and the new Mercian King of Mercia, which is a sportive bike with long reach brakes and the braze ons for fenders. The Gunnar Sport was my first sportive bike and it also shares common features with the King Of Mercia. At this point you may be saying hey that is only 5? The sixth bike is the Tern Link folding bike.

    So my dilemma as I get comfortable with the Mercian, is should I keep the Gunnar? It has been a good companion on many a week long trip. It has been on two Ragbrai's, a MUP tour, and a version of GOBA. It has seen a weekend ride of TOSRV, four Bike MS weekends, and the Marrietta River Rendezvous. It has also been on numerous one day rides. Looking at my log( Yes I keep a log) the Gunnar has 18,000 miles over the last 4.5 years. It has quite a few paint chips and is starting to rust in a few places. I had to rebuild the front wheel after a nasty crash on RAGBRAI. On one hand I have limited space and on the other I have fond memories of this frame. Part of me wants to see somebody ride this frame, and part of me doesn't want it to go. I wonder how many people debate these kinds of exchanges?


I am interested in your thoughts. Please Share.