Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More NOS Freewheels on eBay

I found a few more NOS freewheels in my parts stash. They are all SunTours and include a 7-speed 13-24T, a 7-speed 13-28T, and a 6-speed 13-21T. You can see them in my eBay store here.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ed's Oracle Update

A while back I asked folks to prod me about my progress on my novel, Ed's Oracle. Nobody has asked, and it's likely that nobody really cares. However, it helps keep me motivated. So, I'll do a pretend prodding:

So, do you have a publisher for your book, yet?

A publisher? I haven't even finished the rewrite!

Oh. So, how's the rewrite coming?

I have one chapter done (almost). Actually, it's starting to move along. I have to fit the rewrite in between Tullio's stuff, Heron stuff, other writing projects, family stuff (how in the world can two little kids such up so much damn energy? I'm exhausted by the time they go to bed!). So, it isn't going to be quick even if all goes well. I'm just trying to keep making progress.


OK, so it's not the most interesting thing in the world. I'll put something about bikes up here soon. I promise.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

NOS 6-Speed Freewheel on eBay

I found an old Shimano 600EX in a box of parts and put it up on eBay. It's still new-in-the-box. Here is the listing.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

E-Mail Problems Fixed

It took a few days to figure it out, but I think I've finally fixed all of my e-mail problems. It appears that messages that I had sent were not being properly delivered. Unfortunately, I had no indication that there was a problem, and it may have been going on as long as two months. If you tried to reach me recently and received no reply, I apologize.

I should be able to receive and send mail now from my primary e-mail address, todd@kuzma.com.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

E-Mail Woes

I just discovered that many, if not all, of the e-mail messages I have sent over the past few weeks have not been properly delivered. I'm working with my e-mail service provider to figure out how to correct it. If you have e-mailed me and have not received a reply, I apologize. I am not ignoring your note. Hopefully, this will be corrected soon. --Todd

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Asthma and Winter Cycling

It is now wintertime, and with the cold weather comes an aggravation of the asthma suffered by many cyclists, myself included. I’ve seen the subject mentioned many times on various internet forums. I thought that I would write about my own experience here.

I have the asthma triple whammy. Mine is exercise-induced, allergy-induced, and chronic. Chronic asthma refers to a reduced lung capacity even when not having an “attack.” For cyclists, we are primarily concerned with the exercise-induced variety, but allergies and chronic asthma can affect any ride.

While some experience the classic wheezing when having an attack, I often simply found myself out of breath. This was especially true when I used to race. For some time, I simply assumed that I was getting spit off the back of the pack because the other racers were simply better prepared. However, after one race, I found that I couldn’t catch my breath even after thirty minutes of recovery.

My doctor advised a gradual warm-up before a race or other hard effort. This proved to be a problem at races, though. I would be able to go through a proper warm-up and get my heart rate up, but I would invariably have to wait at the start line long enough for my heart rate to fall. The massive sprint that inevitably occurred at the start would then trigger an attack.

My doctor also advised a preventative dose of an inhaler like Albuterol before exercise. I still do that today if I plan anything beyond a light workout. I also carry an inhaler on every ride in case an attack hits me on the road. My need for a gradual warm-up means that I often can’t ride with groups that go hard from the start of a ride. I frequently need thirty to forty minutes before I can ride at tempo. If I go too hard too fast, I can trigger an attack.

I’ve also followed advice from the book Reversing Asthma by Richard N. Firshein, D.O. He suggests that most drug treatments for asthma merely address the symptom while aggravating the underlying cause. This results in a spiral of larger doses and additional medications. Instead, he recommends a change in diet and exercise that can reduce or eliminate the need for medication. He also suggests magnesium as a supplement. In fact, intravenous magnesium is often given to treat severe attacks. I have begun taking this recently after my neurologist suggested it to help prevent migraine headaches. So far, it has helped with both problems.

Back to the cold weather. The cold, dry air of wintertime often aggravates asthma for many cyclists. When I ride in winter, I make my warm-up even longer than normal. During the coldest times, I wear a balaclava that I can use to both keep my face warm and warm air that I am breathing in. The lower part of the balaclava can be adjusted during the ride as needed. During the coldest weather, it can be worn all the way up over the nose, full-ninja style. This allows exhaled breath through the nose and mouth to warm the fabric and, in turn, the inhaled air. As things warm up, the balaclava can be slipped down from the nose so that it only covers the mouth.

Once I am warmed up sufficiently that breathing in cold air will not trigger an attack, the balaclava can be lowered again to expose the mouth. If warm enough, the chin can also be exposed. Used in this manner, I found the balaclava to be one of the more useful bits of winter riding gear. While it is not always necessary simply to maintain body temperature, it can always be used to regulate the temperature of inhaled air.

I have talked to enough asthmatics to know that what works for one will not necessarily work for all. However, I hope that everyone can find a way to keep riding through these colder months. If anyone has other suggestions, please forward them.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Randonneurs, Need Some New Wheels?

Brevet season is coming up, and some new wheels might be in order. I've listed a great pair on eBay that feature a Schmidt SON28 dynohub, Campy Veloce rear hub, and Torelli Master rims. Check them out here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Randonneur on eBay, Again

The 59 cm Randonneur didn't sell the first time around. I've dropped the price $50 and listed it again. Check it out here.