Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Quick Update

Did gym workout Monday, including lunges.

Rode inside on Tuesday with Dan and Scott for two hours, including three 4-minute 53x11 max efforts. Ouch.

Did a gym workout today, including a bunch of lunges with weights. More ouch.

Riding outside tomorrow; should be interesting. Lows in the single figures. People have been having problems with rear hubs freezing up.

Supposed to ride outside on Saturday. Supposed to be the coldest day in several years. I might have to break out my warm jacket.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

4 Hours of Pure Pleasure

Danielle, Jason and I had a nice ride this afternoon. It was mostly sunny, temps in the mid-20's, with some snow. Overall, the weather could have been much worse. I rode my cross bike, which I like a little bit better every time I ride it. Slingshot makes a quality product; if you are in the market for a cross bike, check them out!

Two notable incidents on the ride. First, we saw a bunch (flock?, gaggle?) of turkeys in a field on the side of the road. Jason started yelling at them, and they all took off running away from us. All of them, that is, except the Kamikaze Turkey of Death. This on got airborne and headed straight for us! Jason and I were up ahead a bit, but I thought for a minute that Danielle was going to have a turkey sandwich the hard way. In the end, she just missed it.

Later, we were cutting through a park near the end of the ride. Two kids were sledding, and the trail we were on went right by the base of the hill. Once again, Jason and I were just a little bit ahead of Danielle, so when the Uncontrolled Sledder of Doom came down the hill you know who was nearly taken out. That's right, it was Danielle again.

I'm going to try and post a link to the Motionbased review of the route. If it works, I'll try to post more of these in the future.

Ride Link : Well, it seemed to work. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

1x9? Check!

I used the Quiring set up with 1x9 for the Crazy Bastard ride on Thursday. The bike worked well; the chain tried to come of the chainring in front during some very high-cadence pedaling. I was able to save it without stopping. Overall, the 1x9 thing worked ok, but I think I'm going back to ss. The setup with the Jones Bars and the gripshift just doesn't look good, and I don't need the gears for the kind of riding I do.

Plus, I'm a singlespeed kind of guy.

I plan to ride with Danielle and a few other people tomorrow. I think we are looking at 4 hours or so. The weather is supposed to turn to crap, but that is just the way things go...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Did two hours on the trainer last night. It was me, Scott and Dan in Scott's basement. Two hours can be a long, boring trainer ride. Not last night, however. We had a sweet Jet Li movie to watch. It was something about a man battling demons from his past. Or maybe he was trying to atone for some family dishonor. I'm not sure, but the fight scenes were top notch; very good for out-of-the-saddle efforts.

My handlebar arrived this week. That means there are now two Jones bars in the family. The pile of happy fun parts for the new bike is growing. No word on the frame; I guess some delays occur ed on the collect-money-from-the-racers side of things. Whatever, I'm just going to keep on training and riding. The frame will get here when it gets here.

Speaking of frames, the 1x9 Quiring will get it's test run tomorrow on the crazy bastard ride. For real this time. It should be nice and chilly, with temps down around 15F for the ride. At least that is what the weather crone says. Which pretty much guarantees that something on the bike will break and I'll end up walking.
Here are a few shots of the bike:

The obligatory side shot:

And the Funky Bar With Shifter shot:

Yes, the photo's suck. Yes, my basement is a mess. I would say this it only looks this way in the winter, but that wouldn't be true.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The warmest feet EVER!

I went out for about four hours today. It was fairly cold (25F) and snowing quite a bit. There was a fairly large group for this time of year: Me, Danielle, Scott, Amy and Mackenzie. The snow and the wind made for a chilly face, but the big story of the day was my feet. They were the perfect temperature all through the ride. Here is how I achieved this minor miracle:

Warm wool socks from Rivendell,
Lake MXZ301 boots, size 44 (I wear a 42.5 Sidi...)
Size 45 Performance neoprene booties

That's it. No chemical heaters, no plastic bags, no Vaseline. My feet were warm and dry for the entire ride. In the past, strong wind would always cut through the Lake boots. Chemical heaters would do the job, but they tend to run out in less than 4 hours. This new combo is the answer. I think I would have been good even if it was 10 or 15 degrees colder.

Good times...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Project 1x9 and other stories...

Had a nice ride last Sunday with Dan. We did four hours, I was on my Slingshot and he was on his 1x9 Niner. It was a nice recover from the race on Saturday. Observation: Riding gears for four hours is much easier than riding ss for four hours.

Ran Tuesday, rode with the Crazy Bastards on Thursday. It was cold, but not super cold. I was on my cross bike again, and had a pretty good night. I pushed it a bit on the hills, but only went into overdrive on the last stretch of the evening. Tom Burke took off, and three of us tried to stay with him. Dan was on a fixed Crosscheck, and was riding on 30 hours without sleep. He bailed. I stuck with it a bit longer, but just didn't quite have the juice. I'm not sure who the last rider was, but he pulled in a bit after me. Anyway, it was a good ride. My fitness is coming along nicely.

Today I turned the Quiring into a 1x9. I figured I might as well give it a try, since I had Scott put cable stops and the paragon dropout with the hanger. My old Sram 9.0sl twist shifter is perched on the front extension of my Jones HBar, mated to my old 9.0sl mech and cassette out back. These parts have not been used since around 2003; I had to knock the dust and crud off them. I am using the Velocity wheels and Kenda cross tires I won at the last KissCross race; the hardest part of the installation was getting the front disk to quite rubbing. It should take me about 10 minutes to switch back to ss, and 15 minutes to convert to 1x9 now that I know the process. The ENO crank is not the best bet for 1x9, since you can't run a bash guard. I have a jumpstop on the inside, and my brief test ride went well. I will put some miles on this set-up tomorrow, and if all goes well I'll ride it on Thursday with the bastards.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Snowcross and Long Rides

Spent Saturday at the KissCross SnowCross race. I think I finished somewhere around 6th place or so in A's. Lots of DNF's, lots of broken bikes. The mud was as thick as any I have ever seen. In some places, there was firm ground under the mud, in some places you could just keep sinking. Overall, it was fun. I mean, the race was a suffer-fest. But hanging out afterword was fun.

Did a little over four hours of dirt roads on the cross bike today. Dan came along. The weather wasn't too bad, although it was getting cold near the end. Crappy weather is supposed to come in tonight, so the amount of outside riding might be about to shrink.

Good week on tap; more running, riding and lifting. If it snows enough, then we get to ski...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Little Ball of Hate

No ride last night. I was dressed and ready to go; I only needed to reduce the tension on the return spring for the rear brake on my cross bike. When I last rode that bike, the spring arm kept snapping out from the retention stud, causing the brake pad to aggressively contact the rim. The wheel wouldn't spin freely (or much at all) when this happened. So I figured a quick tension adjustment and I would be on my way.

Not so much.

Somehow I broke the tip of the spring arm off. As a result, the spring arm was just long enough to engage the retention stud UNLESS the brakes were applied. So when I would so my quick 'test spin' of the wheel in the bike stand, it was fine. I happened to grab both brakes as I was loading the bike on the rack. Low and behold, the brakes were broke. And I had five minutes to get on the road if I wanted to make the start of the ride. No dice. Instead, I had a nice, angry run.

No riding tonight. Had a nice dinner with some of Becky's friends. Good times, but now I feel sort of full. I don't think I ate that much even during the holidays.

First race of the season tomorrow. Versluis Snowcross. It doesn't look like there will be any snow, but it is supposed to get cold. The mud should be nice and thick. I got the cross bike all tuned up by Jason at Slingshot; new brake, some new shifter cable and houseing, clean chain and tightened chainrings. Geared bikes are a pain, but Jason takes the pain away. Thanks, buddy!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Winter, at last

Snow falling through the glare of HID lights.
Frozen ground crunching under fresh rubber.
Water bottles turning to blocks of ice.
Breath steaming into clouds.

Tuesday was a great ride. Two hours of trails in the cold, cold dark. A local trail (specific site CLASSIFIED) was in great shape for some winter riding. I was running a new Ignitor up front, and it was the perfect tire for the conditions. There was around an inch of snow on the trail, with nicely frozen ground below. It was chilly to start, but my medium gloves and Dan's new Moose Mitts kept digits toasty. The two hours flew by.

Dan was sporting his new "Team Issue" Niner Air9. I'll say this about that bike; It sure is orange. Shouts of joy were heard around the singlespeed world, as the bike was sporting ((shudder)) a 1x9 drivetrain. Dan will still campaign the SS at selected events, but will do the National Endurance Series on gears. The new Niner team jersey looks nice now, but I don't know how well the white color will fare after a few hundies...

The Quiring performed flawlessly! There has been talk about converting that bike to 1x9; it has cable guides and a derailleur hanger. I just can't bring myself to do that until I get my next frame. I don't expect the next frame for a couple of months yet, but that hasn't stopped my from dusting off a few 9-speed parts. Unlike Dan, I would only use a 1x9 for training; I'm SS on race day, and make no mistake.

I'm happy to say that White Industries will be back as a sponsor for 2007. Great parts, but more importantly great people! Even though last season saw less race participation than I would have liked,they decided to stay in my corner for another year. Awesome! People with time on their hands can check the team page for hints on the frame sponsor.

More riding on tap tonight with the Crazy Bastards. The weather is supposed to be a bit warmer tonight, so the mud will be flying. At least this week I will be prepared. Looking at four hours of trail riding Saturday and a nice recover ride on Sunday. Tomorrow I'm at the gym.

I've got one of my Airborne Lucky Strike frames up for sale on the MMBA website. $450 for the frame and a nearly new headset; it's priced to move. Help a brother out and get your neighbor to buy that sucker. I need money for new parts!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Crazy Weather

The warm weather persists. I fear what February will bring; weather karma.

Ran on Saturday, 4.5 hours on the bike today. Forgot my food, so I had water and one Hammer Gel packet for the entire ride. I was pretty spent after that, and almost fell asleep watching the Giants/Eagles game. Grabbed some dinner and now it's off to bed.

Should be a good week; off the the gym three days and on the bike three or four. Feeling good so far. I have noticed it's a bit harder to train long when I know I don't have a 300 miler at the end of April...

Friday, January 05, 2007

First post of the year

Did an easy spin of the road with the clean 29er on Tuesday.

Hit the dirt roads with the Crazy Bastards yesterday. The rain came on strong on the drive to the start of the ride. I was supposed to ride to the start of the ride, but Nate and Dan decided that an extra 15 miles of wind and rain were more than they wanted, so drive we did.

The ride was muddy but fast, with plenty of opportunities to spit dirt out of my mouth. Because there was no rain in the forecast, I didn't have my clear rain jacket or fender with me. That was a bummer, as I ended the night caked with mud. Dan and Nate both rode singlespeed cross bikes, with Dan riding fixed. I got to enjoy the sound of an expensive drive train wearing itself away with sandy grit. Everyone (with brakes) got to but a few months of wear on rims. Whatever, it was still a good time.

I have to give a quick shout-out to Defeet; I got their arm and leg warmers for Christmas, and they are excellent. The leg warmers kept my lower parts nice and toasty during a wet and windy ride. If they make tights, I'm getting a pair!

Some riding on tap for this weekend; not sure yet about location or distance. I'll have some nice 26" parts for sale next week, so if you know someone in the market for a ti frame, some nice ENO wheels, 26" tires, or perhaps a complete ti singlespeed, let me know.