Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bike: Ready Rider: Eh...

I finished putting my bike together for Ouachita. They say never to make changes to your bike before a race. I broke that rule eight ways from Sunday: New tires, new (suspension!) fork, and a new gear. The bike in this configuration has about 5 minutes of riding on it; I've been too sick to give it a good test run. Hey, what ya gonna do?

The biggest concern for me is the fork. My last suspension fork was a 2001 Marzocchi Z-2 BAM. It weighed a ton, and since I bought it used and failed to maintain it, never really work well. I tended to avoid it even on courses where it would have been useful. The new fork is a 2007 Reba SL. I guess the entire Ouachita course is just littered with VW-sized rocks and the downhills put as much hurt on riders as the uphills. Oh, and there are hungry wolves and, um, pumas on the course. You have to bunny-hop them. So a suspension fork is required. I just hope my rigid riding style can adapt.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Lowering Expectations

Stayed home from work today. The cough is just about gone and the body aches are history. However, the 30 minute easy trainer ride just about tapped the power reserves. I missed two great training/equipment shake-down rides with the great weather we had this weekend.

Long story short, I don't have great expectations for Ouachita. Don't get me wrong; I'll still toe the start line. I just don't have confidence that the engine will be up to a top-10 performance.

The weather is supposed to turn to crap, so I don't know if I'll be able to give the new fork a workout before the pre-ride Saturday. The rest of the bike is good to go, so we'll just have to wing it...

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Video from Thursday:



I tried to get the videos to post here, but no luck. The quality of the video is not high, but ya gets what ya paid for...


I get sick every spring like clockwork. That's normal. I don't get sick twice in a row, at least not normally. Well, I'm sick again and that causes anger. It started Thursday on the first mtb ride of the year. I commented that the air was cold and it irritated my throat. The other people on the ride told me I was crazy. On Friday, I developed a hacking cough which led to a sore throat. I spent all day Saturday on the couch, coughing my lungs out and dealing with a stuffy head, fever, chills and body aches. About 10pm, my fever broke and I went from freezing to sweating. I drank tons of fluid, mostly tea and Gu2O. I ate zinc tablets and chicken soup.

Today, I feel somewhat better. Not well enough to ride today, but I think I will be fine for Ouachita this weekend.

Friday, March 23, 2007


It is time to get it on! Got out for the first singletrack ride of the year last night. The ski hill is ready to ride, if you can get through the slush swamp at the bottom of the main hill. The rest of the trail is in excellent shape. But a little snow isn't gonna slow me down:

This shot was taken shortly after I did a wicked endo in the same spot. I'm not sayin' Jansen was *trying* to get a shot of me crashing...ok, yes I am.

The only downside to the ride last night is that I have developed a bit of a sore throat. I had planned to get in a big dirt ride tomorrow, but with Ouachita only a week away I may end of taking it easy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Although I will be missing out on my favorite gravel road races this year, I got a taste of that type of riding last night. A group of six of us set out for a two hour ride from Nate's house. One cross bike, one 69er, on 26er, and three singlespeeds were represented. Let's just say that the cross bike was able to put the hammer down on the dirt roads, with the rest of us just gritting our teeth and hanging on. All in all, it was a pretty good two-hour ride.

After the ride, we met at Nate's for training food, er, pizza and beer. Mark Hendershot of Santa Cruz fame joined us. Not sure where he was while we were riding, but at least he shared a cold one with us.

Trail riding on tap for this weekend. Yankee is looking like a go, and maybe some time at Cannonsburg ski area as well. Pictures? We'll see...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Face the Pain

While many people were doing the KissKross Alleycat and drinking tasty Founder's beer on Saturday, I was in Muskegon sitting on my trainer. Specifically, I was sitting on my trainer doing a 25-minute time trial. My heartrate was between 183 and 190 for the entire 25 minutes.


Anyway, it was for a good cause. The guy who promotes the Milkjug race series asked my to pitch in and help his team and I was happy to do so. I guess we took 2nd in our division. I think I was in the top 20 individual riders as well, but I didn't stick around to see the results.

Went out for a nice four-hour spin with Dan Jansen and Scott Chambers today. MTB's on the road. I switched out the 34x15 Eno setup for the 38x15 Shimano XT. White Industries makes a 38t ring, I just don't happen to have on in my collection. Anyway, 38x15 is no joke. I had to clock in to make some of the hills. It was a good ride, all things considered.

With any luck, I'll be getting 5-6 hours on the dirt next weekend. I've put in a decent amount of time on the road with the 29er, but my dirt time is still limited. I've got to get that sucker dirty! Let's hope the weather cooperates.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


1. It doesn't take much warm weather to make the cold feel COLD.
2. Riding alone is not as much fun as riding together.
3. Singlespeed is the only way to fly.
4. Steel, baby!

Took the day off yesterday and put in an hour and a half today. Four butt-kicking hill intervals put just the right amount of hurt on. The new team kit worked well. I didn't think I'd get to use the super-thermal jacket, but I sure-enough did. I'm betting it will see some use this weekend as well.

I think the cold is 100% gone. I sucked in a ton of cold air tonight, with no wheezing or shortness of breath. What ever that was, it sure held on for dear life.

The new frame is built, now it just needs to get through paint. Working on the last of the parts orders as we speak. This will be one sweet ride; by far the nicest combination of craftsmanship and top-notch parts of any bike I have ever owned. I don't think there will be anything on the bike that I would want to be better/nicer/lighter, and that will be a first. Photo's as soon as the box hits the doorstep.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Something old, something new

Scott is sporting the new Founder's Ales team kit on out ride tonight. I am on the right, with last year's kit. Notice that I am wearing shorts--it was like 70 degrees when we started the ride at 5:30PM.
We rode for two hours. Dan Jansen of Niner Bikes fame was on the camera. I was on the singlespeed, Dan was on the 1x9 and Scott was on the full-geared 26er. It was a nice ride; I had to spin like a gerbil on crack to keep up with these guys, but everything worked our for the best.

The weather is going to turn to crap tomorrow, so it's back on the trainer for a while. Looks like some decent riding this weekend, and I'll be sporting the new kit by then as well.

A few more pics from the ride:
One of Dan's fancy bikes:

A whole pile of bikes:

Legs of steel:

"I don't know; I woke up and I had these huge eyes, kind of like a bug. Just call me Mr. Bug Eyes..."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Two days, two rides

Went for a nice long ride yesterday with Danielle and Dan. Dan and I were on singlespeeds and Danielle was on her geared MTB. It was a good ride-for the first 3 hours. After that I was about thigh-deep in the hurt locker. Not waist deep, but greater than knee deep for sure. I just plain ran out of gas. I ate enough food and drank enough fluids; I'm blaming my poor performance on being sick and not riding enough in the last few weeks, but who knows for sure. Danielle has a few pictures up on her blog, and Dan took a few that are posted below. Not a bad ride, 75 miles and almost 5000 feet of climbing on a singlespeed mountain bike. Details can be seen here:

Went out for an easy ride today. Ran into Nate, who was riding a singlespeed cross bike...pulling a Burely filled with about 80 pounds of his daughter Kate. We rode for a while, just catching up. I rode Nate's bike up on of the larger hills on the course we took; man, it is no wonder that guy is a killer on the bike. Pulling that burley will make a man out of you for sure.

Bits and pieces are selling on MMBA and MTBR. Act fast if you want a piece of Partridge Cycling History (TM)!

Pics from Yesterday: Ride Start

Dan fixing his seat:
Me, looking like a bucket of crud:

Saturday, March 10, 2007

26" Stuff for Sale

I have a few items on sale on the MMBA board:
King wheels, White Industries ENO Eccentric wheel, old Skool Airborne ti frame, and a Spicer ti fork. If you read this site, you know that these parts have some miles on them! But if I wasn't switching to the 29er format, I'd keep useing these parts.

Whatever doesn't sell in a week or so goes on e-bay. I also have a nearly-new King 'patriot' headset that will be going on e-bay. $65 takes it locally.

Niel has dibs on the King wheels; others should feel free to let me know if that want any of this stuff. I also have a ton of new and nearly new 26" tires; if you need something along those lines let me know.

Friday, March 09, 2007


It seems like it takes forever to get ride of that last little bit of sickness. I feel better every day, so I'll just wait it out.

I had a good news/bad news event yesterday. No Dirty Kanza for me this year. I'll be leaving for two weeks in Italy the Thursday before that race. So, Italy good; missing Kanza bad.

The weather seems to be warming up a bit. Hoping for 5-6 hours outside on Saturday, with maybe another 4 on Sunday. I'll believe it when I see it; my long rides have not panned out well so far this year.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Maybe 85%. Still a little tired and congested, but much better than last week.

The final team parts orders will be in next week. Tires and brakes, and I'll be getting some of each. Ah, the sweet sweet smell of small block 8 and marta sl... Timing on the frame and parts will be tight for Ouchita, but no problem for Cohutta and beyond.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I'm feeling better. Not great, but on the way back. The twelve inches of snow I had to shovel over the last two days isn't helping. The bummer thing is I can't even get out and ski...

I did set the cross bike up on the trainer. I was able to spin easy for an hour. I'm thinking another hour tomorrow as well. My spin on the cross bike reveals that it might be time for a new bottom bracket; lots of crunchy-grindy going on down there.

Dan Jansen just got back from a top-secret recon mission of the Ouchita course. He brought back important info regarding gearing for that race. Much thought is going into tire selection as well. After last years disappointing season, I'm looking forward to racing again, even if Ouchita is only 60 miles... :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Yeah, sick... :(

Stuffy head, fever, chills, the whole encilada.

This sucks.

No riding tonight, and I suspect no long ride this weekend; just me sitting here, drowning in my own phlegm.