Sunday, October 28, 2007

Slingshot DD-X Singlespeed

I'll swap the seat for something with a little more padding to ease the 'cross remounts, and the bartape will have to be rewrapped when I get the brake levers replaced, and the yellow stickers on the wheels won't last long. Otherwise, she is ready for sscxwc.

The Local Trail

16ish miles; 2.5 hours. 4200 feet of climbing. 99.5% singletrack.
This trail is 45 minutes from my new apartment. This trail has a reputation similar to the reputation of Yankee Springs for riders in GR; pretty good if you don't have time to to get to something better...
This trail shattered my kneecaps. I dropped the gear to 38x20 on Friday. At the top of the first climb, I was wishing for 32x20 and/or a bucket of ice to soak my flaming kneecaps. There was lots of payoff, however; tons of swoopy downhill singletrack. I encountered just about every type of trail surface; greasy mud, frost, gravel, shale, pine needles, and super-buff tacky dirt.
I need to change my stem. The angle is right, but it is too long. That creates added...challenges during long, technical descents.
Pics to follow this evening, along with pics of my new ss xc wheelset... :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just another ride in the park...

About 25 miles, half on singletrack.

About 6500 feet of climbing.

Yeah, that's how I roll.

Swapped the 1.9" Karmas for a Nevegal up front and a 2.2" Karma out back. Lots more weight, lots more traction and comfort. I might gear up one tooth in the back; that was a bunch of climbing at 2x1. On the other hand, there were only a few small pieces that I didn't clean so maybe I should just man up and take it.

Looks like I'll be heading to the coast range for some riding on Saturday. The cross race on Sunday is pretty far away; if my new ss cross wheels are here tomorrow, I might try to mount them up and make a run for it. If not, I'll wait and hit the cross race next week.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Forest Park Yet Again

Saturday it was back to Forest Park. Just to mix things up, the weather decided to take a turn for the nasty. Pouring rain and 45F at the start. I almost didn't show up for the start, but I didn't have anything else to do that morning and I wanted to see if Brian and Frank would show up.

Sure enough, my new Saturday friends were on time and ready to ride. Our only concession to the weather was to limit the ride to 2 hours. We did about the same course as last week. I'm starting to get the hang of this trail.

On the way back I was starting to get cold. My feet were clad in Lake boots, but they were soaked through. My hands were wrapped in EMS neoprene gloves. Neither were up to the task. Feet and hands were both numb when we got back to the cars. I plan to re-waterproof the boots and wear some warmer socks next time. I think I might need to buy a new pair of gloves. Lightweight, waterproof, with just a bit of liner for warmth. Or maybe a pair of wind and waterproof shells to wear over the EMS gloves. Also, I have one gore-tex jacket that I have been using on and off the bike. With all the riding I'm doing, and the perpetually muddy state of Forest Park, I'm gonna need at least one new jacket for off the bike. I might look for an additional jacket for on the bike as well, to give the other jacket a chance to dry out between uses.

I had to miss the cross race today. I had to work in the AM for the second week in a row. Bummer. The good news is that my ss wheels from Mike Curiak should be here for the next cross race; gotta get ready for the ss cross worlds, baby!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

More Forest Park

At last, I made it out for a Thursday Night Ride at Forest Park. It was wet but in the mid-60's when Andrew, Dan and I started out from Fat Tire. Andrew was on a Monocog 29er full-rigid and Dan was on 26er FS. We rode up the big hill, down some sweet singletrack, back up a hill, and down a crazy-fast descent. I think it was about the same route I rode on Saturday.

Good times! I'm starting to get back in shape a little; at least that long hill seems easier than last week. Good company and I wore the right clothes.

Notes to self: The Niterider MiNewt is great for the dirt road, not quite good enough for the 20+ MPH downhill singletrack. The slipping bar mount didn't help. Bring the HID next time...

Also, bring your fenders, you nitwit! It's rainy her in PDX; those fancy fenders don't do you any good sitting in your hotel room.

Dan says he rides every Thursday all winter. Sounds like a plan to me!

I'll be riding again on Saturday, and might get to sneak out to the cross race this Sunday. I do have to work again, but if the training I am participating in wraps up in time, the bike and my gear will be ready to go so I won't have any excuse.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hey, what's up?

Not too much to report. Missed the Thursday ride; had some housing logistics to handle. I did manage to get out yesterday. Rode with Brian and Ken in Forrest Park. We were out for a couple of hours; it was a good ride. They have plans to ride regularly, and have generously agreed to have be tag along.

Visited with Bernie last night. Man, that guy can pick a pizza joint! It was good to catch up.

Skipped the Cross race today. Kind of a bummer, but I had a work thing this morning and by the time I finished up I didn't have enough time to get to the venue. We'll get 'em next week.

Pics for your enjoyment follow:

Forrest Park is spoooookie!
Well, maybe not *that* spookie...
My name is Bernie; I likes me some pizza!

My name is Joe; I likes me some Bernie!

Monday, October 08, 2007

More 'Cross...

OK, so I was not quite in the top half of the Master's B field. I was 42 out of 70+. Not great, but not as bad as I thought it might be. Plenty of room for improvement over the season.

There were over 1000 racers at this event. Yep, you read that right. Crazy stuff.

Here are a some links to pics from the event:

When I said I leap like a gazelle, I don't make that stuff up...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Cross Crusade

I made my way to the Cross Crusade race. I selected the Master's B class. As I watched the C class, I started to get worried. All the riders in that group seemed to have GREAT cyclocross form. I saw myself getting shelled off the back of the B's...

It wasn't quite as bad as all that. I started at the back of the pack, but was able to find my rhythm quickly and was passing people left and right. My dismount was spot-on, and I was leaping barriers like a gazelle. However, my re-mount needs help. Still, I was able to hold my own, and I think I finished in the top half of the group. I'll post up a definitive answer when the results are made official.

The DD-X worked great! Sure, I failed to clean and lube it after my mud-fest ride earlier in the week so the shifting could have been better. But the bike itself worked very well. I have a set of Curiak ENO Eccentric wheels on the way; that will cure the shifting issues real quick.

Speaking of singlespeeding, there were about 100 ss crossers at this race. They went off just before the Men's Open B class, and promptly turned in the fastest lap of the day (up to that point). They were wicked fast-here are a few pics:

Yes, we did run up those stairs. Many times...
Anyway, it was a good day. I had fun, and I plan to go back. This was kind of a tame version of this event, as no beer was permited on site. I guess things will be a little crazier next week. I'll let you know...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Portland Update

Not much riding to report. The new job keeps me busy, and I have my hands full looking for an apartment.

I did get out to ride City Forrest. It is basically a dirt road. It starts out in the city and climbs for the first two miles. For a flat-lander like me, that is a bunch o' climbing. Then it is rough road for the next 7 miles out and 7 miles back. I was quite covered in mud by the end. I felt good until the ss cyclocrosser passed my like I was standing still, and on the climb no less. I tried to reel him in, but to no avail.

The Mt. Hood ride is off. They have like a foot of snow up there, and my cold weather gear is on a truck somewhere near Omaha right now. I will make my way over to the Cross Crusade race on Sunday. The question is this: DD-X or Quiring with cross tires? I plan to hang around and take pictures, so we'll see how that works out...