Saturday, March 29, 2008

Still Here...

Sort of an easy week on the bike. The weather here turned cold (for Portland) and I have been right on the edge of getting sick. So instead of riding, I did some running and some bike maintenance.

Running? Why in the world would I wan to do that? A little something called the Dirty Du. I decided to do that instead of another road race. I can do road races almost any weekend here; how often can I trail run and ride my bike in the same event?

The clincher? They have a singlespeed class... I predict a top-5 finish. :)

First real MTB race of the year is next weekend. Then it is just a hop, skip and a jump to Sea Otter and that puts 24 Hours of Spokane right around the corner.

Good Times...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A use for the fixed DD-X

Portland; I (heart) you!

Last Week Wrap Up

Rode on Thursday. It was very wet and very cold. I mean VERY cold. One of those leg-shaking, teeth-chattering suffer-fest downhills out of the park. It rained from start to finish on this ride, and I suffered the entire time. That makes two weeks in a row of less-than-perfect weather and/or body conditions at the Park. Somthin's Got To Give....

Saturday was a nice road ride. I made a wrong turn, so I only ended up with 2.5 hours, but I packed in over 4000 feet of climbing. It was a cool but sunny day, and there were lots of other cyclists on the road. I took Germantown from Highway 30 up to Skyline again. It was much easier on a geared bike. Go figure.

XC Skied on Sunday. The snow was sort of crappy, but it was actually nice to see some snow for a change. And talk about snow; the bathroom at Teacup had snow up to the roof! Pretty cool. There was more snow falling during the ski; heavy, wet snow. All in all, not the best skiing of all time, but still a good workout and a fun time.

Hardcore stretching (let's not call it yoga...) yesterday, and some walking and bike maintenance on tap for tonight. Not sure what the ride schedule looks like for the rest of the week. It is supposed to be quite wet and cold; if that is the case I think I might strap on the running shoes.

There is a road race on Sunday, and I have started looking at the course profile for Horning's Hustle and Sea Otter. Sea Otter should be fun; I'm thinking about road racing Friday and Saturday (Cat 5 4ever...) and Expert SS XC on Sunday. Mmmm, tastes good *and* it's good for you...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday in the Park

29 Miles; 4100 feet of climbing. Lots of road and lots of gravel. Very little singletrack.

It was a very good ride tonight. There were 3 29er SS, 2 26er SS, a full-sus and a hardtail. Nice mix. The Yakima Bike Vigilantes were well-represented.

I felt really good. I put on a gear that is two teeth harder than last week (32x18 vs. 32x20) and I was cleaning stuff that had me off the bike last week. Go figure. Felt good all night, and still feel pretty good right now. Back was fine. Having the Jones Bars back on was the right choice. More leverage and easier on the arms and shoulders.

Back to the park tomorrow for the Fat Tire ride. Not sure what is in store for the weekend; fixie ride? First 100-miler of the season? Gravel grinder? I don't know, but I'm looking forward to finding out!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


My first real fixed ride. I have the DD-X set up with a White Industries ENO Eccentric hub. I have a 16t freewheel on one side and a 16t fixed cog on the other. After hemming and hawing for the past few weeks, I decided to give the fixed side a try.

Note to self: 48x16 + 2100 feet of climbing (and descending!) might not be the best way to try out this fixed gear thing...

This was my first time taking Germantown Road up to Skyline. I figured it would be a climb; I didn't realize it went pretty much straight up with no rest. About half way up, it started to hail. I didn't care. I was in full suffer mode by that point. Still, it is kind of cool in retrospect. I look forward to giving that climb a try on my other road bike.

Note for new arrivals to the Northwest

Although you will be tempted to spend all your time riding, take a few minutes and lube the screws that hold your cleats to your pedals. Don't wait six months; do it now.

Trust me on this.

While you're at it, just go ahead and put some lube on pretty much every fastener on your bike...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday and back to Forrest Park

About 28 miles; about 4000 feet of climbing. Alas, it was 95% dirt road or regular old pavement. Still, not too bad for a weeknight ride.

The weather has returned to a more winter-like feel. That is to say, 40's and rain. The ride was clear at the start, but the last 30 minutes on Leif Erikson and all the pavement on the way home was in a pretty steady downpour. My hands and feet were fairly cold by the time I got home.

To be honest, I wasn't really feeling the ride tonight. It was ok, but I wasn't feeling great and Brandon was able to drop me at will. The tiny gear didn't help, but for some reason my heart just wasn't in it tonight.

Slapped the Jones Bars on for this ride. I forgot how nice those bars are; they transmit a small fraction of the trail chatter to my hands that I am otherwise forced to deal with when running aluminium bars. The rigid fork was back on as well; I don't want the sus fork to suffer with the rain, and let's face it: that reba is not light. I knew I'd be back on gravel for a while, so the carbon fork got the nod.

Gonna be a light weekend for riding. I'm on call at work, so no cool trips will be had. Good chance to clean up bikes, maybe do a few tune-ups. We'll see...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Syncline Pics

Swiped from Dylan. Although these are good pics, they really don't do the day or the trail justice. You can find more here. Thank you, Yakima Bike Vigilantes, for a great day in the saddle!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The wheels keep spinning

Rode Syncline today. Not as much climbing as I thought, but as you can see it just keeps coming and coming once it starts. The downhill was something to behold.

The day was perfect for riding, and a perfect ride was had by all. Seven riders, no crashes and no real mechanincals. Everybody rode all day in good spirits. The views from the switchbacks and from the top were pretty incredible. Pictures were taken and will be posted or linked to at a later date.

On the down side, I tweaked my back a bit. I believe the weekly rides will calm down a little bit as we adjust routes to accommodate daylight savings time. At least I hope so; I need a chance to recoup the back!

Did I mention that it was in the high 60's and sunny all day? And dry as a bone on the trail? It was. It felt like summer. And this trail is 1:15 from my front door.

What was it like in Michigan today? :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Garmin Seems to be working...

The ride wasn't all that long, but 3700 feet of climbing in 13 miles is no joke. I slapped the Reba on the Quiring, which made for some fun descents. The climbs were a bear, however. In any case, it was a good ride.

Fat Tire Death Ride on tap for tomorrow, with a possible Syncline trip on Sunday. That would make for a pretty good week.

Garmin; back from the dead?

Taking Nick's advice, I tried hooking the Edge 305 to the charger one more time and just leaving it there for a few hours.

Bingo! It seems to be working again! I'll take it on the Yakima ride tonight to make sure all is as it should be. If so, then I will chalk this one up to operator error.

Thanks to Nick for the sound advice!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

RIP Garmin Edge 305

My GPS died.

It has worked well since I took it out of the box. It worked great on Thursday, but the battery mysteriously died overnight between Saturday and Sunday. Now it won't turn on at all. It won't take a charge. It is dead.

I've got an RMA from Garmin. They were very cool over the phone. It was a gift, so I don't have a receipt, etc. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Squeak squeak squeak...

...was the mystery sound emanating from someplace in the bottom bracket area of my road bike for the last 10 miles of my 65-mile ride today. Annoying, but even that (and the prospect of paying for a new bottom bracket) couldn't dampen my enthusiasm for today's ride.

I was up at 6 AM to be a Dylan's for a 7:30 ride start. This was my first road group ride with the Yakima Bike Vigilantes , so I didn't know quite what to expect. Lucky for me it turned out to be mostly a nice base-miles ride.

Although it was quite cold and foggy at the start, it ended up being a stellar day weather-wise with lots of sun and temps in the 50's. The route took us out to Multnomah Falls and back. This route has one significant climb in each direction. Long-time readers know I'm not a climber, but I was able to hold my own today. I think Dylan was taking it easy on me...

I somehow discharged the battery on my computer, so I don't have any ride details. I bet we were on the move for around 4 hours, but that is just a guess. One flat and my squeaky bike were the only mechanicals. Several shouts and gestures from passing trucks.

The most interesting moment of the day occurred while we were on the side of the road taking pictures. A fleet of eight recumbents rode by. I say 'fleet' mostly because they all had very brightly-colored fabric fairings, and when they turned around it looked like a racing regatta making the final turn! Cool stuff!

Full week of rides on tap. Some road, some mountain and who knows what else. I suspect a road race on Sunday, but that is TBD.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

So, what did you do on Thursday?

Not much. 2:40 ride time, 5500 feet of climbing, 80% singletrack. All in the dark.

Top Speed? 30 MPH. In the dark. On Singletrack.

Did I mention that I (heart) Portland?