Thursday, August 28, 2008

I've been a bad, bad blogger...

1. I still need to finish the UP Trip Report

2. I've been up to St. Helen's; that should be worth a report (Hint; I killed an I-9 wheel...)

3. I won a sprint at the 3/4 race at PIR (Yakima went 1-2-3!), and I got in a 2-man breakaway that nearly went the distance.

4. I got my ass handed to me at the Kruger Kermesse.

And there is some really interesting riding just around the corner. Starcross, the Gentleman's Race, more cross racing (and a new singlespeed cross bike!) to write about.

Portland: I (heart) U!!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Yooper Loop Road Trip

After logging 170 miles at 24/9, I rested my legs, back and butt Sunday evening. Monday I was up early, transforming my steel quiring MTB into a road touring bike. This consisted of:

-removing Reba suspension fork, installing rigid carbon fork

-removing heavy dirt tires, installing 'flat proof' specialized armadillo 23/25c road tires

-installing a 44x15 gear ratio

That accomplished, it was time to get some rest and prepare for the first day on the road...

I was up early Tuesday as I wanted to get on the road and get the first day of travel under my belt. Right away, I noticed that I had over-estimated what I could cram into my Ergon BD1 pack and under-estimated what I would like to carry with me on the trip. I ended up leaving some things behind at the hotel in Wausau; two books, a few items of clothing, etc. Still, I headed out on the road with a very full pack with two bundles strapped to the outside.

I got about 7 miles down the road before things started to get interesting. The unmistakable sound of air escaping from my rear tire did not fill be with joy. I've had great luck with the specialized armadillo tires; prior to this ride they have never let me down. Anyway, I got off the bike and looked at the tire and tube--no visible problems. Oh, well. Just bad luck I guess.

Continued on down the road, until about mile 44. The unmistakable sound of air escaping from the rear tire was even less welcome this time around. Off the bike, dismount the tire and tube. Flip tire inside-out; still not visible problem. Super-close inspection of tube reveals no damage. Hmmm, this is not good. Review of repair supplies reveals one (1) spare tube remaining, three CO2 cartridges, and zero (0) pumps on hand. This could get interesting.

Mile 50 brings me to an interesting site; a gas station/county library/personal residence. I walk in and started talking to the station attendant/librarian/homeowner; did she have a tire pump that would fit a presta tube? (A pretzel tube?!? What's that?) How about a tire patch kit? (Yep, for a car tire...) Perhaps some CO2 cartridges? (You mean like for a BB gun? Sure, I've got a few right here...) I also picked up a bungee cord to strap some of the crap hanging off my pack to the handlebar instead.

Anyway, I headed off with not much more than 50 miles to go. The rest of the day passed without significant event. The roads were good, the weather was hot but not awful. I had no problems with dogs or irate drivers. My a$$ was a bit some, but my legs and back were doing just fine. I have to hand it to the people at Ergon; the BD1 was comfortable on my back all day long and that thing had to have 40-50 pounds of gear and water stuffed inside.

After reaching the hotel in Crivitz, WI I wandered over the the grocery store, bought some neosporin with pain reliever (a bit of ass chap in the works...), some beer and a magazine. Then next door to subway for a foot-long steak sub. Eat, drink, read, hit the sack. 104 miles down, 261 to go...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I know I owe you all some updates from my road trip, but since I got back to Portland I haven't been feeling my best; you know, aversion to light, craving for human brains, etc.

Also, it has been blasted hot here and that plays havoc with my compy. As soon as it cools down I'll post some updates.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Not *quite* what I had in mind...

Twelve laps. 7th place.

Some races, everything goes just like it should. See Spokane 24 for details. Sometimes things just don't go your way. This was one of those races.

I don't feel like getting down into the gritty details, but I had just about every kind of problem; mechanical, physical, psychological. None catastrophic alone, but together they were more than I wanted to deal with. And as always, I came away with a bunch of lessons learned. Here are a few:

-Flying to a 24 Hour race is a pain
-Heavy tires are great for 12 hours
-I9 wheels are too stiff for a 24-hour race
-a fork that is set too stiff isn't cool
-a fork that is blowing oil isn't cool
-you can never have a gear that is *too easy*

Oh, the list could go on. But I think that is enough for now.

Later this week, I'll share the story of the 450 miles I logged on the singlespeed in the week *after* 24/9.

Hint: It's a *much* happier story.