Saturday, October 25, 2008

Back in Business

Usually, it takes just a couple of tools to tension Paragon Sliding Dropouts; a 5mm allen wrench and a 5mm box wrench. However, the hex bolts are made of a very soft alloy and if they are not properly lubed they can require significant torque to remove. Sometimes the amount of torque required exceeds the the ability of the bolt to maintain structural integrity; i.e. the bolt head rounds out.
At this point, a few new tools are required.

First, get a drill. Make sure it is old, the chuck is weak, and the bits are dull. Then proceed to drill a pilot hole for an ez-out. Great so far! Now, reverse the drill and attempt to use the ez-out. When the drill starts smoking and you smell ozone; stop. Let the drill cool off and then try it again. Repeat until the ez-out breaks off inside the bolt head. Ok, you are done for today and need a few more tools.

Got to the hardware store. By a dremel tool and a very wide flat screw driver. Cut a slot in the face of the bolt. Watch the pretty sparks as the cutting wheel contacts the hardened steel of the ez-out. Use the screwdriver and an adjustable wrench to work the bolt loose. Success!

Sorry for the blurry photo. Anyway, if this all works out you get to convert your mtb from psychocross to night-rider configuration and end up with something like this:

Ah, good times!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


The first night ride of the season.

Three Mountain Bikes. Zero operational Mountain Bikes. They are either suffering from stripped bolts, serving at a parts-donor, or set up as a cross bike.

Nick Gibson to the rescue!

"Here man, ride this bike." Titanium Merlin, Full XTR, 4 inches of Fox at each end...

It was like heaven, except for the little girl wheels.

Did I mention that my HID was DOA? I rode behind Nick all night. His light guided me home.

Proof that I'm still riding...

First off, I don't want to hear any shit about how I have water bottle cages on my 'cross bike.
Second, I don't want to hear anything about the flat bars, disk brakes, leg hair, etc.

This is my off-season, people!

Anyway, I wound up 60th out of 80 finishers in the ss class. Not much of a result, but at least nothing broke. There was one long climb on the course that just killed me every lap. No snap in the legs, no fire in the belly. Like I said, this is the off-season.

Anyway, no racing this weekend. There are two races on the coast, but I will be going to a wedding and/or hanging out with friends from out of town. But since I can't seem to get enough of this humiliation and pain, I'll be back racing again on November 2nd.

And then the SSCXWC looms on the horizon. Will I have a fancy new bike? Will I get through the qualifying rounds? Will Dylan ride in a dress? Only time will tell...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nobody likes to DNF...

...but when you look behind yourself and see this laying on the ground, there isn't much you can do.

On the other hand, I did look good rolling up to the race like this:

Those Quiring bikes just look great. I had to take off the Jones Bars for cross, but even with skinny tires and flat bars the bikes look the part, even if I can only make them go so fast.

So, back to the drawing board for next week. I guess we are racing in Rainier. Hopefully all the parts will stay on the bike...

Monday, October 06, 2008

I don't look good... any of the pictures from this race. I've got to work on my posing skills.

Cross Dressing

Ah, Alpenrose. This was my second year racing at this venue. (Can you believe it? I've been in Portland for over a year now...) The recent rains made for a slick course, and I opted for the ti Quiring with cross tires. It was a good choice. Added in old-skool Michelin mud tires and some 34x16 gearing and I was ready to rumble.

And rumble I did. If you look closely at the photo, I am bleeding from the arm and leg. Got into a slick corner just a little too fast. If you're not crashing, you're not going fast enough.

So how did I do? I have no idea. As you can see in the photo, my number is kind of flapping around so I was only scored for one lap. I sent a note to the organizer, and expect that I will be placed accurately after the film is reviewed. I was on the lead lap (although not in the lead group...) so I should be in the top third at least. We'll see.

Other team mates had good races. Dave won the C race, and Nick won B's. Look for Nick to be tearing it up with the A's from now on. Serves him right for being so fast.

More cross racing in store, pretty much every weekend from here on out through the end of the year.

That's about all for now. I'll post up some more pic's later if I can find any.


Both computer and internet are working again! I'll post some race reports, photos, and all kinds of other great stuff later.