Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This just in

Some one is getting a frame and fork from me!

click on the logo for the "what's the deal"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My birthday ride

If I had to describe the ride with the new hub with just one word, it would be "awesome"! I was very pleased at the variables that the eight gears provided. When you are used to riding single speed, it becomes a nice treat to shift just a little bit to get it just right.

Below is the route that I rode. With the head wind blowing for more than half the ride, it sure felt more than 23 miles.

Today I turned 38 years old. My gift to myself was a ride that allowed me to test out my new hub and enjoy a great day. It was around 24* and sunny. That makes for a pretty nice winter day. I did experience some 18mph head winds that weren't the best of fun but it's all part of the ride.

I stopped by the Old Spokes Home to look things over. It is only about 5 miles from my house but I figured it was long enough to show any problems if there was going to be any.

The next few pictures are at the Burlington waterfront on Lake Champlain. Some day I will get a nicer camera in hopes to create a picture more closely to what I see in person. It was a wonderful day out.

When I left the waterfront, I headed south down Shelburne Rd. and cut over towards Hinesburg. I wanted to take more pictures but I was enjoying the ride and views too much to want to stop.

Camels Hump off in the distance.

This panoramic view is the result of not knowing what my camera was doing. Pretty cool looking. I later figure it out at home and will use that feature more often for sure.

Back home with ~23 miles on the new hub. I am very happy with the setup. When I first took off from the house the hub was acting as if it was asleep. I would shift and it wouldn't respond. Then when it did I would be in a gear that was way wrong. This all happened in less than 200 yards. I thought it was the STI shifter and/or the cable. I very quickly "learned" how to use the system and discovered that there was no problem at all. It is incredible to me how instant the shifting is and that there are no rules (that I know of yet) on when to shift. I have noticed that if you are loaded on the pedals when downshifting, it will not drop a gear until you come off of it a bit. Shifting up did not seem to have that issue. I also have not got on it while standing and shifting but I don't suppose I will ever need to be in a situation like that.

After the ride, I checked the cable for proper adjustment and it was still dead on. I feel that everything is where I want it and tomorrow I will wrap the bars and call it done. I look forward to plenty of winter riding. It might just prove to be a low or no maintenance system.

Monday, December 27, 2010

some thoughts

This was a morning last week that I rode to the shop. I shot this picture when I got there. I almost can't believe how much I enjoy riding in the winter.

It was that morning that I had to ride fixie. I completely destroyed my freewheel. All of the grease from the sealed unit escaped and ran dry. The pawls starting skipping and that was it. There is a fixed gear cog in there some where.

This is a beauty! I mounted the Nokian on the wheel and it looks like a workhorse.

Here's a cool shot that doesn't look so hot with all the clutter in the background. This wheel weighed in at 8 lbs even. It is a bit heavy but I think that once I reap the benefits of the IGH, I will not even worry about that at all.

Here it is mounted. All I had left at this point was to run the shift cable and do up the brake cables and change the rear pads.

Velocity makes these bottle traps that match their rim colors. I thought I would throw one on. I like it well enough.

Finally, I threw some new pads on the rear. Not only did I want a fresh start for the new rim, I had absolutely no life left in the old pads.

Here it is ready to roll. The only thing that I didn't do was wrap the bars with new tape. I want to be sure I don't need to change anything or move the hoods any. Tomorrow I head out to shake it down. I will post my thoughts and comments on that later.

Monday, December 20, 2010

today's happenings

I love (loved) these booties. They are the SottoZero and they fit very nice. Booties take a bit to get on but I didn't mind too much. Until....

This happens! This is my second pair in a very very short period of time. The first pair lasted two weeks of twice daily use and then the zipper exploded. This pair zips up crappy and then by the time I am done riding, the zipper separates. No good at all. To save time and hassle I will be investing in some winter cycling shoes. $$$$ In the mean time...

I will be running the Drilliums with boots. Not at all what I like to do but I have to have warm feet and the booties just won't hold up. (Yes, Joe, you told me so)

Next up, I half heartily cleaned a spot on my rear fender and drilled two holes and

now I have a reflector with a small LED that will help these coffin drivers (I'm not sure why I said that) see me better. It isn't that big

but this one is and its bright. It looks a little weird but not really.

This sweet little lady is going to get laced into....

this hoop. The yellow is nice. I think that it will pop on the bike. It will go oh so nicely with the yellow bar tape that I like so much.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

sunday outing

I got out this morning for a ride with my friend Mike B. We met at the City market downtown.

Here is my ride before it goes under the knife next week for its 8 speed internal gear hub. I can't wait to get this baby rolling with some gear options. It will help out a lot with my commute and make it overall more enjoyable to ride. Long time coming, for sure!

Here it is shoved in the snow at Mike's house. We rode over there from the market. We decided to ride on some trails and the snow packed bike path because "he" showed up on this....

His sweet ass new Surly Pugsley. If you didn't notice the nearly four inch wide tires, let me tell you that this is a snow bike. It is a super toy for the fluffy white stuff. Envy!

Mike was nice enough to loan me his Soma. It is setup single speed with studded tires. Where we were at this picture was a bit much for me to get through so we turned around and hit the bike path down to North Beach.

This picture is awesome. I really like it. Enough said.

The water was so calm, it was so nice out. There was fog on the lake which keeps you from seeing across to the New York shoreline.

Here's looking south down the beach towards downtown. Its pretty awesome to see this strip of gravel that divides the water and the snow. Incredible!

This bike is a little small for me but it was fine and a blast to ride in the snow. I am definitely a fan of the IGH and if I ever put together a bike like this, I will surely be running one.

The Pug is like a monster truck of bikes. Gearing and tire pressure are things you have to adjust, tweak and get used to but it likes to laugh at the terrain. I would like to put some time in on one of these.

That's it for now. Maybe I will get out on Sunday after Christmas and get some more pictures of our great playground.

This is Justis, my kick ass daughter

We went to Virginia Beach to see my family for Thanksgiving. My sister took us to see the school that she teaches at and this cool bike rack is right outside. There are quite a few of them strewn about. Glad to see that they are promoting bike riding in the city.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

this is fun

Just a typical ride home at the end of the day. My ride is just at 10 miles each way and it gives me just enough good reason to enjoy a ride like this. It is alot more pleasant to ride in the winter when there is fresh snow on the ground and/or snow falling. I look forward to times like these. Still working on getting my layers right. Seems the easiest when it is 15* or colder.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

bike mods coming up

I am finally getting some parts together to modify my single speed 'cross bike! It is an all purpose bike and I love that I can and have set it up in many configurations to suit the task at hand. In the summer I put 23c tires on it with the 42/18 and made it my road cruiser. I even put flat bars on it that I cut down for the short fixie-type stance. This past fall I put 35c 'cross tires on it with a 32/18 and raced it at Catamount in the CX series. I did the best I could. Now I put the 38/18 on it and have just switched to the studs and use it to commute and ride with the guys on Sundays.

Now I am taking the bike to the next level. GEARS! Shimano Alfine 8speed IGH. I ordered a pair of Velocity Deep V hoops in yellow. I think that they will look sweet and they will give a level of visibility to my bike and me while I am on the road. I am going to run Versa 8 shifters and brake levers so that I can keep the drop bars.

Now, I will still run the bike in the different setups but now I will have the luxury of gears. I will run a 42/18 setup in the summer and a 38/18 in the winter. This will give me a large range of gears designed to be best for the conditions. I love that 4th gear is direct drive. It allows you to pick the ratio that you want and then know what you have up and down from there.

I will post pictures of the build when I start. Probably my holiday project.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

let me get current

I put the studded tires on the commuter on 12/4. I went for a ride with the guys on 12/5. After our ride we stopped off to warm up and have some coffee. When we were done, I took off to run some errands before heading home. In all I got 40 miles in.

The beginning of the week brought a small snow storm for my commute to the shop. I was able to test out the route I take. I didn't ride much last winter so I didn't really have much saddle time into the studs.

So far this year, I have ridden more on them than I did all last season. They are a sure sense of comfort when riding every day. I have ridden almost 600 miles since the first weekend in November. I have a huge base that I am trying to achieve. More on that later.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My first near run-in with a skunk!

...of all places, Downtown Burlington! I was commuting to the shop this morning on my usual route and when I got downtown to the intersection of N. Winooski Ave. and Cherry St. I decided to turn right and add a little time to my ride. It got light out and I thought what the hey. I rode Cherry to the end and then hopped up on the sidewalk and rode it downhill south on Battery St. I passed the hotels and was coming up to Main St. when I saw this adolescent skunk waddling along on the sidewalk that I was on. He was sniffing up by some steps to some shops when I realized I was getting dangerously close to him and that there would be no way that I could just ride by without him noticing.

I started to brake hard and my front brakes started to chatter. That scared him (or at least got his attention), he hopped up on the first step and must have felt trapped so he threw up his tail. Mind you that this all happened in about 5 seconds.

I instantly thought that I am going to get sprayed. Thankfully it was early in the morning with no traffic on the road. (In hindsight that is where I should have been) I bailed right, dropping off the curb and far to the other side of the road and continued downhill to the end of Battery.

Man, what a close call. That would have made my day!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Slacky Mackey

It seems hard to juggle everything and keep up with a couple of blogs. Moving really through things off. I will get it straight here soon.

I am registered for the Race to the Top of Vermont which in on 8/29. I will let you know how that goes. My PB to beat is around 1:40. I hope that I can do quite a bit better than that.

8/22 is the Pedal for Paws and I have to have my display bike build by then. It will be a very busy 9 days coming.

I will update as soon as possible. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Catamount trail run

My daughter, Justis, has started doing some trail running. I have decided to run with her for support and to increase my work out for my preparation for the VT50. She is no slump and I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. She ran a 2.5km run in 36:25. Im so proud of her. It takes a lot of dedication for an 8 year old to be involved in this sort of thing. I am nursing a sprained heel from about two weeks ago and it didn't bother too bad on the run. It is a good time running trails. It keeps your mind off of the absurdity of running. Let's see how next week goes. Tonight is the same course on a mountain bike.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Racing and Riding

On 6/30 at Catamount, I put down a 51:34 on my 2 lap race. Pretty average for me as far as time goes. There was a time on the second lap that I had nothing left to push with. I need to get my nutrition right. On 7/7, I put down a 46:51. I personal best by about three minutes. Although I was 7 minutes off the wheel ahead of me. I need to just keep pecking away at this. It will all add up in the end.

My wife and I did a 38 mile road loop 7/2. It was a good time and I felt really strong with my SS. I do need to get a bike built up for myself with some gears. I think one gear is holding me back on one hand and making me stronger on another.

Friday, June 25, 2010

6/23 race at Catamount

My two lap time this week was 56:23. Not bad considering a few things. My friend Bob and I did a warm up lap before my race started. When we were doing the lap, we got to a section that seemed as if we were off course. As we rode a wide sweeping out and back we saw some blue arrows that showed we were headed in the right direction. We rode some more and it got dangerously close to my start time. We found a rode that led back to the parking lot to the field were the start is. I was told that my class already started. Therefore, I went into my start "hot" and rolled on through. I made my way through the course and came to the part where I new that I could throw down some speed. As I rounded a corner, I rode over a downed branch that covered the whole track. As I went by and kept cranking, I thought what is that about? Did I go the wrong way? This is what I just rode on my practice lap. I ended up turning around and headed back as another rider was coming towards me. I asked him if we went the wrong way. He didn't know. So I turned around again and headed the direction he was going. I said I know that we can get on course this way.

Soon, I passed him and just started riding hard out of frustration. I completed my first lap and headed back in for some more. As I came around to a straight away, another heat started and swarmed me like angry hornets. Wow, they move quick! I then come to my confusing point where I crossed the downed branch and this time it is still there but there is also TWO (2) blue arrows telling us to shoot up a trail just in front of it. Son of a bitch! I rode extra trail, slowed down from confusion, and got a late start on my race. All of this, hopefully, added up to the 6 minute penalty that I had from my race before this one.

Lesson learned? Ride more, practice hard, pay attention!

I'm having a good time though. And as Bob tells his boy, that's all that matters.

Monday, June 21, 2010

ok ok

So this is going to take more effort than I realized to keep up with. I will make an honest effort to do posts at night before the day passes.

I have raced my first 2 lap race at Catamount for the season. Giving my follies last year, it is pretty much my first race there. I have a base time set at 50 minutes. I must work on improving on this time. I haven't ridden my bike before this race since last years Vermont50 race. After doing alot of commuting to the shop now, I have really started feeling how big this frame is for me. I need to do something about that. More on that later.

I made it in for registration for this year's VT50. It is on Sept. 26th. This year is going to be so much different than last year. I am using all of my available time to train and get fit for this attempt at finishing. I will do my part and hopefully Mother Nature will do hers and keep it from being a mudfest.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Flower Power results

So the race came and went. I believe that there were 115 people that raced. It was a good turn out. Dawn, my wife, did really well. She put in a great effort. She did a warm up run with my friend Bob. While she was racing my daughter and I walked the course popping in here and there to cheer her on. She later thank me for the support. I too know what it is like to know people are there to root for you. Dawn did 1 lap and finish in 36:19. I am really proud of her. She now has a base line set that she can personally improve on.

My friend Bob did the race on his recently built GT 1x9. It is quite a nice rig and it was the first time it seen Catamount in its current state. Bob did 3 laps in right at one hour. An excellent job and a good place to start the season. This bike is the brain child of us putting together ideas and bringing it to reality. It seems to be the perfect rig for this race series. Time will show how well it shines. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm back!

Ok, this blog has been dormant long enough. This is one last attempt to make good on a continued discussion of cycling events that involve my wife, my friends, and me. This weekend my wife is going to race her first ever MTB race. It is at Catamount Outdoor Center. The first race of the season is called the Flower Power race. It is to ring in the new season and open up for the Catamount Mountain Bike Series races. My friend Bob is racing it too. So my daughter and I will be course side with the cowbells and a lot of spirit to cheer them on. Stay tuned for the stories and maybe even some photos. Thanks, Wil