Friday, July 27, 2012

the eve of SSUSA

I have done nothing to train for this and I have never ridden the trails in Stowe. It is going to be a surprise at every corner. I will push and hike and probably puke but I have every intentions on finishing. I plan on giving it all I have and riding at "my" race pace. I have thoughts dancing in my head on giving a run for the prestigious title of DFL. I earned it once in an alley cat race. This one, I don't know. It is hard to imagine that I could possibly be the slowest in say 200 +/- riders. Who know. I do hope to finish.

Once this race is over, I will start gathering the things I need to set the Voodoo back up with some gears and get to training for Tour Divide. Until then, I might have a few more slower paced rides in the single speed flavor. Once it is setup for touring, I will be all about miles not trails. Commuting will pick up to a higher level than it has been. I will also plan out some nice bikepacking trips. That's what excites me the most.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

time flies!

It has been a while since I have posted anything. I have been real busy with work but now things are a bit more settled in.

Since my last post, I did another 200k and was successful at completing it. I decided that I need to focus on some trail riding since I have SSUSA coming up in two weeks. A couple weeks ago, on a super wet day, I decided to race Catamount for the first time this season. It would be only the third time since I broke my collarbone. I was going good until about half way through my first lap I got out on the rocky fire road connector and HISS HISS HISS HISS. I punctured the tire set up tubeless. I walked out of the woods and started thinking about how I under sealed the tire when I set it up. I tucked my tail between my legs and took it hope to fix it up. (mind you the same thing would have happened if I had a tube in the tire).
 I vulcanized a patch to the inside of the tire, remounted it to the rim, added more (the proper amount) of sealant and pumped it up. It held and continues to do so weeks later. Seems to be the fix. The next Wednesday was July 4th so I was out of town camping with the family. No race. This past week I went back to Catamount for another go at a race. I am only doing two laps to work myself back into the demands of racing. Three laps is a bit out of expectation right now.

I have to say that I had an absolute blast on the course. I also have to say that the Voodoo is setup full rigid, single speed. I am not a single speeder but I love the way it acts out in the woods. It is such a basic sensation riding a bike that has nothing fancy going on with it.

There were just three of us in my age group and I finished last at it. BUT I am pleased to say that I was only 1.5 minutes back and they were on full squishy bikes with gears. I'm happy with that.

My rear brake has been acting up since I replaced my pads. Way too tight. No clearance between pads and rotor. Complete rubbing and squealing. Riding with the brake on. It was time to deal with it. I removed the pads and took the caliper off the bike. I pumped the lever to bring the pistons out and found that one of them was not moving. I gave it a heavy douse of brake clean and kept working it until it let go. Some how there is too much fluid (or it expanded) in the lines keeping the pistons from going in far enough. I cracked open the banjo joint and let a small amount of fluid to escape and put it all back together. Money!

I still need to shorten the lines so I will bleed the brakes when I do that. Moving on I will continue to ride the Voodoo as a single speed until after SSUSA. It will then go back to 1x9 and get setup for my Tour Divide training. I have many thoughts on this and will make another post on the subject.

Oh yeah, and I have this to play with now too!