Monday, February 27, 2006


Got word form Al at bikeman that the frames have come in on Friday.  I was somewhat overjoyed because I’ve been waiting for quite some time for it to arrive but the problem is that all of the SRAM/Truvativ/Avid stuff has yet to arrive so the frame will stay packed away in the bowels of bikeman until said parts arrive.  They’d better come soon.  Not only am I excited to have the complete bike but this will also be the first bike that I’ll put together from scratch myself (minus the headset since I don’t have a press) so it’ll probably take me a while to get it set up.  Its also the first time since my very first mountain bike over 10 years ago that I’ve had SRAM shifters so I’m not sure how difficult/tedious they are to set up.  I’m a pro at setting up shimano drivetrains now but not so much SRAM.  We’ll see how it goes.

The weekend went pretty well.  B-girl slept all of Friday and Saturday nights so Marcy and I got a full nights sleep both nights.  I’ve forgotten what its like to be rested.  Feels pretty good actually.  Saturday I didn’t get a ride in but I was able to do some ab work as well as a full circuit of Cyclo-core.  It had been a couple of weeks since I’ve rocked the cyclo-core so this time it rocked me.  I couldn’t get through any of the exercises without a quick 1-2 sec break but it’ll come back soon enough.  The hindu squats totally kicked my ass and I was feeling them on my Sunday ride with Mad Dog Mike.  Mike seems to go fast no matter what time of year it is and yesterday was no exception.  He put the hurt on me in sections but it was good to really work the legs.  Overall, it was a good exploration type ride with a few dead ends as well as one quick dip in the river for Mike.  Thank god for wool socks is all that I can say.  Without them, Mike would probably be hobbling around with fewer toes today.  I rode the moto rapido which is in full on ss mode now as opposed to its mongrel ss set-up that it has had for a while.  All of the shifters and derailleurs are gone (and on Marcy’s trusty steed) now having been replaced with a surly singlelator and a deda fang.  It’s nice not to have all of that extra crap on there and the bike looks much cleaner to boot.   We ended up with 2.5 hrs of supah-dupah fun.

Friday, February 24, 2006

On my Wednesday ride home, I tried out the route through the Schmidt Preserve that I spoke of last week. Turned out to be very rideable for the most part although a bit rough in areas with the skinny cyclo-cross tires but still mostly doable. It'll be a nice occasional change from my typical road slog. As a bonus, there is a couple miles of single track trails in the preserve to ride as well but I had promised Marcy that I wouldn't do them on my first time through for safetys sake. I was a good boy and avoided them but the next time through, I'll be ripping it up.

This is what the main trail through the middle of the preserve (and the one that I'll use for my commute) looks like. This is one of the smoother sections but you get the idea.

This is the entry to one of the single track sections. The presere gets a fairly small amount of visitors so most of the trails are nice and smooth of course they can be soft as well since they don't have tons of people beating them down.

For good measure I took a spin through the hospital property just down the road from my house. They have some stone dust walking paths that are good for working on your sand skills on a cx bike.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

no FWS

No FWS (Frozen Weiner Syndrome) on my way in this morning.  It was a bit warmer than yesterday (13 deg) but I think that the main difference came from the fact that I stuffed a Hannaford plastic grocery bag between my pants and shorts this time to work as a wind block.  Is seemed to do the trick with the added bonus of making me look a bit more well-endowed.  Sweet!  Shaggy dog tried to get me again today but I managed to outrun him although he is much, much faster than he looks.  That one road has more loose dogs on it than any road that I can remember ever riding on.  Its only about 5 miles long but on any given day there are 5 or 6 dogs that may give chase.  Thankfully, they all seem to be good dogs just looking for some excitement and not any angry Dobermans…

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Saving Rick's Privates

Holy shit in a shoe locker it was cold this morning!  Yesterday, I rode my bike home and left my car at work intending on catching a ride in this a.m. with Marcy. Unfortunately, last night Brynna had a really tough night ending up keeping us awake for most of the night and as a result, Marcy’s cough and sore throat developed into a full blown cold which meant no workie for Marcy which also meant no ridey for Ricky to work.  Of course since I’m always looking for an excuse to ride, I decided that I would simply ride in today and bring my car home tonight.  Turns out it was a wee bit cold out this morning.  When I left, it was 9 freakin’ degrees.  I’ve ridden on the trails many times at that temp and colder actually but never on the road.  It started out great actually because my legs felt good (surprisingly since I got so little sleep last night) and I was fairly warm except for my face.  It was cold but not unmanageable.  About 3/4 of the way in though things started to get a bit rough.  I have seen ads for wind proof briefs in cycling catalogs before but never really knew when you would need such a thing.  Well, I’m here to tell you that its mornings like this little sucker that you need wind proof briefs.  At about that ¾ mark, I noticed my hoo-hoo dilly (“Well, who put their hoo-hoo dilly in your cha-cha?” thanks Cartman) was getting a wee bit chilly.  No wait, let me rephrase that, my junk was downright frozen!  The rest of the commute became a ride for survival.  On every downhill, I’d cover my junk with my right hand to keep the wind off and I’d crank as fast as I could on the uphills to try to get the blood flowing again.  The strategy seemed to work because when I got in to the office everything was still attached and save for a few minutes of the “its gonna hurt like hell before it warms up” phase everything down THERE seems to be feeling better.

Another interesting note from this morning’s ride is that the dogs on my route seem to be working in tandem now using the whole distraction ruse.  Early on in today’s ride I spotted a large German Sheppard taking a piss just off of the road, and not just a normal piss but a “I’ve been holding it all freaking night and its starting to dribble down my leg” piss that just seemed to keep going and going and going.  While I was marveling at this dog’s pissing prowess, dog number two was sneaking up on me from the other side of the road.  If it hadn’t been for the leaves in the ditch, that shaggy dog bastard probably would have been on my heels without me even knowing.  If they keep upping the ante like this, soon I wouldn’t be surprised if they start ordering products like rocket propelled roller skates from ACME and Wile E. Coyote my ass.

Monday, February 20, 2006

big 'uns

Upon Marcy seeing my newly built 29’er rims with Maxxis meat installed she said, “Those things are huge!”

Why yes, yes they are.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I have some serious tightness in my right hip today.  What the hell is up with that???  I’m not sure what I did to it yesterday but jezus, when I get up from my chair I hobble around like an arthritic old fart.  I’ve tried stretching it some but can’t seem to hit the spot.  Does anybody have any ideas on how to stretch it?

the long ride home

Had a fantastic ride home yesterday. The temps were hovering around 40-45 all afternoon so Marcy shot me an e-mail to see if I could come home early so that we could go for a walk and test out our new Kelty pack for Brynna. Of course, with that thought in my head, there was no way that I was going to be able to stay until the end of the day. I ended up sneaking out at 3:30 to ride home and what a beautiful ride it was. My legs were feeling much better than they had during the morning commute, the sun was out, the air was crisp, it was great. As a result of the nice weather and my enthusiasm, I was able to trim off 5 minutes from my best time knocking it down from 47 mins to 42. That’s a pretty big chunk for such a short ride. This summer with my gearie and skinny tires I bet that I can get it down to around 35. We’ll see.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Woo hoo

Woo hoo!  I got my first morning commute of the year this morning.  It was 35 deg. when I rolled out of the driveway at 5:30 this morning.  35 is a tough temp for me because I can never decide what I should wear.  Its sort of too warm for the full cycling tights but not quite warm enough for my leg warmers.  I opted for the tights this morning just to be safe but turned out it was the wrong call.  I think that the leg warmers would have been better.  I did bring the leg warmers so those will get the call this afternoon for the ride home.  The upper body was tough too but I decided to go with a craft base layer followed by my bikeman long sleeve jersey with a thin (and I do mean thin) shell.  The upper body started to heat up a bit too but I was able to get the appropriate venting necessary to remain comfortable.  Sad to say, but this will be my biggest mileage day for quite some time.  Including the ride home I’ll get in 25-26 miles.  I’m behind where I was this time last year but given the circumstances I’m still pretty happy with how things are going.

The Marwi Titan light worked great mounted on my head and I think that is where it will stay from now on.  Its just too finicky to mount on the bars and I do prefer the light on my head to see where I’m looking anyway.

Bungee count this morning: 0!  It was dark the whole ride so if it wasn’t directly in my path, I wasn’t going to see it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Marcy in her slick new lid and Brynna at Ranco-de-Nelson this Sunday before our frigid ride. Posted by Picasa

Freakin busy so here

Freakin busy so here is a quick rundown of the weekend:

Cold but fun road/cx ride on Saturday (15 deg and sunny, yeah!)

Cold but cold mountain bike ride before the Sunday BLIZZARD! with Marcy, Daddio, Chancy-pants and Pete.  About 12 deg. when we left but it was the wind that killed us.  Friggin cold.

More to come…

Friday, February 10, 2006

f-ed up

Yesterday’s mountain bike ride was a bust.  Ever have one of those rides that nothing seems to go right?  Well, yesterday was that day for me.  To start it off, I hadn’t mounted the Titan on the bike before and that turned out to be more of a pain in the ass than I expected.  From now on, it’ll go on my head (which is where I prefer to have my light anyway).  Then I enter the trails and there are limbs and trees down all over the f-in place.  It looked like a war zone.  At first I thought somebody had put them there to keep people off of the trails because there were literally piles of branches in areas but after going about a half mile I realized the carnage was too great and it must have been last weeks windstorm that did the damage.  I just sort of walked over most of it figuring I’d come back and clean it some other time.  I continued on with the ride but started to get that bad feeling in my gut that something wasn’t right.  To top it off, I was riding like crap.  When I got to the first stream crossing and noticed that the ice wasn’t safe to cross I decided to throw in the towel.  There is a little natural damn that I usually cross but with the way I was feeling, I figured that I would just end up falling in the water and freezing my ass.  Better to be safe than sorry, especially when you’re riding alone.  So I turned back and cleaned up the first part of the trail instead so the ride wasn’t a total loss.  At least when I make it out next time the trail will be clear.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Yesterday's commute

Had a great ride home from work yesterday. It’s been a couple of weeks since I was last able to do so and it felt great. I got to test out my new light, the Marwi Titan, which gets two thumbs up and will do well to replace my burned out Marwi Pro-Elite. The last time that I used the pro-elite, one of the switches melted on me when I got home and was attempting to drain the battery. Thankfully, I had purchased the light from LL Bean so I was able to return it for a refund which in turn bought this new light. I had toyed with the idea of getting an HID light but just couldn’t rationalize the extra hundred clams especially since my schedule won’t allow any 24 hour races this year. The Titan should be prefect for me. The one thing that always bothered me about the Pro-Elite was that I never got to use both lights at once since the light output didn’t seem to change enough to make it work the decreased run time. The Titan will work better because it is a single light with three power setting (10w, 15w & 20w). I’ll most likely use the 15w most of the time, juice it up to 20w for tight single track and drop down to 10w for slow climbs. Overall, a pretty good package. Combine that with my Marwi Elite head lamp at 12w and I should be stylin.

Anyway, back on topic, during the ride home, I was chased by three dogs this time which made for some great interval work. There’s nothing like the fear of death to help you dig just that little bit deeper. For good measure at the end of the ride, I threw in a few sections of washed out dirt road and single track to spice things up. The Van Dessel with cyclocross tires did reasonably well but the ss road gearing was a touch high but mostly doable. I’ve been scoping out a way to add in a bunch of old abandoned road in the Schmid Preserve into my commute. Hopefully I’ll be able to link it all together in the next month or so. If I can, it’ll reduce my on-road miles by 4 or 5 and as a special bonus, the Schmid Preserve has some nice buff single track near the top of Mt. Hunger so if I’m feeling spry I’ll be able to dive into some of that as well. If all goes well, this could turn out to be one hell of a fun commute.

From now on, during each commute I’m going to count the number of bungee cords that I see and report it here. I don’t know where they come from but they seem to be everywhere. Sort of like earthworms after a rain storm. When I commuted to Camden (30 miles) I would see anywhere from 5-10 on each ride and they usually were different each day. Yesterday’s count was only 1 but hey, the year is young.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Only a few more months and Brynna's helmet will fit...hopefully by then her neck will be strong enough to hold it up well. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Here is a little Kerkove style photo shoot. Posted by Picasa


The Dos wheel build is done. I had a bit of trouble initially with the front wheel but the rear wheel went together in record time (for me at least) which is strange because rear wheels are supposed to be more difficult to build. Leave it to me to make the easy job hard and the hard job easy. Now, I just need to get the rest of the build kit and the ... ahem... frame so I can finish this up. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 06, 2006

Back in the saddle.

Marcy and I went on our first ride together in almost a year on Saturday. The last time was when she was 6 months pregnant and we didn't feel safe riding after that. Saturday graced us with near 50 deg temps so we scooted out for a quick spin around the bay. It was good to have her back. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I also did this over the weekend. Sixteen of us got together to get in some go-cart racing action. These mother f-ers were fast. It was a small indoor track but there were still able to reach 40-45mph on the front stretch. I've got some video to upload as well which I will do once I get a chance. Good times. Posted by Picasa