Friday, March 31, 2006

Second Dos

Wow, what a difference a few inches make! Heard that one before have you? Well, in this case, I’m talking about the fore/aft position of the saddle on my Dos Niner. When building it up, somehow, I managed to set it a full 3” too far back behind the bottom bracket. I noticed it on my last ride because I felt like I had no control over the bike. Sort of like the bike was riding me. In short, the maneuverability sucked. Well, I fixed it before my ride last evening and I could immediately tell the difference. All of a sudden the bike felt nimble much to my relief. During the last ride, I became worried that maybe I had made a mistake jumping into the 29’er pool because the bike was handling sooooo poorly. Chalk one up to my poor mechanical skills I guess. Anyway, on last nights ride it all seemed to come together and I was really digging the ride. Overall, the bike handled and felt pretty much spot on but its strengths really became apparent during the particularly rough sections. The big wheels rolled right through the rocky/rooty sections with narry a wimper. I would say that there are good times to come. Tonight I plan to throw some gears on for an early morning ride at Bradbury with the Portland posse. Fingers crossed that the rain holds off.

Bikeman Blog

Yesterday, after some pestering from Jason, I agreed to start posting on the Bikeman website as well as here and over at DAMNelsons. Here is what I sent in for my first post since I’m assuming that most people surfing that way won’t know who the f’ I am.

Here it is, enjoy:

Greetings and salutations. I’m using this first post as a way to introduce myself. My name is Rick Nelson (no, not that one damnit) and I am a rider for Team Bikeman. You can check out my profile in the team rider section. Recently, it has come to Al’s (our team manager) attention that I maintain a couple of blogs on the World Wide Waste (of time). One of which, titled “Racin Rick” covers my trials and tribulations as a mountain bike racer, commuter, new father etc. In truth, its just a way for me to kill time at work and to see pictures of myself on the web. My other blog “DAMNelsons” covers more of the family aspect of my life and gives me yet another place to post pictures of myself. Oh, and sometimes I’ll post a pic of Marcy and Brynna too.

Soon, I’ll start posting regularly here in addition to what is posted over at blogger. If you want to get an idea of the type of nonsense that you’re in for, cruise on over and give it a gander. Beware, you’re IQ is likely to drop substantially simply by looking. I spend way too much time talking about my commute, bike setup, pimping sponsors products and taking funny pictures of myself. I’ve even been known to delve into the sometimes bewildering, but always entertaining, topic of frozen man bits. So sit back, pop open a brew and enjoy the ride.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yesterday when I rode my mountain bike in to work I had a dilema. Marcy had made some white chili for dinner the night before and I wanted to take the leftovers in to eat for lunch but I didn't have a good way of doing it. A tupperware would probably leak in my pack coating everything. Thats when it dawned on me to use a water bottle. Sure, it looks like I vomited into the bottle on my way in but it did work and I was able to enjoy some yummy chili for lunch. Posted by Picasa

Peer pressure

After an e-mail from team manager Big Gay Al and some coercion from Jason, I’ve agreed to start posting on the Bikeman site now as well. Not exactly sure how that’ll work and whether it’ll be the same posts as over here but we’ll soon find out. I’d hate to thin my already meager creativity into yet another blog (since I’m already stretched thin with this one and DAMNelsons) so my guess is that I’ll send occasional posts the bikeman way and keep up my typical lackluster posts here. Wouldn’t want to disappoint my legions of fans here now would I? Who am I kidding? I’m sure that I’ll have a bigger audience over at anyway.

Yesterday, I had a chance to get out on the Dos Niner for the second time and I think that I’m starting to get it dialed in. During the ride I was feeling weird and out of sorts. I couldn’t tell quite what it was but it was something bike related so when I got home last night, I took her down into the shop to check a few things out and sure enough somehow I had screwed up my saddle position. Turns out my saddle was 3”! too far back. That would explain why it felt like I was driving a tractor because the bike felt totally unresponsive. I think that I screwed it up while riding it last week, I made a saddle adjustment but I don’t think that I tightened it down completely thus allowing it to slide on the rails. Leave it to me and my wrenching skills to make the stupidest mistakes. Hopefully with that fix, I’ll be back on track. Gonna take her out for a ride tonight to see if that did it. I also have a longer stem on the way from Bikeman that I’m supposed to test for a month and give a review on. It’s the Salsa SUL stem. Should be killer. Its lighter than what I have now and with the longer length, it should dial in the fit just a bit more. Fingers crossed.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ullrich unveils his new aero position! Posted by Picasa



I was taking a gander at my workspace and realized what a shithole it was turning into. Its starting to look like a college dorm. It can be tough keeping it tidy when I need to reference several 24"x36" drawings at once and need to have reference materials handy. After I took this picture, I did actually clean up a bit but it still looks like crap. I'm just a cluttery (not dirty) person by nature I guess.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Not to be outdone by Jason and his pizza rolls, Marcy has supplied me with her recipe for her kick ass burritos.

Ingredients: I generally cook to taste so the amounts of each ingredient can vary...

olive oil
garlic minced (~2 cloves)
onion (1 small/medium)
red and green pepper if you like (I've also used canned hot green chilis)
chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper to taste
Ground turkey (a large can of chunk chicken worked really well in a pinch) - (~1 pound)
Black beans (1 can)
corn (a cup or two)
salsa (a cup or two - too much and the mixture can get watery)
mexican cheese (or other preference)
tortilla shells

Directions: saute garlic, onion and peppers in olive oil, add seasonings and ground turkey and cook until browned, drain if necessary. Add black beans, corn, chilis(if using them) and salsa. If you are using canned chunk chicken instead of ground meat add with the beans, corns etc. as it is already cooked. Simmer until heated through. I usually let it simmer for 20 minutes or so - stirring frequently.

Add the mixture to tortilla shells, add cheese to each, fold, top with more cheese and cook at 350 until shells are crunchy.

The picture isn’t great but it’ll have to do for now.


Yesterday, on my ride home, I finally realized how I could link up most of the trails between home and work and turn it into a mighty fun mountain bike session.  Recently, as I have mentioned before, I’ve been hitting up the Schmid Preserve on almost every one of my commutes by bike.  It has several miles (actually if I did them all it would probably be around 6 or 7 miles total) of trails that I can take on my way in.  Once back onto the road I pass by another preserve (Zak) that has about 4 miles of sweet, tight single track that I had avoided on my commute because it is an out and back.  While riding home yesterday I remembered that the Zak preserve trail dumps out on the River Road (my office is right at the end of the River Road).  This is the only road that Marcy has forbade me to ride my road bike on because it is narrow, twisty, in bad shape and the drivers on it treat it like an F1 race course.  I wasn’t sure exactly where on RR that it came out so this morning I decided to drive the dreaded road on my way in to scope it out.  Turns out the trail ends only about a mile from my office (sweet!) so if I were to be riding my mountain bike it would be easy for me to stay on the crappy gravel shoulder and stay out of harms way.  I am now in heaven.  I am going to be able to turn a 12 mile ok road ride into a roughly 20 mile road/mountain bike ride with the option of adding another 5 or so miles of trails right near my house on days that I have the time.

This is very important because I’ve been looking at my riding time so far this year and on average, I am at least 25% lower and in many cases 50% lower on a weekly basis in comparison to last year and its gotten me worried.  Having B-Girl at home means that I can’t simply start riding more on nights and weekends because my time with her is scarce as it is, so I need to find ways to get more riding time in at the two ends of the day.  First thing in the morning and right before dark look to be my prime hours.  It’ll probably stink initially to be getting up at 4-4:30 in the morning to get a long ride in but I’d rather have that than no ride at all and come that first race, I’ll be glad that I made the sacrifice.  I typically already get up at 5-5:30 so how bad could another hour be???  Pretty bad is my guess but I’ve got to give it a shot.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Single track goodness

van d nestled in some single track goodness. I hope to get the dos out on this trail soon...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

one more shot of the dos. I've been too damn busy with work and a sick daughter to ride it again but maybe, just maybe this weekend I'll get another ride in and get the suspension dialed. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

OK, quit screwing around

Since I love to see pictures of myself on the internet, here are a few to marvel at. Notice the aerodynamic shape of my nose? Thats where I get my speed from. Wind tunnel tested, lady approved. Posted by Picasa

Me likes

See how giddy I am to be riding my Dos? Good thing this is a head shot only, a full body shot may not have been appropriate for some viewers considering my, um, excitement. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Here is a sampling of some of the brews that I sampled whilst in Vermont this skiing this past weekend. I can honestly say that I like them all.

First Dos

First pic of the cobbled together dos. As noted earlier, I've built it up as a sort of mongrel single speed for now to get some riding time in. Overall, the ride was pretty sweet. I still have to dial in the suspension because I wasn't getting enough travel out of the rear and the front was bobbing too much. The disc brakes are sweet and not nearly as grabby as a set I tried a few years ago. I've got a bit of squeal in the front break that I'll hopefully be able to get rid of with some use but overall still very nice.

I have many more pictures but blogger is being a bitch right now and won't let me upload more so cool your jets for now. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Parts swap

Not much going on today, just getting ready for the weekend in Vermont.  Good news on the Dos Niner front, I should be able to start riding it in ss mode next week.  My baby is at Bikeman getting an old crank installed so that I can set it up as a ss until the rest of the parts show up.  It’ll be a bit of a mongrel at first but at least it’ll allow me to get used to the way it rides, get used to disc brakes, get the stem and seat dialed in etc.  I am so freakin psyched to hop on that baby the first time.  Now, lets hope for some dry or at least freezing weather.

I now have my fuel 98 stripped down to a bare frame and shock to be put up for sale.  Not sure what to sell it for yet, I guess I should start trolling ebay to see if any other fuel frames are up for grabs and what the prices are.

I was over reading Nick Martin’s blog the other day and noticed that he’s giving out mix cd’s of his riding music.  Cool idea but it got me wondering if he’s going to get himself in trouble.  Seems like he’s asking for trouble if he’s making cd’s with pirated music (maybe he owns the originals but I can’t imagine that he’s allowed to sell copies) and putting his sponsors on the cover.  Maybe he has actually covered his bases and is a legal reseller of music and is paying royalties to the record companies and if he is, kudos to him but if he isn’t, I’d be really worried about the legal repercussions.  Its one thing to make some mix cd’s to give to friends but totally another to advertise them on a popular blog.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Not much to note today.  I did a quick spin on the trainer last night while watching “The Devil’s Rejects” by Rob Zombie.  Interesting movie but not nearly as f’ed up as his first movie “House of 1000 Corpses”.  Now that was one screwed up movie.

Marcy and I are getting ready for a long weekend in Vermont for (hopefully if the friggin rain lets up) skiing and hiking.   We’re staying for four days at Sugarbush.  Our first choice was Jay Peak but their daycare can’t take 6 month olds.  Oh well, any skiing will be nice since we have done zilch this year.  Its been hard to get into the mood to ski when we’ve literally only had a few weeks of snow cover ALL WINTER!  They’ve still got a good bit of cover over there and I typically love spring skiing so I really don’t care if they get any more snow between now and then, I just hope that it doesn’t rain while we’re there.  That’ll suck monkey nuts.

Actual quote from the Sugarbush website:

CONDITIONS: The current conditions are... well, they're a bit wet. We did get some translucent snow yesterday, but are expecting some of the white kind later tonight and tomorrow. The groomers were kept off of the hill last night because of yesterday's r#@%. 

Marcy and I cooked up Jason’s recipe for pizza rolls last night.  Aside from some swearing emanating from the kitchen during the prep process, they came out quite well.  

Monday, March 13, 2006

Shelter trails

Found some more tasty single track on my ride home on Friday. I don't know how I ever found trails before getting the Van Dessel. With it, I can duck into trails in the middle of a road ride which allows me to discover lots of new stuff. Not all of it good, but hey, you need to filter out the crap to get to the good stuff anyway. This little get is about 5 miles from my house. For now it seems a bit too short to make it worth bringing the mtb out to but great fun for during the middle of an ss road ride. Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 10, 2006

Today's commute was fun and slushy. I decided that based on the conditions I would take it easy and just spin in but ended up doing the whole ride within one minute of my typical time. Hmmmmmmm Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Perfect chain tension

I was having trouble with my new surly chain tensioner that was not keeping enough tension on the chain to keep it from jumping off the chainring in rough areas. I initially thought that maybe I had a bit too much slack in the chain so I took out one link and viola! what do I discover? It turns out that 32x18 is the magic ratio for my bike to not need any tensioner at all. Now if I just got rid of the dorky big ring ground down to work as a bashguard I'd be all set.

I have come up with a theory on how to get some ride time in on the dos now that my parts are delayed from SRAM. I think that I have everything that I need to turn it into a single speed (especially now that I have a chain tensioner that isn't being used) except for disc brakes. If I could set it up ss for the time being, I'd at least get to know the geometry and adjust position so that when my parts do show up, I'll be ready to roll. I'd hate to only have a few weeks on the bike before the first race. Just doesn't seem like a good idea considering how different it will ride compared to my other bikes. Just need to find some disc brakes to use for the time being... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

SRAM order

Just found out from our team manager Al that our Sram order has been delayed until April 17!  Frig, talk about cutting it close to the race season.  My first scheduled race is May 21 so that won’t give me much time to get used to the whole 29’er thing.  It probably also means that I won’t have time to do the build myself and may need to have the shop do it for me.  Double bummer.  The good news is that as a result, SRAM has decided to give us an additional 10% off our already insanely low cost so that’s nice I guess but to be honest I’d gladly pay an extra 10% to have the stuff right now!

Monday, March 06, 2006


The dos is in the house. I'm still missing all of the sram and avid bits but at least it looks kind of like an actual bike now. The paint and pin stripping are sweet and I sort of feel bad about getting it dirty but whatcha' gonna do?

Check out how lucky here. The skewers actually match the adjuster knob on the reba perfectly. Super bling!

Me likes...

So, it appears that Jason is getting a Dos as well in addition to his El Santo. His build will be pretty similar to mine but since he's getting his sram bits the good ole fashion way, he'll be getting most of his parts before me! Unfair!!!!! Of course, Al mentioned that his reba and delgado rims are on backorder for a bit so I still have a chance at beating him on the build. I'm secretly (or not so since I'm mentioning it here) hoping that his stuff lags on backorder for a while. There is no way that he's going to have two new pimpin rides before I have my one... The race is on J.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


got the tugnut installed on the van d. look ma, proper chain tension! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Not much happening on the riding front right now.  Hope to get in a couple of hours on the trainer tonight but we’ll see how that goes.  I picked up a surly tugnut for the VanDessel to keep the rear wheel from slipping in the horizontal drops so I can keep proper chain tension especially when I start ripping up the single track on it.  Hopefully I can work it so that I ride home on Friday and I can check out s.t. in the Schmidt Preserve.  Fingers crossed.