It has come to my attention that my comments are all “jacked up” and only allowing members of the blog to comment. Well since I’m the only member, I figured that I should fix that so all is right again. Comment away.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
I had another sweet ride home yesterday once again hitting all of the trails on the way. Everything is in great shape so far this spring with hardly any mud to speak of. We’ve got some rain in the forecast for the beginning of next week but with how dry things are, I’m sure that they trails will fare well. I am now officially digging the Dos Niner, I’ve been riding it on some very tight twisty singletrack which probably isn’t its strong point but it seems to eat it up so well and whenever I hit a rough, rooty, rocky section it just rolls right on through. The difference really is night and day between a 26” wheel. There is one short trail in particular that I don’t ride often that has a bunch of raised roots running in every direction across the trail that is the bane of my existence on my ss 26’er but the dos literally rolled right on through. Sure I felt the roots but the wheels didn’t get hung up on them. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the bike and I fare in the upcoming race season.
The road ride in this morning was very nice as well, 38 deg, clear and sunny. The coolest part though was spotting a couple of bald eagles chillin near the river. One was an adult with the full on white head and the other was a juvenile. I could tell because he was telling fart jokes.
the genius of rick is! at 7:34 AM
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
No real riding for me recently. I have been able to get in a couple of quick trainer spins to keep everything loose but that’s it. What I have had a bit of time for is some much needed TLC on both the road machine and mtb. Last night I cleaned and lubed both chains and made sure the shifting was spot on. I also installed the remainder of the Bonk! frame saver stuff to the Dos. It seems to be great stuff, is fairly easy to install and should help keep the paint on the frame. Salsa’s paint seems to chip really easily and with the rock chucking ability of the Ignitors the Bonk! should keep it looking pretty. The test area that I applied a few weeks ago hasn’t shown any sign of wear or scratching even though it is in a major cable rub area.
If you look really close, you can see the edge of the bonk! just below the salsa sticker on the down tube and near the bottom of the top tube.
Speaking of the Dos, I tossed it in the toaster this morning so that I could ride it home tonight. Not sure yet if it’ll be a solo endeavor or if KWood will be coming along but either way it should be a good ride.
the genius of rick is! at 10:07 AM
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
So, I can't even tell you how excited I am about this development. River ~ Link Right now, when I ride my mountain bike home I ride through both the Zak and Schmid preserves already so I'm psyched to see that eventually I'll be able to ride via trail from one to the other instead of hitting the road. I'm hoping to get involved in the planning and construction of the trail so that mountain bikers have a presence in the whole process and as the regional coordinator for Maine NEMBA I guess its sort of my duty anyway.
the genius of rick is! at 9:17 AM
Monday, April 24, 2006
I've always wondered what you were supposed to do with those bags that stems and seatposts come in. I guess that you could always use them to store other bike parts once the stem/post is installed but otherwise they seem pretty useless. I guess though if you have to choose between a box that you throw away and a nifty bag that you might be able to find a use for, the bag does make a bit more sense. Well, yesterday I got bored and decided to see exactly what they could be used for.
maybe a hat? nope, her grape is too big.
How about a place to keep my, I mean Brynna's, toys?
Anybody got any ideas???
the genius of rick is! at 7:34 AM
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Friday, April 21, 2006
I had a couple of great rides in the past 24 hrs. Yesterday, we were blessed with 60 deg weather and sunshine so myself and a coworker snuck out of work a bit early and rode our mountain bikes home hitting all of the single track on the way, ending up getting in just shy of 18 miles about 2/3 road. Good times. Its nice to have someone to ride home with, almost makes the road mile on the mountain bike bearable. Almost… After spending so much time on a road bike, those few miles with the knobbies on road totally suck. Oh well, it’s the price I pay for some singletrack goodness. Funny story about my co-worker (we’ll call him KWood), apparently a few years ago when he first moved to town some dude saw the bikes in his truck and asked if he was a rider. They chatted and this dude (did I mention how handsome he must have been?) gives him his number to call sometime for a ride. Well, fast forward three years, after agreeing to ride home with me KWood rummages through his bike stuff and finds the piece of paper the handsome dude wrote his number on and turns out it was yours truly. I vaguely remember the whole incident but all I can say is why the hell didn’t he call me? I could have had a new riding partner years ago. Oh well, water under the bridge I guess. At least we’ll be able to commute home together now.
This morning I was blessed with 40 deg. and clear weather so I mounted the road steed and time trialed into work. I was feeling guilty about bailing early yesterday so thought it would be best to take the most direct route in to get in a little extra time today. It was a beautiful ride with lactic acid screaming through my legs.
Last night I went to a meeting for a new riding group in my town that I saw advertised in the local paper. Other than myself and Mad Mike, the average of those in attendance was about 60 f’in years old! I was a bit bummed to not find some new riding partners but it was sort of cool to see 20+ enthusiastic riders turn out to try to get some group rides going in the area. I’m guessing (hoping) that with time the group will lure more, younger riders into the fold and give this area the shot in the arm that it needs. We’ll see what happens. I have graciously offered to start a blog (since there is no budget for a website) that will be the place for members to check out the weeks rides and download cue sheets for all of the recommended routes in the area (once they are made of course). I started it this morning so there isn’t much on it yet but here it is anyway…Bike Great Salt Bay
the genius of rick is! at 11:32 AM
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Played a little planned hookey yesterday. Marcy and B-girl were home every Wednesday so I decided that I would join them this week since I was feeling the need from a break from work. Turned out to be a pretty good day, got to spend some early morning time with Brynna, did some trail work, worked on the bathroom reno, got in a 2hr mountain bike ride, all in all a very nice day.
The ride yesterday was pretty good. I went out on my local trails with the pooch and things seem to be drying up fairly well. There are still lots of wet spots but they are all short and easy to navigate. I do have lots of work to do on one of the trails. Its in a large stand of pines and every spring there are always tons of dead limbs to clear (which I’ve already done most of) and branches to trim back. What is up with those dead pine branches??? Last spring and fall I went through and cut back what looks like dead branches, you know the ones that are all dried up and have no needles, only to find that this spring, they’re back in the path of travel. WTF??? I guess that they must grow after all but what a pain in the ass. I’ll have to get out there soon and clear it out and drag a rake across the trail while I’m at it. I sure wish that there were more riders in the area because the trails would require less work by me if others were using them. They also take for-freakin-ever to wear in. Speaking of which I also worked a bit on a new trail behind my house yesterday, it’s a connector to bring me out to the main trails without having to hop in the car with the dog. I’ve got it about halfway done now so hopefully in a few weeks it’ll be finished so I’ll no longer have to load the dog in the toaster before our rides.
I’m riding the mountain bike home tonight with a guy who works in the cabinet shop here. We’ll be hitting all of the trails between here and home so it should be a pretty good ride. I’m not sure of his abilities but I hear that he’s got a surly 1x1 so he must have a bit of a clue cause Surly’s are cool bikes.
the genius of rick is! at 7:29 AM
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Not much time to ride recently so I hopped on the trainer for an hour after B-girl went to bed last night. I had hoped to do 1.5 hrs but its getting so damn hot in the basement that I couldn’t handle any more. We definitely need to get a fan for down there because I’m sure that my trainer days for the year aren’t over. Its just so much easier to hop on for a quick spin than it is to go out on the road right now. Plus, it seems easier to get my interval work done on the trainer. Its not as much fun but its better than no ride at all. If this is going to continue, I reallllllllly need to get some good cycling videos. Right now all that I have are some old vhs tapes of the tour that my mom made for me. The quality and volume are crap but its better than nothing. Try riding the trainer while watching sitcoms sometime, I bet you won’t do it again. There is just something about watching a good race that gives me motivation to spin. During exciting portions of races, say an attack on a climb or a sprint, I find my cadence kicking up a couple of notches without even trying.
I’ve been wanting to see “Off Road to Athens” for a while now, I’m not sure if its good to ride to but I’ve heard that it’s a great dvd.
I’m still waiting for word about the SRAM order coming in….patiently waiting…
I’m also having one hell of a time getting to my race weight this year. I’ve still got over a month before the first race so I’m not too worried yet but it sure seems to be tougher this year than years past. Maybe its because I haven’t shaved my legs yet. Who knows, maybe that is the impetus that I need. You really don’t want to have smooth shiny legs around here unless you’re supa fast cause you’ve gotta be able to outrun the rednecks who want to beat you senseless.
Some of the team Bikeman members are enjoying a week of riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, sure wish I were there. It looks like a fantastic place to ride, hopefully the fam and I will get down there for some riding/rafting/hiking. Here are a couple of ride reports from the group. Report 1, report 2
the genius of rick is! at 8:59 AM
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Had a great weekend, no riding to speak of but fun none-the-less. Friday afternoon Marcy, B, Chance and myself went out of a walk and ended up clearing some new trail behind the house. It should be a pretty nice section and it will allow us to ride right from our back yard since it will connect to the trails back there, killer. I also got some wrench time in this weekend. Marcy's bike is finally up and running. Thing is pimp now, I think she'll be psyche when she notices the differences. I also got some lovin time in on my Dos Niner, I finally cut the steerer down so that I don't have the goofy stack of spacers on top of the stem. I felt like such a tool with that oreo stack up there. Much better now. I also finally got around to installing the pop-lock on the fork and putting the new handlebar on all in preparation for the SRAM order coming in this week (please, please, please come in this week!!!!). If all goes well, I hope to drop Dosey off at Bikeman on Wednesday so they can hook me up. I've decided that since I haven't used grip shift since my very first mountain bike that it probably would be best for me to allow the pros to set the bike up initially and I'll go about screwing it up from there.
I did manage to get in some cross training in this weekend. The bro and I played some ping pong on Saturday night (feel the burn!) followed by watching the Paris Roubaix tape for the first time. That Hincapie fall looked scary. Guy looked like he was riding a unicycle for a few seconds there. Too much beer and chips plus too little sleep meant that yesterday (easter) was a bit slow starting. I think that I managed fairly well at Easter though. I sampled a bit of everything that was available for lunch but didn't eat myself into a food induced coma as I usually do. Its a minor victory but a victory none-the-less.
So, I've been thinking about running the Dos as a 1x9 recently. A good deal of people do that around here on their 26'ers. Our climbs here in Maine tend to be steep and short so a granny is almost never needed. I haven't touched the granny on my fuel in the last three years of racing but I worry that the Dos' larger diameter wheel will be just that much harder to turn that I'll be wanting the granny. Not sure what to do so I've decided that I'll install the triple crank with the small ring taken off and the large ring replace with a bash guard for now and see how it goes through the first part of the season. If all goes well, I'll sell the xo front shifter and derailleur. If all goes not so well, I'll put them on. No harm, no foul. Bikeman.com has a good article about the whole process here.
the genius of rick is! at 9:42 AM
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Not much to write about today, I'm taking a few days off of the bike so what to do, what to do?
For starters, Salsa has come out with a super sweet new single speed, steel 29'er. I know that I don't have any new bikes in my future but I soooooo want it! I have an idea that now that I have the Dos Niner, the little wheel Salsa SS won't get used too ofter. Time will tell.
Worked a bit on Marcy's Fuel last night. She's getting most of the parts off of my Fuel since I won't be using that anymore. When all is said and done, she'll have basically a full xt/xtr build with a sid fork and some bonty race lite ceramic wheels. I'll bet that the bike will lose a few pounds easily just from the wheels and fork.
nothing else to post so here is a pic of me!
the genius of rick is! at 11:50 AM
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Finally got the blog fixed, still waiting on the resized header but at least everything is working again. I think that Mr. Kerkove has a secret agenda against me by suggesting that I use the K1 Black template. Damn thing was riddled with problems. Next time that you need a house designed that will fall down Jeff, you let me know, I’d be happy to help. ( Thankfully my brother is a computer geek and was able to help me get things sorted out, I feel like a monkey banging two rocks together when it comes to this stuff.
Managed to get in a couple of great rides in the past 24 hours, rode the Dos home yesterday, hitting most of the available single track on the way. Everything seems to be coming together as far as fit goes so I should be ready to rock when the SRAM stuff comes in next week (hopefully).
This morning, I rode the road steed in and took a very nice alternate route. With my new work location, I now have some great road options to select when time allows and when time is short, I can still get in a quick 12 miles. I did underestimate mother nature this morning though, it turns out it was a bit cooler than I anticipated and I almost lost a couple of digits because my hands were so damn cold. Weird because nothing else was cold and I was fairly lightly dressed, the junk didn’t even get cold. Guess I’ll have to pay more attention to the temps when I leave in the mornings. I totally can’t wait until I can wear just shorts and a long sleeve jersey every morning and not have to think about it.
While I’m on the topic of cool weather clothes, what the frig is up with undershirts? I love them for cool to cold weather rides because they can make a hug difference in comfort but I don’t see how they can help keep you cool in warm weather. Does anybody buy into this? Considering the body’s primary cooling mechanism is sweat evaporation, it seems that these undershirts would only make you hotter by wicking the sweat away before the evaporative action can take place. I know that I’ve tried my undershirt on warm-ish weather rides and it makes me way hotter. Am I just a freak here or do other people feel the same? Seems like a bunch of marketing nonsense to me.
the genius of rick is! at 2:09 PM
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Not much happened last night. Did some stretching and ab work to try to loosen up from Sunday’s marathon ride.
Hitting the first gravel section.
Every year on the day of the Paris Roubaix a buddy of mine puts on a P.R. inspired ride that consists of some crappy paved roads and several sections of dirt roads. I’ve done it for the past three years and it is always a good time but at only 20 miles, its really not worth driving 40 mins. for, so each year I ride in from wherever I happen to have been staying the night before. This year it meant riding in from home (roughly 35 miles away). Sunday morning rolls around and my lovely daughter gave me a wake-up call at 5:30. I didn’t have to leave until around 7 so it gave me plenty of time to wake up, get some baby time in and get ready for the ride. I rolled out the door promptly at 7 and quickly got into a nice moderate tempo. The goal for the ride in was to not redline at all since the group ride can get very competitive and I knew that I would need the legs for some of the soft gravel climbs ahead. The night before I had mounted up the Panaracer Extreme Duro’s onto the 2300 and I was immediately impressed with the supple ride despite the fact that they are touted as training tires. They felt much nicer even than the Michelin and Hutchinson racing tires that they replaced and with their added flat protection I figured that they would be perfect for the crappy roads that the day promised. I managed to keep my goal of no red-lines and got to the rally point at 9:00 sharp. Ten minutes later, the group of 19 rolled out for the beginning of the ride. I should back up and explain a bit more about the ride. The first 2/3 is essentially a competitive group ride, people ride fast, there are some attacks but we always regroup at all intersections. The last 1/3 of the ride is different however. For the last 1/3 its every man for himself as we race for the finish. So anyway, the ride started at a nice easy pace for the first couple of miles but in the first gravel section the tempo picked up as people fought for the best lines through the pothole riddled road. Things remained largely the same through the remainder of the first 2/3. I was feeling pretty good overall but since I had already eclipsed my longest ride of the year, I didn’t expect to have much to give in the final 1/3.
As we left from the final re-group the first attack came, literally before most of the group could even clip in. I knew that I was in for it but was determined to stay with the leaders as long as possible. The next three miles (roughly) were extremely leg sapping soft gravel climbs briefly separated by only slightly smoother rolling asphalt. I managed to hold on to the lead group of five through most of those three miles but as we climbed the final gravel grinder they slowly pulled away as my legs gave up the ghost. At this point, we had a comfortable lead over the remainder of the field so I settled into a tempo and tried to gain ground when I could. At one point I almost pulled in a couple of the last stragglers of the lead group but to no avail and finished a somewhat respectable 6th.
Checking my watch, I realized that I was late leaving for my scheduled 12:30 hike in Camden (10-15 miles away) so my only hope to get there in time was to go over Moody Mountain. Its not really much of a mountain but it is one hell of a long brutal climb, especially after almost 4 hours in the saddle. I sucked it up and rolled into Camden at 12:15, exactly on time.
Marcy met me there with B-girl and Chance in tow and together with a past coworkers family climbed Bald Mountain in Camden, a pretty quick but very rugged hike. When we got back to the car I was officially smoked.
Of interesting note, before the ride (6:45am) I put some Greyhound Juice Original Formula onto my legs and at 2 in the afternoon I could still feel its warmth. I was amazed. Not once during the ride did my legs feel hot from the juice but they never felt cold either. Good to know for when the leg warmers come off for the season.
the genius of rick is! at 7:43 AM
Monday, April 10, 2006
Wow, what a weekend. Saturday started off a bit dreary but I was committed to a good ride on the dos, plus I had just installed the Salsa SUL stem to try out, so it was out the door I went. Turned out that the trails at Reid State Park were in great condition. Everything was wet but there were very few actual muddy areas. Reid seems to be perfect for that, there never seems to be any real mud, just mossy goop. The Dos was rockin on the rough trails. The Dos totally ate up one section of trail commonly know as the pipe line is brutally rough with large jagged rocks and roots. Typically a full on full suspension bike works best in that section (for me at least) but the combination of the soft tail and the 29” wheels on the Dos seemed like magic.
A section of the pipeline. The camera sort of flattens it out a bit but trust me when I say that it can be tough to ride.
It wasn’t quite as cushy as my Fuel but I think that once my tech skills are back in order I’ll be able to make better time over that section than I ever did with the Fuel. The larger wheels also seemed to work very well on the soft spongy trails at Reid allowing it to ride on top of as opposed to through some of the soft, mossy sections. I’m getting happier every day with my choice. Family obligations only allowed one lap, but it was a great lap and I was glad to be able to get out on a real tech trail to put the Dos through its paces. Mission accomplished.
Two Salsas, a Dos Niner and a Moto Rapido single speed.
On the way home, I stopped by Bikeman and picked up some sponsorship goodies, some Panaracer road training tires, some Slick-Willy lube and some Greyhound Juice embrocating sticks. All three were going to be put to the test on Sunday’s planned epic.
More on that tomorrow.
the genius of rick is! at 8:06 AM
Friday, April 07, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Last night was pretty low key, no bike time. I did end up test driving a couple of used cars to replace my Civic. Seems a 2-door coupe isn’t he best vehicle when you have a child in a car seat. Tried a Subaru Legacy GT and a Passat wagon. The Scooby was cool but felt cramped while the Passat was pimp but costs a few K more. Decisions, decisions.
This year I’ve decided to focus on maintaining my flexibility through the season (or should I say developing some flexibility first and then maintaining it!) so last night I did my first (in a while at least) of many Pilates sessions. I know what you’re thinking, pilates are a bit femme but trust me, they are killer. They are great for flexibility as well as core strength. These are two areas that cyclists are notoriously weak in. We’ve got great lower body strength but nothing to balance it out. For me personally I feel much more comfortable on the bike (especially the roadie) when I’m following a stretching regimen. Its tough to maintain an aero position when you can hardly bend over. We also all know that most of your lower body strength and power is initiated from the abs and low back so core strength is key as well.
In other news, Al fixed up my Hope P2 rear hub yesterday for me. Turns out that I just didn’t have the dust seal properly seated and that was what was causing the friction. All seems to be well now. Hopefully, if the weather dries out at all, I’ll be able to get the Dos out for a spin this weekend. Al also hooked me up with some Bonk! Frame protectant to cover the cable rub prone areas of the bike. I intend to try it out tonight if time allows. Gotsta protect that purty paint on the Salsa!
the genius of rick is! at 7:49 AM
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Was raining like hell yesterday so I hopped on the trainer for 1.5 hrs last night. Had yet another great workout, seems that having a more structured plan on the trainer is the way to go. Why didn’t I think of that before? Just thinking of all of those days spent mindlessly grinding away on that sucker being bored senseless makes my stomach turn. Having structure not only makes the time go by faster but I feel that I get a hell of a lot more out of it. Who’da thunk it?
Wifey is dropping the dos off at the shop today. I’m still having trouble with the rear hub so she’s going to drop it off on her way by this morning. I’ll probably just have them keep it until the SRAM parts come in. I’ve got three other bikes to keep me happy until then and its just a pain in the ass to keep shuttling back and forth to the shop. I need to get riding time in on it but every after work trip that I make to the shop is one more day of no riding and at this point I can’t afford missing too many days. Good news is that when I do get the SRAM stuff in and bikeman puts it back together for me, I’ll have one bad ass ride on my hands! Can’t wait.
Oh yeah, I want to apologize for the lame header. I’m a blogger and photoshop weenie and can’t seem to figure out how to get it to look better. I even needed my brother to get me this far. Hopefully I can get the art from Wally (bikeman’s graphic dude) and get it blown up…someday.
the genius of rick is! at 7:43 AM
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Had a pretty fun ride yesterday. Since the pooch is getting so chubby I decided to bring him into work with me so that he could go on a ride with me after work. I decided to hit up the Zak Preserve since its short enough to not kill the dog plus I want to be sure that its suitable for the people from my office whom I’m trying to get back into riding.
The ride started off on a poor note when I quickly got a slow leak on the front tire and when I went to replace the tube I realized that I only had a 29’er tube with me (I was riding the Moto Rapido instead of the Dos because of hub problems) but it turns out that in a pinch, a 29’er tube works just fine in a 26” tire. It took a bit of work to stuff it all in but once that was accomplished and I had the tire reseated it aired up just fine and I could notice no ill effects. The rest of the ride went really well. The trails in the preserve are super tight and twisty. I realized that while super tight and twisty is good for me it probably isn’t so hot for a couple of my co-workers. The last thing that I want is to drag them out on a ride that is above their heads and totally kill the fun for them. Looks like I may take them to the Schmidt Preserve instead. It also has some very nice single track but its much more open and forgiving. At Zak, if you miss a turn you’re likely to get a pungi stick in the gut at Schmidt you’ll probably only slam into a hardwood. Sounds better doesn’t it?
Another item of note is that I’ve started to introduce some specific interval work into my rides (especially in my trainer rides). Since I’m seeing less time for riding this year than years past, I need to really focus more to get more out of my limited time so I’m forcing myself to do REAL intervals. Every year, I say that I’m going to start doing interval workouts but I’ve never been focused enough to do it. I usually would just end up going out for a ride and hope for the best. Well, no such luxury this year so I’m really going to crack down and bust those suckers out. Sunday’s trainer ride was short (1 hour) but after a nice warm-up I did a set of five intervals at a cadence of 100-110 rps followed by 10 minutes of tempo and then another five intervals working my cadence up to 110-120 in the last 10-15secs of each interval and then followed it up with 15 minutes of cool down. That one hour left me more spent than any longer trainer workout that I’ve ever done. I guess that if I’m forced to ride the trainer I might as well suffer like a dog and get the most bang for my buck.
the genius of rick is! at 7:36 AM
Monday, April 03, 2006
Turns out that I have jumped the gun on my presumed hub problem. You see, the hope P2 hub happens to be a cartridge bearing type hub that doesn't have anything holding it together like a loose bearing type hub (which is what I'm used to) so I guess that all that I have to do is press it all back together and I'm all set. Did I mention that my mechanical skills are limited? Well, I just proved it again.
Tonight I'll be hitting the trails with the single speed and the pooch. Chance has gained 10 lbs since B-Girl was born so its time to run some of the lard off of him. Fat bastard.
I'm also organizing a group ride from the office on Thursday night. There are a few "sort of" riders that I work with (one semi serious) who I hope to get excited about riding again. It'll probably be a pretty slow ride but I don't mind, its always nice to get to ride with new people and who knows, maybe somebody will get bitten by the bug and we'll have another bike crazy nut in the house...
the genius of rick is! at 12:56 PM
Sunday, April 02, 2006
I was putting a new cassette on the dos this morning and while pulling the old cassette off, the cassette body of the hub literally came apart in my hands! What the f? I'm not sure what was holding it on in the first place but its not there now. Anyone ever have this happen before??? I guess the wheel will be going back to Bikeman tomorrow and hopefully they can figure out what happened. Looks like I won't be riding the niner for a bit.
the genius of rick is! at 9:52 AM