Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sorry Bike Blog folks

I see that I'm getting linked a bit from bikeblogs.com today. I wish I could give you some good content but hey, I've been too busy lately to provide any good content. Ok, this blog was only ever so slightly better when I did have time to spend on this blather. My real limitation is writing talent and a very poor memory. You see, I think of many great, nay, outstanding post ideas while I twitter away my day but when bloggy time cometh my brain resembles a mid-west trailer park after a tornado hit. You can tell that at one time something was there but it doesn't seem to be of much value any more. Welcome to my brain, population zero. If you're still with me, by all means, read on.
Going the Opposite Way

Ever since I made the switch to a hardtail single speed, Steve (aka: killbill) has been subtly coercing me into getting a full suspension, geared 29'er. His feeling being that everybody is faster on a full sus. Why am I telling you this when I can cut and paste his e-mail:

Subject: The Bike You Would Kill It On...

Oh yes...
No maintenance(seriously), no bob, pure screaming bike. Same frame I have, but in 29r form. Probably around 5lbs. $1550 your cost. I know...I know...but one ride on that frame and you would never, ever look back at riding a hard tail. I'm glad you'll never get one as likely, your riding would go through the roof. Just trust me on that one.


Personally, I think it's cute that he calls himself Steven but I still prefer KillBill (a play on his last name). I have to admit that he may have a point and I'm certainly intrigued by the bike but I don't think I'll be hopping on one anytime soon. It sure is purty though and it comes in my favorite color!

Of course, he will be my direct competition once my racing season starts so maybe he's just trying to get in my head. You know, make me question my stupid (see he's done it already) decision to race a hardtail ss against full boingy gearies. Of course if Thom can do it, why can't I? Maybe because he's tougher than I am and a more talented cyclist...

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Birth of a Ride

For months, every time Marcy and I would ride together, she'd complain about her bike and say that she wanted a 29'er but she didn't want to spend the money on a new bike. I, of course, love to spend money on new bikes but didn't want to piss of the s.o. either so I had to hatch a devious plan. First, given my smittenness (is that a word???) with the Selma, my beloved Dos has been sitting un-loved for a couple of months so I knew I had a whole bike's worth of quality components to work with, the problem would be finding a frame that didn't break the bank. Well, my prayers were answers a little over a week ago when a Bikeman.com teammate e-mailed the team about a brand new (ok, he had a couple of rides on it) Dos Niner frame he was selling because he wanted to go full suspension. It was a super good deal and it was in the size I think Marcy needed so I took a gamble and bought it on the down low because I was using the whole deal as a birthday present.

Anybody who has read the blog for a while knows that my mechanical abilities are minimal at best and I had NEVER done a full bike build myself so I planned on having the friendly dudes at Bikeman do the swapping for me but, because of various things beyond my control (I'm impatient, oh wait, that is in my control) I was forced to build it myself. Lucky for me, I picked the frame up Friday and it just so happened that Marcy was out with some friends to I very quickly got to work with a bit of trepidation. Would I be the victor and exit the evening with a shiny, almost new, bike for the spousal unit or would I be crawling back to bikeman with my tail between my legs. Only time would tell.

The Dos pre-op.
The transplant recipient.
My first time ever pulling a crank (a bike crank at least). I've had the tool to do this for well over a year but never dared mess with the voo-doo magic happening in the lower regions.

Yada, yada, yada, I didn't take enough pictures.

The final product. Schwingy, schwing, schwing.
I am the victor!

Next up, Marcy's first ride.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Episode #2

Today brings you episode #2 of "Name that Drool". Last time, I asked you to determine what a substance was. It turned out to be a nasty "drool" from our residence crotch sniffer. Wait, I should be more specific, our four legged crotch sniffer. Well, this time you already know that it is drool, what you don't know is what is IN the drool. Please leave a comment with your guess. As always, wrong answers will be rewarded with snarky responses and an improbable correct answer will result in immediate disqualification. Good luck!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009


As the spring has turned into (a soggy) summer and I continue to push my "real" training out week by week I've begun to wonder just how committed I am to racing this season. There's no question that I'll race, the real question is, am I going to be able to mentally give it my 100%? Well, over the weekend I got my answer. Marcy and I had a B free evening on Saturday and decided to head to the apartment at work to spend the evening where it is dry and slug free. While there, I had one (5 or 6) too many beers so a plan was hatched to finally wax my legs for the season. Marcy did the honors this year mostly because she likes to inflict pain on me. Halfway through the whole ordeal, we called it a night after having clipped and waxed only one leg. So, there's your answer, I'm 50% committed.

Marcy actually read the instructions first. That's a woman for ya.


get ready!

this was supposed to be an action shot but I was too focused on screaming to focus on focusing.

tah dah!
In case you're wondering, today (four days later) the left leg is still hairy. I think I've found a new fashion statement.

Monday, June 22, 2009

This Just In

To be found in this month's issue of Maine Home and Design
Go Long and Go Soft

I didn't get a lick of riding in this weekend but I was able to squeeze a quick nine in with my parents and brother on father's day. During the round I managed to find the above pictured ball and I felt it was appropriate. Make of it what you will.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's Not About the Bike

Ok, maybe it is, but at least it's not about THAT bike. (for the record, that book totally was about the bike. Who does he think he's kidding?) Today, we're going to talk about my much neglected road bike. Sure, I keep her in good running shape and occasionally give her a wash and sensuous rub down to get the road grime off but generally she's a neglected wench. Sometimes I ever giver her a little nipple tweak or two, she groans a bit when I do but I can tell she likes it. Well, the other day, her rear wheel developed a wobble. Seemed strange but I threw the wheel in the truing stand to give the nipples a tweak and had a bit of trouble getting the wobble out. Upon further inspection I found this:
what's that? Can't quite see it? How 'bout now?

That right there my friends, is a ugly scene just waiting to happen. Can you say catastrophic wheel failure? Despite that, I have to admit that I still did my afternoon interval session on the wheel. I already rode the bike in and if I didn't do my ride home I'd have to call for a ride and we all know that is not going to happen. Instead, I crossed my fingers, puckered my sphincter and went for it and thankfully I made it though unscathed. Now I just have to buy an el cheapo replacement since I have no road races planned for this season.

Ok, now I am going to talk about THAT bike. You knew that I wouldn't be able to hold off didn't you? Anyway, when I had the bike built up, the fork arrived at 100mm travel. The bike is designed for 80mm so I had planned to have it re spaced but now, after a few weeks of riding on it at the longer travel I don't think I'm going to have it done. Am I stupid? I guess my reason is that I LOVE the way it handles now and it feels plenty quick in the turning department already and I'm terrified that I won't like the feel after the switch. So what would you, my adoringly small fan base, do?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Getting Down to Bidness
The above pic may look familiar since I attempted to schedule my racing year several months ago but, as you know, that plan went out with the bike bath water because of various reasons. Yesterday, I decided to give it another shot and was pleased to see that with how the summer is shaping up (most of my races in August/September) I have a pretty good shot at being in relatively good shape when my A&B races commence. I knew that this plan could be shelled pretty quickly if I tried to lay it out too far in advance so, instead I simply mapped out my next week. Last night had me doing hill intervals and much to my delight, I was able to complete them in the prescribed zones (unlike last week's ill fated attempt!). To top it off, I actually had spunky legs for my commute this morning and I found myself having to reel myself in to keep from hammering up the hills so that I can save myself for tomorrow's race start efforts. Joy.

I rescued this little guy from the side of the road. I thought it was a salamander but it turns out it's a red spotted newt so I plucked it's eyes out to use in an evil potion.

shell shocked after completing my final interval.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yet another quickie

Things have been ever so busy in my world recently. Being so important and in demand (and dashingly handsome in a big nosed sort of way) it can be tough finding time to ride and blog. I'm guessing that you've already noticed that based on the lack of posts and when I do post, the lack of quality. Oh, and the whining, the constant, incessant whining about being too busy. That too.
Regardless, I had written off Friday's group ride with KillBill and his cohorts because we'd had an entire week of rain and there was no sign of it letting up. Much to my surprise, when I walked out of the hardware store mid afternoon, the sun was out and my brain quickly shifted gears to figure out how to finagle a way to get to the ride. Thankfully, I have a kind hearted wife who understands my NEED to ride after having witnessed a winter filled with "depressed me" (as opposed to the typical "annoying me") and allowed me to change family movie night to Saturday thus allowing me to get dirty.
The venue for the Friday night rides holds up amazingly well in the rain so the four of us had a great time on super fun trails while only hitting a few wet spots.

Channing doing what Channing does best (besides consistently being 15 minutes late) yap, yap, yapping.

The yellow flower I somehow picked up on the toe of my shoe. It stayed there for most of the ride.

Gratuitous crotch shot.


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Thursday, June 11, 2009

This morning (or yesterday morning depending on when i actually post this) I actually made it out for a short road ride before work. A few years ago, I used to frequently rise at 3:30 in order to get in a good ride before work. This no longer works for me since I'm always in a state of sleep deprivation and I want nothing to do with an alarm going off at 3:30 am. Today, though, I managed to get up at 4:45 to try and squeeze in a 2-2.5 hour ride. Unfortunately I awoke with a splitting headache. I wanted, more than anything, to abort the ride but the forecast showers were holding off and I didn't know when another ride window would open so I kitted up and hoped that I would shake off the headache once on the road.

30 minutes into the ride I was feeling semi human so I decided to pull up one of my saved workouts on the Edge and see if I could do a mini-structured workout in order to get things firing. The 10/30 second interval workout seemed like a winner since it only took 10 minutes and would allow me to get things moving without asking too much from my frail, exhausted body. Halfway into the workout I knew I didn't have it and all of a sudden my plan for 2 hours on the road was replaced with going straight to the office to "work". Oh well, at least I got a ride in.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I'm stuck in the frickin office tonight and completely STACKED with work so I'm gonna photo blog. I'm sure you won't mind since the content of one of my typical blog posts is about as entertaining as watching the Bachelorette. Oh wait, now that Marcy and I only have two tv stations to chose from, The Bachelorette is the highlight of our evening. Sad, very sad.

Anyway, after ditching the spud for something like the 180th consecutive Friday night we managed to get a little wifey/studly ride in Saturday morning. It was good to finally show Marcy some of our local trails (she knew a few already) and what marriage couldn't use a bit more rubber between the legs, sweating and heavy breathing???

rolling out, blissfully leaving the camper behind.

perfecting the two-up pic. look up woman!

this pic doesn't do the trail justice, just to the left is a nasty drop onto large, pointy things. that'll leave a mark.

we left without the pooch but he somehow found us on a trail he had never been on before. maybe the football size tumor is helping his schnoz finally work!

did you notice I called myself a stud up there? Aint I an impish lil' devil? :)

Monday, June 08, 2009

I'm now afraid of birds

After last week's little itty bitty bird run-in I found myself twitching and on the verge of a full appendage flailing sprint anytime I sense a bird getting close. Case in point, on Saturday I got up early to sneak in a quick mountain bike ride before working on the house. At one point during the ride, I was forced to do the under tree bike limbo we're all accustomed to. Once I was fully committed to the move and totally defenseless I noticed a couple of small, fledgling type birds scamper into the bushes in front of me immediately followed by loud squawking coming from behind my left shoulder. I immediately freaked, deposited a couple of pooh scented diamonds in my shorts, and braced for impact. Of course, this time it wasn't a hawk, just a partridge doing it's broken-wing-follow-me-instead-of-my-babies dance. It was enough to freak me out though. My sphincter muscles are getting a workout these days.

If you look really closely, you won't see the partridge I was trying to take a picture of.

Then yesterday, while working on the house, I was forced to work near a nest on one of our temporary brackets. We were kind in letting the birds build their nest to have their babies but, sadly, they didn't return the favor as I spent the afternoon in terror as the 2 oz. balls of flying death harassed me to no end until I was done on that side of the house.

This Mr. Nye, is a frog (or maybe toad), not a bird.

Friday, June 05, 2009

When Birdies Attack

The other day, on my mountain bike commute home, I heard a racket coming from behind me and glanced back just in time to see a giant bird (some sort of hawk I think) take off from a spot maybe 20 feet off of the trail. He landed in a tree not far away and proceeded to squawk like a freakin mad man. I watched him for a minute, took a pic, a short video and then headed on my way after he finally flew off. About thirty seconds down the trail, out of nowhere, I hear the squawking again, glance back and that son of a bitch was dive bombing me from behind. He swooped past, missing my head by five feet maximum. At this point I realized that I had somehow angered the beast. "I swear Mr. Hawk, I didn't know she was YOUR wife!" After that warning, I decided to walk my bike for a while so I could be on my toes. The raptor's chattering was amazingly loud and he was never out of sight so I kept my eyes on him and proceeded down the trail. Soon, he swooped again, this time coming at me pretty much head on and veered off just before reaching me. Being a man's man (who waxes) I like to pretend that I'm all tough and stuff but I swear to god, when he swooped me that time I frickin screamed like a girl. Who wouldn't really? The G-D thing had a wingspan approaching five feet, razor sharp talons and and a beak big enough to crack a coconut. Anyway, after that I got the camera out figuring if I was attacked again and I somehow got video of it hitting me in the junk I'd have a pretty good shot at $10k on america's funnies videos. I'd like to say that the video came out awesome but it didn't. Instead, you get to witness a Blair Witch type vid where you can't really see anything but you can hear the terror in my voice as the sob swooped me one more time for good measure.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Even more Selma

and you thought yesterday would be the end of my selma-bation. Guess again! Things are so bad at home that when I go down to work on the bike, Marcy frisks me to be sure I'm not carrying any personal lube and moist towelettes! Selma, she is a vixen.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Now with 50% more Selma

As you probably expected with my recent blatherings about Selma's imminent arrival that once she did arrive I would change veins a bit and blather on and on about my precious. You expected right. For today's post, you get mostly some final build pics and the promise for an interesting story tomorrow about yesterday's commute home (hint: Alfred Hitchcock would approve).

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Maiden Voyage

This morning I was finally able to throw a leg over my precious for her first ride, a quick shake down/commute to allow me to make some minor adjustments before this afternoon's proper 2hr (hopefully) commute home. For the most part, things went pretty smoothly but I did have to adjust the headset, the brakes need some fine tuning (rub in the rear and not enough power up front), the seat post seems to be too short and I definitely need a remote lockout for the fork but, those things aside, it was a pretty sweet ride and I can already tell I'm going to love the bike.

enough brake housing for myself and someone riding in front of me

Here's a handy little ss tip for folks out there. If your ride included road and trail, put two cogs on, one for your trail riding and one for the road. Set your ebb (assuming you're using one) for the trail gear and when you hit the road, simply drop your wheel out, put the chain on the other cog (should be smaller unless you're living in reverse world, or maybe Canada) and pop the wheel back in. If you're on the road, there is really no need to adjust the ebb because what is a bit of chain slack between friends. If you're good (you know I AM) you can make the switch and be rolling again in less than 30 seconds.

slacker chain

At some point, I'll get some actual good pictures of the ride, promise!