Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Grips are Packed and I'm Ready to Party!

Last night I did two things to ensure a successful Vegas mini vacation. I reserved two Specialized FSR Epic Comp 29'ers and packed my riding duds pedals AND grips! I'm not sure how many people are as ravenously devoted to their grips as I am but the thought of doing two three hour rides without them had my hands aching and spontaneously forming blisters. Plus, they fit nicely into my riding shoes so no extra space was required in our luggage. Bonus.

I'm totally psyched to ride at both Bootleg Canyon and Cottonwood (one on Friday afternoon and the other Saturday whenever we crawl out of bed). The closest I've ever come to desert type riding was when Marcy and I were in Bend Oregon many years ago. There was lots of sand but it didn't really feel like true desert riding. But, then again, for all I know these two places could be located in Nevada's famous desert rain forest and it'll be so humid it'll feel like I'm wearing yesterday's chamois over my head...

I'm also pretty psyched to be trying out a full suspension 29'er. My Dos is the closest I have to full sus and it's a sweet ride but I do wonder what 90mm (I think that's somewhere between 1 & 6 inches american) will do to the trail. I just hope that I don't fall in love and find myself on gears and suspension next season. I'm not that weak.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This, I could get used to

Placed an order at Bikeman.com yesterday. Nothing too crazy, just stuff I needed like a replacement frame pump since my current one falls apart when I try to use it. It still looks good when it's mounted on the road bike though. I know what you're thinking. Frame pump? How gauche! Well, I'll be hopelessly irrelevant anyday if it means I don't have to remember to pack a mini pump (and 30 minutes to pump up a flat tire) or wasteful CO2 cartridges. We can't all be Lancy-pants you know. I also ordered the much anticipated pogies to make my winter riding more comfy, just in time for 40 degree weather. My timing has already been impeccable. Thirdly (or firstly on the list) is a headlamp for the spud. Apparently she's a vampire because she refuses to play outside during the day but after daylight, she's all about going out in the snow so this will allow her to and will serve as my backup light I'll keep tucked in one of my Ergon packs. And finally, last on the list is an item that I never thought I'd buy again, SPD style cleats. I've been on Time pedals for years now and will never go back (as long as they're in bidness) but, unfortunately, the spin class bikes have only spd pedals or toe straps so I picked up a cheapy pair to put on a pair of old mtn bike shoes.





Product Quantity Price/Ea Total
Princeton Tec Fuel 4 LED Headlamp Black 1
xxx
Bar Mitts MTN/Commuter Black OSFA 1
xxx
Planet Bike Ozone Roadie Large Frame Pump 1
xxx
Wellgo 98A SPD Style Cleats 1
xxx

Shipping: In Store Pick-Up $0.00

Sales Tax $3.82

Gift Certificate:BMAN-BUCKS-Bn6v2eow (xxx)


Total $5.16

So, to get to the point and stop all the rambling, the total for all of those items came $5.16 with tax. Purty good if you ask me, of course it's mostly due to my mother giving me a gift certificate for x-mas but still, I'll take $5 totals any day since my typical Bikeman bill is hundreds of dollars and they happen far too frequently. I'm quite certain that if I were to total up a years worth of bike expenditures and show Marcy my riding/racing days might be numbered. We've talked about this before and somehow, I was able to distract her with something shiny while I waved my arms around and changed the subject.

Come to think of it, she's probably reading this right now! Look, a beautiful trinket! Let's go out for dinner...

Monday, January 25, 2010

It seemed like a good idea at the time

Last week was a bad week for commuting. We got pounded with snow over the previous weekend and then we had off and on snow through the week. Not horrible conditions but bad enough that it wouldn't be smart to ride given the slickness of the roads. I would like to note that I was not at all concerned about me having traction or seeing properly. With my Nokian studded tires mounted up and my Dinotte lights blazing the way I would be fine if I was out there on my own but throw 2 ton rolling death buckets into the mix and things change. If there is any chance that the apathetic owner of said death bucket won't be able to see me or may slide into me because of road conditions than I do the right thing by my family and stay clear. So, during weeks like last week I spend a lot of time checking weather.com and peering out my cubicle window (yeah so what if I work in a cubicle, at least the entire wall I'm on is filled with northern light emitting windows (good move on my part to pick this side of the office so that I get perfect light without any glare)) at the glimpse of rt 27 so see what the road conditions are like. One day last week, the road was blissfully clear all day so I decided to ride home and back in in the morning. Things went peachy right up until it was time to leave when a light snow started. I figured it would be no problem until I was out on the road. My conditions were fine but I began to worry about the car folks, their travel lane was still clear but the snow picked up while I was out there and things started to change. I was on egg shells the whole ride and played things uber cautious and made it fine but next time if the snow starts before my ride, I may opt out.
Doh!
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Friday, January 22, 2010

I Dream of Dick

I have a handful of blogs that I visit on a daily basis (at least on days that I check blogs). One of my must reads is Dicky. Marcy is not fond of him because he "seems kind of angry" but I like his blog because he "seems kind of angry" and he often says stuff that he assumes people will take the correct way but sometimes don't. Just like me.

Anyway, the other night whilst I was blissfully slumbering I was having a dream about a mountain bike race. I don't think that it had started yet, maybe it was pre-race festivities. Who knows but there were tons of people there and who do I spy out of the crowd? Dicky of course. In real life Dicky has no clue who I am. In fact, he probably doesn't even know me in blog life but in the dream, we had a moment. Right when our eyes met. I could see in his dreamy eyes that there was a moment of recognition when he say me. Unfortunately, being the mega star that he is everybody was mobbing him for a handshake and greeting but finally, with a bit of work he made it over to me, reached out with his hand and said "you're rick right?" and that was it. One fleeting moment that I will always cherish.

The weird thing about this dream is that while I do read Dicky's blog regularly, my highest level of blog stalking is reserved for ThomP and not once have I dreamed about him or his Tom Selleck chest hair. Although, now that I think about it, maybe Thom has dropped down a notch in my mind now that he's going to be riding geared and Dicky is still fighting the good fight.

Hmmm, maybe it's posts like this that make Marcy concerned about my sexuality.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Snow Day


It's been snowing like a bugger in Maine recently. Over the last couple of weeks we've received roughly 2' of fluffy white stuff. It's made real mountain biking a non starter and has really gotten me pining for a snow bike (more on that below) but the snowshoeing has been great and we all need a bit of variety so I'll take it. Last night's snow means that B is home from school today and I've decided to take the morning shift with her. Who knows what kind of winter shananigans will ensue? More than likely, I'll just get B to help me dig the car out since she seems to enjoy that for some reason.


This afternoon I'm hoping to commute home if the road conditions permit. If visibility is good, I'll be riding, if visibility sucks than I'll drive home with my tail between my legs or else risk end up being someone's hood ornament.


Since moving last year, almost every aspect of our new location is better than where we were before. Our commutes to work are shorter, we're more a part of our local community, in the summer I can commute to work via mostly trail etc etc. Unfortunately, there is one downside. I no longer have easy access to snowmobile trails. While in Damariscotta, I could easily jump into the local snowmobile trail system with just a very short road jaunt. This meant that I could keep riding all winter long. Where we are now, I don't pass a single snowmobile trail on my commute or even know where one exists. It's a total bummer and really has me thinking about a snow bike for next winter so that I can still ride when conditions are like they are now.


The current plan is to get the yet to be released Carver aluminum snow bike. Between my trade in from this year's BB12 frame prize and (if the stars align and I pull it off again) next year's trade in, I'll be well on my way towards supah fat tire bliss.


The other day a former Bikeman.com teammate contacted me about a Pugsley he has for sale. At $1500 for an almost new bike, it's a pretty good price and I would have loved to take him up on it but, sadly, the bike purchase coffers are depleted so I had to pass it up.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day Late Dollar Short

As is pretty common here in the magical land of Racin Rick where unicorns shit cotton candy and entertainment dreams go to die, I once again failed to follow through on a promise. Shocking, I know. What I promised five days ago was to fill you in on my Vegas Baby! comment. Well, it seems the spousal unit, myself and a couple of friends are heading to vegas for a long weekend at the end of the month. Vegas has never been all that high on my list of places to visit and I figured the only way I'd end up there is if I failed to take a left at Albuquerque. My inner compass being what it is, I've somehow missed that left turn and followed the road of a promised free condo on the weekend of the Miss America pageant.

marcy accuses me of being gay (because of my fondness for lycra and the occasional cross dressing incident) and then takes me to the land of homo erotica (or La Reve)
While I never really planned on going to Vegas, I must admit that I'm pretty psyched especially since The Hangover is still fresh in my head. On top of gambling (I don't think I'll do much) and a show, Kevin and I are planning on hitting up some mountain biking. We're going the tourist route and hiring a guide who will pick us up, schlep us to the trails, provide us with bikes, show us around, and maybe, if we're lucky, pedal our bikes for us as well because who in their right frickin mind is getting up at 8 am for a three hour ride while they're in vegas? It's probably pretty stupid but I can't imagine going all that way and not taking advantage of what the locale has to offer. The question is, Cottonwood or Bootleg?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Wee Bit Nipply

Today I had grand plans to get out for a slightly longer commute to work but when I woke up this morning and saw that it was a whopping 5 degrees outside my very manly testes immediately hoisted a white flag and the plan changed to a simple, direct route in. Once out this morning it actually wasn't all that bad except on the downhills where windchill temps were approaching -20. Thankfully, I was committed to the shorter route so it gives me time to do an actual post today before clocking in. Lucky you.

The cold weather of late has got me thinking it's time to up the ante gear wise so that I can really enjoy winter riding. I've got some Bikeman Bucks from Christmas burning a hole in my wallet anyway so I guess it's time to spend some virtual money. The first items that I'll be picking up are a pair of pogies. For those of you not in the know, pogies are essentially sleeping bags for your hands that mount to the handlebars. They create a super warm womb for your hands and allow you to wear summer weight gloves on even the coldest days. They look kind of dorky but they work great so as soon as I figure out which pair I want I'll be putting an order in at Bikeman.com. The other item on my immediately must have list is a new pair of heavy weight shoe covers to fit on my winter riding shoes.


As you can see, my current pair have had a hard life and are ready for retirement. Chewed up sole, check. Duct taped toes, check. Blown out zipper, check.

Also on the agenda, but not slated to happen until late 2010, is a honest to goodness, fo rizzle my schizzle, snow bike. Carver is coming out with a more piggy bank friendly aluminum snow bike frame to go along with their sweet but out of my price range Ti snow bike frame. Every winter I say that I want to get one but every winter I fail to pull the trigger because I always feel guilty about buying yet another bike. Good news for me is that with my Selma still being practically brand spankin new I really don't NEED a new race rig for 2010 so that finally leaves the door open for a snow bike. Plus, if I somehow manage to pull off a 3-fer in this September's Bradbury 12 single speed race, I'll have another frame to trade in towards the whole schebang. Thankfully I have plenty of time to plan and save for the project.

Tomorrow's topic? Vegas Baby!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wazoo

I'm up my wazoo in stuff so here's a quick little photo blog of me not riding this weekend. Enjoy.


ice fishing, Brynna intently watching while keeping a safe distance for any icky stuff. that's not me by the way.
B yet again keeping a safe distance. again, husband stand in is doing all the work.

here I am finally putting in just enough effort so B will remember who I am.
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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Heyaa! Mule, heyaa!

I got off track in my last post. It seems that I suffer from what the medical profession likes to call ADD, the pharmaceutical companies like to call CA-CHING! and lazy parents in the US like to call "it's not my fault he's hyperactive and doesn't listen to anything I say. Here honey have another bowl of sugar coated chocolate caffeine bombs." What I like to call it is; I have a shit ton to do all of the time so everything seems to be done half assed. Not on purpose, of course, it's just that I'll start something, remember three other things I need to do and not get back to the first something. Take last night for example, the DamFam had all just gotten home, and we were going about our evening routines. I was picking up and putting away the loads of crap around the house while Marcy was cooking dinner. I noticed that the meager, temporary, counter space that we have in the kitchen was filling up so I offered my help to Marcy, which she accepted. I helped her for roughly 2.8 seconds before I noticed a pair of pants (folded at least) in the dining room that needed to be taken care of so off I went, totally forgetting my initial endeavor until I walked back by the kitchen, saw Marcy glancing at the counter, nodding her head and grunting all in unison. Woops.

So, with that in mind, my post the other day was supposed to be about the fact that a snow storm of all things knocked me out of my rut of lazy-assness. First, it required me to get out and do a bunch of shoveling. Not exactly the best example of how to have a good time but it is a good workout and it got me thinking about snowshoeing which we did and I also got to do a bunch of this:

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video
Pulling your kid around in fluffy snow can be a pretty good workout, especially if any hills are involved. All of that over the weekend helped me get my mojo back and as a result I've finally started getting up to exercise in the mornings again. One jog and three bike commutes later and I think I'm on my way.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Reset

It turns out that it's harder to get your groove back than I originally realized. A few weeks of sloth (and a sweet new first person shooter Wii game) had made it hard for me to drum up the motivation to do anything active. Lucky for me, the Bath gang was heading out for a ride on New Year's Eve just as the weekend's snowstorm was rolling into town. I took the opportunity to get what might be the final single track ride for the next 3-4 months(unless Hill Junkie and I can hook up on the cape this winter). Four of us headed out only a half hour late (or right on schedule if you're going by Channing Time) just as the first flurries were starting. We were greeted with mostly bare trails at the start of the ride and somewhere between 2 & 3 inches of fresh new fluff by rides end. It was a great way to send of the old year.



Then, on Sunday, after I got warmed up by shoveling 16" of fresh snow I was psyched to get out for the year's first snow shoe adventure with the fam. It would be Brynna's first time on her own snowshoes. If you're at all interested, you can read a bit more here.
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