Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Rim

I just noticed that, for some reason, yesterday my rim photo and link got dropped (accidentally deleted by yours truly) so here it is again.  Carver's new carbon 29'er rim.  450 grams (about 20 grams lighter than a stans arch) and rock solid.  You can read more about them here.

I don't think they are available to the public just yet but they should be by summer.  Pair this stiff rim to the already stiff front end of the King Kahuna, some DT Swiss 240s thru-bolt hubs and some super secret black spokes and I should be tracking like a missile this summer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Monday after work I got extra special permission to go for a quick ride.  On the drive over I was a mess of emotions. 

First, I was happy.

 Then, I was sad. 

Then I was giddy!
What was causing this emotional roller coaster?  Well, it’s possible it was this svelte little vixen.

That’s right boy and girl (I’ve lowered my expectations for blog readership drastically) the long awaited delivery of my 2012 race steed, the Kona King Kahuna, had arrived.   

When I first ordered the bike, I had plans to swap a bunch of parts like the house brand bar, stem, seat post, the x7 bits and the wheels but after much introspection and some discussions with team manager extraordinaire, Big Gay (probably not because he’s married although it could be a marriage of convenience) Al, I decided that it wasn’t worth the hundreds of dollars it would take to get marginal (if any) performance improvements and the tiny weight improvement.  Instead, I’m keeping her pretty much as is and saving my pennies for the swank wheel build I’ve been planning.  Years ago I swore off carbon in mountain bikes so it now makes perfect sense that I’d have a full carbon bike with carbon wheels on the way.  Yeah, perfect sense.  I should run for office.

(carver rim photo)

My first ride was to be a short one, basically just enough to start dialing in the fit.  I’ll get into all of that later but first, my initial ride impressions.  1. The bike feels pretty light.  I don’t know the actual weight because I’m not a weight weenie but it felt light enough for me.  2. The front end with the tapered head tube and thru-axle was STIFF and I loved it.  I’ve been told in the past that a thru-axle is the way to go but I poo-pood it because it seemed like too much of a pain in the ass for race day but it looks like I’ll be eating my poo and happily running TA.  3.  I have a hard time lofting the rear wheel over logs.  I’m sure this is just a timing thing that I need to work out with the bike but it was an odd feeling.  4.  I was too much of a weenie to really push things on my first ride on my new beloved lest I fall and scratch her.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breaking Trail

This week, for my morning "workout" I've forgone running and started some spring trail work instead.  Spring's wet trails have inspired me to rework a couple of sections to avoid the nastiest areas and I'm also reworking a few areas to improve flow and one new section to complete the loop without hitting any trails twice.  This week's weather has made trail work primo and will save me a bunch of time come April when I need to be "training" for realz.

The unnaturally warm temps also gave me the opportunity to do something that I hadn't intended for another month.  That's commute from Edgecomb to the Portland office.  The new shower at the office was just installed so I needed to take advantage.  Originally, I had planned on doing the whole 47 mile commute by bike but when I really thought it through, I realized that the 47 mile ride home from work (I'd drive down in the morning) would be fine, the ride in less than 9 hours later would be too much for me this early in the season.  Peak summer form?  I could probably swing it.  Mid-March flabbiness?  Not so much.  So, instead, I drove 15 miles to Freeport, parked in the municipal lot (changed in the car within 50' of an LLBean security officer) and rode home totaling 33 miles each way.  I think next time I'll park in the same spot but lengthen my ride home by getting off of route 1 more but at least that gives me a more reasonable commute in the morning. 

Boring post?  You betcha but what did you expect really???

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Has Sprung 

Before the weekend, I hadn't been outside on my road bike all year.  I'm not sure why, but I just didn't have the urge to hit the roads.  It couldn't have been the temperatures since this winter was so moderate but something was happening in my head that kept me to the trails instead.  Maybe it's that damn snowbike that I love so much.  It figures that my least expensive bike would be one of my favorites.

Anyway, over the weekend, I dusted off the road steed and did not one but two road rides.  Saturday with my buds down in Falmouth and Sunday with a guy who I just met who's working in the Habbah, Greg.  Saturday's ride was short and nice.  A good way to start the road season.  Sunday's ride was longer and much harder.  The pace was quicker but not THAT taxing but I was an idiot and had no fuel with me for the ride so with about 10 miles to go I HIT THE FREAKING WALL.  Sad really since I was only at about 35 miles but at least it gives me plenty of room for improvement.

spring has also had an effect on B.  As yesterday's post showed, she also spent some time on two wheels this weekend.  She just started riding in without training wheels in January and has about 3 rides under her belt so I was very happy to hear that she attempted her first curb "hop" on Sunday while out with Marcy.  On attempt one, she got her front wheel up but stalled on the rear wheel.  Attempt two didn't fare so well:

She's already asked me to take her mountain biking so, who knows, she may hit some dirt this summer.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Shaping Up

 B washing her feet and picking toe jam mid ride. 
 (my personal training secret!)

Both 2012 and my svelte(r) body are starting to shape up.  As most of you know, at the end of last season I upgraded to Elite in the EFTA series and then got my arse spanked in the season finale.  I expect things to be much the same for most of the 2012 campaign.  Hopefully I'll have a few standout races that I'll finish well in (mostly because nobody else bothers to show up...) but those are likely to be few and far between but that's ok, it's my first season with the big boys so it's expected.

In addition to the EFTA schedule,  I've got a few other doozies in mind.  Of course there will be the Bradbury 12 so that Alby and I can try to swat the Freye's again and, if I can convince Marcy that I'm not an overly competitive prick (note to self, don't let Marcy see last post), maybe we'll team up for the Millstone 12

2012 also sees me returning to the Hampshire 100 now that it's part of the NUE series.  I didn't do it the last two years since it's the same weekend as the Off Road Tri but I'm hoping that with a bit more preparation, I can race both days and not completely die as surely there will be some big boys in town to throw down. 

And then there's the race I'm most looking forward to/dreading.  SSUSA.  I didn't really intend to do the race this year but when I checked registration a while back and saw that it was sold out, I just had to put my name on the waiting list.  Just because.  Well, last week I got an e-mail from Ms. Wissel that a spot had opened and before you knew it, I was signed up for will likely be my death sentence.  I guess I need to start riding SS some again this year.

Friday, March 09, 2012

I Call This Blog Racin Rick For a Reason

There is a non insignificant part of my personality that makes me a highly competitive person. Not that I'm good at everything, just that I want to be the king of everything. Put me on a bike and I want to be the first person to get to wherever we're going. Strap on hiking boots and I'll try to beat you to the top of the mountain. Want to have sex? Guess who's finishing first??? Well, this whole part of me started when I was a wee lad and my father raced stock cars. Not just raced but won. A lot. That and growing up in a house full of guys (four including my dad who is just a big kid)led to an inordinate amount of competitions. That was a long way of saying that I'll race anything and go-carts are occasionally one of the things. Thankfully, I'm the best of my friends but, sadly, the slowest of my family.

Last weekend for example.  Fast carts.  Indoor track.  Go-pro camera.  Fun stuff. For the record, that is my youngest brother who I'm trading paint with.  He generally beats me because he's more willing to ram me to get by.  Also, he's a dick.


Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Came outside the other day to find trash strewn all over the place.  What could have caused this?  We were BAFFLED until B busted out the fingerprint dusting kit (aka frost) and discovered the hand print above.  F-ing raccoons.   

Ever hear the term, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree?  Well, it's not exactly the same thing but in the Nelson household, the turd doesn't fall far from the horses ass. As we all know, I'm a bit of an attention whore and will do just about anything for blog fodder (until one of my clients sees this crap and then I'm D-O-N-E).  I've also single handedly made pointing a camera at yourself an art form.  B has never read my blog or gone riding with me but, somehow, I've handed the horses ass gene down anyway.  Observe:

You've got to admit, that is undoubtedly the best song you've ever heard about three quarters.  

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Beating the Storm 

With the snowpocolypse descending upon Maine, I decided to beat it to the punch this morning and get a quick ride in before the snow accumulations got deep enough to make riding difficult (although, I may try to ride in the new 6-8" tonight as well). Two laps around the home trails had me satisfied (enough at least) that the day wasn't lost. There is nothing like getting out when the snow has just started falling. Everything is quiet except for the crunch of the tires and the hiss of snow (they were almost like small pellets) hitting the leaves on the trees. Good way to start the day.