26 September 2016

Monday again?

 Mr. Yates. So Pro. Here, he exhibits the old "Yates double bend".
 Christmas is coming...just sayin'...
Ritte hits it out...

Went out on Friday morning w/the plan to just roll around. I felt tired, and dinged up.
Once out, and the legs got going around, I LITERALLY had to keep the throttle dialed back. Head said "spin", legs said, "Let's do this..."
I dialed it up a bit, and took 1:15 off my little "Door to Dirt" section of the new loop. Without effort I might add. It was weird, and doesn't come around very much. 2 hours.
Saturday was a ride of a different flavor.
Felt good. Rode okay. Have I mentioned that we live in a train town? They're bloody everywhere. All hours of the day and night.
First train stopped me for 15 minutes. Sure, I could have ridden back whence I came, but that wasn't the plan. Once clear of the train, the normal loop continued...until I got to edge of the CSX yard.
Train #2 stopped me for another 15 minutes.
Same place as earlier in the week, and the route around for that was a monkey humping a football. I waited.
Rolling again, and headed up Gervais, I noticed a little bouncing. Flat GD rear tire.
I'd like to thank my fellow South Carolinians for that one. A 3" piece of wire went through tire and tube.
Perfect! 15 minutes from Service Course, and I had to burn and tube & CO2.
Still got a good 2 hours, even if it took more than 2-1/2.
The Dean and I met Sunday, and did a slow roll. Pretty much all I wanted/needed.
Came home, ate, tickled both bikes, and then The Nap Monster jumped up and slapped me down.
90 minutes felt good...

Night rides fire up Tuesday. Charge your lights...

Cyclocross fired back up last week. Sadly, there's ZERO available replay of CrossVegas, nor JingleCross. Both World Cups. Pitiful.

Here's Geraardsbergen from 2 weeks ago...


And with that, I'm out. Think I'mma take another nap...

20 September 2016

WHAAAAAAT?

Fun rides over the past few days...
Felt good...rode well...shocking. Better find some wood to knock on...
CC and I went out Saturday morning. I had to be back to Service Course early, as The Boss had to work an event Saturday afternoon, so we did the old Tuesday loop. 2 hours. 60km. Side by side. Easy peasy.
Sunday, The Heathens were few. We rode anyway. Out through Sandy Run, across to Swansea, and back.
Another side by side affair, only this time it was 95km. The weather was perfect. A damn good ride altogether.
I will admit though, I was a bit wrecked when I hit the door. 155km in the wind makes a brother tired. And of course, The Boss had plans for me Sunday afternoon. Shopping. With Junior Management. It was a treat.
The last thing I remember on Sunday was The Boss asking me a question, followed by, "Are you asleep?".
It was 8:30pm.

This morning was a good CX ride, punctuated by a couple of examples of dumbassery, and an episode of "Oh Shit...I'm sliding...!".
I had to jump on the brakes at a light, and it seems someone who had been there not long before must've had oil escaping from their car. Front brake washed, I let off, and it grabbed. Rear brake kicked the wheel out to an angle that was just shy of "you're gonna hit the ground, dummy...". I let off, and somehow saved it.
It might have been the vacuum created by my sphincter slamming shut. Others would not have been so lucky.
I composed myself at the light. Some guy in a plumbing truck complimented the save.
Green light, and not 500m later, some fat guy in a red-checkered shirt (might have been a tablecloth with a head hole) right hooked me. Thanks peckerneck. Thankfully, I saw it coming.
After explaining SC Vehicle Code to him, and reinforcing the fact that he had NO sort of priority, I continued on. I'm sure he anger ate at the restaurant he was turning into...
The rest of the ride was good...other than the dipshit in the Jag who illegally passed me on the right as I took the lane to turn...IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD!! I'll see that wanker again one day...
Another 60km in the bank before lunch on a Tuesday. I'm cool with that.

Remember when I said white kits should be outlawed? Well...
 I was CLEARLY wrong. I'm man enough to buck up and own the mistake.
 Oh myyyyyy....
 Possibly the best looking C60 on Earth...
Ditto the previous statement for this CX500. It's like Poundcake. Plain. Clean. Simple.

And we're done here. Time to get a nap. Rough day.

16 September 2016

It's Friday...you ain't got no job...

 When your toddler has the passion...
 If you haven't seen this guy ^^^^ win that particular race, please keep your opinions on cycling to yourself.
 Merckx.
 Beautiful brakes. Beautiful Design. Brilliant execution. Good luck stopping with them.
Shut Up And Take My Money.

Good rides this week. Did the new loop once on the CX bike and once on the road bike. Weird weather going on. Cloudy and dark in the mornings, then by lunch, El Sol was big and bright.
Fall is coming people. You can feel it and see it.
Leaves are already falling on my already browning grass. The joy that is removing leaves is about to begin.
Fortunately, I have Junior Management. They don't know it yet, but there will be manual labor involved in their near futures.
Also chased the creak on the Ridley cranks/BB...AGAIN! I finally lost my shit yesterday after it squawked at me for two hours. I came home, and stripped the whole shooting match apart.
Cranks out. Rings off. Pedals off. BB out.
Inspected the BB shell on the frame. Nothing. Clean and tight.
Everything got cleaned, then greased with an inch of it's life, and re-installed.
Test ride? Quiet.
If it creaks tomorrow, I'm going to start looking for Shimano cranks.

Gonna be nice this weekend. Go outside and play.

12 September 2016

It must be a Monday...

My shoulder slid out at some point last night. Feels GREAT.
I'm sitting here, arm all jacked up with pillows, trying to get the damn thing to return to it's normal upright and locked position. Needs surgery, but I sort of don't have the time right now.
Funny part...riding makes it better. Forces it up into position, and stay there. Might have to start lifting again to get a little muscled up...keep things locked in.

Speaking of riding, there were a couple of good one last week...
A new CX loop has been formulated. An extra section of dirt is now in play. The new loop adds a fair amount of climbing, and about 20km.
Did it Thursday. Seems like a good loop/plan for the morning rides through the Winter.
Speaking of, Fall/Winter needs to get here to beat back the growth on The Powerstation. Parts are getting really narrow.
Good ride Saturday. We meandered a bit. Took a few roads that we've neglected for a while. No dirt this week, but that's cool. I'm getting enough through the week.
I hit the door with 96km, so I did what any right-minded cyclist would do. I looped the block until the little screen showed 100.
We also had a nice morning of animal watching. Mini donkeys, mules, angus cattle, goats, and a few raptors popping up out of a freshly cut corn field. Several redtails, and one migrating Nighthawk were obviously enjoying the buffet of mice that had been revealed by the farm machinery.
We also ride past that 69 Z/28 that sits forlornly, rotting away under a tarp. Breaks my heart.
I'd go ask to buy it, but I fear dying of lead poisoning...if you get my drift.
The Dean & I met for an easy spin Sunday morning. The ride was easy. Getting out of town was not. One train was stopped, and blocked three separate ways of egress.
The term "around your ass to get to your elbow" is an apt description of how we got out.
Once out though, it was a nice, easy roll.
The Ridley creaked the whole fucking time. Once home, I showered and ate, then went down to Service Course. The left crank arm had worked a bit loose. Probably had something to do with #3 knocking the bike over...
Everything got pulled apart, cleaned, greased and tightened.
Then I napped...
Rough day.

Adam Blythe always has the best shoes...
 USAC says no hand-ups in CX racing. Sven Nys was handing up cupcakes in Chicago last weekend. Seems like we know all that's needed about the USAC ruling...
 Not a mountain bike guy, but I'd be okay with this garage combo...
 Oh my...I'm gonna need a minute...
It was at that moment, he knew that he'd fucked up...

Alright...it's 10am. I should get my day started. Again.











































06 September 2016

Been a minute...

Again, sorry...I know you missed me...
I was feeling dinged up, so I took a few days off the bike. When I got back on, I simply didn't update.
Oh well...
Not much to talk about. Been doing my own thing, as I know what works for me. Stick to the program. Yada yada yada...
More than a few rides on the Salsa. Dirt seems to get me where I need to be. Pushing around knobby tires on heavy surfaces makes the road bike feel almost easy.

Dean & I met Saturday morning, and did an easy 85km out through LR. It was a Chamber of Commerce day. Thanks TS Hermine!! You watered my grass and plants, and when you left, you took all of the heat and humidity with you.
Nothing like leaving the house when it's 65, and getting home 3 hours later when it's 75.
Spent the rest of the day at the soccer fields with Junior Management. We took futbols, and footballs, bikes, frisbees...pretty much anything that we could carry. 3 hours later, we were all wrecked. Naptime...
A few of The Heathens met Sunday morning. I went out to the end of Pine Plain, and then headed home. I knew the Labor Day FF50 was looming, so no effort was put forth during my short 50km spin.
Speaking of the FF50, or the FFF110...
We met at 7:30, and rode to the ride. After meeting, and kibbitz-ing, the group of 80+ rolled to the Swamp. Slowly. It was a good little spin out. Once past the park entrance, shit got real.
The trip to Eastover passed quickly...and painfully. Funny how everyone wants to be at the front until it means taking a pull into the wind at 45kmh.
Eastover back to Caughman passed peacefully, and a little less angrily. It was fine with most of us. 35kmh felt relaxing.
The DT folks gathered up, and rolled home en masse.
110km was covered, and to be honest, it was the first time I'd ridden with that amount of anger in my legs since last Labor Day. It felt good to know that something came back after surgery.
Gotta say though, the legs are hollow meat sticks today.
I'd planned on going out for a spin, but decided to go out in the backyard, and lay bricks instead.
290km over the last 4 days. I'll take the day off.

Colnago intro'd their new aero bike, the "Concept", at Eurobike...
 Two wheels good...
 Ducati Scrambler. Meaty...
The new Noah is attractive.

I'll get back to posting more often this week.

25 August 2016

Sorry...

I didn't do an update early in the week. I know you missed it...
We had a nice little group last Saturday morning, and we had a good ride...with plenty of breaks. Thanks to TG for riding shitty tires!
He had a flat on the way to meet us, and destroyed his spare tube AND his co2 apparatus. TVH gave him a Bontrager XXXXXXXXXXXXL tube, which, as we've discussed, suck a mile of ditch water.
It lasted about an hour, which has to be some kind of record for one of those shit tubes, as most of them either fail immediately, or are defective out of the box.
We had a nice spot to wait though...
Strangely, there were no mosquitoes. The upside to flatting next to a shrimp-farming pond.
There were no further mechanical issues, even after we were forced to traverse a dirt section.
We came home the hilly way, and I blame Taylor again, as he lives out near LR. Move to Shandon FFS!
Sunday was a deathmarch. It was short, and not hard, but a travail nonetheless.
Plenty of heart and lungs...no legs. I could have ridden 30kmh all day. Anything more than that wasn't happening.
Still got a good 2 hours, and a good nap when I hit the door.

Rode the Salsa on the dirt both days this week. Not a fan of riding solo on the road much anymore. Easier and safer to stick to the dirt. And WAAAAY better than going out to the Fort...ever.
Felt decent Tuesday. Felt pretty good today. 2 hours both days. Actually made a bit of an effort today to blow out the carbon.
AND it was 75 degrees this morning, which is way more preferable to the 95 degree silliness that's happening outside as I type this.
And I discovered something...
The Clement LAS CX tires are preferable to the Strada LGG, in pretty much every way.
More supple, turn better on AND off road, are more comfortable on AND off road, and float over loose stuff.
The Strada LGGs are okay for what they are, but now that I've ridden the LAS and LGG back to back, I'll take the LAS every time.

 F yo Sprinter van. I'll camp in this...
 Don't know where you're going unless you know you've been...
 Double chainrings AND cantilevers? If it's good enough for Sven, it's good enough for you!!
Hey Mike...how about a red C60?

Ok...enjoy the rest of your week. I'm gonna take a nap now...

19 August 2016

You happy for fat tires...?

Well, these are fatter...

I mentioned the 32mm Clement Strada LGG a while ago.
I wanted to try something different for mixed surface rides, and these presented themselves at a deal I couldn't pass up.
120tpi rubber, paired with Vittoria latex tubes.
And just to further irritate everyone, I mounted them on carbon wheels. Straight out of the box, they measured a true 32mm on "standard" (read - non-wide) hoops.
They're big. They're round. The volume is large. Figuring out pressures has been a bit of a faff.
First rides were a shot in the dark. I did a little math (I'm no good at math), and guessed that 70-ish psi would be okay. Nope.
At 70, the were about as supple as an armadillo. Hard on the road. Almost unrideable on the dirt.
As I was only afforded one shakedown ride prior to leaving for my #UndisclosedLocation, I would have to guess again.
I went down to 60F/65R for the rides on vacation. They rode better on the road, and were pretty good on the dirt. After about two weeks at those pressures, I came to realize that they were STILL not where I wanted them.
Yesterday, I dropped them to 55F/60R.
Results? Faster. More supple. Turned in better. Ride quality was greatly improved.
Here's what I've learned thus far...
On the road, they ride pretty similarly to a standard road tire. Listen, they're not Vittoria Corsas, so don't expect them to be. That's not their job.
They're heavier, lower TPI, and harder rubber. Speaking of heavier, there was a wide gulf between the weights of my two tires. One was 285g. The other, 325g. Kind of odd to have that big of a discrepancy.
Off road, they perform well on hard packed dirt. Never a moment of trouble, nor a near miss.
Here's the rub...
For as good as they are on hardpack, they seem to suffer a bit on loose stuff. Yeah, they're big and supple, but the roundness of the profile sort of works against them.
They don't float over loose sand. You get to find out how deep the sand pit is pretty quickly.
And they just don't like to turn on anything other than hardpack. They slide, then dig in, then catch, and shoot you off into another direction. If you aren't secure in your ability to handle a bicycle, you WILL eat shit.
Normally, I ride Clement LAS tires, which are the gold standard of file treads. Huge volume, varying knob sizes and orientations.
In the same situation (loose conditions), the LAS float over deep stuff. And once they catch, you just turn. No sliding around.
Am I comparing apples and oranges...? Maybe? But...
In the World of tires that do everything, they are comparable. Same size. Same weight. Same ease of fitment and use. Roll and turn about the same.
If I was doing a loop that was all hardpack/paved, I'd roll the Stradas. If there was a question about surface quality, LAS.
The tires themselves are tough as nails. I always look for the best lines through things. Handling ability affords this opportunity. No blindly crashing through for me. Even so, I'm not exactly "easy" on equipment. I'm 84kg. That rarely equates to "riding light".
That being said, after riding the Strada LGG 32s on sand, dirt, gravel, and Lexington County roads, they don't have a mark on them. No scuffs, scratches, nor cuts.
Want a Winter tire? Pick up some Stradas. They come in 23/25/28/32.
Be VERY aware though...
The 28mm and 32mm won't fit in your road bike. Not even close. After riding the 32s for a few weeks, they now measure 33.5mm...on "standard" wheels. On wide hoops (23-24mm wide), they'd EASILY be over 35mm.
Overall, I'd throw a 7.5 to 8 out of 10 at them. I'd be very interested to get my hands on a set of Challenge Strada Bianca tires, or even a set of the Vittoria Corsa in 30mm (coming soon), to compare.
You listening Challenge and Vittoria?

And lastly, and let's be frank here, they just look bitchin' on the bike.

Back on the Ridley this weekend...