20 June 2016

If you didn't...

...we'll get to that in a moment...

My friend Steve wrote this...
He ain't wrong...

 Not a big fan of blacked out bikes, but this Canyon pushes my buttons...
If you can't name the guys in this picture, please save your opinions of pro cycling...

As a few of our little band of old guys are out of town, the group was a bit smaller Saturday morning. Those that rolled did so under a gray sky, but...and it's a Kardashian-sized but(t), it was cool outside. Shocking...I know...
We did a heavily modified, yet pretty easy 80km, and hit roads that we literally have not ridden in YEARS. And we stopped at Bunky's for the bottle refill. If you cannot find what you need to survive at Bunky's, there is no hope for you. Seriously...
Anywho, after our stop, we rolled across to LRHS, and dropped TG at his 'hood, then rolled home through the back side of Double Homie, where we ambushed by a stealthy little brown dog. Little bastard was laying in the ditch...waiting...
Once home, I finished the patio (cutting bricks). And being the dumbass that I am, I set up my saw in the ONE spot under the canopy that the sun gets through. 99% shaded backyard. I was the 1%.
After cleaning up, I went to check on The Boss. She was in front, fighting with a lorepetalum. Saws, axes, etc., to pull the thing out of the ground. 45 minutes to ALMOST get the first one out.
I told her to back away, then rolled The Beast to within about 6 feet of the hedgerow. The 10,000 pound towstrap was attached, and the 5 shrubs were yanked from the ground within 15 minutes.
Don't work hard. Work smart.
Having a full-size SUV, a towstrap, and a bit of knowledge help too.

Many Heathens were absent from the 9am service at The Church of The Big Ring on Sunday.
And as the title states, If you didn't ride on Sunday morning, you missed it.

A Sunday ride...in June...70 degrees? WHAAAT?
I realize the "Support the Fort" ride was going on, but I refuse to support a place that doesn't want cyclists to be there, and continually holds up more hoops for cyclists to jump through.
Yes, they do, and if you argue that they don't, you haven't ridden in this town long enough to know the difference.
And contrary to belief, there ARE other safe places to ride, and ALL of those places are FAR more attractive. And BTW, I know more people that have been hit by cars (and Army trucks) ON the Fort, than on the roads surrounding it.
But you all just keep riding loops among the scrubby oak, and pine trees. I'll keep these views to myself...
The Dean and I meandered about, and ended up riding 100km. Easy peasy.
Once back to Service Course, I tore down the bottom end of the Noah. Seems a BB that's only slightly more than finger tight will, in fact, create creaking sounds akin to duck sex.
Yeah, I don't know what that means either...
180km, on legs that took last week off, makes a brother tired. Manual labor didn't help...
Enjoy today, as it looks like the last day before Ma Nature turns the heat back up.

Deuces...



17 June 2016

G.O.A.T.

Eh...Eddy...you have big happy birstday....



Took the week off the bike. Figured I'd take until Thursday, but I had a physio appointment, so what's another couple of days. I'll go out this weekend.


13 June 2016

Hot and hotter

We had a nice little group Saturday morning...until The Dean shellacked a hole on Shop, not 15 minutes into the ride, and double flatted. We all stopped, but it was clear to see that his enthusiasm for the ride had quickly waned.
He called for pickup. We rode on.
It was quicker than usual, and we meandered a bit, hitting a few roads we hadn't been on for a while.
KL's bike was acting up, so he was stuck in the 36 for the first half of the ride. Can't have that. It insults my sensibilities. A multi-use stop was decided upon.
CC took pictures of an abandoned church, and I took a BIG swing at the B-screw on KL's rear mech.
People, the B-screw is important. Not enough tension, and the chain will jump around, and shifting will be on par with the Trump presidential run.
Once back up and running, we rolled pretty well t the end. Gotta say though, somewhere in the last 30 minutes of the ride, temps went from warm/comfortable, to "Hey, it got hot...".
And shortly after I got home, my week of solitude was shattered by the return of Corpo. (Insert Sad Trombone sound here)

The Heathens met for TCOTBR on Sunday morning. Good group. Then trouble began to arise.
It was warm from jump, and once out towards Swansea, I knew I was going to have issues. No power. High HR. Shit.
After the stop, I thought I could ride through it. Nope. Core temp through the roof. Much like a vehicle whose ECU senses problems, I went into limp mode. Stayed mostly in contact, but was coming apart.
Mike flatted his rear Bora...again, so I got a break under the shade of a tree. After that...I did nothing more than turn the pedals over to get me home. No bonk...just the inability to get cooled off.
I made it home, but things were not very fun for about 2 hours after. Cold sweats, nausea, chills, dizziness...
Time to sit under the cold shower. I sat in the tub with cold water running on me for about 30 minutes.
Once out, I sat on the AC vent for a while, and my symptoms subsided.
It only reinforced that I just cannot handle big heat anymore. And yes, the heat was BIG.

I did get a few good snaps though...


Between the heat issues, and feeling a bit dinged, I'm taking a few days off. In my 8 days of ostensible 'singleness', I rode 450km. Biggest week in a LONG time, and definitely more than enough to make my knee a bit stiff.
And it's forecast to be HOT this week. I'll stay inside, where it's in the mid 70s.

 While I still think white bibs are silly, I also reserve the right to allow exceptions...
 Racing lesson : Don't ride TO the line. Ride THROUGH the line. #BikeThrowsMatter
Hey Mike, how about this Pininfarina DeRosa? 

Happy Monday kids. I'd say go outside to enjoy the sunshine, but it might melt you into a puddle.

See you in a few....


09 June 2016

No one ever accused me...

So Monday, I decided to roll out on the bike...Tropical Storm Colin be damned. The radar showed an opening to the South. I figured I'd be okay...maybe ride for a bit, then get wet...
I made it to the fairgrounds before the rain started.
Maybe I'll ride out of it, the radar showed a clear swath.
Yeah, right...funny shit...
As I progressed down 12th, the rain got heavier. By the time I got to Amazon, visibility was, shall we say, poor. Maybe 50ft. The rain hurt. The headwind was brutal.
Screw the loop, I turned at the end, and headed for home. The tailwind was pleasant. Nothing like tapping out 45-50kmh without any sort of effort.
Once back to the river, the rain was light again. Up Gervais. 'Hood. Service Course.
I had pruney bathtub fingers. I poured out my shoes. It really wasn't altogether fun.
Rain, and low visibility doesn't stop drivers from being idiots.
Tuesday. Group ride. Same silly behavior. I found a little group of people who knew what the hell they were doing, and rode in with them. Plus, it was hot as balls.
Thus is the reason I rolled out this morning, and got my two hours before lunch. Wait for 90+, or roll when it's 68? Derp...
CX bike...thank you.
It's green out there...
...except for the fact that getting to the end is difficult unless you have swimmies.
Der Schlammloch is back. Thanks SCE&G, for all you do to fuck up a perfectly good road.
Alternate loop. Gervais. 'Hood. Service Course.
Followed by some light weights. Well, repairing the landscape bricks that The Boss chose to hit with her car on her way to the beach. I'll count it, as they weigh about 25 pounds each.

Other stuff:
 More of that stainless Demon. Fuuuuu....
 Riders today have no style. Mario WAS style.
On the list of townies I wish were down in Service Course, this might have just taken top spot.
And speaking of things that should be in my possession...
 mmmm...scrambler....
This is some next level stuff.  Even the 70s paint is okay...

And we've come to the conclusion of our mid-week check-in...
Be safe out there. They aren't looking for you!



05 June 2016

Tomorrow's post...today!

Yeah...a whole 12 hours early. We'll get to why in a minute...

First, let's deal with that whingey bitch, Chris Horner...
The Whatever-The-Hell-It's-Called Pro Race went off in Philly today. Didn't really pay attention until rumors of Horner having a full-on, spoiled child melt down.



A few things...
-How in the wide, wide, World of Sports does a seasoned (old) pro NOT KNOW HOW TO GET THE FUCKING CHAIN BACK ON? Yes, I yelled that part!! Christ, it only took 30 minutes to teach a bunch of noob women how to do it at camp.
-Let's get something straight. Throwing a bike is wholly unprofessional, and completely bad juju. The fact that YOU don't know how to shift is a YOU problem. Who dumps out of the big ring, under power, at the base of a climb? Oh, that's right...people who don't know any GD better.
-And lastly, if any of you decide to have a Chris Horner...gone full Trump...moment, and throw your Eddy Merckx, and I'm at all nearby, I will smack you around for a period of 30-60 seconds on principle. No...that's not a threat...it's a promise.

Retire, Chris. Just go the F away. I'm sure Danielson has a spot for you on his staff at rich, douchebag, fanboy camp.

Now...
Thursday, I went out to the group ride. Pretty big group. All wanted to be near the front. None wanted to actually be on the front. Then it started to rain. Things got weird. Too many brake touches.
I went through the turn at the end of 12th first, then pulled WAY left, and sat up.
Turned around, and rode in the rain until back into town. Once at the river, it was dry. Not a drop of rain fell.
Third rain ride in a week! Cool! (not really...)
Yesterday, we had a nice, convivial group. Out through the Swamp, into Eastover, past the mini-donkey farm and home. 100km. Seems to be the theme for Saturdays any more. Came home to an empty house.
Corpo went to the beach for a week. I'm Juan Solo...
The quiet is deafening.
Oh, and we rode the closed portions of Bluff. Yes, one must traverse a few big piles of dirt, but the road...newly paved...is sublime.



The plan was to get up and ride this morning, but my shoulder decided to slide out, thus giving me a RIPPING headache. Sleep ended somewhere around 3:30am. No ridey for me. Apologies to those who showed this morning.
And now we've reached the reason for the early post...
I'ma get up in the morning and knock down an easy spin. 2 hours. Easy Peasy. And as I've grown weary of cleaning the Ridley, and The PowerStation is likely a muddy, heavy mess, the Salsa is wearing road wheels. If it gets wet, it gets wet.
And the house painters are coming bright and early, so I want to get out of here while they bang around outside.
I'm out the door @ 9, if anyone wants to join...

 Well...hello beautiful...
 This is in China...just in case anyone wants to go...
 Oh Mike...
 Rotor cranks. Praxis rings. Guess he ran out of money when it came to pedals...
And we'll finish with some art. Demon Frameworks does things right. This is a Columbus XCr (stainless) frame. Just lovely...

TS Colin is supposed to blow through tomorrow night, into Tuesday. Riding in two tropical systems inside of a week? Sure...why not?
Enjoy...




02 June 2016

From the WTF files...

I'm all for design exercises. They push the envelope, and take us to new places.
Sometimes those places are good...full of sunshine, rainbows, and unicorn farts.
Other times, those places have people who install plates, and screws, to put us back together.

Here's one that is probably the latter...


Reynolds partnered with a UK frame builder to see what could be done with 3D printing of Ti.
Now listen, I'm no engineer. Never claimed to be. What I AM, is fairly knowledgeable about bicycles. What works,,,what doesn't...what is clearly dangerous and stupid...
Let's examine the photos above (there are plenty more to peruse in the linked article)...

--The open/mesh headtube :
Cool looking. Probably very light. Stiff? not so much. After pressing in a headset, and riding the frame for a while, it seems clear that a bit of tuliping would probably occur. Not good for the orthodontic work your parents paid for so many years ago.
And the headset itself? Think it'll be crunchy after a few wet rides? (You can answer that one yourselves!)
--The top tube :
It's OPEN on the end that attached to the headtube. If it's raining, you'd never have to stop at the store for water. Simply dump the frame into your bottles. And as SpokeJunky pointed out, after a wet ride, it's a "Hang to Dry" affair.
--The BB shell :
Can't thread that one, eh? And again, I'm no engineer, but methinks that the open, mesh-like design would be problematic as far as the life expectancy of BB bearings goes. Unless, of course, one truly enjoys pulling apart the crank/BB set-up on their bike, and servicing it every, I don't know, two weeks or so. Or after every rain ride...which ever comes first.
We ALL know how dependable, and noise-free, the pressfit bearings are. BB30...cough...cough...
And this isn't really a design flaw, per se, but more a comment on craftsmanship. Who welded this thing? The welds look like the toothpaste my kids blop (it's a word!) into the sink.
Did they miter the tubes with a butterknife?
Not exactly good marketing for that builder.
This is a proper Ti weld...

As a design exercise, it's cool. It shows what can be done with 3D printing. It's the future.
Would I ride it? Sure...on a golf course. That way, when the frame fails in a catastrophic manner, there will be plenty of soft, and possibly damp, grass on which to land.

Let's just hope this big SOB isn't hanging around...


Happy Thursday!




31 May 2016

2 out of 3 ain't bad...


Good ride Saturday morning, even though Kevin and I weren't told the ride was leaving at 8.
Thanks.
No matter.
We rolled out into LR, enjoyed the sunshine, and got 80km. He hasn't ridden in 8 weeks...life...
It was funny. He was very chatty for the first couple of hours. The last 30 minutes or so were decidedly more quiet.
We also turned down Zeigler Rd., out in Hopkins. Thinking the giant "Road Closed" signs might have been an ruse, we rode past them. Well...
As you can see, it's sort of...not...there...
The gap is 150+ feet. Bigger than the gap on Air Base, by a wide margin. We turned around. Upon heading back out, we noticed that the crown of the road had shifted a bit. The remaining lane has subsided. It was a bit like riding on a sidehill...
I got back to Service Course and did dad things. Kevin said he laid down and had leg cramps. Been there pal...
Welcome back.
No Ridey Sunday, as TS Bonnie was making landfall, and my mother decided to show up 2 hours earlier than planned. Instead, I took a nap.
Should have ridden. It wasn't THAT bad outside...
Monday was that FF50. As usual, we met at the airport, and rode to the ride. Big John rode in from LexCo.
Stud.
The ride out to the Swamp was uneventful. Even pleasant. The group was HUGE this time around, even with the wet roads, and threat of weather.
Once out of the National Park, things went batshit, as usual. I let it go. I don't have that anger in my legs yet. And honestly, I'm glad I let it go.
Cedar Creek is beat to shit, and borderline dangerous, especially in big groups.
Blackberry is no better, and sadly, someone came to grief.
The front group was hauling ass, in the rain, and someone hit a chunk of displaced pavement @ about 45kmh. Immediately blew the front tire, and he crashed on his head. Not good.
BC was on it ASAFP, and stabilized his head/neck. An Ambulance was called, and to RCEMS's credit, they were there in less than 10 minutes.
Big deal you say? It was a big deal, as we were in the middle of fucking NOWHERE.
We all rolled to the store stop, and kept the pace reasonable.
Another reasonable pace took us back to the park, and then back home.
I ended up with 115km in a tick less than 4 hours. Good stuff.

Now for what A LOT of us have been thinking, and actually discussed...
STOP RIDING OVER YOUR HEADS!!! We know that everyone wants to stay in the front, and show how fast they are. Super. Good for you.
Speed often outstrips ability. Just because you can ride in a group at 25+ mph doesn't mean you have the ability, and experience, to do so.
It's exactly why this crash happened. It's exactly why the last several crashes on group rides have happened.
Know your limits folks!!
Don't ride with your head down. EYES UP!!
Be steady. Don't panic on the bike. That behavior accordians down the group, and creates problems behind you.
Point stuff out. Don't just swerve around it. And point it out well before you get to it. If your eyes are up, the hole/debris/roadkill/whatever should been seen well in advance.
Don't leapfrog!! If you have been shuffled to the middle/back in the course of the ride, stay there. Don't rush the front when it slows down. It's dangerous for EVERYONE.
I cannot count the number of gaps I've had to close because riders have leapfrogged, then run out of steam when the pace picks back up.
Cycling has a STEEP learning curve, especially riding in big groups. The fact that bought a $5000 bike, and all of the commensurate gear is great. Just know the purchase didn't include the ability, and knowledge, that many of us have compiled over the last two decades.
You know how we learned/got taught? We stayed in the back. We listened when advice was given. We got yelled at by the more experienced riders. No one wants that to happen again.
Please, do not take this as some elitist/racer diatribe. It isn't. Cycling is a beautiful, inclusive thing. Everyone is welcome.
It's about safety. The goal should be to have a fun, safe, and even fast ride, then go home to our families.
There's NO podium in the parking lot!!!!
We're in this together folks.

Thanks!
M