02 September 2015

You dirty little mother fu....

So, if you ride, you bike has had a creak. You know the one. The creak that is incessant, wholly bothersome, and won't go away. The creak that requires you chase it, only for you to feel like Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius, chasing the Road Runner.
Yeah...welcome to my life for the past week.
At FoTD, it started. medium to high pitched, obviously in the cranks. Not a deep enough sound for it to be BB creak/knock.
As I could do nothing then, I rode it.
I figured it was chainring bolts. The Ridley had been ridden in the rain several times over the previous month. That shit happens, right?
Nope. Pulled the bolts. Cleaned and greased. Still creaking.
A couple more rides, and it didn't go away. Sometimes creaks go away.
Pedals off. Axles and crank holes cleaned and greased.
Nope. Not the pedals.
Well, it's probably time to pull the BB anyway...
Rotor cranks off the bike. BB pulled. Everything cleaned and greased. Honestly, it needed it.
Re-install. Test ride.
GD it!!!!!!!!
Back down in Service Course, and nearly out of brain power, I stared at the bike. Wondering if it would float after I threw it in the river.
Upon standing, I noticed something. The little nub on the big ring...you know, the one that keeps the chain from getting caught between the crankarm and big ring (should one throw the chain over the outside)?

That 4mm piece of alu had broken loose (shouldn't), moved, and become wedged against the crankarm (again, shouldn't).
Every time the cranks flexed under pressure, it rubbed...and creaked.
Big ring off. Dremel tool out. Bye Bye you dirty little mother fuc....
Cleaned. Reinstalled. Test ride.
No more creak.
3-ish hours. Overhauled the cranks, pedals, and BB. Ain't it always the way?

The Vuelta is going on. Crashes are wiping people out. Neutral service motos are wiping people out. Dudes are testing discs.
That being said, some BRUTAL racing is going on.
Today's stage. What the what? Dumoulin is riding a 34/28 today...

Remember the Porsche that Matt Brammeier hit (or the Porsche that kept him from flying into the woods...)?
Yeah...that's not gonna buff out...
I ran it through the Mitchell Manual software. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $15k damage.
Ouchies all the way around...

Weird ride last night. We went out SLOOOOW. Too many people. Too many people feeling heroic b/c we were going slow. Rushing the front. Riding beyond their skill level. I had a bad feeling about it, but I knew it wasn't going to catch me out.
At the end of Old Wire, I turned around and rode home at tempo.
Don't know what, if anything, happened...
I got my saddle time, and got rid of more "stuff".

Thinking I might head out to The Powerstation this morning to spin the legs....

Happy Dromedary Day....

31 August 2015

Coming back to life

So after the better part of a week, I got back on the bike...
Friday was a test.
Easy HoP on the road bike. Got ride of a lot of "stuff" that was lingering in my head. Pleasant...I know.
Saturday, nothing but a 90km roll through the Swamp. Weather was perfect. 70s and overcast. I wore a baselayer. Whaaaat?
Sunday was a rainy affair. We did the Tues/Thurs loop in a light rain. Just enough moisture to exacerbate the creak that I'm chasing on the Ridley, and make it very, very dirty.
And had a bit of a scare on a raised white line. The front wheel caught it, and decided to head off in a direction other than straight ahead.
Fortunately, the combination of sticky Vittoria Open Corsas, and superior handling skills, kept me vertical and traveling forward. There was a moment of pucker though...
The drugs are working, and the "stuff" in my head is becoming less and less.
I'd like to ride this morning, but I just don't see it happening. It's wet, sort of dark, and I'm tired.
Not to mention that I need to give the Salsa some attention, and make sure the creak emanating from the Ridley has been silenced.
And Target...there's always a trip to Target....

Did you guys know that a CX bike could be ridden on groomed singletrack?

Who knew?

Me...that's who...except I'm riding UP hill...

Had a few good photos to upload, but The Googles seems to be acting up this morning.

Time to take #3 to school, and head to Target. The joy that is my life on a rainy Monday morning....

25 August 2015

Ain't it always the way...

After last Tuesday's swim, er...I mean ride, I really didn't feel like getting wet again on Wednesday. Skies were sort of threatening, and it drizzled early, but knowing I couldn't ride Thursday due to family commitments, I went out anyway.
The thought was to join the OSB ride, but I guess they're all made of sugar, as the mere chance of rain scared everyone off.
I did the HoP, and went home. Not a drop of rain fell...
No ridey for the rest of the week...

Saturday, most of our little band headed to Clinton for The Flight of The Dove.
Great ride, great support, great cause.
Getting up at 5am really sucks though. 
Got there, kitted up, and rolled at 8. Deciding not to get caught in the mayhem, we let the front group roll away. After a few miles, certain chaff had been dropped, and three or four little groups came together to form a nice second bunch.
We rolled together at 35-40kmh for a long while.
Before the left turn to head into Cross Anchor, a tacit agreement had been made to make a quick stop at RS #3, right around the 65km mark. A few of us rolled to the back, and started to slow. About that time, the guys who were on the front decided to ignore the agreement, and rolled past the RS at high speed. 
Oh well...see ya later.
Doug and I stopped, filled bottles, and rolled the remainder of the 101km together. 
Gotta say...it was a good ride. Much better than last year, when I came apart in a fairly spectacular fashion.
3 hours. Easy peasy.
I did a quick change, jumped in The Beast, and was home by 12:30.
Then I got the privilege of listening to my In-Laws yammer for the rest of the afternoon. Should have just driven past the house...

Spun for a bit Sunday. #2 wanted to go, so we hit the dirt road for nearly 90 minutes. He hung in. No whinging at all. That being said, he DID hit the rack, of his own volition, at 7:30 that night. 

All of the MTs went to school yesterday (finally) so I hit the PowerStation. Felt REALLY good. Just sort of stomped the pedals. This is where things went downhill...
About 3pm, I started to feel like shit. Full head. Ripping headache. Hello end of Summer sinus infection...nice of you to join us. MFer....
No sleep last night. Head feels like a football. I feel rough...
A few good rides, some good feelings in the legs...and this...
The Neti Pot and I have become very close since yesterday afternoon...

No ridey tonight...
I might be out Thursday. Definitely by the weekend...

Nibali getting the stickiest bottle EVER.

He got tossed from the Vuelta for it. His team's response? "Show me an honest rider..."
Seriously...GFY Astana.

And you want some argy-bargy?

And you thought Cat 3 crits were crazy....

I need to go lay down...
Happy Tuesday...I'll be under the couch...

19 August 2015

A ride with many, many things....

Left late.
Train at the bottom of Rosewood.
Train at Huger.
Raced the train to the Frat/Sorrow Country Club.
Beat it by about 100m.
Took life by the hand to ride through the CC.
Made it to the ride.
Big group.
Seemingly a quick ride. Felt quick. Probably wasn't.
A little rain fell.
I slid a bit on the traffic circle. Sat up, knowing I had to ride home.
Rain started to fall harder.
Looked a bit like this off to the South...
Thought I could beat it home.
Wind picked UP. Rain fell harder.
Rain became blinding. Gusts to 30-ish mph. Was that hail?
Yes...it was hail. Tiny, little, stinging hail.
Rain falling in torrential sheets. That was DEFINITELY lightning.
Got flying monkeys dark. Didn't see the Wicked Witch.
May have stopped if I had. (That's Rachel Weisz BTW)
Didn't stop...already soaked.
Water FLOWING down the road. Hope there's not a pothole.
Dude in a Jeep pulls up beside me to make sure I'm okay. Thanks man! Appreciate your concern.
Big ringed up the hill on Rosewood, and all the way up through the 'hood.
Rode harder to get home that the group ride itself.
Made it back to Service Course.
It was hectic for a little while. Not quite Summer 2011 hectic, but alarming nonetheless.

Wiped down the Noah. Should probably go down and see if it needs to be drained. And re-lube the bits that need it.

It was a good time.

17 August 2015

A whole lotta nothing...

Woke up at the crack of 8 on Saturday. It was a mountain weekend for a lot of folks. Not me...
#2 and I loaded up the bikes, the trailer, and various trail clearing implements, and headed out to The Powerstation.
Logs, limbs, and vines were cut and cleared. Previous fallen stuff that would cause problems was raked away.
You're welcome.
And a few of us are formulating a plan to build a crossing over the washout, which is quickly becoming a ravine. One side is rideable...for now...if you have the necessary skill.
It was a good morning. QT spent with the boy, and some good bike karma earned.
Woke up late again Sunday, and did the HoP loop on the road bike. Easy peasy. Made the mistake of coming in on Pulaski, through the Vista. Must have been move in day at the new apartments built down there, as there was a line of about 500 kids and parents. Poor planning on a whole lot of ends.
No thanks...
Once home, I fiddled with the bikes for a bit. New cleats on the road shoes, and general cleaning. I did put a 25mm Vittoria Open Corsa on the Williams WS28 wheels.
Two things :
1) The tire is HUGE. I mean appreciably big. It will likely be the setup for Winter riding.
2) It clears the brakes and stays on the Noah, but BARELY. There MIGHT be 2.5mm clearance on each plane.
Should be interesting to ride. We'll jump off that bridge when we come to it...

 A properly fitting skinsuit. Cipollini, of course...

 Who did the surgery on Peter Stetina's leg? Dr. Mengele? Did his leg get broken OFF?
On the serious, practical tip, how big of a fit issue did this create? That's a whole lot of bent leg going on.
Makes Phinney's leg look like a flesh wound.

If you see someone do this to a Coppi track frame, assault them, and liberate the bike. That shit's just not right!

Time to go buy a computer for the bike. I thought I could go without, but the habit of looking down at a little LCD screen is too ingrained. It's not Froome-esque, by any stretch, but a habit nonetheless.

Happy Monday...first day of school here. So quiet....

14 August 2015

Oy vey...my back...

So a week at the beach, throwing children around in the surf, not to mention the driving involved to get to and fro, will jack up a brother's back.
Tuesday and Thursday night's rides were WAY harder than they should have been simply because my back hurt when I tried to pedal with any sort of force.
Fortunately, I got a good Renicking this morning.
Speaking of T/Th rides, the one who shall not be mentioned was in normal form, which is to say, riding like a numpty.
Dropped on Tuesday, only to catch on at a red light, then attacks the group at the sprint. Ran a stop sign in front of traffic Thursday in order to get away from the group. Pssst....we let you go. Take the hint...AND GO!

At least the weather was really nice this week. Cooler, and less humidity. Yeah, I know it was still 90, but it's all relative.

There are two groups headed to the mountains this weekend. One Saturday, and one Sunday. Both will be 100km-ish mile rides. Should be a good time.
I'm staying home. I'm tired, and honestly, don't care to get into another car for a while. I've driven in excess of 40 hours in the last 30 days. No more windshield time for a while.
Instead, #2 MT and I are going to head out the The Powerstation in the morning for some trail work. Probably be out there around 10am, if anyone is interested.
Lots of trees, branches, and various other detritus to clean up after all of the storms.

The Secret Pro had an interesting entry over at CyclingTips...
He always has some surprises. One thing that wasn't surprising is the behavior of Garmin-Cannondale's management towards it's riders.

"Word on the grapevine is that the team has been pretty shitty with certain riders after the Tour, but that’s nothing new. One of their riders who failed to finish the Tour didn’t get invited to the after-Tour team dinner in Paris, something I’ve never heard of. Usually if you’ve been in the race you get to attend and have some sort of celebration."

Really? Not inviting riders to the team party? No wonder Dan Martin refused their contract offer, and is going to QuickStep. Vaughters needs to go away, and let his riders out from under his "management". 
Wonder how all of the Garmin fanboys/girls, and Fauxperts will defend it? 

Parlee went next level with this paintjob.

Custom BMW R90 dirt tracker. Shut up and take my money!!!

And I'll leave with this...

It's a $285, leather covered, bike lock. Shinola is pushing the boundaries of common sense. Seriously. This makes Rapha shit look like an intelligent choice. It doesn't protect your rig any better either. It's a fucking artisan bike lock.
Hipsters, meet your new God.
It's difficult to type while shaking my head. Try it...

10 August 2015

Back to Reality

Monday after vacation. Depressing...
At least there's only a week until school starts, and I can ship of the MTs for most of the day.
I really feel bad for The Boss. She had to go back to the office today. I say this because 2 of her 3 underlings are about as emotionally mature as 9 year olds.
They evidently went after each other all week.
I'm honestly convinced one of them has Asperger's.

We drove back for our #undisclosedlocation Saturday. Nearly the entire trip through rural Georgia. We decided that there are four crops in Georgia.
Peanuts. Cotton. Soybeans. Pecans.
That's all we saw.
As Dean pointed out, 3 of the 4 are crops with healthy Government subsidies.
The drive home was uneventful, if not outright boring. The Beast performed admirably, as always. Swallowed up 6 people, and a dog, along with all of out shit, and ran like a champ.

I pulled the Ridley off the roof when we hit Service Course. It was foul. A week's worth of riding, in sun and rain, on tarmac and dirt, PLUS 1000 miles on the roof makes a white bike REALLY nasty.
And I don't know what kind of bugs are flying around in rural Ga., but when they hit the bike, they exploded. Little red firework-esque explosions of bug guts. Puke....
Even though I was dog tired, the bike got cleaned. My OCD prevented it from staying that way.

I rolled out Sunday, and met M & D at the spot for an easy Sunday spin. I felt a bit wrecked, but needed it to get some blood moving. 65km later, I was home.
The yard got cleaned. Thanks last week's storms. The front door was disassembled. Thanks last week's storms. A Whole Foods run was made. And The Beast got a bath to remove the salt, sand, and Ga. bugs.
The remainder of my day was spent lounging on the couch.
Oh, and replacing the bar tape on the Ridley. It was just gross...

 Had a good ride with #2 one of the days. The headwind was brutal, but he said it was cool, it "...makes him stronger..."
True dat buddy, true dat...
Later that night, we rode down to the lighthouse.  Not a bad spin with the kids.

Friday, The Boss wanted to go to a remote beach, so I helped her load the MTs, and then headed out on the bike, and met them there.
I did a few small loops, trying to hide from the 20+ mph breeze off the water, then hit the main road to roll it to our meeting spot. Once on the main road, I had those winds at my back. 40-45kmh was NO effort. Just turned it over. 50kmh was easily obtained.
When I hit the last section of road, through the dunes, I gave it some stick, and stayed over 50kmh for about 10 minutes. It was like motorpacing. So good.
And it was worth the effort....

And now, I get to look up the school supplies list for the MTs. Oh, and a few days make a World of difference.

Enjoy your Monday! I'm going to muddle through...