27 October 2016

Well...hello Fall...

It was 72 yesterday. I was looking for a hoodie. My blood has gotten thin in my advanced age.
No ridey last Saturday, as Junior Management had futbol at 0900. Immediately following the match, we went to the Fair.
Wanna know what kills your back and legs? being on them for almost 8 hours straight. Oof.
I rarely take pain meds, nor NSAIDs. I took two Aleve Saturday afternoon, then spent the better part of 45 minutes on the floor with the foam roller.
It helped, but I tightened up nicely overnight.
Riding out Sunday morning to meet Statler and Waldorf was rough. I honestly thought that it was going to be a LONG day on the bike.
Once rolling, things loosened up, and I felt better the longer we stayed out.
The 100km passed pretty easily.
About 20 minutes from Service Course, I hit something that sounded like metal. I figured the tire was cut and dead.
Nothing. No cut. No hole. Quick change and we were gone.
That being said, it was a bluebird day.

Went out and did a little modified CX+ loop. Felt okay. Just sort of spun around. 'Twas breezy. Still got a solid two hours, and the PowerStation was just about perfect.
Night ride tonight. They've been big fun lately. Tonight should be no different, especially b/c we all get to watch TG on his new CX bike.
Yeah...Colnago w/Campag Chorus 11v and Ksyrium Allroad Tubeless wheels. Needs a longer stem, a layback Thomson, and...oh Dog...is that a FSA crank?
Built up easy enough, except for the Avid BB5 disc brakes. Setting them up so they didn't feel like ass is a task.

 Speaking of CX bikes...
Gotthard Pass. Switzerland. When are we leaving?
Know these guys? Know what they're riding?
 If not...well...you know...
And now, from the "I can't even..." file...
FFS y'all, pick one....
And the GD laces are attached to the velcro. WHAT?
Makes my head itch....

Gonna ride out and clear a tree now...

21 October 2016

One and One

As I will attempt to do for most of the Fall/Winter, I split my rides this week. One day. One night.
Yeah, riding in the morning is easier. Get up, get Junior Management off to school, hit the bike. Easy Peasy. No sitting around all day. No letting the day spiral out of control so it fucks up a night ride.

Tuesday morning, I hit the CX+ loop. 2 hours. No fuss. The PowerStation is in good nick right now. There are some soft spots, but if you're gonna ride off-road, you gotta learn to ride the stuff. Watching videos of it on YouTube doesn't cut it.
Oh yeah, I did come close to getting killed though.
Some dumbass in an old pickup decided he wanted to turn into a street as I was crossing the intersection. Fortunately, my handling skills are far above average.
I broke hard right, bunny-hopped the curb, and rode across someone's yard.
The dude stopped and gave me the old "SMIDSY". To which I responded with a torrent of expletives, and a threat to drag him from his means of conveyance, and beat him into a puddle.
It was the closest call I've had in years. Had I been looking down, just for a moment, to get my bottle, or basically ANYTHING else, I would have gotten creamed.
Stay Frosty my friends. The cagers aren't looking for us.
I sat around all day yesterday, waiting for the night ride...watching it spiral away from me at a couple of points.
I love having irresponsible family. It's brilliant. Grown-ass people with ZERO back up plans...for anything.
The Boss said she'd take care of the issues, so I was out. If she wants to deal with FIVE children, two of which aren't ours, and don't know what the word "NO" means, have at it.
I rolled out with KL. We missed CC. Sorry man...we were yapping away, and neglected to stop at the pre-determined meeting spot.
7 of us rolled out to the dirt. Gotta say, the days are getting SHORT. It was dark by the time we got to the end of The PowerStation. Coming back, I chose to tempt fate, and suggested the Clement Cut-Through.
You know, the one that ate my D/A R/D last week.
It's getting a bit ridden in at this point. A little work this Winter and it'll be a nice little trail to ride.
We rolled home with no issues.
A fun 2:15 on the bike was had by all.
Rumor has it that TayTay will have his Colnago CX bike done tomorrow. Watching him go full Bambi on it next week will be fun.

Two wheels GOOOOD....
 I'll take the Duc as it sits...
 I'm no MTB guy, but I do appreciate the "Simple is Better" MoS. The C'dale above is some high-tech, pro-level shit, but it's SIMPLE. No special gee-gaw shit, just for the sake of it.
Style. And look at the luft of the cap. So Pro....

Big CX races this weekend in Europe....
Stayed tuned next week.
Soccer in the morning, then I promised to take JM to the Fair. Yes...I am a dummy...

17 October 2016

Alone time

Two solo rides over the weekend. Probably for the best.
Futbol was LATE on Saturday, so I rolled out of the sack, and got on the bike relatively early.
Did the normal CX+ loop. Felt really good, and the Salsa seems to be running perfectly.
Had to slow down on The PowerStation a couple of times, as people have discovered that it's a good place to walk their dogs off leash.
First time was for a bully breed that had some sort of haggard skin issue. Poor fella...
Second was funny, and played with the imagination of my inner 8 year old.
I was going sort of hard, and my glasses were spotted up with sweat when I glanced ahead and saw something big, black, and furry come bounding out of the woods. I saw no one else around.
So the little peanut I call a brain started working. That's either a big, fuzzy dog, or a black bear.
Now, before you say, "There aren't black bears here....", I will point you to the DNR reporting website.
Bears in the Upstate. Bears in the Lowcountry. Odds are, there are a few roaming the deep woods in the Midlands...
Anyway, once a little closer, I saw a woman, and the big, black, furry beast ran right to her. Yeah...dog.
I stopped to say hello, and give the dog a scratch. He was big. A good boy too.
Rolled up thru downtown, and home. Good morning on the bike.
It was lovely outside Saturday morning too...

Sunday, I woke up in a generally foul mood. Don't know why. Impending super Moon maybe...
Didn't really want to ride with anyone, so I jetted, and did a solo ride, and pushed a little to push out the bad stuff. A little pain tends to do that...
I was rolling, just turning it over w/o a lot of difficulty. I got to a crossroads, and saw nothing coming either way, so I ripped across. In my haste, I neglected to see a crater  pothole. I got the front over it, but couldn't life the back in time. Just shellacked it. Thought everything was cool, until about a km later.
Yep...pinched the tube.
Quick change, and I was on my way. Sadly, the CO2 cart in my bag was a 12g (who buys 12g CO2?), so the rear tire only had about 75psi in it for the remainder of my ride. No matter...I was out n the sunshine.
Rolled home via 12th St., thru downtown, and up into the 'hood.
Good ride, and it DID, in fact, change my mood.
The remainder of the day was spent with Junior Management. Cars got washed, footballs got thrown, and the house got decorated for Halloween.
Solid day. Probably ride solo a bit more in the coming weeks. Don't have to rely on anyone but myself.

Peter Sa-gain??

Brilliant sprint. And little makes me happier than watching Cav have a sook.

Zonhoven was yesterday as well...

Decidedly un-Belgian weather...

And the creak on the Ridley stopped. Funny how well one's bike works when Shimano parts are installed. Yeah, 7800 cranks are "old tech", but they are lighter, stiffer, and don't look like a club foot. They were the standard years ago, and still work today.
Keep your fancy shit.

 Your fatbike is weak.
And remember, Christmas is coming. I'm very easy to shop for...

Probably do one night ride this week, as it's truly an enjoyable ride. The rest? Juan Solo.
Have a good Monday.

14 October 2016

You know what would suck?

On Tuesday, the night ride started of well. Spun over with TG, then headed out with the group.
About 20 minutes in, the contact in my right eye decided it had better places to be, and jumped out of my eye.
Let's one-eye this rest of this ride.
No issues heading out. Just plowing along.
We decided NOT to come home on The PowerStation, and chose to do the Clement Cut-Through...
Here's where the ride went all pear-shaped...
As we entered the woods, I commented, "Man, it would SUCK to flip up a stick and tear off a R/D back in this crap..."
Approx. two minutes passed until there was a sickening crunch, and all forward momentum came to an abrupt halt.
As it was PITCH dark, the damage was largely unknown. All that I/we knew was that the R/D had suffered some soft of fatal damage. Fortunately, on rides like this, there is a lot of expertise & ability.
We popped the chain, shortened it, and re-installed. I was SS the whole way home. 46/19. Good gear on the flats. Not so much when the road tipped up.
Couldn't put a lot of pressure on the pedals. Couldn't stand. Just pedal round strokes, dummy!
It got me home, which is good, b/c there's NO way The Boss would have found me.
Thanks to those involved.
The next morning, damage was assessed.
Lower pivot/body broken away from the main body. Carbon pulley cage torn OFF. And yes, that aluminum pulley is torn apart.
 Bottom half of the cage.
If you're gonna break shit, break it...
Fortunately, I keep things. There was a 6700 R/D on the townie. Slapped it on the Salsa, repaired the shortened chain, and voila...back in bidness.
Normally, I frown on riding repaired chains, but this will do the job until the new KMC unit hits the door.
Also scouring Ebay for a 9v XT or XTR short cage R/D. Why 9 speed? 10v Shimano R/Ds have different parallelogram geometry, and the cable pull is different. The just will not operate properly with a 7900 shifter.
9v MTB derailleurs share geometry with the 7900 R/D. Ergo, it'll work fine.
MTB R/Ds are tougher too. No more 7900 R/Ds in the woods. Too fragile.

Thankfully, nothing else got eaten when the derailleur got fragged. Frame is straight, and all spokes are still in the rear wheel.

Back on the bike this weekend. Time to get back on schedule...

11 October 2016

I have an excuse...

Yeah...I haven't posted in a while. But like the title says, I have an excuse.
I was feeling a little banged up, and my knees were hurting me, so I took a few days off early in the week.

KL and I met Thursday, Hurricane Matthew be damned, and went out to the Night Ride. Seems there are 10 brave souls, as that's how many showed for the ride. We had a good spin on an otherwise lovely evening.
Even rode up to the Old Wire overpass to see the contraflow traffic on I-26. Weird.
2 hours at night is good for you, both physically, and mentally. Big fun riding with the core members of the Night Ride group too. I missed it last Winter while I was laid up...
The weather deteriorated Friday, and Friday night, we caught the leading edge of the Hurricane.
Big rain, big wind.
Trees down everywhere. No flooding, but the trees falling took down power everywhere, including our house.
Our neighbor, who is a super nice, super bright guy, doesn't understand how easements work, and thought the dead tree in his backyard was (notice the past tense) his neighbor's tree. Nope.
The big, dead tree came down about 10am Saturday morning. One big 40mph gust, and BOOM. Tree down.
Ripped the supply line clean off the pole transformer. No power for us.
Now, for most people, this isn't a big deal. Ride it out. Not here.
You see, we have a basement, thus, we have a sump pump to keep it dry. Did I mention our NEW HVAC system is down there? And our hot water heater? Yeah.
4.5" of rain tends to make the water table rise. And with no pump operating, it started to fill the basement. After about 4 hours, there was 3-4" of water downstairs. SCE&G had no timeline for repair. Time to get busy.
I have an inverter in The Beast, but sadly, it wasn't big enough to run the pump. In case you're curious about such things, here's the electrical equation...
Watts/120v = Amps.
The inverter in the truck is 800w. The pumps draws 9.7 Amps.  800/120 = 8.33333 Amps. Not enough.
Any inverter over 1200w must be hard-wired, and I just didn't have that kind of time. We tried to find a generator to buy. Yeah...right...
Fuck it. Time for the bucket brigade.
At this point, there was 6+" downstairs. It was now dark outside.
Fortunately, I have a lot of bike lights. I hung them everywhere in the basement, and lanterns lit the way upstairs.
I dipped a 2 gallon bucket into the sump hole, filled (2) 5 gallon buckets, and carried them up the stairs, through the house, and out the back door.
Fill, up the stairs, dump. Repeat.
I lost count of how many trips were made. I DO know that I went balls-out for about 70 minutes.
As I got it to a point where I felt I could stop, and carried the last two buckets up the steps, the power came back on, and the pump finished off the job.
I showered, ate, and fell out on the couch. Wrecked. Ride Sunday? LOLZ.
I fell asleep @ 11. I woke up Sunday morning @ 10.
We're lucky. We lost power for a day. No damage to the house.
The Lowcountry of SC is smashed. Parts of NC are still underwater. Big losses everywhere.
The soreness in my back and legs is just about gone. I'm planning to ride tonight, but wondering how The PowerStation faired. Betting it's trashed...

Trying to get back to "normal" around here....

 Museeuw. There's so much style in this picture, it hurts...
 Know this guy? No? Then Shhhhhhhhhhh...........
 Nice little 125cc Scrambler. It would make a good townie.
 Speaking of townies. Anyone wanna motorpace?
 People think pro dogs get new kit constantly. Well...they do, but it looks like Chavanel REALLY likes his DMT shoes.
Put some big hooks on it, and we're good...

I out. I need a nap. I woke up @ 4 this morning, and just laid there...staring at the ceiling...

03 October 2016


Haven't checked in since last Monday. Sorry. I've been busy. This whole "stay-at-home" parent thing is time consuming.
I gotta say, I fucking LOVE homework. 17 years of schooling, and yet somehow, I'm still doing elementary school math. And Common Core math no less.
"What's that?", you ask?
Say you have an itch on your low back.
Stand up. Bend as faaaar over at the waist as you can. Reach your arm up around your ass. Now, go ahead and itch your back.
And some of the teachers will actually mark a correct answer incorrect if "the process" isn't used. GFY. Seriously.
Pretty sure the guys at SpaceX aren't using "the process" to fire GD rockets into space.
Other than that, the bike was my friend last week.
Big fun on the the first night ride. Decent sized group that were all down for a little adventure. We went a couple of new ways. Both will be excellent when they get fully sorted.
The bike was perfect. Gotta get used to riding with the lights though. The "night eyes" are NOT there yet. Gotta find some clear Oakleys too. The Tifosis were cheap, but that's about it. Optically, even with non-Rx clear lenses, they're average, at best.
TG needs to hurry the F up, and get his CX bike. He rode his wonky-tired 26" MTB, and it killed him. 2.5 hours on that thing would kill anyone...
Nice, easy ride on Thursday morning. Did the new normal loop. Two hours. No fuss.
Nice ride on Saturday morning. We did the old school Tuesday night loop. Just sort of rolled. Got home before the USC football traffic got bad. Another 2+ hours and 65km.
Junior Management was at the LexCo Office, so I tinkered with my bike.
The Rotor 3D crank has been creaking like crazy. I've pulled it, & the BB, 3x in as many weeks. Well, after Saturday, it went bye-bye. I cobbled together an old Ultegra crank, and threw it into the Ridley.
Sunday, most of The Heathens met for a nice, tempo-ish loop out around Swansea and back. It was quicker than the usual Sunday ride. No matter, as it was a perfect day.
We did get a good laugh in Swansea though. Some 5'4", 125 pound, wannabe gang-banger felt like getting lippy with TVH. Mike snickered at him. Meanwhile, I was plotting how I was going to ragdoll his little ass all over the parking lot. Stupid is as stupid does...
On the way home, the Ultegra crank started creaking. It was my fault this time, as the left arm had a bit of play in it. No matter. We rolled home pretty quickly. 
I think a little of the creaking that we all heard was from my big ass on the saddle too. The saddle/post got pulled, cleaned, and re-installed.
I ordered a NOS D/A 7800 crankset (the standard), and a new D/A 9000 BB. 
Everything seems to be in order this morning, by I'm still gonna replace the BB and crankset. 
And I'm tired today. I had a pretty big September for a guy with a bunch of kids who's coming back from knee surgery. Yesterday, into this morning, made me realize I need a couple of days off the bike...
RWB 911 Turbo. They'd put me under the jail.
 A new Merckx painted up in Dura-Ace livery. I'll need a 56, please.
 Yeah...it's funny...
Here's some quality, both in design, and production. Specialized Venge Vias. The rear triangle isn't part of the mold!!! It's not even molded to the main trianle after the fact. They GLUE the flipping thing onto the main triangle!!! What a cobbled together piece of shit. Embarrassing.

And with that, I bid you adieu. Gotta go do that parenting thing...
See you Thursday night!