Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Frozen Private Parts

A Motley crew showed up for yesterday's ride. We had guys on commuter bikes, mountain bikes with road tires, cyclo-cross bikes, road bikes and one at TT bike. I was a little worried about Mike Casper on the TT bike, but he actually did very well and handled the icy sections well.

Randy got there early and put in an hours worth of riding and had to time trial back to arrive at our scheduled 5:45 depart time. However, due to Harters crappy directions and Sperl being late as usual we didn't get going until around 6:00pm.

I finally got the my Kona Jake the Snake frame all built up as a commuter (yes I was the guy on a commuter bike). I decided to go with just a single chain ring up front. Not to be 'trendy' or anything, but just because I did not have a front derailleur that would fit. I put an old down tube shimano shift lever on to handle the shifting in the rear. Since the Snake doesn't have shifting bosses I had to zip tie and old adapter that had some ancient bosses. The indexing on the shifter didn't work so I will have to use the old school 'friction' mode. It works, but is not pretty. I couldn't find an old set of cranks so I ended up using the carbon profiles that I got from Dave. Wheel set is from Gerard's old Bridgestone RB1. They are old, but still have plenty of miles left in them. Saddle, seat post, steam and bars are all from Ritchey Logic. A set of fenders rounded her off.

8 of us left the trail head, but 'someone' was going way to fast and we dropped a few along the way. Most of the trail was in fine shape, but there were a few icy spots that we had to navigate. At about an hour into the ride Randy and Mark turned around to head home. Harter, Mike Casper and myself went all the way up to Smoken' Davey Trail head. I dressed very well for the temps, but along the way my 'private parts' got a little cold. Must have been the old set of shorts that I had on - wind just passed on in. By the time we got out to the turn around I was in severe pain. Harter told me to "Put it in Cider" which I thought as rather strange. I finally figured out what they were talking about. I was wishing I had one of these during the ride - see picture....

If anyone is interested in a fun 40 mile night ride we are planning to hit the Smithville Lake paved trails tonight. Start location is on the South end of the trail. Here is the map. At the end of 5 corners road where the tear drop is...

Ride time: 5:45pm.
Ride Distance: 40 miles
Ride Hotline: 8162131620

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Training is Over - Time to Race.

Time sure does fly when you are having fun.... That is, if you call suffering like a fat pig fun. The first phase of my training plan is over. It's time to hit some early season races and test the old form. Unfortunately, I already know the results as my training has not gone as well as I had hoped for. I'm still 10 lbs overweight and my form basically sucks. My long distance rides haven't been anywhere close to where they need to be for a 100 mile race. I tried my best to get out when the weather was o.k., and I even got to know my basement really well by spending countless hours on the old trainer.

My original plan was to attend the Froze Toes Road Race with some of my teammates (sorry Shad), but decided to put in one more week of training and not embarrass myself. Next week the Spring Fling Criterium series starts, the Perry Road Races and Heartland's Truman's Big Love. I really don't think the Big Love is going to happen due to the muddy conditions at Landahl so I'll plan to check out the Spring Flings or Roger's Perry Road Races.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Our Drug Problem.

Roger sent this to me and I thought it was so true.....

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Walk In The Woods

For President's Day we all had the day off and decided to take a long hike up on the Smithville Lake MTB/Hiking trails.

A sign was posted alerting riders/hikers to stay off the trail if they are wet. Apparently deer can not read because there were hundreds of deer tracks all along the trail.

Along the way Carolynn, Christopher and I cleared hundreds of fallen branches.

Everyone be sure to thank Christopher for picking up all these nasty thorny branches. I wanted to leave them but he would not let me :-)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Is Someone Trying to Tell Me Something?

I have been putting in some decent miles, both running and cycling.

Tuesday, a long run after work. I decided to test my new Nike trail running shoes . Actually got these as a warranty item from Nike. My Free's fell apart last year and while they didn't give me a free pair I did receive a $75.00 coupon. My short 45 min run turned into a 2 hour march thanks to some very icy conditions on the trail behind my house. I needed my screwed shoes for conditions like these....

Wednesday night I was going to take it easy as I had a 5 hour ride planned for Thursday, but Randy posted a Smithville Lake paved trail ride so I decided to go as the pace was going to be easy. Again, trouble with icy conditions. The path had dozens of short snow/icy patches that gave both of us a hard time. Randy took a nice little spill just past Sail Boat Cove. I had just about gone down in a frozen rut myself but I finally got going again and then I noticed lights spinning around ahead. As I got closer, I saw Randy flat on his butt having hit a long icy patch...

I took off from work on Valentines day and headed off on a planned 5 hour ride. A cold front was to come in so I thought that I would try for the elusive all tail wind ride. I had a good South wind to my back as I headed towards Platte City. My plan did not work out as I had to fight the same South wind on the return trip. At the 3 hour mark I was in Ferrelview, out of food and very hungry. I stopped at the convenience store and a Snickers bar was calling my name. It was good, but did not ''handle my hunger" as advertised so I headed home and cut my ride short. Oh yea, I got my North wind about 3 miles from home. Missed an all tail wind ride by about 1 hour....

Friday both Carolynn and Christopher were off so we headed out to Landahl for a quick MTB ride while the trails were still frozen. I decided to run instead of ride to get in a better workout. The frozen trails lasted about 45 minutes then started to thaw quickly so we headed back towards the Argo trail head. Still got in about a 1 1/2 hour run this time on good trails. Shoes worked great which is more than I can say for my van. That darn thing broke down again. This time the alternator went out. I thought we could make it home on the battery alone, but then the transmission started to stop shifting as it needed some juice. As we were all loading up in the Mel's Towing truck, I thought to myself "I think someone is trying to tell me something".

Monday, February 11, 2008

Falling in Love Again

I brought my DEAN Castanza back from the dead. I got her a little over 10 years ago while working as a sales representative. We represented DEAN
bicycles amongst other things. I had been racing one of their mountain bikes with good success in the Florida MTB series and they offered me a road bike.

I can still remember the first ride on her back in 1996 just a few months after Christopher was born. I spent several hours building her on a Friday night and then took her on a little spin to test her out Saturday morning. I headed up the coast toward West Palm Beach via A1A and before I knew it I was flying past my normal turn around point having the ride of my life. I did not want to turn around - I was in Love.... I won one of my last road races on her with the help of my former teammate David Pitt. He set me up to win the Atchison Criterium several years ago. Wow, has it been that long since I raced road???

I have well over 10,000 miles on her and she has had several different build jobs. Each one was a little different, but came with that same awesome ride that the Castanza gave. I almost sold her last Fall, but something would not let me do it.....I built her back up this time with a mix of Ultegra 10 spd/Dura-Ace, Ritchey WCS (Carbon Fork, stem, bars, wheels, seatpost, saddle) and Crank Brothers Quatro pedals. Even though I have several other road bikes including an 06' Javelin Assisi, to me nothing beats the ride of my DEAN Castanza. I plan on hitting several road races and criteriums this year including the Missouri State Road Race - The Hellbender.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Share the Road License Plates

I was checking out the Missouri Bicycle Federation site today. Lots of stuff happening including a contest to design a license plate contest.

Also noticed that the Midwest Fat Tire organizers have finally listened to my suggestions and sent out some press releases. That is what I am talking about...

Midwest Fat Tire Series Announced.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

R.I.P. Sheldon Brown

I found out yesterday that Sheldon Brown died on Sunday, February 3rd, 2008. Cause of death was a heart attack.

I am sadden by this. I always looked to him and his website for advice and ideas. Heck, he is the one who inspired me to build my first fixed gear road bike.

Here are my top 10 articles/links from Sheldon:
  1. Why ride single speed
  2. Fixed Gear Fun
  3. Sheldon Brown's Glossary
  4. Commuting Tips
  5. Bicycle Repair Tips
  6. Homebuilding a Tandem
  7. Bicycle Wheels
  8. Why biking is better than blading
  9. Fixed gear fleet
  10. 63 speed bike

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Test - Nightrider MiNewt X2 Dual

Finally got out to complete my test of the Nightrider MiNewt x2 Dual. Unlike last time, I tested with a fully charged battery....

Testing grounds were again Smithville Lake. The family decided to take advantage of the abnormal warm winter's day (temps were high 60's) and get a long ride in. However, by the time we drove up to the Smoken' Davey trail head the temps had already dropped 20 degrees. I for one did not bring the proper clothing and had a miserable time riding. Only 'Chicken man' brought a winter's jacket and was comfortable. Carolynn and I nearly froze to death as the temps were in the 30's at the end of the ride. Anyways, back to the test.....

The MiNewt x2 Dual comes with a dual LED headlamp, borofloat lens, an Li-Ion battery and quick mounting handle bar mounts. The Nightrider site says it has 300 lumen's of light output (what ever that means) with a 1:45 - 3:30 runtime depending on if you run the unit on low, high or flash.

  • Quick mounting bar mounts. I mounted the system on Carolynn's bike and adjusted in less that a minute.
  • Near 2 hour run time on high.
  • Quick recharge - about 4 hours.
  • Weight of system is very low.
  • Small size - easy to store
  • The x2 does not come with helmet mount - at least I couldn't find the option on the Nightrider site.
  • Can't run one light on High with the other on low.
  • Lights can not be individually connected to the battery allowing you to run a single lamp system.
  • On high setting can be used on single track (must have the Dual one). The low setting is fine for paved trails, jeep roads, etc, but for single track (and with my eyesite) the unit must be run on High to be usable.
  • Except for commuting, I wouldn't even consider a single light version - the Dual is the only way to go.
Bottom line is I liked the MiNewt x2 Dual and would recommend it to anyone except the most die-hard night rider/racer. For racing I would need something with a brighter light and longer battery life would be good also.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Still Perfect!

Thank God!

My 72' Miami Dolphins are still the only team to go undefeated at 17 - 0. YES!

Thank you Giants for stopping the Patriots. I know my sibling's Joey, John and Jackie are just as excited as I.