Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vrooom Vrooom...

You know the stickers that you see on the back of every other mini van in the country? The ones with a stick figure of Mom, Dad and a hand full of kids? Yeah, I think it's a cute... yet a totally gay idea. Now that I'm driving a mini van, albeit a VW ( following my own tradition as this is my 5th VW bus/van ), I designed my own "hey punk, I got a family too" sticker...and here it is! Lets see how long it takes for some a-hole to rip off my design and make a billion!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cold Front...

Has Fall arrived? It couldn't be, I mean it's been so damn hot here in the Midwest, humid and plain crappy to really enjoy being outside. But now, meaning over the last few days, it's been blissfully cool. Morning dew and Sunshine are my friend.

It's been a week or more since the KC Cup race and I've been getting out to ride enough to quench my desires. I'm still running to tall a gear for the climbs and technical sections at Swope, but I've been able to ride the trail system clean and am feeling pretty good, just not lighting fast. I can't believe I had to wear a long sleeve shirt while riding. I love this weather!

Today I'll be taking my rear wheel into my pal Travis at BikeSource to see if he can work some magic on the flip-flop hub. I can't get the old freewheel off (I don't use it so it's just excess weight). I broke my bench vise trying to remove myself! I also need to switch out my fixed cog. I've been running a 16t (with a 34t ring up front) and it's been working me like a minimum wage job. I figure if I put the standard 18t cog on that I might be able to ride a little longer before I bonk. Maybe I should just go to a 17t? I can't decide.

So toodles to you and happy trails. I plan to ride my a$$ off this week and the weeks to follow. Night rides followed by a campfire and hot tub are in my future, hopefully every night! Get in touch if you wanna ride!

Welcome Fall!!!

p.s. The Backyard Skills course is good to go too, so hit me up if you wanna ride some skinnies!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tokyo Slide (a.k.a. KC Cup)...

Rain; yeah it happened. Race; it happend too. Thank almighty baby Jesus or Buddha or Elvis for blessing Swope with fast drying trails (although dry was far from the truth). 

Race day was upon us. Team Ethos showed with a smaller than usual posse consisting of Travis, Garet, Jamie and yours truly. After registering we decide to do a pre-lap and check the conditions first hand. The thing about Swope is YES, it dries fast; meaning the dirt. The 1,642* rocks and tree roots along the course on the other hand, slicker than a greased possum. I was sliding all over the place, white knuckled to the max and wondering what the hell I was doing trying to go as fast as possible is such dangerous conditions.

Travis ready to get-r-done

Garet going full camel-toe

I arrived back at base camp with 15 minutes till race time. I had run into my Mentor "the trail a$$hole" along the way and he was heckling my gay SS setup. He said something to the effect of "What the Hell are you doing!?". I knew he was right. Riding a fixie on the slick trail would be a BETTER choice for today, and seeing that I had been riding fixed for the past few months anyway, it only made sense.

Pre Race Single Speed

A mad dash to my tool kit and with the help of Jamie, we stripped my rear brake, flipped the wheel and pulled the right lever off my Gunnar. We got my rig re-converted to fixie in pit-crew speed and were off to the starting line. Whew!

Post Race Fixed Gear

The race began at the bottom of a long paved climb. The SS class took off like a rocket. Fast climbing lead to the rolling hills and into the single track. The 20 or so racers were broken into two groups. The supa-fast and the fast. I was leading the fast with the supa-fast not far ahead. The trail was sketchy at best and we hauled balls around the course. Rocks were slick and my rear end would sometimes suddenly shift a foot in either direction. My steering was poor at best and too would randomly shift from one side of the trail to the other. It was a hard first lap for everyone. Riders were crashing everywhere you looked. Ouch!

I was tired. My legs were worked like a minimum wage job. I needed gas in my fuel tank and was getting pretty dehydrated feeling as I had lost my water bottle a few hundred yards into lap one. Once through the time tent and out to lap two I was handed a new water bottle from Trav's mom, awesome! I headed into lap two feeling like I was going to toss my cookies. I think I threw-up in my mouth at least three time trying to stay on top of my gearing, which stupidly was 34/16 (I'd usually run a 34/18 but I could not for the life of me get my cog removed to change it!). I was worked. It took all I had to get around the course. At one point I remember riding down this flowy section of trail with a small drop. My pedal totally struck the rock and I was immediately heckled by Craig and a few other folks cheering me on. Thanks guys! Made me feel like a real animal to make such a novice mistake in front of my peers. Oh well, that's just how it goes when you can't freewheel!

My legs were on fire, I had totally bonked and the final 1/2 mile of single track to the finish was all uphill. I climbed my heart out and barely made it to the finish line with enough pride to put the hammer down for a fun finish.

I was more interested in tossing back a cold one then checking on my finish time, so I'll get back to that once Heartland posts results later today. Garet got 1st in Expert Kids and Travis a strong 2nd in the Expert Boys. Thanks to all of the volunteers for a great race at my favorite local trails.

Bitch Wings...

Twas the night before the KC Cup Mountain Bike race and all through my brain, all I could think of was fixie riding pain. Pain in my legs, pain in my head, painful thoughts of crashing danced through my head...

So I did what I swore not too, I flipped my rear wheel around to the freewheel and tossed on a rear brake. Goodbye fixie, hello singlespeed. I had spoke to a handful of friends and they ALL said I should switch it up for the race, that the course lent itself better to SS. So I convinced myself that it was o.k. to wimp-out and make the change.

Here she is, Race ready SS action! I hope I made the right choice and I hope the rain holds out; we are to get dumped on tonight!

Monday, September 13, 2010

My old 1x1...

Training Wheels...

Things have mellowed out a bit and I am getting back to a more regular riding schedule. The KC Cup race is coming up this weekend and I am trying to sack-up enough to try and race on the fixie, trying NOT to be a bitch and flip the hub to the freewheel side. Who knows what will happen! I have been hitting my local SMP trail a night or two a week and have headed out to Swope as much as possible to familiarize myself with the newer trails and race course...and the bike! I know I am currently geared way to hard for Swope. It kicks my a$$ every ride. The hills, the technical sections; I just can't stay on top of my gear. I figure this is just training for the race. I'll slap on a bigger cog and feel like I am flying. It will be bliss...
So as you know I am down to one bike, the fixed gear. I am trying to re-learn how to ride. I am slow and am still changing components to try and get the fit correct. I am almost there. The rigid death machine has been treating my old and feeble body as good as one can expect. My Specialized 2.2 up front as suspension is doing about all it can to keep my elbows from rattling off. Life is good.
Hope to see some of you at the KC Cup on Sunday. I'll be there to ride, have a great time and see if i can make it to the finish line in front of at least one other SS rider. I have no doubt that it will be a helluva fun three laps on some great trail.