Saturday, December 31, 2011

Final Tally for 2011

Well folks, it has been a great year and I personally logged the most time on my bike(s). Here are the final numbers. Some bikes have mileage on them that I dont have any longer which doesnt show on the total for bikes.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Things to consider

This is why I always have my bike with me. Going to work this morning and cruising down 95; all of a sudden, the car dies-just loses all power. Drift to a stop on the ramp to 695 Glen Burnie. 15 minutes later, after the car doesnt start, I make the decision to to hop on the bike and head off down 695 on the road bike. Now, I certainly wouldt recommend this, for the simple fact that it is illegal and 60,000 pounds of metal roaring behind you at 70+ mph didnt create the warm fuzzy atmosphere I was looking for this cold morning.

I made it to the Hammonds Ferry exit in 4:47 and 2.3 miles. I think I was more terrified of the debris on the side of the road more than the cars themselves. One would think that with all of the money we give the state for highway maintenance, that they could tidy up the place a little.

So I managed to spend nearly 1k in two days for teeth and cars-If I were a hillbilly, I would have spent $0.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Root Canals and Rest Days

Yes, today was not a good day to ride. Somehow, and I am not an expert on such things in the medical realm, but riding and post root canal procedure is not something I would recommend. Tomorrow shall be another day, though.

Last year's december totals were a mere 56 miles for the month; this year looks to be a 475+ month. So the build portion will start a little earlier this year. I am looking forward to even a better year this year. I will be teaming up with Blake Bricker for some of the 12 hour stuff. Very fast rider, great competitor and nice guy as well.

Last year we won the 12 hours of Cranky Monkey duo male with my friend Will. Looking to win the 9 hour as well this year and Bakers Dozen-if there is one. Nothing like two 40+ ers given to the youngins'.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

New CX ride and it is...a singlespeed

I have acquired my new CX bike- a 2010 Fisher Lane; a little late, but maybe the cure for my not so extraordinary cross season. Of course it is steel and has the super nice sliding dropouts for use as a monocog machine. 38/13 combo for now just to ride some roadie stuff and will put a 20t on for dirt crusades. Running a 32/18 on the SS mountain bike produces 51.8 gear inches so I will get 53.6 with the CX set up and smaller tars. Nothing too fancy-Sram crank, Bontrager Race X Lite wheels, Rhythm Elite post, etc.  I will post pics when my battery charges.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Just Numbers

Well, I have past the 10,000 mile mark for the last 2 years (with 5,600 this year alone). Never thought I would ever put that many miles riding a bike, but its a good thing, right? 710,000+ feet of climbing and 750+ hours in the saddle. Riding the road bike as much as I have was certainly not something I would have guessed either.

My Mad-one has 1,405 miles on it since I purchased it in July of this year, and it it still amazes me how much more efficient the ride is compared to my old Fisher AR Super.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good bike... errr...ride? Eeeewww!

Friday, December 23, 2011

What a difference a few weeks can make

Well, it's been 2 weeks since I started my new job and I cant say enough about how this whole experience has really changed how I think about things. One minute you are without a job; granted I knew everything would turn out fine, and the next thing you know is that you are in a better place than you could have imagined. I am diggin life right now; my attitude has changed and I dont bring my work issues home to the family.

Everyone rides here and it is nice to have some company sometimes. The shop rides are fast and fun; getting 29-31 miles in at 18-19+ mph is a great way to start the day-although I do feel bad about leaving some of the others behind our breakaway group.

Anyway, 2012 looks like a great year for me and I am excited to see what is in store for me this year. Merry CHRISTmas to everyone-yes CHRISTmas; not xmas, happy holiday or whatever abbreviated version people use now. Celebrate it for what it is, not what for what others want to exploit it for $$$$. Over and out.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Adding a SS road bike to your training plan

Training for the 2012 season is just around the corner and what better way to kick it off than with a ss road bike. Why you ask? Simple; base miles are slow and steady easy rides, the ss can "force" you to ride at a consistent, easy pace. Mine is set up 39/16, which is a little on the high side, but I can keep a comfortable 84-87, 16.6 mph pace. This keeps my heart rate in Z2, around 128-154bpm; although I try to keep it below 145 most of the time. When the time is ready, this is a great hill repeat leg strength option, too; as you wont be tempted to switch to an easier gear when the going gets tough.

The coolest part of this is that you can convert any bike for this purpose. It can be done relatively cheap as well. I have an old Trek 2120 from 93'. If you are lucky enough to use the "magic" gear set up-this allows you to run a ss without a hideous chain tensioner-you can have a nice clean set up. Mine ended up being a total of 55 teeth-adding both front and rear together. Dont be tempted to put nice stuff on it either. This bike is the bike I use to ride in the rain and any other reason not to ride situations. It will get cruddy! But this saves your nicer road bike for the sunny days ahead.

So get out there and enjoy some easy, fun riding and even some rainy rides as well. Time will come soon enough for the harder stuff.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite

It is quite the looker, yes?
OK, here is the antithesis of what my whole blog is "geared" towards-not only a geared bike, but one with senior citizen cushion assist. "What on earth has gotten into you?" Has turning 43 just sent you completely over the edge of wuss cliff? YES! It is called keeping my lower back fresh for future SS endeavours. Now, I have put 98.2 miles on this bike so far and I have come away with some pretty interesting views on this whole suspension thing. Some positive and some, well just read on.

Wide load

I am going to start off by saying that this is one of the best looking bikes Trek has produced in a while. It is not coated with to much graphic landfill and doesnt have the Trek name plastered 9 times over the bike. Just a clean paint scheme. Basically, the HiFi line was dropped this year and the Superfly line was expanded.

This years offering has Trek's BB95 interface (pressfit bearing increases bb shell width) which is lighter and stiffer. Both Shimano and SRAM use plastic cups which is a bit concerning for longevity sake, but it does make sense for later removal if needed. Also in attendance is Trek's proven ABP pivot in the rear. This moves the pivot concentric to the wheel (no weak pivot point between bb and rear=no flex and longer bearing life). I did ride it with the stock offerings before calling it my own. Here is what 2600.00 gets you: Shimano 10 speed crank, SLX shifters, SLX brakes (which, I have to admit are one of the best I have used), XT rear derailleur and Bontrager parts abound-wheels (tubeless ready), stem, bar, saddle and the very cool looking and light Elite post. 100mm Fox Evolution fork and RP2 rear shock. AS new, the bike weighed in at 28.5 lbs in a large, not bad. As you can see, I have revamped the beast and now comes in at 26.2 lbs, much better.

The Ride- So now the good stuff. On my maiden voyage, I was a bit apprehensive for the simple reason that I am used to riding full rigid, but was quickly put at ease as I hit the singletrack. This bike has a very quick feel to it despite it's large profile. It soaked up small bumps as it should without a whimper. The rear took the hits well, but the front was a bit more slower to react. I am attributing this to Foxs' taking a bit of time to break in. On another note, the fork made a constant clicking noise on quick, stutter bumps. I have had this occurrence on other random Fox forks as well. Not sure what it is, but it seems to have worked it's way out. The G2 geometry worked spot on as usual. The bike handled very well on the climbs-you may want to drop the stem down to the headtube, as the stock set up sits a bit high for the steeper stuff, but is good for overall singletrack riding. I used the ProPedal option about 50% of the time on the rear. It is not a full lockout, but works very well. On the descents was where I was a bit torn. The suspension worked well, but I felt a bit of twitchiness. Now, again this was mostly in the front. Now, before being harsh, I am going to say that it was more than likely me being used to the rigid set up and not allowing the bike to do its thing. When I did "allow" the bike to do its thing, I was more confident in my descending. The ABP pivot works better than any other rear pivot designs that I have ridden, demo-ed, etc. Suspension remains fully active when the brakes are applied. Speaking of; the Shimano SLX brakes were nothing short of amazing. Great feel, and a smaller lever all made for a great pair of stoppers, some of the best-if not the best out there. At the end of the day I felt very refreshed and wanting to ride more, but I would like to remain married.

What I Would Change- As is, the stock set up is hard to beat, but for $2600 clams, I would expect a nicer rear hub than the Shimano M525 offering. This is something I would expect to see on a sub $1000 bike. The full-time spec guy must have been on vacation because the Bontrager riser bars do not belong on this bike. It is a XC rig, not an all-mountain bike-the entry level superfly has a flat bar? This puts you way too high in the front. Swap out for flat bar.

Final Verdict- This is a very good offering from Trek. It has a great spec and comes in at decent weight. This could be the one bike that can do everything from local epic rides to 12hr+ enduro races. I was very impressed with the ride-once everything got dialed in. The Shimano 10 speed drivetrain was spot on through out the ride. This is a bike worth looking at.

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Post...New Job

Well, monday I start my new job. Being "released" from my other job was a blessing in disguise. This is a good thing for me. I will finally be among others who enjoy cycling and among people who make cycling a part of their lives as well. After all, it's not just a job; it is a lifestyle... PERIOD. Jobs are for those who get up in morning and go through the same routine day after day and wish for something more from their "jobs" and life and just go with the flow. I say thats when you find yourself 60 years old and wishing you had done something different with your life. When you get up in the morning and do something that is an extension of what you love to do outside the realm of the time clock, er... uh... log in, that is when you know youre diggin what you do for a living.

First 50 miler in a while

One good thing about being unemployed is that you can certainly find time to ride, eh? Started off a bit on the chilly side at 39°, but "warmed" up to 50° at the end. I was trying really hard not to over exert myself and keep the HR down.I was a good boy on all but one. My HR hit 186, but it was my dessert to good 56 mile Z2/Z3 ride. My Madone has surpassed the 1,000 mile and the ride is pretty amazing. I do believe the TCT stuff is a little more compliant the OCLV carbon; at least that is what my hind quarters are telling me. Can you really believe a part of the body that is capable of emitting such foul , disgusting aromas? It is mine, so I will have to believe it. Anyway, my friend Chris is going out for a 60 miler at Pretty Boy and wants me to go. 116 miles in 2 days sounds good. Over and out.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Learning to love the rain

I have to admit, riding in the rain has been very therapeutic as of late. The last two weeks I have just taken it pretty light; just riding to ride-if for no other reason than to just enjoy myself. I got up this morning with every intention to ride, whether it was raining or not. It wasnt a deluge, but a nice steady, light rain can be quite soothing. It can be a good time to reflect on things; and things of late have been worth reflecting on for sure. Being "released" from the bike store was a relief and blessing in disguise. Now, I can focus on other things that make me happy and make me all giddy inside, like a school boy. Dont even think it! Anyway, I have some leads for my new future and plan to make some changes in my life as well as to adjust my attitude and thinking about life in general. Wow, deeper than I wanted to venture-over and out.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Post and Potential Job

That's right, it is in the realm of possibility that the SS moron will rise from the pit of despair-didnt they have one of those in the Princess Bride? It looks very promising and bike-a-licious! uh...that was sad. I will head out for a 50 miler tomorrow for a premature celebration. Who said prayer doesnt work?

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Post...No Job

Yeah, my boss has decided to let me go because he cant afford to pay me. Hmmm...Perfect timing, right? So now I am a singlespeed/unemployed moron! I dont get people some times. I understand business and sometimes things have to be done to maintain said business, but you also dont let people go that ultimately help your business grow and are enthusiastic and love what they do. So now the task of finding work-I think I would have a better chance of farting razor blades, but who's going to know?