Sunday, July 18, 2010


Were you expecting a race report or something?
On Friday night I thought I'd be posting one. Heck at 6:00 AM on Saturday I thought I'd be posting one.
So what happened?

A couple of things actually.

No I wasn't worried about being beat by a one legged guy; that would have been an honor.

First off, when I started driving North, everyone one on the road was totally pissing me off. You shouldn't be yelling at people and flipping them off on Saturday morning, 6:00 AM.

On Friday night I had a brainstorm about mountain biking. If I used that Rockshox Reba collecting dust in the basement I might spare my hand a bit and be able to ride more comfortably. Unfortunately the steerer is too short for my Singular, so I began building up my Karate Monkey again with it. I also had a spiffy gold headset I had bought for Mary Jane that I finally took the time to install.

Then I weighed the hours driving, registering, hanging around, and not being at home; I figured all in all it would be about 8 hours for a 1/2 hour race.

Factoring the rage, the desire to finish a project, and the time / race ratio I pulled the plug at the first exit on 91N.


Got home, finished the build, watched some TdF, and hit the trail.

Right off the bat, the steering was fooked on the Karate Monkey. There was no adjustment between the headset being too tight and too loose. I stopped a couple of times to try and fix it but to no avail. I soldiered on for about an hour, but was really looking forward to getting home and digging into it to see what was wrong.

I figured the headset was a POS, and I should just put a Cane Creek on it and be done with it. But when I was taking the bottom cup out there wasn't a bearing in it? The bearing was still on the headset press from when I put the cups in the frame! Doh!

After I fixed that, I took it for a little spin. Much better, but still felt sort of twitchy.
There was a little play in the front wheel's bearings, so I popped in a couple new ones.
Still "twitchy".

I figured I'd just ride it in the morning and see how it goes.

On the ride over to the res, it still seemed to be wobbling around a bit, but the longer I rode the less I noticed it. Then it dawned on me, the KM isn't twitchy, the Singular is super stable.
By the end of the ride I was riding no handed and not thinking about it at all.

Did it solve all of my problems?
But it was an improvement while riding, and a great improvement afterwords. As I type this there is no fatigue in my hand whatsoever.
But riding with a suspension fork is going to take a lot to get used to. I don't know if I should use a bigger or smaller gear. A bigger gear would help keep momentum up, but a smaller gear would spin smoother, so there would be less bob. I already have 50% more air in the fork than is recommended for a fellow my size.

Another thing I changed this weekend was I rode with a hydration pack. I wanted to have some specific tools with me, and it wouldn't be practical to put them in my jersey pockets, so I went with the pack. The big revelation with this is I could drink at will. I haven't been able to use a water bottle with my dominant hand, yet out of habit I always grab it with it, and am unable to squeeze it. A problem I've had with hydration packs in the past is after about an hour they begin to hurt my back. I had no issues with it over the weekend.

So I'm a loser for blowing off a race, but I'm psyched to be back on the mtb!

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