Sunday, February 27, 2011

Appreciation

Before Sam sent me the Kite to race, I had converted my fixed gear, the Fun Machine, to a quasi CX bike. Since the Kite arrived it has languished half assembled on a hook.
We got a couple of inches of wet snow last night, and the temperature never really got much below freezing, so a mountain bike ride, probably would have been an exercise in frustration as I broke through the fragile crust again and again, gouging up what little rideable hard pack there is.
Mary Jane set up as a commuter is somewhat pedestrian and boring. Sure the 38c tires are nice on some of the broken pavement, but all in all, not very inspiring.
How can such a great race bike be such a blah commuter?

It was time to get the Fun Machine back into the rotation, and here's where the appreciation comes in; quality machining of the components (as minimal as they are), the nuts and bolts made reassembling it was a joy.
Clean, sharp threads.
Fenders went back on with minimal readjustment, and chain ring bolts tightened without the need of a chain ring bolt spanner.
Cranks spinning effortlessly, smoothly pulling the chain, spinning the cog.
Dropping to the floor, no rattles or shakes.
Silent.
The way it should be.


Fixed; the way it should be too.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

40

I was going to name this post "Goals" but that's kind of lame, so I titled it 40.

I'm not a big goal oriented guy; my main objective is usually just to try and beat Kerry.
But after such a lack luster start to the year, maybe I need a goal or two.

First goal: Ride at least 40 hours in March. Last year I rode almost that much, this year I want to ride more.

Second goal: Improve my performance at King of Burlingame. Last year I was 10/21 in my class, and 21/133 overall. I don't feel I rode my best last year, and the after race ride was evidence of that as I crashed my way through Arcadia.
This year I should be riding a geared (*gasp!*) bike, that through the miracle of modern plastics and silly light, I dare you to ride near rocks tires, will weigh no more than the bike I rode last year. Let see if I can learn how to twiddle the levers and use the gears to my advantage.

In other news EFTA and Root 66 clash and rain on my parade. Glochester Grind and Winsted Woods are on the same day. They both qualify under my new for 2011 "race close to home" parameters ( no driving longer one way than I'm racing), but I can't be in two places at the same time. Winsted is closer with more climbing, Glochester loses.

Bummer.

Might have to break the close to home perimeter to satiate my mtb racing jones.



(just substitute mtb for basketball)

Monday, February 21, 2011

I ride up hills, then ride down



I feel like that guy sometimes, but with bikes.
Unless I'm riding with one of my kids, it's hard to turn it down...
because fast is fun!

Just having fun.

Sunday Mark G arranged a little snowmobile sortie. Snowmobile trails on bikes that is.
Felt so good to be riding my mountain bike, when there was a hill what was I supposed to do?
Of course to maximize the fun-factor that our motorized brethren so kindly made available, you (I) would have to hammer down the backside to utilize the berms to their full potential. At least as full as one could riding a bicycle on a snowy track built for snowmobiles (or are they called snow machines? or sleds?).

Too much fun.
(isn't that what it's all about?)

I don't have a picture, or a thousand words, but one of Mark's friends, Coach Al, had the coolest bike. It was a Pedalforce carbon frame that he had built up with XTR (if I recall correctly), a Lefty, gold Nokon housings, and the cherry on top was the gold Cervelo logos he had on it. Very cool looking rig. Meant to get that picture, planned on it, but my carriage was about to turn into a pumpkin, so I had to hightail it to the border.
Next time I swear.

Cyclist wearing any cycling apparel whilst not actively cycling look pretty silly.
Baggy, or racy tight, you, I, we, look dumb.
Guys hanging out in culottes especially.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

First Commute of the Year

I had choices to make.
What bike should I ride for my first commute of the year? What should I wear?
The morning leg would be about freezing, whereas the afternoon was predicted to be in the mid 50's*F!
With the snow-pack holding steady at 2', the ride home was going to be wet.
So my choices were:
  • Karate Monkey with clip on fenders,28x700c tires geared 1x8
  • my Swift with DT and seatpost mounted fenders, also 1x8 with 29x2.25 tires
  • my CX bike with just a DT fender
  • or my Cannondale with no fenders.
Usually I'd be on the Fun Machine, but it was cannibalized during CX season, and never restored to it's former glorious full fendered state. Plus the whole "Plan" of learning how to efficiently ride a multi-speed bicycle.
Not being a fan of getting soaking wet, I chose the bike with the best coverage; Mary Jane.


Seems odd the bike I once raced on is now a 27+ lbs fendered commuter, but so she sits.
Only having a 34x12 top gear I was fortunate to find a pair of 700x38c hybrid tires left over from my Cycle Therapy days (bigger tires make an effective bigger gear).
I never in a million years thought I'd ever be excited about hybrid tires!



Even so, I wanted a bigger gear.
That being said, I never completely spun out the 12.
the 38's sure came in handy too with the broken pavement on Tunxis Rd; you'd think a route to the hospital would be more of a priority.
I was a little surprised Strava didn't classify the three main climbs on my ride home; Mine Hollow Rd, and Metacomet both climb over 300' with double digit pitches, and Hatter's road approaches 20%.

As far as dressing, lets just say I really need to wash my Craft cycling jacket; smells so bad I offended myself, but it is light enough that I was able to roll it up and put it in my jersey pocket for the ride home.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Outside riding!
Woot!
Friday did the Crazytown Lunch Loop:

Rode it on my Swift.
How come there is always a headwind?
No matter, I'm outside!
Saturday and Sunday I tempted fate and rode over to the Res.
I used to hate snowshoe-ers and how they'd pock the trail making it unrideable. But they've become so popular, and the snow has been deep enough to keep them single file that they and the XC skiers have tamped a nice rideable trench in the 2' snow base.








You might notice BluSteel is sporting a Niner carbon fork.
I like it.
It steepens the geometry a bit, and lowers the front end 15mm. With the gears and Ardents front and rear I'm not really noticing the weight lose, and I really couldn't tell you how it rides since all it's seen is tarmac and rutted snow.
Temps are going to be heading towards 50*F this coming week...
More riding OUTSIDE!!!

Singular

Singular Ride On from David Atkinson on Vimeo.

Friday, February 11, 2011

To the young man who passed me on the nearly deserted bucolic road in orchard country who shared his opinion of me by leaning out his window and shouting "you're an idiot!", I'd like to reply you're not the first to suggest that. I'd also like to say I do hope you quit smoking and shouting at strange men wearing tights before it's too late.
That is all.
After having car salesmen insult the value of Team Singular New England's current team vehicle, I made some changes to Bl├╝Steel.
But I forgot my phone / camera this morning so this will just have to be a teaser, but I'll leave you with this:
All the cool kids are doing it...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Important Fooking Stuff

My name.
My parents named me Charles, and up until Charles Emerson Winchester III of M.A.S.H., and the ensuing jokes that followed I was fine with it.
Legend has it I used to correct people who called me Charlie when I was a yoot.
But it sounds so formal.
Am I that formal?
I've tried to make the swap to the less formal Charlie, but Charles has been ingrained so deeply into me that I most commonly refer to myself as such.
I'm in this strange moniker limbo.
Half the people know me as Charlie, the other half as Charles.
Some people just naturally say Charlie, yet others look quite quizzically at me when referenced as such.
Googling my name as Charlie nets 1 million more results (or 2/3 more), than Charles.
I was surprised at theatrical and musical talent linked to than nomen.
So if you call me Charlie, that's cool. Charles works too, and I'm cool with that.

God, I need to ride my bike!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lesser of Two Evils:Rude awakening

After a number of apparently ineffectual session on the rollers



I finally made it outside.

There was some ugliness, and speaking of ineffectual, that exactly what my studs were on the ice.


It was slow, painful and short, but it was great to get outside.


Hopefully the next two scheduled storms will be mild an I can get back to a more norm riding regiment.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I think the following images better describe my current situation and state of mind.
Fook me!





Wednesday, February 2, 2011


This photo looks too nice, but I just got in from snowblowing and shoveling and I don't want to go back out there. It's not cold, maybe high twenties, but it's grey and gross.
I think we should just let 95/96 have the record and call it a day.
I may be a vegetarian, and generally frown on violence, but so help me God you better be right Phil!

Supercharged

I've read a lot of pros start their day with oatmeal. I've tried it before, and on a cold morning it usually hits the spot, but usually I just stick with cold cereal with milk.
But it's always been the instant kind (other than some hot cereal nightmares from my childhood).
Kim started making Quinny quick-oats; any thing to get calories into that boy.
Since we had them, and they really only take a little longer than instant I gave them a shot.
Wow!
So much better.
The chewy texture of the grains, having control of what is put in them, the energy the provide, and the colon blow.
I can't wait to actually utilize that energy.
Might have to go all the way and try the non-quick oats.