Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thank You!

November is coming to an end and with that so is Movember.
I sincerely want to thank everyone who has contributed to the cause; you have far exceeded my expectations.
But if you still haven't contributed go ahead, do it, all the cool kids are doing it.

Now as a thank you to you I give you the many faces of Mo

Thank god Novembers over.
Next year it's someone else's turn.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Long weekend of Thanks

Neal planned a sunrise Ride of Thanks. Half the guys were on rigid singlespeeds, the other half on geared hardtails. The Harmonizer took it upon himself to ride to the ride with a 48" gear. Not exactly ideal for the road ( 100rpm = 14.5 mph, 34 miles of tarmac).

I was thankful for Neal's donuts

Tradition fire on the beach scheduled from 3:01-3:36 PM

Thankfully JEB is a crafty good baker

The Tofurkey Burner
If you look closely at the picture of a guy taking a picture you'll notice 2 GIRLS!  The Tofurkey Burner started off with 12 riders.  The ladies were amongst the 7 that went the distance.

Back to the Nass w/ James
(and where were you?)
we started with arm and leg warmers, but were down to just shorts and jerseys by half way

Oooh, scary!
 What is truly scary is how many people actually hunt in Nassahegon when it is so close to residential and  widely used by hikers, bikers, and runners.

Home-made fuel

and now for something completely different...
Team Createx / Benidorm
"Super Largo" ride

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

At work I'm trying to wrap some things up before the holiday.  In fact I need to because a customer needs it done before they leave the state for 4 months on Saturday.
I was planning on doing the installation yesterday, but a spray system malfunction left me scrambling.
I'd have to do the install on Wednesday, but that might free up some time to ride Tuesday night.
As I'm about to head out the phone rings.

"what time are you going to be there 'til?"

A customer is a customer so I tell him my regular closing time.
That's okay, I can get some longer rides in over the holiday.

15 minutes before closing time the phone rings (the only time it rings since the afore mentioned call)

"I can't make it down today, It'll have to be next week"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pulled back

I thought I had an out.
Fund raising was not going very well.  If no one stepped up I could quietly shave this "thing" and slink into the woodwork.
But no, a few of you couldn't resist having me wear this "thing" until the end of the month.
It's funny though, I've noticed some women are more flirty.  Maybe subconsciously they feel they need to be nice to me so I don't murder them?!
Another thing I've noticed is a lot more people have commented about Movember than have donated.
Dig deep.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Half Way

This "thing" is taking on a life of it's own.
I almost ran a red light because I was distracted by a lovely Latina waiting for the bus, I'm ringing my bell at pretty women, and going into the bank for face time with the tellers.
What's next?
Am I going to have to buy a bunch of turtlenecks?

I was close to shaving it off but Neal, Fabian and Jay stepped up to the plate making me committed to riding this thing out (moustache ride?).

You too can help support male cancer research by going here and making a donation.
Pretty please with sugar on top?

Monday, November 14, 2011

A real ride

Today Blü.2 got a true test of her mettle.

For those not in the know, Nassahegon is some of the best riding in the state.  Super twisty, flowing, great climbs (for CT), some rocks (and then some more rocks).  When you think of classic New England singletrack, that is the Nass.

The trail gnomes had been hard at work out in Burlington cleaning up the wrath of Albert, and other than some heavy leaf coverage the trails were good to go (for the most part).

I don't know if it was the  headwind commuting to work on Saturday, or the installation I did on Friday, but my legs were toast.  I really wanted to ride Mary Jane set up as a 1x8.  But then I remembered the last time I rode gears at the Nass after a storm.

With the tight twisties, I was really appreciating the sharpness of Blü.2's handling.  She really carved the corners.  The quickness actually is something that I'm going to have to adjust to when the trail turns down, and keep my weight back a little more.

On the uphill side of things, the lower front makes her quite a nimble climber.  

We were only riding for a couple of hours, but the constant switchbacks made it seem like longer, but in a good way.   Like shoving 3 hours of fun in to 2.

The size of our group and the nature of the trails, we'd appear to all be heading a different direction when looking down the trail.  Here we appear to be just standing around in the woods.

Mookie wins the prize for actually riding the whole climb we're standing atop.

Things beyond  Blü.2's control even worked out for the best.  I only pulled my feet out of the pedals when I was doing something truly stoopid, and my brakes were silent when dry, which is good enough for me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Aint no Candy Mountain

As lovely as Blü.2's maiden voyage was, all was not paradise on the ride.
Two issue kept on rearing their ugly heads to distract me from the ride.
First and most annoying:  I fouled my brake pads bleeding the brakes.  Hayes recommends removing them when you bleed the brakes, I never have, but this time I guess I should have.
Screaming Banshees!
Everytime I thought I had burned off the contamination the squeal would come back.
You guys are gonna love me on Sunday (no pads "in stock").

Second issue:  Pedals.  Or maybe cleats.  First my left shoe wouldn't stay clipped in, and then both of them.  I had been last using these pedals on a 1x8 setup and hadn't noticed a problem, but with the way you ride SS I guess you're more likely to pull a foot out.

I hope it's just the cleats.  Time and time again, I'll get pissed off with Crank Brothers, swear I'll never use them again and switch back to Time.  I was lured in by their latest redesign replacing the bushing with a needle bearing.  Ironically I just had to overhaul the right one (less than a year old) because the needle bearing exploded. 
They are the best in snow, which will soon be an unfortunate reality.
I wish Time's were lighter or the lighter ones were cheaper.

That got a little rambly.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


After a somewhat tumultuous build (cut the brake line, bleed the brakes, go for test ride, brake line pops off, re-cut brake line, re-bleed brakes, cross fingers...) Blü.2 was ready for her maiden voyage.

The differences between my original Swift, Blüsteel, and  Blü.2 are subtle, yet to ME significant.

One of the things I loved about Blüsteel was the fork, but one of the things I wasn't crazy about was the height of the front end, due in part to the length of the fork. I'm sure some might prefer the more upright position afforded by the higher front end.  I did  get used to it and think I did fairly well with it, but I could never get into my ideal just right position (I would browse for stems, but never went on a crazy stem hunt looking for some -17° unit).

Now I'm sure in an effort to appease ME, Sam did a minor rehash of the numbers, shortened the fork to 470mm a/c, reduced the rake to 45mm (from 48mm; Sam's always been ahead of the curve), and slackened the head angle slightly to accommodate.
Plus he gave it sexy new chainstays:
So what are the effects of these changes:
Charlie Likey!!!
 The bike fit much more naturally to me, balancing my weight even better than before.  The lower front end puts me in a more aggressive position to more actively drive the bike.
In the back of my mind I was a little concerned that the shorter fork would A. not be as compliant, and B. reduce the "mad skillz" I could sometimes (rarely)conjure  on Blüsteel..
Better handling, as compliant, and same "Charlie level"* mad skillz.

I always thought the perfect bike for ME would be if Blüsteel banged Mary Jane and had a love child.
Blü.2 is about as close to that as I think you can get.
  • Lower more aggressive position
  • great Phil Wood ebb
  • faster yet not twitchy handling
  • Classic style and design

Here's one last blurry camera phone shot, just cuz..

*mad skillz for me, a XC rider who has to go to work the next day

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's like this:

Here's the stats on my Movember Fund raising campaign.
Dollars raised:
Marble Design.
aka ME

So it's going to work like this; if you want me to keep growing this "thing", looking ever more ridiculous by the hour you had better pony up some cash.

OR if you really care about Mrs CB2, you can make a donation with a message to that effect and I'll shave "it" off.

Vote with your wallet:  Charlie looking foolish, or Mrs CB2 not embarrassed (less embarrassed) to be seen in public with me.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Neal and I went for a "ride" on Sunday.

We saw a lot of this:

Did a lot of this:

while our bikes did a lot of this:

With all the trail work, what would usually been an under 1:30 ride took us over 4:30 to complete.
Probably would have been a bit quicker if the group of riders coming from the West side had cleared one single twig off the trail (they were crossing the levee as we finished the East side).

Friday, November 4, 2011


I've just saved over $420 in gas so far this year.



I don't even partake, and that always cracks me up.
Little things are big to Charlie...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, but being guys it takes us a while to getting around to doing anything about it.  So on the great "honey do" list of Cancer awareness it is now Movember.

Clean shaven gents across the world will let their upper lip get fuzzy to raise awareness and hopefully funds in the fight against Prostate Cancer.

Soup strainers for a cure?

I have never been a fan of the moustache.  This probably goes back to when was 15 and saw The Scorpions open for Rainbow at the New Haven Coliseum.  We had floor seats, and there was a guy wearing a baseball shirt with an iron on saying "free moustache rides" in the row in front of me,

So my dedication to the cause should be evident (or I'm looking for an excuse to not shave for a month).

If you'd like to help me raise funds to help the fight you can do so here.

"They" say that if you live long enough (and you've got a prostate), you'll get prostate cancer.  Let's work together to find a cure.

 Day 1