Friday, March 30, 2012

Money where my mouth is

As a small American manufacturer, when possible I like to support others who do that very un-American practice of still actually making shit themselves.

If I were a better photographer, you'd see stamped on that water bottle cage King Cage Made in USA.
Being, lets say "thrifty", I couldn't justify buying new cages when I had perfectly functional ones, but when I began to wear through the tubing of my old ones, and started hearing "bottle rattle", I knew it was time.   $17 for stainless steel seemed like a pretty reasonable price too.

I'm not going to get all jingoistic here; in the modern global economic environment we live in buying domestic sometimes just isn't feasible.  Hell, in a lot of cases it's not even possible (can you buy a computer made in the USA to read this wonderful blog on?).  I've had wonderful bicycles made both domestically and overseas.  I've also had not so wonderful domestic and imported bicycles.  I've broken bikes from all global sources.

But when you can buy a top quality domestically sourced item it does feel good...

and if I win that Mega-Millions this would sure feel good too!

(actually Geekhouse's price is pretty reasonable)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Non Bike Rant

I had to go to court today.
Remember 2 years ago when I broke my hand?
I'm being sued over it.

The emergency room took my insurance and referred me to an orthopedist.
When I checked in I gave them my insurance card, filled out 2 pages worth of forms (with a broken hand!)  saw an assistant, and had a cast put on.
They then scheduled a MRI for me in about 2 weeks.

The day before the MRI they called me to tell me they were cancelling my MRI as they made a mistake and don't take my insurance and it would be too expensive for a person to pay out of pocket.

At that point I called my insurance and found an orthopedist who did take my insurance.

A month later I get a bill.  They are charging me $485 for their mistake.

In my eyes this is wrong.  They never told me I'd be paying out of pocket or gave me the opportunity to seek alternate care.

So today was the hearing.  10:00 AM in the opposite direction from work.

After a wrong turn based on the court's printed directions, removing my belt and any other metal from my person to get in the court house, my case will finally be heard.

After the judge read a statement about procedures the clerk calls attendance for all the cases.
The plaintiff's attorney in my case is absent!  I win!!!

Ah, no.
After the role call is done the judge says she needs to make an announcement.  The plaintiff's attorney called in sick and the case will be rescheduled.


If I was sick would they reschedule for me?

So now I get to miss another day of work.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It has been said

so it shall be written...

The tire combo that shall be run until further notice is

the Ardent 2.4 up front

and  let me introduce you to it's little friend out back

the Ikon 2.2.

Riding today everything just seemed "dialed".

Sure I could (and might at some  point) loose a 1/2 pound by running Ikons all around but the Ardent just seems so right.  I'd have to loose a whole lot more 1/2 pounds for a 1/2 pound to really make a difference.

Which is kinda funny as 2 years ago I struggled with the Ardent so much.
It either felt like I had a basketball between my forks, or I was giving my rims a beating.  Funny thing is now I'm running the pressure even lower than back then.

Learning how to ride or has someone been grooming every trail I ride?

Monday, March 26, 2012

KoB 2012

Adam the King with his Arm in front of Queen Ellen's head

How'd I do?
Officially all I know is I wasn't in the top 8 overall.
Unofficially I know Jonny Bold only beat me by less than 5 minutes.  On a longer course that some said wasn't singlespeed friendly that's a victory.  Hell, even if it was specifically designed for SS I'd be psyched with that deficit.

Technically I rode poorly.  Within the first mile I crashed in a very minor rock garden; the kind you shouldn't crash in.  On some of the new trails I was just sort of brain dead on how to approach the obstacles.  At one point I came to the end of a boardwalk that emptied into a rock garden and just sort of stopped.  I just couldn't figure out how to ride it.
So I ran.

Speaking of boardwalks, there were a lot of them.  Totally dry, totally safe, yet they freaked me out and I rode them with kit gloves.

The new sections of the course were awesome though.

They used a new timing system this year.  It had an elegant sounding electronic female voice (a hot robot!) counting you down to your start.  Unfortunately she couldn't do more than one thing at a time and to keep the race rolling along for all the classes, they couldn't stop to get more than the top 8 results.

I never do very well at this race, but it's a lot of fun and I'll keep coming back.

The waiting around for results that weren't coming did reward me with winning some goofy white socks in the raffle, but also sucked the life out of me; I had every piece of clothing I brought with me on by the time we left. This had a negative effect on the after race ride.  I look more forward to that than the race.

Next year, I'll skip the standing around part and get right to the good stuff.

No one remembered to bring a camera on the ride so I got this sweet shot of Alby putting on his sock

not to mention Dan refusing to use his bike rack

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Season Kickoff!!

King of Burlingame, the season opener is this Sunday.
It's a flatish offroad TT, so it really doesn't play to my strengths, but fun never the less.  Really looking forward to the after race ride.

But Holy FOOK!
Has every ex-pro and National champion in the United States of New England signed up for it?

The youts 

might have a little something to say about it, but I'm betting we'll be crowning a geezer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chain didn't fall off.

No flats.

Lungs stayed in chest cavity.

Other than loosing my CO2 inflator (don't worry, I found my tube), I'd say it was just about perfect.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The closest I came to the bike this weekend

was watching the South African WC on the computer.
Not exactly my plan 1 week out from the season opener.

Friday, March 16, 2012


No not the Norwegian pop super group (word is that dude can still hit those notes), but chainline.

White Industries uses a 47.5 mm chainline.

Modern Shimano and all it's imitators use a 50 mm chainline.

After playing with calipers, rulers and spacers for a bit last night, I think I've got it dialed.

I sure hope so.  Although the thought of having sick watts, being able to flex my cranks and or bb enough to drop a chain sounds awfully macho, I'd rather not have to swap them out.

You know, the throwing away of money and all...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Not My Day

Okay, let's play a game;
Who can remember the last time I punctured?

Yes, you in the back...

That is correct, the Rapture was the last time I flatted (on my mtb)

Okay, now who remembers the last time I dropped my chain?

Shut up Neal!

Let's rephrase that:  When was the last time I dropped my chain before switching to White Industries Eno Cranks.


Stumped ya!

It was Hodges Village Dam 2009.  I tried to rely on a DT RWS skewer w/o a tensioner and dropped my chain 3 times in that race.

So what's up with the quiz?

I dropped my chain and punctured a brand new tire in less than 5 miles today...and 2.5 of those miles were on the road.

Since I just put the tire on today there was copious amounts of sealant, but when you tare a knob, well, your

I had put on my new racer boy treads and was trying to dial in the pressure.  But I've become spoiled by the plumpness of my Monster Truck Meats.
Racer Boys sure roll nice though.  Might have to split the difference and go Monster / Racer.

Now with the chain.  All of a sudden I've had a rash of chain drops.
Was my EBB slipping?
Bolts not torqued?
Chain too loose?


It dawn on my the chain drops started when I put the pretty cranks and Ti bb on the bike.
Maybe the spiderless design is more flexy?
I ran Raceface Turbines with a Ti bb without issue.
Well there was one issue.

First race is in less than 2 weeks; I needs to get this sheet sorted STAT!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Hour 5 of over 6.

Neal's smiling

TJ's smiling

and Aaron's still smiling (although I don't think he truly knew what he signed up for)

Over the Winter (is it still Winter?  Hard to tell) Red Riding Hood's Basket  (RRH's) in Southwick, MA was discovered by our core group (let it be known that CB1 has been going there for quite sometime).  Located right at the end of the bike path, it was a great destination for base mile rides.  Made putting in those z2 hours a little more rewarding.

On one of these base rides a plan was beginning to be hatched.
The Metacomet Trail comes out on rt 168 in Suffield only a few miles from RRH's, what if we extended a TdT North to 168, so we could enjoy a delightful treat on a mtb ride?

We decided for maximum treat enjoyment, it would be best to do this ride, like, RIGHT NOW.
Banged around some logistics, sent out some e.mails and here we are.

Weather was perfect, trails were  perfect (although there was quite a bit of trepidation in the days preceding), and RRH's was delicious (as usual).  North of Newgate was reminiscent of how the TdT route was before douche bags on motos and quads started sneaking out on to the trail.  Classic rocky hard-packed New England singletrack on top of a ridge with spectacular views.

No mechanicals either, although Aaron did change his stem mid ride.

TJ says I'm screwing myself out of mileage by not syncing my wheel with my Garmin (sounds like a lot of work to me).  Neal had 51 miles (31 to RRH's) about 6 miles from home so I guess we had a couple miles more total.

Friday, March 9, 2012

My thought was since this would be the last day in a FREAKING MONTH that I'd be able to commute with only blinkie lights that I might as well ride the Sunday Princess

I was really enjoying the gears.
Got me thinking maybe I should race with gears this year.

Maybe, maybe not.

Bikes are fun.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A friend of mine shared this picture on Facebook:

Although I never step foot in the gym, using the physicality of my job as an excuse, I can only hope I outlive her nicotine stained, Kalhua soaked ass.

Shortly after another friend shared this one:

Well, I guess if you're afraid of getting hit by a car, or are extremely sensitive to temperature an exercise or spin bike might work out better, or maybe you just dig gym culture, but give me outside.

Give me the road
the wind
the cold
 the rain
the sun
the humidity
Give me the woods
the dirt,
the rocks
the roots
the bugs
the snow
the ice

It has to be pretty awful for me to ride indoors.

Remind me to thank my Mom for forcing me to go outside instead of enjoying the warm glow of the RCA.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I was quite surprised when I got up on the ridge and found 2-3" off crusty snow and half frozen muddy ruts.
Case was almost ideal yesterday.
But the less than perfect conditions created an effective test for my sit-down power.
Did I pass?
I'll never tell.

When I crossed over to the East side there was significantly less snow...and a weird silence.  It was kind of like that silence you...hear(?) when you night ride.
No suburban sounds.
Zero, zip, nada, non...

nail guns
not even any wind.

It was cool.

Made me appreciate singlespeed even more.