Friday, December 31, 2010

Okay, done, let's go sledding!


I don't have a huge list to thank but those I do have been huge.
Thank you Sam of Singular and Marty of The Prairie Peddler for help with equipment and morale support. Sam, I was honestly skeptical about the EBB, and the front end height of the Swift, but was quickly turned to a believer. The EBB has performed flawlessly, and the taller front end inspires confidence in the gnar'.
Most importantly thank you to all my friends and family for the friendship, companionship, support, and understanding. A lot of good times were had in 2010 despite some adversity.
Now here's some pictures.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The End is Near

Less than 40 miles.
I can bang that out in a morning. But looking at my road

I decided I might be better served on a mountain bike.
Problem is my only complete mountain bike was set up singlespeed. Singlespeed mountain bike on the road = BORING.
That's okay, with a full length housing setup, and a dedicated geared wheel, swapping over should be a snap.
Now being the cheap fooker that I am, I found it more economical to replace the non-replaceable bearings in my Shimano out-board bearing BBs instead of replacing the whole unit. After-market bearings generally have tighter tolerances, and consequently the bearing seals/guides fit very tightly on the crank spindle. Often when you pull the spindle the seals will come off with it.
So I see a seal lying on the floor, and a bearing cup missing one so I replace it...and I'm off.
I get to Buena Vista and start climbing out of the saddle, and notice a whole lot of play in the cranks.
Turns out one seal fell on the ground, and the other stuck to the spindle, so when I replaced it on the empty cup, I was doubling up the seals on the drive side.
I look on the shelf and see a seemingly perfectly adequate replacement. Bearings are nice and smooth, but when and where did I get this BB?
Is it any good?
I put it in, install the cranks, pre-load the bearings and...sonofbitch! The bearings are played out. Now I have to yank them, and remove one of the seals to replace the one that I destroyed...and now my window of opportunity has shut.
35 miles left.
Today I planned on rising early, visiting my folks in Old Lyme, riding over my Sister's in Niantic to measure her shower, and getting the rest of those miles in.
After my third Christmas dinner on Wednesday night, I was a little sluggish this morning; I didn't hit the road until after 8:00 AM.
Little hanging with my Dad, little fattening up by my Mom, and it's heading towards 11:00 AM before I start riding to JB's house. Now if this was a customer's house I'd be in and out in 15 minutes. An hour later I'm headed back to Rocky Neck.

Rocky Neck was fun, definitely would have been more funnerer with the Ardent I had ordered before Christmas that was shipped yesterday by pony express. There were some bike tracks (Hi Mark!), someone was riding a fat bike, but I still had first tracks on some of the more secluded trails. But time was short and I only got about 5 miles in the park.

Looking back: First tracks bitches

Looking towards the sound

Less than 19 miles to go. Do I tempt fate and head to the res with a Crossmark on the back of my bike, and if it's a nogo ride mtb on the road, or just git-r-done on the Kite?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mrs. CB2 and I had a good time skiing yesterday. I thought I'd be clever and use an "app" to track our tracks, but when I checked it at an hour in it had been only functioning as a stopwatch. Miraculously it decided it should start recording our last little bit back to the lodge.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


There are a lot of numbers you can keep track of whilst cycling; mileage, elevation gain, avg speed, max speed, hours, time in zone, heart rate, max hr. Probably a lot more that I can't think of too.

I try not to be too obsessed with numbers.
But it is hard not to be drawn into with all this data available.

Back when GW declared 'Mericans should exercise an hour a day I took it as a decree to ride 365 hours that year.

I made it by about an hour.

The next year I wanted to up that by 10%, which I did (just barely), and have since leveled off between 430 and 450 hours a year.

This year; mission accomplished.

this pesky detail

With 4 days left in the year I'm within 40 miles of 5000 miles for the year.
Because I switch between mtb and road, hours are much more pertinent to my training than mileage, but to be so close to a nice round number like that, a gauntlet has been thrown well as 10" of snow.

If I had to achieve a certain amount of hours, I could just hop on the rollers and spin away, but indoor "miles" just don't count. To me miles are actual miles covered by bicycle, not just the equivalent number of revolutions.

Today I'm going to bond with Mrs. CB2 and go XC skiing at a real XC ski area (if I ski solo, I just ski the trails I ride), so that leave me with 3 day to cover 40 miles. Usually this wouldn't be much of a challenge, but we'll see how well the DPW has done with the roads.

Now if I never kept a log, I could just ski all week.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Charlie's Last Stand & the Voices in My Head

You might have heard we're getting snow in New England.
My original plan was to ride with TJ and Alex in Penwood but the uncertainty of the impending white doom and driving out to E. Granby would keep me away from my holiday Butterfingers too long had me looking for a Plan B.
Plan B would have been riding with the Sunday morning group at the Res...except the bed and then the coffee were too hard to part with.
So I was left to my own devices. Which I guess is good, since I wanted more than the 10 mile loop they typically ride. Even with the 5 mile round trip to the res, I wanted more.
I wanted everything I could possibly squeeze out of the MDC, because who knows when it will be rideable again
And so it begins...
I was riding well. I cleaned everything on the way to the ridge including riding up the "new way down" (50.4" gear).
So of course Echo and the Bunnymen entered my mind.

The intro of "Do It Clean" is similar to bridge to the chorus in the B52's "Own Private Idaho"; a song that often comes to mind riding in the Winter when I have the trails all to myself.

Then I completely boned a lunge up on to a ledge thinking about music:

How did this not become a huge pop hit?

Looking at the ominous skies and being on a Hüsker Dü kick naturally brought me here:

I guess the voices in my head are living in the past.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dirty Whore

Oh...teehee...I meant hoar, as in hoar frost. I'm so clever, teehee. Been waiting all week to make that prepubescent joke.
I don't ever remember the hoar frost and frost heaves being so bad. Last week someone asked when we'd be rid of it. CB1 used his vast wisdom, and said when it's covered with snow.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


In my quest to climb every foot of elevation gain at the Res without getting all redundant, I came across this litter on the gas line.
People littering on MY trails!? That really gets my goat!
But on closer inspection there is still "performance" food within the confines of the cellophane.
Did the previous owner of this engineered goop decide they didn't care for strawberry flavored poop, or more likely, after they fueled up on their epic Res loop, preventing the inevitable bonk from their triumphant efforts, missed their pocket and had to soldier on the remaining 4 downhill miles without supplemental sustenance?
For all I know, they were on a TdT and were in a caloric deficit. But for some reason I kind of doubt it.
Do you really need a snack for a loop at the Res?
If so, next time have it before you're so shaky you can't find your pocket.

Boy, some people can be so grumpy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What is wrong with me that I'm so highly intrigued and excited by this?
Like a book you can't put down.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Things that make you say Hmm....

I was JRA yesterday when I came across a trio fellows walking up a rock ledge I was about to ride down. They were sporting a veritable cornucopia of vintage to modern gear, the most modern being a C-dale Jekyll.
As they marveled over the wonders of my 29" wheels, singlespeed, rigid fork, and bell, music filled the air.
The gentleman riding the Cannondale Raven had some sort of music playing device in his backpack and was cranking tunes. Bob Marley at the the time.
One of my many gripes, and ask TJ, I've got plenty, is other trail users totally oblivious to the rest of the world with their earbuds in, cranking Debbie Gibson, Glenn Beck or whatever. But this guy not only is he not sheltering himself in a auditory cocoon, but sharing the love with all to hear.
Don't know how I feel about that (yes I do, something good to gripe about).
We were headed in different directions so I didn't have to take my chances with what his next song choice would be.
I really should make a point of riding with a camera.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Goldilocks or Princess and the Pea

I know this is terribly interesting stuff...

Swapped to my "Winter tires" today.
Ardent 2.4 up front and a Nevegal 2.2 in the back.
The Nevegal aired up fine, but was having a hard time holding air. Consequently, I began the ride with some extra pressure, just in case. Even when over inflated, the Nevegal kicks a Crossmarks tushy in these early Winter conditions (dusting of snow, hoar frost, frozen crunchy leaves). I was able to motor up some techie climbs I wasn't able to make even with gears earlier in the week. When I was finally confident it was sealed and dropped the pressure it was awesome(r).

The Ardent on the other hand is a different kettle of fish. Too much air and it's like a rubber mallet, not enough and it's a squishy squirmy blob. Honing in on "just right" has been arduous journey.
I think I prefer it on the mallet side.
Might have to start riding with a tire gauge.

Here's a link to my ride so A-Game can figure out what time I left work.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I really need to be more persistent.
I didn't even make it a month this time with gears.
I was actually enjoying the charms that variable gears provide, but the timing was all wrong. Just a dusting of snow and some hoar frost stole gears thunder.
I was JRA yesterday and couldn't get any kind of flow going. It was pretty cold, and it wasn't a race, but man was I slow.
Slow, no flow.
Presto chango!

SS just works better this time of year.
You warm up quicker, and can just get into a groove easier. But I guess that's always true.
So yesterday there was the most amazing sunset on the ridge. Today I actually made a few small loops hoping to recapture it, buy it was far less inspiring.

Waiting around for awesomeness left me riding back to the lot in fading light. Ever notice how your tire pressure changes with the temperature? Rushing down a rocky fireroad in the dark with possibly lower than optimal tire pressure = fixing a flat in the dark.
Ever since I injured my thumb (is he still whining about that?) I've had a hard time mounting tires. In 23*F temps levers are a must. Rushing in the cold and dark I punctured my only spare tube and had to run the last mile out of the woods.
Wouldn't it be nice to have the foresight to just start running?
Now it's time to put the big meats back on for the Winter to avoid future tomfoolery.

Monday, December 13, 2010

WTF & Hmm

I was just riding along...
Riding Burlington from Sessions Wood, made a wrong turn or three and next thing you know on top of a hill is this:

Is it something official?
On closer inspection, those widow shades don't look government issued?

A couple more wrong turns and I think I might have quite a nice loop if I tie this wrong turn into one of my more established loops at Nassahegan.

Would have explored that option but I had to go stand on a hill with wet cycling clothes on while my children discussed what tree we were going to ceremoniously kill.