Monday, January 30, 2012

The Plan

Monte had made notice; he was a bachelor for the weekend and willing to travel.  Perfect opportunity to show him some of the best trails in CT.
The sensible thing to do would be have a nice leisurely spin on Saturday and save some matches for Monte's tour on Sunday.

But Neal was riding Case.

Must resist...

urge too strong...

After a crumby night of sleep and not committing to it until 1/2 hour before ETD I found myself in the truck heading over the river.  Of course this was after the frantic scramble that usually accompanies such last minute decisions.
Neal had planned an early start so the trails would be firm.
He also planned on making it count.
Case drains well, but after a 1/2 foot of snow a week ago, and rain Thursday to Friday it was hard to believe how good the conditions were.  I know my local haunt would have been one big soup bowl.  Only on the second lap of the new trails in the deforested section did things turn a little soft and slick.  Everything else; solid as a rock.

Sunday Sunday Sunday!

After the mad dash to make it to the ride on Saturday I had everything laid out for me. I was so on time I even stopped at the bank. But as I drove up to Nassahegan I was noticing more and more snow on people's lawns.
After mild temps reaching into the fifties all week?

James, Josh and Monte were waiting for me in an icy parking lot.
Maybe there'd be less snow in the woods.


Not only was there still snow, there were frozen ruts from people riding in the snow and the flowing singletrack I was so excited to show was a luge run.
After less than 2 miles we decided sliding around pontooning across ice wasn't going to be fun.

We could go to the res and do a TdT, but who knows if there was snow and ice on the Northern sections of it?

We went for the sure thing.
Back in the truck and heading over the river to Case.
About 30% of the time I wasn't sure we were going the right way, but we had time to make it work and hit some good stuff.  Made it back to the trail head as everyone was  just about to run out of food and water.

This is what it's all about; great rides with good friends having fun.
(so much fun there was no time to take pictures; I tried once but those fookers were too quick for me to get a shot off)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cheap Fooker!

Is it me or has bike racing gotten really expensive?

It looks like your standard XC race is still about $25-$35, but anything longer seems to be astronomical.
I skipped doing a road race with my team because it was $80 and I didn't want to use up that much of the budget on a secondary interest.
Well it looks like if I want to do any longer format races I better get ready to sell some blood.

Hampshire 100 = $100
Pat's Peak is $80-$140 depending on how many hours you choose to race.
Darkhorse 40 is $75
and VT50 is $125

Iron Cross is a veritable bargain at only $60.

It seems the dollar goes further in PA as there are some  50 milers there for only $60 as well.

Is it just what the market will bare, or does it really cost that much more to run these longer events?

I'm off to roll  pennies and collect some cans.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Geeking Out w/ Metrics

I was reading Friel's Total Heart Rate Training last night.  In it he discusses a way of quantifying workload call TRIMP.
Basically you multiply the minutes you spend in each zone by that zone, add the numbers together and Viola! You've got your TRIMP.
Any chance to play with numbers is a good time in my book so I started looking back through workouts where I wore a HRM.
First thing I found is I didn't wear a HRM very much last year.
But here are a few of my results.  I also includes Strava's "Suffer Score" as a comparison.

On a snowy ride over the weekend my TRIMP was 308, Suffer Score (SS) was 93
One of my first hard efforts of the year TRIMP=471, SS=135
LSD ride TRIMP=593, SS=140
another LSD ride TRIMP=530, SS=122
and at a mtb race, Hodges Village Dam, TRIMP=521, SS=201

The thing that just doesn't jive for me is the value the LSD rides hold.  How do they have the highest value, when afterwards once I've had something to eat I'm pretty much good to go? 

I've always felt Strava shafts mtb rides by using a speed metric in their equation, but at least they rate a race effort higher than a ride out to Red Riding Hood's Basket for treats.  Still 2 1/2 hours in the snow, or 2 3/4 hours of hills on the fixed gear take a lot more out of me than LSD.

Right about now is when I'm expecting Mookie to chime in telling me to get a powermeter.  Maybe I should be thankful I don't have the fiscal liquidity to make such an investment.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Playing in the snow is fun.  
But it can be hard work.  
That's all I got.

It got a couple few inches deeper, but by Sunday the trails were seeing a good amount of traffic, and when it was virgin snow, it was too nice to stop and take a picture.

New sealed cables on Mary Jane. I don't know if the flawless shifting helped or not in the snow (as apposed to SS)


I just remembered, checkout how sick Blu.2 looks with the Waltworks fork!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Damn Cell Phones!

No some idiot didn't almost hit me talking on the phone; the idiot who almost hit me didn't have any excuse other than being an idiot.

I had to pick up LB from school  midday.
Of course my first thought was this was an excellent excuse to get in some riding; hardly worth driving back to work for just a couple hours.  Right?
But then a customer called and needed me to fax them some information.
I'll ride back to work, send the faxes, then ride until dark!

I figured I'd do something like this.

Well, as I'm getting close to the shop my phone starts going off.
Mrs CB2 wants to know if I'm meeting the bus for QB.

The thought of pretending I had my phone on "silent" and carrying on my merry way crossed my mind.

But the conscious got the better of me.
Instead of one last LSD before the snow, I tried to make up for time and mileage and jumped the gun on intensity a bit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't you hate when you get the theme to "Alice" stuck in your head?

One of the occupational hazards of riding w/o earbuds.

Usually the sound track in my head cooperates pretty  well.
Sometimes though, it doesn't play nice.

Small price to pay for not being completely oblivious to the world around me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I was psyched.
The trails would be frozen solid, yet the temps had climbed into the mid 20s °F.
I had planned my day right, and I would be finished early enough to hit the CB1 Birthday climb in honor of CB1's birthday.
Then horror came over me; did I forget a jacket?
Yes, but fortunately I had both my team wind breaker, and the ironic Rockshox windbreaker in the truck.

In the bathroom changing, standing in legwarmers and a heartrate strap, very S&M looking, I reach into my bag and pull out a jersey, then a polypro t-shirt, and then another jersey.
Then a sock.
No shorts.
I must have mistaken the black jersey for shorts when I was packing my bag.
I didn't even have my phone with me to take pictures for a fetish magazine.

At least that freed me up for a few hours of frustration working on training spreadsheets (excel is new to me).

Monday, January 16, 2012


Saturday was in the upper twenties (*F).  Sunday never made it out of the teens.  Even so, I don't think I was anymore (or less) uncomfortable either day.

Saturday was about double the riding time, but only about a third more exposure being I was riding solo.
Lovely 63 mile (that 100k if you want to get all euro and the likes) fixed gear jaunt out to Red Riding hood's Basket in Southwick, MA.
It was good.

Real good.

Good enough to want to move.
It doesn't hurt that its at the end of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.
Hot cocoa steamed with the espresso maker and a chocolate chip scone. I now see why CB1  makes this trip so often.
Just what I needed for the 50k ride home (there I go, all euro again).

Sunday was an exercise in dressing right.
polypro long-sleeved t-shirt, leg warmers, bib shorts, micro fleece jersey, tights with wind-stopper fronts, Rox skull cap, Lake Winter boots and the greatest jacket ever made.
My Santini windstopper jacket.  So warm.  So lightweight.  I feels like I won the lottery every time I wear it.
Properly attired, the only time I felt the single to low double digit temps was when we rode out of the shelter of the trees and headed into the wind on the powerlines.
No delightful treats mid ride (even if there was a cafe on the Shenipsit Trail, I had left my wallet at home), but a great group of hearty souls to brave the elements with (it really wasn't bad).

Friday, January 13, 2012

Game Changer?

I drove Mrs. CB2's car to work yesterday.
Because the battery had been complete drained the computer was starting from square one.
The radio also didn't work needing some special code after being deprived of DC, so the electronic Swedish bean counter on the dash was my only entertainment.

50% better gas mileage than my truck.

That included waiting in traffic because the signal lights on Park Rd were out, going on  a delivery on top of a giant freakin' hill, letting the car run for fear the battery wasn't charging, and going to the bank.  In other words a lower percentage of highway miles than usual.

I knew it would be better, but from the numbers Mrs. CB2 usually gets I was expecting along the lines of a 20% improvement.

Guess all the city driving and her lead foot are at work here.

If I was driving the Volvo I would have only save $317 dollars in gasoline last year. 

As business has declined I need the trucks capacity less and less.  I still have the van for big loads, and honestly I can't fit much more in the F150 than I could in my old Ranger, which actually doesn't have that much more capacity than the Volvo.

Maybe I should drive the Volvo but commute by bike 50% more?

Thursday, January 12, 2012


This post is somewhat redundant, because my initial impressions still hold true.  But I like to hear me talk so...

I like presents.
I like steel forks.
As a reward for a hard fought second place overall in the Root 66 Series Cat1 Singlespeed class I thought I'd take my winnings and buy myself a new fork.
The carbon fork it was replacing had served me well, but was starting to make the occasional ominous creak, so this was as good a time as any to upgrade.
I contacted Walt, about what I was looking for in a fork, and my riding style.  I gave him all the pertinent information such as my weight, and the geometry of my current bike and fork.
He said "No problemo".  Actually he just said "I can build you a fork like that".

I sent him a deposit...and then noticed the "fork disclaimer" on his wait list.
He was out of steerers, and wasn't sure when he'd be getting more, so the usual 6-8 week lead time might not be applicable.
At first this was crushing, but the weeks went by and I really didn't mind the wait (too much).  It actually gave me a chance to tweak the numbers a bit (I added 5mm to the a/c and 5mm more of rake).

12 weeks later my fork arrived.
It was beautiful.
After riding it for over a month, I'm happy to say it rides as good as it looks.
Flexes enough to take the edge off, but not enough to produce brake chatter.  Stiff enough to be carvolicious descending.  It's actually rides too good to be on a geared bike, so which ever bike I campaign all SS and the like will be sporting the Waltworks.

Is it worth the money?
It is worth every cent of the $290 I spent on it (that includes shipping).

*The purchase was based on paying for it in part with the winnings from the Root66 series overall awards.  At this point those funds are still yet to be received.  Had I known it would be all out of pocket, I'd probably not made the purchase at this time, but I'm glad I did. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


In a highly scientific study it was determined (by me) that people who drive red vehicles are the worst.

Doesn't matter the make or model, if it's red, watch out!

On Saturday to pass the time on a LSD ride I came up with a game called "Who's a Crappy Driver" and these were my findings.
The worst offender was a piece-o-crap Chevy S10 pick-em-up truck.  Pulled out and almost smashed me into a ditch.
Next was a swervy Toyota  Corrolla; it's one thing to swerve over the yellow to pass me, but to swerve over the white?
Finally to prove my theory, a was buzzed by a Ferrari 599, showing it doesn't matter how fancy your car is you're still a dick.

On the ride home this evening my theory was further confirmed when I almost swapped paint with a Ford Escape, and it was a four lane road!

But there is hope!  As I was marveling at how well a young lady in a non-descript grey sedan passed me, giving me 3' yet not crossing the yellow, I noticed a sign on the rear of her car:

"Canton High School Drivers Ed"

On a final note, the dead weight at the bottom of the reading list is going to be jettisoned if not updated by the end of the week.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First commute of the year

I planned for this.
The night before I got my ID, key, and phone together.
I had put my fully charged batteries and lights on my bike.
Sort of laid out my clothes.
Went to bed early.


as I wheeled my bike out of the basement one of my lights popped off.  Minor set back, just put everything down and pry the o-rings back around the bar.

Where are my gloves?
I wore them Sunday riding but they aren't with my riding stuff.
Had yet another pair of gloves been swallowed by the black hole which is my house?
After 15 minutes of digging I found them.  They weren't with the skating stuff (remember Activity I), but somehow in the box-o-boots?

Get outside, and we're ready to go.
But only one light is working?  Oh yeah it must have come loose when it fell off the bar.  Some pulling and pushing and it's back on line.

A couple miles in, on the darkest stretch of road I realize although I have both headlights shinning bright, I never turned on my tail lights. 
A quick illuminating stop and we're off again.

As I pass UConn I'm hearing pft, pft, pft.  One of my booties is coming undone.
I wait until I pull off RT4, to pull over and fix it.

Okay, now we're moving....
and speaking of I've got to poop!

At least it wasn't raining.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Parenting 101

I am a cyclist, but first and foremost I am a father.
As such waiting for the day to warm up before I ride is not always an option.  I know many of you face the same situation.  You must get up and out before the machine which is a family begins to fully get up to speed.
You must carefully orchestrate your day finding ways to engage and enrich your children's little lives.

Today was an example of achieving that balance.

Family Activity I
Family Activity II
(oh activity II was good!)

and the pièce de résistance,
lovingly kicking my children out of the house so they could bond with one another doing yard work for an hour while daddy watched the Nationals in peace.

Watch more video of USA Cyclocross National Championships 2012 on

The Pride of Niantic finally brings it home!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


The stars aligned.
The resin (work stuff) would be arriving in the morning.
Traffic cooperated.
It was in the mid 30s F, and I had an hour-ish of something resembling daylight.

Regardless of how mild the air temperature was the trails were still frozen; solid as a rock.

I wanted to find an Arrested Development video of "Solid as Iraq", got distracted, so now I give you this:

Trails were like a skate park.  Too much fun.
I'm almost dreading the predicted warm up this weekend.
Somehow though, I will persevere...

If I do manage to survive the expected hellish upper 40s I'll have a couple of product reviews for you next week.
Oh boy!