Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My family was questioning me about all the pictures of food I post online.  They think I might have an eating disorder.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rain, and thank you.

I don't mind riding in the rain.  After a certain point of of the year with all the traffic they see, my local trails become like concrete with rocks and roots sticking out.  No trace is left behind.  The only organic matter that leaves with me are hemlock needles, and dead leaf crumbs.  There are some muddy spots that are easily avoided with not even very careful route planning, but most of those spots are on the fireroads that connect the good stuff.

But what I really wanted to talk about was Stan's.  Stan's sealant and Maxxis tires have been a winning combination for me for the past 5 years.  The Maxxis Ignitor is the go to for most of my team.  It also was the first tire that Stan's really seemed to work in fixing punctures on the fly (no stopping, shaking, refilling, stopping shaking, stopping...).  You'd hear a squirt, and then it would stop.  You'd keep on rolling with hardly any loss of pressure.

This year has been one of those high puncture years.  Maybe because it is so dry, maybe because I've been trying racier tires than suit my, um, style of riding.  Whatever the case, I've had to resort to using a tube on a couple of occasions.  Fortunately these occurrences have all been close to home and not on some silly ride to Massachusetts.

Anyways, I've been enjoying Mary Jane set up all geared and hardtail.  On the Mt Riga ride I even had the Queef switch engaged for all but the climbs (mainly because I forgot to lock out the shock).  Descending has been a real hoot.  So much so I decided to dust off the Minute, and slap it on Bl├╝.2.

One of the problems I've found with having a suspension fork on a bike [for me] is the fork saves the front tire, but without the feedback a rigid would give, I tend to plow my rear wheel into rocks...which can puncture tires.

Last night, in the rain, I felt my tire going soft.  I stopped, heard the hiss, and saw the milky puddle forming on my tire.  I was at the furthest possible point from the trailhead and didn't want to put a tube in, or for that matter ride a rock hard tire over rock hard rocks for 5 miles.  But the good old Stan's /Ignitor combo did it's thing.  I over inflated the tire, and began to ride.  The pressure dropped, and I feared it was tube time.  But it held.  It went from over inflated to just right and held.

Thank you.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mt Riga

I've been hearing about this mythical ride, Mt. Riga, for about a year now.  Every now and then it would pop up on a number of my friends Strava ride listings and I would say "Hey!  I want to do that, why wasn't I invited" (because you were working stupid).  Finally the opportunity presented itself.

The Mt Riga loop is something Mookie came up with and it varies a bit each time.  It runs between 65 and 75 miles, has over 6500' of climbing and is at least 50% dirt.  Oh, the majority of the climbing is on dirt and some of the climbs have sections over 20%.  Due to these factors a cross or mountain bike is perfect.  However the conditions we enjoyed were ideal, dry and warm, and Aaron showed that a standard road bike with compact gearing could also work (the rest of us were on mountain bikes).

The major climbs of the day were as such:

  • Mt Riga is a 30 minute climb up a dirt road of moderate grade 
  • Sunset  Rd up Mt Everett is a dirt out and back up to a stone overlook on the top of Mt. Everett 
  • The Appalachian Trail rd is one of those windy dirt road where you think you are about to summit around every corner by the sky coming through the trees, but you know the mountain is conning you and you still have a ways to go.

So enough of my yacking, here's some pictures.

James and Alex take the front.  James rode to the ride and rode home; 5 hours and 6500' of climbing just isn't enough for some guys.  Oh, he rode it on a singlespeed with the gearing I'd use for the Res.

Alex even found some singletrack for us

 strategic water fountains and stores

Maybe the road bike wasn't the best choice for some of the dirt roads, but only 1 flat so Aaron was making it work

Would it really be complete without Moe's?

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Resin man don't come til Friday.
Can't make sinks with no resin
Poor planning nets me a day to go riding!

After the beat down my hamstrings took on Saturday I decided to mix it up and ride with gears (the horror!) and to truly show my age a suspension fork (say it ain't so!)

Ironically my partner in crime was riding rigid

Ever since the first TdT X I've been dying to ride the descent from the Newgate Overlook to Rt 20.  For that matter the descent behind Roncari to Hatchett Hill on the way to the Moto Trail ain't no slouch either.
Nothing technical, just rollercoaster fun.  These trails used to be staples in my riding diet, but regrettably I don't get up to them too often these days.

Perfect opportunity.

We headed North past the overlook but stopped before we got to the calf burning hike-a-bike prior to Rt 168.

TJ tried to entertain me with his Paul Blart impression

 we enjoyed nature

and did some descents

I'll have to cut it close ordering resin more often.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother of All TdTs

The idea:
A kitchen pass would be hard to come by on Mother's Day so make Saturday count.

The execution:

Wheels began turning just after 7:00 AM on our journey North to Southwick MA.
Shortly after we hit dirt we found the best laid plans maybe were not the best idea.

make believe tri-cage fail now with self ejecting bottle feature

We kept Doug waiting @ rt44 instead of making a beeline to make up for lost time.  Doug's a great guy and all, but someone had recently cleared sidewinder and it would be a shame to skip.  Doug shivered.  He'd warm up later.

After about a, let's get all Euro here, 1k of dirt Doug's brand new tire caught a sidewall puncture.
Stan's no workie.

maybe 2k more down the trail, James gave Doug a tire plug to try.  It seemed to work.

Aaron hooked up with us in Penwood.
All was going as planned.  The temp was rising quickly and clothing was being ditched in the bushes to be gathered on the return.  Aaron's saddle bag broke off his bike so he abandoned his spare tube, CO2 and multi tube (spooky foreshadowing...).

Everything was back on track

then the plug stopped working.

But soon things were rolling along as planned again.

After we passed the Newgate over look Aaron flatted.  I graciously offered him James' tube I was carrying since the first mechanical.

Then he flatted again, and I got to loose another couple hundred grams when I gave him my spare.

When we reached the road Neal took to the front, and ramped up the pace to ludicrous speed.

This truly sucked as Doug and I madly spun trying to keep contact.
We failed.

James on the other hand had no problem spinning the 140 rpm to keep up with him.

A not so quick food stop at Red Riding Hood's and we were headed South.

The spinning on the road was beginning to take it's toll.

Speaking of heading South the mercury was climbing.
By the time we got back to Penwood it was 86°F.

The final descent out of the Res was quite a relief and we were all ready to keep tradition alive.

With the mixture of climbing and flat road sections...if only there was some way to make a  bicycle change gear ratios on the fly...hmm...that's an idea that might catch on...

In closing it should be noted that The water fountains are on!!!  making for short work on long rides along the ridge.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I should have rode in this morning.  Instead I'm typing this as a manor of procrastination, putting off my least favorite work activity a few more minutes.

I've barely ridden all week.

I have found new and exciting ways to snack though.

Hopefully I'll cure my sloth tomorrow.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I got nothing

so here's a video of James climbing the Evil Backyard Wall.  The video defies it's grade. it is the steepest climbable dirt grade that I know of in the area.  The thing is it is in such good condition it offers you no technical excuse for not making it. But I've been on it pushing with all my might and weight hoping the cranks
will just make it over the top.


I made this drop look really sketchy. So much so I could barely convince Kerry and James to ride it.  They make it look pretty easy here.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

I've really been digging the geared road bike this week, but on days like these it sure is nice to have a bike ready to go no matter what.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Professionally, let's just say life has been kicking me in the balls (for too long).

My Theme Song lately

When it really should be more like this.


After a particularly un-nerving correspondence it was time to go home.
I had planned on just going home, but I remembered some silly Strava challenge I signed up for.  I never seem to do very well at Strava games because they are always based on road riding.  I put in a good amount of hours on the bike, but because alot of it is on dirt, I fall short of Strava's bar.

I was 73 k short of the challenge (that's 45 miles in my world).  The short way commute is 55 k (34 miles), and the climby way is 60k (37 miles).  But if I rode to Simsbury it would be 46 miles, oh, sorry, I mean
75 k.

I felt good, but I just wanted to go home.  I don't need to be concerned with Strava's roadie games.

But as I got to the short way turn, I kept going.  Same thing when I got to the climby way turn.
I needed to accomplish something today, even if it was some virtual nonsense.

So I did.