Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Sandy came and hit the East coast pretty hard.

The Res was not spared.

Do to the nature of a lot of wood that falls in high wind (rotted and dead)

I was able to break a rough loop through.

The West side was hit the worst, but, you can ride a pretty normal loop now*.  There were 4 trees down that were too big for me alone; they'll need a man power, saws, and or an engineer to move.

*singlespeed friendly, derailleur?  Well...

Monday, October 29, 2012

"What's that bike doing in the house?"
a shrill exclamation shot across the kitchen.

I grasped for low hanging defensive fruit and shot back
"what's a dinner dish doing in our bedroom?"

Neither here nor there, but expedited my passage to the basement.
(a duh, it's coming in the house so I can work on it, but I'm in slides so I didn't want to walk across the lawn to the hatchway).

What do do when the Governor has struck the fear of god into all around you?
Convert your bike back to singlespeed of course.


It's time to rebuild my new Rockshox.
It has 10 rides on it.
That 10 rides includes one on the bike path, and Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.


Is that how it's supposed to be?

I chose RS over Manitou based on price and other peoples' opinion and not my own experience, and now I'm regretting it.

After 10 rides.

Going back to rigid and monster truck tires for awhile.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Maybe it's the Moon?

But it's not nearly full?
Maybe it's the warm nights?
Maybe it's the proximity to Halloween?

Last night a gentleman felt such concern for my safety as to suggest I ride my bicycle on the sidewalk.

Other than this being illegal, and the sidewalk ending in about a 1/4 mile, thanks for the advise.

Pete had a similar experience last night.


Backlash from the whole LA shitstorm?

My commute is usually pretty event free; it seems drivers in the Farmington Valley are fairly accepting of sharing the road (i.e. obeying the law).

I've noticed the first nice day of Spring usually brings out the yahoos, but things quickly return to normal.

Maybe it's an anomaly.

I'm glad I was too tired to even think about getting riled up last night.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Looking back at race pictures one thing is evident;
a grimace.

as the year went on it softened

but is quite a contrast to the past

Is it because I'm more intense this year?  More serious?  Focused?


 It's because I've been living with two broken teeth that needed root canals for the past 2 years and finally(!!!) had them taken care of.

The process started in February with a cleaning and exam.  Then Dr. Stephanie repaired some work my last dentist screwed up while we waited for insurance approval for the root canals and crowns.
The heavy work started in June and finally was completed on Friday.

The first thing I did was a buy big bag of nuts.

Now if only I can remember I can chew on both sides of my mouth.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Silence on Blue Mountain

For James' Birthday we headed West to Blue Mountain in Peekskill NY.

Fun  was had by all.

(at least until Frank and Greg each broke their derailleur hangers)

Neal brought "birthday cakes"

and no one said a word.

Nothing was implied.
No allegations or denials.

We just rode.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

You've got to be kidding me?!
I've dropped my chain three times in 10 miles, all on short steep hills!!
What the Fük!!

That's it.  When I get home the WI cranks are coming the fük off!

Uh...maybe your chain is falling off because the quick link is broken.

Looking in my man purse it turned out I only had 1/2 a 8 speed quick link.  But half  8 plus half a 9 (8.5?) held until I got home so.

Really bad timing though.
Quite a buzz kill for me to play with my new toy.

Like running with scissors under a ladder in front of a black cat, I put a shock on my Dirty Little Whore.  A shock with two sides no less.

A Lefty would have meant building a new front wheel.

15mm Thru Axle would have been nice too, but again, the whole build a new wheel thing.
(for the record I love building wheels, I just don't like spending money)

So how does it ride?
Pretty good.
I was a little spent from yesterday's ride, so a couple extra pounds and some squishy-squishy was noticed
But on the descents...

Some days you wish all the trails went down hill.
What a hoot.

It still needs some dialing.
I just need to get it to a Citroën bottomless pit off plushness, that somehow doesn't bob on climbs feel I'm after (is that asking too much?).

Monday, October 8, 2012

Road Ride w/ Alex

Alex has a penchant for climbing.
He also has developed a love of, let's just say, more "rustic" roads.

So when no one wanted to go mountain biking with me on my squishy fork's maiden voyage it was only natural to join him, James and Josh on a tour of rural NW CT, and SW MA.

I knew the roads would be "unimproved".  I knew what I was getting into, but buddy...

this is not a road

neither is this

okay this is

I thought I had the perfect tool for the job,

my Swift set up with 35mm CX tires

but after the Monterey General Store, I couldn't hold a wheel to save my life.  Every time the road angled up Josh would stretch the elastic and I would be off the back.

Was it the bike?
The tires?

(probably the latter)

I was getting dropped on every climb...and I thought I felt pretty good too.

Tried standing...

tried sitting...

but the distance continued to grow.

At one point I thought I was matching Alex's cadence,  in a bigger gear, and I was still falling back?!

Anyhoo, tomorrow I'll test out Aspasia's new toy.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Just thinking

On a frame w/o cable stops...
to set it up as a 1x10...

how about using Ultegra Di2!

Right now I have my 1x8 set up with a 34t chain ring and a 12/32 8 speed cassette, with Di2 I could use the climber shifters
a 32t chainring
and the Ultegra 11/28 cassette
for about the same range.

How cool would that be?!

Friday, October 5, 2012

On my commute at least I've been dodging bullets all week.
It's been drizzly, and damp, but for the most part just moist.

It looked like my luck was continuing on my ride in yesterday.

Until about 6:00 PM.

As we finished up at the shop this evening the rain grew heavier and heavier.  I tried to convince myself that is was tapering off, but I wasn't fooling anyone.

I put on every layer I had brought with me, which wasn't much; my vest had made it's way out of my bag so I was only supplementing my comfort with neoprene booties and arm warmers.

The booties kept me dry until a little after the Citgo; in other words about 500m.
It was warm though and the insulation / coverage of my messenger bag, plus the protection of my fenders kept me fairly comfortable.

But it was wet.
Puddles were unavoidable and momentum robbing.  Axle deep at times.

The rain reached it's downpour crescendo in Unionville, and settled into heavy through Farmington.   As I descended into West Hartford it had tapered to steady.
No lightning though.

Very happy to be home.

The rivulets in my basement confirmed that yes indeed a good deal of water had fallen from the sky.

Days like these reaffirm my inability to part with old cycling shoes; who knows when you'll need another dry pair.

I won't be participating in the "Take Back Farmington Ave" event because I'll be getting my bike back into shape and riding to work.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Karma's Revenge

Monday started off on the wrong foot.  In the rush to get out of the house I left my cycling shoes at home.   So much for the plan of riding home.  The Sunday Princess would merely be an ornament atop the Volvo.

But when Collin went on a doughnut run he returned with a Snicker's for me.   Not just the regular size one, but the double!  All because I'd treated him to coffee in the past.


Then when I was loading up my car, I spied an old pair of mtb shoes.  I ride Crank Brothers pedals on the road too, so it looks like I'm in business once again.

Double Sweet!!

But my helmet.  I'd hate to ride home at night without one.
What's that in the backseat?   Quinny's helmet!
God bless that giant melon of yours boy!


Rode home and it was good.

Today started off great.  Everyone got off to school okay and Dr. Stephanie took care of my choppers toot sweet.

I was on my bike with plenty of time to get 50 or 60 miles in before it was time to pick up LB from school.

But then I stopped for a snack.

Thought I'd get all clever and post a picture of my snack with a snarky little remark.

The tides turned.

The skies opened up (way to go Scott Haney!).
My legs felt sluggish and tight.
My Strava app stopped working.

The climbing around the Barkhamsted Reservoir warmed me but when I reached the top and stopped to turn on my blinkies, my hands would barely function and my legs were wobbly beneath me.

What goes up must come down.
I pedaled furiously down the hills in an effort to keep warm.  Hand hardly functioning.  Praying nothing would  unexpectedly cross my path as I wasn't sure I could will my hands to squeeze the brakes.

I saw a sign; New Hartford 9 Miles.

9 miles?


With all the time I had will I make it to Canton in time to get my car and pick up Lillian?

The urgency helped.
Crossing the reservoir on 181 I felt the warmth of the water.  It also signaled I was reasonably close to the shop.

"Canton 6 Miles" was the next sign I saw.

6 miles?

That can't be right.
I didn't dare look at my clock.

The road was flat(ish) and fast.  I got to Benidorm @ 1:49 PM
Just enough time to get changed and only be slightly late.

But Coleman had dry socks for me, and checking my phone, LB had a detention for being late, so I'd be on time (ironic?).

Hopefully my karmic debt is settled.