Monday, February 23, 2009


Went out for a quick lunchtime ride.

Quite rainy. I was glad of my "waterproof/breathable" jacket.

However, back at home, as I shook the rain off it I discovered that it was also very wet inside.

It just seems that anything more waterproof than a wind-block is pointless. If you get just as wet on the inside from perspiration as on the outside from rain-- what's the point?

Still, it was good to be outside. It's so good to ride the bike with the pavement rolling by underneath my wheels, the wind and rain in my face.

The UCI vows to act all pig-headed and bitchy

Sometimes I wonder about these UCI folks. I can just imagine them all sniggering behind their hands as the fiddle the rules again to mess with the racers' heads.

"No this one goes here that one goes there!"

VeloNews story: UCI prez plans to "clarify" existing rules.

I remember a long time ago that they forced Cannondale to make a batch of team bikes with narrow-diameter frame tubes, because the large-diameter tubes were "against" UCI rules regarding frame materials. The delicious irony of it all was that the rule, intended to ensure that "skunk-works" technology didn't give a team or rider and unfair advantage by making teams use "off-the-shelf" equipment (something mere mortals could buy at retail, in theory), had the exact opposite effect.

Cannondale was forced to make bike frames that were not (and never would be) available to normal folks because Cannondale was invested in making large-diameter thin-wall tubing.

A steal of a deal-- only USD$2000!

I was alerted to this scorching hott deal by a post from Will on the OBRA email list.

I'm not posting the actual Craigslist link, because this deal is just too smorkin' to last long.

Yea. That's an MGX "mountain" bike in the photo. Available at finer Target stores. Or is it Wal-Mart?

USD$129.00 and it rolls home with you. So that's $1,871.00 in tools 'n' stuff. At full retail I suppose. Unless the seller failed to mention the fact that the contents of the garage (drill press, metal lathe, welding jig, complete Super Ultra Park Tool Pro set of tools) was also included in the generous price.

But that bike is a pretty honch set-up.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Sun is more than a big ball of burning gases...

...It's a big fat happy pill.

Yeah, we've had a few sunny days already. But this was a special day of sun. It was in the high 50's (F) and, well, it was just so nice out. I could tell that spring was actually getting close. The sense of urgency about making sure all the bikes are ready began building in me.

I went out for a quick ride this afternoon on the cyclocross bike (the Poprad) and it felt so sporty and kick-up-the-heels-y after a couple of months of nothing but singlespeed. It was like a new bike.

I had to stop and take my wind vest off. That's nice out.

Spring is definitely on the way.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Still sick?!?

I'm beginning to fear a sinus infection.

It's been a loooong time since that scumbag has bothered me, so maybe I'm paying some karmic dues?

Basically I've had a few days of pathogenic plateau. Loads and loads of green goo come out of my head. Twice daily nasal/sinu irrigation seem to provide only temporary relief and have no long-term impact on my sinuses gross domestic product.

So screw this, I guess I'm going riding. (Later, of course.) My head can just deal... the rest of me seems fine. And wanting some time on the bike.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Life in the flat lane

On my last ride last week, I was zooming down the last big hill before home when I spied a couple of kids walking by the side of the road, with one pushing his bike. After a second glance I realized that the bike had a flat.
My first reaction was "we're in town, they're walking, they're together... no need to stop and help."

After coasting through the intersection I decided to not be an ass and to try and help. Maybe they might end up thinking that guys in stretchy pants are all jerks and that bikes are cool and that flats are easy to fix.

(There was more to this interior struggle-- I was feeling a little off (I would be in the evil clutches of disease the next day), I had a mountain of work back at the office and a deep-seated conflicted feeling that I needed to stop wasting time out on the bike but that if I didn't get some exercise I would die of stress-induced cardiac arrest.)

Anyway, I make my way back and ride up to the two. The tire is rolling off the rim-- flat flat flat.

I open with the classic ice-breaker: "Got a flat, huh?"

"Yeah. I skid for too long and popped the tire."

Say what? I think. Then I see it: The gaping maw of a huge hole burned right through the carcass of the tire. All the tread has been burned down, the cords are showing around the hole and the hole itself is a nightmarish wound seeping white liquid sealant. It's like when Ash flipped in Alien and started spurting white hydro fluid everywhere. Bleah.

I have no tire boot and no way to effectively clean the area of sealant so that I can get a patch to stick. The hole is so big that I don't think a patch would stick very long anyway-- my little finger can easily go through it.

"Wow. You really did a number on that. I'm sorry, but there's no way I can fix that for you."

The kid mumbles something about borrowing a tire from his dad's bike and I laugh "Yeah-- but no more skidding!"

As I ride the last few minutes home, I wonder: What price fail-proof technology against a careless user?

I wonder what this sort of thing does to cycling in general. The kid destroyed a tire and tube. How will he get it fixed? Who will fix it? Will "dad" buy a tire and new tube at a department store and then spend 30 minutes fighting with it, and then trying to get the bike to work properly afterward? Will the kid get the impression that bikes are fragile pieces of junk and secretly can't wait to get his driver's license and start borrowing dad's car instead of a tire off his bike?

Am I over-thinking all this?

I dunno. I've just seen too many kids' bikes fall by the wayside because they fall out of tune and don't work very well anymore. The bike becomes not as much fun to ride and thus get put out to pasture, destined to rust behind the back yard shed.

Powder coating

My 1989 Stumpjumper/Rockhopper Comp/reborn single-speed is more rust than paint. I think, over its life span, given it two paint jobs.

I think it's time to stop mucking about and finally finally give it a decent coat.

And I think I've found the place.

Brooker Enterprises in Portland, Oregon. Clicking the link will take you to a movie/advertisement on it's apparently an experiment in revenue generation by the site's owner.

Whatever. It's fun to watch. I had always wondered how powder coating worked, and despite reading descriptions, I discovered that I didn't have a complete grasp of the proceedure.

Pinky the bike looked fantastic in the end. I'm imagining my MTB in a new shiny coat of bright red. Converting it to a single-speed and putting on a Midge handlebar made it feel like a whole new bike (almost for free!). A new paint (ahem-- powder coat) will make it feel new new! I'm stoked.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sick and tired.

This past week has been crazy.

Plus I got sick. Tuesday I went out and did a short rid and felt really strong. Wednesday I went out and felt off. Thursday the pathogens came out to party and just hammered me.

Saturday I lost my voice. My son thinks it's amusing that I can "yell" and nothing more than a hoarse whisper comes out. :)

It's Sunday and while the rest of me feels okay, if I breathe hard, the back of my throat tickles unbearably and makes me cough.

I can't stand being off the bike. This is a drag. Probably a good thing, though-- going to bed early and getting lots of rest. Last week was really stressful. I'm looking forward to being able to ride again.

I'm also itching to get my 'cross bike upgraded to the bar-end shifters. I want to go hit some trails on my MTB.