Monday, August 31, 2009

Complete "Duh" moment.

So the latest SS klunker (actually the only klunker since what I was previously calling a "klunker" really isn't since it's my SS MTB) project has been sitting hanging in my Man Cave waiting as new-ish parts slowly accumulate. A few weeks ago I realize that the project is pretty much a "go" for reassembly save for a big wrench (a couple of 'em) to disassemble the 1.125" threaded headset.

Boy well I'm going to have to go BUY a couple I guess. Provided I can FIND headset wrenches that big.

Well what the hell. Tonight I discover, in MY OWN tool chest, not one, but TWO such wrenches. And I don't even remember buying them. Why would I buy such huge wrenches (36mm)?


Game on! Project "Grocery Getter Errand Bike With Fenders (Oh. I need to buy some fenders!) Rack And Pannier Bags" commences!

Oh, But I just remembered. I need to repair the dented rear wheel on my F700. Not only did I pinch-flat on that damned curb, I put a dent in the wheel. Now it has a nice hop and wobble. That means I'll have to remove a couple of spokes and go at it with a mallet.

Having more than one bike is nice, but sometimes they can be lots of work! :)

Time to get serious...

So according to my training schedule today was my "off" day. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is my "on" day. Bring the intervals.

Evenings on alternate days is for strength training.

Cyclocross season is nigh upon us!!

Super-Duper Seriously End Of The Summer Wrap Up...

Just when I thought I might be "done" with racing for the summer I realize that I had forgotten about the new mountain bike short track (stxc) series down in Salem. I had almost slipped into "lazy" mode and begun to put on my protective layer of later-summer flab when I was awakened by the siren-call of inexpensive racing fun.

I managed to get in the last two (of four) races. All in all it was a fun little race on a very short course-- I was able to get in about 9 laps in 30 minutes compared to half that at the PIR series.

My fellow Crossniac Jim and I managed to activate our wonder twin powers for the final race by donning matching Super Grover jerseys.

Me (L) and Jim (R) absolutely failing to "get air" of the top of this teensy molehill.

However, the race would not be quite so frabjous for me. The evil (not really) race dudes had the course going around the OTHER way and sent us all UP an evil (really) curb. After doing a pathetic monkey-hopping thing up the curb I thought maybe I should actually just hop over the curb. Well the curb said "No you won't, either!" and ka-pow I dented the hell out of my rear wheel and got a pinch flat. Psssssss-sss.

We were racing for not 30 but 40 minutes tonight so I figured that I had plenty of time to fix a flat. Which is rather funny because I had thought about taking off my seat bag. "Nah... I'll just leave it on."

Which reminds me of the time I went hiking with my family at Silver Falls. As I was hoisting the pack on my back I thought "Should I take the first-aid kit? Ah, sure. What the heck." And of course my son fell on the trail and hit a nice pointy rock with his head (resulting in a wound which required being glued together later).

Good thing I brought that seat bag! And remember that time I broke my chain at the PIR races? Good thing a spectator had a chain tool! So Maybe I should start packing my seatbag for the races?

So, where was I? Oh yeah-- ka pow. There goes the "Lunar-Light" innertube. I lost a lap and a half. Never did catch up to my SuperGrover teammate.

My son had fun riding his race again-- but the big payoff, for him, was getting to ride on the BMX track after all the other races were done. Whee!

Friday, August 14, 2009

I want a new road bike

I guess. I dunno. I bought my Cannondale road bike in 1994 because I just HADDA have a road bike and took what they had on sale (as it turns out, a 56cm frame) and I've finally come around to thinking it's a little on the big side for me. It's got about an inch of seatpost showing above the collar.

I keep thinking about those inexpensive SS road frames hanging in the Performance store (they ARE a "local bike shop"). But I'd need a headset, stem, fork, and, eventually, new wheels. But they also sell a built up SS for a paltry $299! But the frame is blue. Woah-- wait. What am I DOING? Wanting a cheap-ass bike? What happened to my dreams of a nice bike? Something custom? (Or at least custom-ish.)

But what the hell, I want to repaint Stumpy so it can be an AWESOME bike again so it's not really wise to be wanting to buy something else and put off paining Stumpy AGAIN. And what's wrong with my road bike right now? So what if it's a little big. Is that really REALLY a problem? Is the real problem the fact that it's only showing an inch of seatpost above the collar? Am I afraid of what others will think of me? Oh, I'm so vain.

Still... a nice steel road bike would be nice. Single speed free/fixed.

My kingdom for a seatpost or two...

So I need a new seatpost for my SS MTB. It's a 1989 Specialized Stumpjumper. Every other bike I own uses a 27.2mm diameter seatpost. Thus a have a few extra posts laying around.

But noooo... the Stumpy needs a 26.5 (!) diameter post. I can go down to the Performance store and pick up a 26.8 (smallest they carry). But no... Now I have to hit the used bike shops in downtown Portland. Oh twist my arm. But it's still a bit of a hassle since I have to get around downtown Portland. And I hate driving.

Oh and my beater (truly) SS MTB? It needs a 26.2. What?! Really. I'm not imagining things.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Late Summer Wrap-up...

The end of Mountain Bike Short Track at PIR
Well boo-hoo. The MTB Short Track series is all over and done with. Just fading memories now as I start thinking about the approaching cyclocross season. The final race, with its ultra-crazy team relay race, was big fun. After my single, all-out, lung-bursting lap... I thought I might just pass out. And then explode. Or something like that.

No, I didn't win the Chris King custome wheelset. Again. Luciano (the man on the mic) had to go through a few tickets before he pulled the name of someone that was still present. I tell you, one could have cut the tension with a knife with each successive name pulled from the tub. Oh the huge manatee!! Pick me...pick me...pick me! Awwwwwwwww. Damn.

Winning a Yakima rack would have been nice. Could definitely use something other than the pathetic Thule racks I'm dealing with now-- those things keep failing on me. Out of 5 I'm down to 3 now. Fiddlesticks. And now I've got a goofy-ass trunk rack. I won't bother going into that. I really don't know why the manufacturers even bother producing a trunk rack that has NO WAY of preventing the bikes from swaying and banging into each other. Seriously, how hard is it to make some sort of flippy-gizmo. I'm NOT using wads of towels and rags and shit to secure my bikes.

Well, anyway-- the thing is for emergency additional capacity. Not regular use.

Portland Bridge Pedal
The Bridge Pedal was great fun this year. Kiddo enjoyed it. At first he wanted to ride his own bike. Then he waffled and wanted to ride the trailer bike. Then his own. And finally the trailer bike (probably a wise choice). But I think he could probably ride on his own next year... well, maybe not. That's 14 miles over a couple of hours with a few nice and steep climbs. I did it on the SS MTB again. Booyah. I grateful that I'm relatively young and strong. Such a pleasure to ride a bike and keep those pedals turning. If I had to explain... you wouldn't understand.

It's an indescribable feeling sharing the bridges with nothing but bikes. It's just fantastic.