What's the weather like in Doug's neighborhood?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Weekend report

Not much of a riding weekend. Actually about all that I have to show for the weekend is my beer belly. Friday night was beer and a movie. Saturday was a blur (more on that later). Sunday was just a kick back day around the house. Greg cruised over and we hung out on the porch and drank beer most of the afternoon. I think I did more of the drinking but that's just the way it goes sometimes (err most of the time).

So Saturday was a work day out at the bike shop. Guess there was a big roadie gathering/ride up Mt. Charlie. Good ride if you are into it. I think I was glad to be wrenching instead of climbing that hill. Uneventful day at the shop. Finished off by grabbing a beer out of the fridge. Erin wasn't around so I decided to hit Schwillis up on some shuttle runs. A few ups and downs and that was a wrap. Trails were of the unmentionable sort (not to be put down in print). It is definitely a weird sensation hitting trails with fresh legs, on a big bike, and a speeds much faster than I normally hit on an xc loop. I let the talas out to 6" and hit it up. I did miss a couple of hits. One by choice, one that caught me off gaurd, and one where I missed my exit trying to keep up with the boys. Damn fun though. Going to have to shuttle with them more often. Full face helmet might be a good idea too. Big props to Katie for the shuttle driving.

After the ride we headed up to Schwillis' joint for some bbq and a few drinks. I was felling good about the ride. The company was good. The beer was going down smooth, so I drank a few more. I got to the end of my 6 pack and inquired if anyone else helped. Nope, that was all me. Weird wasn't even feeling too tanked, so I had another beer before heading for home (on the bike of course). Well, I had a heck of a time riding home. I am pretty sure I almost tanked it a couple of times. In the morning I couldn't remember what route I went to get home and even checked the garage to make sure that I had brought my bike all the way home. Oddly everything was organized and in place. My bike was locked. My riding gear was hung to dry. Very bizarre. I'm gonna have to call it quits earlier in the evening next time. I am not a big fan of not remembering what happened the night before.

Guess that is enough excitement for one weekend. I am a little bummed that I missed the Cupertino swap meet, but I found myself slightly hung over and broke. So no major upset there. Swap meets are only fun if you show up with a wad of cash and walk home with a bag-o good deals.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Stoke

Another beautiful Friday folks. I slept in a bit this morning. By the time I drifted through the line at the evil empire (Starbucks) I was more than a little inclined to keep driving right past work and to the park, beach, or somewhere that I could enjoy this weather. Instead I plunked into the office and get to see it all through the window of my office. Could be worse, I could be in a cubicle without a window. The days are also quite long now. Sunset here in Santa Cruz is about 8:20pm now. I don't think I got home until after 9pm yesterday. For another month the days will continue to lengthen. Man, you gotta love this time of year.

Thursday night ride was good. Hit a couple of laps in the HC and finished up with a few runs on the Ponderosa course. It ended up with just Mike and I riding as 2-3 of the boys decided to opt out yesterday afternoon. We have decided that Thursday should be a big bike ride. More jumps, log drops, and moto riding. Yeah, the big bikes are a bit more work to pedal around but the rewards are reaped whenever the hill points down. It was just fun to go out rippin the trails and hitting the jumps. The Ventana was running good. No shifting, braking, or suspension issues. That was nice. Maybe I am finally getting it dialed in. Mike took out the demo Specialized Enduro. Other than it having a loose fork bushing he seemed pretty stoked on the ride quality of the bike. Not bad for a freshman attempt at designing their own suspension.

I am still kind of tripping out on the whole front end of my bike. I put on a taller headset and moved the saddle forward by about 5mm. Between those two things the bike basically feels more comfortable going up and down. I was expecting the taller stack headset to have me turning down the fork more for climbing. Not the case. I didn't even touch my talas dial yesterday despite doing a couple of the steeper climbs in the park. It is very unintuitive that slacking the bike out more would actually improve riding all around. Weird.

That's about all I got for stoke today. Get out and ride this weekend. Also, check the upcoming events. I think the Cupertino swap meet is on Sunday.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday musings...

- Can you have a case of the Mondays on a Thursday?

- Thursday is the new Friday (yeah, and the industry claiming this is going down the drain so I am not buying it)

- Cover it in flour and look for the wet spot (gonna have to ask Dan for an explanation on that one)

- Shit nuts (one of these days I am going to have to work this one into an insult)

On with the show:
Got the big bike back together on Monday. Threw it on the scale just for a sanity check. Shouldn't have done it. That pig weighed in at 36.19lb. Jesus, no wonder I feel slow on it. It does go down well, but I think I need a lighter tire/wheel combo for the daily riding or it will just sit and I will continue to ride the 29er all the time.

I am still tinkering with the fork. I dropped pressure and upped the compression damping. Did a 3.5-4' drop about 10 times and played with the pressure. Ended up close to where I started, but I still have a bunch of compression damping. This fork is kind of a pain in the ass if you just want to go out and ride. It is getting better, but a 4 month learning curve sucks. The new headset seems to have helped to get the steering and front end characteristics more in line with what I wanted. It's only 5mm shorter than the pike 140mm when I am running the talas at 130mm which is most of the time. So handling is good. I am still trying to get a good balance of small bump performance without the fork blowing through mid stroke travel. I am going to give it another month or so before throwing in the towel.

Rear brakes are still howling a bit. I swapped in some Galfer semi-metallic resin pads. They are interesting. Silent when I am on the brake, but the slightest rotor rub while not engaged emits a high pitch squeal. Not too stoked on that. The Galfer pads are the closest I have felt a resin pad get to performing like a sintered. Just got to do a little caliper adjust to minimize rub while I am off the brakes. There is some weird resonance in the rear end of my bike that I am not totally convinced is due to the brakes. Sure they provide the excitation, but something else may be vibrating because of it and causing some of the excess noise.

Heard earlier in the week that Stu is on the disabled list. Guess he jacked up one of his ligaments in his knee. He is off the bike for a while. Get well soon bud. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

In other news, I have taken on a rocker design project with another guy on mtbr. He is hooked up with a couple of machinists. I am providing CAD and FEA support. Basically Ventana doesn't produce a rocker that has clearance for the current Fox shocks. Not sure why it isn't a priority for them, but we are taking matters into our own hands. Should be a fun project in the end.

Here is the original rocker:

Here is the slightly tweaked version I am working on:

Monday, April 23, 2007

NVDC race report

Hell of a nice day for racing yesterday up in Angwin. Despite it pouring buckets in the early morning hours in Santa Cruz. It was sprinkling on us as we loaded up the bikes onto Brent's car. I grabbed an extra rain slicker in case someone was unfortunate enough to arrive without one. So geared up for the worse we hit the road. As we headed over Hwy17 we were met with on and off rain, pretty much what we had expected.

Later as we rolled through San Ramon and Danville we were met with a site we weren't expecting at all. SUN! Holy shit this might not be the soggy, wet, death march I had been expecting. The closer we got to the race the clearer the skies became. This was a welcome turn of events.

Registration went off without a hitch. Glad I pre-registered. Sign a waiver, grab a t-shirt, and I am set. Just have to wait around for an hour and a half for my race to start. I get my stuff ready. Cleaned out excess baggage from the camelback. I had 4 cliff bars tucked away in that thing. I could have been lost in the woods for days and been alright. Got that out of the way. Then I lay back and took a little nap. All the racer boys are doing laps, pre-riding the first climb, and riding their trainers. In my traditional style throw a leg over the bike with about 20min to start time. A couple of hot laps around the lot, a quick stretch out, and into the lineup.

I am lined up dead center front row for the start. How the fuck I ended up there I am not sure, but I am not going to be there for long. Mike is on my left and Sean (the race winner) is on my right. The rope drops and we are off. I am out of my saddle and doing a decent sprint. To my surprise Mike actually falls back and for the first 50 yards I take him to the cleaners. He quickly regains sanity and clings onto the lead pack while I try to find a rhythm and not blow up. I keep him and the lead pack in sight up to the hike a bike, but they are gone by the time I get up it. I was in last, but managed to pass one of the guys on the hike a bike. And that is about how the story goes. I thought I had reeled in 1-2 more clydes, but guess I got mixed up with the beginner class. By this time my front tire is packed with mud and my fears are confirmed that it is a much better dry tire. The soupy slop dh corners from the airport are sketchy and on more than a couple of occasions I swore I was going down. I managed to pick up a mud clot in my cassette that was giving a nice skipping sensation, so I took my first stop of the day and cleaned it out with a stick as a few people roll by.

Fast forward to the 3 big rollers. At this point I have been mixed with chicks and Beginner sandbaggers so there is a bit of traffic. I roll into the first and am really bummed that the roll in is much smaller than the hill out. Oh well, clean it and catch 2 of the women that had just handed me my ass back in the fire road climb. I fire into the second drop with authority, launch over some rocks on the way down and then ping and bounce off rocks and roots on the uphill. I pull it, but have no momentum at the top. I hit the last one and call it a day. All clear, one big accomplishment for the day. I am redlined and watch the 5-6 people that I passed slowly ride away from me. The next riser I find that I can't get to the granny gear. So at the top I take my second stop to pull out a tool and adjust the fd. More people pass. Climbing the last couple of steep hills in the mid ring and I have already felt the onset of cramps in my calfs. Shit, this race is kicking my ass and we are only about 30min in.

I saddle back up and keep on plugging. I pass a few people on the downhill singletrack. In the winding uphill singletrack I am still feeling like I could cramp at any time so I back off a bit, I spin it out a bit. Surprisingly I was able to climb well enough this year that I didn't have to hear "on your left" all the way up. I had one guy riding my rear tire for a while. I hopped up a slick log and I heard him behind me. His tire gave the dreaded wet log spin and then I heard him and his bike falling down the hill. I didn't look back, but I sure he was fine. I kept plugging and was in a groove. My legs were back to feeling good and I was even standing and grinding out some of the shorter hills.

At this point I am really waiting for the dh. Where is it? I remember the profile of the course and somewhere along the way I get to descend about 1000'. I get to the section and start flowing it. I pass a few people, roll though the photo-op, and then bounce to the bottom. I guess it was a rest, but it didn't feel like much. I am moving pretty well and pass a few people on the next set of hills we climb. At this point there are a few familliar faces that are moving at about my pace and we stick pretty tight for the rest of the race.

We finally get to the rollers on the back side. They are rutted and sketchy as ever, but atleast they are not muddy. I pick my lines and roll them clean. There are some spectators gathered to watch for carnage. I pick this one line that looks good until you round the corner and realize there is a shrub hanging into it. I am committed, so I duck my head and plow through it. I hear someone behind me eat shit. Must not have committed, or he tried to cross over the rut. Either way I think he took a rest there to recover.

Now things turn away from my gravitational favor and we begin to climb. To my surprise I am on my bike much more than last year. I am climbing hills that I didn't think were possible last time I saw them. I am passing some people who probably didn't know what they were in for. A lot of people are bonking, but I am still feeling alright so I trudge on. I make it about half way up the climb before I start slowing. Then I started to get some light cramping in my quads. Another half mile or so and people start passing me again. I am leaning on the bars, tired, beaten, but not demoralized yet. I stop a couple of times to down the last of my cytomax. No major breaks though. By my watch there is a possibility that I could be back by around 2:30. I know, in my dreams. But it drives me on.

Up the climb we march. Then finally we get to ride again. My legs are much heavier than the last time they were on the pedals. I am on the verge of becoming one giant knotted cramp, so I drop a couple of gears and relax. After a few minutes I am as good as it gets, so I get back on it and climb as best I can to get out of the woods. Once I hit the fire road before the airport my quads were starting to cramp, my triceps were shot, and my calfs were bordering on cramping again. Must have gotten a bum batch of sport legs this time, because I don't think they did shit for me. I focus on not cramping, swap my position on the saddle, and keep pedaling. I see a couple of the guys I have been riding with at the airport and real them in. They of course are in a different class so it is irrelevant, but it gives me a reason to pedal harder. I realize this is home stretch, so I pick up the pace as best I can. I ride down the hike a bike with visions of a mud sandwich and OTB experience, but survive. Sprint it in to the finish with no additional excitement. And that's a wrap.

One thing that is great at this race is that so many of the people are great. I had many good short conversations with riders, rode with groups that were really just enjoying the ride, and both gave and received encouragement on tough sections. The grass roots feel of this race is just fantastic. The naked shower conversation with random guy was a bit weird, but I guess he was nice to if you are into that sort of thing.

In the end I pulled out a 2:44 time, a little over 15min faster than last year. I am pretty stoked on that. It put me 13th out of 14 clydes. The trail conditions were slower and muddy, so to have pulled out a good time meant a lot to me. I was 45min back from the leader, ouch. Some asshat fought me for DFL and got it. Guess that was a title that I didn't really want to keep. I would have been 8th out of 16 in the Beginner 19-29. Overall I left feeling very good about the day, my ride, and the course. Much better than the last time around.

The clyde podium:

Curtis working for the podium:

Some other reviews over at MTBR

Results for 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Oh Snap, it's Friday again

Not much going on this week. Got in a Monday ride (details already reported below in the blog). Have been warding off tonsilitis all week, no real signs other than a lot of phlegm and bad breath (kind of like waking up with a hangover).

Rode yesterday with Mike and Rob (fox clothing rep). It was nice. At my current fitness level and Mike being off the bike for the last couple of weeks I could almost keep him in sight on the climbs. Granted he was cruising and I was red-lined, but whatever. No cramps, we hammered out a good loop. Everything was going great. I hit a drop early in the ride 2-3' and was feeling pretty in tune with the 29er on all the jumps and obstacles along the way. Then on the way back to town a little 2.5' culvert drop attacked my rear wheel and left it for dead. I was able to kick and pull it into enough of an egg shape to get back to the shop, but am going to have to take it out back and put it down. Odd, I have never roached a wheel on a bike while going in a predominantly straight line. Guess I was just being too manly for the poor stock 29er wheel to take. Live and learn, gotta keep the xc bike on the ground.

This Weekend

- NVDC - yeah I am down for this one. Gonna cruise out Sunday morning at about 6am. Should be a good beat down for me. I think knowing the course should help some though.

- CHDH #1 - Cool DH race out in Livermore. If I wasn't pedaling my ass off in Angwin decked in spandex I would be all over this one.

- Rain - Yep, might get some more precipitation on Sunday.

- Rides - Get on your bike and pedal Saturday. Traction should be great. Weather should be good to go. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

NVDC is coming

Soon my precious...
Mark Weir's GPS overlay from last year

Hump day

Well, it is official. The corporate asshats at Redbull are smart cookies. I just paid $3.18 for a 12oz can of glorified soda. Either it costs a lot of cash to get this stuff all the way from the Netherlands or there are some big profits coming in on this shit. I gotta figure out something that people are already using, hop it up a little, throw it into a smaller than average container, and kick back to watch the money pile up. Hell yeah!

Did a ride in Henry Cowell on Monday. I tried to keep it legal and did for the most part. Got one thing to say about the legal trails in Cowell... What the fuck are they thinking. Hmmm let's see, your choices are asphalt or 6" deep sand. I don't know the last time that the ridge trail was rideable, but I would guess it has been over a decade. The Observation Deck is kind of cool, but doesn't really make up for the hike/sand fest to get to it. Oh well, live and learn.

Some more pictures of the ride

Looks like most of the boys missed registration for the Downieville DH. I haven't gotten official word yet, but some have been claiming that most of the categories were full in less than an hour. We might need to rethink this race as an annual event. Maybe it would be better to get down with a race that has enough bandwidth to handle whoever wants to race. It also would be good to sign onto a race where the town has more than enough accommodations to handle racers, friends, and family. Guess there will be more of the boys doing the XC this year. I am going to have to debate on if I can handle both races. Decision may not be in until July 12th.

My bikes?
Well, the 29er is sitting pretty. Not much in the way of change heading it's way. I think it will get a hand-me-down sealed headset from the Ventana. That should fix the clunk issue that I am having with the stock cheap headset.

The road bike has only seen 1-2 rides in the last month. I am going to have to start commuting again so that it can see some daylight.

The BMX is still in need of repair. It has been sitting since Christopher (my nephew) brought it back from a loan.

The Ventana is good and bad. I am still trying to get the fork to behave the way that I think it should. I have a +5mm lower stack headset on order. Maybe raising the front end up a bit will help some. I am going to have to spend some time really getting to know this fork. It has been 3 months and the tinkering that I have done so far hasn't given me what I am looking for. It is a good fork, but for those of us over 220lb it has some not too subtle drawbacks. I swapped out the rear caliper to a saint to see if it was the XT caliper itself causing the rear brake noise. Howl has returned to the bike. I need to get some more runs to bed in the new pads, but I am really thinking that the only solution will be to run resin pads.

I got this one from a friend. Kind of fun.

This is wierd, but interesting!

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too

Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

And that's a wrap

Unless you are a pro or an expert woman it is all over...

Ouch, not even 12 hours. Hope people got theirs.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Downieville Registration Opens...

Downieville 2007

It's on. Got me one of the coveted spots on lock down for the 2007 Downieville DH. After adding a T-shirt count me $86 buck poorer. Whatever, at least I got my spot.

If you haven't done it yet, get in gear. 2 years ago the field of 200 was filled in 2 weeks. Last year the event sold out in 3 days. This year??? Stay tuned, but my money is on 1-2 days.

The cross country probably ain't going to happen for me this year. Something about it being before the DH makes it a lot less appealing. When they run it after I can deal with the suffering as added fun for the weekend. But I wouldn't sacrifice my dh run for that 3-4hr suffer fest. No way.

Another Otter in the books

Well, that's a wrap. Another Sea Otter comes and goes. I didn't even find the time to make it down to the expo. Not racing turned out to be a good choice as it was raining sideways for the sport and beginner DH races on Saturday. Like I say every year. Me not racing either means good weather for all or at the minimum I am not soaking wet and cold waiting in a line for an hour to do a 2min race. Either way I win.

Some new and exciting stuff:
- Crossmax 29er wheels showed up (also proving that Mavic will indeed support 29er movement)
- Hutchinson UST tubeless 29er tire (now you can run a real tubeless tire on 29ers)
- Marzocchi prototype fork (rumored to be the 55 series). ATA, RC2 damping, and a 20mm axle. Oh, and they finally added a better cable guide.

My weekend? Pretty much a wash. No real riding. I had wanted to clock a longer ride, but it just wast in the cards. Birthday party for a friends 1 year old daughter on Saturday. Showed up mid-day after shopping for a present and proceeded to drink beer for the rest of the day. Sunday was a work day at the bike shop. Always nice to swing a wrench for a day. Sometimes it is just more enjoyable than sitting behind a computer. After work we decided to attack the better part of a case of Gordon Biersch light. I think I threw back seven before calling it a night. Then I swung a leg over my bike and did a short loop up and over in HC. 29er still hokking up great on the climb. I had a bit of a hard time this morning remembering what route I took, but I am pretty sure I had fun. Every once in a while it is good times to get a little pissed and then hit the trails for a romp through the woods.

RE: the week in review
Well, I never promised a rose garden or any other shit. So to recap last week. It sucked. Too many hours at work. Rides were short. Got a new rear tire for the 29er, but didn't get a chance to ride it until yesterday. Boo hoo. Life goes on and I am not really any worse for the wear. Hope everyone else is doing well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's on

Yeah, that's right. Read it and weep. Or better yet come out and watch me cry as I climb that stupid hill again.

Oh come on, how bad can it be?

Oddly enough I don't remember there being that much downhill before the wall to get back out. Must have blocked that part out. Going to have to get me some sport legs and hit this one like a man.

Check the site for more details. Free t-shirt if you register before the 14th.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Weekend review...

Good weekend overall. Did the Friday night movie and pizza gig over at my sister's place. Another kind of weird Matt Damon movie about the CIA.

Saturday was the MTBR Sea Otter Pre-ride. That always ends up being fun. The ride this year really did break up. I think there was an A group running 2 laps at race pace. There was a B group that did a straight 1 lap. I think there was a C group that did about 3/4 of a lap. And I ended up clinging onto the B+ group as we put in a lap and some additional riding on the back side. Brent and Bret did their own deal and hammered out a couple of laps in just a bit more time than my B+ group. In the end I was feeling a bit slow about 20mi in, so I bailed out with one of the other B+ riders to just climb out Skyline. So our B ride turned into about 25mi while the full B+ crew hit closer to 30mi. It turned out to be the right call for me. I had time to pull up, get out my lawn chair, and put down about 1/2 a beer before Bret and Brent arrived.

After a couple of beers and lounging around it was time to head off. BBQ at Kyle's turned out to be a lot of fun. He has a pretty cush pad tucked right up to the Morgan Hill park system. So we got to hang out and enjoy the view off his back porch of rolling hills and valleys. He had brewed up a Belgian style ale that was quite tasty. Lots of stories being passed around and an overall great vibe. Fracis even hooked me up with a pair of MTBR socks for clinging onto the B+ ride as long as I did. Good times.

Easter was a flop. Well, for me. I made it through the morning, but ended up with a migrane that lasted through the afternoon. So I crashed out and napped through the worst of it. Might have been too much sun, dehydration, and beer from Saturday. Not sure. The kids were cute and dressed for the day. Candy flowed, darts and airplanes were flying around, and lots of family to hang out with. Austin surprised us by quietly finding the most Easter Eggs in the hunt. I don't know what the Grandparents hooked him up with (I checked out for a nap), but I am sure he didn't make out too bad. One more holiday down. Things should mellow out for a bit now.


Friday, April 6, 2007

Is it Friday already

Time flies when you are busy as hell at work and have social/family engagements after work all week. Either that or my senility is starting to creep on faster than I recognized. I can't really say I have much to show for the week. Read my last entry for ride reports. I haven't thrown a leg over the bike since Wednesday. No biggie though, I will get a good 20mi in this Saturday.

For anyone who is interested the MTBR Otter pre-ride will kick off tomorrow at 9:30 from the parking lot by the showers alongside the track. Click for details Rumor is that there might be a Greg sighting. It would be good to get him back on the bike. I kind of miss riding with the guy. Anyone else want to join me? After the ride one of the guys is having a bbq with some tasty home brew in Morgan Hill. I plan to hit that for a bit before cruising home or to San Jose.

Of course it is Easter on Sunday. That one kind of crept up on me too. As in whoa, there goes another couple of hundred bucks for candy and toys. Love this stuff. Go forth, multiply, and support your local K-mart/Costco on every holiday my son. Okay, holidays aren't all bad. I am just a bit grumpy in general over the turmoil in life. Hanging out with the family, drinking beer, and snapping some pictures is always a good way to spend a day. Throw in some candy and excited kids and you have a party right there. Bring it on.

Hopefully I can catch some of you on the trails this weekend. For the rest, have a Happy Easter.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The 29er, anyone getting tired of me talkin about it?

Numbers are in. I think I am done tinkering with this bike...
Well, as done as any of my bikes ever are. I am still playing with stem height and saddle position, but that will work itself out eventually.

Just for the record...

Stock bike weight 31.5lb+/-
Modified build 29lb

Changes from stock
Tires: WTB Exiwolf 2.3 ---> Bontrager Jones ACX
Stem: EA30 120mm x 5* ---> Thomson 110 x 10*
Handlebars: EA50 635 mid rise ---> EA70 685 mid rise
Brakes: Avid BB5 160mm ---> Shimano hydro 180mm (deore 555 fr, XT 765 r)
Seat: WTB Laser V Comp ---> Giro somethingerother I had with Ti rails (comfortable too)
Seat Post: EA30 ---> FSA SL270
Pedals: plastic flats ---> Shimano PD-M540
Front Derailleur: Deore ---> XT
Tubes: WTB light 29er ---> Bontrager ultralight 26 x 1.95
Grips: Stock raleigh ---> Odi ruffian lock-on
Chainrings: Trushift steel ---> Shimano XT alloy

Pretty stealthy with all the black and a few red highlights. I think if I get a wild hair it will eventually get a couple of red ano accents.

Other than a ride on the Ventana this weekend the 29er has been getting all my lovin. With the new stem and hydro brakes on it I am really feeling at home on top of it. I can now do track stands, something that was pretty sketchy with the front end flexing all over. Climbing, cornering, and ability to float over sand are still putting smiles on my face with every ride. I have noticed another benefit of the 29er wheels. You can actually ease up and rest for 20-30 yards without really losing speed. Very nice when hammering a climb. You can take a couple of breaths refocus and continue.

Got in a good loop yesterday. First ride of the season that I actually felt on. Ended up mid-ringin the fire road climb even with the steeper 29er gearing. Nailed all the singletrack climbs on the route. I even hit the jumps and drops that were in the 1-2.5' range. Much more confidence riding this bike than my typical xc builds. This thing just wants to go and yesterday I did too. It was a very satisfying day.

Today was a fast lunch lap through unmentionable trails. I took it easy today and just cruised the climbs. Rode in jeans and a DH jersey. It was actually hot out on the trails. Spring is hitting hard around these parts and I for one am taking full advantage.

Gotta love e-bay. Just received an order of some new gear. 2 3/4 sleeve jerseys, 1 insulated vest, and 1 lined jacked for about $50. Sometimes being able to fit into XXL isn't the worst thing. Always a gamble buying gear online since you never know how it will fit from brand to brand. Worked out great this time though.

Okay, I am out. Gotta do some work up in this mutha!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Got a case of the Mondays

Kind of a busy weekend for me. I woke up this morning not wanting to get out of bed. I just kept rolling over and hitting the snooze bar. The only thing that dragged me out of my haze was a memory that I had a 9am meeting. Crap. So I scramble out of bed, to the shower, and out the door. I arrive at work at 9:03am. Late. Fortunately the person who called the meeting didn't show, so I get off the hook with no issue for my tardiness. Who the heck schedules 9am Monday meetings anyways?

The weekend ride report is a little slim. We had a big crew head up into the Forrest of Nisene Marks on Saturday. By the time we hit Sand Point the crew had spread out quite a bit, so a 20-30 minute break was taken while the stragglers rolled in. Then we headed out to Santa Rosalita and the Demonstration Trail Head. Between people turning back and SP and those who were moving slow the crew at the top had slimmed to 6. 3 of us weren't feeling spry enough to drop the Demo and climb back out, so we split up and headed back down to Aptos via a couple of different routes. All in all it ended up just Jon and myself in the end both grunting and tired at about 4 hours of riding.

I dunno know about Jon, but I was definitely feeling that I deserved a couple of pints after that amount of climbing and based on how worked I was feeling. So I met up with Stu and split a pitcher of Fat Tire. Sitting in the patio at the Brit I was just stoked to be out enjoying the beautiful weather.

It was nice to get back on the Ventana. It hasn't been seeing too much love since the Raleigh arrived. It is running dailed and gave me no grief. The Talas was a welcome feature when I hit the wall and other steep climbs during the day. Only bummer was that I didn't hardly get the wheels off the ground. Too bad, because this bike just feels so good in the air.

I worked for Mike on Sunday. Nothing major to note there. But we did come across an oddity towards the end of the day. It was the Raleigh Coasting Bike. It is truly a strange rig. Cool, but weird too. It has the new Shimano Dynamo powered cpu smart-shifting 3spd. I was kind of turned off by the big hemispherical nut gaurds at both ends, but won back by the 6 pack rack up front. We tried it out to make sure the bottle opener worked. It did require a slight adjustment so that the bottle wouldn't hit the tire, but I think it is all set now. Check it out if you get bored.