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

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Heading off to Alabama

Well, this has been in the works for a while now. Finally we are really in motion. I have secured a job in Huntsville Alabama. The last couple of weeks have been pretty stressful and I am sure things won't let up until we are settled down on the other side.

For the big move we will be loading up a 26' moving truck and driving our own stuff. Thanks to Erin's Step Father I have a copilot for the trip. We will most likely be trading off driving duties between who is driving our blazer and who has to drive the big truck. We will have to pack everything that we can into the trailer and see if it all fits. I am amazed at the volume of crap that we have collected over the years. Not fun come time to move, yet we are not really willing to give much of it up at this point. So haul it we must do.

We will be packing up for the weekend and hopefully hit the road by Tuesday or Wednesday. I hope to get in touch with all of my friends, but really can't promise much. We are pretty crammed to get time with the family before the move and there isn't much time for recreation at this point.

Wish us luck and keep in touch via e-mail.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Blog schmog

Okay, it has been weeks since my last confession. I have let life get in my way of riding and obsessing on my bicycles. Please forgive me. How many footies will the penance be for my flawed ways.

Alright, enough of that. Apologies to any catholics in the crowd.

New stuff? Yeah, probably have some. I am digging on my saint hubset. My fox 36 talas got the axe. Back to my trusty civic (pike 454 air u-turn). The DT RWS 10mm thru axle is the shit. It is stiff, light, and easy to use. Centerlock rotors are still kicking it. Even with all the water crossings in Downieville I had no howling or noise out of the brakes. So now I am all air sprung with heavy wheels and good tires. Net damage is about 34.5lb on the rig. I was impressed with how well the resolution 2.3 upfront and karma 2.2 rear handled the terrain in the sierras.


Photo Album

Fun weekend had by all. I headed out of work at about noon on Thursday and grabbed my stuff on the way out of town. My POS neon was heating up pretty bad heading over to Livermore. Guess I should have checked my coolant level before heading out. Not a problem as I had made plans to carpool up with Craig who I had gotten in touch with through MTBR. He turned out to be a good guy and we hung out for the majority of the weekend.

We pulled into town about 8pm and got on our way out to the cabin. Stacy and Troy had been there, but were out. We unloaded our stuff and hung out for the evening.

Friday we shuttled out on the noon bus after catching some breakfast back at the Coyote Cafe (just before Downieville). The shuttle took a long time to load/unload/minishuttle us up to packer. I took Craig out and introduced him to baby heads and incurred my only pinch flat of the weekend. Lesson at Downieville, check the tires every morning (those precious psi that bleed off can cost a bit of time on the trailside). Craig managed to snap his derailleur hanger coming down pauly creek. We patched him up at the second bridge. It kind of plagued the rest of his run and I think we ended up rolling into town about four and a half hours after we had left. Fortunately no ticket on the car, so all was well.

We hung in town for a bit. Tried stalking anyone with a Giant to see if we could rustle up a spare hanger. No luck there.Had a few conversations with the usual suspects as they were arriving into town (Aaron Peters, Curtis Beavers, Tippie Bob, Danny and crew from SC). We trucked back up to the cabin to find the Socal boys setting up shop on the patio. I fired up the BBQ and threw on a skirt steak. Some good brews and company. Craig wandered back into town and managed to secure a BlurLT rental so that he could do his race. When he got back he fired straight into changing the tires to some more familiar rubber. Nerves were high and most people wandered off to bed early.

Not sure when David arrived. Somewhere between too many beers and helping the neighbors get a truck unstuck I lost track of time. I also managed to lightly sprain my left pinkie finger in a drunken bridge crossing gone awry. Fortunately it didn't hinder my riding for the weekend. I maintained my steady beer buzz as David got his bike set up for the race and crashed out pretty late again.

The racers were up at the crack of dawn, so I popped out of bed and grabbed a beer and a banana to shake off the cobwebs. I gave some of the boys a ride up to Sierra city and then headed back to the cabins for a bit to stock up for the day. I headed out to Downieville with a pack of beer and my camera. Grabbed a good parking spot and headed out to Lavesola Rd. to see the XC racers finish up. I saw the pros come into town before heading out to above the last Lavesola crossing. I missed a few of our racers, but did snap pictures of others. I sat up at the road drinking my beer and hollering at everyone for an hour or so. I got lucky and caught a ride back into town on one of the dirt bikes. Good thing, it takes a long time to hike out Lavesola and I wasn't really into it at that point.

Spirits were flowing a bit better after the race. Lake jump was fun as always. Back to the cabin for some bbq and socialization. The AM racers were still all business and crashed out early. I gave my bike a quick once over and called it a night before it was too late.

I slept in Sunday morning. People were bustling around at 7am again, but I knew I wasn't starting until about 11:30, so I didn't sweat it. Adjusted my saddle, and air pressure all the way around before getting shuttled up to packer by Craig. I still ended up sitting around about half an hour before my start.

I get to the staging area to find out I am on deck. So I drop my seat and get in the line. Guy says, "you're gonna want to have that up for the first mile". Crap what is this new addition all about. I take off at a pace that was to be mine for the entire race (faster than everyday, but not really race pace). The Sunrise trail is dusty and a lot of pedaling. I can't say I thought much of it other than I was happy to get a warm up before the start of the real dh. I had a good run. I made it accross the boulder/stream without issue, dropped well through the rockies, and maintained good speed all around. I got to the climb and was just not feeling the need to hammer. So I hopped off and hiked it at a decent pace. I got passed by a couple of guys on the way up. Got to the top, slammed a GU and got back on the bike. The rest of the race was fairly uneventful. I reeled in one of my passers at the finish. I railed third divide and actually felt good pedaling out 1st. I rolled into town with a 1:14 and change. Not bad for my lax approach to the race and the additional trail length.

Craig and I hung out in town for the afternoon and went back to the cabin about 5pm to get our stuff out. Yvonne was a bit pissed and charged us an additional half day. Whatever. Looks like Chris and the Socal boys put down deposit on the place for next year. I think I may be over Downieville DH for now. With it being so hard for our crew to even get a spot in the race it just wasn't as much fun being the only one on the mountain.

We headed out of town and went over to the Ventana Factory. Sherwood is a character. We arrived as he was ripping laps around the factory on his kids dirt bike. He checked out my bike. He decided that it would be best to leave the rear as is for now. But he did comp me a new set of rockers, DU bushing (mine was a bit loose), and a new pivot bolt. Guess my suspicion about the 6mm bolt were confirmed. Same result as the 6mm bolt on my BlurLT, bent at Downieville and never taken more than 3-4' in the air there. The factory tour was cool and Sherwood is pumped with his new in house capabilities for powder coat and heat treat.