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

Monday, May 4, 2009

You'd think there were no more cats and dogs

Seriously, it has been pouring here since what Thursday I think. About the only good to come out of it is that I got motivated to clean the gutters during a break in the storms on Saturday. Gotta say, the task was not nearly as hard as I had thought. I probably won't put it off so long next time :)

Not much to report since the last blog. I got in one ride last Tuesday, but was still feeling the effects of Sunday's marathon. I am also thinking part of my recent sufferring while riding is due to illness. My guess is that the fatigue is my own variation of the crud Erin and the kids have been carrying. Other than general fatigue on the bike, sore throat, and a bit of crusty flem in the mornings I seem to have done okay. At any rate, the ride was about 10mi around the Arsenal trails. They had finally dried out to the point of a good ride and all climbs actually rideable.

Goodies in the garage? Not a whole lot of action there. Box of goodies from SpeedGoat came in on Tuesday. I got some new tires. Going to give the Maxxis Ardent tires a shot. Picked up a 2.4 for the front and a 2.25 for the back. I mounted the rear with tube chocked full of sealant. The front I mounted "ghetto tubeless" (basically using a smaller diameter tube to seal the spoke bed). No issues there. The front tire is an honest 2.4 and weighs in at about 825g, so it is a decent tubeless candidate. I am not so sure about the 600g 2.25in, it may just be too thin for me to run without the support of a tube.

Other stuff in the box is mainly maintenance items. I got a new granny ring, so at this point I have replaced all the gears on this bike. Figure I should be good to go for the rest of the season. I also scored some derailleur housing. So I re-cabled the rear derailleur with full housing to the back. That should keep some of the crud out of it and make for a bit better shifting. I used a silicone lube in the housing, just to test it out. It might not attract so much dirt/dust.

So in my spare time I have been getting the bike cleaned up and ready to ride some more. Looks like I will have a few more weeks of mud to contend with. I have been liking the White Lightening wax lube. It is a bit more effort to keep up on, but it does keep the entire drivetrain much cleaner. I think once we get out of the mud season I will appreciate it even more.

Speaking of mud and slick conditions, I also got me some new kicks. I sold off a few items from the parts bin and applied the cash towards a new set of shoes. I have been thinking that it was getting on time to retire my 4 year old M182's. They have served me well, but they are not very good for the hike a bike over wet and rocky trails. I am not really sure why all the high-end shoes have hard rubber on the sole, but it makes for very poor traction on wet rocks. So I stumbled onto the M086 shoes. This model has all the features of the M182, but is about half the price. It also has a softer rubber sole and rubber toe spikes, so hiking should be a bit less sketchy and a bit more comfortable. About the only negatives I can see are 1, it looks like a soccer shoe, 2, the toe spikes are not removeable/replaceable (I never have removed or replaced my others, so I guess that is moot), 3, the inner liner of the shoe is white (I am sure that will be remedied shortly and I will give them a nice mud color that will remain for the duration). I installed the cleats, sealed up the sole, and slapped in some gel inserts. Very comfortable. I should have been running gel insoles sooner. I have been using 2 insoles for a long time, but the gel feels way better. I will have to post back on longevity though.

Shocking? Well, I have been testing out several rear shocks on the Heckler. I have decided that the RP3 is where it is at. I like the coil a lot, but the wieght penalty bugs me and also running a coil in back and air up front doesn't agree with my sensibilities. Only issue with the shock is that it rides harsh initially unless I have lower pressure and then it likes to blow through travel. So I am sending it off to get tuned for the Heckler and my riding weight. Push Industries gets the nod. They have a few tricks up their sleeve to get the shock working more in-tune with the suspension instead of fighting against it. Fox has announced a pro-tune service, but it isn't quite up and running yet. So push it is. I swapped out the air sleeves yesterday. Apparently the AVA sleeve, even closed down, is actually a larger air volume than the high volume sleeve. Who knew? Okay, the guys at Push knew. Re-installing the air sleeves confirmed this as it was much harder to compress the non-AVA sleeve and install it. Now I just have to mail off the RP3 and wait about a month to get it back. I am not entirely stoked on the wait time, but this time of year the waits are longer. It will be worth it to have a shock that is actually tuned though. It is an odd notion in the bicycle industry. We have always favored external adjustment. In motorcycles it is the norm to have your shock tuned for your personal weight, preference, and your bike. IMO that is a far superior approach. This 1 size fits all mentality in the bicycle industry is just wrong. Stay tuned for results (probably mid-June).

Other news on the Home front?

Erin is going back to work. She has taken a teaching position at our neighborhood church. It is good and bad. Extra money is good, but there isn't necessarily a good balance of amount of work versus amount of money after you factor in the kids care while she is at work.

We are all a lazy bunch of couch potatoes. Spent most of the day yesterday lounging around and watching TV.

Mowing lawns sucks. The mower seems to be behaving itself once again, so hopefully I am mostly done with the annual maintenance items. I picked up air, oil, and fuel filters this week which I will install when it stops raining.

That's all I got for now, business as usual. Keep the rubber-side down...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Will someone please tell my sweet hubby that it is NOT safe to be cleaning gutters from ontop of a slippery wet roof?