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

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good news on the trail side of things

Well, the weather is conspiring against riding this week. But some good news on the trail advocacy side of the fence. Full story over at Bike Rumor.

Looks like Jackson County is getting the green light to setup a 100mi trail system. Here is a view of the hills around Lake Guntersville, which is on the South side of the county.

That's good for a smile :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Really, again with the weather

What's up with this. Rain just about daily in September. Some days it isn't much and others it dumps. It seems to be holding to the West today, so the trails were dry enough to ride out on. I did a short out and back on Tollgate Trail to test out my coil shock. That trail is rough and rocky. It is so rocky that after bombing down it even my forks are warm to the touch from friction.

At any rate, here is what's in store on my 5 day forecast...

And all the punks out in California... How are they looking?

Looks good to me. I don't think I have seen a clear 5 day forecast all summer.

Okay, that's all I got for now. Erin has been sick all week. So I have been catching some double duty on chaufer and Mr. Mom time. Life goes on and the grass keeps on growning...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Link anyone???

Well, I often read internet blogs and review sites. Check out Singletracks., one of the nicer ones that I view. Lots of reviews and even trail maps.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yes, I am that picky...

Okay, some may already know the depths of my anal retentive nature (sorry Erin). For the rest of you here is a glimpse. Yes, since around 2004 I have kept tabs on stuff that I have installed onto my bikes. Everything from tires to seat posts catalogged for later review with notes. Hub measurements. Rim dimensions. You name it and I have probably geeked out on it at some point.

The item that has been most interesting to me is a recent development. I actually weighed my complete wheelsets (wheels, tires, rotors, cassettes all installed). To my surprise my "light" wheels are only about 1lb lighter than the current configuration of the "heavy" wheels. Yes, a pound is a fair amount of mass but off the cuff I expected more. Talking XC width rims and 2.1 tires versus DH rims and 2.4tires. The UST tires are mucking up the works. See true UST tires are thick and actually weigh as much as my non-ust 2.4 tires. Actually my 2.1 nevegal ust tire weights in at 100g more than the 2.35 non-ust nevegal. Doh, actually gained weight in that tire.

Here it sits (note edited from a previously posted picture if anyone cares)

Heavy "light" wheels installed. I am also messing around with a Maverick seat post. Note, don't mess around with Maverick seat posts they are royal pieces of $%*!!. Not sure how or why this design continues to live on under the Crank Brothers brand name, but the crummy design remains largely unchanged. Lots of side to side play and unreliable drop feature with magic creap up while riding. Only positive I can say is that it looks nice and the lever is quite a clever bit of engineering. Otherwise it is set for the round file or ebay.

Okay, I am babbling along about bikes and nobody really wants to hear that so I will sign this post off. Take care.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Weekend report

As promissed, big news over the Holiday weekend. No, not really. Sorry to dissapoint. Kind of went down like this:
Friday: bail work early to get in a short bike ride
Saturday: hang out, work in garage some
Sunday: hang out, make some salsa, work in garage some
Monday: hang out, eat some salsa, go to pool

Really, that's all folks. Sometimes my life is rather boring. That's okay I guess since I am oblivous enough not to be bothered by what I am missing out on for the most part. I am a bit grumpy that I didn't get a longer ride in, but the weather wasn't really cooperating, actually still isn't.

I snapped some pictures of the garage. I got around to rearranging the benches. The lab cabinets are now where the old cabinets were and the woodworking bench sits right below the peg board (guess I will have to add the pictures for it to make sense). At any rate, it has opened up a fair amount of space in the garage. Next will be some additional organizing. Then I need to get rolling on some more woodworking projects.

I even got around to installing the hose real. Yep, one of those Harbor Freight too good to pass up items that has been sitting in the box for months. Well, no more shall the hose lay coiled on the floor and trompled by little feet. A place of it's own and a quick way to get it there. A couple of small leaks persist in the plumbing, but I should be able to sort that eventually.

We are still in the aftermath of the tree falling incident. At this point insurance has ponied up. Now if I could just get the roofers to get their act together. They were supposed to be getting started this week, but the framer wasn't available on Tuesday to look at the areas we want to add skylights to. So here it is Thursday morning and no progress. I got up on the roof Tuesday evening to secure my tarp and cut out some of the gutter to prevent it from running water into the damaged facia board. Ended up with a bit of a headache when I stood up. Go figure, my body doesn't appreciate hanging upside down off the roof working. Hopefully this will be the last of my rooftop explorations for now.

That's all I got for now. Not likely to be much excitement the rest of the week. Looks like thunderstorms and rain out this way, so not much riding unless I pack it up and head somewhere that drains better.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Going into the holiday weekend

First off, hope everyone has a fun-filled and safe Labor Day Weekend. Unfortunately this does mark the end of Summer for anyone who is actually counting. Not much to show for it myself, but I am appreciating the cooler (yet still warm) Fall breezes.

Check this out:

What will the guys at Freeride Ent. come up with next???

In the mailbox:
Well technically neither item actually was delivered to my door...

1)Dell Vostro Laptop showed yesterday, but since nobody was around to sign for it I ended up having to go out to the terminal in Madison to pick it up. Darn sharp looking computer. Erin was a bit disappointed that it wasn't lightening fast. I have her somewhat spoiled with the home computers which are both running dual core Intel chipsets that are faster. It is fast enough, but is still restricted to the wireless internet connection which does get dodgy from time to time. I will follow up with more thoughts on the computer once we use it a bit more.

2) My wheelset finally made it back from the builder. I sent off the hubs about 6 weeks ago and said "No rush". Guess he took me literally. Well, not only did it take that long to get the wheels back but he ignored my build spec. Guess he decided to "upgrade" the spokes to butted and used 12mm nipples instead of 16mm. Jeese, doesn't anybody read the directions any more??? I wrote him a pretty lengthy email and spoke to him today to give him a verbal slap upside the head. He was willing to rebuild to the original spec, but I am not into him losing money and time so I will ride them as they are. To top it off they were sent to the old apartments! Fortunately all it took was a bit of time and 2 trips to the apartment office to get them into my possesion.
So now I have heavy and light wheelsets for the Heckler, built around identical hubs so changing back and forth is super quick and easy. The only thing I have to do is dial in the shift cable tension. Rear brake rotors lined right up. I had to shim one of the front rotors, but fortunately my box'O parts has a handfull of .6mm rotor shims so that was easy to fix.
Heavy: WTB Speeddisc XL rims, converted tubless, Maxxis Ardent 2.4 tires
Light: Mavic XM819 UST rims, Maxxis High Roller UST front, Nevegal tubeless rear
Difference in weight?? About 1.25-1.5lb. Not a huge difference, but since it is located at the outside of the wheels it does have quite an effect on pedaling and acceleration.

On the family front things are rolling along. Everyone is settling into the school year schedules. Faith really does like getting up and going to preschool. Not sure that Austin is too stoked on going to church and working on independent studies, but he gets up and goes just the same.

Rides this week? You can always check the ride log (over on the left sidebar). Unfortunately this week has been a bit scrambled. I did do the SORBA Wednesday night ride. Actually had a great ride in terms of climbing. While not actually cleaning the climbs I did manage to make it farther up them than ever before. Guess those big knobby tires are good for climbing traction even if they do take more work. By the end of the ride my calfs were cramped up pretty good. I thought it was a bit odd considering it wasn't an overly long ride. Later I discovered the culprit. My saddle had slipped about an inch back on the post. So I had essentially been riding on tip toes since it had happened due to the increased distance to the pedals. 2 days later and my calfs are still quite sore. Note to self, "Maverick seatpost is a turd".

That's all I got heading into the weekend. Hopefully I will have some excitement to recap on Tuesday. Take care.