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

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Still trucking

Not blogging a whole lot at the moment. Guess I just have better things to do. Sorry, to my 3 faithful followers. I will try to get back to the 2-3x a week deal. Hard part is having interesting events happen with the same frequency. My life is not so exciting.

Weather here in the Southeast has been great. It did rain yesterday, but otherwise riding conditions have been stellar for the last couple of weeks. Okay, maybe stellar is overshooting a bit. But I have at a minimum been able to get out on the bike with some frequency as of late. The ride log tells the tale. I am getting in about 80-100mi/month (October was high due to Tsali trip). I would like more, but honestly don't really have the time to designate. So that will have to do.

Only problem with the elevated riding schedule is that I keep breaking stuff. This is getting a bit old. Erin gives me the stink eye when I am heading into the garage to "work on my bike" again. Heck, I am tired of working on it as well. I just want to ride. Latest casualty, my swingarm. I have been breaking pinch bolts with some frequency since the purchase of the bike. Well, to liven things up the bike decided instead of breaking another bolt that it would just give up the alloy threads in the swingarm. Willie over at Santa Cruz was very nice to me and has a new swingarm in the mail. Hopefully the new design will be less of an issue. No pinch bolts anyways. I was able to dig up a longer bolt from the LBS and salvage a few more rides out of the damaged swingarm, but I will need to mail it off to Willie when the new one arrives. Can't complain about that. I honestly didn't expect them to warranty the thing, so paying shipping back to SC is a small price to pay.

More on the warranty front. Specialized also ponied up some warranty parts for my command post. After Tsali the post had got gunked up and the sealhead was questionable, so I left it at the shop to be sent in for a rebuild. Specialized decided to just send parts instead. Again, can't really complain. Only thing lost is a bit of time to swap out the parts.

Last breakdown was more of a wear and tear item. The rear derailleur finally gave up the ghost. Shifting has been crap for a couple of months now, but when I swapped over to the Rocket twist shifters I could no longer get consistent shifting across the cassette. Guess 3 years is a decent lifespan for a rear derailluer. It is weird wearing out parts. Usually I replace stuff well before that time arrives. If I sell them while they are still functional I get to play the shell game and apply the proceeds of sale towards new parts. Now I am stuck with a broke down derailleur and have to shell out 100% out of pocket on new. Fortunately I had a spare Saint derailleur sitting about to

Not a breakdown, but still an item requiring attention. The new fork is a bit much. Turns out for my riding the Heckler's break even setup is a maximum of 140mm front travel. The added 10mm has pretty much demolished the steep and technical climbing ability of the bike. I hit the switchbacks on Sunday and had a heck of a time. So it looks like I will be cracking open the Revelation and reducing travel. I don't know what people riding with 160mm forks on this bike do. Either they really like climbing with the saddle up their taint or they hike the climbs. I am not really into either of those options.

Okay, so that's a lot of bunk going on. Expect a new parts breakdown in the next week or so.

Last week my boss sent me a link to this Ares video. Ares 1-X takeoff to touchdown. Pretty neat time to be working for NASA.

Around the house we are finally getting to the end of the whole tree falling mess. The new roof is on. Skylight is installed. The tree is gone. Stump is ground. We are a little bit of paint and a gutter away from sticking a fork in it. I will be glad to be done with that. We ended up going through 4 seperate roofing companies to get things in order and actually get the work done.

Leaves are falling. I have a pile of bagged leaves out on the curb for pickup with the trash. Austin spent a fair amount of time helping me out on Saturday. It did require buying him a rake. He raked, bagged leaves, and even helped mow the lawn. No complaining either. It was nice to have the help.

That's it for now. Gotta do some work...

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