Monday, February 23, 2009

Back to life

The first piece of the pie.
When I showed this to Jesse she was like "you payed how much for this? It looks like something you could make in the wood shop." I always thought wood would be a good thing to use for forks. If you got the right kind like hickory or oak, and had the grain just right I think it would work.

Man those look skinny. Returning to a geared road bike will be different. Those pauls are like something you would find on a chariot from Ben Hur.
For the conversion back to road I swapped out the bash ring and 42T ring for a 53/38. I also had to lengthen the chain and put my front D on.

Slapped some Bottle cages on and I'm set for a 100miler.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This is getting "Re-god-dam-diculous"

So once again riding in New England can be a bitch. Yes, I saw the radar. No, I did not put two and two together. The green blobs is precipitation. Rain+32degrees=snow. Oh. Thus 10 min into my ride I couldn't see due to the blinding snow. I was having one of those moments were I though this could be it. I didn't dress very warm and if I stopped I might freeze to death. So I kept plugging away. (Drama) I also thought it would be a good idea to go do double hill. That hurt pretty good. After my shoe uncliped at the crux of the climb I thought I was going to have to walk. Somehow I managed. Going up hill was good because I didn't have to worry about going too fast. I literally could not see 10 feet in front of me.
I was thinking about how I should get a trainer to avoid these situations. I've heard so many bad things about trainers from people like "I would rather stick my face in a cactus then ride a trainer." Well, after what felt like sticking my face in a prickly pear cactus for 1 hour that trainer is looking pretty good.

A combo of snow pelting my eyes and falling in front of my light was surreal. At one point I thought about closing my eyes for a nap, and a couple of times I couldn't see at all in front of me and it felt like I was having an out of body experience.
I was thinking about Thom Parsons and his sunburn he got two days ago in St. Maarten. You rucky rucky bastard. I'm sure he's been in my exact situation or worse.
Saturday we were planning to Pre-ride Battenkill. I'm not too sure it's going to work out. Alex thinks the dirt sections are going to be too muddy. I'm sure he's right but I don't know what to expect in April either. This race is so overwhelming to me. After I clicked the button to sign up I was like what the hell did I just do. Masters 30+. Yes I'm 30+ but hardly a master. Then all of this talk about me riding in the Pro class for rt 66. What am I thinking. I'm hoping I can hang on to someone during the races. At least I will know some of the guys I'll be racing against. Not that I will be riding with them. If I get dropped bad I'll just stick with the cat 1 30-40 class. At least I will be running against some sick dudes with gears. But there's going to be like 5 ss'ers in the pro class. So really I can think of it as a Pro ss class. To me that sounds like fun.

Bunker Hill decent

I'm sure not too many people will be impressed with this feat, but at least the camera man was. He wrote more about it so I don't think I have to say much.

We climbed the back side of that hill. Rt45 to Warren. 12mins mostly out of the saddle.
We are so lucky to live and ride in such a beautiful part of the state.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hills and junk

Last night Josh thought it would be good idea to go down Bunker hill and up Great hill on our Fixed gear bikes. One gear. 42x17. 71.6 gear inch. Hey it was his idea. I thought at first he was joking but the look he gave me told me otherwise. The thoughts going through my brain went something like this. "Are you out of your f-ing mind!" or "I guess I can walk if it came to it." "How much money will you give me to go on this ride with you?" Staring at him blankly with these thoughts going through my mind must have meant that yes we were going weather I like it or not. I know I told him a few days ago that I wanted to do those specific hills but I was thinking I would do them alone or on a weekend. Not after I Logged all day. Not after I Logged all day and it happened to be the most I ever worked in my life that day. We normally average 6 hitches a day. We did a record 10 hitches yesterday! I couldn't believe it ether. Anyway, so I wasn't too sure about this ride. We started out and I was feeling fine. I was feeling great actually. The whole ride out to bunker hill was great. We were averaging 18+ and my legs felt great. Any minute now I was expecting to completely falter and have to call my wife to come and get me. But it never happened. We crested the top of Bunker hill and I yell "Pucker up!" then it flattened out again. Then the real hill. Now remember it's dark out, the roads are sandy and ice has frozen into blobs of brown stuff. Spinning like a mad man touching the brakes to maintain 170 rpms until I can get closer to the bottom. I had in mind to break my own record of 200 and hope for 210. My bike started to wobble from the rough road and sand. No worries mate I've been here before. While trying to stay in control I see the bottom and let my legs go. I actually have to push my legs to go that fast. As fast as I can go. All while looking down at my cadence meter. The best I could do was 199 (38.4mph) I was really trying too. We made a left at the bottom of the hill and passed Mohawk ski area. Ya the hill we just came down was made into a ski area. All the lights were on and there were a couple of skiers. I turn to Josh and say "not to be cheese or anything but going down hills like that makes me feel alive." So cliche but true.

Now we knew what was coming. What goes down must come up. Er... whatever. Great hill isn't called that for nothing. I know this isn't Colorado or the back side of Mt Lemmon in Tucson or the front side for that matter, or anything, but around here this hill is dreaded with gears. Doing it fixed was unheard of. We might be the first. Yay! We'll technically I was first. Boo. Josh opted to start a few minutes later so we wouldn't be tempted to race each other up the hill and have to call the ambulance because our hearts simultaneously exploded. I guess we would need a Hurst at that point. And I don't think I would be making the call. Minor details.

I've discovered a trick that I would like to unveil to the world. My 4 friends who I call "the world." Ever since I have been doing Tai Chi I've learned that there is energy centered in your core area. If you focus on that energy and feel like you are holding a big yoga ball in your arms while doing a serious climb helps. It helps me anyway. That way I don't red line. It's more pink.

The climb wasn't so bad as Tanner hill so it wasn't so bad. The first part is the steepest. Sung like that song "The first cut is the deepest." I don't know if that is the title. Keeping my cool and pretending like I'm holding a ball between my arms and handlebars and not looking up helped a lot. When I finally came to the top I checked how long I was out of the saddle. 8 minutes. To me that's a long time. So that's it. We got home safe and wound up averaging 17.5 over 28 miles in 1:30.

I knew that I would suffer the consequences after that hard day at work and bike. I slept like crap and stayed awake from 3am on felling uncomfortable and sore. My legs are shot today and I feel "hung over" (Brian Fantana hung over). I'm hoping it will add something for my riding.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Epic solo weekend

Saturday:22 degrees wind 22mphNo coast zone
Both Saturday and Sunday I was solo riding on the fixie. Saturday I rode up 63 all the way to Rt 7 just south of Cannan. I had in my mind to go down Roberts hill. I didn't know what a huge hill would be like on a fixie. Over the summer we would bomb down at 50mph so how fast would I go on a fixie?
Beautiful hills
The wind was so strong that day that I didn't really go that fast down this hill. I was glad too because there wasn't much of a shoulder and the road was really rough so I was out in the lane looking out for ice and potholes. Not Ideal to go for some kinda spin record. At the hour and a half mark I decided I should turn around. At the gas station I got some water and ate my gluten free biscuit with almond butter and honey. The attendant seemed to give me the strangest look but didn't bother to ask why the hell I would be riding in the cold. She made me feel so uncomfortable with her stare that I decided to hang out side and eat my biscuit. My gloves were off and I tried to keep warm thoughts in my head. By the time I was finished my hands were really cold. Then I put my sweaty gloves on and it was over. My hands froze and felt like they were wooden. Lucky for me I had some serious hills to climb so that keep my mind thinking about how I couldn't feel my hands helped me to not think about other things hurting. (Don't worry I can't even understand what I'm trying to say.)
36.8 mph=190rpm 42x17x23c
On the way home I had the wind to my back and my hands did warm back up after climbing Roberts hill. Out of the saddle for 10 mins can warm anyone up. I was thinking I should see how fast I could spin at one point when the conditions were perfect. Wind to my back, smooth road and no Ice. So I spun up to 190. Going down hill of course.

Sunday: 29degrees no wind
The next day I thought it would be a good idea to climb some more hills. I think something happens to my brain in the cold that makes me think to do this. I took a route that Alex told me him and Brian did on Saturday. Lots of hills.

This was fun?
I told Alex that I hit 190 and his response was "can you hit 200?" "No way!" I said.
38.5mph=200rpm 42x17x23c
What would a ride without Tanner hill be like? Heaven.
I figured I should document my climb just to prove to myself that I did do this, when I was a youngin'

Top of Tanner.