Tuesday, September 30, 2008
World's youngest Bike Messenger.
Monday, September 29, 2008
The only problem with benching is that the pitch is so shallow there only direction water might flow is down the trail itself. Might have to consider rerouting this section. Going to have to look at it at the next trails day, which is a little less than two weeks away.
Took a shot of the switch back. Lots of leaves down yet there is also a lot of green still up. Didn't see any hunters, either on the trail or cars in the lot. Still, I wore a blaze orange long sleeve T over a wicking a shirt to be safe. I was hot but I felt better that I could be seen. The spot where I endo'd on Saturday rides much better now that I fixed it.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I had originally planned to ride Huntington with a buddy yesterday morning but those plans fell through when he came up short on the time needed. At first, I wasn't going to ride because of the weather but I was jonesin for some hammer time, or I should say my legs were. Now that I am riding three to five times a week, my body wants more and more, or maybe it's the mind, I don't know. What I do know is that if I don't ride, I have to do something, and the only time I had for this weekend was right now.
It kind of reminds me of a baby's boot or a horse stirrup. Now that might work, after all the Gussy trail is also a horse trail, this section could be called the Stirrup.
Now there is Fall as in the change in seaons evidenced by all the leaves coming down on the trail and then there is fall, as in the pull of gravity whereby my body goes over-the-bars, with the bike following because I didn't get my other foot out of the clips in time because on this particular up-and-over the rocks on the landing tread were displaced which created a gap that was perfect to stop my tire dead. That was fun! I had thought about not wearing the knee guards but decided to do so any way. Good thing.
Did a little work at Via Roma when I found the south end of the armoring in need of some more work. Added a few more rocks cover some of the muddy area.
One thing I think that will be necessary sooner, rather than later is some benching is needed on the eastern section of the trail after the third stream crossing. Not pictured but after riding through here a few times with all the rain that we have had, it's just way to soft.
Probably a good thing that I was wearing blaze orange and had my bells on this morning because if the owner of this truck was lurking around the Gussy trail, I never saw him.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Found this on the Boston Craigslist. Excellent marketing ploy but a total rip off. I wouldn't pay $250 for that pig, because it's simply your run of the mill 27" road bike converted to single speed with no love and all original parts. He must be betting on the PT Barnum Principle.
Here are a few observations: The chop bars are really chopped down to resemble bull horn bars, so he's lying in the offer when he says they are bull horns. Original brakes (should have at least left a little curvature on the bars and mounted the brakes fang style). Looks like the original handlebar tape, too. Absolutely no attempt to take up the chain slack in making it a single speed by using the original cassett. In fact, he left so much slack in the chain that all you would have to do is sneeze and it would probably fall off. What is with the pie plate? That's so gauche!
I do like the seller’s marketing campaign but if you put lipstick on a pig (and this guy didn’t even use any), it’s still a pig! I think the seller made a mistake and put an extra 0 in the price. $25 clams is reasonable.
Here are the 5 Reasons:
1. Direct Chain Line - You have a more powerful and efficient pedal stroke with a straight, short chain line – rather than snaking the chain through derailleur pulleys.
2. Less Expensive Bicycle – Shifters and derailleurs comprise a large portion of the price of a new bike – often in the hundreds of dollars.
3. Easy cleaning of bike. – It is far easier to keep a bike clean and humming without gear clusters, derailleurs, extra cables, etc.
4. Less maintenance of bike – Shifting problems are a major source of malfunction on bicycles. Who needs the angst of shifting problems.
5. Fight the Power ! Shimano has a monopoly on shifting components. Why do they make such flimsy, over-priced, incompatible shifters and derailleurs, which never work correctly ? - Because they can !! Let’s make bicycling
Boston Cyclists that use Craigslist are definitely unique.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Now, I just have to find one in my size. The one at Sellwood is a 19" and that is probably on the low end for me but I will find out. I am thinking 20 or 22" would fit me much better.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Here is my new commuter, my remissioned Fetish Fixation. The bike just was not getting it's due on the trails and after selling the Bianchi it was the logical choice for a commuter, not to mention it was the only filly in the stable that could be quickly converted to road duty.
Yesterday morning's ride started out at 50 degrees. Fortunately, I decided to wear a riding jacket otherwise I would have been miserable. I left at 6:40 am and I rode with the headlight mounted to the bars and I used it on low the whole time. It never dimmed. I think I have to plan for a little more for colder weather now and plan on wearing thicker socks, warmer gloves, and I may even consider wearing an earband because my ears got cold, too.
I think I am going to add drop bars, just waiting for them to come in. Overall, I am really pleased with this bike. Question now, is if I continue with my plan to build a monster cross, do I go steel with a Redline D440 or a aluminum with the NYCBikes Monster Cross? I have never ridden an aluminum 29er and since I am not intending to take this bike on Singletrack, maybe aluminum will be OK.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Below is a map that I did for Bikerag.com back in 2005. Nice thing about this map is it does give you a better idea where this place is and where to park. The GPSVisualizer maps are great to show the tracks on the topography but not really good if you are looking to find the parking areas. At some point I might try integrating more interactive maps but haven't quite found the right online provider yet.
The trails in the Newtown portion of the area are a combination of old farming roads and newer but older ATV trails. Fortunately, no body rides quads in here anymore. Now these trails are ridden mainly by horses and an occaisional local mountain biker, such as myself or Frank. On yesterday morning's ride, though, the only tracks that I did notice were from horses. I think Frank is digging the Upper Gussy Trail so much now that he doesn't ride here at all.
In the Newtown section, most of the trails are pretty well defined and others are you just have to know where to go. However, on the Brookfield side, the trail is blazed with blue paint. Crossing from Newtown to Brookfield, the route breaks off into two options. Continue following the blue blazes on a washed out, fall line trail, or take the bypass which initially is a little sketchy to follow at first but then opens into an old farming road which eventually takes you to the old right of way that comes off of Lake George Road.
On the map above, I have called out a section to emphasize a new stream crossing that I found was already there but just needed a little organizing. If you should ever decide to ride this area alone, then I would recommend the following:
- Park at the Pond Brook Boat Ramp off of Hanover Rd.
- Follow Pond Brook Road till you cross over a little brown or beige bridge and hang a right onto what seems like an old gravel driveway/road. It's blocked with debris to keeps the jeeps out.
- Follow that road in, it turns into a trail further in and is marked with engineer tape.
- The best ride is to do the loop in Newtown counter clockwise and loop in Brookfield clockwise.
- Both loops and the stretch down Pond Brook is about 6 miles.
You have to climb up the first field and it's pretty overgrown. You pass through another stone wall and the trail cuts right through middle of the next field. I believe this field is owned by the yellow house off to the east of this location. As you can see in the picture below, at 7 AM it was pretty foggy out and a cool 47 degrees.
Even though it's Sunday, I am still wearing orange because this is mostly private land and even though Sunday hunting is still forbidden, I don't take any chances.
I round this old fence post along the first section of trail that skirts Dingle Brook. I never noticed it before but it still has the old iron holders for the rails.
When you get back into Newtown after the Brookfield loop, you could always follow the trail the way back you came but I am not a big fan of that. There is another trail that heads east from the junction of where you go to the Brookfield portion. There is a trail that is marked with a faded green/yellow piece of engineer tape. You basically have to look for the depression in the ground to realize there is a trail there. You can follow this trail if you miss the turn off for this little bypass section which will eventually bring you around to where you want to be.
The Newtown section is not clearly marked and many trails end up in people's back yards. So your best bet is to download this track from Crankfire.com if you ever want to try this alone or contact me for a tour.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Granted, I don't think I have ordered anything from this Catalog but I love every edition! Take for instance, this raven haired beauty dressed in black spandex! Holly smokes!
Now if they would only have one these models on a Niner Jet 9, I might be convinced sooner rather than later to purchase one.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I probably should have gotten to the other side much sooner because getting over the washed out section took a lot of my momentum away and lost more to make the slight course correction back up hill sapped more momentum caused me stall out. There will be a next time and atleast my chain withstood the climb. At the turn off to the Mulikin Trail I shot this little video.