Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Brooks B66 on the Qball

Did a little work on the Qball this weekend. Went back to the Bonty 2.2 in the rear and the tube inside is a Flat Attack.

Apparently, there is some Stan's like goop inside so that if a puncture occurs, it will self seal. I was a little skeptical thinking the tube was going to weigh a ton, not that I am a weight weenie, but when I got it on the scale, I was shocked!

Only a four ounce difference! The tube weighs as much as the fluid contents of my can of beer! Now that the Fixation is gone the only bike I have now for reconning new trails is the Qball and this tube is perfect for that. Of course, doing Bike Maintenace with a frosty PBR and listening to Led Zeplin is heaven!

I got the B66 with the Stinson and wasn't sure whether I really wanted it or not. I put it up on Craigslist for $100 to see if anyone would bite. One guy low balled me at $40 (that's what I paid for it) but I responded that I would take $75. The guy actually said yes and before I let it go I tried it out on the Stinson and it wasn't bad so I told him I decided to keep it. He understood.

The other day, I picked up another Brooks, a Professional, which I think is a B68 for Stinson and decided to try the B66 on the Qball. After a few test spins in the driveway and a few adjustments later, I decided that it would be perfect.

If I turn the Qball into a Monster Cross, this saddle will really complement the bike.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Elliot's New Bike

I found that the 20 inch tired bike was too big for Elliot and it was blowing his confidence so I bought this 16" wheeled jobbie from my buddy Rick. He loves the bike. Glad I didn't have to drop $250+ on a new bike.

The only thing I need him to work on at this point is to use the coaster break and not his feet. He already crashed into some stuff in the garage because he used his feet instead of the brakes. He didn't get hurt but I think he leared his lesson.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pooping on the Greenway

Riding with young children is tough. Keeping them happy is half the battle. I have to always work in a break with a playground, bring plenty of water and snacks, and most importantly ride somewhere with adequate restrooms. When I took the boys to Hamden for ride up the New Haven - Northhampton Rail Trail, aka the Faminington Canal Trail never did I expect Brodie to say, "I have to poop!"
Fortunately there is a public bathroom at Brooksvale that is open from May to September. The last ride we did at Middlebury was the same. In fact, now that I think about it, our previous ride at Monroe required poop break, too!

What does that mean for all you fathers and mothers who want to take their kids riding? Make sure you plan on a trail with adequate restroom facilities. Housatonic RR Monroe section, Middlebury, and the Farmington Canal are the three Greenways in my area that meet all the requirements. As for the Trumbull section of the Housatonic RR Greenway, there is no playground and I don't recall whether there are facilities at Old Mine Park. Otherwise you need to prepare by bringing a plastic bag and some wipes.

Here is the view from the restrooms. That red barn you see off in the distance is the approximate location of the jungle gym. We rode back to the play area, had more snacks and played on the various apparatuses. Brodie wanted to see the rabbits.

There was one rabbit that wanted attention. Brodie wanted to get into the cage and snuggle with him.

Trying for a good spot on the bike for a Brodie Cam but that darn Trail-a-Bike get's in the way. I need to see what he is doing while we are riding. What I might try to do is put a little rack on the trail-a-bike and then mount the camera there.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 6: Life without my Edge; Two 'Horses at Huntington

I wanted to ride after work yesterday and brought the 'Horse to work because it was shaping up to be a nice day. That is until another shower passed through. At least the bike was getting cleaned. Headed over to Brookfield Bike to get a cycloputer installed. Since I will be reverting back to my Garmin GPSMAP60 the chance of getting a lost signal remains high that it would be smart if that if I am a true data whore that I should have a back up.

Well, I didn't ride afterall on Friday, instead I met Pete, fellow cycling blogger, mountain biker, fixed gear biker, at Huntington for a two hour ride. He has a newer 'Horse MKIII set up the same as mine, only he has SRAM components.

We headed right away to the new trail but with the previous evening's rain (monsoon) all the challenging parts were really slick and I walked through a few of them so as not to have a repeat experience from a few weeks ago. Which by the way, my fears of a tear are largely dimished because it's healing so quickly. I think it was just a bad pull.

The new trail, it really doesn't have a name so it's hard to describe it, other than the new trail. I guess you call it the new, illegal trail, since it was built without the knowledge of the Land Manager. That's it, the New, Illegal Trail, built by the trail gnomes who like to ride at Ninham. That last part is purely supposition.

The trail has a nice flow to it and reminds me a lot of the Black Diamond Trail at Wilton Woods but the builders still need to learn and thing or two about trail building. Just because you are great mountain biker and ride a lot of trails doesn't mean you actually know how to build them. For example most of the ascents go up the fall line and not on an angle. There are sections where water pools and can't drain, thus creating a mud bog. On the red track above that off shoot loop goes to a nice overlook facing Newtown.

The map above is a smoothed version of the two tracks. The trail is very technical and has some amazing rock gardens. Besides the need for benching and armoring, as well as a few necessary re-routes because the trail goes up a fall line or three, it is a nice change of pace to the rest of the park.

Here is Pete and his 'Horse. He had a similar problem with his rear wheel, only the rear hub siezed altogether. His shop rebuilt his but RS Cycle, where he got the bike, shipped him and entire new wheel, for free. How's that for Customer Service!

As for my missing GPS, so far I haven't heared from anyone yet. Put up some flyers on telephone poles around the Dodgingtown Lot and another at the Kiosk, only to find it missing when I returned from my ride - caretakers? After the ride, I drove down Sunset Hill and passed out flyers to everyone walking their dogs and put more up at various intersections. I even spoke to a very nice woman on horseback, with a lot of tatoos who said she saw my Craigslist posts and said she would try to help me out. I thanked her but forgot to ask her name.

Back at the house, I tried to take some pictures of both my dirty 'Horse and something we haven't seen in awhile, blue sky! I don't think the dirt really showed up well but you can certainly tell that is blue sky!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Friday Fix: Fixed and Burley

Finally got the Bridgestone out for a little test ride Thursday after work. It's a sweet fixed gear. I have it rigged 42:16 with a TomiCog and it's really smooth. The longer stem and flat bars are nice, too. Of course I had to pull my boys in the Burley trailer first.

Took it for a little test spin down the street and the bike is tight! Nothing rattles and it feels really good. Guess I will be riding this to work now that the kids are no longer in school and I don't have to wait for the bus.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Commuter Bikes of Park Avenue

Took the train into NYC on Wednesday for work and of course I brought my camera, hoping for a glimpse of a bike messanger, or a hipster riding a fixed gear, or even the elusive BikeSnobNYC riding his famous Orange Julius. I think I might have seen one messanger on a fixed gear but it was a brief glimpse and could have been a ghost.

Walking down Park Avenue, headed towards Grand Central Terminal, I encountered quite a few bikes of varying type a quality. Above is an internally geared Swiss Folder double locked to the sign post.

This Trek commuter with a Topeak Baby Rack also was professionally locked down, too.

Even this old beater, again double locked NYC fashion.

However, what happended here? Hopefully the owner took their wheel to work with them otherwise they won't be riding far.

Another nice Trek, this one with disc brakes. The bag is a nice touch because it rained earlier and after I got on the train later it poured some more. Without fenders though, a wet saddle isn't going to make that big a difference.

This Bianchi is cool with an internally geared hub. My guess is they took their seatpost clamp when the took their saddle with them to the office, otherwise riding home will be interesting.

I love the matching fenders. It's kind of out of place. Looks like this bike's normal habitat is the Jersey shore, the Hamptons, or even Fire Island.

This Mongoose is interesting. It appears to have once had a nice saddle, maybe a Fitzik buy the shape of it but now there is so much duct tape on it that the seat chain seems ridiculous. Not to mention, who puts a nice saddle on a Mongoose?

My Fetish for 26er single speeds is at an end

Sold the Fixation last night to an affable young gentleman from the Boston area whose parents live in my town.

He got a great deal, too, not only did he get a great bike but one with a new set of tires, a spare set of tires (WTB Motoraptor 2.4s) and I gave him the Surly 1x1 fork because he is going to use the bike as an SS commuter, too. I am happy with the price, too. Now I can pay off my wheels for the 'Horse and get a fixed gear wheel for the Stinson.

Speaking of the Stinson, decided not to sell the B66 and put it on the bike to try it out after getting an offer for $75 for it. I am thinking of trying it on the Qball now and I might get another Brooks for this bike. Ah, the endless possibilities.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 2: Life without my Edge

After work today, I posted the flyer above at the entrance to the Sunset Hill Lot and the intersections of side streets along Sunset Hill Rd that board the park. I have this feeling that I will get it back. I also talked to a few people and handed out the flyer. One guy suggested to try the post office -- people use that as a lost and found? I will call them tomorrow.

View Larger Map

Crazy Guy on a Bike ... this guy is really Crazy!

Found this blog, Crazy Guy on a Bike, and his blogging about touring in Illinios from The Beat Bike Blog. But, what's really crazy is look at what's in the side pocket of the bar bag! A pack of smokes. Now that's crazy!

Cycling and smoking, just seems wrong. I wonder if he ever lights up while in motion? I am sure there are many people who ride and smoke but it seems that it's a huge contradiction.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 1: Life without my Edge

In a sense I am still the same cyclist that I was prior to losing my Edge, only now I feel a critical component is missing from me. While I might not be able to dummy cord this device (if I ever get it back) I think small items such as this need to be tagged with a If found, please call ... sticker. This experience is interesting in the sense that as a good samaritan, were you to find something like this what would you do? Would you turn it into the local police department, would you check Craigslist to see if someone lost it, would you check online area message boards? Would you know which message boards to check?

I made a post in the Clist, Fairfield County Rants and Raves, as well as posts in the Redding, CT and Bethel, CT Topix forums.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lost my Edge

CT NEMBA's Happening at Huntington happened today, believe it or not, because it has been raining on the East Coast so much you would think we moved to the land of liquid sunshine, the Pacific Northwest.

As you have probably noticed, the Snack has been a little thin this past week. The weather and my injury have been largely responsible. Despite the muscle strain/pull in the forearm I decided to ride anyway. I did spin class earlier this week and had no trouble with it so I figured what the heck, as long as I stick to the carriage roads mostly and try to get a 5+ mile ride in I should be find. In fact I really didn't have any pain at all, except from time to time while shifting.
I started off riding with this guy Steve but he took a header on a slippery rock while we were bombing down a carriage road and he decided to head home after a quick loop on the single track that comes off the the blue trail.

I rode the blue until it splits off (turns into Big Vomit) and headed up the white to the green and took a shot at Little Vomit. Had to do it in stages (which means I stopped a few times along the way) because it was so slick that I spun out while hammering Granny. I think if it were drier I could actually ride it. On the way down I noticed that Big Vomit might actually be easier to climb. I wonder if I have them confused now.

I headed back to the white trail and actually caught up to one of the led rides. Actually it looked like a CT NEMBA Trail Ambassador ride with all the orange jerseys.

Pictured from left to right: Tren "Big Daddy" Spence, Eric "eMoney" Mayhew, Mandy "the Rock" Mayhew, Al Tiniti (famous trail builder from the east side of the river and creator of the Tinti Trail), his buddy whom I always forget his name, Steve Bennett, and Nathan Lundstrum who is the author of the blog Amble On.

From there I hammered back to the lot. In my rush to go pick up the Subs from Subway I put my Garmin Edge on the bumper of my car while I was putting the bike on top of the car and I forgot to put it in the car when when I changed. I was looking right at it but I was in such a rush that I forgot to throw it in the back of the car. When I pulled out of the lot I think it fell off the bumber. In fact, someone picked it up, a dog walker is my guess, and asked if anyone lost a GPS but no one knew at this point I lost mine.

When I got home, I made a post on Craigslist and subsequently called the police departments of both Redding and Bethel and left my contact information in case someone turns it in. Tomorrow, I am going to post some lost flyers on the signs posts around the entrance to the park and might even try going door to door along Sunset Hill to see if anyone has it.
Wish me luck. Not having my Edge is almost like not having the mojo to ride. I have become such a data monger for miles and mapping that the Edge provides I just don't know how I can ride with out it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Technically Erratic

Took the family camping this weekend at Kettletown State Park over on the Soutbury, Oxford line. It turned into a little family gathering with her mother and step father, and her step sister and her family. There was this event taking place called a Geocache Jamboree. It was the first time for us to take the kids camping and it was fun doing some geocaching with the kids. I brought the 'Horse because it had rained all week and I couldn't ride. The weekend was supposed to be nice and I was jonesin to ride.

Kettletown is insanely technical and the track that I rode was laced with hike-a-bikes every where. Of course the New England rock sweat from the previous days torrential downpours only made riding even more challenging. In fact at some point during the ride I slipped on a rock and nearly endo'ed. Subsequently, I think I tore a ligament in my forearm as a result of that little mishap. Now I am on the Sick, Lame and Lazy list for at least a week, if not more.

Along the way I came across this BFR (Big F'ing Rock) sitting beside the trail. These big boulders in New England are known as Glacial Erratics. There were a numbered of them throughout the park but this one was very prominent.

climbing and hike-a-bike

Very pretty scenery

Amazing views

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Special Ed

Special Ed tires for the Fixation
Fast Tracks
Paid $3.33 for the set off Craigslist