Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Riding Life, Vicariously

Since I am still not riding trails yet, the only thing that I can do is make riding videos and dream about riding.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Geocaching in the Cold

Temperature waking up this morning was 9 degrees and when I left the house at 9:45 am to meet friends and family to go Geocaching it was around 15 degrees.  We met at the end of Blackbridge Road and did the Geocaches in Rocky Glenn State Park that are mostly along Al's Trail.  It seems that there are quite a few side trails that go all over the place and we didn't get the last cache because of that.  Once you get up on the ridge it's pretty flat and could be some nice riding but is quickly short lived because the trail quickly becomes more suitable for a mountain goat.  Still we had fun, despite the frigid temperatures.

Found the second Cache

Walking down Blackbridge Road

At the Cave/Mine looking down towards the Pootatuck
from a branch of Al's Trail

That's about a 100 feet down from where I am standing

Taking the hard way up

Trail goes right between the branches

Cave but more like an old mine


That is the cache

Julia and Will

Stone Bridge

Looking down at the Stone Bridge

Will walking up from the Stone Bridge

Old Woods Road with a stream crossing
Frozen Stream Crossing

Pootatuck River Valley

Looking down at Blackbridge

Glass in an old Farmer's garbage dump

Sole Cyclist

What a beautiful day for a bike ride on the Collinsville to Canton Rail Trail and the Farmington River Trail and yet there was nary a soul on the trail.  Not surprising because it was 15 degrees and probably near 0 with the wind chill along the Farmington River.  It wasn't the coldest I have ever ridden in, once I rode to work and it was a mere 3 degrees!  The hardest thing to keep warm seems to be always the toes but by the time I got down to Unionville I was sweating.

Riding along the Farmington was bitter sweet.  It was beautiful to see the river along the side the trail but the valley was channeling the wind and it made for a really cold ride.

The water was really inviting and made me really thirsty but my bite value froze so I had nothing to drink.

On the trail, there were probably a dozen walkers compared to last weekend where there must have been around a hundred people on the trail.  This time I brought a bell but only ended it up using it twice.  Last weekend it would have been in constant used.

Nearing the end of my ride I did pass by this guy on a fixie sporting pink tires and a pink wrap on the bull horns.  That was sole cyclists I saw on my ride.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spot Longboard 9 Geometry

Spot Longboard 9 geometry




STAND OVER (mm)660*713*766*806*
EFFECTIVE TOP TUBE559584603.2635
SEAT TUBE (C - C)305368432482
HEAD TUBE LENGTH(mm)104114120130
HEAD ANGLE70.5717172
SEAT ANGLE73.57372.573.5
CHAINSTAY (C - C)444444444444

*note: stand over height taken through the center of bottom bracket to top of top tube.

I borrowed this from the Old, Fat, and Happy Blog. So that I would have a quick reference as I start my build.

 The Longboard uses a 28.6 clamp for the front derailleur and a 30mm seat post clamp

Check out my build progress:  On the Spot

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Meats - Vittoria Zaffiro

I slipped on some new Italian Rubber, Vittoria Zaffiro tires, that I picked up at Devil's Gear this past week.  They went on really easy and I pumped them up to 80 psi and went for a little roll in the drive and OMG, so smooth!  Of course, some 23c tires at 120 psi would be smoking but I will save that for the next project.

Also figured the 46t up front was too light for riding rail trails so I put on a 52t and this dog wants to hunt!

On Sunday, I am headed back to the Farmington River Valley, only this time I am going to do the loop right.  Collinsville to Canton Railtrail, then down 177 to Unionville, and back up to Collinsville on the Farmington River Trail.  This time I have a bell and I am going to shoot some video, too.  Of course it's supposed to be really cold so I will be dressed to the nines in snivel gear.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Friend of the Devil is a Friend of Mine

Finally got back to New Haven to visit the Devil's Gear Bike Shop and what a treat!  It is one awesome bike shop with a super friendly and knowledgeable staff and a huge selection of bikes, parts and accessories.  

I just knew this shop was going to be awesome by the simple fact of commuter bikes and fixies parked outside.  The also many different types of both new and used bikes for sale.

They had an early 90s Fat Chance Yo Eddy, in just my size (drool); Salsa Fargo (on my shortlist for my next Monster Cross); the new Salsa Mukluk (drool) and bevy of other bikes.

Shop activities include a night ride on the Farmington Canal Trail and an afternoon mountain bike ride at East Rocks.  Only thing missing was a cute shop dog but the punk rock playing in the background made up for it.  If you are ever in New Haven, you got to visit this shop and spend some money.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A walk of shame was potentially in the offing

It's a good thing I didn't get a flat tire on my ride Sunday because while I had everything needed to change a tire, my tubes have presta valves and the frame pump that I brought along was for a schrader valve.  Doh!  So, it looks like I will loose the trunk and put everything into a hydration pack.

It looks like I am headed back to the area for another tour.  This time I will be a little more prepared by ensuring that I have a bell on my bike, the right pump, and a map of the area with my intended route planned out.

I am also going to bring the helmet cam and mount it to the bike and take some moving footage.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Post Op, my first ride

I have been slowing working myself up on the trainer but today, three weeks post the knee operation, I decided to try riding.  I took the Bianchi down to the Farmington River Trail while my kids were skiing at Ski Sundown with their Grand Father.  That place is incredible!  We haven't had any snow this winter and they are 100% open with a 3 foot base and spring like conditions.  They know how to make snow!

I have been drooling over the Farmington Trail for years because of its rich history in manufacturing and what it still offers today for industrial sightseeing.  Not to mention the Farmington River, it's probably Connecticut's premier trout fishery and unless it's frozen over you will find people fishing in it year round.

I have ridden the Bianchi on the Trainer for about two hours now, and except for a few driveway circuits this is the first time really riding it.  A couple changes are necessary, I feel.  Definitely a bigger front ring and the rear derailleur needs a little adjusting but riding with the mustache bars are excellent and in fact, I think all my future rebuilds are going to go route in the future.  One thing for sure, it's fun to ride and solid as a rock.

The first 20 minutes on the bike from the junction north of Collinsville, where I parked down to the center of town my knee was still a little stiff.  This is the first time in 6 years that I am riding a bike with flats and it felt weird, especially wearing shoes with cleats.  If this were Saturday, I might have been wearing my sneakers or my orange Crocs (probably would have looked like Bozo) but Sunday was much cooler and I have come to learn that dressing for a road ride is a lot different that mountain.

I was surely tempted to stop for a pint of something yummy despite the cold but I had only a narrow window to ride so I passed it up. Maybe next time.  Of all the places to visit, however, Collinsville is the one.

This old Railroad bridge still stands, enclosed by old factories that harnessed the power of the Farmington River that industrialized America a couple of centuries ago.  

I kind of messed up on my route.  At first I was going to ride the new trail from Collinsville to Canton, then take Rte 177 down to Avon and come back up the Farmington Trail but I was afraid that it might take me longer than I imagined so instead I rode down the Farmington to Avon and then decided at the last second to follow the course in reverse but I am not used to following courses on my Garmin and missed critical turn.  Why didn't I bring a map, doh!

I ended up on a road with a bit of climbing, something that I was actually trying to avoid because I knew that only 177 would be flat (or at least flatter) than this route.  Some friendly firemen along the way gave me some directions so I knew I wasn't going to be late because I was at least headed back to Collinsville.  I got back to the car still had a half hour to kill.  

So I did the Collinsville to Canton run.  There wasn't a lot of information readily available on the conditions and how much was done and not done, in other words I threw caution to the wind and took my chances and it was worth while.  The trail is paved all the way to Canton and it's recent so it's really smooth.  The one thing I forgot, and I am usually Mister Boy scout and bring everything, is a bell.  There are so many walkers, doggers, roller bladers, joggers, and people enjoying the unusually warm weather on these trails that I got hoarse from yelling out warnings.

While I didn't do the intended loop per-say I was able to ride all the rail beds.  Next week I think I will be doing it again, only this time I will do the loop in a clockwise fashion.