Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Ski Vacation with very little skiing

As you have probably noticed Cyclesnack has been pretty quite for over two weeks and that's mainly because I took off for a week of skiing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  However, the kick in the teeth came when I got to Jackson Hole was that I discovered I had a Deep Veined Thrombosis (DVT) or a blood clot.  It wasn't the flight, rather my knee arthroscopy because the clot came on before I left but it wasn't the same symptoms that I have experienced before so initially I didn't think it was a clot, rather calf strain from Sunday's ride at Shelton Lakes.

After a two hour visit to the Jackson ER, a shot of Lovenox and 10 mg of coumadin I went skiing because the ER doctor said that it would be OK.  Didn't ski the big mountain, rather we stayed on the bunny hill, not because of my condition rather to get the kids acclimated.

Bad weather set in the next day so we opted not to ski and I wasn't feeling very good.  I was short of breath and felt light headed so I headed back to the ER after re-reading the warning sheet and sure enough I had multiple pulmonary embolisms.  That earned me an overnight stay at Saint Johns Hospital at Jackson Hole, which was very posh (afraid to see what the bill is going be) for monitoring.  I missed my daughter's birthday dinner.  

My dinner consisted of a Buffalo Burger that was really good but it didn't make up for eating alone.  They released me the next day and I took it easy that day and didn't ski.  The following day, the last day of our trip, I did ski but again took it easy and stayed with my sons on the bunny hill, while my father took my daughter up the gondola and did some real skiing.  I was so jealous.

Despite these issues the family and I had a blast in Jackson and we can't wait to go back in a couple of years when I am sure everyone will be skiing the big mountain!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fun Stuff on the Gussy

Leaving the ROW (Right of Way) this takes you through the Cleavage Reroute, over the Blue Cross Blue Shield Roller (this is where the Gussy Trail crosses the blue trail) and over the In Trail Roller, with some hucks along the way. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shelton Lakes Monster Cross

Finally got the chance to ride the Shelton Lakes B2B trail, one of the few Greenway trails in Connecticut not on an old railroad bed, however, I think there is a section that might utilize an old Trolley route.  I wanted to take the Qball Monster Cross out with the new gearing, 32:18, and it was righteous!  As I get stronger, I will start gearing further down.

I have ridden here a few times, on the Single Track, but this was the first time that I rode the B2B trail, or should I say actually found it.  I think I have ridden sections in the past but there has been a tremendous amount of work put into the trail that now you can't miss it.

The trail is about 8 to 10 feet wide and is mainly process, gravel or even ground asphalt, perfect Monster Cross conditions!

The Qball rides much better with the Qstick fork, too.  Of course it's made for it but it was worth trying the Soul Cycles fork to see what it was like.  The Qstick is much more solid and perfect for this kind of riding..

New section of trail built this summer.

On the return from Huntington I found some single track, very narrow single track, and freshly cut that parallels Oak Valley Road, the section of the B2B that uses a road.  The trail was soft, really tight in places and much more enjoyable with a little squish, however, it was better than riding on a road.

When I have more time, rather than ride this section, I would cut behind the Ekland Garden and ride the single track that hooks up to the power line trail that B2B also utilizes.

There was one casualty from riding that narrow trail.  I must have scraped a tree and lost my bar end plug holding my bar tape in.  I was able to tie it off, thankfully, otherwise I would have looked like a schmuck riding down the trail with bar tape flailing off my bike.  Granted, I only saw a couple of dog walkers because of the cold but that stuff has to be kept tight!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Where Waldo Wasn't

Opening section of Where's Waldo.  Had to load to YouTube because I maxed out my weekly allotment at Vimeo.  Camera is mounted on the bars but it's still kind of shaky, I have a helmet mount as well but it can be just as shaky, I think because the helmet isn't fitted snuggly to my head.  Any way, if you want to skip ahead to the good stuff,  at 1:19 I noticed there is a rock up and over right next to a stone wall break and at 2:37 I hit a small stunt that has a rock tranny and a short, little skinny ending on the down side of a stone wall break.

The Weirdo of Waldo

Headed over to Waldo Saturday afternoon when a Get out of Jail Free Card landed in my lap at the last second.  Saddled up the diSSent because I thought I fixed my gearing issues only to find that I didn't.  Like the Upper Gussy, Where's Waldo is very Single Speed friendly so I did worry too much about my gearing.  On the way, though, I came across a hiker bushwhacking off of Daffy Duck looking for the parking lot.  I looked down at my GPS to tell him how much farther he had to go when I saw that I forgot to turn it on from the lot!  Oh Crap, you know what that means - got to ride back to the lot and start over.  Call me crazy or OCD but I have to have a good track.

Back on the trail and having a great ride I tried the Daffy Duck trail in reverse, actually I missed the turn and the only reason I realized that I was on the wrong trail was because I had to stop for a tree that was broken half way up and hanging down into the trail.  Seeing this I realized the surroundings looked a little unfamiliar and that is when I realized I was on a different trail.  Daffy in this direction is really fun.

There were a few cars in the lot but no one down by the water.  Hard to believe this is February, especially after last winter.  With my gearing issues I decided not to ride Extra Credit and instead rode back to the Hunters Trail to where the portion of the trail that I by passed riding Daffy and went back that way.

I was really hoping to run into this guy that apparently thinks he owns the place and has been putting notes on people's car and berating people in the parking lot.  I have yet to run into him but from what what I have heard this guy is a real nut job, The Weirdo of Waldo, with a sense of entitlement about Waldo.  Probably need to hit the place more during primetime than late afternoon.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

First Dirt

My first Mountain Bike Ride since having my knee scoped 6 weeks ago.  Wasn't a bad ride except for the shifting the problems.  I call this first dirt because it's a series of dirt roads that eventually lead up to the Gussy Trail.  The next video will be my ride down the Gussy.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

If I can ski, then I can ...


Headed out to Upper Paugussett State Forest for a quick 5 miler after work on Wednesday and it was both fun and frustrating at the same time.  It was fun to finally be out on the trails again and to see what's going on with my trail after not being on it for almost two months.  The frustrating part was to have the shifting on the diSSent shit the bed.  I probably need to adjust the shifter line tension since the bike has been sitting unused for two months.  The nice thing about the Gussy Trail is that you really don't need a full range of gearing to ride the trail.

Despite my shifting woes the diSSent was rocking with the Fox F29 fork upfront.  The bike seemed to rip through everything I went through; rollers, rock gardens, technical climbs, up-and-overs, it was smooth as butter!  I think the diSSent and the Fox are a match made in heaven!

So, technically I am back in the saddle but I am going to take it easy and push it.  I am really out of shape, too!  I was in the red zone quite a few times during this ride.  Afterwards, the knee was feeling a little tweaked, too, so I am going to limit trail riding to once a week for now until I think I can handle more.

A former lover is up for grabs: Soul Cycles Dillinger

2009 Soul Cycles Dillinger 1x9
I love seeing the love being spread.

This is an AWESOME deal!
Forget little boy wheels, this bike get's you into the 29er community at a great price.
When you are tired of riding gears, this bike converts to Single speed quickly

I wish I kept those cranks for my Spot Longboard 9 build, they are about 20 grams lighter than my Race Face Evolve Crankset

Wish I had that saddle, too!

Pearl green frame, bomb proof Velocity Blunt wheelset (also green), this is green, dream machine!
I wonder what became of the Stinson?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

On the Spot: My obsession with weight

I really thought that I was going to hit the 25 lb mark the other day with my build, that is until I realized that I forgot to add in the brake calipers.  The calculated weight of the bike is now 11.61 kg or 25.6 lbs.  

Part Grams Pounds
Spot Longboard 9 Frame and collar 2268 5.00
FSA Orbit Headset 99 0.22
Race Face Evolve Crank 850 1.87
Rear Wheel: Stans Arch; BWW Hub; Maxxis Aspen 2.1; Rotor 1818 4.01
Front Wheel: Stans Crest; BWW Hub; Racing Raph 2.35; Rotor 1668 3.68
SRAM Cassette 11:34 352 0.78
Manitou Minute 1728 3.81
Salsa Pepper Jack lockon grips 92 0.2
Cane Creek Ergo bar ends 169 0.37
Titec Hellion Bars 246 0.54
Carbon Seatpost 252 0.56
Avid FR-5 Levers 152 0.34
Salsa Moto Ace Stem 176 0.39
Headset Spacers 8 0.02
WTB Rocket Saddle 313 0.69
SRAM X9 Rear Derailleur 227 0.50
SRAM X9 Rear Shifter 240 0.53
KMC 9 Speed Chain 255 0.56
Crank Brothers Candy 1 262 0.58
Avid Brakes 218 0.48
Avid Brakes 218 0.48
Brake Cables
Shifter Cable
Total 11611.00 25.61

There are three areas that I can save some weight for the biggest bang for the buck:  stem, cassette, and saddle.  Also, I can save a few grams when I cut the bars down because they are way too wide!

Monday, February 06, 2012

If I can ski, then I can ride!

Went skiing for the first time yesterday and had absolutely no problems, not that I was expecting any but it was a good milestone to hit because I am thinking if I can ski, I can ride!  I skied with my too sons, my father, and my 5 year old niece.  Brought the helmet cam and took a bunch of videos that I will be compiling later when I get some time.

While watching the Super Bowl yesterday I noticed a post on Facebook from Fabian, a former racing team member, about Singlespeed-apalooza just opened for registration.  Last year I missed this because I was more focused on racing on Team NEMBA and the Root66 races conflicted but now that I am unaffiliated with any group of team I am free to pick and choose what to race.  Checking with the wife to make sure the schedule is open, she gave me the green light, so I registered!  Good thing that I did so quickly because it closed out really quickly, like an hour or two!

I am registered in the NY Sport division which has a total of 94 racers and unless someone wants me to wear their kit I will be wearing my NEMBA kit.  It's time to start training and riding the single speed!  I am going to start out light by riding dirt roads and then work my way up to trails.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

On the Spot: Fork; Wheels; etc...

Part Grams Pounds
Spot Longboard 9 Frame and collar 2268 5.00
FSA Orbit Headset 99 0.22
Race Face Evolve Crank 850 1.87
Rear Wheel: Stans Arch; BWW Hub; Maxxis Aspen 2.1; Rotor 1818 4.01
Front Wheel: Stans Crest; BWW Hub; Racing Raph 2.35; Rotor 1668 3.68
SRAM Cassette 11:34 352 0.78
Manitou Minute 1728 3.81
Salsa Pepper Jack lockon grips 92 0.2
Cane Creek Ergo bar ends 169 0.37
Titec Hellion Bars 246 0.54
Carbon Seatpost 252 0.56
Avid FR-5 Levers 152 0.34
Salsa Moto Ace Stem 176 0.39
Headset Spacers 8 0.02
WTB Rocket Saddle 313 0.69
Total 10191.00 22.48

All that's left are cables, brakes, shifter, rear derailleur, and pedals.  There are areas that I could improve, like the stem and saddle, as well as I haven't purchased pedals yet, so I will definitely be weight conscious on those items as well.  I think my realistic target is going to 26 lbs. 

Somebody I know said the Spot has long chainstays but in comparisson to my other bikes it lies in the middle when it comes to Wheel Base.  I measured all my bikes, from axle to axle and here is what they are:
  1. Qball:  42"
  2. diSSent:  43.25"
  3. Spot:  43.25"
  4. Kona 44.25"

Of course the one caveat is the Qball, diSSent and Kona's drops are all sliders so I could shorten them some more if I really wanted to.  Is a half an inch going to make that much of a difference?

On the Spot: Cranks

Current Weight:  2367g (5.22 lbs)

Race Face Evolve Crank - Single w/Bash
Weight:  850g (1.87 lbs)

I would have liked to have gone with FSA Mega Exo SS cranks, at the time I was buying these, this was the best deal and weight for the money.

Phil Woods, a bike mechanic's KY

Total Weight:  3217g (7.09 lbs)

On the Spot: Headset

Starting Weight:  2268 gr (5lbs)

Let the building begin!  Picked up the frame from the LBS Friday after work and after I liberated the Manitou Minute from the diSSent I got the Spot in the stand. 

This is going to be my first build where I am really paying attention to weight.  The steel frame is a weight weenie's nightmare to start because it's going to be at least a pound or two heavier than aluminum so I'll be paying particular attention elsewhere. 

I love riding steel bikes and this will be my second geared bike in this category.  I have great hopes that this is going to be my #1 choice in the stable.

FSA Orbit Headset 99g (0.22 lbs)
Total Weight:  2367g (5.22 lbs)

Reversal of Fork...tune

Supposedly, the Fox F29 and the Manitou Minute come in about the same weight, 3.78 pounds, however the Fox is just a little bit longer than the Manitou.  In fact, I might even have the 120mm version but I am not entirely sure.  When I test rode the diSSent 2 years ago, it was set up as 1x9 with a SRAM X0 drive train and a 120mm Reba U-Turn, so I know the diSSent can handle it.  The irony is that this frame is great for gears I really don't like it as SS bike.  I think my problem is that I bought the large when I should have bought the XL.  The bent top tube compacts the cockpit so I don't feel stretched out like I do on my other bikes so running it geared seems like the best option for me.

I have tried the Fox on the Kona, which was good, didn't like it on the Qball, so now it's time to try it on the diSSent.  I didn't like it on the Qball because it raised the head tube up higher than I like and threw the geometry off.  Eventually, I might even try it on the Spot.

Installation was easy but the one thing that I had not realized was the the steering tube a lot shorter than the Manitou and all I needed was two thin spacers.

The fork looks great but after reviewing Fox's manual I need to change the routing of the front brake cable to the inside of the fork.

Quick test ride in the driveway felt really good and it seems that this fork is going to be really good on this bike.  Now, I have to find some time to really test it out.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Day Two: Getting the Kona Unit ready

I enlisted my youngest son Thursday evening to help me clean my bikes because they were dirty.  I think I have been ignoring them because I can't ride and working on them earlier in my recovery probably would have had an upsetting effect upon me.  

The task was to liberate the Fox F29 form from the Kona in preparation for the Spot Longboard.  The Spot is at the LBS getting the headset installed, which is the one thing I won't do myself because I don't have the tools.  I prefer to have things like that and derailleurs done by the experts at the Bicycle Center in Brookfield, CT.

The Carver Carbon Fiber Fork looks hawt and there is a tremendous weight difference, too.  The Kona is ready to roll now.

So many bikes to choose from and not enough time to ride.  The stable currently stands at 6 bikes now.
  1. The Kona Unit, SSer
  2. Misfit diSSent, 1x9
  3. Qball Monstercross, SSer
  4. Bianchi, 1x6
  5. Ross Riviera Fixed Gear Conversion
  6. Burley Rock and Roll Tandem
Going to have to get serious about selling the Ross but first I think I need to change the bars again.  It either needs real mustache, bullhorn, or flats.


It's time to start riding again!