Demo Bike!

Yesterday afternoon I stopped by the shop to pick up a sweet 29er demo bike. I originally planned to get it for Saturday, but I figured since I’d already planned to be off of work today that I’d avoid some trail traffic by taking it out before the weekend.

So after learning about how to adjust the suspension (holy crap, there are a LOT of adjustments!), I wedged it into my roof rack and headed home. It took a while to get everything set up comfortably. Even though it’s a bit big for me, I ended up swapping the stock seatpost out for a Thompson setback post (luckily Ryan had one in the correct diameter on his CX bike) since the straight post required the saddle to be precariously clamped to the very front of the rails. Because the bike is kinda on the big side, I also lowered the handlebars. I felt pretty weird with them perched above the saddle.
When I took it for a test ride on a short stretch of rail trail behind my house, I was surprised when it felt sort of awkward and loose over the rocks… then I realized that the tires were inflated to what had to be the max possible pressure! Oops. I let a good deal of air out, turned around, and went over the same stretch again, this time to find the ride totally different. Ah….. nice!

So now I’m just waiting for the sun to come out & warm the air a bit before I head out to Shelby Farms. After that, I’ll go to Herb Parsons, Bartlett Park, and Lakeland Trails. Being in good shape is nice. I imagine that taking a bike to every trail in town would be somewhat impossible for a lot of people, but I’m looking forward to the workout :)

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Things happen quickly

Right now, life is like the Honda Del Sol that I used to race around in- with the flip of a switch, the nitrous is on, the accelerator is on the floor, and suddenly I’m going waaaaaay over the speed limit with my head thrown back, laughing like a madwoman.

I talked to a few people over the weekend that wanted to know if I were going to be joining another team any time soon. I’d given it a little thought, but wasn’t in any type of hurry. I had a couple of guys say they’d sponsor me to get back into Memphis Velo (my first team), which would be cool, except that their main focus is road racing, which I still plan on doing, though definitely not exclusively.
I’d also considered talking to Paul w/Team Kenda Tire about the possibility of re-joining on the regional team. He’s a really nice guy, and the team has some nice sponsors, too (like SRAM!). I’d kinda like something local, though…

Then I went in to Bikes Plus to order some spare BH derailleur hangers. Karen was there, and she’d heard about my recent change of heart (word travels fast!) We started talking about my competitive plans… Then she offered me shop sponsorship! Woohoo!!!!!! She’s always been incredibly nice to me, and she helped me put together my Surly Cross-Check last year. So, I went in for hangers and came out with an awesome sponsor and some sweet blue & green kits! It’s really just what I need- something local and very supportive that still allows me to be very independent. Happy, happy, happy :)

Other stuff:
I’m demo-ing a Gary Fisher HiFi 29er on Friday. I’ll be taking it to every trail in the city!
The Blue Rc7 (54cm) frameset is for sale: $600
The Blue T16 (52cm) frameset is for sale: $600 or $950 with TT bars/shifters/brakes (I’ve got someone who is trying it out on Saturday, but if you’re interested, let me know in case it doesn’t work out)

Last night, after a fixie ride w/some friends, I ran my first mile of 2009 (barefoot!). It’s like that saying about a long journey starting with a single step. I think I’m there right now.

I think I’m gonna be sore

This morning I did a crossfit-esque workout. I haven’t lifted for a couple of weeks, and, even then, I just did some complex training (there’s a post about it somewhere a few pages back…)

So, today’s workout was 3 rounds/10 reps of this circuit:

Thrusters
Lateral Lunge
Assisted Pullups
Assisted Dips
Plyometric Single-leg Press
Leg Lifts

By the 3rd round, I was sweating my tail off. I did everything pretty light so I wouldn’t be totally wrecked for my demo day this Friday. Even so, since it’s been forever since I’ve done anything high-rep, I’ll probably be wrecked anyway :)

A most excellent ride

I woke up early this morning to finish up the BH/Red build. I decided that since I liked the BH Connect so much that I’d buy the frame rather than send it back with the rest of my borrowed team gear. So yesterday I stripped both the Blue Rc7 and the BH and spent the remainder of the day re-installing the SRAM Red parts.

I’d just like to say… (now that I’m officially a “free agent”) Campy components are NOT my thing. I don’t ever want another bike without SRAM.

Anyway… I left around 8:00am and rode to Outdoors Inc. on Union to meet up with the 9:00 group. We cruise through midtown/downtown, cross over to Mud Island, then head north through Northaven and out towards Shelby Forest. Once the group turns off of Watkins, the pace picks up as the route winds through the rollers on the way to the Shelby Forest General Store. Normally, I’d take an alternate route and just do my own thing and meet with the group at the store.

Well, today I decided to go with the guys. It was a small, but strong group, and the pace didn’t let off until we crested the last rise. The BH was AWESOME! It felt great up the hills whether I was seated or standing, and, later in the ride, when it came time to sprint, it was equally as awesome. After that, I sat up & waited for some of the guys that I usually ride back towards home with.

I’ll get some photos of the bike soon. I am just trying to figure out how to get the grease stains off of the white hoods.

New Direction

Well, I had one of those rides yesterday. You know- the one where you just go out and think a lot. The therapeutic type.

Seems I’ve been enjoying road racing and training for road racing less and less lately. It’s a lot like when you eat something that tastes good, but then a few hours later, you’re sick to your stomach and puke it back up… there’s a period of time where, even though that food was initially good, the thought of eating it again makes you lose your appetite.

So that’s where I am- I’ve puked up road racing, and now I don’t want to eat it for a while. Sure, I’ll get over it, but for now, I’ve decided to branch out to other athletic endevors that I’ve been interested in for a while but have put off because of my dedication to the road bike. I plan on getting a mountain bike (I’m keeping a road bike, too) and trying some 2-wheel trail shennanigans. I’d also like to try some adventure racing, rock climbing, canoeing… you get the point. Oh yeah, all the while, I am pretty sure I’m running the AT100 this year. I’ve wanted to do it since I first went as an aid station volunteer a few years ago.

So this blog may get a bit more interesting to some whole others are probably going to now remove me from their RSS feeds. It’s all good. I’m happy now.

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Rainy Day Project

A couple of days ago, I was on my way home from riding and saw a pile of bikes propped up next to a trash can. One in particular caught my eye- it was a bright blue geared bike of some sort with moustache handlebars. Noone was at home, so I left a note at the house asking if I could come back and get it. Later on that afternoon, the homeowner called back and said she didn’t mind at all, so I brought this home:

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As luck would have it (for the bike, at least), the next day was cold and rainy. I spent most of the day with some rust remover and steel wool trying to get rid of a majority of the rust. I also dropped by the bike shop & picked up some new cables and a chain. After a day of dissassembling/reassembling, here she is…

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The only thing I was worried about not working with the restoration was the front of the drivetrain- seems it took a hard fall on the drive side that bent everything up enough that the chainrings wobble as the cranks turn. It took a LOT of fiddling with the high/low limit screws, but I finally got it to work (though it’s still pretty noisy and not incredibly smooth). Now I’m waiting for a set of new tires (the old ones were rotten beyond recognition) from Harris Cyclery (the rim size is an odd one- 26 x 1 3/8). I plan on strapping some milk crates to the rack and turning her into a grocery getter. Hopefully once they get here, I’ll get some good out-of-garage photos!

Need Road Trip Guidance!

I’m currently on Spring Break and would like to make the most of it training-wise, though it looks like the weather may have other plans:

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I’d like to make a road trip to do some climbing, but the weather system pictured above is trying to prevent me from doing so. I’m debating as to what I want to do. I’d like to leave Friday morning, drive 6 hours or less, ride, camp Friday night, then ride Saturday morning before returning home. Chances of precip are lower if I go West towards Mt. Magazine or someplace like that, but there’s always the option of heading more to the southeast, depending on the direction that the front goes (it’s heading straight to the northeast right now, so areas like Birmingham could possibly get missed).

Any suggestions from the readers? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Verminator

When I got home from running some errands, I let the dogs out. When I called them back in, Indy was in the corner of the yard digging furiously. I figured since he enjoys that type of thing and there’s absolutely nothing planted back there that I’d just let him have at it and wear himself out.

I guess he was looking for a midday snack…

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He actually just gnawed on its feet & head a little bit then seemed to lose interest. I’m not sure I would have let him devour the entire thing since he’s kinda new to the non-kibble thing and most advice I’ve seen says to take it slow.

Happy Dogs!

After hours of research and reading, I decided that I’d switch my dogs from commercial kibble to a prey-model raw diet. Last night, I went to the store to get a couple of week’s worth of chicken- the meat of choice for starting dogs on raw food. They were very curious as to what I was doing when I was cutting it up/packing it into ziptop bags last night. Since I eat a vegetarian diet, It’s been a long time since they’ve actually smelled raw meat, and it definately got their attention more than tofu and lettuce…

The prep is something I’ll get used to. It took a little while, and I was careful to sanitize my countertops afterward (while dogs can easily digest the bacteria in fresh, raw meat, it’s not so kind to us humans). I portioned everything by weight using a kitchen scale- Turbo gets ~12-14oz and Indy somewhere in the neighborhood of 4oz. Then, I put most of it in the bottom drawer of the freezer, leaving a couple of bags in a tray in the bottom of the fridge door to stay unfrozen for breakfast.

This morning, I was curious to see how the dogs would react- apparently, some dogs have no idea what to do with a chunk of raw, bony meat. However, these two did not dissapoint- they ran in and started muching away like a couple of wolves! Turbo, who normally inhales kibble, crunched her way slowly through a chicken thigh and a wing while Indy attempted to take his single wing out of the laundry room (probably to the carpet). When I didn’t let him, he went back to the spot near his bowl, dropped it on the floor, and started to crunch away. They seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. Here’s Turbo polishing off her chicken wing:

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