Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nothing new, nothing different.

Checking in to let everyone know, much to their dismay, The Pony Express is still alive and kicking. I have been off the off road and on the on road so much lately that I have few tales to tell. Unless you want me to blog about roadkill or jackasses in diesel duallies. Didn't think so. Furthermore, nothing else is really going on. People are starting to pick up on how stupid awesome bike parts are getting.

Until next time, check out some other blogs, talk about how gnarly your last lap times were, and stay cool . . .

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

1/2'' Pitch for a Simple Switch

So I have a Surly CrossCheck that is pretty cool. I don't ride it a ton but with the cooler months rolling in I honestly see myself crusing some friendly winter rides on the plush feel of steel. I also plan to use it as my commuter to and from school on a daily basis because I like the mechanical advantage of a bicycle. I have ermm uh HAD a problem of trying to ride it as a SS monster-cross or big, ugly cross bike for mountain bike trails AND as a cushy tired road fixed gear. The solution is to run a different size track cog and freewheel. The difference in the gear didn't give me as much change as I wanted. I want to roll with either a tame mountain bike ride OR a tame road bike group ride.The track cog is a 17t and the freewheel is a 21t. The chain needs to be two different lengths because I don't have enough dropout to accomodate a 4t difference. The fix is so simple and only includes one chain. I was wracking my brain as I drove down I-40 on my way to work one morning and it hit me. Everyone with a computer should be familiar with the DingleCog and how cool of an idea it is. Well what about the DingleRingle? (trademark is NOT pending) While I understand that Surly promotes this already I had never thought of applying the idea to the two sides of my flip flop wheel and have a super easy 39x21 for monster-cross-coast-ability and a 44x17 fixed gear for street-shred-brah-ability. I already had a pretty bland 44t chainwheel that was compatible with my Dura-Ace 9speed stuff. I had the double chainring bolts. It was time to get tricky. Fast-forward 24 hours until I had worked, slept, gathered my bits from my apartment, and returned to the shop. I slapped it all together and it works. So what does 1/2'' pitch have to do with anything? Well each chain pin is exactly 1/2'' apart, as is a tooth on a cog. So when you take 4t out of a ring, you should be able to add those 4t up front and make your chain in the NEIGHBORHOOD of the same position. Mine has a slight difference because I change the rear by 4t but the front by 5t. Now I have that super easy gear that allows me to climb all the hills at Shelby Forest and I have that hammr fixie set up for hitting 28mph when the group ride points downhill and all the guys dive bomb for free speed.

Top View of the Dingle-Ringle

Side view of my bland (ugly) 44t ring

BB Shot, complete with Turbo in the background.

17t BRAH

21t freewheel, compliments of Brickhouse

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Brickhouse vs Beanpole.

The next race will be epic.
Like fire vs ice.
Like hot oil vs water.
Like honey badger vs snake
Like pony vs grass.
Like Andrea vs Matt.
Wait, bad metaphor, that is what it will be. Damnit. Maybe I need to start drinking again.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Simple Rant . . .

You are out using a public park.
You are enjoying a beautiful morning.
Your weekend is starting off in the right direction.
The weather is awesome.

Why are you in such a pissy mood and act like I am spray AIDS out of my chamois as I ride by waving?

Enjoy your weekend and start waving back you hags. I can ride gravel one handed and wave while riding 700x23 tires with 105psi. I hope you are coordinated enough to wave as you run by with a water bottle in one hand and nothing but HATE in the other hand.

On Jersey Shore they "GTL" for gym, tan, laundry.

In Memphis I "BSO" for bike, shower, omelette.

I'm out. Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Reason to Buy Local

The idea of scouring the net for the greatest deal makes some giddy.
Buy it on e-bay and save a few dollars, get a "great deal" on something "gently ridden" that's fine with me. I have seen plenty of horror stories of what could happen when you do that, and I also understand it is a great place to blow out some personal inventory and to get a great deal on some actually cool and legitimate find.

When you buy local you do things for me and you.
I will start with you.
You pay taxes, which in Tennessee is a pesky 9.25% of all sales.
Taxes pay for the roads you drive on to go to the park that houses the trail you ride. They pay for your child's tuition. Pretty cool huh? I think so, seeing as how I would like to be a teacher.

What is cool for me?
I get to see your pretty smiling face when you come in the shop.
I get to show you some cool parts, maybe even show you a lighter, more adjustable part that is better than that integrated road bar/stem set-up you were considering until I said that an FSA bar with a mid-level FSA stem is about the same weight. . . (the integrated set up is stiffer, but definitely not the best set-up for a 50 year old club rider who will only become less flexible in the coming years).
I have small parts, loads of them, and I can hook you up with a that lil bolt that goes in the back of this thing to hold my little wheel the chain goes through on the back back here. Which is fun, because you can't order the bolt for the thing-a-ma-jiggy, because you want to ride today. . .
That's what I am there for.
Your purchases are literally what I rely upon for survival. The local cyclists pay my bills. You allow me to go to college, go race, have fun.

How is good for both of us?
 Your investment in the shop invests into the future of your community as you help a young man becomes "the leader of tomorrow" by allowing him to go to college. You pay local taxes which allow all of us to have a good road to ride and parks to play in.

When was the last time you saw a guy from Price-Point picking up trash out of the parking lot at the trailhead? Do the guys at Colorado Cyclist lead group road rides?
I still <3 you all. I really do. I hope to see you in the shop soon, solving all minor catastrophes and making peoples day.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ride, rest, and then be restless.

This morning the nosey and awake dogs went to town on bothering me until I got out of bed and allowed them use of the yard and filled their food bowls. I then poke around doing nothing until the last minute when I eat breakfast and rush out the door to ride to the Outdoors Union store to do a group ride. When I get there it was totally awesome (not) that there were only a few people going on that ride. I missed the e-mail that some guys got about a ride leaving from our shop around the same time going to the same place that helped split the riders. That and a MnB team ride and some guys rode early. I tried to do my part and ride hard enough to make it worth my time to go out on the bike today. Effectively the hammer & the nail. I wasn't wearing any Swiftwick socks at the time, these kittens are real cute. Hopefully Dr. Big n Hairy still has some of those cute kitties for you to pick up for free and save from the pound.

I am having second thoughts about everything, as usual. I am going faster on my cross bike but not sure that I need a road bike because I don't want to spend the money or open another credit card or something drastic in my haste to get on a new bike. I have been in drag for the sake of raising money before, but it was a school fundraiser and no one got super freshy-squeezey sleezy for money. Just the softball team and 1/2 the school giggling at my ability to strut in heels. Pardon my digress. I want to keep my single speed so I can ride it and race it but I would love to dump that money into another project. And if I ever really have to race SS I can do it with my geared bike and all the spare parts that are piled inside my apartment. I have a few low budget projects I want to try to see if I can lighten my bike without spending a ton of money. I figured I would take all my parts on a diet the ho-jangle way and see if my bike will still survive high speed descents. Either that or continue to use minimal tires and gear for the conditions and just HTFU and try to go fast. I have a way of justifying myself riding a heavy bike. It goes as follows:

Rider weight + bike weight + all gear = total weight.
145+26+10(for the sake of simplicity - I don't know the weight of all my junk I carry.) = 181 total pounds.

So why do 200+ pound guys get all huffy puffy about having a 19 pound bike? Well I understand so their power to weight doesn't make people giggle, but I think I have made my point. Racing my heavy bike I still carry less weight up the hills.

Who knew napping with this little pup would cause me to awake from my slumber thinking a stick of burning firewood stuck to my torso? I didn't. Indy did though. How can something be so cute yet so sneaky?

Enough rambling. I'm going to do something else.

Bike lust, bike envy.

So I picked up a customer's bike Friday and was completely pissed at it's weight. Regardless of the fact that this bike would nearly fit in my front pocket of my tight skater-boy jeans aka  it was a hardtail 26'' in size "itty bitty". It prompted me to get some lightness incorporated into my bike for the 2011 season, as I don't really have anything else planned for the 2010 season but I am still trying to buy a road bike before next spring also. My weight saving plan is a new X.9 shifting group from SRAM with shifters and mechs and crank. I will probably set it up with Avid BB7 brakes because I love simple mechanical disc brakes. Before the hating starts, I just want to remind you that braking is wusses and you should always "pin it to win it" at all times because if you pedaled uphill for the fun of coming down, why let a little friction between some pads and a rotor spoil that fun. Or in as we saw in the case of Cap'n Endo-lots momentum is usually your friend. Back to my parts pick I have decided to join the masses and get some Stan's rims, if they are ever in stock with our distributor. I will probably lace those to the new x9 hubs as they are lighter than XT hubs. SRAM is also cheaper than Shimano. Cheaper, lighter - DUHer.  As of late nothing is new I have just been trying to get out and ride a little to stay in shape. Without a race on the calendar in the near future it is weird feeling to be riding hard. Obviously there are races that I could put on my calendar but I am not really in the mood to run all around riding my bike in the last few weeks before school starts back up for my final semester.

For any tri geeks or regular ole' weekend warriors keep an eye on your email inbox this month because I know we are going to be sending some cool stuff. If you have never been in the shop, quick making excuses and pop in on your way to Harvester Park or come get a Saturday morning road ride.