Friday, September 24, 2010

New products, my opinion.

So I recently have gotten some new products. I have been promising the entire interwebz my view of some things and now I will give them forth.

Defeet UnD-lite base layer.
First up is the Defeet Un D lite base layer that is probably the best product for a guy my size. I have worn it on a few rides where I make it out before 7am during our cold spell and its perfect. For those days you don't need arm warmers but you wish you could zip your jersey up even more for the first 15 minutes of a ride. The suggested temperature range is pretty hot, like 70-82 or something in the neighborhood. It is paper thin and awesome. I would compare the material to feel pretty similar to the mesh material in a set of high-end bib shorts. As soon as I get warmed up and sweating, unzipping the jersey gives about the same airflow, again it isn't something I hate for being "too hot".

Also 100% Marley dog approved.
Also new product and a new experience for me was receiving a package without knowing/paying for the contents. The e-mail I got from the guy said something like "I'll drop some in the mail for you, oh yeah, this means your sponsored by Handlebar Mustache bitch!"
A strange package appears. . .

Self Explanatory.

I don't remember his wheels square, stupid CO mechanics.

Too lazy to rotate.

So the shirts are pretty cool, they are super soft and extra cuddly. I think I may get one of their jerseys as well for some mountain bike racing in the upcoming season. If no one is going to pay me mad stacks of cash til I got plenty money. Until then I'll be eating the occasional Top-Ramen and what not.

Also I got some Descente bib shorts in the last few weeks and they have made me a definite happy. They fit nice and make my legs look all Quadzilla and what not. They help those long days in the saddle that make me become super zombie. The only things that make me happy and rested are my Zoot Compression Socks then I'm ready for snooze action. Like this.

12 day Goat-T, farmers tan, Marley. Fuck Yes's.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just the tip.

I got some cool products in the last few weeks I plan to review, always tomorrow though.Well tonight may be the night so look forward to something cool coming soon. Until then, this is my dog, he is awesome. Way cooler than your dog.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The voice with 100 watts.

Sorry I have been all weaksauce on updating lately. I have been pretty busy in general between getting Iced, riding my bike like this guy is chasing me, working on bikes, and doing school work. Sorry Charlie, life comes before the interwebz.

 Speaking of riding my bike alot, I rode the Trinity ride yesterday morning and didn't quite make it to the end, but sometimes that isn't too terrible. I chased the group for 2.5 miles willing myself to regain contact but I couldn't. I finally lost sight of the pack and just settled in to spin back to Ryan's house. I showered up, hit a mexican place, and went to work. I had to eat again during work and it was orgasmic. I had a milkshake large enough that my dog could have climbed inside the cup when I was done. Last night I got home and stretched out in the floor and ZONK 30 minutes disappeared. It was awesome.

Kris (my super awesome girlfriend, duh) came home from work and we watched Bubble Boy and ate some dinner. I loved that movie. It was just stupid funny the whole time. Back to getting dropped.

This morning I awoke after sleeping the sleep of the wicked and felt like a million bucks, or atleast one good Outdoors Super Spirited Sunday Spin-around. That's right, I just renamed the ride. Well I didn't have my shit together so I left the house a little late and ended up having to run WFO all the way from the front door to the ride to make it on time. I did catch Frank Reanuaoiuiolt (sp?) of Renn Multisport on Union and cruise in with him. I showed up and realized today was going to be a legit ride. I was a lil sore/ready to rumble all at once from Trinity, but some of the people there were fast, or on their tt bikes, or I was just in general setting myself up some excuses.

Things were good rolling out and I got some bickering about how pulling leading out down to the Mud Island was going to get me dropzillaed in 20 miles. I informed the gentleman I had done this ride more than once but he needed to hop front and pull if he was worried about me. Things were a tad faster than usual rolling out. The guy who bickered at me apologized rolling into the Forest, telling me he wasn't trying to put me down (read as I rode legit so far). Once in the Forest we were pitching up the 5th lil bump or so and David C. Jones is on my wheel. As I lost contact with the guy in front of me and a gap opened to 1.5 bike lengths he came around me and barked "come on". I swear his voice shot 100 watts into my legs because I found some juice to jump on his wheel and stay attached to the pack. Leaving the General Store I made a stupid attack on Watson and my legs flipped me of. I was dropped and it was still a good ways back. I chased from the sprint point on Watson all the way through the neighborhoods. I kept my head down and tried to pace the flats and attack each bump then sit and recover and pace to attack the next bump. I attacked every corner until finally I could see the group getting closer so I put my head down and didn't look up til I saw bikes again. I hung on through the rest of the fast stuff and felt good.

Pretty much the whole post is a narcissistic recap of my two weekend road rides where I didn't get my ass handed to me in a fruit jar.

Oh and people, quit freaking out because I can ride my cross bike on the road. Yes it is heavy, just like your love handles.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Big, Long, & Uncut.

So after I had my flat-imus maximus encounter the other day I began to have seller's remorse on getting rid of my single speed 29er. I began to think I hadn't given it full consideration and was pretty much just being a Jimmy addict and thought I should give it a go.

A friend of mine once told me he could take his bike from geared 1x9 to SS in 30 minutes. I'm not calling bullshine on him, I was just always curious how long it would take me to do a similar project. I headed to the bike room to start my project and had to make an abrupt u-turn to get my beer. I began by removing my big ring and setting up my middle ring with SS appropriate bolts. I then fiddled with the front derailleur to see what kind of shifting performance I would have running a 2x9 set up on my bike.

Then I began really tearing stuff off and placing it neatly in a gallon bag. I was really cussing my decision of not doing this at work as my bike room in the apartment is less than awesome for bike repairs. The tools and work bench end up separated by the bike you are working on. I got my stuff all figured out and then I fiddled and bickered with myself on tire choice. I have been running a Karma 1.9 on the rear and it does really well, I have been wanting to try a WTB Vulpine 2.1 so it won the bet and on the bike it goes. I then get everything but chain tension dialed because I don't have an 18mm cone wrench at home for tensioning the Singulator. This all took me about 45 minutes, and I fiddled with the front derailleur and changed a flat. He is spot on and I think I could do it that quick, the second time.

The next day I went to Brickhouse's humble abode and put some tension on the chain and she let me borrow some Ergon Corks to try out. I had ridden a pair of Ergon's in the past and gave them a big thumbs down, but wanted to try them out again because my style of riding has changed. (I ride more than 45 minutes at a spell these days.) The grips slid onto my favorite handlebar like they were a match made in heaven.

So far everything has been good. I raced the Niner bar at ORAMM and have been a huge fan since the first second I put it on my bike. I like how it is big and long, I ride it an uncut 710mm wide. The flatness is cool because I love me some drop. I have been riding the bike rigid for atleast the last month and I like that too. The grips are feeling pretty good and the wings do have a cushioning effect that is pretty cool. Also, I did one good ride on it so far as SS and the whole setup seemed pretty spot on. SS isn't as bad as I thought, I just don't think I need a dedicated bike for it. Now a bike with some options, I could handle that.
Pardon the scratches, I found this bar at work.

rigid fork too.

Ergon grips. Corky fresh.
full excuse bike, reflector not included.
Doh! Goat Gear is still attached!

how to flat 3 times in 10 minutes.

The first thing you have to do is ride solo, take all the stuff you would need to fix a flat. Pump, CO2 cartridges, inflator head, patch kit. The next step is to go ride, in my case I rode the Rails to Trails Greenline from UofM area to Shelby Farms and then rode some WRT and headed home. Then you must run over one very Large, Angry, Rusty, Metal thing hiding in the gravel on the rail trail.
Marley and LARM, Mar totally unimpressed with it. If he only knew its danger.

They had been doing some grating and packing and apparently this LARM was waiting for his prey. Like a fish who sits with his mouth open until a smaller fish floats in, that was the tactic of this LARM.
I was cruising and jamming and had been passing people like they were sitting still. (Technically, this family was sitting still when I passed them.) Anyways, I was enjoying myself and this nice day and waving to all the people I saw when things got ugly. I got within striking distance of the LARM (i.e. I ran over it) and my whole ride hops in a handbasket labeled "Express delivery to Hell". I hear this awful clink-clank noise and lock my rear brake. Immediately things don't feel right and I know something is bad wrong. I hop off the bike and look to see this thing hanging out of my tire. "whew, no biggie I got my flat stuff". I had feared rear derailleur snap-tastic or something much worse. I get to work and I put my spare tube (more on tube later) in the tire. Quick decision that since the weather is nice and I can hear someone's radio from backyard party I will save my CO2 and just pump it up with my Crank Brothers mini pump with two stage air setting. It is super nifty. This tube has been with me a good while. Since Syllamo's Revenge . . . 2009.  Man this is taking forever. Shit, I'm sweating into my eyeballs and my arm had swollen to nearly the size of a mop handle from all the pumping. Genuine Innovations to the rescue! I hit it with a quick shot of gas from this awesome cartridge and then realize my new tube, my trusty tube, my spare from Syllamo's Revenge 2009 & 2010, and ORAMM 2010 is leaking. So I pull it out, patch it up, reinstall it and start pumping away again. I only had one cartridge with me. I get my tire about half aired up when the family I passed earlier comes past and the dad is mouthing off "This isn't ready for street bikes bud" I reply, while holding up the LARM "Nothing is ready for this" and then continuing pumping. I pulled my pump off and PHHHHHHEEEEEEEWWWWP out comes the air through the now broken off valve stem. I picked my phone up, called my buddy, and called it a day.

As I have said before and still continue to believe, any day on the bike is better than a day at the office. It was better than no ride, better than working, and better than being dumb and lazy and screaming into my videogame headset to some guy I don't know about some game that doesn't matter.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lengthy Recap From the Week

The last 8 days have been a pretty wild and constant adventure. I'm going to break it down into manageable sections and just fill in the pictures at the bottom.

-Brickhouse and I decided that we needed to take matters into our own hands and build a pump track. She used her wits to gain access to some private land where we can dig our very own pump track. Things have been started over there and seem to be going in the right direction. We need some rain to make the soil less resistant to our shovel blades and more agreeable to packing in and holding its shape.

-Work has yet to slow down, it seems that things are running stronger than "the bus" these days. I have been working some funky hours around my school schedule (more on that in 5, back to you, work craziness) and generally just not stopping long enough to sit down. All of these things are good because I always am a firm believer of the idea of busy = job security. Hopefully Rod won't fire my ugly ass anytime soon. Rod wouldn't fire, but Jay would. Jay is evil. I'm kidding Jay is very nice and agreeable.

-My cluster fuck of a school schedule has me on campus from 11:00ish to 2:30ish most of the week. This has been a real fun time. I'll roughly quote my father here "Boy, you'd rather wipe a lion's ass with a handful of metal shavings in a telephone booth than" have a class schedule like that. He would give us that line with slight changes whenever we raised an idea he was opposed to because he had no serious reason to object but wanted to raise a little hell anyways. It usually worked. I mean think about it. This would be some serious shit. That may be part of the reason that I have such a vivid and graphic imagination.

-On a brighter note I was able to squeeze in some pre class riding on Monday and Wednesday. Monday's ride was pretty much a fail however as I grazed a tiny bit of skin off my finger on the Wolf River bridge of the CSX Greenway. I was snaking between a truck and the guard rail on my way towards Shelby Farms and hit my pinky on the guard rail. It bled, no biggie. By the time I was heading home it had tried to scab up, effectively blood gluing my finger to my grip. I was doing a pretty maxed out effort and when I hopped out of the saddle to really make my legs feel the pain train that was rolling down the rail bed my finger pops open again. This time my heart rate is around 179 and I can feel the blood dripping off my finger tip in the wind. White and Red make Pinky!!!1!! Image below.

Wednesday's ride was much better. I rode with the local Orbea rep who "hadn't been on a mountain bike in a few years" - direct quote and was wanting to try out his new bike. It was an easy hour of me playing tour guide at the WRT and trying to be polite. Since Travis is a Cat 2 who podiumed at the Memphis race I told him I would play nice in the dirt if he wouldn't break me on the road. He agreed, yet I'm not 100% sure he won't have me cutting deals with the devil as I watch his custom Sugoi kit disappear up the road.

-Pinky of Doom returned on Thursday to make itself known. All week I thought I had been doing a swell job of keeping it clean and wrapped up. I was at work changing a flat tire and all-in-the-sudden I bumped my pinky on a spoke when using the tire lever to pull the tire away from the rim. I thought I may shit myself it hurt so much. I was truly flabbergasted that such a small appendage could house so much pain. I get home and unwrap only to find something similar to this finger. Ok it wasn't that bad but some of the colors matched and I was afraid it would look like that so I made a deal with my girlfriend to get it looked at in the morning at the campus clinic.

-Campus Clinic from the Heavens. No appointment boom bam thank you ma'am. I wasn't in that quaint building on campus 30 minutes and received a tetanus booster shot, finger evaluation, finger cleaning, bandaging, general scolding for not keeping my shots up to date, and a prescription for an antibiotic to help ensure I keep an even number of digits. All I had to pay was 5 dollars for my antibiotic. It was seriously some fast service.

-Friday after work I went to No Regrets Tattoo Emporium to watch my girlfriend endure hours 3 and 4 of her 4 hour tattoo adventure. I was bored out of my mind some of the time, some times appalled at the amount of metal people hang in their pieces parts downstairs (I was looking through their book of work) and just having a grand time chatting with the shop employees. Kris's friend Alana was their hanging out and we were shooting the shit and generally being a nuisance. I decided that I wanted some big bling in my life and had Mark stretch my ears up to a 4g (nearly 5mm wrench compatible ear lobe) and put in some nice shiny plastic diamonds. I played bitch. It hurt, real bad. I am going to follow Mark's (the bringer of the pain/metal insertio guru) advice and wait until after Thanksgiving before I step it up to 2s, but it is coming eventually. Kris's tattoo was finally finished and it looks really cool (and sexy) so needless to say I can't wait til that is all healed and ready to be shown off. After that we went to our favorite spot R.P. Tracks and had a bite to eat.

-Rabble Frabble I'm sure some other stuff happened that I forgot about but it happens.

-I was going to do the 7am Outdoors ride but the temperature to body fat ratio was all out of wack, so I decided to wait until the 9am group. How cold does it have to get before armwarmers are acceptable. Hmm, to be comfy or to be Fred, that is the question. I ended up falling alseep and not waking up in time to make the 9am start so I did some stuff around the house, played lazy, and rode a pretty steady effort on my mountain bike on the unfinished Rails to Fails. More on that ride tomorrow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hold your ponies

For the 3 people who come here, don't think I have "shit the bed" on my whole blog thing. I just started back to school for the semester on Monday and have had my throttle set to "pinned" all week. I have an awesome (sarcastic and not sarcastic) school schedule, a not so awesome work schedule, and a real nagging pain in my ass called homework. Yes it is the first week of school, yes I have homework. Welcome to senior year with all upper division courses. Have fun racing this weekend everyone, where ever it may be, I will be reading, catching up on homework, and generally laying low for the next few weeks as I try to settle my scrawny ass into a routine and get rolling on this whole school thing.

ps, cross season is near and the pony express is coming to a race near you.