Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Mary, Mary quite contrary

So I was under the weather on Friday and decided to take a half day to clear my head and sweat my cold. I ended up riding Government Canyon which is very rocky and technical, with some of the best climbing in San Antonio. Things started off well, and Tig one of the Houston Mojo's and I got started around 14:00. On our first climb, my hands were feeling rough, I could tell the difference between the aluminum and ti bars for sure.

Half way through the ride and still plenty of climbing to do, but Mary had a different agenda. I was struggling, my hands were killing me. By the time we reached the end of the ride, a nice rocky downhill with the best vista's of the canyon, my hands were toast. I could barely hold onto the bars. When we reached the truck, I had to show Tig my hands, cause I think he thought I was just a slacker... I have two huge blisters on each palm... Mary and I have since parted ways. I'm back to my EC90's, so much more comfortable.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

New set up

Looks like I'm slowing down on my update... such is life.

After a tough ride with my friend Alan at Comfort I decided to order some new gears. I had been running 32x17 which was cool on my 26" bike, but isn't cutting it on climbs on the 29er. So I got a 19t and a 21t cog from speedgoat . I have to say that ordering from them when I was back east was much quicker than my current digs west of the Mississippi. Oh well, they're worth the wait. I also decided to ditch the Jones H-bar after 4-5 rides, and am now set up with a pair of Mary's. I've been waiting on Ricky to hand over some precious advice about set up, but no response... Slacker must be riding his bike or something. Anywho, I let Los borrow the H-bars and he's pretty stoked, I think Jeff should be paying me a royalty to spread the love of his bars locally. Try them before buying them kind of deal, you listening you hairy freak?

That's all for now...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

1st impression of JJ H-bar

So, I rode the Jeff Jones H-bar on 4-5 rides. I wanted to love it, but it just didn't feel right. I put a longer stem on per everyone's recommendation (I normally run a 90mm Stem and put on a 110mm). First ride with the "los" at Madrone, I liked the sweep, but nothing else. 1/3 of the way through the ride, and my hands were numb. Second and third rides showed the same results, and on my final ride with Alan @ Flat Rock Ranch, I was through with them. Hands numb, and I felt that the extensions were useless. I also never rode in the position everyone said was their favorite at the junction of the extensions and the flap portion of the bar. I didn't play around with angle, or even try a different length. After much frustration and a considerable investment in a bar, I'm done.

I decided to put my 90mm stem back on and attached my EC90, rode it last night and felt very comfortable. No hand numbness, although I did miss the sweep of the Jones bar. My next move will be to slap on the Mary bars and see how I like them. I may just be a riser bar kind of guy.

Ricky, thoughts?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Hot & Hard....

Well, 3/14 is my official last day at work. That said Alan from Mojo called a ride for Friday 3/10 at Flat Rock or Comfort. Who am I to say no, and how could I resist. I had only ridden there once before, on the Gunnar, and had a pretty nasty wipe out, but really enjoyed the terrain. I met Alan at the underpass of 1604 & 10 and we carpooled out in his Saab-aru (might very well be my next vehicle).

I should have known it was going to be a bad day, we were having guests that day and I had to scramble to help "clean" the house before I left. Then I couldn't find my insurance card or ID. I decided to pick up some breakfast taco's since Alan was good enough to drive, I was in a hurry and ordered a dozen mixed variety, only to get a bag of six... damn drive through! We got to the parking lot and things were going well enough, I coughed up $12 for Alan and I, since again he was good enough to drive and lead the ride.

We started out the ride and things were fine. The niner was climbing well enough and Alan was on his super bling Ibis SS. I have been trying out the JJones H-bar, and can honestly say I'm not loving it (sorry Ricky). My hands have been going numb mid way through my rides, I'm still going to play with it a bit though. Maybe a different stem. About half way through the ride we got to the top of a ridge. I hadn't been feeling very strong and it was hotter than hell. I think I finished off my 22 oz. water bottle about 3/4 of the way through the ride and was dying. I was also in quite a bit of pain due to not having any insoles in my shoes (I take them out for the winter in order to fit thicker socks). At the end of the upper loop ~ 9 miles, I was done. The course is a figure 8 so I thought I'd tough it out, hook up with some more water and do the second part of the course as to not disappoint Alan. I killed a 16 oz water, then started drinking my 20 oz reserve. Man, this Texas sun & heat will be the death of me! Alan pulled out some grub and cold suds as I panted like a dog in summer. We chowed down, drank the fosty cold beverages and I was toast.

I think I need to get into the gym more often, hell at least 3 times a week, and I need to start running. I'm in really bad shape and need to build my base back up. I'm also going to have to get some new shoes, or at least some new insoles for the sidi's. I went to visit los on Saturday to hook up with an Ignitor and to let him borrow the Jones bar. For now I'm going back to the carbon risers to see if I'm more comfortable. I'll give them a week and then try out the Mary's. Should be a cool experiement. Oh, if you happen to read this and want to donate any old stems to me (face plat has to be removable) shoot me a note ;o)


Monday, March 06, 2006

Madrone ride with the "los"

1st ride
Saturday saw my first ride on the Niner Sir 9. I headed out with fellow 29er sslos. We met up at the Madrone Trail, and after looking over each others rides, we hit the trail. I was a little anxious riding with los, as he's a Colorado & Socal rider and not only rides 29er, but rides fixed! Yikes!!! He was of course very patient and even let me take a break to catch my breath and make some adjustments to the new ride. I had a great time, the 29er did really well and cleared sections that I can't get through on the Gunnar. I don't know how much was my mad skilz, the bigger wheels, or just dumb luck. I brought my camera, but didn't carry it with me, as I wasn't sure how many times I'd end up on my back and ultimately crushing the camera. As luck would have it, I had one unscheduled meeting with rock and dirt, which I was able to make look cool with my acrobatic dismount (think of Danny Nunan dismounting his 10 speed in Cadyshack, if I don't know what I'm talking about your loss!). The Madrone trail is technical, rocky, and only has minor climbs. I felt a little uncomfortable running the taller gear and think I'm going to have to get a 19t for the rear without a doubt. I'm going to hold off though and see if I'm going to be able to run a 32 or 34 up front. I can't remember what the spider is like on the TNT's that Lee is sending me (thanks again Lee). I'll have to post up the obligatory parking lot shots tomorrow as I didn't burn the pics on to a CD and loading them at home on a dial up sucks. Guess I'll have to expand my horizons and get broadband at home.


Thanks again to sslos for being patient with me and not getting pissed when I rode up on him (bad habit I've always had, just ask Gary ) Pic's to be posted tomorrow, and look out for sslos's wicked cool Wily.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Cats vs. Dogs

I stole this from over on the MOJO board, but since I don't have pics of the Niner or a ride report yet, this will have to do for now. Wow, it's been a week since my last post....

Cats vs. Dogs
As seen in a dog's diary:

7 am - Oh boy! A walk! My favorite!
8 am - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 am - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
Noon - Oh boy! The yard! My favorite!
2 pm - Oh boy! A car ride! My favorite!
3 pm - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
4 pm - Oh boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
6 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Mom! My favorite!
7 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Dad! My favorite!
8 pm - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 pm - Oh boy! Tummy rubs on the couch! My favorite!
11 pm - Oh boy! Sleeping in my people's bed! My favorite!

* * * *

As seen in a cat's diary:

Day 383 of my captivity... My captors continued to taunt me with
bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat,
while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going
is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from clawing the
furniture and urinating on the bath mat.

Tomorrow I may eat another house plant. Today my attempt to kill my
captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost
succeeded - must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to
disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself
to vomit on their favorite chair - must try this on their bed, or
swallow enough thread from my captors mending basket to produce a
trailing piece of fecal matter.

I decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body in an attempt
to make them aware of the horror that I am capable of, and to try to
strike fear in their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about
what a good little cat I was. Hmmm, not working according to plan...
Later, there was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was
placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the
noise and smell the food. More importantly, I overheard that my
confinement was due to my powers of inducing "allergies." Must learn
what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. My
proof is that the dog is routinely released and seems more than happy
to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird, on the other hand, has
got to be an informant, as he speaks
with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due
to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured.

But I can wait, it is only a matter of time...