Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mid week fixie fix....

So I snuck out early this morning since my neighbor (formerly from Falls Church weird) wanted to check out Madrone, and we'd never ridden before. I was a little nervous at first since he's a fitness freak, does triathlons, runs 5 & 10k's, so on and so forth and I... well, let's just say I'm not quite a fitness freak. We hit the trail around 8:00 and did a 2.5 hour tour of Madrone. He did really well considering he was riding flats with Keens. It's always rewarding when someone rides a trail for the first time, this was no exception. He was thoroughly impressed with my ability to tackle hills and obstacles on a fixie, and I heard loads of "woohoo's" from behind me as we hit some of the double & triple drops along the way.

As a sidebar, I did try to take my camera with me, but Kathy has hidden it during one of her "cleaning" sessions. I'll probably find it when we go to move.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Another Weekend, another fixie outing....

.... so another weekend ride on the fixie. Got up early and out the door before the mercury hit the triple digits. I was having a somewhat stoic ride, got to the boat ramp and decided to take a moment to breath in the morning air and enjoy the views before the hundreds of boaters decided to disturb my peace. While enjoying the view a couple of guys rode up on me, cool enough guys we chatted for a bit, so I decided to tag along on their ride. The leader (Cody) was setting a brisk pace, not too fast, not too slow. He was clearly in better condition than me, but I could tell he lacked confidence in the technical sections so it was a good match up. His bud (Eric) had his two border collies with him, so he stayed back a little. It was fun to ride with other people as I tend to ride slow and solo most of the time. After the ride we hung out for a bit, they caught on that I was on a single speed, then the question of how come I only had a front brake came up. I don't think they were too impressed with the Franken-fixie, but were amazed at it's weight compared to their squishy bikes. We exchanged numbers and said we'd ride together again, don't know if they will or not, but I certainly felt comfortable with them.

In other news, I've been on the fence as to which rim to get for the 29r. I had pretty much decided to go with a Stans hoop. I went to my local shop and the owner, a former 29er guy told me he was going back to little wheels for the race season. He happened to be re-using his DT rear hub which meant he no longer needed his DT hoop.... looks like I'm going with the DT hoop, nothing fancy, but the price is right. Now I just need to order some spokes & nipples and lace her up. Love when things come together without effort.

Oh, and Joel G. FYI it was 103 today with 80% humidity... your 90 with 90% humidity seems like a cool fall day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another fixie ride...

... so I took my SS King rear hub to the local King guru, said the grease was in a bad state (hub's only 6-7 months old). I left if with Car!os to do his magic. I'm still not 100% certain on what I want to do rim wise, so another weekend goes by with the choice of no ride or take out the Franken-fixie. Second time to Madrone, and my speed was up a bit.... but I did have to slow the pace down to "finish" the ride. I ended up not being able to clean 3 sections, the first one was stupid just a little hill, but I chose the wrong line and paid the price with a heavy pedal strike that nearly tossed me. two and three where techy tight sections that I've been know to flop on even with the spinny bike, so I didn't feel too bad. All in all it was fun, not nearly as hard as I had imagined, pedal strikes were reduced this go around, but when I did have one it was very jarring.

In other news, yet another Audi breakdown. This the car started idling rough and then the check engine light comes on. The dealer thought it might be a bad coil resulting in an ECU override shutting down the engine. While it's a warranty item, it doesn't inspire confidence. This is the 4th time I've had to had the thing in the shop. First issue was an electronic control unit in the transmission which caused the car to stay in 2nd gear, next was a bad power steering line, next a bad wheel bearing, now the bad coil. I used to b!tch about my Xterra, and wouldn't want it back for all the tea in China, but the worst thing that I ever had with that was bad rotor's and a bit of engine knock. So now the dilemma is do I just go ahead and live with it, or just accept that the car is a lemon (47k miles)and move on. I really like having a station wagon and have been looking around. I like the looks of the Subaru's and with so many friends with over 100k miles and seemingly little to no issues I may be trading in on a Subie.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

If it aint broke... fix it

So the rear WTB LaserDisc trail is done, mangled beyond reasonable repair. I'm in the process of deciding what rim I'm going to replace it with currently, but I'm left with a tough choice for the weekend. Don't ride, or take out the Frankenbike out for a spin. So far the On One fixie 96er has only had the duty of hauling the kid in her trailer back and forth 3 blocks to our pool, I haven't had the guts to try it off road. The Gunnar is in pieces mostly, so the choice is obvious, my first off road adventure on the Frankenbike it is.

Initial impressions were "Oh my fugg'n god, what was I thinking" as I did the first of many drops. After two or three it wasn't so bad. Amazingly I wasn't as out of control as I had expected. The one thing I did notice is that pedal strikes are your enemy, and momentum is your friend. The big 29x2.55 up front really soaked up the bumps, and the little 26x2.1 rear spun up real quick and climbed like there's no tomorrow. If I could change anything it would be to procure some 172.5 or even 170mm pedals, I figure with enough practice this will be a non issue soon enough. My beloved Madrone trail felt fresh as the first time we met, good lines were rewarded with ample flow and buttery smoothness, while brain farts and day dreams were quikly noticed through pedal strikes and bucking bronco like manuevers. I'm mentaly exhausted, I never paid so much attention to where I was going my whole life. While I didn't set any land speed records, I didn't go that much slower than on my spinny ride.

Hat's of to Steve, Ricki, & Joe W. for their fixie racing, don't know how you lads manage full on race pace while fixed.

In other news, been trying to get back in shape, the wife found a gently loved Precore treadmill on CL which only needed minor repair. I'm now running 15 miles a week, I'd like to step that up to 21 miles in the next couple of weeks. For now getting the fitness base up, running 3 days a week and biking at least 2 days should help to get me back in shape.

I'll post up pix of the Franken fixie in action some time soon.