Monday, December 27, 2010

Special thanks!

Thanks to the Fat Cyclist, his weight loss challenge motivated me this past month to cut out some of the crap and start putting some good stuff in me again. Total loss of 12 pounds since the start of his contest to this point.

No a month of eating better and drinking less soda isn't going to counter the years of beer drinking and pizza eating but its a start to a healthier life for myself and the little roommate who doesn't pay rent and always leaves her toys around.

Christmas time

Now that Christmas is over and I can get focused on something else I thought I should update this little guy.

The baby is getting huge fast, she's gone from backwards crawler to agile monkey seemingly overnight. I've found myself constantly on my toes as I try to keep up, this can't be a good sign for when she gets bigger. I can't believe how quick she can climb up some of her toys or the entertainment center.

The trainer sits nearly idle in the basement, I've practiced clipping in and out a bit but have no motivation to hop on the bike and spin for hours while staring at a wall. I've done some low speed non-intense stretching on it to loosen up some sore muscles but nothing major. Of course the upgrades haven't stopped even if my season is over, got a set of Crank Brothers cobalt bars and a new stem I have to install but after removing my old stem I realize now that I need another small headset spacer, might poach it from the project bike or order a new set.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Revenge of the _____

Did it all and then some with no mechanical break downs or other major issues. For the first time in two years I'm proud to say nothing exploded, spewed parts in the woods or forced me to walk miles to get back to the car, but... There were horses. I walked about a quarter mile behind a set of horses and their riders and made enough noise to let them know I was there.

Horses seem to do alot of damage to sandy hard packed soil. The bike tracks were packed down and clean looking while the hoof marks were a large disturbance on the side of the trail and in the hard pack.

Horses hate bikes, I didn't want to test this theory but I have a strong feeling a near silent bike is scary to anyone. I'm not a fan of scaring anything five times larger then me that wears a adult like a back pack. I didn't care for the fact that the riders didn't acknowlege the fact that there was a biker behind them deliberatly making noise and trying to get the attention of the riders. I just considered this a chance to get my heart rate down.

Crank brothers cobalt grips are a solid upgrade from the stock bike grips. My only complaint is they were nearly two months behind the release date I got from CB. Slim and easy to install and quite comfortable.

And a final note, nothing says "project bike" like getting the brakes setup and getting the project ready for a final tune up, like having the pedal fall off and take two turns worth of threads out of the crank arm. I should call this the never ending project bike.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The curse of the camp.

I was lucky enough to ride the Reforestation Camp twice this week. The first time I quietly bowed out after 40 minutes of slow going pain due to a tweaked lower back from last week. The second time (this morning) I rode it like I owned the place, knowing vacation was over in a few hours I picked a steady pace. As I mounted up I saw a group of two guys and another pack of three that followed me off the highway but hit the gas station before hitting the trailhead. This would be the last time I see another human for about a hour and a half.

The first thing I noticed was my chain was ghost shifting or slipping slightly once in a while, its done this before and usually I trim out the rear derailer at some point and the problem goes away. Today I rode along thinking nothing of this minor annoyance on climbs and flat sections. After 10 miles and alot of dodging of small stumps I hit my final climb, it wasn't final because I was home free, it was final because my chain sheared off and took out my rear derailer breaking it off halfway through the hanger. So as I sit out in the middle of the woods 3-4 miles from the parking lot I think back to the last time this happend. The last time I was out here and broke something was about a year ago when I drilled my non-drive side crank arm on a small stump (anyone who's rode out here knows 99% of the small stumps are painted orange.) I hit with enough force to loosen the bolt holding the arm on and had to use my keys to tighten it enough to get back out of the woods.

I think these trails are cursed...

I did enjoy my hike to the parking lot and did see one other person gave me a friendly "hello" as he finished his ride. As I walked out I ended up going the wrong way and found myself downhill of the parking lot on the far side of the Zoo in with the maintenance vehicles.

Special thanks to Stadium Bike for fixing me up right after they openned, and for selling me the great Pearl Izumi jersey off the discount rack.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No go for 9 mile the rack wouldnt fit

Monday, August 23, 2010

Training or the lack of.

I've been on one ride since the start of summer, we've also gotten 21" of rain in that time. This past week I've rocked some overnight shifts and gotten a solid ride in. Here's what I discovered on my ride at Baird Creek.

1. The Parks department doesn't care... Really they don't give a shit. They parked a earth moved across the Creek from the gravel abomination they're working on, and parked it on the back trail forcing you to ride around a heavy construction machine. They also think that putting a metal bridge up for said machine is OK for erosion. They forgot the silt fences, but they did put silt fences up in other areas 20 feet from the creek.

2. The Parks Department is a bunch of morons. A tree was down over the new crashed gravel trail, this forced people to make a new trail in the woods around it. If they're going to spend tax payer money to put tons of gravel in the woods they should at least clear the trail when its blocked.

3. If Velociraptors existed on Earth currently I'd have been killed. If anyone has seen the scene in Jurassic Park : The Lost World where the mercs are running through the tall grass and getting picked off by raptors, that's exactly how I felt.

4. 21 inches of rain means the creek is still swollen, and moving faster then I can cross, leaving me in the swamp to be eaten alive.

5. I saw two camp fires and one cast iron skillet. The camp fires looked old, but I'm not a homeless camp expert and they could have been from the prior night.

6. I'm out of shape but not nearly as bad as I thought.

Update on the 820, I've got the rear derailer nearly dialed in, its shifting ok but missing a few gear changes. The front derailer is a mess I'm going to have to read up on how to tune it, chances are I had it in the wrong position when I attached the cable. Still need new brakes but its V-Brake so I'm not too worried about cost.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Please don't kill me and the ride home.

Last night I rode the beast, the streak home from work. Roughly 5 miles down the busiest road in Green Bay where the speed limit is 35 and everyone goes 40-50. I took this ride at 12:30 after work and managed to ride in the road in my designated imaginary bike lane without getting killed. Of course there were a few chants of "please don't kill me" everytime I saw a car get behind me.

On the plus side, (almost wrote plus sized). I found a abandoned bike in the park. Before anyone questions the abandoned part I'll tell the story.

Near the Skate park lay a pretty lady she was silver and had some age to her. Sadly someone beat her and I planned to nurse her back to health. Someone broke her rear derailer off the hanger leaving only a screw and a nub. Some poor degenerate also trashed her wheels, trashed so much (or took home) that they didn't exist. Now this poor lady would have been ok until someone removed one of her front break pads. I suppose with no wheels why have brakes...

The best part is I found the seat and post impaled in the dirt 10 feet away.

So begins the birth of a project bike, I'm estimating a early 20xx Trek 820. Basically this is the bike I sold to fatty's brother.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Camelbak dryer

Stinky bladders, I'm sure theres a joke in that statement but I'll let you fill in the blanks.

Parts needed.

1/2" PVC pipe. 2 One foot sections and 1 18-24" section. Two 6" sections
Two 1/2" PVC Tee's
Two 1/2" 90 degree elbows.

As you can see by not putting glue on the pieces its adjustable and can collapse into a straight line. I made this guy up after having some water leftover and getting a skunky tasting water. Haven't had any trouble since its creation, just pull off the bite valve and slide the long piece into the fill hole and setup an angle, the 1/2 inch long leg keeps the bladder from closing down on itself and sealing the water between the sides of the bladder.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Slop and the 100% humidity

As mentioned in a prior post its rained in Green Bay once or twice this month. So after two days of no rain and 70-85 degree weather I went for a ride, heres a few things I found out on this ride.

1. Where the hell is the bridge? A short 3 footer is gone, not washed down stream but gone.

2. Where in the hell did that bridge come from? Theres a 8 footer in the middle of the creek just hanging out upside down, I can't even remember where a 8 footer crosses anything let alone wrap my head around how it showed up that far down stream.

3. Some rider did tried a new variation of cyclocross, called clipless sledding. I have a feeling it won't catch on, I can't be the only crazy one that doesn't want to slide down a washed out trail or mud and clay 40 feet through brush into the creek.

4. Something needs to be done with the easily washed out areas, I couldn't bring myself to attempt suicide today on the trails but it looks like some people have. I'm not a environmental kook in any way shape or form but theres some things that need a reroute soon to prevent a horrible accident. The accident being someone from the Parks and Recs department planning some hardcore pavement.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Ok its rained daily or close to it for two weeks straight now, and I can't bring myself to hit the trails. Not because I'm afraid of some mud its that I'm afraid I'll ruin some of the washed out areas. Now this isn't a environmental tragedy like the gulf oil spill its still serious enough to make me consider heading out with some lumber to fix some areas. I am in no way trained to do any of this but over the years I've seen areas that were a challenge to ride become unstable and dangerous.

Oh yeah, the city has planned out a paved path through the woods over a former double track section of the Baird Creek Parkway trails. What better way to have people enjoy the outdoors then paving over it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Yesterday was crazy. I always knew there were more trails out there and luckily a kind stranger named Tim showed me a few that blew my mind. I've seen some crazy stuff in magazines but didn't realize there was a little slice of that in my back yard.

I'm glad that I was shown this because I wouldn't have seen it on my own... or rode it alone... or had someone to call 911 when I cracked my helmet if I fell...