30 December 2009

To the Beat of His Own Drum

This week has been slow on the bike. Only about 2 hours! The weather guester is calling for a winter mix tonight then turning to rain. You got to love it. Guest I will hit the gym at work on Thursday.

This might not be news for some but if you have not surf over to the Rivendell website you might not have seen the 2010 Rivendell catalog.In the day of carbon fiber bikes and FS bikes and other bike bling it is cool to see these lugged steel bikes. It is also cool to see that for all these years Grant Peterson marches to the beat of his own drum.

Since I am sharing what Grant Peterson is doing today I will show you what I am doing with his bikes from the past. I have started to do some clean-up work on my Bridgestone MB-1.
I know not much, but this is a picture of all the bottom bracket parts. This is the first time I have ever worked to this type of BB. I think it cleaned up rather nice and I only had to replace 9 of the ball bearings. So the BB has been clean and checked and will be used in the rebuild.

I also made the call that I will not be using the Shimano 600 Headset. The 600 series heatset takes an .obscure headset tool that the oldest bike shop in town does not have and they have been around since 1917. So the replacement is a new 1" Ritchey heatset that I got off a guy from the local forum for $15. Tonight I started cleaning up the crankset and that should take a couple more nights. Looks like the middle ring will have to be replaced. It is a 38T ring I just need to figure out how many mm's it is. Should run about $22-$27 to replace.

I should be posting pictures in the next few days. I also so found today a Raleigh, I think it was a Sport women's bike for $15. It is not in the best of shape but could be made into a good bike. I am kicking around the idea.

26 December 2009

Christmas is Over, Now Back to Cycling!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas this year. We did at the Bikewright household. I recieved some Endura cycling apparel for cold weather riding, so I am going out in the morning to see how the stuff works.

Now since Christmas is over we can start to focus back on cycling in 2010. I was checking out some of the pro cycling websites today and wanted to pass on what I found.

Jelly Belly Pro Cycling Team is donating to Kimberlee Bikes See their news release Here

Next up is Team Garmin-Transitions gives us the Christmas gift of the release of their 2010 Team Roster. Click Here to see the news release.

I think this is the third name of the team? But glad to see this American Team has 10 out of 27 American riders. After Lance's retirement, Garmin-Transitions & Team Columbia-HTC where the teams & riders that I was rooting for. Glad to see American owned teams doing well in such a short time.

I have not been following Lance's new team Radioshack, but I am sure they will do well in the next few years. He is going to put strong riders on the team. Since Lance's retirement comeback cycling in the U.S. has become more mainsteam.

That's all I have to report. Now go ride!

21 December 2009

A Day Out , The aftermath of the Night Snowshoeing

Looks like my days with the snowshoes are over until I can get them replaced I hope under warranty. My friend "G" AKA Richard gave me a call to see if I was going hiking or snowshoeing. I told him what had happen with the snowshoe last night and that I would be up for a hike.

I told him that we would hike down the fire roads to Camp 7. Camp 7 was the Civilian Conservation Corps camp for African-American men. All that remains of the camp is a brick wall at the western edge of the pond. From the house it's and out-and-back 4.8 miles. Just enough to get the heart pumping.

The fire roads that we where going to take link-up and make the Bright Hope Trail. I am sure there is a story about the name of the trail but I don't know that one.

G takes a photo break with Fidget. The dog loves the snow and it has been a long time since I have taken him on a long hike. The only thing about the snow is he does not know where to take a bathroom break. It's something about the snow!

The turn around point

On the other in of the pond is where the remains of the brick wall is located. A local Boy Scout Troop was working on making this a primitive camp for non-profit groups. I think that work has fell to the wayside.

This was a good two hour hike and we had a great time. Richard and I started working on the trails back in 1996 and this is apart of the park that he has never see. Glad I could show it to him.

19 December 2009

A Nightout

Got up today to a nice 8" or so of snow. It has been years since we have had this much snow before Christmas. Took my little one out twice to play in it. We both had a great time.

There was a post on the local fourm about a snow ride but I went for the snow shoes. Since the park was still closed for hunting I told my wife that I would go for a night hike and that should not be an issue.

I have had a pair of snow shoes for several years but only get to bring them out only once or twice a year. When I went to put them on tonight something was not looking right with the left shoe. Part of the rubber that goes around my boot had broke. I did not let that stop me.

About 40 minutes into this hike I had a problem. The rubber broke in two places.

I had to take the left shoe off and walk back with only the right snowshoe. This was like having one leg shorter than the other.Still after having an equipment issue this was still a great hike with a light snow.

12 December 2009

Great stuff


I don't care what you ride, what type of riding you do or what you are getting for Christmas. The bikes in the video are just fantastic! I am also down about the
NANBS right here in town. Just great I get to be in some 3rd world $hithole during that time.

Enjoy the video and if you go to NANBS please take pictures for me!

10 December 2009

Building the Kit - Tool Kit #2

This is the second tool kit that I put together and would either be used with Tool Kit #1 or the Cool Tool from Kit #1 would be added to kit #2. This kit is set-up for a long day in the saddle or an Epic adventure.

On the inside of the bag I have two plastic bags. You can purchase these 4X4 plastic bags from a art & craft store. The bag on the left has a red shop rag and a 3ml dropper bottle of chain oil. I found the bottles here

The bag on the right has the following:
1 Patch Kit with 6 round patches, 4 small patches, 3 large patches & 2 tubes of glue
2 1 set of brake pads
3 1 Power link
4 1 chain pin
5 4 spoke nipples
6 1 set of cleat bolts
7 1 GB-2 Super Patch Kit
8 4 cable ends (2)brake (2) shift
9 2 tubes
10 1 valve stem adapter
11 1 TB-2 Tire Boot
12 1 Tire Lever

What could be added? Spare derailleur hanger, poly grease for your fork and a toothbrush w/cut handle

08 December 2009

Building the Kit - Tool Kit #1

Not to long after my S24O backpacking trip I found an article on the equipment Eric of Epic Designs uses on his bikepacking trips. I found this to be one of the best equipment list that I have found on this subject. I think what made it good was how things where grouped together and package.

I had most of the same equipment and for the most part all the stuff can be used for bikepacking and backpacking.So just like my Made In America Series I will have Building the Kit Series. First up to bat will be Tool Kit #1. This is the tool kit that I take on every ride. It works for both road and mountain biking. It will fit in a saddle bag but I like putting it in my jersey pocket.

Disclaimer: That carpet is in my office. It looks better in real time than in the picture!

The Ultimate Direction bag holds all the items other than the co2 inflator.

Inside the bag we have the following:
1. Cool Tool multi-tool
2. Park Tool Tire Lever
3. Spare CO2 Cartridge
4. Tire patch box with the following: (2)Park Tool super patch, (1)Valve stem adapter,(1)Chain pin,(2) Sram quick link (1)Spare Chain link

The only thing I would think about changing is the Cool Tool. They make lighter and better multi-tools. The patch box takes up some room but keeps all the small parts in one place.

Getting it in before the rain

I got a new camera for my birthday and wanted to shoot a little video of my route that I take at work to reduce a little stress and get some training in. This is part of a 20 mile out and back route that I take.

The old brick farm house is just about a mile outside of Blackstone and is own by a Doctor.

Today the weather was against me. About 39 degrees with a light rain. I was nice an cold by the time I got back to my office!

12 November 2009

Test Kitchen

I was surfing the web the other day and came across this video from the National Outdoor Leadership School (Nols.

Baking Muffins - Ultralight Steam-Baked Style from NOLS on Vimeo.

Here my test run

I added Java Juice extract See Here and some chocolate chips.

10 November 2009

Made In America, Part 5 ALOKSAK

LOKSAK, Inc. of Park City, Utah is the inventor and manufacturer of the aLOKSAK® and OPSAK storage bags and SPLASHSAK carrying cases.

I have been using aLOKSAK® resealable element-proof storage bags for about the last two years. I would have to say that if you need a resealable plastic bag to make sure your most important gear stays dry, then your search is over.

The bags come in sizes ranging from 5X4 to 32X16 and will protect everything from TP to a rifle.Some of the most common uses for the bags are protecting toilet paper, maps, notebooks, first aid items, and the most important item my wallet.

So how much do they cost? A 5X4 3pk starts at $6.39 and the 32X16 2pk runs $15.99. But since keeping your gear dry is priceless I say it's a small price to pay!

Check them out here

31 October 2009

Who needs T.V. ?

I am off on Friday's and I stay at home with my 5 year old. Daddy and me day!This past Friday we are eating lunch at the kitchen table and out from the side of the window comes our lunch time entertainment.

That's right seven white tail deer in the back yard! Glad to see that they are enjoying the new grass that I planted 14 days ago. At $80 a bag that's some good eating!

They are beautiful but they can cause a lot of damage to your landscape. But I guest I have impacted their world by building a house here. So I guest we will just have to learn to live with each other. Who needs T.V. when you have this in your backyard!

After lunch we where heading out of the house so mom could get some work done. So I took the little one out for some geocaching. This was her first time and it turned out to be fun for the both of us. We found two out of three caches and found an illegal tree stand in the park. That is the second one that I have found in the last 4 to 6 months.

The fall colors are that their peak. This is Gill Fire Road and is named after my wife's family. So that was our Friday. Who needs T.V. when you have all of this in your backyard. Glad to get out for that unstructured kids play.

23 October 2009

Race Across the Sky

Last night my son & I went and saw the exclusive one night showing of Race Across the Sky. It was a documentary covering the 2009 Leadville Trail 100 bike race, one of the most intense endurance races of all time. Go to here to see the trailer and you can find everything you want to know about Leadville here Leadville 100

I find watching mountain bike races not as fun to watch as road racing, but this was different. This documentary had an imax movie feel to it. I think the word that comes to my mind is epic. This is an epic race in which the course is set in the beautiful mountains around Leadville.

Yes the movie set set around Lance, David, Travis and some other well know pro riders but it was also about the regular racer and their story. One thing you get from the film is that the pro's think it cool lining up with the regular joe. Lance said that this was the race that made him come back to cycling and that wining was not number one. He did win the race and broke a new course record.

I hope that if you miss going to this movie that it comes out on DVD for you.

I am going to put this out here. I don't care if you like Lance or not or care if he wins another tour. But I do think that him coming out of retirement will do one thing. I think cycling will become a much bigger main stream sport in the United States because of him. I think in the next two years we will see some of the big series cycling event both road and mountain. Think Coors classic of the dirt and maybe Tour DuPont for the road. Let see if I am wrong on this.

"Your better than you think you are and you can do more than you think you can".-Ken Chlouber-Leadville 100 founder

18 October 2009

S24O- Ultra-Light Backpacking SNP

As I posted a few days ago, this week I was to ride the C&O Canal and that did not happen. So working things out with the wife I plan for some outings during the week to make up for the trip, and be around the house to help her out with her work load. First was the night ride, second was the group ride at Powhite, third was a afternoon on the trails at PSP, and fourth was Solo Sub-24hour Overnight ultra-light backpacking trip.

The plan was to go on a Solo overnight trip to the Shenandoah National Park. During the week I did not know if I was going to do this by bike or by foot. About mid-week this was looking more to a backpacking trip than a bike trip due to the weather. Either way the weather was not going to support a fall trip to the mountains to see the leaves at their peak.

My window of opportunity was to be on the trail by 3:30 p.m. on Friday and return home on Saturday between 5 and 6 p.m.. My daughter was to have dance class on Friday morning and my wife should be home around 1:00 so I could hit the road. That was the plan!!

Before dance class I am putting the finishing touches on packing my gear and packing up the car. I do one last weather check and this is what I am looking at for the next 24 hours,

About 1:00 I get a call from my wife asking me what time did I need to leave? Well, I said, I would like to be on the trail by 3:30 p.m. and it takes about 2 hours to get there. She was out having lunch with the girls. No problem, my wife does not get to have a girls lunch out and I can adjust fire on my start time. Anyhow my wife had me drop the little one off with her and I headed out to SNP. This only put me behind by about 15 mins.

My plan is to enter the park at the Swift Run Gap Entrance Station and park my car just inside the gate. Now the price for the entrance fee has gone up a bit for one car over the last few years. Now it's $15 for 7 days. You would think that my tax dollars would pay for this, but how many things can you pay $15 for and use it for 7 days? You can't go to the movies for that anymore.

I go to pay the Park Ranger at the entrance station and the first thing she ask me is " Do you know what the weather is going to be like during your stay"? Well yes! It is calling for some rain today and rain and snow for Saturday. Then she goes into this speech about am I prepare or do I have a Walmart sleeping bag and if the weather gets bad they will close the park down. Glad I am just wanting to get in the park and not across the US Border.

Now I have parked the car and I am loaded up and ready to head out. I am going to catch the Appalachian Trail (AT) north and head for either Lewis Mountain Campground or Bearfence Mountain Hut to spend the night. That's about 7-8 miles up the trail. After about 15 mins of hiking this is what I run into. Call it fog and mist, I call it a cloud. It is like this for miles.

This is where it gets good! I am about 4.5 miles from Lewis Mountain when off to my right I hear something that sounds like the top of a tree is falling. I look up to the top of this tree about 30 ft away and there is a 150lb black bear coming down the tree. The bear is coming down the tree and I start to run up the trail knowing I can't out run him. Well the good news is that we scared each other and he ran down the mountain and I covered the next mile in about 10 mins.

Around 6:30 p.m. the fog/mist/cloud is getting really bad, so I take the fire road from Pocosin Cabin to the hard ball and hike the last 1 1/2 on the road to Lewis Mountain Campground. I guest it is about 7:30 p.m. when I arrive at camp and could not see a thing.

Not by best set-up but it was home for the night!The tarp was more for keeping the rain and ice off of me since the bivy would keep me dry.

Early morning ice..

This was a cool set-up. I would have never found this Friday night!

The plan for Saturday is to finish hiking to Bear Fence Mountain Rock Scramble and then make the return trip to the car. This is what I saw at Bear Fence overlook about a 115 ft from the scramble.

On my way back to the car on the AT I came up on this nice little climb at Baldface Mountain and the fog/mist/cloud got worst about a 1/2 mile down the trail. The AT was about 200 yards to the Parkway so I made my way back to the hard ball.

About 2 miles down the road it cleared up and I made a stop at the South River Picnic Area to take a break and chow down on some food and to do a map check. This is a nice area to bring the family.

From the South River Picnic Area I made my way back onto the AT with only 3 short miles back to the car. I arrived back at the car around 3:15 p.m. on Saturday. There I made it just under 24 hours. Oh, one of the cool things I did run into on the trail was a retired couple who where section hiking the AT. They had complete all but 500 miles and the where doing the 105 miles in the park over the next 8 or 9 days. I was the second person on the trail that day that they had seen. They took down my info about my trip and asked me for my trail name. Very nice people, I wish them luck.

The end!

11 October 2009


Second group ride of the weekend at Powhite Park. I will get back to Powhite , but here's the deal. I have been planning for months to do a self -supported trip of the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal. That's about 334 miles from McKeesport, PA to Georgetown, VA. As of two weeks ago the trip was just going to be two days and 184 miles of the C&O Canal and as of this past Thursday it got axed because my riding partner could not get out of work this week. Hope to try again in a couple of weeks, if not it will be April of next year.

So I had taken off from work for the week and the wife is loaded with her work, so we made a deal with group rides and one S24O ( look that up if you need to) or a overnight faskpacking trip.

Back to Powhite! Powhite park is an urban park in the City Of Richmond located across the street from a Hospital. You have to love that! It is a small park with a network of about 4.5 miles of trails. Look here for a map http://gpstrailsource.com/Maps.aspx?MapID=11Park Map

Metro put the ride on and Monkey, Petrol, DavidR and myself put in a two hour ride in. The thing I like about Powhite is it has something for everyone. There are hill climbs, rock gardens, a half-pipe, fast single track and the list could go on. Here is a little technical feature
It might not look like much from my sorry picture but this was a big tree and the ramp lead to a downhill and a left turn once you cleared the ramp.

Fun was had by all and I hope to get back soon. This is a great place to ride in the city and you can link this ride to the trails down at the river.

10 October 2009

Waning Gibbous-AKA Night Ride

Richmond-MORE Night Rides @ Pocahontas State Park. This was the second scheduled night ride at the park and the first one that I have made it out to. There was a good turnout of around 16 riders. For three riders this was their first night ride. The ride leaders made two groups, one fast and one slow and it was no drop.

Here is a special note, the weather. It was hot! In my mind night riding and cool or cold temps and brown leaves go together. But not this night!

I rode over from the house as it was getting dark. I went out with the fast group and about 45 mins into the ride my battery runs out. I went to hook the second battery up and.... you know what is going to happen. The second battery has no charge. Man it's dark! I had to wait for two other riders to come by and I had to ride between them. Kevin P. was one of those riders and we go back 10 years. I have not ridden with him in years, but I was glad he was there to get me out of the woods.

I did not want to cut his or the other guy's ride short so I rode the entire loop with them. We made it back to the parking lot and then I was off to ride back home. The only light that I have now is my red blinking light. I took the fire road back and I was afraid that I was going to hit a deer.

Lesson learned, you bet! The batteries have been on the charger for a day and-a-half. I am also going to buy a back-up Princeton Tec light.

01 October 2009

Ned Signed it!

That's right! You are looking at the signature of Ned Overend on my 98 Specialized M2 frame. I got him to sign my bike after I finished the 2000 Richmond Xterra. That year I did the Xterra as a mix team and we placed 4th overall in the team event and 2nd as a mix team. Back then I used my Bontrager as my training and fun ride bike and the M2 was used for racing.

Since I rebuilt my Bontrager I have not had the desire to build this frame up. The M2 has to be the most rigid bike that I have ever ridden. I have to use a shock seat post to take the edge off. The Bontrager is far easier on my back and it is a fully rigid bike. Now I know why I love steel.

So a couple of months ago I was thinking about putting it up for sale on ebay. So I watched to see what a M2 was going for about a week. Anywhere from $75-$125 for the frame maybe a seat post and stem. This was not what I wanted to see. Since I don't see any bikes with a Pro's signature on them I think I could get more, but I don't know. I don't want to give it away! For that price range I might was well keep it.

So here I am, I want a bike with a front shock and the Judy XC that was on this bike is shot. I could get Hippietech to rebuild the shock but that would cost me about $200 or try to find a good used 80mm fork for the same price. I would also like to try out a single speed and could do it with this bike. I would also like to try out a Titec H-Bar since the price on a JJ bar is cazy.

So give me some feedback. Do I build it back like it was in 98? Rebuild the Judy to keep the 63mm handling or do I sale the frame and the old Judy and take the money to repaint the MB-1? Or do something different with it?

25 September 2009

Hefler Performance Coaching-VO 2 max

Last month I won a drawing for a free VO 2 max test from Hefler Performance Coaching and today I had my appointment for my VO 2 max test. I am very please with the process and the results that I had. I should get a full write-up with all the charts and heart rate zones next week.

I am not looking at getting into racing that much. I just want to raise my fitness level and if I want to race I will be able to do it.

24 September 2009

Made In America, Part 4 Fox River Socks

Can you believe it? That's right,two back-to-back post on socks!This time it is Fox River. Fox River has been around for the last 100 years and they are now operating out of Osage, Iowa.

Picture above on the right is the Wick Dry Maximum Military Boot Sock and is price at $12.50 and on the left I think is the Wick Dry Off Road QTR and is price at $10.99. Now as with the Wigwam socks in the previous post there is nothing sexy about these socks. There is no cool logo! They just do there job.

The Wick Dry Maximum is the sock that I wear at work and they are not issued to me. I have to buy these! They are great socks and they dry fast. If Wigwam made a sock in this color I would use them as boot socks as well.

The Off Road QTR works the same way and I use them as part of my Team Kit. I used them in the Mountain Cross event I did a few weeks ago and they did fine.

One of the problems that I was having with thin running or cycling socks was that I had to wear the same type sock with the shoe that I was fitted with. So if I got a pair of shoes in the summer I could not use a heavier sock with them in the winter time. With Fox River & Wigwam all their socks fit about the same.

Go here Fox River to check them out. Fox River get the Bikewright Seal of Approval

23 September 2009

Made In America, Part 3 Wigwam Socks

I know not a very sexy title and one that you might overlook. In my series Made In America I am going to take a look at socks. There are three points of contact on the bike, feet,your tail,and hands. Over the years I have used Smartwool, Pearl Izumi, and other cycling brand socks.

For the past two years I have been using Wigwam socks. The first reason I tried them out was I had a pair of Smartwool socks that wore out in six months. I had great luck with their socks in the past but these just did not hold-up and for $12 that was just to much. The second reason that I tried them was they where about $2 cheaper.

Back a couple of years ago I got fitted for a pair of boots and they used the Fitsystem by Phil Oren which has been featured in Backpacker Magazine. So since it worked with hiking boots why not cycling shoes!

Pictured above are two pairs of Cool-Lite Hiker Pro Quarter socks by Wigwam. The pair on the left is after two years of everyday use. The worn out spots on the front a back of the upper part of the sock is from my cycling shoes. I would rather them wear out there than on the ball or heel of the foot. I wear this style almost year around but I do wear a crew style sock in the winter months.

Wigwam has been producing high-quality socks since 1905 in Sheboygan, WI. Check out there website Wigwam Remember that your feet are your foundation.

Wigwam socks get the Bikewright Seal of Approval!

16 September 2009

The Rogue Promoter - bicycling.com

The Rogue Promoter - bicycling.com

Shared via AddThis

I was reading the Chesterfield Observer tonight and there was an article on the SportsQuest complex to break ground on DEC 15. The complex will encompass 27 sport facilities one of which will be a velodrome.

After reading the article it's cool to see this happening.I have not made it out to any of the races but I hope Virginia becomes a bigger hot spot for cycling!

13 September 2009

Catching Up!

Things here at Bikewright land have been very busy since my mountain cross event! Let's see, we had Labor Day, my son passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review, two more Eagle Scout projects for the last two weekends, and my son purchased with help his first car!

I recovered from the mountain cross event but my bike did not. I managed to bend my WTB SST.K saddle and loosen the axle on the rear wheel. I think this was due to the wheel was a little out of dish. But I am not a wheel expert!

I have been sporting these WTB saddles for about 12 years. They work and I like them. So I guest if the saddle bent after 12 years it's time to get a new one. Just this time I am not going to get a NOS SST saddle off of Ebay! I bought three and I bent two of those in under 500 miles. So my LBS hooked me up with one of the WTB Test Ride saddles. I am trying out a Rocket and so far I like it. I think I will give it another week.

A bicycle is truly a simple machine. But for most folks having to work and fix their bike is a challenging task. You would almost think that they where having to work on the Space Shuttle and the best thing to do is let the experts at mission control fix it. I like working on my bike and I can almost take care of anything that needs fixing on the bike. But the one thing I can not do is wheels. So I enlist the help of my friend Dartman. As you can see from the picture payment is on the table. Dartman had to dish and true the wheel which took him no time.

30 August 2009

Devil's Backbone Mountain Cross Report Filed

I cowboy up to ride the first Devil's Backbone Mountain Cross which was a USA Cycling sanctioned non competitive event, but for some it was a race and for others like myself it was a task just to finish. My ride report is from my point of view which was from the back of the pack. My goal was to finish and three different times I think I had an outer body experience on the course.

This event started off at the Devil's Backbone Brewery which is just down from the Wintergreen Resort located in Nelson County VA. This was a nice place to start and finish a race/ride death march. There where four sag vehicles with radio communication that patrolled the route. There was also a rest stop that was stocked with anything you wanted to refuel yourself and refill your water bottles with.

Now for some of you folks in blog land that do not know the area,we covered three different counties in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We followed the Tye River which in some places look like a creek. Past by the lower parking area for The Priest located in The Priest Wilderness. The elevation to the summit is 4063ft which is reached by following the Appalachian Trail.

The course was made up of 50% road and 50% gravel/hard pack road. This was and open road course which means there was traffic on the road. Upon leaving the brewery we hit our first hill which was on Cub Creek Road. This is a very steep climb with grades of 15-20%. I had to walk some of this. After reaching the summit the road surface changes to gravel and plunges down for the next 4-6 miles. It had started to rain just before the down hill section and I guest it would not be cross without rain. Either way I notice on my way down that some people did not make some of the turns and their bikes where on the ground by the road.

Somewhere on Carter Hill Road I met up with Mountainspider and we took turns pulling for the next 4.5 miles on Crabtree Falls Highway. Then we started a 9 mile ascent of the Tye River Canyon. This is where Mountainspider was able to get ahead of me and the next place I saw him was at the rest stop where he had arrived about 5 minutes ahead of me. Over that 9 miles of gravel hard pack road we gain 2000ft of elevation.This was the second outer body experience.

After leaving the rest stop I hit Irish Creek Road and descend for the next 7 miles topping out at 44mph. Then I started my climb back up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The 8.5 miles of the parkway where a mix of Hills and flat sections. At one point my left hamstring cramped up before I could get off the bike. This took me back to the rest stop where I took about a five minute break.

The next leg of the route is where the fun begins, as you descend for the next 13 miles. Oh, there must be someone looking out for me! 13 miles down hill? Remember this is an open course! But I am going to ride it like I stole it. This section re-traces the same roads as the first section of the course and there will be long gravel descent. You can get some crazy fast speed coming down this section of the route. Only thing that slows you down are the blind turns and one switchback. There where points on this section that I topped out at 40+mph.

All good things must come to a end! I forgot that the first descent I took on the gravel section of Cub Creek Road was there to greet me on my way back to the Brewery. A 20% climb that looks like it reaches into the sky is whats stopping me from having a beer! This section of the course killed me. I could not climb it. I just did not have it in me. So I dismounted and took one step at a time. I was never so glad to see the summit of Cub Creek Road. Another downhill section and a flat section to go and it is all over. I started down the hill like a mad man and topped out at 48mph. Finished time was 5:55.

This was a brutal event for me. I think it is the hardest physical one day event that I have ever done. What did I take away from this Mountain Cross event? I suck at going up hills! Since I had to use my Bontrager mountain bike for this course I was please with the set-up. I used a set of Bontrager Connection tires and they proved to be the right pick for me.Clif Shot Electrolyte works and Gatorade does not work for me. If they have this event next year I will do it but I think the weapon of choice is going to be a cross bike. An the last thing is that I did meet my goal of finishing!

28 August 2009

Lucky Me !

"Come down to Carytown Bicycle Company for a presentation by Susan Hefler of Hefler Performance Coaching. Susan’s results as a coach speak for themselves. She played a key role in the development of several notable local road racers and triathletes.
Susan will be taking time to talk about her approach to coaching and how it can helps you become a better rider regardless if your goal is to make it to Cat 1 or just go faster on that weekend group ride. Ever wonder what guys mean when they say “training with power?” Topics just like that as well as training with heart rate and the value in VO2 testing will be discussed."

I went to the presentation and had a beer during the presentation. Afterward they had a drawing for a FREE VO2 MAX Test. Yours truly won the drawing! Couldn't ask for a better night hanging out in the bike shop drinking a beer and coming away with a VO2 Test that cost $150. I think the next thing I will look at is a bike fit.

Saturday I am off to ride in the Devil's Backbone Mountain Cross. 62 Miles and 6000 ft of climbing in the mountains of Virginia. I will post a report when I get back.

22 August 2009

The Making of a Cycling Cap Part #2

It has taken also most a month to get cap #1 on my head. This takes a little more time than the two hours most people where posting that it took them. Maybe some of us are slow learners!

Well here it is !

And another!

Here are a couple of things that we learned. The pattern that I got from the web was to big or I guest to tall. Next the material on the brim needs to be tighter. The last thing is we are still looking for the right cotton tape that goes on the inside.

I hope in the next week or two we will have cap #2 ready to show. I can't push my sweat shop mom to hard!

16 August 2009

Watching the riders

I took off this past Thursday for a little vacation time with the family. This morning when I got up I saw from the condo window that a Triathlon was getting ready to start. I figured I would go out and watch & cheer on the riders.

The event was the Tigershark Sprint Triathlon #3 held at Frank Rendon Park, Daytona Beach FL. I was able to find a great spot just outside of the parking lot on the road to watch.

Now I have raced a couple of triathlons and Du's in my day and I did a Du this past March.So I have room to talk. Just like any event you will see people on all kinds of bikes. There where Litespeeds, Cervelo, C-dale,Specialized & Softride to name a few.One of the funny things I saw, well make that two. There where two riders that had put their helmet on backwards. I don't think this was a new way to wear them but I guest they where in such a hurry to get out of the transition area, they had put them on bakwards.
One of the other things I saw was poor bike fit. Now I know you ride in a different position when you are riding aerobars, but how people where pushing gears looked painful. It didn't matter if it was a $1,100 bike or $2,500 bike. Bike fit would have done most of the riders a world of good. I did see a guy with a no name bike with downtube shifters and toe-clips kicking it. I would say he was in the top 1/3 of the field.

I wished I could have taken some pictures to share with you!I guest the important thing was that they got out there and did it and they had fun. I guest I got my bike fix into.

09 August 2009

It was Hot as Hell today!

Let me start off by saying that I misplaced the USB cable for the camera, so it took me a day to find it. Looks as if we are having a heat wave for the next couple of days. Temps today when I started riding was 95 and climbed to 97 by the end of my 2 hour plus ride.

I am lucky to live just out side of Pocahontas State Park and this is my local stomping grounds. The plan was to try an ride all the fire roads and single track trails in the park. Long story short that did not place because of the heat. It has been awhile since I have ridden on this side of the Park so the new signage is a nice addition. You can't see it in the picture, but if you follow the trail to the right that is Gill Fire Road. Gill Fire Road is named after my wife's family.

Next I headed to the Old Mill Bicycle Path, still a fire road. Twelve years ago this was the only bicycle path/trail in the park. From the bike path I started off into the Green / Box Turtle trail on, the Box Turtle trail just past the second bridge you will run into this little bit of fun.
At the end of Box Turtle it will take you into the Blue / Tall Oaks Trail This is my favorite section of the trail. My friend Dartman and myself cut this section of trail and the funny thing is we cut it from the opposite direction than you ride it. But I think we got the flow correct.

By the time I got to Swift Creek Lake Dam I had made my mind up that I was heading for the house

Trail Trash,this is just some of the stuff that I picked up while I was riding. So I guest I was doing my part.

WANTED: Old Headlamps For New

WANTED: Old Headlamps For New

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06 August 2009

Time for New Rubber

After rebuilding my road bike last year I started using a gear tracker on www.mapmyride.com I have been tracking my tires and drive train. The tracker lets you add the piece of gear that you want to track for replacing. When you add your piece of gear. You are able to pick brand/model, date of purchase, how much the item cost, and projected amount of miles that the item should be replaced.
I just replaced a set of Maxxis Detonator tires. I have been riding them for 1 1/2 years with a total of 1160 miles on them. The gear tracker also lets you know how much it cost per mile to use the tire from your purchase price. From my purchase price it cost me just 0.06 cents per mile.
You can track almost any type of gear that you want. From bike tires and drive trains to running shoes. Using the tracker helps me with pre & post ride bike checks and with planning and budgeting for that next gear purchase.

30 July 2009

The Making of a Cycling Cap

I have been searching the web for cycling caps and found a few sites where people where making custom cycling caps. It seems this comes from the urban velo type of rider and thats cool. A lot of the caps are made from recycled material.

I have a Team Army cycling kit but I do not have a team/club cap. So I have been thinking what could I do. Just my luck that the Velcro on my ACU top is unserviceable. That's an Army term..So I was thinking it would be cool to make a custom cycling cap out of my ACU top. There's that recycling material thing.

Here's a picture of the top after getting washed. There is a lot of Velcro and pockets on this top. Let's see how much usable material that I can get out of this top.

The above picture shows the amount of material I could get out of the top. Not bad, this should work. Next I found a pattern for a four panel cycling cap online. I had to make some adjustment on the size of the pattern after printing it off. In all this took about 2 hours. Next I had to cut the patterns out of the material. The side panels ate-up the bulk of my material. I was able to get 8 panels to make 2 caps and 8 sets of visors. I hoped I would have been able to make 3 caps out of this top, oh well. Here's a picture of all the panels.

I have enlisted my mom to sew the panels together for me. We are waiting for parts to come in for her sewing machine. This should take a few days. I hope to have the finished product by the end of next week

29 July 2009

Andrew's Bike

This is a Andrew's 1996 Specialized Stumpjumper that I have been working on. When he gave it to me to work on all the parts where in a plastic bag. This bike is in good shape and just needed a good cleaning. The drive train started out as bad as my Bridgestone. I have no idea what some people use as chain oil.

There have been a couple of issues with the bike. First was the housing at the fixing bolt on the 800 X-ray shifters was cracked. They came off OK, but came apart when I went to put them back on. I just so happen to have a spare set that I used. I was able to save the gray grips. I have seen black,red,yellow,green & purple grip covers but never gray. It would be cool to find some NOS ones. I bet they would go for some serious bucks!The next issue that I have are the brakes. This bike did not come with V-brakes it came with cantilever brakes. I know you say whats the problem? Well there is no cable stop on the rear of the top tube. There is a cable guide that runs around the side of the seat tube and comes out the middle of the seat tube. This would have lined up the brake cable to the cable pull. I think that's what it was called. Because of this I can not get a good routing of the cable to the rear V-brake.

I think the only way to solve the issue is to go back to a cantilever brake. I guest he could ebay for an old set of LX brakes, but I think a new set of Avid Shorty 4's would look great on this bike. A new modern brake that still has a retro look. I need some brakes Andrew!!

A set of Ritchey grips would help keep it old school, but if it was my bike I would have to go with a set of Ergon grips. The Ergon grips are the best grips that you can use with a rigid fork. I have some on my Bontrager.