Saturday, December 22, 2012

Black Rose

I was listening to Thin Lizzy the other day and it dawned on me that Phish's Guyute is a musical doppleganger of Black Rose.  I'm not a musical study but the soul of the two songs are nearly identical.  This has probably already been discovered and discussed in depth, but I didn't know- it's fun discovering stuff by yourself.

Took my life in my hands and did some Christmas shopping by bicycle yesterday.  The random icy strips made things interesting.  I had to get a foot down and triangulate a few times.  Other than that, it was smooth going.  Lots of puddles to splash through!  Folks in their cars were really happy to see me out and about.  They tooted there horns with glee and swerved close to me in an attempt to show their love.  They even yelled out a few Christmas wishes to me.  Well, I couldn't hear exactly what they said, but I have to assume it was "Merry Christmas" or "Glad Tidings!".  It's so nice when people get in the Christmas spirit.  Joy!

The systematic elimination of anything tactile continues to disappoint me.  I can't help but think the obsession of marketers' insistance that insulation against everything real makes life easier- and therefore, better- contributes to peoples hostility towards anything that is real.  I'll take a toggle switch over a touchscreen any day.  It started out ok but it's gotten out of control.

Friday, December 14, 2012

3 Strange Days


Dragged myself across Swope today.  3rd day of trail riding.  Tired.  Feel-good tired.  Back to the salt mine tomorrow.

That was a good 3 days.  What's that band that does that song about 3 days?  It's like Fish Stew or A Bowl of Fish or something???  Help me out here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Indian Creek

Rode some of Doug Long's newest stuff up at Indian Creek today.  Fun Factor = 10.  There are a couple of gritty climbs but most of it is swoopy and it flows perfectly.  You can pump all over this thing and if you can fight off the urge to touch the brakes you can get around nearly every corner at speed.

10 miles are done on the west side of the lake and plans are to continue across the north end and come back down the east, completing the loop.  I saw some of the areas where the trail will continue and it's going to be beautiful.  It's already a great 20 mile out and back ride.

By the way, anyone who poo-poos on an out and back trail ride is a sucker.  Every climb becomes a decent.  Every decent, a climb.  Drops to steps.  Steps to drops.  It's all very ying and yang.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hey, Where's Perry?

Rode Perry today for the first time in a long time.  That trail has bang for the buck, no doubt.  Lyle and KTC have everything in order out there, so if you're looking for a nice ride this weekend, do it.  The entire trail is groomed- not one leaf anywhere, just dirt and rock tread!

Carlyle was my favorite section this time around.  Super-duper.  I've been pondering getting a geared mtb and so I rode today with thoughts of what I'd change about my current bike.  Good ride to test all the pertinent parameters.  Good... place... to... get some thinkin' done.  I'm leaning towards having Doug Curtiss fire me a OX Plat hardtail built around my 650B's.  I dig his banana stays and I'm a huge fan of breezer dropouts.  Never EVER underestimate the importance of solid dropouts.  It's like two rural phone books and a burrito compared to a ship with wings and a bunch of pretty girls on it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Castle Boulevard awaits her princess

I built this for little Holly.  Nate, Karen, and Holly are coming over for dinner tomorrow night.  I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed aquirring the building materials.

A prayer for Owen Meany.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Boss Cross Tomorrow

Guess I'll start riding a bike again.  Guess I'll start with Boss Cross.

I wish Dave Mustaine and Henry Rollings were running for president instead of the two jackasses that are.  I think I'd vote Dave but I'd like to hear the debate.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Manion's CX

Another beautiful weekend at Manion's!  Thanks to everyone that came out and raced hard.  The general consensus is that this year's race course was way easier than in years past.  No whining, crying, puking, or quiting... hmmm, that doesn't seem right.  Well, the point is the have fun and I'm glad everyone had loads of that.

Thank you everyone who helped out over the last few weeks- especially those who worked hard all day Saturday and Sunday to ensure the races went smooth.

Congrats to Andrew Lyles and Casey Buta for a couple of great wins yesterday- those were really the only two races I had a chance to watch.  Heard some other team mates had some great races too.

For those who are worried about the Re/Max sign on the front gate:  MANION'S IS NOT FOR SALE.  Jody is simply leasing out space in the barn.  So relax, there will be a Manion's CX next year!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

2012 Manion's CX Preview

Preliminary course design looks like this:

1.5 miles and 200ft of climbing per lap.  I wanted the course to be staightforward this year- what you see, is what you get.  No gimmicks, wee-wahs, or trickery.  Long stretches divided by 180s for lots of sprints, a long grinding climb to test your power and a section of tight corners to test your handling skills.  Mr. Stitches is out this year but the Boy Scout Camp run-up/ride-up is back in.

Of course this is all subject to change, but I wouldn't try to lie.

Come storm the Manion's Barn!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Change of Pace

More like a 180 at full speed, actually...

As most of you know by now, I'm not at V18 anymore. It's only been a month since I started working at KCPL, but it seems waaay longer than that since I've been down to the shop. What a great time that was hanging out, working on bikes, drinking beer, talking to friends... I wish I could have stayed but I've joined the ranks of the desktop tweakers once again. It's hard for me to believe that I was away for over 2 years. That was awesome.

My new job is a straight eight desk job, but it's actually quite cool. Lots and lots of maps. I'm going through an intensive training and apprenticeship program right now that'll take me all summer and into the fall. I've just completed the first 28 days (that is significant) and nearly all of my concentration and energy have been put into getting through that. It's kicking my ass a little right now, but I'm slowly adjusting to the new schedule and I hope I can start to get personal ambitions up and running again. Less studying at night means more riding!

Until I'm finished with training, my shift will be 7-3 M-F. I'll get a random twilight or graveyard shift, but mostly I'll leave work at 3, which gives me plenty of daylight in the afternoon to play. I hear there is a dude that works in my building that rides his bike to work. I'm hoping to catch up with him and get the scoop on that- maybe start riding into downtown daily once again.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Equipment

I've made some drastic changes to The Tranny (my Matt Chester Ti mtb) and I had a chance to test the new equipment out yesterday during a couple of times around Swope.

FOX FLOAT RLC QR15: This is the most significant change I've made to the bike since changing over to a 650B wheel size. The new Fox fork replaced a Marzzochi Atom 80, which was the original suspension fork I got for the frame in Y2K. Let's hope the Fox lasts as long. The Fox is a nice fork- lots of compression and rebound adjustment and easy to work with. After trying several different settings yesterday, I settled on almost no compression damping and just enough rebound damping to let the fork spring back quickly without jolting the front end. Essentially, I tried to make it feel like the old super plush Marzzochi. They didn't make air-sprung forks this good 12 years ago! They didn't make forks this light this stiff either! I definately noticed the increased steering precision. The Fox is 100mm and so it's A-C is 20mm higher, but I think it actually felt better. I don't know- maybe the Fox sits into it's travel more? At the end of the ride, I saw that I'd used about 85mm of the available travel, so it looks like I got everything dialed in pretty good.

SCHWALBE RACING RALPH 2.25 TIRES: The first ride on brand new tires is always a treat. I've been a huge fan of WTB tires for awhile, but after going the 650B route a few years ago, my choices have been limited. I've been using Pacenti Neo-motos and Kenda Nevegals. The Ralphs are much lighter than either of these and I could feel it in the ride. Other than that, I can't say much in comparison until I have some more time on them. The conditions at Swope yesterday were perfect- moist soil but no wet spots. It was velcro traction everywhere. I think any tire would've done well yesterday.

ESI GRIPS: I love these things! They are simple, no-nonsense foam grips. They are just the right density and diameter and are super comfy. They don't look like much, but they work wonderfully. They are light too at 70 grams for the pair. I was more pleased with these things yesterday than either the fork or the tires! Ahhh, the simple pleasures...