Sunday, April 20, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
Good thing Grandma will have lots of M&M's for me on Sunday.....
Yes, it's a selfie. But my bike is in the background, so that's good, right?
Fantastic weather today for a mountain bike ride. I chose Greensfelder because it's the hardest trail around. I did two loops of the long trail (Dogwood, Greenrock, Race Loop), one in each direction. Very satisfying and quite a lot of fun.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
There is the rice. On top of that, there is garlic humus. And yes, yes, yes. Sitting atop that lovely combination is bacon. Bacon! And there's bacon on the asparagus, too! Oh yeah, there is meat there as well, which was also good.
Let this sink in: Humus. Bacon. Humus and bacon hiding the rice.
There is good in the world, and it starts with humus and bacon.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
At Greensfelder, the light weight was such a welcome trait. Climbing is great. Acceleration is great. And even going downhill on rocky ledges is a blast. On the bumpy, horribly pockmarked dirt sections that horses have torn to shreds; not a treat. It's a hard tail, Martha. A hard tail. It's not a rough hard tail, though. On the contrary, it's pretty smooth riding FOR A HARD TAIL. So I found the limitations, but it isn't anything I didn't know.
Today I zoomed around the twisty turns and switchbacks at Cliff Cave. The greatest trait of this bike is not it's climbing, nor it's acceleration. Nope. It's the turning. I was compelled to put my weight over the front wheel and dig that front wheel in on every tight corner and each time I was taken back to my 26" days. Love the turning!
I noticed that I had the spacers under the stem at Greensfelder, giving it sort of a high-up feel. I had previously been using an 80mm fork, so in building up this bike I didn't take into account that this was a 100mm. Swapped the spacers and the front end was right at home.
As I sit here writing this, I hope I don't talk myself into changing something. I never seem to leave well enough alone, and this bike is well enough.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
His back is just about the same height as my belt. His head came up to my chest when he stood at full attention. He is without a doubt the largest dog I have ever seen in person.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Normally, I'm not a the one telling everyone how great carbon is. Being broke nearly all the time, I usually try to find something to love in aluminum. There are aluminum bikes littering my garage and basement. However, thanks to the good folks at Foundry and Big Shark, I'm going to be as modern as flying jet packs and hoover cars. Bedding in the brakes on the hill in front of my house, I was again reminded how flimsy a light alloy frame is compared to something like this. I can only assume when I hit the trails tomorrow that I will see the true measure of 21st century mountain bike technology.
It's a very up to date frame, with a press fit bottom bracket, tapered head tube, short chainstays (even for a 29er), through-axles, etc, etc. I put it together with an improvised 1x10 Shimano XT kit (34t Wolf Tooth chainring/11-36t XT Cassette). The wheels are Stan's Crest, tires are Maxxis EXO and Continental Protections...only burly tires can survive our sharp rock trails. And the best part: it fits just like POS Blue.
I'll write up a synopsis for anyone that cares tomorrow or Friday. I can't wait.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Sunday, April 06, 2014
Friday, April 04, 2014
Even though he has already been gone for 23 years, I am still not at the age that my father was when I was born. He was FORTY NINE when I was born. If Deanna and I had a child right now, I would have a heart attack.
Funny how time flies, though. It doesn't seem that long ago. Maybe because I keep him alive with jokes and stories with my kids and others. I usually start off BMX stories with "back in the old days when my dad drove me to races....", etc. Still sort of a heart break that my kids never knew him. Even Hanna, my oldest, missed him by almost 10 years.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
And that may be why our children will be better than us. Our kids have career days. And they dress snappy when they have to. Take our young man here, Eli Kakouris. He was more than happy to break out the coat and tie.
So...what's it gonna be? Electrical engineer? Physicist? Bicycle store manager? Er...scratch that last one. That's why we have career days, son.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
I admit to being very reluctant to race this year. For a variety of reasons: We're having financial hardships, can't afford to get hurt again, much turmoil at home, and plain old fear of getting hurt again. But I knew that I had to start racing sometime, and the weather was just too good to turn down the opportunity to get started off-road.
Huge crowd today. More than 200 people showed, which is some kind of local record for this decade. I had a great start, and hung in 4th place until the last couple of miles when I just didn't have the gas to hold off another rider. So 5th place it was. 30+ miles and 2+ hours. Wasn't really prepared for that, but it was vindication for suffering a long, cold winter with a broken leg.
That 5th place envelope did not come from training and good fitness. It came from 35 years of riding and racing bikes. I will have to get some sort of regular training going (or at least regular riding!) or I will find out pretty quickly that residual fitness and muscle memory can only take a guy so far.
Onward and upward.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Eli, flashing us the horns.
Spring Break week for the kids. That means a lot of idle time. Eli, however, has been pestering me to allow him to come to work with me at the store. I gave in and brought him along today.
Our first order of business was sweeping and cleaning. We swept the rugs and the floors, we wiped counters, took out trash...that was all before opening at 10am. After that, he test rode select models of bikes to ensure their solid build qualities. Then he supervised the guys in the service department (while sweeping there, too) and cleaned up after Chris Ploch's messes. Add in a bit of playing with the dogs (and a little computer time) and we called it a day.
He only has 8 more years before I can pay him.