Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day 2015 - Chubb Trail with a Cannondale Habit

 To my surprise, I awoke today to sunny skies and 60 degree temps.  After getting caught out at Castlewood yesterday in a deluge, I was shocked.  Could the stars have aligned, for once, so that I could actually ride a demo bike on a cool trail in great conditions? 
 The answer was certainly, YES!
 The Cannondale Habit is a lineup of 27.5 trail bikes with 120mm of travel and fun packed into every millimeter of carbon goodness. 
 The one I was gifted is close to the top.  It's (gulp) $7000-ish dollars.  But never once did I feel like I needed to be careful with this investment that wasn't mine.  On the contrary.
 The trail was incredible and so was the bike.  So much control, so much speed, so much climbing fun.  The grip when scrambling up the technical shelves and rock croppings was a huge surprise. This, folks, is the modern day "trail bike".  Blurred, almost obliterated, are the lines between racing bikes and trail bikes.
I haven't been feeling too hot lately, really worn down and tired.  I kept riding as hard as I could anyway, not wanting to give this day up.  And the Habit was like a damn puppy, always trying to keep me jumping and moving.  Shoot, more like 101 Dalmaitans. I got tons of compliments out on the trail from the throngs of people that were thinking exactly as I was.  It looked GOOD on the back of my car, too.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bubba Cyclocross Race at Suson Park

 At first I'm like - BRRRRAAAAAAP!
 Then I'm like - GRRRRRRRRR!

Thank you to Mike Dawson for capturing every important moment in my quest for another 8th place in the Bubba series.  It was cold for me to be out on a bike, but I was so glad I went.  The course was hard, hard, hard.  Surprisingly, there was NO MUD.  A little soft in spots, though, which made for some tough going.  Over a thousand feet of climbing, too.

Two races to go, the last of which is at St. Vincent Park.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Holly Mighty Demon Needs a Rebuild

 It's mighty big, alright.  The Holly Mighty Demon on the Cobra replica is a 750cfm monster.  It runs really rich and leaks a lot of gas.  It's time for a rebuild.
It was harder to pull the tool box from the trunk of my car than to pull the carb from the intake.  I love old tech.  I wish I had the time and patience to rebuild the carb myself, but I think it deserves a professional job.  I'll have it back on the Cobra in less than a week.  Then we can see how this beast runs with a full set of lungs.

Hair Cut

 About every other time, the Beautiful Mrs K will cut Eli's hair instead of taking him to the salon.  It saves money.  And she's pretty good at it.
Look at all that hair!  And that's only half of what I swept up when she was through cutting.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Car Watching - Ferrari FF

 Behold, the Ferrari FF.  It's an odd duck, mostly because of it's semi-hatch back shape.
 Above the menacing quad exhaust tips is a sight that stirs memories of the BMW M coupe, only not as cool.
 But it is a Ferrari, and as such it's a high performance tour de force.  See those brake calipers? See those rotors?
 It's called the FF, short for Fast Four...meaning it has four seats.  So four people can enjoy being thrust down the road by 651 horsepower from the 6.3 liter V12.
In fact, Ferrari says it will make it past the 200mph mark.  Awesome.  Really awesome.  It's hard to argue with that sort of performance.  But maybe with that sort of speed, no one will notice the ugly butt on this thing. 

Monday, November 09, 2015

Queeny Park Cyclocross, Part Two

 We visited Queeny Park for the second time this year in the Bubba series on Sunday.  However, it was not the same course, or even in the same part of the park.  It was a power course, which I have no business on.  The above photo, taken by the renowned Mike Dawson, makes me look fast and intense.  In fact, this was a point in the race that I was intensely going backward.
The laps were extremely fast, and the only slow part was this steep hill that we mashed up 10 times.  It was my saving grace.  I managed 10th place out of 23, actually not bad considering the course.  Onward and upward, as next weekend houses the infamous Concordia Seminary course.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Car Watching - 1974 AMC Gremlin X

 Yes indeed, this Gremlin is thought of as one of the ugliest cars to come out of the 70's.  But, I don't think so.  Yes, it's got a strange "hit in the back by a large truck" look, but many of the hatchbacks that came to the states from Japan and Europe had similar profiles.  This beauty is a 1974 Gremlin X, and it's go a mean V8 under the hood.
 The X was just an appearance package, but it gave the car a sportier look.  The body and brilliant blue paint are a real eye-catcher.
 The bumpers had not grown too large on AMC cars by 74.  And the little bulge in the hood makes it look like something's going on under there.
 Sporty wheels with chrome trim rings are cool, too.  I wish I had gotten a good picture of the interior, which was awesome in it's 70's austerity. 
About what was under that hood....the cool chrome pipes that stuck out of both sides of the car just in front of the rear wheels were a nice tip off.  Gremlin's came with a LOT of six cylinder ho-hum.  After all, the Gremlin was supposed to be an economy car that went up against imports.  But some Gremlin's came with 304 V8's. This one?  It's got a healthy 343 from an AMX, the owner himself said so.  It sounded glorious as he rumbled away from the store.