Saturday, August 30, 2014

Selling things is hard, part 2.

This week Monday, I sold the ktm.  Wow, I did it.  Didn't even cry. 

I've been riding it less and less, somewhat of a difference in the move from Medford to Green Bay, but I don't really enjoy city riding and I haven't had time with the kids and the job and mountain biking to take days and just go ride like I used to.  Also, my commute is not so fun.

I decided to sell the bike rather than let it sit in the garage.  Ken came and picked it up, he flew in from PA Monday morning early, then rode back Mon/Tues.  He's a champ, that seat is not too comfy, I'm sure he was sore when he got there.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Bike storage in the basement

It's been a slow riding week, not much to talk about.  Evan is 4 weeks old now and doing fine, but he's sure switched our schedules on their heads.

I've been working a bit on my bike shop, thought I'd snap a picture of how far I got the bike storage over the weekend.  It took a trip to Home Depot with Noah and some putzing, but I've got something usable.  What I did was buy some cheap bullhorn bars from ebay, about $13/ea, and some really cheap stems, $3/ea.  Put them together and I had something that can hold the bikes by the frames.  Sure, I could've gone with a pre-made stand but not as fun and not as cool.

My only mistake so far is using pvc for the vertical - I need to replace that with some better pipe/tube that is more sturdy.  That will be easy though and will make the whole stand pretty legit.  Here's my man Noah with his measuring tape.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Friday half day Yampa ride

So this turned out to be a fairly busy weekend.  Friday I ended up planning to take a 1/2 day of work.  It started as planning to ride in the morning, then planning on riding in the afternoon, then leaving work early, then finally just decided to take a 1/2 day.  This meant the morning was spent looking out the window making sure my bike was still there.  It turns out it actually WAS still there and was waiting for me to take a ride.

So, I headed home, took Aly to a quick doctor appointment, then went out riding.  I headed to the reforestation camp to run those trails.  The WORS series is in town this weekend so I wanted to pre-ride and decide if I'd end up doing the race.  I didn't end up doing the race, waffled back and forth quite a bit, but decided on family time and taking Noah (4) and Aly (2) to the kids race instead.  They had a blast, it was really short but they got WORS number plates and medals so they were happy enough.

My ride Friday was good, the Yampa is excellent.  I'm playing around with tire pressures.  I'd done one ride at 9psi so I thought I should try higher.  I did a bit at 14 and a bit at 12.  I prefered 12, less of a beating.  I think I'll end up liking somewhere closer to 9-10 for singletrack.  The knards self-steer a bit when they're that low but it's grippier and smoother, just maybe give up a bit of speed on the faster rolling parts.  We'll see.  
 I took a lot of breaks, it was hot and I wasn't really worried about speed.  I rode 12.5mi or so in about an hour and a half I'd say.  Also took some time to reflect on how old my shoes are.  I think they're about 14 years old and just don't seem to want to die... yet.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Aly's riding a bike

So, this isn't about me riding but I'm proud.  My daughter Aly who is 2yrs 8mos is now riding a pedal bike.  She started on the strider, now is pretty much able to bike on her own, at least for 3-4 houses down the street.

It's been fun to watch her learn compared to Noah.  Noah started a bit later and was on 100% gravel on the strider.  Much tougher.  I remember his first bike ride and it was actually on an atv trail.  He has been biking all over now since then.

Aly started on gravel (very roughly) early last year basically just walking with the strider inbetween her legs at a year and a half, but then now as we've moved to Green Bay she's on pavement.  She's become great on the strider and as Noah moved to his 16" bike Aly got some pink grips and streamers for his old bike and has been trying since.  She didn't quite take off on it right away like Noah did but i'd say after about a month now we're rockin on the bike.  Enough so that I can almost ride along with her and Noah.  I can ride along if she's on the strider, but not on the pedal bike yet.

Fun stuff.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Back on the Scalpel

Good ride this morning before work, did the same loop as Wednesday.  Here's a shot from near the finish.

Fun to get back on the "fast" bike and ride.  I don't feel at my best, not sure if it's because it's like 5 am and I haven't eaten/warmed up when I ride that early, or maybe it's the time off the bike since the 100.  Either way, I feel a bit rough.  I've decided to work on speed this second half of the season where I can and I'm happy to say that I did a new PR on the loop, about 2min faster than my prior PR from earlier in the season.  I haven't had a full good lap yet and I know I can do a lot of things better to get faster.

It's not just about speed, I have to remember that and just have fun.  I want to be faster, no doubt about that, but I think I'd have a more fun ride if I just relax and maybe focus on a few things per ride rather than focusing on speed over a 10mi loop.  That can be pretty deceiving, considering I could just hammer harder on the easy stuff, or maybe I'm really faster on the hard stuff.  Anyhow, I have a couple parts of the trail that I want to drop a minute or two off of my times through them, I think that will be the focus now for a bit.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Selling a bike is hard

There are two rules of bike ownership.  The number of bikes to have is "n+1", where n = the number you have.  The other rule is "s-1" where s = the number your spouse will leave you for.

I just sold a bike and I don't think I was at "s" yet.  It feels weird.

What I sold was my '08 Redline Monocog 29er.  Real solid bike, rode great, it actually was the bike I rode nearly exclusively from when I got it until '13 when I got my scalpel.  It opened my eyes to 29er bliss and also its rigid, steel frame was great.  I loved the singlespeed, riding it mainly when I lived in Milwaukee at the Alpha trail/Crystal Ridge prior to the Rock days.  Not blazingly fast, but not too slow either.  It was fun building my legs on the SS, gearing the bike up from 32:20 to 32:18 and then being able to ride up everything after a while.  I'd expected over time to have to replace things on it - never happened, it all was just fine, never broke anything, no drama, it just worked.

The other bike I'm selling is my motorcycle - I expect that to be much harder.  The plan is for the buyer to pick it up the 25th, so technically it's already sold but it's still in the garage.  I'll probably cry that day but the yampa makes up for it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Ride on the Yampa

Finally got out on the Yampa this morning for a ride.  Sorry about the pic, I did not realize it was so bad.

Didn't break any speed records, between lack of recent riding and learning the new bike.  It grips awesome in corners but I'm not consistent with it yet - I have to learn to use the grip.  It didn't help that on one of my first 50 corners I leaned hard into a berm which proceeded to completely blow away on me (unpacked sand), it was dark and I didn't realize it was not solid.  First crash for the yampa is out of the way, good news is my body shielded the bike from any damage.

Kind of a bummer this morning is riding this early now needs lights (started this ride at 5:45am). It was just too dark in the woods to not have them, even by when I was done it was still pretty dark in the dense spots and the lights helped. I'm glad I have a nice light.  I'll write more about it sometime but it's a Light & Motion and it's rad.

The bike is good - definitely way faster and easier to manage than the heavier fattie I tried a couple weeks ago.  It's stiff but that is completely negated by the give in the tires, kind of an interesting feel.  I kept having the front wheel further out on corners than I wanted to, need to adjust the riding style - turn-in seems to be where I'm going to have to learn.  Also, I got a lot of pedal strikes, ranging from just barely to hitting hard enough to unclip my shoe.  In the snow this won't be a problem, now on singletrack it's a minor issue I'll have to get used to.  I can say, I didn't miss it having suspension except for a couple spots, the tires suck up plenty of small stuff and keep traction really well.  I still need to play with pressures but I ran 8.5psi for this ride.