Saturday, July 25, 2009

I did it!

The sequel to Polar bears post...

I had subscribed to a bicycling magazine, and had learned of the world of Charity rides and Century's. For quite awhile I have wanted to do something like that, but never thought I would have it in me to even do the minimum. Cruising around online I found that Flagstaff actually held events like that, so I really wanted to do it. I asked Polar bear if he would want to tag along, and today we actually did it. There was a moment in there that I got caught in the emotion of the moment (I'm a girl, what?) and I almost couldn't believe that I actually did it...It reminded me of when he and I made it to the top of the San Fransisco Peaks....that was also a very awesome moment.

I got excited with the start of the ride, hundreds of bikers all around, the almost non stop clacking of shoes into pedals, and the long fast flight down Beaver to Butler. I wanted to try to keep up with everyone and may have over done it a bit, but that first part was just too much fun.

I'm glad I did it, and we have decided to use it as a learning experience for future rides. Like bike shorts. My butt will thank me...And we decided to take a long ride that really challenges us like this once a month. Maybe next year we can do the 65 mile route!

And as for the sunscreen...I used some...and still got really burnt.

Mileage: 48.12

Taylor House Charity Ride

Today TC and I took part in the Taylor House charity ride, put on by Absolute Bikes. We did the 45 mile ride, and had a great time. Lots of people, and we got passed by most of them, but hey, I wasn't racing. We met a few people from out of town, had some good conversations, and compliments on our bikes. A couple people on mountain bikes thanked us for bringing our mountain bikes too, so they didn't feel so out of place.

The ride started out at the hospital at 7, and we had police at the intersections to control traffic and keep the group moving together most of the way through town. We ended up heading out through Doney Park past the house TC and I grew up in (ahh, memories) before going back to highway 89 and climbing all the way up to the Sunset Crater turnoff, where one of the aid stations and our turn around point was. At that point, we both were starting to really feel the ride.

While we were at the station, I helped another rider swap out her front tube, and loaned my Leathermans to someone else when they mentioned no one had a pair of pliers. TC let someone use her pump to air up their tire. It rocks being able to help people. The volunteers manning the aid station were very helpful and encouraging as well, making the whole experience very relaxing.

TC getting ready to head out.

Me waiting for TC to give my camera back... interestingly, I was the only one with a Fat Cyclist jersey out of everyone on the ride.

Our trusty steeds. The big red thing on Henry is a cooler, the envy of a couple riders today.

The aid station.

In the first 15 or so miles of the ride, I think we passed four riders with flat tires. They either looked like they had everything under control, or someone else had stopped and was helping them out already, so I didn't stop. One thing they all had in common was skinny road tires. As such, I told TC not to brag about having mountain bike tires that don't flat easily, because then we'd get flats.

Well. I think you can see where I'm going with this.

At least the hole's easy to find.

Yup, Quicksilver got attacked by a drywall screw as we were flying down highway 89 into Fernwood, north of town. It was pretty much exactly like what happened to me on Bi a few weeks ago on the way in to work. Mountain bike tires may be pretty resistant to thorns, glass shards, and pinch flats, but even the greatest will lose the fight when it comes to screws, nails, and other bits of metal. After a few minutes I had TC's tire patched, and we were rolling again.

For the most part, the rest of the ride was an un-eventful mostly uphill grind back into town and back to the hospital, where we were greeted with BBQ and ice-cold drinks! The only frustrating part was finishing the ride with a long climb up Cedar Hill. When we got to the hospital, we hung out and talked with other riders, shared stories, and of course, ate.

All in all, it was a great ride, for being our first charity ride, and I'm looking forward to doing it next year.

A few things of note:

- The cooler pannier: a great idea. It was nice to have cold Sobe on the entire length of the ride.
- People on carbon fiber roadbikes are fast. a lot of them were too fast to say "Hi" to. Interestingly, their drivetrains were noisier than mine.
- Hills suck.
- A nap upon getting home from the ride hits the spot, but only getting 5 hours of sleep sucks.
- I think I need to invest in a pair of cycling shorts if I'm going to regularly do any long distance riding. I still had some energy in me at the end of the ride, but my butt was sore. The 4 mile ride home felt almost as long as the 45 mile ride itself.
-Also: Sunblock only works if you actually use it. Just owning a can of it doesn't save you from burns.

Good fun.
Mileage: 52.6

Friday, July 24, 2009


Of all the things I figured I would have broken by now...

It finally went.
Mileage: ???

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why So Serious?

Let's put a smile on the Pugsley!

Mileage: 4.1

Monday, July 13, 2009

Afternoon Thrashing.

So, I ditched work early today, with the intent of going on a long shred to work off some work related stress. So, after a couple hours to have lunch and let some Sobe chill in the freezer, I set off and skirted along the trailing edge of a thunderstorm while trying to decide where I wanted to go.

I'll tell you, Mother Nature, I didn't really need a reminder of why fenders rock, I already knew that. Thanks for the muddy butt.

I eventually decided on heading out a forest road to the section of the Arizona trail that skirts along the top of Walnut Canyon. I rode a few miles out that to a fork in the trail, turned around and rode back to the equestrian bypass trail to drop to the bottom of the canyon at Fisher Point to head home. It's a fast and relatively easy trail. It has technical sections, instead of the whole trail being technical. It was fun, and a great way to blow off steam.

And then, as I was bombing down the bypass trail, I found a couple guys crouching next to a bike. One guy looks up at me and asked if I happened to have a pair of pliers with me. I'm glad my Leathermans are a permanent attachment to my belt... he broke his chain and needed the pliers to squeeze his masterlink back together. We had a nice little discussion about trailside incidents and fixes.

As far as the bike goes... I've been having a really hard time adjusting to the replacement frame I got from Giant for the one I cracked. In the end, I think I started off looking at it as the same bike with new parts. The last few rides, I've been riding it as if it's an entirely new bike, which, when you look at it, it really is. That said, I'm getting used to it, and I'm getting happier with the build.
The B-52B, with the section of trail that broke the old bike behind it. I was a little wary of bringing it here...

Mileage: 34

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mars Hills. (Blasted hills.)

Part one: TC and my ride plans were thwarted by mother nature. We had planned on riding up Waterline road on the Peaks, but due to rain, we couldn't leave at an early enough time to ride all the way out.

Part two: Exegete's planned ride up the Tunnel Springs trail up and over Mars hill was thwarted by a flat tire on the Pugsley. He had a 1.7 mile walk back in the rain and hail.

Part three: After TC rode over when most of the storm had passed, and Exegete had patched the tire on the Pugsley, we decided to all ride the Tunnel Springs route. I'd like to mention here that climbing hills sucks. Rolling down the other side, though, is a blast. Until you get to the bottom, and you hear a loud hissing noise coming from the Pugsley's front tire.

Yes, the Pugsley got another flat. And before leaving, Exe had told me if he got a flat, I was going to be fixing it... more importantly, I'd be pumping it up.

15 minutes later, I can say that I have aired up a Pugsley tire with a frame pump.

Yeah, I'm gonna feel that tomorrow.

Left to right: Quicksilver (TC's) Pugsley, B-52, and some greenery. We decided a picture was necessary after successful patching.

Mileage: 11.6

Tow Bike!

...or, how many odd looks can I get from people?

TC wanted to give her old bike to her sister-in-law, and thought it would be fun to use bikes to bring it to her. Of course I agreed, and set about designing (in my head) and then building a tow-bar that attaches to Henry's rack to let me pull a bike behind me.

It worked better than I hoped it would.

So, after visiting for a while, TC and I cruised home under a very pretty cloudy moonlit sky. We picked up dinner along the way:
What, how else was I supposed to carry it? (doggies not included.)

All in all a very nice evening.
Mileage: 22.5 (yesterday's miles)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nailed it!

So, there I was, riding to work, enjoying the warm morning when my rear tire picks up a ~2 inch long nail, and starts slamming it repeatedly against the fender. Needless to say, the tire went flat when I pulled it out. Luckily, I was about a block away from work, so I didn't have far to push the bike.

So, break time rolls around, and I find the hole, and set about patching it. After buffing around the hole, I grab the little tube of rubber cement, and go to squeeze some onto the inner tube. And squeeze... and squeeze, until I realize that there's nothing in there, it all dried out.

Well.... that's... inconvenient. And no one else at work has a patch kit.

So, while I try to make a temporary fix out of a patch and some hot glue, my mind keeps going over how often I've helped other people with flats trailside, or other problems with their bikes, and the one time I need to use my own patches on my own bike, I get let down. Sad thing is, the reason it dried out was because I'd used it to patch tubes. Other people's tubes. The resulting thought from all this being: Karma sucks.

Later on in the afternoon, A co-worker's friend is hanging out and chatting with us on break. I mentioned my misfortune of the nail and dried out patch kit, and he offers to let me use his patch kit to fix my tube. I can't begin to express the relief I felt, because while my rigged temporary patch probably would have worked, I definitely would not have trusted it. I could not stop thanking the man.

I never expect the good deeds I do for people to come back to me. I certainly didn't expect anyone to show up at work purely by chance with a patch kit they were willing to share. I'm glad that one came back to me.

Check your patch kits everyone, and make sure your little tube of rubber cement is still good. I think I'm going to start keeping two of them in my patch kits, just in case.

Mileage: 15