Saturday, January 22, 2011

Get a little mud on the tires.

There comes a time when you just have to say "Screw the mud and the snow, I'm going for a ride!" and do just that.

That moment came today for me. I finished Tri's new wheels yesterday, it was 50 degrees out, and I had an itch to go for an off-road type ride. I knew everything was going to be muddy and wet, so I stayed off the single track and stuck to forest roads, which were already pretty torn up.

Tri rocking the new wheels. I think they look much better than the old ones. They definitely ride better.

For the first few miles, it wasn't bad, as the ground was still pretty firmly frozen, and the snow was firm in the shade, letting me ride in tire tracks. But then I wandered into the areas where they've been doing some thinning, and things started to get muddy.

Saying "Hi" to a snowman.

By the time we made it back to the road to head home, having ruled the test ride a success, I was pedaling through mud 3 inches deep, with another inch or more of water on that. Normally I don't like mud that much, but this wasn't that sticky gumbo-mud that binds wheels. By the time I got home, there was one thought in my head:

Most trucks around town only dream of doing what Tri and I did, and bringing home the mud coat we did.

Mileage: 10.4

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blah Blah Blah Cold Blah Blah Wheels

This post was supposed to start out with me ranting about how the cold has been sapping my motivation to go on any sort of ride, what with spending between 5 and 10 minutes judging how cold it is, equipping enough cold weather gear to keep me just warm enough to be comfortable, but not be too warm, then feeling like I'm pedaling through corn syrup because of the cold.

Miserable, eh?

But, this is Flagstaff. The past few days, the temperature has risen about 25 degrees, with today being the nicest day in more than a month. So I got off work early to do a little riding around. I'll take it.

But I've still been riding despite the cold. Friday, TC and I caught a sunset:

In other news, I decided that Tri has been so good to me this past year, I decided to rebuild his wheels with new rims. The wheels I got for Tri were the cheapest ones I could find, since I built him on a pretty tight budget.The rims are intended to be road rims, not mountain bike rims, and are a bit narrower than I'd like, as well as the braking surface isn't even, so the brakes are very grabby and unpredictable. (Someday I may even upgrade to disc brakes...) I figured all that and nearly 1,000 miles of pretty rough riding warranted some attention:
Yeah. Really rough riding.

The plan was to lace some Sun Rhino Lite rims to the existing hubs. That was before I discovered how badly chewed up the cones in the hubs were. Then I found out that no one has any replacement cones for those hubs.

Ahh, plans. They never pan out.

So, instead of rebuilt wheels, Tri is getting brand new wheels, hand built by myself. A pair of Shimano XT hubs is on order from Absolute. I have to thank Exe for helping make that decision easier to make. Hopefully the new wheels will be built up and ready to roll this weekend. Then, all I need are some dry trails to test it out on.

Do I wait for spring, or hitch a ride to Sedona? Decisions, decisions...

Mileage: 14.5

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oh wait... it's 2011 already?

Or is it "Finally! 2011!" I'm not entirely sure. Regardless, it has been a year since my last mileage tally, which means it's time for.... another mileage tally! *Applause!* Fashionably late, as seems to be the trend.

What, I've been distracted.

Anyways, in the tried and true format, the numbers for the past year:


Total: 4034.46 miles.

This is significant. Why?

Well, the last week of September, I tallied up my miles for the year so far, and found I was dangerously close to 3,000 miles. So, Exe convinced me that I should try to hit that by the last day of September, thus riding 3,000 miles in the first three quarters of the year. Achieving that, I should then try to break 4,000 miles by the end of the year.

Lofty goals. So I pushed for 3k. And I made it. Then, after that, I sort of let it go. I did lots of riding, but I wasn't pushing myself to go out and put in miles towards breaking 4k. I rode for the same reasons I always did, to have fun, and see stuff, and relax. I tallied every now and then, to see how close I was, to see if I could figure out which mile it would be on which bike, so I could take a picture of where I was when I hit it.
With that goal met, and discussed, what of the other three I set at the beginning of last year?

1: Ride a full century. This mainly is just a round about way of saying I want to build up my endurance further. DONE!

2: Do a short weekend camping tour. Pack my tent, sleeping bag, and foodstuffs on Henry, ride somewhere far-ish away, camp for a night or two, and ride home. I wanted to do this in '09, but I wasn't ready, or set on it. DONE! Sorta.

3: Enter in a mountain bike race. Preferably the Crazy 88, but we'll see. This one is highly uncertain, but we'll see. Amazingly, DONE!

So... with those met... I'm sort of at a loss for goals for this year. There are some things I'd like to do bike-wise, but they are fairly specific, and not so much general goals. I'd like to actually make it to the Grand Canyon. I'd like to ride down to Sedona and actually ride back. I'd like to ride more centuries. I'd like to take a week to bike camp around Northern Arizona. Things like that. Personally, I feel like all those things are well within my realm of possibility, having done the riding I've done in the past year. They're not so much something I need to work up to now, so much as just get past the mental block that keeps me close to home.

On the flip side, there's also quite a few things I'd like to do this year that don't involve pedaling my crazy rear all over Arizona, too. I have some ideas for woodworking that may end up on my poor little neglected crafting blog, eventually. (Give it a click, it's lonely.) I also have two motorcycles that saw very few miles this year, and I'm starting to miss riding them around.

All said and done, I probably won't turn out so many miles this year... and I'm fine with that. The important thing is that I enjoy whatever I chose to do.

May '11 be a good year for all.
Mileage: 4.5