Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And now for something completely ... different.

Hello, again!  It has been quite a while, but issues of late have given me a good reason to post.

First up, new bikes!  So far this year, all of my bikes have gotten makeovers, and I got a brand new bike.


The Pugsley got a couple of upgrades.  First off, an 11 speed Shimano Alfine hub.  This was an upgrade that worked out in a trade with Polar Bear.  So far, the hub is finicky, but a good upgrade.  Specifically, the hub needs to be mounted in a very specific orientation.  For example, my Pug has seat-stay cable routing which puts the hub into the wrong orientation.  This caused the hub to "lose" certain gears.  I was only able to surmise that the orientation has an affect on the fluid flow inside the hub, thus allowing it to work correctly in one orientation, and fail completely in another.   All in all, a fantastic upgrade to put more life into my knees.

I also found another frame crack in the Pug.  Same spot (where the seat-stay is welded to the seat-tube), but on the non-drive side this time.  Luckily, Surly is an awesome company, and warrantied the frame for me.  So now I have a "Snow Blind" Pugsley with basically the same build as before, but without the rack.  Don't need it with the Ogre. 


I updated my Karate Monkey build to an Ogre frame, so that I could have a bit more of a commuter.  Again, I did an Alfine hub, this time an 8 speed model to keep the price down.  But this is a full-fender, mostly-slick-tire, bike with a Surly Nice Rack on the back so I can carry all my junk to work.  So far so good.  The 8 speed hub is less finicky, probably due to being dry inside.

Karate Monkey 2.0:

After having problems with the Pugsley, I found myself wanting a mountain bike, instead of being stuck on the commuter.  At first, I was looking at just getting a Specialized as a "bog-standard" build, so that it would be easier to repair should I have problems.  Unfortunately, it is hard to find the build I want on the size of frame I want due to my height.  Eventually, I decided to just get a Karate Monkey in a custom build that would still be fairly standard, but that way I know the frame's fit and feel going into it.  Absolute Bikes did a great job with it, and it is a blast to ride.  The best feature I can recommend is the hydraulic brakes.  They have amazing power without much effort, and a fair amount of feel.  I'm sure more feel will develop as I get more miles in.

The bike Wall:

Well, that's the big updates.  Oh, yeah, I also crashed.

Rocks just jump out in front of you, man.

Mileage: Not enough. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

And now for something completely... the same.

 The Absolute Team has started hosting a group road ride out Lake Mary Road on Saturdays, something that I looked at and said "Ehh... I'll give it a try, if I'm feeling up for it."

Yes... a less than enthusiastic response, I know.

It's not that I dislike road riding... my sufferfests up Snowbowl road point to the contrary. It's that I'd never ridden in a group with more than two or three people, let alone in a paceline with lots of folks. So I decided "Ehh. We'll see if I wake up early enough to meet up at Absolute to start the ride at nine."

So, this morning, I woke up at 7:30, and started trying to come up with excuses not to go.

8:35, and I was ready to roll out, having failed to rationalize my excuses.

Bikes, nearly all the way around the Mormon Lake overlook circle. I couldn't catch them all.
The two other Absolute members and myself ended up hitching a ride with the Red Rock Racing team on the way out of downtown, and we set about riding. Pace lines are scary, and I had no idea how to rotate through the line at first. But after a while, I got the hang of it, though I was still unsure of it. It did start to get fun after a while, and I can appreciate the social aspect, which is a very nice change of pace from what nearly all of my riding has become... basically a solo endeavor. Though I'm not used to covering so many miles so quickly. I kind of wish we had gone farther.

I'll do it again though.

However nice road riding may be, there are some things that it can't do for me. Like last Sunday's ride up the Dry Lake Hills, and the scenery there.

You've gotta admit... That's a nice view to have while you're eating lunch.

Mileage: 49.5

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weekend Bike Related Eventery.

Busy busy weekend, with not much riding, but much in the way of bike related happenings. That's ok, I made up for it with how much I rode last week after work, and I plan on doing the same this week.

So, let's see here... *shuffles*

Saturday was National Trails Day! I joined about 210 other people out near Woody Mountain Road, and we built out over 1.25 miles of Loop Trail! It was dry, dusty work, but I had a blast, and got to build some really pretty trail. This segment will join up with Soldier's Loop, and drops through Sinclair Wash, past some very scenic terrain.

Never expected to find a salamander on a trail day...

Under construction.

Let the dust fly.

Anthony guarding the end of today's work. NONE SHALL PASS!
 Of course I rode the trail once all was said and done, which meant that Henry picked up most of the dust on the trail, mostly with the chain. So Henry got his annual chain scrubbing/lubepalooza, amidst testing the weight limits of the bike work stand.
 I think that's the longest Henry's been off the ground since I built him. But soon Henry got tires back on solid ground and got to go back with the rest of the bikes.

Is it me, or is it starting to look like a bike shop in here? (The three on the right are Jack's...)
 Today is the start of Flagstaff's annual Bike to Work Week, kicking off with the bike bazaar in Heritage Square, and the People Powered Parade through downtown.

Hey, it's the Bike Bar!

Staging for the parade.

Here we go!

I didn't know dragons rode bikes...



Batman even showed up.


The Pedallac! I see this around NAU now and then.
 After the parade, I took a leisurely cruise home. I was going to go out on a road ride this afternoon, but if the hour long nap I dozed off on is any indication, I probably needed the rest.

Another thing to come out of this weekend... I'm looking into becoming an IMBA volunteer trail ambassador, as well as joining a mobile trail maintenance crew. Most of the things involved I already do informally, however there are classes and certifications and reports involved. We'll see. But after talking it over with Anthony, and reading up online a bit, it's something I'm interested in.

As if I wasn't busy enough already.