Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Biking in the Rain

Monday was different. Riding in the rain at 50 degrees. Lots of mud. Seems like we missed that season in Utah. Good times getting lost at UCSC. The downhills were super technical thanks to mud and 6" deep puddles. Tuesday was a day trip to Boreal in Tahoe for skiing. Geez us Utah folk are lucky to have so many resorts within an hours drive. It was a 5 hour drive there and a 4 hour drive back. But we did get to eat In-n-out burgers. We're planning a 40+ mile "Hellride" for Friday. Too bad we couldn't get Mark Weir to come nip at our heels and bite our calfs off.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2.5 Hours in 16.0 miles = 6.4mph

I knew we were going slow. But at least we rode. Outside. In 20 degree weather. While it was snowing. But at least we rode. Did you ride???

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chain Length

I've been a competent bike mechanic for a few years. And yet, sometimes I make really dumb mistakes. Fortunately, (or unfortunatly, depending how you look at it) most of the time they occur on my own bike. Long story short, Aaron, Art and I went riding this morning. Less than 50 yards into the ride, I shifted into my big cog. No big deal right? Right, unless you are running a 1x9 and put a bigger chainring on your bike the day before, and spaced checking chain length. If that doesn't make sense, here's the simple explanation. My chain was to short and this happened:
When that happens, your bike doesn't work. Which is the pits when you're only 50 yards into a ride. (Especially when you've already spent 15 minutes nursing wounds- right Aaron?, and another half hour fixing tubeless setups, -right Arthur?) Oh well I ran back to the shop and snagged the demo Nine Solo and we got our ride in. And it was a good one.

Squaw Peak

I did Squaw Peak yesterday. Like rode up then down, on the road. For the first time in FOREVER. The cool thing was is that from mile 2 up, there was a trace of snow on the road. Luckily, it wasn't icy underneath, and if I pedaled really smooth I wouldn't spin out on the snow. It was pretty rad. I threw road tires on my cross bike, which may have not been the best choice for the day. Coming down was pretty scary, especially with my weak-sauce 'cross brakes. 'Cross brakes were designed to control speed in the mud, not to stop your bike. 'Cross races are usually pretty flat, Squaw is an 8-10% grade the entire way down. So a simple equation is 'cross brakes = not stopping on snowy road descents. Once I got below the snow line the descent was awesome, I remember why I road biking is (still) cool. I counted six sets of road bike tracks in the snow. That means there were two other people crazy enough to ride it. Here's some crappy cell phone pics:

Less than spectacular view of hazy Orem for a reward.

Couldn't stop on this.

I could long as the road was straight at least.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


So...Threw some 175mm cranks on the 'cross bike. I've wanted to try this setup all year, and even longer than that. The good: They are awesome. So much better for me than 172.5s I didn't think it would make a big difference but I could totally feel it. Especially on the climbs. Cool. The bad: I get a bit of toe overlap with the front wheel. I guess I'll have to deal with it. I've had to deal with it running fenders on my Fillmore, so I think I can handle it. It's a bigger issue on the commuter anyway. These are some pics from the SS race, thanks again Ash for taking such awesome pictures all year! (And there wasn't as much running as the pictures show, there were just a lot of good pics of the runup this time.)

It's Over

The UTCX cross series ended today. Bittersweet. Good but bad. We were at Draper again, the course with the killer hill. In the B race the first climb up the hill was an all out sprint, it was nuts. The SS race was a lot funnier, we were all spun out by the time we hit the bottom of the hill. I went down twice in the B's. Here's a hint for racing 'cross: Don't do practice laps and then add 15psi to your front tire. You lose a lot of traction, and your tire will wash out on turns guaranteed. It's kind of embarrasing when you go down on what should be an easy turn. Anyway, I dropped my pressure back down for the SS race and did better. It was a good race day and I was really finished when I was finished. I couldn't have made it up the hill one more time. Thanks to everyone who cheered for me and especially to Ashleigh for coming to all my races and supporting me without a single complaint all season.