Thursday, February 28, 2013

all the kids are jealous

There's just too much cool shit out there, with the National Handmade Bike Show pics floating around all over the interwebz you can't help but oogle all the cool stuff. While most of it will never see mass production some really cool stuff is created and not just left as an idea on a drawing board. Fat bikes were all the rage from what I understand and from the looks of the pics I can see that was true. The one that really caught my attention was the Moots IMBA RCR trail work bike, complete with a 6er for those hard working trail gnomes. I really need one.

I even saw a downhill fat bike with a triple crown fork, crazy stuff. I can't, not mention Specialized's new 29er Enduro, while technically not the first, definitely one of the cooler, most well designed 6" travel 29er's. Of course there was some of the anti 29er crowd calling it stupid but come on why waste your breath. You know it was gonna happen and it won't stop there. 29" wheels are here to stay, so are 650b and fat bikes and whatever else the engineers/artists can dream up. Why would you want it to stop with 26? There will always be someone out there trying and building new things, if there weren't, this sport might become stale. I say if you don't like 29" wheels or fat bikes that's fine with me but keep the negativity to yourself.

After my post about the Club Ride Apparel I noticed another company, Zoic has jumped into the fray with their version.

It seems to be geared more to the cold weather gear line up but I'm digging it just as well. With the looks of our weekend's weather forecast I could use one of those flannel shirts to ride in. At least they're not calling for rain and snow. I'm ready for some warm, dry riding weather. This is the most time I've spent off the bike in a long time and I'm done with it. Wait.... I'm pretty sure I've said this before, recently.

My newest edition of Bike Mag came in the mail yesterday and when I reached the Bike Review section the first sled I saw was the Transition Kunker, it was glorious! I love that bike even and while the testers made fun of it in a round about way when comparing it to today's modern bikes they both agreed it was the most fun they've had on a bike in a long time. Both made immediate plans to obtain one for their own quiver. For once I felt a sense of pride, I have something they do not.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

what to wear

Normally I don't do product reviews but after yesterday's ride I certainly feel compelled to do so. Maybe because I'm hoping some of the LBS crew will read this and take note.

For Christmas I put a Club Ride jersey, on my wish list and Melinda got it for me. I've worn it around town a couple of time but since it's short sleeved yesterday was the first day I've really had a chance to try it out on a ride. I loved it, definitely a pricey jersey but if you stop to think about the fact that it's made in Sun Valley Idaho, not a Chinese sweatshop and it can double as a nice shirt for a pub crawl or to dinner with the misses it's not a bad deal.

Other than looking really cool it felt really comfortable unlike some form fitting jerseys I own. It does have 2 zippered pockets on the lower back and 2 breast pockets though I didn't use them. I never felt constricted in it and I'll definitely buy another one soon, maybe next payday but soon enough.

I know some of the racing kids will probably think the look is dumb or silly but anymore I ride to have fun and I get compliments on it everytime I wear it, on or off the bike. This year I'll probably shift more to the baggy side of clothing unless it's scorching hot. Sometimes I feel the full lycra kits look silly, especially when your out on a big fun ride with the crew.

I know this isn't a proper gear review breaking down the jersey in fine detail but frankly those bore me. The bottom line is, the jersey was comfortable and the fit and look were spot on.

Friday, February 22, 2013

harlem shake?

What is up with all these stupid Harlem Shake videos? Will someone please explain this to me? They're everywhere, in an attempt to figure what this craze is all about I asked Melinda if she had any idea. Her response, "Is it like a shake you drink?" I explained to her what I'd seen and she looked at me like I was crazy. Just last night I hit the You Tube app on my "smarter than me" phone and without doing a search I counted 9+ different "Shake" videos. It's so popular old folks homes are doing it, swim teams, celebrities, and even some of my local businesses are doing it. I'm not sure why but I feel like I'm always out of the loop on the newest Facebox trends. I guess I don't spend as much time on there as Melinda says I do.

I'm ready for this yo yo weather to get warm and dry and stay that way, my allergies are having a fit and I'm ready for the trails to stay dry longer than 2 days. It seems the best days to ride lately are the days I'm at work. The one good thing about this weather is it's easier to get trailwork done, not that I need a reason to do it. I'm actually a bit obsessed with it lately. Creating a new trail the way you have always wanted and then getting to ride it is a waaay better feeling than cleaning a technical section you've been trying to clean for years or winning your first race. Why is that? Well cause the glory of a trail finished with your handy work lasts indefinitely, that is unless you're building illegal and someone finds out and tears down your trail.

The only bad thing about my obsession is the fact that I tend do it more than I should. My lower back does not like this nor does Melinda when I let it get in the way of things that need to be done around the house. Luckily there are a few local guys who seem to be as obsessed with it as much as I am, some even worse, but don't tell them I said anything. The folks who ride our trails and never lend a hand far out weigh the trail gnomes.

Maybe if I made a Harlem Shake trail gnome video that would change? Nah

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

klunking ain't free

I've been debating on writing here for a while, blogging is time consuming. Maybe if I wrote shorter pieces more often I wouldn't have as much to say when I finally get around to writing. Good thought, maybe I'll keep this thing for a bit longer. Facebox has definitely killed the blog but I'd flood it with posts if I said everything I wanted to on there.
Anyways, on to more important matters, Klunking, one of my new favorite things to do.
Damon and I made the inaugural ride last night at our monthly Bays Night ride. Not really the type of ride this bike was suited for but it's a slower paced ride meant for beginner night riders that I figured would be a good time to get my feet wet. I had more fun riding that bike than I've had in a long time.
Needless to say I was a bit sore after pushing the 36x18 gear, normally I run a 32x20 on the FROG but I had a blast and pushed it less than I thought I would. Once you get that thing rolling a few stomps of the pedals and you're up the hill. The hard part was keeping that flow going when the geared folks are downshifting in front of you.
I thought that between the gear I was running, the wheels being 26" and the frame fully rigid I would struggle but not so. The only thing I ran into trouble with was learning to ride coaster brakes on singletrack. You really have to anticipate when you need to brake and make sure your pedals are in the proper position. I need to work on my power slides and jumping on flats, I suck at both. Damon on the other hand was a  natural with his BMX background.

One thing I did learn, a proper tool for bolt on hubs is a must from now on. I forgot if you drop a chain you have no brakes, Damon dropped his 5 or 6 times during last nights ride and it was scary, luckily not collisions with trees. Neither of us had anything to tighten the rear hub bolts.
My next ride, I'll focus more on riding downhill and trying to hone my skills a bit.
The only blood shed last night was me, trying to jump the Klunker and forgetting I wasn't clipped in. My BKB sock took a bit of damage too but they're tough and don't bleed.

Another first last night was my new Kali helmet with it's built in camera/light mount. The helmet came with a grab bag of mounts but unfortunately Cygolight wasn't one of them. A bit of drilling and I was able to make it work but I do need some fine tuning to make the fit more precise.