Friday, June 28, 2013

slept in, it's the summer!

Media Fridays
We'll post videos or photos that will hopefully inspire trail shredding weekends.

Oops, I slept in.  It's the summer, I get to do that.  I haven't watched this yet, but how can it not be good??  If you live in New England and have NOT been to NEMBAfest since it's been held at Kingdom Trails (the past two years) what are you thinking??  It's the perfect opportunity to ride some sweet trails and support the crew that supports your trails all at the same time!

Anyway, if you weren't there, this is what we missed.  If you were there, maybe you made the video??

facespace stolen from Burke Mountain Resort

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I think it worked?

Yesterday I went about bleeding my brakes - specifically my rear as it had gone soft... ok.  That sounded like it might be dirty - so stop twisting my words and making them dirty!

I watched a video or two, read the directions, and got everything ready to go.  I got all the way to pushing the fluid through the system to release the brake lever when I realize I had tied down the wrong brake lever... what a freakin idiot!  I Crossed my fingers and attempted to pull the correct lever and repressurize... things seemed to go well, but the lever pulled all the way to the bar when I was through.


Round two.  I tied the correct lever this time.  Completed everything.  And the lever wasn't as soft, but didn't feel all that much different then it had prior to the bleed.  FFFFFFFFFFFFF

I was not a happy camper.  Instead, I was a frustrated camper.  Thoughts of taking it to the shop to see what/if I was doing something wrong entered my head.  But I didn't have time to do that if I was going to ride today.  So I said F it and went about completing another change.... did you catch it in the photo?

I adjusted my brake levers back to their normal reach as the bleed instructions mentioned they should be within 75-80mm of the centerline of the bar for the best performance and magic happened.  My rear brakes felt GOOD!!!  I did something right!!  I guess with little room to pull they felt soft, but released to their full "man pull" range they sat right up and did their job.  Ok, so maybe they didn't deserve the finger, my bad.

My parents are in town visiting, and while visiting me they also wanted to visit some relatives we have down in SC.  Annie was working at a camp in SC so my plan was to drop my parents off, visit Annie and see the camp, and then get a ride in at Riverwalk before returning for my parents.

Annie was called back to the main office a minute before I got to the camp, so that was scrapped.  I headed straight to a trail I have yet to ride, on legs that haven't seen the dirt of a trail in about 2 weeks.  I LOVED the trail.  It is singelspeed heaven, or hell, depending on how much you like to hurt yourself.  MUCH more elevation than I had expected, and I loved every slow turn of the cranks as I climbed my way to the top of everything it had to throw at me.

Even though I was loving the trail, frustrations from the morning seemed to follow throughout the ride as the hunt for the creaking bits began.  Throughout the ride I stopped numerous times to adjust everything I could think of.

which one of you bastards??
First, it was the new change, the saddle swap - did you get it right?  Bolts could have been tighter I guess.  That didn't take care of it so I checked the crank - good.  Chainring bolts, one was loose so it was a good thing I was checking - got that tightened up.  BB - fine.  Stem, fine, but I gave it a tighten anyway.  I even checked the damn bolts on the rear wheel.  Nothing could keep it from creaking.

As best I could tell it was the saddle as it seemed to be more pronounced when I was sitting and I seemed to be able to make it happen with a slam of my ass... again, get your mind right.  But, you know, on the trail you can never really tell.

I knew it was you...
It was at this point, as I was rueing my saddle (the most likely suspect) that I recalled that I had NOT regreased the bolts after I cleaned all the grime off of that when I switched out the saddle... dumbass.

Likely a little grease in there will help everything quite the fuck down!

As I was leaving the trail I drove by this.

The Giordana Velodrome.  I had heard tell of it, so I decided to stop and check it out.

It was neat watching these three work together and trade pulls at the front

Looked like they were doing a little class in the field there for newbies.
It's pretty sweet.
I wouldn't have thought this before, but actually being there it kinda looked fun.

Oh yeah, on the way back to the pterodactyl  I did a quick test of the bike on the paved greenway to identify the creak.  And by bouncing and slamming the bike around I was again pretty damn certain that the only thing that could make it creak was my fat ass...  saddle will be removed, bolts greased (maybe the rails for good luck) and reassembled with love.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Time to work

After waiting "patiently" all day yesterday, my bleed kit finally arrived... right before Annie would be getting home.  That left me with no time to bleed the brakes on the Glow Worm, or more likely - screw it up a time or two before getting it right.

As such, that is what I will be doing this morning in hopes that I will finally be able to get out for a ride this afternoon.  With the instructions, videos that can be found online, and having "helped" 3G (Good Guy Greg - yeah, I just gave a nickname to a nickname) do it on the initial build I'm fairly confident that I will be able to get the job done this morning.

And THEN I will hopefully have something a little more thrilling to talk about - like how my legs fall off because I haven't ridden in forever!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Yesterday I got a package!!

It was from the friendly people over at Walz Caps.
Inside this package were two hats.

After getting my second dose of sunburn through my helmet a while back I knew it was time to get a cycling cap.  Why I waited this long to get them, I dunno... but I finally ordered them on Friday and they arrived on Monday - SUPER FAST!  

I figured I'd dip my toes into the cycling cap world with the HTFU series.  Ready for some scary head shots?  No, you aren't.  But here they are.

Good stuff all around.  They fit great, feel great, and look great.  I even wore the black one out to dinner last night - bill down of course.  I'm super excited (already) about the "State Caps Collection" they have started over at WalzCaps.  I've got to wait until they make one relevant to myself though... which gives them some options because I'd be good with Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, or Georgia - or any combination there of.

I'm hoping to get another package today; one containing my bleed kit so I can get the Glow Worm back up with some legit stopping power.  Then, there is a prospective order...

As you can see, this is Awesome, and I wants a kit.  The biggest decision to make is which cut/size.  I'm thinking I'll just go with the race cut - I mean, I've got to wear something (I think it's a rule or something) while racing the Glow Worm next year.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Carry on

I didn't do a damn bike related thing this weekend. I do have a couple packages on the way, but I'll get into that when they arrive. So, until then, carry on.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Yes please

I'm excited, are you?

Do I see a Team Awesome kit in my future?

I hope so...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It's calling me

Well, I've made it "official" locally, but I guess it's time to unveil the truth to the internerds - I'm going full time singlespeed.  Yup.  I love it!  Everything about it.  From it's simplicity to it forcing me to ride hard, I love it.

I also love that I can write singlespeed instead of single speed.  Somewhat out of laziness, but I'll take my laziness here as there is no laziness on the one geared machine.

This morning I got a little facefriend invite to the Southern Singlespeed Championships.  You see, this is the first year they've included the rest of the South, previous editions just represented "the great state" of Georgia (something a buddy of mine at UGA would say all the time).  Anyway, I guess they heard that I'd taken the plunge into the ss realm so they had to come up with a way to include me.

I guess they didn't like the Georgia and Eastwood Singlespeed Championship - sounded too much like a couple going at it on ss bikes I suppose.  So the fair thing to do was to include North Carolina, but you can't just skip over South Carolina, and once SC is included you might as well throw in the rest of the regional states.  Anyway, it's a SS Championship which will likely mean race + debauchery.

It's still a little ways off so I just need to get my ass out and riding... weather today - shitty.  Then I need to persuade TheMutt that this is something he needs to do as well so we can rope in Good Guy Greg and figure out road trip/accommodation details since it's about 3 hours away from The Web.

Monday, June 17, 2013


I feel like I've been transformed into a grown up and am now overwhelmed with grown up responsibilities.

I'm not overwhelmed really.  And I was a grown up.  Seriously, I was!!

But with the house comes the joys of doing crap around the house.  This is the part I'm conflicted about.  I love finding all the projects I need/want to do around the house to get this place running the way it should.  But, as we all know, home projects can be major time sucks.

And what is the first thing to lose out when we are talking about reallocating our time?  Bikes.

Yup.  Last Tuesday felt like it was the first time I was on a bike in like 2 WEEKS!!  Incidentally, last Tuesday was the last time I was on a bike.  UGH!

They are calling for - more rain this week.

I'm gonna push through the "reorganizing" phases here in the house, which will help straighten out the bike haven, in hopes that harmony will be restored to our dwelling and my "house demands" will become more fluid and adaptable to riding opportunities/NEEDS.

Hope you all got your fix this weekend.  To all the father's out there, hope you enjoyed your day/weekend!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Just the start

Media Fridays
We'll post videos or photos that will hopefully inspire trail shredding weekends.

It's Friday already!  I heard TheMutt is going on a short ride tomorrow, I might have to check it out.  We have some folk coming by to see the new place and then hit up lunch.  But that should still leave me time to see the happening, take some photos, maybe even ride a little.

The Glow Worm still needs to have it's brakes bled as they continually get softer and softer.  Maybe' I can get to that today... or maybe I just ride soft brakes tomorrow.  Again, building a bike sans beer just leads to problems down the road.

Anyway, sounds like they've got big plans down in Alabama... might have to check it out one day.  They've "only" got 25 miles so far, but it looks like a sweet 25.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ready, Set,


Yesterday was the last day ay my job.  Yesterday evening was the first "meeting" for my new job.  I'm back in the schools and I'm SUPER PSYCHED!!  I'm trying not to get too excited, but so far everything about this school sounds great!  They are adding onto the school as we speak, which includes a sparkling new office for myself!  You might call it a "rebuilding" year on a lot of fronts for the school, so I'm excited to be able to start fresh there and build a program to best support or students and families.

Enough of that, let's get to the important stuff.  First off, they have a mountain bike club already!  I had planned on seeing if there would be interest in one, but I just found out they already have one, sweet!  Starting a mountain bike club was something I had been thinking about when I was back up in Massachusetts, but with the impending move on the horizon I never did it.  So I'll definitely get involved with that on some level.

There are also some local and VERY local trails to the school.  North Meck is just up the road, and Granja del Pescador (Fisher Farm) is local as well.  But, in the school's backyard is a long forgotten trail that seems to get very little love, Huntersville Athletic Park.  I got up for my meeting with some time to spare so I thought I would poke around a bit since the last review on was in 2011.

Well, they have a sign for them, so there has to be something there!  I went out for a walk to check out what was there and I was immediately surprised.  The trail was well taken care of and included some nice short elevation changes complete with roots!  About halfway through the first trail it dawned on me that I should be tracking the trail with my Strava phone app.  I waited until I got back to the parking lot because I had already bypassed some options and figured I'd have to go back in.  Plus, I didn't want my track to start in the middle of the woods.  Anyway, it was for exploration sake so I guess it didn't really matter, but I wanted a clearer idea of what I was working with.

Ok, from that view you can't see a damn thing.  The right loop is just that, but there was a sort of "sewer" line cut heading to the back of my new school... easy access?  But on the out and back towards 21 the trail just kinda petered out.  Looks like a great opportunity to either bushwhack to find the old trail, or blaze one myself.  Here is a better view of the opportunity using the strava track on the satellite view.

Looks like there would be room to explore between the neighborhoods and 21.  It's not a long trail by any means.  You can see I walked 1.5 miles.  Might be able to squeeze 2 from the existing stuff, and if I can "find" more between 21 and the neighborhoods we might be looking at 3-4?  Just might be a nice easy outing for the mountain bike club with enough in the trail to help kids work on some skills and techniques.

Oh yeah, and I'm on summer vacation now!!

Holla Atcha Boy

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Loco Lime is dead to me

$1 Taco Night.

Sounds "good."  I mean really, there has to be a catch with $1 anything, but for a post ride meal $1 tacos sounds like a legit way to go.  I guess I'll start by saying, thank goodness it wasn't a real ride.

Last night our normal Tuesday social was once again disrupted by the wet weather we've been having around here.  So it was going to be an urban assault ride.  This time around the Divas were joining us taking over.  The focus of the ride really stuck to the SOCIAL part of things as we first hit up a local brewery, then a coffee house, and finally back for the tacos.

We had a bit of a large party, so naturally there was a wait for the table - no problem.  We grabbed a beer from the Kickstand and waited outside for our opportunity to house some tacos.  I was HUNGRY so I ordered 5 tacos to start.

First sign of the bad to come - the food made it to the table before the beers or waters...

Second sign - the beer was flat as all hell...

Then, there were no more signs.  The bottom fell out.  I was done with my tacos about 3 minutes after the plate hit the table and was ready for more.  TheMutt's bottomless pit of a son, Lunchbox, had joined us for the taco extravaganza and had planned on taking a bite out of the 30 taco record.  As I waited patiently for our waiter to return so I could order more tacos and maybe a canned beer to avoid the flatness of the tap beer my stomach began having aspirations of killing the taco record.

Dreams were crushed.  Stomachs were left sad.

This isn't my style, but it has come to this.

Loco Lime, you are now on blast.

Worst. Service. Ever.

Since out waiter wasn't coming back (it had been about 20-30 minutes it seemed) someone from our table asked the food runner if they could another plate of tacos.

He had to get the waiter.  That's "ok" I guess.  But another waiter comes by to see if they can help.
Not really.
She could take our order, but would then have to give it to our waiter so he could put it into the kitchen... and he was "really busy" with another large party.

At this point it's not worth another 5 tacos and shitty beer.  I have to get home.  Finally our guy comes by and there really wasn't anything resembling an apology coming from him - which was SUPER disappointing.

I get things get busy, and people get in over their heads, and service suffers.  But an apology and a gesture to make up for it goes a long way.  Instead, things just fell apart.  Our waiter heard it from Little Miss Sunshine.  The manager heard it from Little Miss Sunshine - she was one unhappy little lady, and with a name like Little Miss Sunshine you know this is a rarity.

At this point Lunchbox was still going to go for the record, but I couldn't stay to see, I had to jet, so I asked for my check.  Another 10 minutes.  Add 8 to run my card.  By that time TheMutt had to throw in the towel on the record chasing as it would be closer to midnight before they were delivered enough tacos to meet the challenge.

$0.00 tip.  I don't think I've ever given a $0.00 tip before.  But Loco Lime earned a $0.00 tip.  As a manager, please reallocate your resources to help out a struggling waiter so people get served at your restaurant - there's a tip.  It's taco night.  Everyone is ordering tacos.  Run the food, run the drinks, keep it moving.

Loco Lime will not see me again.

So on the Glow Worm I hopped, my stomach not full by any means, and rode home.  And that is where I was glad it wasn't a "real ride."  A ride with effort would have left a growling mess in my stomach at that point, so luckily 5 small tacos over a 2:14 "dinner" managed to get me home.  Subtract the wait for the table and we are still looking at ONE HOUR and FIFTY FIVE minutes to get one flat beer, 5 tacos, and a night of misery.

I had cold pizza and whiskey before bed.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Or rather, bike HAVEN.

It could wait no longer. Yesterday after work I got into the bike room and moved some things around so I could get to the task of cleaning out the Glow Worm's bottom bracket. Some grime had worked its way down there and I was starting to get that EBB groan.

With a wall full of leaning bikes and a double sink vanity that has no place in my bike room I set to work. As my buddy stated, I had everything I needed to make it a successful bike room.

Bike, stand, sweet toolbox, and possibly a cooler on top of it?  Looks perfect to me!  And that is all very true.  I should be so lucky to just have that space, the fact that I have an entire room to dedicate to such tom foolery is outstanding!

I had a lot of fun getting my hands dirty, and my bottom bracket clean. I don't know if it was the simplicity of the singlespeed, or the fact that I've already seen the Glow Worm as a frame, but I was very confident with the whole process. And, although the room is a mess currently, I know I'll enjoy spending time in my bike haven. I even started organizing the room a bit by going through boxes of "stuff" and utilizing the closet space in there to store bottles, tires and parts.  I even put a little art up!

Monday, June 10, 2013

still none

Weather and moving have done me in again.

But now, I am happy to report, we are COMPLETELY out of the rental and totally 100% into our permanent house as I cleared out everything yesterday.  That now means we have the daunting task of unpacking and organizing everything in new spots here in our home... yay.

Clearly, I did not race yesterday... I just told you I spent the day moving the last of our stuff over here, please pay attention.  So a new plan is hatching in my dome skull over here.  There will be some testing to see if I can support such an idea, but here it is:  I may just race the Glow Worm for the remainder of the season in Cat 3.  I know, I know.  But riding the GlowWorm fits me.  It's simple.  Maybe that means I'm simple too?  But in any case, I like it!

So my test will be this - the Whitewater Center with the 18t cog.  If I can get myself handling everything over there with the 18t then I will be racing everything for the remainder of the series with the 18t... well mostly everything.  I don't want to "default" race on the 20t, but use the 20t if there is climbing demands, which I don't think there really is on many of the courses??  Anyway, riding the 18t at the Whitewater Center should get me up to par for much of what I might see on a course anyway.  I may or may not get to race 9 events in the series this season...

Supposedly this week it will get hotter and with a lesser chance of rain... so we will see if I will once again ride a bike.  And if I do get to ride my bike again, it will be the Glow Worm at the Whitewater Center obviously.  The other bike that will be seeing some love will be Georgia.  I need to get out on the road again.

I also need to construct a sign of sorts to help the multitude of people who ride through the neighborhood to understand the importance of wearing a helmet.  Seriously, it's great you threw a helmet on your child - but why you no where one?  Let me tell you, it's not because you have superior bike handling skills - I saw how you "handled" that intersection.  Oh, right, cause that 7 year old can raise themselves now.

Not a political statement, just the only picture I could find that fit.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Better slow than never, right?

Isn't that how it goes?

I dunno, that's how it seems down here anyway.

We are settling into the house - read: still have boxes of stuff everywhere.  And I FINALLY heard back from a job I applied to a while back (going through two interviews and reference check) and was offered the job on Wednesday!!  YAY!!

New house + new job = good start!!

The only downfall right now is that I have already missed one "scheduled" race and I have another this weekend that I "should" race.  At this point I'm not sure how likely it is that I will be lining up for the start?  I'm not feeling that the chance of me showing up is overwhelming by any means.  That has to do with a number of things... not having ridden in a bit (I fault both the move and the weather on that one), still so much to do around here to get this place in order, etc.

That then leads to the quandary of: do I make up these (potentially) two missed races by picking up farther away races, or do I just race a shorter series?

I need to show both the Glow Worm and the HiFi some wrenching love before I do much of anything anyway... but again, the bike room needs some love so that it can even function as a bike room.

I'm running in circles right now, but I know there is a turn off somewhere up ahead.

(No Media Friday, deal with it)

Monday, June 3, 2013


House move is underway.  In fact, that was what the weekend was about.  That is what this week will be about.  Internerd service won't be up until Wednesday?? so blogs won't be this week.  Well, at least until Thursday.

Rides may not be this week either as I tweaked my back lifting the heavy shit with my back and not my legs.  Yeah yeah yeah, I know better.  And I DO!!  But my brother kept f'n with my head by repeatedly reminding me to "remember, lift with your back."  Apparently I listened.  So, we'll see how that goes.

On the bright side, I have the water feature to play with

it's surprisingly calming and fun to mess with it.

Or, I could just see what kind of trouble I can get into with this...

Don't worry, I'll be sure to record the event for evidence awesomeness!  Note to self... work on my will BEFORE playing with the found flamethrower.