Tuesday, December 26, 2006

No Granny Gears Harmed In the Making of this Gravel Grind

Longest ride since Jay on the mtn bike. Here was the route, over Davis to Gulf, over gulf to Leavitt, down to Grealey, to Potter, Potter up to rte. 153. Down through Eaton Village, then straight up Glines Hill. Drop to Modock Hill and up, then onto Town Line Road (class 6 road) to Allaird Hill, Up to the top of Rock House Mtn., then back down after some searching for the trail. Doloff Hill to 153 to Potter back to Mill Street and home.

Legs felt good all day. To clear up one of Sven's points however, when he looked up and saw me on Glines I was still in the middle ring, NO GRANNY GEAR USED THE ENTIRE RIDE. Altough I did drop to my biggest ring in the back so I did have an advantage. Next time we ride the loop I'll break out the SS 29er Santa brought me for Christmas.

End of week loop again anyone? Pictures of the ride up soon.

A Middle Ring Ridin' A1

Monday, December 25, 2006

TWAF Christmas Gravel Grinder completed

Merry Christmas!

A1 and I redeemed ourselves on Sunday, by hitting the gravel at 6am and completing the route that had been planned the day before. It was quite the ride with a lot of climbing, it was like a mini Jay- perfect for a Christmas Eve ride!

With the warmer temps the gravel on Davis and Gulf was a bit mushy, and at times it felt like you were pushing through peanut butter. A1 had the magic legs and I spent a lot of time looking as his backside as it rolled off into the distance. The Moonie climb just about killed me and I ended up off and pushing twice. The 32x20 just wasn't low enough. I knew I was in trouble when I could see A1 in his granny and struggling. However he cleared the climb in good form and was up at the top taking pictures as I approached all cross eyed.

You'll have to wait for the report from A1 with all the road names, as I can't seem to remember them all, but it was good. The climb to the top of rockhouse was killer, I walked a fair amount. We never found the trail we were looking for so we'll go back and connect it from the end that we know exists.

In all we were out for 3 hours and 20 minutes. I'm estimating about 30 miles and I'd like to think there was between 4000 and 5000 feet of climbing. I'm guessing on the climb but knowing we get 1600 on the Davis/Gulf/Potter loop I think I might be close.

Anyway Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 23, 2006


Friday nights before a big ride are always a bit stressful. Finding all your gear, checking the bike, trying to decide if you should make that repair or leave well enough alone- you know the drill.

My night went like this, cram at work because I've procrastinated for a month and now we'll be on break for a week, leave late and need to do a quick hit of Christmas shopping and K has called an requested a bottle of wine (the in-laws are up for dinner), jam home, hang with the family, eat a good meal, chat politics with my father in-law, say good-bye, clean the kitchen, read the kids stories, and now it's time to get my crap together.

I go down and find all my snivel gear, and sooner then I think my clothes, pack, helmet, lights, food are all ready to go. Now time to tweak the bike just a bit. Really the only thing I need to do is tightend the chain via the EBB. To make a long story short in the tightening of the ebb I manage to snap the tension bolt, but for some stroke of genius I think it'll be ok (?????) Finish cleaning the bike, work on the rear break, clean drive train, go to bed before 11pm.

4:55am, I'm up and soon eating and having coffee. Take care of all the morning rituals, look outside to see the downpour with a 35 degree temp. Should be good. Roll out with no HID, instead the tiki mounted to the bar (for some reason this also seemed like a good idea). To be honest I couldn't see squat, but we'd be on road or dirt road and we'd have real light in about an hour so no worries. Roll to A1's house. Guess what it's him and I and that is it.

From his house we cut through about 50 feet of "trail", I roll up to a downed tree, but can't see that well so choose to just run into it with my front wheel thinking my BIG wheels will roll over it. Did I mention it's 6am, low 30's and rain/freezing rain? Anyway I hit the ground hard and unexpected, smash my elbow, hip and hand. Good, we've been at this for all of 90 seconds and I'm in paid.

Pick myself up and on we go, both with very little light. Get on Old Mill Road and realize that the road has slush on it, no worries. Head up to Davis and start climbing. Half way up my bottom bracket falls out.

Ponder that for a moment because it's sort of a strange feeling. I've broken a crank before, I've broken pedals before, but I've never had a BB fall out. It can only happen with the wonderfully annoying contraption called an eccentric bottom bracket. Now mines not the one you can see at that link (that's the one that will soon replace the stock one in my bike)- but while it's very useful in tensioning a chain on a singlespeed it can also be a pain in the ass and also impacts your for aft positioning (but that is a whole other story). Anyway I turn around and glide down and A1 then tows me home. So we rode for 15 minutes. I considered grabbing another bike, but something was telling me that my hitting the ground and my bike falling apart were good indicators that maybe it wasn't to be.

Instead I grabbed the keys to my wife's truck, picked up A1 and we went and bough coffee and donuts at Leavitts and drove the route. The good news- the route is very doable and both A1 and I are fired up to ride it (planning to go tomorrow morning- same time as today- 6am). We did a bit of four wheel'in in the recon and at one point A1 had to get out and walk beside the truck as I was backing down off of a pretty steep hill that was covered in ice- he guided the rear wheels to the only spot that there was any traction- right on the cusp of the ditch. I've gotta say that wasn't my favorite part of the ride.

So there you have it. Fate said no for today, but thanks to Aubucaun (sp?) I've got a bolt that works and I think my bike will hold together (I'll take duct tape just in case). Any takers for Christmas eve?


Friday, December 22, 2006

TWAF Christmas Gravel Grinder

morning commute

Rode in this morning via the frozen (sorta) tundra. Losts of frost, some ice, mud, water and slop. Quite a mix. Looking at the weather that is fast approaching I figured I might as well be honest and say that the probability of me riding tomorrow morning after a couple hours of sleet and freezing rain that is supposed to turn into rain (calling for an inch or rain) is very low. I'm not going to make any lame excuses other than it just don't sound fun. Were it to be like this morning I would be in, but 30 miles of eating dirt and mud while riding up and down frozen/sloppy dirt roads isn't that appealing. Oh well. Guess I'll have to stay in my warm bed instead.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Update to Death March

So I've figured a few changes to the route with the help of a few land knowin' folk. Instead of riding Mooney to 113 we'll now drop off Mooney at the top to Town Line Road and down to Eidelweiss, takes out any pavement and adds few miles of double track descent. Also at the top of Rock House we'll drop off the backside again on double track for a few mile descent, should be nice. From what I've heard it's definately ridable and pretty intense.

Sounds like weather is shady and ANG is already talking about bagging out. Something about not wanting to be out in 30 degree weather in the rain, what's that about?

A1 Saucy Steak

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

1st Annual Weak and Feeble December Death March

Here's the plan, Saturday 6am leave from Lincoln Estates.

Proposed route: Up Davis over to Gulf Road, Up Gulf to Leavitt to Greeley to Potter. Potter to Rte. 153 to Eaton Village. Up (and over) Mooney Hill to Madison Village. Rte. 113 to Eidelweiss (sp?) up Eidelweiss to Rock House Mtn. (to the top). Drop down to 153 back to Potter, to Greeley, to Leavitt to Gulf to Davis, home.

Est. ride time: 3 hours

It's not that long distance wise, but pretty substantial climbing as we're going over every hill/mtn. we can include.

So it looks like it's gonna happen. We've talked about a Death March for a while, although this may be a little shorter than initially talked about, it's also going to be Dec. 23 so not bad for the offseason. If interested meet at A1's at 5:45am Saturday morning. Lights will be needed for the first hour or so.

Confirmed Rider List: DEA, ANG, A1 (I'm sure we won't get any offers to join us)


Monday, December 18, 2006

Screw skiing it's cycling season

Bah snowbug. A1 and I got out for a painful hour long ride doing the Gulf Road loop at about 9pm on Saturday. Even on the weekend we can't get out during daylight. Of course I make that statement and the next day I snuck out for just shy of an hour cruising around pine tree and then heading into the top of Davis just for fun. It was good but I'm telling myself that my brakes were dragging cuz my legs were killing me!

Maybe I'll be able to talk A1 and ANG into a ride tonight- hmmmmm.

Rumor has it I'll be racing in Team Bikeman.com colors next year- I'm pretty psyched about that. No I'm not leaving TWAF, despite what A1 is going to say. I'm TWAF forever, especially as I get weaker and feebler.

Now hope for snow so we can get out on skis.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Since I'm Far To Cheap To Buy One Myself

I'll try this route to get my single speed.

The "Hannaford Brand" Steak Sauce

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What the....

Somebody put Getch on this...


It won't be long before we count down to the new year. I have been taking it pretty easy for the last month since the end of the cross series up at Great Glen. No real organized training or guilt when I didn't get out on the bike. The funny part is that instead of feeling rested and refreshed I feel bogged down and sluggish- unlike those guys who train real hard I don't have "overtraining" issues so a break from the bike is just a period of laziness and going backwards. I guess that means it's time to ramp things up, set some goals for 2007 and start using the T word.

Steak Sauce has been lifting and seems to have a glimmer in his eyes about the 2007 season, it could get interesting. Army National Guard just got back from Florida and we'll have to see if that little break has him fired up to ride- NK, he's in love so we won't be seeing him for at least another couple of months. PowderJew is in full bore ski season mode, so his bike won't see daylight for a few months. That basically leaves A1, ANG, and myself to pick up the training and goal setting torch for 2007- any thoughts?

Night ride anyone?


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Nope fooled yah

It's not really winter, just fall dressed up in a fancy dress pretending to be winter. Damn Transfallite. Anywho, rode in this morning. Little chilly on the road until I hit the trails at Sears up the powerlines and in. Powerlines were fairly dry. Not sure what route I'll take home in the dark, whether I dodge water holes again or just hit the road. Plus the big bear tracks I saw on the way in may sway that decision.

On the sponsor front, 2007 is really shaping up and should have some news in the next few days. Can't tell the full details but looks like I'll get support again from my wife and kids and working on a blockbuster sponsorship from my parents. Milk and cookies for everybody.

A-to-the-1 Steak-to-the-Sauce

Friday, December 08, 2006

It looks like winter

So last night I get back from the store around 8:30, mix of snow and rain. Look out the window few minutes later and its changed to snow. Call up Svendo (he's out being some good dad or something). Waited for about 45 minutes and decided to go around 9:30. It was snowing pretty good. Cut through the development to Old Mil, up Davis to the top, down to Overlook to see if Korea Slime was there, he's babysitting JJ's house while he's in FLA, no Korea to be found. Down around Hiram Philbrook back to Old Mill, cut through the woods to Svendo's. Shined the light into his windows but thought he was asleep so continued back home. Go figure he was up, although at that point I'd been out for a while and he would've wanted to go out. Good ride, first storm of the year, maybe 2 inches to play in. Visibility was pretty bad and the car that past me on Davis on the way up probably thought I was crazy, well maybe their right. Actually brought the camera, it was snowing a lot harder than the photo looks but check out my helmet, that shows a bit of snow.

The Original Steak Sauce

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Yup it's winter

The commute into work was a little chilly this morning, but not terrible. The biggest issue was the freezing eyeballs. It made me think of the old Oakley Eyeshades, I'm going to have to see if I can find a pair of those. I think the pair I had is still at my folks house but if I remeber correctly both temples are busted- hmmmmmm.

It's December 6th and I feel like it's late October. I haven't started any holiday shopping, haven't skied, haven't started freaking out about the lack of snow, haven't even gotten in touch with Atomic for my new XC skis- damn if I don't hurry up I'm gonna miss out!

I guess the upside is that I'm not freaking about skiing, the bad news is that it hasn't felt enough like winter for me to even think about freaking, does that make any sense?

Today was the first really cold day, and it wasn't even really that cold, lower 20's I think. This time of year my co-workers talk about being "crazy" to ride in, yet in January I'll be a wimp if I don't ride in on those days when temps are in the 20's- amazing how we get used to the cold!

Anyone looking for a gift idea for me- a pair of winter riding shoes, such as these Lake winter shoes size 43 will work just fine!

Now I need to find my Swix lobster claw gloves so I can chuck the duct tape monsters I'm using right now. A1 is looking at pogies- scroll through this page

That's it on my end. I hope everyone is finding reasons to get out and ride. TWAF needs to come up with our next big race! Oh and anyone looking for the original TWAF t-shirt as the ultimate holiday gift just drop us a line! $15 for one or $25 for 2- how can you go wrong!


Friday, December 01, 2006

bring him on

i scared that punk tinker away from jay, so don't think i can't make lance "the drug-taking-cheater weasel" armstrong out of this, too... mark my words. we won't see lance.

he'll be too busy banging some starlet and making france his bitch yet again.


by the way, if you think i'm serious about lance being a cheater, then you can hang me by my livestrong bracelet.

Another Race and Reason to go

hmmmmmmm, snaked from Velonews:

Armstrong will ride in Leadville Trail 100
Leadville Chronicle
The rumors are true: Lance Armstrong is scheduled to ride in the Leadville Trail 100's mountain bike race in August 2007. Yes, that Lance Armstrong,, the seven-time winner of the Tour de France. Leadville Trail 100 race director Ken Chlouber confirmed, after speaking with Armstrong's coach, that the race was on Armstrong's schedule.

hmmmmmm, DEA