Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

new commuting "community"

Just signed up on Commute Better, could be interesting to see how this builds out. A buddy of mine put it together. Of course I had to drive today- how ironic!

Anyone build up a Surly Big Dummy yet?


Ride at Fort Rock

Got in a good ride down at Fort Rock in Exeter, went down with JJ and picked up my brother in law at 8am and then headed over to the trail head. None of us had been there so we weren't sure what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised, good trails (lots of rock- hence Fort Rock!) and a ton of bridges with NEMBA etched into the decking.

The riding was fairly technical, lots of stutter pedaling and lots of having to loft the wheel up and over. It was fun, but I'd hate to race on that course with a fully rigid SS.

I did have one mishap- fell off a bridge- or maybe dove off is the better description. I landed flat on my back in a nasty ass swap of black stinky muck. Which I found to be pretty funny. I remember JJ doing a very similar thing, so I think maybe he found it humourous to look at me sinking into the swamp. Of course you do something stupid like that and you know there is an injury somewhere under the black muck. It was my shin and I knew it was going to hurt- but I also knew that I had another hour or so of riding so I didn't want to know how bad or not bad it was.

The real bummer at the time was how wet I was, so I started getting a bit cold and to be honest my confidence had been shaken a bit- so I was a bit more hesitant from that point going forward. I still had fun and then I started getting back in my groove and felt pretty good at the end. We'll have to go back down. Thank you to JJ and Frank for the ride, and we'll get back down there at some point I'm sure.



Friday, April 25, 2008

The New Ride

I got the Mamasita fianlly built and got it out for a test ride last night. No pics as yet- but I'll get those up soon.

It's nice, the handling is quicker that the El Mariachi and it is lighter despite having gears and suspension. Actually I haven't put it on a scale, but my gut is that it's lighter.

Right now I'm running a grip shift for the front, which was much better then the monstosity I was trying to build (a cut down Scott bar end with a bar end shifter stuck into it- not sure what I was trying to do with that other then make it look like a mac truck!)

I'm trying to descide if I should cut down my ergon grip so it fits with the grip shift or if I buy a SRAM front trigger- hmmmm.

I got out on a few trails, but the snow was mostly gone- until I hit a snowbank and cracked my left knee on the stem and M%$^&YF@#$er it hurt! Then last night it was really swollen and I couldn't really walk- but by this morning it bends, it's tender but I was able to ride in without to much pain.

Looks like we might head south tomorrow to Fort Rock- looking forward to giving a ride report on that system.

Also hoping to get JJ and A1 out with rakes at Pine Tree and that will be buffed with about an hour's work by the three of us.

Get out and ride.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A new bike in the family

For the first time in the 15+ years my wife and I have been together a bike rolled into our home that I had nothing to do with. K decided that she wanted a new road bike, she had been rolling around on 650c wheels for years and wanted to get 700c wheels and see if that helped her keep up. So she went out and bought a new road bike a Trek WSD 1.2.

I had commuted yesterday so I called K when she told me that she had picked up the new ride and we figured it would work to have her ride toward me and then we could spin out up Mill Street. It was amazing the difference the big wheels seemed to make as she was able to hang on my wheel in many places where she had in the past gotten easily dropped. So she seemed pretty psyched. Now my oldest has a road bike- a bit big for her, but I think I'll be able to make it work with a shorter stem and a new bar (maybe a flat bar for now)

Speaking of commuting we had 10% of our office commute by bike yesterday, not a huge number but a start! Now I just need to talk our owner into building a new office here and we'll have good mountian bike trails and maybe even XC ski trails right out the door!

So that's it for me. Slowly feeling like my legs are waking up, they're still fat and slow but they seem to be remembering how to go around and around- so that's a start!



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

After work spin

After work I went out for a nice ride with a co-worker. Turned out to be pretty nice 20 mile ride. We headed down West Side Road and into Conway. Then turned south until we got to Bald Hill Road. We terned and headed up Bald Hill. After a short bit we passed the Proulx homestead and Chris was on his deck and warned us that the road went up hill. We thanked him for the secret info and continued on. After some good climbing we had a nice descent and then were back heading North and towards home.

THe plan was to ride about an hour and we were not too far off. Had some good climbing and got close to 1200 feet in. It was a much better ride for me than Saturday's Kanc ride. Course it was a much easier route.

Garmin Edge Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 1:17:48 3:50 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 1:17:49 3:50 pace
Distance (mi ) 20.28
Moving Speed (mph) 15.6 avg. 39.0 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +1,185 / -1,114

Avg. Heart Rate 142 bpm Zone 3.5

Temperature (°F) 78.8°F avg. 78.8°F high
Wind Speed ( mph) S 4.0 avg. S 4.6 max.

Once Spring came this year it has been great.

Ride on.


Happy Earth Day

Is that the appropirate thing to say on Earth Day? Hmmm, have to think about that.

In our office today 30% of the crew rode their bikes to work, not bad- but we could do better! Of course a few of the team work quite a ways away from here- so commuting is a much bigger commitment for them. That being said I'm working on a project with the Maine State Planning Office that deals with living close to work- sort of an interesting project. It lead me to this story.

My ride home yesterday I felt sluggish- this morning I checked my rear tire and had been running 60psi- jacked that up and that made a difference!

Didn't make any progress on the Mamasita last night, but did start jonesing hard again for a Big Dummy all kitted out with a Freeloader set up....hmmmm

So that's it from here. Hoping the weather holds!

ride on.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Good three days

Friday I was able to take a client out skiing, up on Mount Washington. It was epic weather- blue bird, no wind- warm temps. In fact it was one of the warmest days I've ever had skiing up there. We got a bit of a late start but it wasn't long before we were passing people on the Tucks trail as we skinned up. The skin track was in great shape and every time I go up there I realize that hiking with skis on your back sucks, skinning is the way to go!

We got to HoJos and here's a shot of Patrick and I relaxing for a minute:

Patrick and I at Hojo's

Here is a view of Hillmans Highway- this is to the left as you look up of Tuckerman Ravine. The top isn't as steep up in Tuck's, but I really like skiing in there as there usually aren't as many people.

Hillmans is the line in the center that runs from the top to the bottom of the pic

Then this weekend got out for a spin on Saturday just tooling around the camp roads around the lake and then up and over the back of Davis for about 1:15 then headed home to cook up some wings. Here is visual proof that JJ isn't always a beer snob!

Dennis drinking the good stuff

On Sunday K, Lillo and my mother ran the 5km race at Pine Tree so Emma and I chased them around on bikes (Emma on the trail-a-bike) along with my father. It was cool as it was an out and bike course so we rode down the yellow line cheering both the leaders and the those just out for a cruise. Then later in the day we went out for a family cruise on some of the dirt roads- I need to get a better fender as Emma was pretty covered with mud!

So that was the weekend. The Mamsita is partially built- still have some work to do.

That's it from here.



Sunday, April 20, 2008

Riding the Kanc

The wife and kids headed out for spring break for the week leaving me bacheloring it. I took advantage and headed out for a good ride Saturday AM. I figured that since the first event of the season is a month away I needed to see how bad off I am. Unfortunately the ride confirmed I am in bad shape, literally.

Starting the climb

The actual race is a 21 mile time trial that climbs amlost 3,000 feet. The first 17 miles are a gradual steady climb that took me about an hour, then you hit the wall. The final 4+ miles go right up.

Still ice on the pond

At about the 18.5 mile mark there is a pond along side the road and as you can see it is stil frozen.

Low shot

Not sure what it means that you can read the logo on the wheel as I took this one, I'm afraid that it means that I might have been moving pretty slow.


At this point I had no more gears to drop into and was just working to keep moving and upright. Why was this a good idea???

The Top

Finally, the top is in sight.

Garmin Edge Ride data:
Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 2:58:22 4:04 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 2:50:27 3:53 pace
Distance (mi ) 43.81
Moving Speed (mph) 15.4 avg. 32.4 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +2,970 / -2,969

Avg. Heart Rate 161 bpm Zone 4.5

Hope to get out more in the next couple weeks to start getting some legs. Would really love to get on some dirt but that still looks to be a while form now.

Ride on.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cycling Socks

I'm going to poke fun at myself, as I am one of those riders who wears cycling socks pretty much all the time at least once the temperatures get warm enough that I can stop wearing winter weight ski socks! I know I've read in several places out on this world wide web that doing that is considered "poserish", so alas I am once again a poser- just like my mid eighes days when I couldn't afford a pro model skate board and had a Nash board until I had collected enough cans and bottles to buy a Santa Cruz Hosoi, with Indy 169's and SC slimeballs (damn I loved that board!)- it was funny my love of skating didn't change between the two boards- but once I had a "real" board I was no longer a poser- interesting.

I bring this up as I was sitting at my desk talking with one of our coders and I saw my socks (so I took a picture) and I realized I was a poser.

my hairy ankle and purtty sock

So I started thinking about my socks, and I either own cycling socks- most of which are freebees that I've won at races (not for my speed- but for hanging out long enough that I win a raffle of some sort). Most of them are like the ones I have one- Michelin (Thanks Mike!) or they are Bikeman socks. Now the reality is I don't really buy clothes- so my sock collection are either wool socks from Smartwool (I used to get them for free as a product tester- I miss those days) or my cycling socks- or my least favorite- dress socks that are required when I try to look all professional.

I guess my point is do I make fun of myself for wearing cycling socks all the time, or do I make fun of those who spend thier money on casual socks instead of a new pair of Mavic c29's? Hmmmmm thoughts to ponder.

Anyway it's sunny out- hoping to get out for a ride soooooooon, hoping to get on trails soon as well. Anyone in the NE region got rideable trails? Would love to hear about it!



Thursday, April 10, 2008

The riding efforts begin

It's been a great week. Got out with A1 and his wife on Saturday, skied like a mad man on Sunday with a group of 60+ year olds and tried my damndest to stay with them (and my legs are still killing me!) Got in some commuting this week and snuck out with JJ for a good lunchtime spin yesterday. This morning I rode in and my legs were junk- I'm thinking it was the Applebees I ate last night- I should have known better!

I'm hoping to get in some good milage this weekend and maybe we can talk about a trip not to far south to get on trails here pretty quick- that would be sweet!

The Mamasita is still in bubble wrap- saving that for a rainy day project.

That's it from here- but I hope everyone is taking advantage of this great weather this week. I did see Michelin Mike out yesterday



Wednesday, April 09, 2008


With the temps finally warming up and snow banks on roads melting I've gotten out for some longer rides recently. Saturday did the loop from home to West Side to North Conway village and back down North South Road and home. That evening I decided to grab the SS and head out for a little spin around Old Mill and Pine Tree to play around a little. Sunday was cold and rainy so Monday Nikki and I rode the North South to the village again and then around Old Bartlett by Cranmore and back to the village and home. Yesterday I had to bring some tax things to our accountant so I decided to ride. He's in Tamworth Village so I headed down Rte. 16 to Rte. 113 in Chocorua then continued on that to the village. Decided to bypass Page Hill as it was pretty sandy, or that's my excuse, it's friggin steep too. Accountant wasn't there so I spun back and rode the same route home. Little over 40 miles on the ride and best part I saved about $10 in gas (now that diesel is over $4 gal.). Today I had to bring the truck to Meredtih to get serviced and oil change so I turned down all offers for a ride home and brought my bike instead to ride back. Another $10 savings. I've never ridden that far south of here. Pretty decent amount of hills and roads are really smooth. Only really bad section is from The Neck Road in Moultonboro to the school, absolutely no shoulder and was pushed off once by a tractor trailer on one of the corners. It seems for every hill you climb you descend one as well so the 23 mile ride was actually just over an hour and ten. Stopped at our garage in Tamworth and grabbed another truck as I have a meeting later and needed a vehicle so wasn't able to continue to Conway. So since Saturday I've been about 115 miles, not bad. Legs feel decent too.

After yesterdays ride I went to Frontside got a large coffee and a donut, then decided the donut was good so I drove to Leavitts for 2 more. Monday after the ride I also drove to Frontside for a capuchino and a cookie, yummy. I'm off to get more donuts now, sweet.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Dos in progress....

I went over to DEA's last night with a bunch of bike parts and some beer. We made some good progress on my Dos Niner.

Still need to finish running some cables and get the drivetrain dialed in.

I am trying to run the wheelset tubeless with some Stans sealant and regular Maxxis tires. We were able to get the front to air up pretty easily, but the rear was a nightmare and we never did get the bead to set and hold any air.

Overall I'm pretty happy with how its coming together. Much thanks to DEA for his bike prowess. I need to buy more beer so we can finish the job and start to out his Mamasita together. Of course we have another 3 months of winter yet, so what's the rush?


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A slow start

I've been getting out a bit more on the bike, got in better then three hours this weekend and did a half commute on Monday (ended up working super late and didn't have lights so needed to catch a ride home), and then of course it snowed again- argh.

Drove over the Kanc yesterday- the snowbanks are rather impressive. I think JJ and I are going to try and ride it this weekend- we'll have to see if we can get A1 to go with us as well.

Box season continues, and I think I have everything I need for the Mamasita build, I'm thinking that will happen tonight, JJ may come over to build his Dos as well. I've got a few other bike projects- but the DA kit over on to the Surly cross-check and the the new Rival kit will go onto the Primero, then I need to sell the Jake and also the Specialized SS, so if anyone is looking let me know!

The girls are down in FL doing the disney thing and I'm hanging with the dogs and snowbanks, hmmmm.

Hopefully we get good weather this weekend and we can snap a few pics from the Kanc ride- should be pretty cool with the 12 foot plus snowbanks!