Monday, October 31, 2005

WORS Banquet

What a perfect weekend!! Saturday we met for a pre-banquet group ride. It was soooo nice out I didn't need my tights, and probably could have done without my long sleeve jersey. We rode around Rockport park for a while then headed out to the LAB. It was great riding in the daylight out there, I haven't done that for about a month now. After the ride we got cleaned up and hit the road. We were meeting the parents up in Mauston to drop off the dog. Then back to Devils Head for the WORS banquet. We had a lot of people that picked up hardware. Cathy got her 1st place award, Cory picked up a 2nd place in points and 1st place in the NORBA Sport awards, and Christina walked away with 5th overall in the women and more gifts than she could carry! Larry, Bill, Brian, and Amy were all on the podium as well. (I am sure there were more people, sorry if I missed you)
I was a little disappointed with the Expert turnout. The overall winner of Elite women and two of the top 5 Elite Men, including the winner, DIDN'T EVEN SHOW!!! I don't know of any huge race going on that they could have been at, but it looks kinda bad, when they are getting $2400 and don't have enough time to pick it up. Oh well that is my two sense, take it for what it is worth.
Once the awards ended the drawing started. Let me just start by saying I have never won anything in my life!! So drawings get me worked up usually for nothing. Well the night went on, lots of kids were winning stuff, just about every table around us was winning, but Michael's Cycles were getting skunked. Then they pulled this out:

I had drifted into a day dream, not sure what it was about, but I think it involved playing with my glass of water. Then I heard my name being called, I looked up and they were holding the bike frame!! SWEET! Not sure what I am going to do with it yet. I would like to sell it and put the money toward our road bikes, or maybe an Anthem. If anyone is interested, or if you know somebody who could use a sweet 4" travel frame post a reply with a way to get a hold of you. You can check out all the specs here.
Well that's all for now. Hopefully we can get a couple rides in this week before we load up and head off to the Ice Man.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Group ride this weekend!

Yeah, I know it has been a while since I have updated this. We have been really busy with fall projects. We are tearing into the living room, getting all the wood work pulled off and sanded. It is going a lot faster now that we know what we are doing and now that we/I have a power tool to work with!!!!!
I have been still taking it easy on the bike. That has pretty much been the plan all October. It is good to take some time just to ride for fun, or not ride at all. I am getting things set up for winter training and preparing for next season. I am not looking forward to spinning, but I guess that is a part of what it takes to go fast during the summer, so it is worth it.
If you are going to the WORS banquet and live in southern Wisconsin, then you should join us for the Michael’s Cycles group ride. We are meeting at the shop at 10am. Sounds like the weather is going to be nice so it will be cool to see a lot of people show up.
On Sunday, we are thinking about heading over to Milwaukee for a cyclocross race. I have never done one before but think it could be a lot of fun.
Next weekend is Ice Man. I can’t believe November is already here, it is still soooo nice out. I better not say that too loud. I will try to get some pictures of the group ride and race on here some time this weekend.
Hope to see you all on Saturday!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

First snow!?!

Just when I thought all the racing was done, we have one more to hit. Cathy qualified for the first Regional Championships held within the Ice Man race. So she got a free entry and I was able to buy an entry from Christina, who qualified as well. We have never done that race so I am going to have to keep a close eye on the forcast to know what to bring. I am really excited, I have heard alot of good stories and can't wait to get some more first hand! I kinda hope we have a little snow on the ground, that would just make the race that much more epic!
Speaking of snow. We are in Minnesota again this weekend for yet another wedding! It seems like that is all we have done this summer. But tonight and tomorrow morning they are calling for snow! I guess it was going to happen sometime, as long as it stays up here that would be fine by me.
Not much more to say, there was a cyclocross race this weekend, Cory was talking about racing the NRS or the OCR. Either of the bikes would be sweet, because they are both about equally as far from a 'cross bike as you can get!
Well I got to get cleaned up for the wedding.
Thanks for stopping by, have a good weekend.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Why cyclists use velcro

Last night Cathy had a meeting at work so I took the dog out to Rockport for ride, well the dog ran and I rode...enough! Anyway, Cory met us out there and we cruised around, and talked about the new bikes, this one in particular. I found out that the shop will be hosting a group ride before the WORS awards banquet. If you are interested click here, here, or here. Hopefully we get a good turn out, Janesville has some totally sweet trails and all the leaves turning makes it a perfect time of year to check them out.
When we got done Cory stopped in for some wonderful apple pie that Cathy had made earlier. It was sooooooooooo good!!!!!!! Still warm and everything, I know that I could have eaten the entire pie if Cathy would have let me, I had to quit after 2 rather LARGE slices. Ok what happens next totally proves that we do not have a life at all!! As Cory was tieing up his shoes I commented that he does it backwards. This led to a 20 minute shoe tieing discussion/demonstration. Have you ever watched yourself or someone else tie there shoes, it is really weird. I am just glad that my cycling shoes are velcro and ratchets!
Tomorrow we are heading up to Camrock, I think I have only rode up there once this year, it is so weird, last year I used to live at that park. But those are some really fun trails and it should be another nice night for the lights.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Night Rider Repair

Tis' the season for night riding. I look forward to this time of year. The racing is done, I don't have to analyze ever second I am on my bike. I can ride when I want, how I want. The cool air brings out the light jacket, and makes the back of your throat tingle as you gasp for air, giving that impossible hill one last shot!
By now the nights are getting longer so it is time to brake out the lights. Night riding in the fall is great. The shadows, and reflection off all the leaves, it is just fun to be in the woods.
If you are anything like me, as soon as we turned our clocks forward last spring I tossed the light into a corner, only to dig it out for the occasional endurance event, which actually capitalizes the reasons for having spare parts.
This fall Cathy has been having problems with her Nite Rider light. It has been giving her problems when she tries to turn in on, sometimes it works other times, nothing. Then on Tuesday, when darkness set in, she tried and it had finally had enough. When we got home, fortunately Jim, who we bought the light from, had a spare bulb. I have installed lights in a car, and you have to be really careful not to touch the glass. But the guys at Nite Rider did there homework. This was the easiest switch ever:

1st - Take the wrench that come with the new light and remove the 4 screws.
2nd - Remove the bulb, there should be an o-ring around the lens, throw that also.
3rd - Plug in new bulb, you can touch this baby anywhere, so don't worry if you hands are a little dirty.
4th - Put the new o-ring into the plastic housing. I noticed that the replacement was a bigger diameter, it went together easy, so it will just seal better.
5th - Put the cover back on and tighten the screws.
6th - Go riding!!!

If you have had the light for a couple years, and/or do a lot of endurance racing you will definitely want to test your lights before the event. It should turn right on, if it gives you problems it is probably time to swap out the bulb. They are a little expensive, $110 retail, but it will look like a new system. Remember the first time you seen the bright blue light...aaaahhhhhh

If you have lost your manual, down load one for free! There is some good info and charging tips. Hope that helped someone, have a wonderful fall (I mean autumn season).


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

1st Annual Trailer Time Trial

Last night we put on what is going to be an annual event. We met at 6:30 and got to see our newest anchor, the B.O.B. trailer with 27.5 pounds of sand weights bungied in for a ride of their life. We got to the lab and between the people that rode out and the ones that met us there we had a pretty good group. Bob took the first pull and showed the rest of us the course. It started with some fast downhills and plenty of roots, to make the trailer bounce uncontrollably. Then after crossing a small bridge you dropped to your easy gears and hit a pretty steep climb. The steep part was short, only 100-150 ft. but then it leveled out a little but was constant up for a long time. We turned over a log, which made for some interesting shows through the night. We then headed through some pines and into the wood chips. This made for a hard finish, trying to find anything left as the bike and trailer just sink and drag though the soft surface. It sounds like a long course but was actually only 0.85 miles.
I took the second run, still leery about how much abuse the trailer would take I took it easy through the roots, powered up the climb, almost came to a stop over the log hop, and buried the needle through the wood chips turning a 4:51 minute lap. It was fun following everyone else watching the trailer bounce all over, there were a couple near misses as the trailer slid and tried pulling a couple off the trail! Bill L. had the slide of the night, he went across the bridge way to fast, trying to keep his speed to push him up the hill, but when he turned the trailer slid off the path and just about took him over, somehow he held onto it, and still was able to get into the right gear for the climb!! Rob H. took two passes at the course, on his second run, he some how got the trailer to clear the log hop! It must have hit a bump just as he was lifting his rear tire over the log, because the trailer was already airborne, and just touched the top of the log as it flew over, INCREDIBLE!! I had posted the fastest run on my first try but wanted to try again after seeing how much faster people were pushing in the rough sections. I took off and rode significantly more aggressive. On an off-camber sweeping corner in the wood chips I got loose and put the bike and trailer into a power slide, I hung onto it somehow, but cleared the wood chips down to dirt through the entire corner, SWEET!! I was able to cut another 9 seconds off my time, posting 4:42 minutes as a fast lap of the night!
All in all it was a great time, the weather was perfect and doing this at night just made it all that much more fun! I tried to snap some pictures, but the camera died instantly. We will definitely be doing this again next year so I will make sure to have good batteries ready.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Go Gorilla Go!!

I really wish I could have made it to The Wigwam/Ultimax Challenge this weekend. It is by far the best race of the series. Tons of money, big name riders, HUGE hills, and so much energy! There is a new member on the Michael's Cycles team and I think he is here to stay! Harry Gerilla did pretty good in his first citizen race, finishing 113 out of 170 racers!! Although pine trees aren't his natural environment he must have felt right at home darting through the single track.

Gorillas are born to climb!

The "Equalizer" doesn't favor man or ape!
Keep your eyes open Harry is going to be at other events around the area. Make sure you have bananas ready, a hungry gorilla could get ugly!!

Monday, October 10, 2005

The new tire to beat

I have seen a couple adds flying around after Interbike about some new rubber that Maxxis is going to be sporting for 2006. This is the new MaxxLite 310, what does 310 stand for...I thought you would never ask. Are you ready? You might want to sit down for this, yeah that is the weight!! 310 grams SWEET!! Looks like it still has decent tread considering, this could be a dangerously fast tire on hard pack.

Another tire that looks really sweet is the new CrossMark. As you can see it's got a pretty smooth center tread, to roll easy but still has the knobs needed to grip when the tire leans. At 2.1 inches wide it should be a good high volume tire. I haven't seen what the weight is yet but I am sure it is going to be right in there.
Other exciting news is L.U.S.T. (Lightweight Ultimate Sidewall Technology), this should solve some of the problems people were experiencing with the thin side-walls on last years tires. It is also supposed to make the tubeless tires 15% lighter, a lightweight tubeless?!? I think they are on to something! Can't wait to rap some of this rubber around the CrossMax and see how they handle.

Friday, October 07, 2005

How much is too much?

Check this out, the new Specialized Carbon Epic. I will give it to them that is a sweet ride, but is it really worth $7100!?! I could build the NRS up pretty sweet, and still have enough money to make a couple house payments for that price!


That basically sums up the ride last night. We slapped on the lights and headed out to the North East park. The city is building a HUGE pile out there for a sledding hill. I don't know why, I can't imagine they would put that much work into something for kids to sled on...our tax dollars hard at work! Either way it is going to be perfect for doing hill repeats on next summer. Then we hit the trails, once we got into the woods and pick up the speed a little everyone started warming up. It ended up being a perfect night. The trails were a little hard to see with all the leaves and there were acorns EVERYWHERE, which made the first couple laps a little on edge.
We talked about the Trail Trash Time Trial, I guess it is on Tuesday out at the lab, I still don't think that is going to be a good place, the trailer will get broken, and most likely it will be attached to my bike when that happens!!! I am going to have to mark out a course at Rockport and get some times out there.
We are heading to MN this weekend for a wedding. I can't believe how many people got married this summer! Hopefully next year will be a little calmer. But it will be good to see the fam. again and have some time to chill.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

House work

I figured it was about time for an update. We have been super busy this past weekend and throughout this week working on the house. Cathy wanted to paint but the people that owned the house before us did the worst job ever when they painted, they must not have taped off any of the wood work cause there is white paint splattered all over the edges. It doesn't look bad now, but when we put on our color you will see the stained wood, white, then tan, NOT COOL! So I have been removing all the wood work, stipping, sanding, sanding, sanding, staining, and sealing everything!! Yeah way more work than I was hoping. But it is finally starting to look like something so that is good.
Because of all this I haven't been able to get much riding in. It has been killing me, letting all these nice fall days slip away. On the other hand it has been good to let the bike sit. We went out for a short ride last night and it was so much FUN!! That's what this time of year is all about.
Next Thursday it sounds like we are having an off-road time trial...using the BOB trailer! Not sure on all the details yet but it sounds like that's going to be a good time.
I will try to keep this a little better up to date.
Thanks for stopping by.