Thursday, June 19, 2008

On the Move

A lot has been happening this last month, at least for Keenan. He has been getting teeth, eating new foods and is starting to move around. Acouple weeks ago he got up on all fours and last week he started to army crawl on the floor. He does not like to stay still very long. He trys to get into things like the computer, phones and magazines things that he not suppose to get into. He has already been keeping us on our toes.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Season 1st's with a Mongoose

This week held a lot of 1st's on my new Mongoose Meteore Team 29'er. This is the bike I have been riding this summer for the guys over at Mongoose. In short it is a SWEET bike! Mongoose did something different with their 29'er, not following the traditional geometry but instead compensated for the larger slower responding wheels by making much more aggressive geometry - can you say 74.5 degree head tube angle!
The bike handles amazing, it is quick, stable, light, and responsive. My size large aluminum frame is coming in spot on at 3lbs! I built it up with pretty standard parts, Stroker brakes, Sram drive parts, Manitou fork, Sunringle wheels, and Maxxis CrossMark tires. The one place I did take the liberty to try something different was the Shimano Ultegra triple road crank. I took the big ring off so I have a 39/30 double gearing. In order to compensate for a larger tire you need a small front gear. On paper this gearing is identical to my 42/26 double gearing I ran last year, and on the trail it feels spot on. If anyone from Shimano, SRAM, or FSA is reading this and wants to totally corner the 29'er market MAKE A 29'ER SPECIFIC CRANK and everyone will buy them. (at that point if you feel bad for totally using my idea I will have no problem accepting some of the royalties of your sales)
Anyway this is the bike.

So back to this past week: Wednesday I ponied up my $50 and went out to Black Hawk for the Chainsmokers TT's for my 1st race of the year. Because of the rain the course was shortened a bit but it was still good for 20-25 minutes. I caught my 15 second man about 1/2 way through the first lap and was then leading so had no one to chase. The course was clear so I was able to really lay down the power and carve my way through the single track. Did I mention that the Mongoose LOVES tight fast single track? The tires were hooking up perfect and I was able to roll in with the fastest time of the night - 1st place .
Today was the Horribly Hilly 100 this was the 1st time I have done this ride so I didn't really know what to expect. I through some CX tires on the Mongoose hit the trail at 5am to ride out to Blue Mounds for a 7am start. Our group took off late because all our number were locked in the van. Fortunately my vandal skills kicked in and I was able to take the radio antenna off the car and use it to pick the lock. We finally got going and started rolling through the hills, and then more, and then more - someone should have warned me that this was going to be hilly! I was hurting pretty bad by the end of it and had to walk the last hill a bit to work out a cramp. Once that was under control I got back on and finished on my bike. Fortunately I used one of our demo PowerTap wheels and could watch my power up the final few climbs, anything over 250 watts was cramps ville so I just kept the power stuck at 230watts used my gearing to get up the hills. After the ride I ate a bunch of food, by a bunch I mean everything I could get my hands on, changed my socks and then got back on the bike for the ride home. Fortunately I had a tail wind so that made the trip much more achievable. 115 miles for the day = 1st century of the year and 1st century EVER on a

Monday, June 09, 2008

Riding with a Champion

This weekend Cathy had the opportunity to ride and hang out with Alison Dunlap at the MadFORCS dirt retreat. She wasn't planning on going until last week Renee e-mailed and ask for help as an instructor. Cathy was a little nervous about instructing because she hasn't had much time on the bike this year...or last year for that matter!
Saturday we headed out to Black Hawk ski hill and dropped her and the bike off. It was nice but the forecast was very unstable. After some introductions everyone got on the bike and Cathy got pared up with Abby Strigel as the other instructor. As a group they would work on skills and then rotated around for time with Alison. They made it most of the day before things started to get ugly. First it started to rain and then the tornado sirens were blaring. A few of the women made a couple calls and decided they were out of harms way so continued to ride the now water soaked trails.
Sunday was scheduled to be a ride and questions day but with a driving rain the women that did show up (Cathy wasn't one of them) just stayed in doors and hung out. Later that night Michelle and Dave invited all the trail workers and instructors over to their house for a dinner with Alison. It was really fun getting catch up with everyone that we haven't seen all summer with our lack of racing and everyone had a good time talking and getting signatures from Alison.
The rain has temporally subsided for now but more in the forecast. Hopefully things will clear up soon so we can get back on the trails.