Thursday, October 30, 2008

UPDATES: Neuvation C50's, Training Rides & Five Guys' Hot Sauce Nearly Does Me In

Here is some updated thoughts on the follow subjects:

Neuvation C50 Wheels. Today I finally got around to looking over my Curtlo from the Astoria Race. The new rear shifter cable had stretched just a bit and so that was adjusted. I adjusted the brake pads a bit as well. I looked that the wheels to see if they were still holding together and they were, but the rear wheel was just a slight bit out true. Maybe a millimeter or two away from being perfect. Lane at work straightened it and said that it trued up easily and required just a couple 1/8th turns here and there. I am not surprised, Astoria was hell in some places and I did not take it easy when it was bumpy. This was the first time they have been trued after the three races they have been used. The front wasn't touched. I still really like these wheels. If they continue to hold up I will probably buy a second set next year so that I have a different set of tires ready along with the Fangos.

Training Rides. I rode to work and back for the past three days. I try to make them training rides and since there is a far amount of elevation change over the 13 miles distance that I go each way it can make it pretty challenging if I push it--especially on the way back. I hate the last 2+ miles of my return ride home because of the 4 short steep-ish climbs that happen come when I am tired after riding both ways and being on my feet all day long. My legs tonight were dead. They just had nothin' in them. So I just sat in small chainring may more than usually and hated my ride home. It sucked. I had not had much to eat and because my wife went out to dinner with the kids there weren't any leftovers at home for me tonight. As a result about 2/3 of the way home--right before the hills start to hurt me--I stopped at the place that I shall call Devin's Kryptonite--Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries and their hot sauce. Ugh. I love this place. It is not good for me. Totally unhealthy. But this place is like kryptonite for me in that seeing this place on my commute makes me weak. It seems to bend me to its will if I get too close to it and then it drags me inside. Tonight I went back for the first time in about 5 days and I felt good about that...or not. Anyway, I went and tried something different, a bacon burger. No cheese because I need to stay on the healthy side of things after all. I had them put on hot sauce instead of ketchup and mustard. And of course no mayo--I hate mayo on sandwiches and burgers. The hot sauce is Frank's Hot Sauce, which I have never had before. It definitely has a kick. The burger was freakin' huge. This is what it had on it, lettuce, a couple of tomato slices, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, bacon, two patties, and the hot sauce. I had some fries too. Geesh...too much food. And the hot sauce activated something that apparently had been laying undisturbed. I am not saying that it was the hot sauce itself that was the trouble so much as the instigator of the trouble. Everything was fine and dandy until about 10 minutes after it hit my stomach. Yeah, trouble was brewing. Before I even left Five Guys the trouble was apparent. I continued my ride home I almost didn't make it without having a disaster in my P.I. Amfibs. As if I wasn't miserable enough with my rubber legs, I had to try and thread the needle between keeping stuff that wanted to explode out inside me and also trying to keep my toasted legs pumping onward the last 2.5 miles home to make it in the house unscathed. I mean too much effort and I might not be able to hold it all in, and without a sufficient amount of speed it was be similarly bad. was a delicate yet immediate problem. And did I mention that most of my remaining route was uphill? Yeah, maxing out tired legs and maxing out my sphincter retention powers was a little much for me tonight. Nevertheless, I made it home without either my legs or my rear blowing up...yea me.

I know, I know...TMI, TMI....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Couple more pictures

This is another picture I found of myself on the sosovelo website.

This first one I saw on the Oregon Velo website. I just think that the position that the rider is in is amusing. It sort of reminds of a dog and a fire hydrant, but maybe I have been hanging out too much with 3 and 5 year olds.

By the way the picture in the prior post came from Oregon Velo as well, and I even paid for it...seriously.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Race Report: Astoria

First off what is up with the weather? With plenty of sun and dry ground you would think that racing would be great...sure. But no, this race hurt. It was quite a difficult race.

Astoria was a double race weekend, just not for me. I could only race Saturday. I had to drive to meet the family in Black Butte later Saturday night. Actually, after riding on Saturday my back thanks me for having to other things going on.

I arrived at the Clatsop Fairgrounds with enough time to fully check out the course, but without a chance to ride it because of the races going on prior to mine. It would have been nice to know from the beginning that one could really just blast down that and the other long downhill runs. Once down in the meadow I learned that almost anywhere that there was grass there would soon be my back. Geesh, the course was brutal. There were a couple of good hill climbs as well. Because of these two course characteristics I was ready to be done after the third lap. Unfortunately after the third lap, the lap card at the finish line showed I had another 3 laps to go. Ugh.

At that point I seriously wondered why I was there. I thought "Why to I do this to myself?" Is my memory so short that I constantly forget how much it sucks during the cross race? I remember just hurting so freaking much. My back was dying. My legs were rubber. I was a little pukey once. Later in the race my right calf seized up (not enough water--totally my bad). And my handling skills were not so great at that point either.

During the race I was still getting the hang of the Fango tires. I wasn't able to lean on them as much as I can when using the Flexus tires on the packed dirt or asphalt. But on grass, and in the occasional soft turn they were rad. It just took me about 3 laps to figure out where I could turn hard and trust them. Not that I was handling the bike tons better during laps 4 through 6--I was often just trying to keep pedalling--but my confidence was better.

Somewhere around the middle of the race I passed a rider from Portland Velo. I don't know his name. The rest of the race was just about trying to keep him from re-passing me. I didn't know how I was doing in relation to everyone else. I didn't care, I just wanted to be done and beat that guy.

Oddly for all of the 5th lap I felt pretty good, except for climbing out of the meadow. That sucked every time. Oh, and the Masters of Hell (the Crusade organizers) there decided to toss a barrier in right in the middle of the uphill out of the meadow. It was a total momentum killer. At least I think I you could call what I had before the barrier, momentum. Anyway, what the heck was that about? Oh yeah, I forgot, they like to make us suffer.

On the 6th lap I found that I was about to get passed on the longer climb up the back slope of the fairgrounds. I managed to have the better line and then pedalled just hard enough to get to the downhill without getting passed. Those downhills were great. No brakes. Just let the bike fly down the hills. At that speed even the crappy bumpy grass sections just kinda smooth themselves out. I carried pretty good speed through the rest of the course and managed to keep some guy behind me at the finish--not the Portland Velo guy. The PV guy was back one more spot. I don't know what the guy that almost passed me looked like, I just heard and felt him on my back tire.

That course put the hurt on everyone. So while I am disappointed I didn't finish higher, I can't say that the course singled me out over anyone else. Really, my main excuse for not finishing in the top 1/4 again is that I am still heavier than I should be and thus I use up too much of what power I have hauling too much extra fat up those hills. In order to do well there (other than losing more weight) I would have needed a little help--as in some rain. If the conditions had been a little more damp it would have smoothed out the course. If it had been swampy that would have slowed everyone down and it would have rewarded those bold enough to open it up a bit on the descents.

I finished 29th out of 61 finishers. Total racers were 63 for my race. 2 of them DNF'd--lucky guys...


I talked to a couple of guys that raced Sunday instead of Saturday there. All of them said it was miserable as well. One said it was the hardest thing he had done in his life. What is up with that? Why do we do this? Why is that at some point in every race I curse myself for torturing myself for 45+ minutes? You would think I/we would learn. It is one thing if you are winning, but for those that are in the pack or at the back, WHY?

It is the same thing every race. I find that I start getting anxious the morning of the race (luckily not so much the night before so I am able to sleep). This anxious feeling builds until the last couple of minutes before the race. Those are the worst. That is when I come face to face with the fact that hell awaits me and that it is too late to do anything about it. I am committed at that point even with the knowledge that this is going to hurt. It is like standing there knowing the bully is going to punch you in the playground, but you don't run away. You take it standing up.

The race starts and I forget about the inevitable pain for a lap or two as I concentrate on getting the course lines down in my head and avoiding pile-ups (some poor sap ran right into the side of the entrance to the passageway that we passed through in the horse stalls--Ouch! Others lost it on the asphalt on the first lap). Then around midway the pain starts to hit (Keep in mind that it hits even though I do a preemptive Ibuprofen dosage before the race). Yeah, that is when I have to overcome myself and my own weakness. Sometimes I do better than at other times. Cross racing just really hurts and there is nothing to do other than stand up and pedal through it even when I wonder if I have the strength to get off the dang saddle.

Then there is almost always a lap (or sometimes less) of relief. I don't know why this happens after the mid-race misery, but the only time that it didn't in my memory was at Alpenrose this year (I was too banged up and frustrated to ever get to the sweet spot).

After this brief respite comes the final stage where I just want the race to be done, but I want to finish strong. The end of the race I generally give it everything I have left to either pass someone else or to keep from getting passed by one more rider. At times my peripheral vision has gone a bit blurry or I have almost hurled on myself from the effort sometimes at this stage of the race. Sometimes my heart feels like it will leap out of my chest. Then it is over and I find myself leaning on my bike.

I doubt I am in the minority in this regard. I think most of us out there go to a point of exertion during these short races well beyond what the majority of the population has ever done (not including mothers--that is just nuts, giving birth). That goes for whether you are racing as a beginner or an "A". We suffer. And we do it almost weekly for about 2 or 3 months straight. Some who haven't raced think we are slightly off when they read or see pictures.

Are we stupid? Well, maybe but that fact has little to do with why were are out there. No, we suffer because we can. Because it makes us better. It may for some of us make up for the stupid stuff that we have to go through during the week. For me, it gives me a place to lodge the frustration that has resulted from still not being able to find a position with any entity that will allow me to practice law. Passed the bar exam last year but still not practicing, damn it. That some of that mental anxiety, frustration and depression has been used for fuel in training and racing. I am the fastest I have ever been. And I will get faster. I am the thinnest I have been since the the mid 1990's. And I will get thinner because it will make me better/faster.

Bring it on. I will suffer. And I will smile when I am done. No matter how much it sucks and no matter how much I question my sanity during the heat of the battle it is the one area of my life that I have some control. I choose this. I choose to be there. I choose to suffer. I choose to push through what I think is possible, albeit many times I don't seem to be getting through that barrier. But I think that every time I am out there I am taking steps to become what I want to be. Yes, I compare myself to others by way of where I place in the race. But I don't go out there so much to beat anyone in particular but to beat my results last year or last month or last week. I know I can be better, even if at times I just feel so damn pathetic and weak. Yeah, I still suck. Mid pack Master C's...big whoop. I have a bike that is way better than my abilities warrant. But I will continue to get better. That has been my track record over the past few years...continual improvement...even if it seems like it is at glacial pace sometimes.

Cyclocross has become a refiners fire for me. Once I do actually get to practice law I know that my racing will benefit me there too. I can push through stuff that sucks. I can push my body when it says/screams "NO!" I can do that in law too when I get the chance.

Barton Park next week. See you there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Post Ride Recommendation: Five Guys Burger and Fries (the Best Burger In Oregon)

EDIT: Ok Ok Ok beside the guys that commented I have talked to about 4 others that have asked if I have tried this place or that for a burger. I haven't tried every single place in town that is worth its salty fattiness. So maybe the title of this post should be best burger "I" have ever had in Oregon. Nevertheless, I am very interested in all of your suggestions.

I consider myself to be a true lover of the hamburger. I don't always have to have the best burger in the world to appreciate the wonder of the burger. Being from Southern California, I love In-N-Out Burgers. I eat them like crazy every time I visit my parents in California. I love the Burger Supreme Restaurant in Provo where I did my undergrad. I mean I even like McDonalds burgers, especially the cheap little ones that now come in a Happy Meal--I just hate the McDonald's cheese. These are just some examples of the types of burgers I enjoy. Some are cheap, some are super fresh and some are just full of flame broiled goodness. But I don't really like to compare them to each other because, well, like the those listed above, they are too different to compare really. After all, I would never choose a McDonalds hamburger when it was sitting side by side with an In-N-Out burger, that would be idiotic. But when I want a quick bite, sometimes the McDonalds burger fits the bill perfectly.

Here in Oregon we have many of the standard fast food joints. They all have their good and bad points. I don't really feel like anyone of them is the best or anything. I do like the Carl's Jr Western Bacon Burger, Jack in the Box sucks for regular burgers their spendy Ciabatta ones are fine (and I like their cheap tacos), Whoppers are just OK, etc. There are the one offs that I quite like, such as George's and Giant Burger. They are sort of close to the Burger Supreme that I mentioned before.

When we visited Virginia several years ago when I was considering going to one of a couple of law schools out there (and if I had I would probably have a better paying gig by now had I attended one of those...grrrr) we went to a place called Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I was a little timid about it and only had a small burger without all of the fixin's, just lettuce, tomato, ketchup and mustard. Boring, but it was pretty good.

Fast forward to tonight. On my commute there is a Five Guys that just opened either today or yesterday. I have been watching for the "NOW OPEN" sign ever since the sign went up that it was coming. That seems like ages ago. I almost stopped and ate there on my way in to work, but I didn't want to be rushed. On the way home I again almost stopped and walked in but I figured I should go home and see if I could help get the kids to bed. I figured that Bridget might want a late night snack too and so I could head back before they closed. I pedaled home to find an empty house. I called and found out everyone was out at various places, safe. Sweet, I was on my own! With our car sitting in the driveway it looked like it was time to head back to get some grub.

Five Guys just looks like burger joint. Nothing special except for the bags and bags of whole potatoes sitting all over the place. The bags of potatoes eventually will all be used to make french fries and they are always there in the dining area. Five Guys has a box of shelled peanuts that you can munch on as you wait to order or to get your food. And yes, it will take a bit to get your food. Everything is totally fresh so it takes a little bit to cook. The menu is simple, burger fries and hot dogs. I ordered the regular cheeseburger with everything but the mayo. I don't do mayo. But I did get grilled onions, grilled/sauteed mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard, ketchup and of course the cheese and what turned out to be two patties that come with the regular size burger. It is huge. It was messy. It was freaking perfect. Holy crap it was amazing. I had some expectations for the burger, but I wasn't expecting the best burger that I have ever had in this state. All of the flavors just went together. The fries are great too. Cut and fried right there in front of you. They had the perfect combination of grease, salt, and crispiness.

Now, there are a host of other things you can get put on your burger there. BBQ sauce, hot sauce, jalapenos, and several other things that I can't remember off the top of my head. I can see that I am going to need to make some trips back soon to try a few different things.

Prices aren't cheap, but I promise it is worth it. Here is the website:

Now I stated that this is the best burger in Oregon. Is it the best burger that I have ever had? Hmmm. Not sure. But is has to be in the conversation. And it is only 2.5 miles from our house according to my cyclometer. It is going to be rough staying below 190 lbs. from here on out.

Oh, and Fish...they have them in Utah if you didn't know that already. I hope they are as good there as they are here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Well, I am back to it. During the summer I was pretty good about riding to work and back. Once it got close to Bridget's due date I started driving more. Then after the birth I stopped riding to work all together so that I could leave later and get home sooner. But things are more or less on a schedule and it is time to once again start riding to work and back, at least most days.

The commute there is not too bad, it takes about 45 minutes to get 13 miles. But on the way back it takes longer since there are hills to climb to get back to home. Plus I don't like to ride as fast since it is dark. I have a light but I don't feel confident riding 20+ mph in many of the areas that don't have street lights. And even in areas that do I often don't go as fast as I could. So on the way back it takes about 10 minutes longer. But basically I get in two cyclocross length rides in every day that I ride to work and back. I think that will be a good thing long term, but for now I can tell that after a couple of days of this I am going to be a little worn out. I am just not used the work load of riding 25+ miles a day 4 or 5 days in a row. I expect that my legs will be a little toasted for the next cross race or two. Oh well.

Riding at night is interesting. Sort of scary, but not overly so. I don't have to ride through any horrible areas, unless you think downtown Beaverton is a bad part of town. The scary part comes from not really knowing what is on the road more than 30 feet in front of you many times. Or from wondering if my tail light is doing a good job of letting an unattentive driver that I am on the road. Yeah, that stuff worries me. But I do feel good riding and I like that fact that when I get home I can eat whatever the heck I want. Truly a bonus.

In other news today I finished gluing my 7th tubular tire in the past 3 weeks. This time it was for a customer and not a fellow employee or myself. The wheel was a Zipp disc wheel and the tire a spendy Tufo. I felt a little pressure to do a good job obviously and dang if I didn't get that tire pretty close to perfect. My best glue job yet. Road tires definitely are easier to get straight that a cyclocross tire. I don't know what the shop is going to charge this guy but it will be worth it, even if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Odds and Ends 10/21/08

NOTE: For those that read this earlier, sorry that it was such a cluster. I must have been really tired last night when I wrote it. There may still be errors, but I have to get going to work now.

I have about 5 little bits of news and opinion.

1) I really like the website. The main thing I use it for is to just geek out over myself and others I know. The website allows you to look up any rider and see his or her results. This is not just for races in Oregon, but in many other areas of the country. They have results cataloged for 340 races and 18,000+ racers. Sure that is pretty cool, BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! Not only can you look up past results you can see if you have been generally improving by looking at one of several graphs, your finish breakdown (top or bottom 50%, top 25%, top 10%, wins, etc.) and what racers you own and who own you. It is a great way to obsess about cyclocross in between races. I highly recommend it.

2) I tried to mess around with my cable routing and cable attachment in an effort to get away from the Jtek Shiftmate that I have used on my Curtlo the last couple of races. The Shiftmate is designed to allow me to use a Campy 9 speed shifter with a Shimano 9 speed deraileur. With the way I initially had it worked, but when the terrain became especially rough it would occassionally ghost shift. That sort of bugged.

So I tried various ways of attaching the cable to the rear derailleur in an effort to change the amount of that the derailleur moves when the shifter is clicked. One good resource for mating the unmateable is over at I also found Leonard Zinn at Velonews to be a valuable resource for mating Campy and Shimano. In the end I found that unless I want to use a 10 speed Campy shifter with my 9 speed shimano cassette and derailleur instead of my Campy 9 speed shifter I need to keep the Jtek Shiftmate on the bike.

But I figured out a way to route it much much more cleanly so there the thing doesn't seem to bounce around much at all. I will take picturesn later of the way it sits now. Basically, I was able to get it to work pretty well and then Lane at work refined it so that it would be a winner. We will see over the coming weeks.

3) Neuvation Wheels. I really really like these wheels. They are stiff. They are reasonably light. They have taken the abuse they have been given in two races without any issues.

The carbon pads that John at Neuvation sent with the wheels work really well. Stopping has not been an issue at all. Braking was somewhat of a concern prior to buying them. I have heard of people having problems stopping with carbon rims. Not so yet, but haven raced them in soupy mud yet. Raced them in the wet and in the mildly muddy conditions at Alpenrose without issue, but I don't consider that a real test. I am thinking about the conditions that existed at Hillsboro last year.

I only have one issue,and it is more my problem that their problem. I still worry about them when I go over sharp edged rocks. I worry that if the tire compresses to the rim that it will damage the rim. This has happened at least a half a dozen times during the two races and the rims show no marks. Still, I worry a bit. I think that over time as they show themselves to be durable I won't worry as much.

I won't give a final grade on these until after the season is over, but for know, they are doing fine.

4) Challenge Fango Tires. Not enough info yet. I like them last Saturday. The casing feels pretty good. I can't give them the final grade either until I get them in the mud. It was dry on Saturday and they did fine, but so do my Tufos in the dry stuff.

5)I am tired. One of my boys was up sick last night and so I didn't get much sleep. He upchucked near midnight, but luckily that was it. He had a fever off and on the rest of the night. I didn't sleep from 11:30pm until nearly 4am. Then I fell asleep in the rug on the floor of his room so that I could be close by should he feel the need to vomit again. He was doing much better this morning, better than I really.

First off all, whenever there is puking involved in an illness here at the house I become immediately worried. I worry for the sick person of course, but I also worry about my own impending doom. I wonder how many hours I have until I also throw up. In fact I was immediately nauseated when Jack tossed his cookies. I thought I was getting sick too. Was I? Now I feel mostly fine, so it was apparently all in my head. This is annoying that I am so mentally weak that I become ill at the first whiff of vomit. I constantly was analyzing whether I was feeling like I had the flu. It was just dumb.

And if you have ever spent about 4 or 5 hours sleeping on the floor you will understand that my rest last night was not especially restful. There is no comfortable position there for me. I just hope to remain in a position that doesn't cause me to hurt for the next few days. Plus everytime either Jack or Ryan coughed or made some noise I was immediately awake in case I had the grab the vomit bucket for them.

In the end, Ryan didn't get sick and Jack's illness was over by this morning. I was still nauseated, probably due to lack of sleep, until about 2 or so this afternoon. But all is well that ends well.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brianero's Cross Crusade #3 Report

Brianero emailed this to me tonight after the Rainier race. Too bad I missed it. I had other commitments today and could not race.
After being sick last week, I knew that I shouldn’t have done a double this weekend and I paid for it dearly today. All of us that raced yesterday were knackered but I know my body and know that I was far more in debt than I should have been. You didn’t do Rainier last year, right? I was reminded of a video I have somewhere of the Koppenberg cross race where the horrible cobbled climb just destroys the field. Today’s climb and bumps just annihilated me. My back hurt before! Last night, this morning and all the way up to the line. To hear people complaining of their backs hurting after one little race just elicited a bitter, dusty laugh from me.

We need rain. We need the epic conditions that draw us to this.

And he is right I wasn't able to go last year to Rainier. Brianero went down to Psycho Cross where he raced and performed very well. He looked like he was really freakin' strong. Judging by his short report I am sure it was brutal out there.

It doesn't sound like the sort of course I excel at anyway. Hilly? ugh. Those up and down courses destroy me. But it looks like I am a go for Saturday's Astoria race followed by a no-go on Sunday.

I will give a better Fango/Neuvation report within the next day or so.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Psycho Cross #2: I was #1!

Get this true believers--I came in first place! (Disclaimer: there were only 4 people racing Master C)

I felt great and I rocked the race. Everyone just got out of the way as I went by! (Disclaimer: Well at least the guy that lost his chain, the guy that flatted, the junior racing the Beginner class that I lapped, and some other random guy)

After my win today I am feeling confident that it will soon be time to move up to Master B's! (Disclaimer: By confident I mean that I don't think I will be DFL, and by soon I mean I will decide to do a race as a Master B some time within the next 2 years or so...maybe more.)

Ok, ok, time to get a little more serious. I drove down today with Lane, AKA Spider McCloud, keeping me company. It was to be Lane's first cross race. Frankly, I was impressed that he came. I figured that, like most of the guys at the shop, he would bail on me. But nope, I picked him up as planned.

Once we arrived down at Camp Harlow we started getting set up to race. I had debated whether or not to race Master C's or Master B's. I wussed out and decided to race with Lane so that we could leave and head back to Portland once the race was done instead of sticking around for another hour. I felt a little guilty about being down there since I was missing work which costs us money. Well, that is what I rationalized and so I was on the starting line at 10AM with the other Master C's and the C's for the mass start.

I was on the front line but for some reason I just sucked off the start. I mean I got passed by about a dozen guys right away, including Lane in his virgin cross race. At this point I was just wondering what the heck was going on. I had been under the weather this week, but I didn't expect to get worked over by everyone right off the bat.

But, about a half mile into the first lap I started feeling ok and started passing a few guys, including Lane (whew, thank goodness). I ended up getting stuck behind a slower fellow in the singletrack section. He wouldn't get out of the way despite the guy behind me yelling "Damn it, we're getting gapped! We're getting gapped!" a few times. This was true, the guys that made it in front of me were long gone by the time we were through the long singletrack. I managed to catch up with a couple of them later in the race but since they were C's they didn't affect my placement. All of the Master C's were behind me by this point in the first lap. I just didn't know it.

Fast forward a few laps. On the third lap (I think) I passed a guy that had been ahead of me, his name is Paul and he is on the Portland Velo team. The dude is pretty fast, but he was having difficulties. I think he said he dropped his chain on the single track section and I passed him, only to have him blow back by me on the bumpy rutted flattish sections later. Then he ate it over a little short 6 inch metal barrier and I caught him again. Then I caught up with him again on the fourth lap in the singletrack section because he got behind a slower rider, a junior racing Beginner class. But once we got out to the open flat ground he blasted off again. Then on the final lap I again caught him in the singletrack. I thought to myself that it would be sweet to actually be able to pass him and hang on for just the half of a lap that was left. The fact that it was the half of the lap that he wasted me for each of the other 4 laps was really beside the point. I was right behind Paul going into the triple barricade section and sandy run up. I really don't like those steep run ups. Skinnier guys usually torch me at those spots normally. But I maxed my effort and hung with him going up and was right on his tail when we re-mounted. I stayed right behind him as we enter the fields. I tried to pass him at one point but was unable to get past him since he had the better line and better position on me. As we went into the barriers I went in hot and managed to get along side him and we were getting back on our bikes at the same time side by side.

At this point I remember thinking to myself that I had him, that I would be able to pass him. But, I couldn't get into my pedals and once I did I was in to tall a gear because I had gone into the barricades without shifting down into a more appropriate one before dismounting. So Paul went on ahead and I tried to catch up but I could not bridge the gap. I shut it down for the last 100 yards and tried not to vomit on myself. I was seeing dark spots in my vision. I think that was about as close to passing out as I have ever come during a race.

Paul and I, we had been having a bit of conversation here and there during the race congratulated each other. It was a good battle and I felt good to be in the game at the end of the race with him. He has had some pretty good finishes this year--better than I have--and he really is in better shape than I. But since he was racing regular C's instead of Master C's I ended up in first place there. The faster riders were all in C's. But I think I did OK. I thought I had a decent race. If Paul hadn't had issues I wouldn't have been close to him on that last lap, but that is OK. I still hung tight for half a lap with a better rider and rode well enough that his bobbles were all I need to get close to him.

Lane had a great time he said and I think he will be back for more. So the cyclocross disease has probably spread to at least one more person this weekend. And he was hungry enough from the race that he downed two Big Mac on the way back from the race. I was impressed.

Still I wish I was faster. I think I am getting there. My running has helped. I have learned to throw it in a lower gear so that I can stand and mash the pedals out of the saddle when the course gets pretty rough instead of sitting in the saddle. This takes more energy, but it is faster and doesn't beat me up as bad. I need to be more aggressive at the start. I need to ride more.

Lucky for me my wife is letting me start commuting back and forth to work again. It had been more helpful for me to be at home more to help out with the newborn and our boys, which is possible when I drive back and forth to work instead of riding. However, since we won't have the use of a second car anymore since Bridget's sister's family is back from their 6 week trip to Europe. So, my training will be ramping up once more.

Here are some pictures of the course and the B race that my friend and frequent commenter Brian was in.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Curtlo is ready for Saturday. Wish I could be the Ranier High School race, but Psycho Cross will do. These Challenge Fangos look great.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Do the Fango / Aquaseal

This Challenge Fango tire is currently sitting on my carbon wheels stretching out a bit. Since they are on the spendy side I am trying to take some preemptive measures. I have had some Aquaseal sitting in my tool box waiting for a set of tires worth to use it on.

The reason for using this particular product is two-fold. First it is a barrier to the moisture and water that are inevitable here during the Northwest cyclocross season. The sidewalls have a tendency to rot or otherwise breakdown faster because of the harsh conditions. I would rather wear out the tread before the sidewalls degrade. This Aquaseal product will accomplish this.

The second reason is for abrasion protection. There are some other Aquaseal products out there but this one specifically helps to guard against abrasions. Yeah. Sign my up for abrasion protection, preferably for my body, but in the absence of that I will take it for my tires.

You need one tube per tire. This stuff costs about 6 or 7 bucks a tube. I think it will be worth it. Time will tell.

I could immediately tell a difference between these Challenge Fangos and the Vittorias that were on it. The sidewalls are just some much more pliable. The fold up much more easy. I am curious as to how they will ride. Maybe Saturday at Psycho Cross I will find out if the course calls for it. I am excited for sure.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This is Just Wrong

I took a snip of the picture that was up on my computer screen while viewing the PDXCross slideshow from this weekend's cross race. When this photo came up I had a hard time believing that someone actually took this shot and then posted it.

Not because I am offended or anything. No, it is because it looks like he is going to mark his territory like a dog. And it is more than a bit phallic. Geesh, and it seems like a total invasion of privacy to be able to photograph someone from this position unless permission was obtained prior to the click of the shutter.

Still I like the slideshow quite bit. It was an epic race and it was probably pretty hard to capture all of it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Totally Spent: Cross Crusade #2 at Villebois

Note: A pretty good write up is over at

I am here in the center of pic in the pink Fat Cyclist jersey. They caught me mid-cough. I nearly hacked myself to the point of puking after the finish. Jim and Jim are also pictured below. Do we look spent or what?

I finished 31st today. 153 people started in my class. So a finish in the top 1/4 is OK with me. Of course, I wish I beat Jim on his yellow Zanc, but whatever. I also wish I had placed in the top 3, but again, whatever.

I didn't take any pictures today. I had my camera in the car, but didn't feel like taking going back to get it and and hanging out any longer. Like I wrote above, when I finished I was totally spent. It took me about 15 minutes to stop coughing. I don't know what the deal was. However, I can say that I missed the onset of a cold or some sort of illness by no more than a hour or two. Sore throat, aches and the whole shebang. I can blame my oldest for this one. He is just getting over it.

Anyway...race report:

It was a really bumpy course as the 1200+ participants can attest to. I wouldn't say that it was too technical. It was much more difficult in the mud last week than this week. I had a pretty good spot at the near the front of the starting line. If only I had been in the right gear and had been clipped in. They gave us 20 seconds of warning but for whatever reason I was too retarded to get my stuff handled in time. But I didn't lose too much and I probably started off around 20th or so by the time the first lap was 1/2 way over. Jim M. was behind me pretty much the whole was until we hit the horribly bumpy sections that just tortured my lower back. Then he passed me for the last time. I stayed close and managed to finish one place behind him when we finished after 6 laps. Jim was just a hammer out there.

There were grass, gravel, hard pack dirt, asphalt, and undulating sections carved by backhoes and other heavy equipment. The only tricky stuff was were a couple of turns with gravel. I got a little too cute and laid it down once, but other than that my race was pretty clean.

My Cam-shim-pag-ano-nolo drivetrain worked really well for 2 laps and then the cables stretched or settled and I was often having to search a bit for a gear. It was distracting, but I doubt it slowed me too much. Still the set up once it is dialed in a bit will be great. It is a huge improvement. And to be able to go from the lowest gear to the smallest in one throw is a huge advantage in a cross race where gear changes are very frequent and often at the extreme ends of the cassette.

Bottom line: Today was fun--well it was fun to be done. During the race I wondered what the heck I was doing out there. It was just so dang hard. My body just hurt and I couldn't hardly stand when I was done. Why do we do this to ourselves? Well, I must have a masochistic streak in me for sure. I plan to do the Psycho Cross race this coming Saturday if I am feeling up to it. I will be missing the next Cross Crusade race unfortunately.

Friday, October 10, 2008

She's Ready!

My little salmon Curtlo is all ready to go. I removed the old shifter set up and installed this one.

Yes that is a 2001-2004 era 9 speed Campy Veloce shifter paired up with a 2008 XTR rear derailleur. I am still only running one ring in the front. The cassette is also an XT.

Does it work? You bet. Campy and Shimano working well together? Yes, you just have to have an interpreter of sorts. The Jtek Shiftmate. More info on it HERE. So far so good. It hasn't gone offroad yet, but it shifts great right now. Here is a look at it from a different angle:

This weekend will be the first real test. Hope it does well, because I really, really like the Campy shifter. Holy Crap it is so cool to have that thumb shifter on the inside that allows me to go from my biggest ring all the way to my smallest in just one throw. Amazing. I wish I had done this years ago. And with the Shimano cassette I can run a wide range while keeping it simple with only one ring on the crankset. I still have my Record brake lever w/o the shifter innards on the left side. Both the levers feel identical with the exception that the left only controls the front brake and the right does the rear derailleur and the rear brake.

Also, I won't be running the carbon wheels this weekend. They have the crap Vittorias on them still and so I will be going with the Ksyrium ES wheels with the Tufo Flexus. It should be a nice set up. I can't wait. Hopefully I can get a little redemption after last weekend's fiasco.

Hill running...ooouuuch

I just returned a bit ago from running up the steepest hill near be. It ascends 500 feet in about .4 miles according to I only did it twice, and then ran on along some flatter terrain for another ways. But wow, my calves are tight right now. Yeah, I need to do that more often. No wonder the hill run ups kill me in a cross race. But running up this road a during the week ought to help quite a bit.

New Team?

A friend of mine, Jim M. that has a blog over at is starting up a team. It doesn't have a name yet or any sponsors yet. I have told him that I would join up though when he approached me about it. I have never been on a team before. I don't think that it is a totally serious endeavor. I mean, not serious that we are all wanting to win the A's or Master A's or anything. At least not this year. But, I think it is a really good thing to have people that can cheer you on and help you to train. And I think we are serious about doing the best we can with what we've got.

I just wish my schedule were different. I am assuming it will be in the near future. I mean, I have passed the bar exam. I earned fairly decent grades in law school. I have a good reputation, at least I think so. I have had people give me tips about jobs and so forth. But either I suck for some other reason or I have had the longest string of bad luck in my life. I am still without legal employment. As a result, I am still at the bike shop which schedules me in the evenings when most people get together to train. Eventually this will change. I have been willing to work as a clerk just to get back into the legal market. Heck, I would be willing to do anything as long as it offered me enough to pay bills, well almost. I have managerial experience most recently from running the sales staff at a new car dealership, but I refuse to go back to that. That is about the only thing off the table right now. Weekends and holidays would be totally gone if I went back to that. Things have to change, its got to, right?

Geesh, I got off track. Anyway, the team. No name yet, but hopefully the uni's will be cool. Isn't that the main reason people join--for the cool uni's? I am horrible at thinking ideas in regard to these sorts of things. I don't have a artsy fartsy bone in my body. Well, really I have opinions about art, I just have very little ability to come up with artsy stuff on my own. My hands have always felt retarded when it comes time to drawing or doing something creative in grade school art class. I am much more industrial. Designing bikes. Yeah, I could do that. Wait, I already did that back in the 90's for a few years. Anyway, I am excited about this. It was rough turning down all those other offers, all zero of them. I had often thought about buying some of Racer's jerseys and team kits. I would never get to ride with the team--they are all back in Utah, but the uni's are cool and Racer is a great guy.

I hope things go well and that I can be a good teammate if it does get going. The only racing I do is for Cross, well and triathlons. But it will be a real positive thing. I used to ride a bunch with DTP, but it has been hard to schedule times to go with him and well, road rides with him are not really training rides. My wife was good to go with but again it is difficult for us to go out at the same time because of the kids. A team would be great. The camaraderie would be great. So thanks Jim!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Curtlo, another change in set up

Ok, so I have had this barend shifter set for a while.

During the past 2 or 3 years I have gone on and on about how this set up kicks butt. I used to have inline brake levers until this season and I could shift from back on top of the bar by the inlines or when I was on the hoods or from down in the drops. While I could shift from any of these positions it was not as convienent in any of the them as it is from a normal road brake/shifter or "brifter" when shifting from the hoods or from the drops. I sacrificed the ease of shifting in when on the hoods and drops so that I could shift from that 3rd position basically. It worked well and I enjoyed having the extra shifting position. Plus it was cheap and reliable. If ever I had issue shifting during a race because of mud I could just switch it to friction shifting. That was useful a couple of times.

Then during the offseason I took off the inline levers and shortened the cockpit about 20mm so that I could be on the hoods more often. The goal was to ride a bit more aggressive and with more power. I looked at taking the inlines off as sort of like taking the training wheels off. In addition I had had issues with mud and crud getting into the housing from where the inline levers are. I was having to switch out cable more often during the season because of having the inlines. I figured that without the inline levers which would allow a continous section of brake housing around the handlebar area I would have a smoother brake operation. I believe this is true. I also rode my cross bike offroad a bit this offseason (offseason being January through August for cyclocross) and I was able to feel pretty comfortable riding on just the hoods and in the drops even for technical situations. However, the shifting with the barend shifter on the Kelly Take Off mount became limiting.

There are times where I would like to not have to rotate my hand and wrist over to make the shift. Doing so is less stable for me to do in tricky situations. Basically, I often have to pre-shift in order to keep my hands in a strong spot on the bars. Or I just ride the section in a less effective gear until I can get onto more stable ground. I was willing to sacrifice the convenience in the name of simplicity, reliability, and well...coolness.

I have always thought--and still do--that the Kelly Take Off/Dura Ace Bar End shifter deal was a unique but functional answer for a cyclocross bike. But I have realized that with the change in my riding style that the limits of this set up have been reached. When I start not shifting multiple times each lap because I am worried about crashing if I do something has to change. So change is coming, probably by this coming Cross Crusade race.

First I found a great deal an old 9 speed Campy Veloce shifter.

Then I researched and found that Leonard Zinn wrote that by using a little device made by Jtek and by another company that I cannot recall right now you could run a Shimano cassette and derailleur with a Campy shifter. Bingo! The adapter was pretty cheap and fits where the housing meets the rear derailleur.

Why not just pick up a set of Shimano Shifter and not have to use the JTek device? Well I really like my Campy Record brake levers (these have no shifter guts in them and can be seen in the first picture. I still get to keep the one on the left side of the bar when using this Veloce shifter. While I could have just run the Shimano shifter and the Record lever the hood feel would not be the same. That would annoy. Also, I picked all this up for cheaper than it would have cost me to get an ultegra set up or a 105 set up unless it was used. I have someone buying my kelly take off and bar shifter and that almost gets me to break even on the shifter, so the cost of the switch is minimal.

Also, I have a habit of searching out oddball set up and running with it. That being the case, why be like everyone else now? Sure the normal set-ups that stay monogamous to one drivetrain company are reliable. I stay monogamous on my mountain stuff and road stuff. But for some reason on my cross bike--if there is a hair brained set up that has a possibility of working decent I will consider it. Weird. Nuts. Stupid. Yep, sometimes I am all that, and more. But I wouldn't have it any other way this time of year.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Favorite Quote

A friend of mine, Fish, emailed me this morning. I had asked him how his training was going for his upcoming Ironman in Arizona this November. I hope he doesn't mind, but I am going to post what he wrote about his feelings regarding the marathon portion of the Ironman.

I'm scared to death of the run. My long run will top out around 17-18 miles, matching my longest run to date. So, the last eight miles are going to be a thorough exploration of that pain cave without a flashlight.

Yeah, I love that image--in the pain cave without a flashlight. Classic. And very accurate I am sure.

I think Fish is mildly insane. In a good way. I have stated that I have very little desire to do a full Ironman. The half distance is more than enough for me. It is kind of like when I was thinking about doing the Creampuff next year. I just don't want to do the sort of training necessary to finish one of those events. Nope, I am sitting here just shaking my head even thinking about it.

Cyclocross is a welcome break before I start training for April's half ironman in Oceanside. I mean a 45 minute race, yep, that is more my style right now. You can throw any sort of misery on me during that 45 minutes you want and it still won't be as miserable as a half-ironman, let alone the full monty. Sure I crashed a few times and my neck aches right now, but at least I can walk down a flight of stairs. After the half ironman in June it took several days to get back to where I could move around somewhat normally again. So despite a pisser of a race last weekend, it could be worse.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Post Race Report with Perspective

I am no longer so down about yesterday's race. Basically, I need to improve my handling and get used to my equipment before I ride it. I am still not convinced that the Vittoria's are the way to go. Frankly I think that there were several errors on my part. I didn't have enough tire pressure. I hit the rim way too easily. This caused me to slow down for fear of damaging the rim.

Since the race I did a little roadbikereview investigating and found that some people reported that with these Vittorias if you ran them with too little pressure they tended to fold in a bad way. That is what happened to me perhaps during my final crash of the day--the one hurt the most at high speed. There also seemed to be some that disliked the tire but in general this tire seems to be close, though not equivalent to the Challenge Grifos. Having never run the Grifos I have no idea. All I can say is that I feel that I have had better traction both up hills and in corners with the Mud 2's than with these Vittorias. I can't compare the Tufo Flexus tires because I haven't ever run them in the mud or on wet grass. I loved them on the dry stuff though. I am going to let Spears borrow them and see what he thinks.

The other thing that I had suspected, and Spears ribbed me about as well is that I didn't crash much before because I was so dang slow before. My skills outclasses my fitness. When I had a larger gut holding me back it was easier to control myself as I was not going as fast in general. This is a nice thought. Whether it is true or not I will hold on to it as a possibility. I do think I am going faster even though yesterday it didn't feel like it. But regardless, I need to get better in the handling department. However, I am not sure how to go about this with my schedule. Maybe as the next couple of weeks go on I will have a chance to get out and practice on some wet grass. My turns need work for sure.

Even though the tires were not a good thing yesterday, either because of improper tire pressure or because they suck, the wheels work great. They felt very stiff. I did freak out once and pull over to the side because I thought a spoke had broken. Instead the noise I heard was only the end of the rear derailleur cable hitting the spokes as the wheel turned. Whew! But that stoppage cost me time and several places as well. Oh, and I will be putting my chain retention device back on. It is a 3rd Eye I think. I hope I can find it in my parts box. Losing a chain twice is inexcusable. Again bad equipment choices cost me places. But those wheels were great--knock on wood--hope they continue to be great too. Cheers to Neuvation.

Over 24 hours later the body tells the story of my poor choices. My left calf is quite painful at times if I use it in the wrong way. It hurts to run, but I rode for over an hour and it never bothered me. My rib cage which hurt a bit yesterday is just a little uncomfortable. The inside of my right ankle is bruised and slightly swollen. And the inside of my right thigh is bruised as well. My neck is the main problem. On that high speed crash I must have gotten a bit of whiplash. My neck as been very sore since about mid way today. This is a common thing to happen about a day after a neck injury. Still, I was able to ride even though I wasn't really feeling it. I am sure that all will be well by next week though.

Finally here is a couple of pics from Oregon Velo. In the second one I can tell that I know longer gave a crap from my body language. First one it looks like I am charging pretty hard.

Video Clips from Alpenrose

Just a few clips from the Womens and Mens A races.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Alpenrose Dairy: Worst Race Ever (For Me)

The venue was great. People were great. Course was long, but great. But this race brutalized me.

Part if not all of the fault lies with me I suppose. I should have run the Tufo Flexus Tires over the Vittorias. I had never run the Vittorias before and I thought they would do was well, if not better than the Flexus tires. I am not sure if the Flexus would have been better out there or not, but they could not have been any worse.

I went out with a real positive attitude. I didn't have the best spot at the start but I was only about a quarter to a third of the way back. At the turnaround following the long grassy straight away at the first lap I was around 30th. But I already had had more slipping issues that I had anticipated. It only got worse. On the second lap I went down down when I tried to lean just a bit in a hairpin turn. My front wheel was just gone from beneath me. I landed fairly hard even though it was at slow speed. I thought to myself, no biggie, just get up and get going.

And I did. I was by now probably in the 40's but I was feeling good and I knew that on the next full lap I would have the course figured out and would be going strong.

Or not.

On the third lap I went down pretty hard when I went down into this turn (that is not me pictured).

Sure it looks like cake, but I got a little cocky trying to make up time that I neglected to take due care. My front wheel again went out from under me. I was now not only cursing my tires selection, but I no longer had any sort of winning attitude. I considered DNF'ing. I felt like I was heading fast toward the back of the pack after the run up that follows the crash into this turn. I was embarrassed that I could not handle my bike out there. Nice fancy wheels and new tires that were more at home in the air than on the ground. Pissed...that is what I was at this point.

Then again I picked up a couple of the spots I lost and I was just trying to make myself enjoy the effort, to enjoy what was a challenging course and to just do my best with what was left.

Problem was that despite that I still didn't really trust my bike enough to go all out. In turns I slowed way down and I never felt like opening it up except on the straight aways. And that was a mistake too.

I was heading down this slight decline heading to the turn around and suddenly my front wheel was gone. I mean it was still there, it was just not underneath me. And I had hit the ground and was sliding on my side. That one hurt. I was now in the "screw it" mental stage of the race. Should I just pull off and head to the car? Only half a lap left I guess I might was well finish up and see how bad I placed. I meandered in to the finish line and then headed out the the car and then home. Tail between my legs for sure.

The boys and I came back after I showered and cleaned off the major debris from the bike. The boys were interested in the racing going on at first, but they soon could have cared little about anything other than eating french fries and having it rain so that they could open their umbrellas.

I took some pictures of the Women's races. Here they are:

To the left and below is Kristin from Portland Velo. This is her first season racing A's! Go Kristin, Go!

Soon the boys were tired of the rain and tired of watch people go by that they didn't know. They whined enough that I decided it was time to go soon after the start of the Mens A race
I cheered Brian Spears on as he went by us a couple of times on our way out.

Oh, and according to the preliminary results I was 79th out of 145 finishers. Although I am very frustrated and P.O'd even. Still, I am happy that today result is still better than any race I did last year. The best I did last year was 55 out of 83 or 66.2% of the way back. If my place holds I finished 54.4% of the way back. So despite the 3 crashes, two chain issues, and several other slip ups I am still faster than last year. I have never had so many issues in a race, not even close. In fact I can't remember ever falling in a cross race before. I blame the tires mostly. Fangos anyone? Now if I could just find a place with them in stock.

If only I could actually stay on the bike...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

How to Toe In a TRP Euro X Brake

The TRP Euro X brake does not have an easy method to adjust the toe in on their brakes. This is the one flaw in my opinion. So after finding no easy answer to solve my squealing front wheel and shuddering fork I had to figure out how to toe in some way, some how.

I understand that a crescent wrench was a common solution to this issue with some of the old canti's of olden times, but I didn't really want to try and bend the brake pad/post while it was on my Alpha Q fork. I also couldn't find the crescent wrench in the shop (I found it later in a pile of tools on Lane's bench. If you have ever seen Lane's bench you know that finding anything there is remote). So I took the front two pads off and put the posts in the vice at the shop. I grabbed the 1 lb mallet and gave the pads a few gentle whacks on one end on each. Presto--toe in!

I probably should have done the rear pads too, but I was in a rush today and had little time. So if the rear brake squeals, no biggie--just realize it is me and say hello. It may be loud in the back, but at least I won't have the fork quaking beneath me.

I understand that the 2009 version will have some trick adjustments, including a toe in adjustment. If true, I will be buying that when available for sure.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Almost ready

I went in to work early and finished gluing up the rear wheel. It went much better than the first one. Apparently I am a fast learner. The tread is almost perfectly straight and it took less time. Also my front tire appears to be solidly attached. I was worried about that last night.

The next step was to install some new brakes. This is not quite finished yet. I have the rear set still to install. There wasn't a thing wrong with my neo retros except that I had a hard time finding carbon pads that would work with the style brake post that they use--threaded. In the end it was cheaper and quicker for me to just get a new set up than to order (if any one actually had them in stock) a good carbon pad with a threaded post. I have used the TRP Euro X before and liked them.

I found out that these carbon rims are going to eat pads quickly. I would not be surprised if I can only get a couple of races out of each set. Some races it may be even worse. I have a couple of different carbon pads. The first set I tried came with the TRP brakes. These sucked. When I first tried them after hooking up the front brake I was great with a very strong burning rubber sort of smell. I thought that maybe there was just a glaze or something on the rim that was affecting the brake pad. But the smell came back every time. Plus, the pad was very quickly eaten away. I next tried that pads that John from Neuvation sent with the wheels. These seemed to work much better. They stopped better and the pad didn't radiate the burning smell quite a much. I didn't know that John was going to send the wheels with pads (and valve extenders too!!) and so I have on the way--probably to arrive tomorrow--some Swiss Stop Rat Yellow carbon pads. We will see how these pad work from Neuvation this weekend and then maybe I will switch to the Swiss Stops once they wear out.

I have owned a set of American Classic carbon wheels and they never ate brake pads like these wheels do. I hope that after a bit this is ameliorated a bit and pads last and stop better than they did tonight. Admittedly, I was only using the front brake, there wasn't a rear brake connected at all when I was trying it out. This is a small concern though--after all it is cyclocross, brakes are for pansies. Yeah, well maybe.

Now I hope that Bridget doesn't read this--although I am sure she suspects--I think my Curtlo is hot. Just looking at it with these wheels really excites me, at least in a non-sexual but still very exciteable way. I wonder if guys with a wife that gets breast implants feel the same way when they see their wife afterwards for the first time. My bike was always great, but it really looks sexy with the carbon wheels, just like their wife was always great but now with the bigger...oh, nevermind. I am just going to end this post right now before I really get in serious trouble.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A message from my pants

A public message to my wife from my pants.
Click the Link for a message from my pants.
Sorry wrong pants, these are mine... LINK

For some reason I thought this was funny.

Glue is a pain in the...

Yeah, gluing up a set of tubies is a bit time consuming. Achieving perfection is not attainable yet for me. I put the front tire on and I was not able to get the tread perfectly centered. Oh, well. I was stressed until first I called Brianero and then read in a "How to" article that getting the tread perfect wasn't a big deal. It still bugs but I am going to live with it.

However, I am worried that I dorked around with the tire, once it was on the rim, so much that I may have messed the glue set up. I don't know and I won't until tomorrow. Ugh...I hope I did a good enough job, I hope I did....

Tomorrow I will finish off the rear. I hope to do a better job. I am realized how important it is to really pull hard on the tire all the way around so that you can actually get it on the rim. I had pre-stretched the tire sufficiently, I just didn't work it around as well as I should have once I started to mount it. I am sure that the next one will go better.

Man, I hope this works...I don't want to have to do it all over again.