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 crossresults.com 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 ctc.org.uk. 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.

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