Friday, September 17, 2010

First Race of the Cyclocross Season

At least me first race of the season.

I've ridden a bit the past couple of days and so I am certain that my legs won't be too fresh tomorrow. But, I don't really care. I mainly want the workout, to get dirty, and to continue to get a bit more fit.

This summer has not gone as planned really. I got in about half the miles that I had planned. I had some great excuses in August when I was working between 60 and 80 hours per week. But still, it has been sort of frustrating. Plus, having 4 kids makes it really tough to get riding in that is anything other than going to and from work.

Speaking of work, my weekends are free now. At least free from work. There are all sorts of other activities demanding my attention. Kids have soccer. Church. Family stuff of varying sorts. But Bridget is very understanding and has not argued with my desire to race a bit this fall. She is very patient with us boys... ;)

Anyway, back to the race, going to race the singlespeed class. My choice comes down to a couple things. I know I am going to place near the back and that is OK. There isn't a singlespeed category to downgrade to, so I don't mind racing with the Cat A guys. I would like to spend some time pumping up Cernitz Bikes, and riding them seems to be a good way to do so. And one last reason is that I refuse to downgrade to Master C and I don't feel like getting shelled in Master B's quite yet.

Give me some more time commuting with my 600 foot climb to work and 1000 foot climb home and I will get there pretty quick I think. A bonus at the law firm is my ability to take long lunches. An hour is normal. Longer can be arranged too by the looks of it. I will probably start doing a bit of running at lunch. I need to start running sometime since I have verbally committed to doing an Ironman next year. I've done a couple of 70.3 Ironman events and that training sucked. Next year is really going to suck. But that will be checked off the bucket list.

Anyway...I will report back about how tomorrow goes. It is going to be rainy. And that is a good thing.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Zsa Zsa Gabor and Cyclocross.

Sorry, going to go on a bit of a cycling rant here.

Here in Oregon we have this wonderful little organization, the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association or OBRA. It has a wonderful little e-mail list that anyone can get on which allows us to complain, ask questions, learn about events and especially sell our excess biking related stuff. It is a spectacular service that I have used often over the past few years. It is free, unlike Ebay. And because it only goes to mostly serious cyclists I tend not to get a bunch of stupid questions unlike posting on Craigslist.

Often, especially this time of year as summer starts to get a little long in the tooth I start to see posts like this:

" Dura Ace 7800 shifters. Dented, scratched, work great, perfect for cross, $40 "

Works great, sure. I doubt for long. And I can't imagine using something on its last legs for cyclocross. Unless you like having excuses for sucking. Well, I guess I have my excuse, but it is more gut-related than anything else.

Anyway, I don't get it. I mean, I get it, but I subscribe to this view at all--Hanging all of the crappiest parts on your cyclocross bike.

I want my stuff to work, especially my drivetrain. If I wanted to race crap..., well, actually I would never want to race crap. And I absolutely hate it when in a race I start missing shifts and my chain can't seem to find and stay in a gear. Absolutely frustrating for me. It takes my mind out of the race.

Maybe it is the cost? $40, no big deal right? If the shifters break...rather make that when the shifters break you are only out a fraction of the cost of new. Fine. But until then continue to be frustrated during the race and bemoan the fact that cyclocross kills your equipment. Despite the fact that what you are doing is probably akin to putting present day Zsa Zsa Gabor in a beauty pagent.

Sure she was hot once, but why are you putting her out there now? Ridiculousness! Her time is past. She is probably lucky to get around the block a time or two. And that is exactly what should be done with that old dented up Dura Ace shifter. Time to retire that thing. Let it spent its last days in peace going to the store, or on your commuter or whatever. But don't spend money on race fees riding a bike with that shifter. Folly!

Meanwhile if you just had something nice and took care of it it would probably last a long time and you'd actually be able to find a gear. And I don't necessarily mean nice and expensive.

So here is my recommendation to those who are trying to race on the cheap: Just buy thumb or bar-end shifters and new mid-lever derailleurs and chains. Forget about buying the well-used Dura Ace that is in worse shape and has swapped more times that a West Virginia trailer park harlot (I've lived in West Virginia, there's some scary stuff going on out there, yikes). Seriously, retire that old stuff. Just go with what works, simple stuff that is difficult to break becuase there are only a couple of moving parts instead of dozens.

You may think to yourself, "Oh easy for him to say now that he has Di2..."

Umm, yeah, it is easy to say. But I ran a 9 speed Shimano drive train with bar-end shifter for about 3 years when I started racing cross because I didn't want anyone's sloppy seconds or thirds or whatever and because it just freakin' works just about all the freakin' time. Sure the shifting isn't as quick, but at least you can find a gear. And when it absolutely hits the fan, one can always switch that bar-end shifter to friction mode and find your gears in the worst situations sans busted gear. And that three season old friction shifter has been on my Cernitz Mule commuter bike that has over 1100 miles this year. All I ever have to do to it is occasionally switch cables and housing. Booyah Brothers and Sisters!

Anyway, enough. Most of you don't care. But I at least feel better.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another Broken Carbon Crankset

I have broken the following in order over the past several years.

Ritchey WCS ISIS splined Crankset
FSA K Force ISIS splined Crankset
FSA K Force 2nd generation Crankset
Easton EC90 Crankset
FSA K Force 2nd generation Crankset
Easton EC90 Crankset

All are carbon. The interesting thing is that only the Ritchey had a carbon failure. All of the others is was a bond or some metal piece that failed. This time the Easton EC90 Crankset spindle came loose from the driveside arm where it is bonded. It doesn't spin totally free, it just moves a bit as you go through a crankarm revolution. It is very noticable on the road, but off road because of all the bumps it is not nearly so. This is why I raced with it on my Cernitz Buttercup singlespeed without realizing that there was an issue. And then when I did notice, I thought it was the Crank Brothers Eggbeaters which also have a reputation for breaking. (Speaking of that, I broke an Eggbeater pedal last night at cyclocross practice)

Anyway, a little research on the web and I found that this has become a common problem for these cranksets. In fact, Easton is not selling them anymore. And instead of giving me a new one, they are sending me a check for what I paid for them. Cool. So I am getting another Shimano Dura Ace crankset, which is pretty much exactly what I am getting back from Easton. That leaves me with only a 3 year old Campagnolo Record carbon crankset that was actually last produced about 5 years ago. It has an old style square taper bottom bracket. It currently resides on my commutter bike. It get more abuse than all of my other cranksets and has more miles on it than all of my other cranksets combined and multiplied by 2.

The FSA cranksets each lasted about 1500 miles. The Eastons each made it about 150 miles total. The first one was improperly manufactured so that one couldn't torque down adequately and I have already stated what went wrong this time.


No carbon cranks for me. I am not sure what I do, but I am Kryptonite to them. Maybe I should get a job doing product testing for these companies, because if there is a flaw, I'll find it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Finished next to last in the singlespeed class. Yes, it was an off night. Yeah, I was lifting heavy boxes half of the day. But really, I am fat. Look at the picture... Faaaaaat. Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!

See the formation of man-boobs aka moobs to highlight that gut? Oh yeah, I am screaming Clydesdale here folks. I need to go on a diet like my sister...who incidentally doesn't even need to be on one at all. She's is going on the HCG diet...the one where you have to give injections or some such ridiculousness. Nah, I will just ride my way to fitness thank you very much. Or at least attempt to do so.

Right now I am 12 pounds heavier than my lightest weight last Fall and about 9 pounds heavier than my average cyclocross race weight last year. It really could be worse. These past 12 months or so have been a little sort of difficult. Dad died last summer. Found out Bridget was pregnant with a surprise baby. Professional disappointments came several times as well. I didn't do any longer distance triathlons or long distance rides this year either so motivation to train was decidedly lacking. And finally we had some of the wettest weather in Portland's history, including the wettest June on record. In all, I should be happy that I only gained that much weight. But they just seem like lame excuses. I just eat too much crap and don't ride enough.

Well, actually come to think of it I am down about 5 or 6 pounds already. So I really it was worse.

I am not a self hater, I just have goals. And being fat isn't one of them. Or at least a little overweight. I have said many times how I used to weigh near 240 pounds back around 2003 or so. Thankfully that isn't even close to my weight currently. I am 40 lbs under that. But still. I need to be healthier. I feel better when I do. But when I are depressed and frustrated those burgers and fries just call my name. Anyway, time to go ride.

And thanks to Dave Condon's wife, Robin I believe her name is, for taking these pictures last week. The Cernitz bike rides spectacularly by the way. More on that in the days to come.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

First Short Track Race

The start of the P.I.R. Short Track mtb race, Cat 3's. I am second row sort of in the middle of the photo (blue and white helmet, blue and white jersey with a red collar--identical kit to the guy in the lead row, Dylan)

I was a bad son and made my mother go to the airport early so that I could try my first short track mtb race out at Portland International Raceway. I've never done any sort of short track race. It was a miserable sort of way.

Ok, so I really didn't have to drop my mom off early, but truth be told I was considering doing so in order to race. As it was I dropped her off about 90 minutes before her flight and then raced to get to the race. I ended up getting there in time to sign up and then get a decent position on the starting line. I had very little idea what the course was going to be like. With no warm up lap I was going in with a big disadvantage, especially since I'd never done this sort of race before.

Dylan Cernitz, also a Team Buttercup member, was front row and I lined up just a bit behind him. He was an old hand at this race now...this was his 4th race this year. He tried to tell me a few pointers which I appreciated. I rode my Lapierre carbon cyclocross bike while most of the bikes were of the fatter tired variety. I had a cheap tubular wheel in the rear with a Tufo Flexus Dry Plus (700x34) with a file tread pattern and a slightly knobby Tufo Flexus Primus front tire (also a 700x34) glued to a front wheel that Brian Spears and I are calling the Chi-Bons. Generic Chinese-made carbon rims purchased on Ebay mated to American Classic hubs. According to one local bike shop these wheels are pretty much destined to blow up one way or another. The rear wheel isn't glued up yet and so I only used the front. Even the guy that built the wheels was suspicious of their durability. In fact when I told Neil Cernitz, the builder of my new singlespeed frame that I used them I think he thought I was crazy for doing so on that course. But I figured that I might as well use them, despite not being the ideal terrain. If they are going to fail then so be it. I would rather that it happen now than in the middle of cross season.

The race started and I had no idea where we were going. I was in the middle of the pack and I just sort of followed along at a brisk pace. I immediately missed having big fat tires. Oh, if I could only have gone back in time to when I had my Dean titanium 29er...I would have really kicked some butt without the pain, sometimes intense pain in my back and kidney area. Riding on that course was just plain hurtful on those little narrow tires. The course was full of sharp turns, short steep ascents and short steep drop-ins. Much of the course weaved through a motocross course. There was not one smooth part on the entire course that I can remember. After all, this is a mountain bike race, so I would not expect it to be so. But still the advantage I gained from having a stupid-light bike was totally cancelled by the fact that I could not pedal though some of the choppy stuff at speed. Guys with bigger tires passed me at times. On straight aways I could get them back but with the entire just plain hurt.

My lungs hurt from the dust. My back hurt from being bounced around while riding a cross bike with skinny tires. My legs hurt from being having to push my fat gut around. But all in all, I didn't do horribly. I raced the Cat 3's and managed to place 23rd out of 62. Could have been worse, and when I finished the question I asked was, "How close to last was I?" I really thought I had only placed ahead of 4 or 5 guys. That is how ugly I felt out there. If I had known what the course was like I would have certainly picked up a few places as well.

Anyway, I checked my equipment after the race. Di2 drive train: perfect. Chi-Bon front wheel: still perfectly true. Semi-slick rear tire and minimal knobby front tire: hooked up great. Only sketchy in the pea gravel. My equipment did a great job despite being sort of over-burdened. This really gives me confidence going into cross season with the Lapierre. I was somewhat worried early on this year. But as I have put more time on it I don't think about it at all anymore, which is the best thing that can happen to me. I am pretty used to it. I still prefer the geometry of the Cernitz singlespeed, but it really is a rocket.

Hopefully I can get out for the race next week. Short track is a cool thing and I recommend it. Sure it hurts, but it is over quick.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cernitz ButterCup II and Sidi Spiders

My old Sidi Dominators were 5 or 6 years old. The sole had started to give out and so it was time to get a new set. The Sidi Spider shoes are much like my old Dominators except they in pretty much every way they are better. Replaceable sole. Replaceable tread. Better buckle design. Blah blah blah. Plus they are shiny. Nothing better than make a shoe that is meant for cyclocross and MTB all shiny. Maybe they will clean up better. But that means I have to actually clean up my shoes in between races. I am used to just hosing them down and calling it good. When your shoes are 5 years old that is acceptable. They sure felt great on their first ride today.

It is nice they that their first ride was on ButterCup II or BC2 for short.

This pic has the wheelset that will normally be on it come raceday. However, those wheels need to have the tires clued on them still. So I slummed it with my Easton EC90SLX wheels (normally on the Lapeirre) and weigh about a pound less. Crazy. The Eastons don't have a bolt on rear hub so I have to be a little more precise and put a little extra mustard on the Dura Ace Skewer to hold the rear wheel in place. I use a Dura Ace skewer because with its internal cam I can get more pressure or clamping force when compared to regular light weight skewers. These don't slip in the horizontal dropouts.

I love this frame. Neil Cernitz did a great job. This logo is a painted outline only. The letters show the bare steel. There is a nice clear coat over the top and so rust will not be an issue. And if the clear coat chips it is easy to fix.

I took it to Forest Park today near Portland. I have a familar route that I do there. I was using a familar set of tires and wheels and so really the only thing different was the frame. And so because of that fact I have come to the conclusion that the frame has magical properties. The ride was that good.

I have not been offroad too much this year. One reason is that I sold my mtb. Another reason is that my main riding buddy for mtb'ing is now back in Utah. And due to the fact that I have had a lot going on, been struggling with motivation this year, a slight case of depression (because not enough of the right sort of thing has been going on), I have really only been riding for the most part to work and back. And not enough of that either. I am in horrible shape compared to what I expected I'd be in right now. That is depressing too.

Oh, and I have had a really severe case of pink eye this week. One of the worst ones my doctor has ever seen. And I had some additional virus as well at the same time. So I have had to walk around feeling like crap with one eye closed for the past 7 days. Awesome. Regardless I wanted to get out today. And I did.

With the first ButterCup (may she rest in peace), I felt good, but I still like the feel of my geared bike better. It was close, but not quite perfect. There were just a few things that needed to be dialed in. Now, after the bike was gently smashed between the back of my Honda Civic and a Nissan Sentra, those things that I noticed were addressed. The wheelbase was shortened. The headtube was cut (we actually cut down the headtube of the first buttercup too) and lighter tubes, dropouts and lugs were used. As a result BC2 frame weighed a half pound less than the first one. And this one has better paint.

I immediately noticed that my hands were in the perfect spot when on the hoods. I went into the drops while riding down Firelane 5 in Forest Park and I felt just as at home in the tight turns and steepish descents. Awesome. But what about climing? Woohoo! Climbed amazingly well despite my extra 10 pounds compared to what I was this past Fall of 2009. And despite the fact that I was still feeling the effects of whatever illness I am just getting over. My body was appropriately over the rear wheel. The bike felt nimble and agile. And compared to my Lapeirre cross bike, ButterCup II seems to read my thoughts. It goes where I want it. I don't have to think as much and plan ahead. With the Lapeirre I have realized that I have had to adapt to it. Buttercup is adapted to me. I like the latter better. I may be riding this bike more than I thought this year.

Oh, and the weight: With the Chris King/Edge Wheels 16.8 lbs. With the Eastons that I rode today, 15.75 lbs. That will do.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dylan's New Frame

Dylan, who is on our little Buttercup team, has a new frame coming from Cernitz. It is very, very, very nice.

It is built with a mix of steel tubing from Columbus and True Temper. The lugs are slightly customized. The rear brake cable will route through the top of the seattube lug. Neil, the builder, did not just drill a hole in the lug to do this. Instead he brazed in a small stainless steel eyelet with will allow the cable to slide through much easier and provide more durabilty than would be there otherwise.

Dylan will be using a Ritchey WCS seatpost that will also be drilled to allow the cable to pierce it. In otherwords, the bike has to be fit fairly exactly.

The frame weight is about 3.7 lbs. This is pretty darn good for a steel frame, let alone a lugged one.

The frame fabrication and paint was all done by one man, Neil Cernitz. Pricing for a basic frame from him starts about about $1000. This frame would cost a bit more obviously with the multicolor paint and other modifications.

See more at

Cernitz is a title sponsor of our team this year.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quick Update

I've not been riding enough. But...

I did interview for a job today. A second interview that I think went well. I have high hopes...but I have been let down before.

A few things hinge on getting this job. I have told Fish and Dave (formerly DTP) that I would do the 2011 Ironman Arizona should I get this job. I don't really have the time to do it this year because of an incoming baby this July. I suspect it will be a one shot deal. I don't enjoy triathlons, but I do enjoy the feeling of accomplishment I get by finishing them quite a bit.

I also have commissioned Neil at Cernitz bikes to build me a singlespeed mtb frame. This is also pending getting this job. I have this bike already built in my is going to be freaking gorgeous. But, I'm not letting that cat out of the bag. Currently Neil is working on the replacement for my Original ButterCup frame which was whacked pretty good last December when I was rearended driving to a race. That bike is going to be pretty freaking cool too, but I think this one, the singlespeed mtb, will be a little more freeform since I am not nearly as worried about frame weight. I just want it to be, well...Bitchin' to put it crudely.

Saturday is the First Annual Huntsman Tour de Muerte. It is just a local ride for friends, but around 35 to 40 miles we will climb over 5600 feet. That, my friends, is going to hurt. And it is going to hurt badly.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dura Ace vs. Dura Ace vs. Dura Ace

I realized a couple of days ago that I have three bikes with Shimano Dura Ace groups. All different set ups though.

I have my Lapierre with the Di2 7950 stuff.

I have my father's old Specialized SWorks carbon with the 7800 model group.

I have my custom steel Cernitz Mule commuter with its 9 speed dura ace bar end shifter (way low tech).

The one that gets ridden the most? By far the Cernitz Mule. They all shift well. But frankly the low tech stuff gives me the least worries. Why? because I there is not much to it at all. It is cheap and easily fixable/replaceable if something were to go wrong. And there are almost no parts in the shifter, so what would go wrong? It gets ridden in the worst weather and just keeps on ticking.

Will I trade in the other stuff? Nope. Those bikes with the integrated brake/shifter combo is just too smooth to give up. Dang, I love my stable of bikes.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Initial Di2 thoughts

The Good:
1) shifting is flawless so far.
2) Front derailleur makes a cool whirring sound when it moves.
3) Derailleur aren't bothered by mud and debris.

The Bad:
1) Buttons are too close together. Sometimes one of the buttons is not right where I want it when I want it. I think I will get used to it though and it won't be an issue later.
2) It doesn't make me any faster exactly, it just keeps working when the normal shifter set up might get gunked up. I just lost one excuse why I don't do better.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This was pretty much my reaction after my first ride on Shimano's Di2 after it was installed on the Lapierre X-Lite HM. Neil Cernitz of Cernitz Bikes worked on it for awhile getting it all dialed in. He did a great job despite the fact it was not going on one of his frames. Not to worry, he is currently building a replacement frame for the one that was totalled when it got crushed on the back of my car on the way to a race last December.

Routing the wiring proved to be a bit tricky. In fact, it still needs some refinement so that the cables stay where they should with making it aestically annoying.

On the web there are a number of write-ups about Shimano's Di2 system. I am not going to get into all the details here. But in case you didn't know--it is an electronic shifting system. And it shifts flawlessly. At least so far. You push a button and its little servos move the chain to where it needs to be. It is simply amazing. It doesn't seem to care what sort of torque is coming from the chain. It just goes to the right spot.

Previously, on the Lapierre and on my previous cross bike I used Campy Record and Campy Chorus. Campagnolo makes a component group that while engineered for the road, does really, really well in the harsh conditions of cyclocross. But just like all my other drivetrain set ups in the past few years, shifting at some point or points goes to hell. At least a couple of races a year I stop shifting unless I absolutely have to once I find a gear that the chain will stay in without ghost shifting. Mud and grime work their way into the cable housing and the cables just don't move well from there on. After such a race I have to replace cables and housing and then after a week or so I have to do this again when the much builds up. It's a pain.

I have told a number of people about this switch from Campy to Di2. Most of them, at least initially, think I am nuts. Their first impression is that it is going to get wrecked or ruined. The little motors in the derailleurs will get contaminated or I will crash and ruin one of those little buggers. Well, possibly.

But here is my reasoning why Di2 makes sense.

1) No more cables running to the derailleurs. You still have brake cables obviously, but brakes aren't that big of a deal in cyclocross right?

2) The shifts are precise. During a cross race I have often not quite moved a shifter enough to catch the next cog in the cassette or I go too far and shift an extra cog. With only having to push a button this won't be a problem. Instead, my problem is remembering which button does what. For some reason today I kept forgeting which button upshifted and which downshifted. It was really wierd. I have spent too much time with Campy stuff lately, I guess. I didn't ride it for long so I doubt this will be an issue after a bit more time on the bike.

3) In the event of a crash the rear derailleur will move as far inward it can to save the servos. Once you get back up you simple push the shift buttons a couple of times and the derailleur will re-adjust itself. At least that is what I am told. I haven't tried this aspect out yet.

4) The front derailleur shifts and trims so well that for the first time ever I will race cyclocross with two chainrings. I had been only race with one ring in the front and 10 cogs in the back. In the past, shifting the front derailleur during a mud race becames ugly quick. But with Di2 there is an auto trim feature that basicly allows a rider to be stupid. I can go big ring in the front to big ring in the back or from small to small and the front derailleur will trim so that there won't be any chain rub going on. It doesn't even complain. Awesome.

5) And the final reason I wanted to do it was because I am a rolling stone that gathers no moss. I have a hard time staying with any particular setup for long. I am always searching for something else that is better. Sometimes it works out and sometimes not. But each year my overall cross setup have gotten markedly better. I expect nothing less this year. I just thought that this was the way to cure my biggest race issue other than being slow. As for that, I have my work cut out for me this year.

Now I just have to get my butt in shape.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I just put on the Garmin cadence kit on two of my bikes. It is the first time I have ever messed with cadence during my lifetime. I knew that I had a slow cadence, but geesh... I think that my comfortable cadence is about 80-ish crank arm revolutions per minute. 90 to 100 seems to be what all the cool kids say is a good cadence in the flats. So I did that tonight as much as I could with my Mule, that has a 1 x 9 drivetrain with the front chainring being a 42. Sometimes I just fought to keep it about 70.

Man, keeping it at 90+ is work. Pedalling at that speed is more aerobic. Darn it if I didn't seem to go faster too. Hmmm. Maybe there is something to this cadence deal.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Di2 is ordered. Campy stuff is for sale. Badabing badaboom.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Heart Rate Based Training is only good until the Old Man passes you

A beautiful morning after a nice rain yesterday here in Portland. A little cloudy, a little cool, but no rain and dry streets. With nothing to do this morning I headed out for a short ride.

When I have 2 hours or less I like to do some variation of a loop that involves riding west toward Hillsboro and then slightly north and then back east until I climb up to Skyline. Today's road to the top was done via Old Germantown road--a stellar road for riding by the way.

Today was my first road ride with the Garmin heart rate chest strap. I decided to see if I could keep my average down below 150. I was doing just fine until I started climbing up Old Germantown. With my heart rate pegged between 172 and 180 beats per minute as I rolled up with as brisk a pace as I could muster, my average climbed above 150 to 152 when I hit Skyline. Skyline as its fair share of oscillations, but nothing too bad. I was trying to get my average back down to below 150 and so I was riding at a leisurely 130 to 140 bpm. No big deal.

I had my earbuds in, listening to Placebo when 50+ guy riding a Campy Record equipped Parlee catches me from behind. He said hello and we chatted for a bit. He asked where I had been riding and so forth. I said that I had recently come up from Old Germantown and was trying to get to my average heart for the ride back down, so just taking it easy for a mile or two. He says goodbye and I expect him to pull away from me. But he doesn't. Not really anyway. A hill comes up and I actually start to catch him a bit.

I don't really want to come off as an competitive jerk who suddenly speeds up when caught from behind on a casual ride. I mean I could pass this guy pretty easy at this point. But should I? Should I be that guy? I mean I only have about 4 or 5 miles left by this point until I get home and probably only about 2 more on the same road as Old Man on a Parlee. Surely, I can just sit back and play my heart rate zone game and chill.


Can't do it. Old Man on a Parlee is just too tempting while he remains just about 30 to 50 yards in front of me. I had to throw down and pass him. I mean if he had been going at a good clip that is one thing. But my normal pace was faster than his present pace so I had to do it right? Well, I thought so anyway.

I may have appeared to be a jerk to him, but I just couldn't sit behind his wheel looking at that blasted $10,000 bike when he was poking along. It is like he slowed down after passing me. What is up with that. Was he toasted from trying to catch me?

I attached a snip of my Garmin's output from the ride. Blue arrow is about where he caught me. Green arrow is where I got sick of see him in front of me and did something about it. Notice that my heart rate went up to nearly 180 bpm even though I was on semi-flat roads? Yeah, that is because I didn't want to get caught from behind by him after I attacked and passed. That would have been totally embarrassing. I waited until there was a bit of an incline on the road and then I attacked Old Man on a Parlee and passed him as fast as I could. I didn't do this to be a jerk. I just didn't want to be embarrassed if he caught me again if he decided to counter my attack. I laid the hammer down and made sure that there was no way he could catch me unless he was much more fit than he appeared. I looked back after a mile or so and couldn't see him. Whew. No more embarrassment.

So I learned that I am not secure enough to let rider pass me when I am trying to zone train. I just can't let any ol' schmo pass me just so that I can stay in zone 2 or 3. My pride is too great. I don't even know why it matters, but it does.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Last Hoorah for Buttercup and One more little thing...

Going to try a couple things with OBC, otherwise known as "Original" ButterCup, built by local builder extraordinare, CernitzBike. The frame is going to soon be replaced soon as the insurance money to pay for the damage comes in. BC2 is in the build queue at Cernitzbike's top secret headquarters. But, before that it gets built a couple of details need to be worked out.

1st: Will I be able to run a horizontal dropout with only a quick release to hold the wheel in place? No set screws to tension the chain. No Surly Tugnut type device to locate the hub in the dropout. Just a Shimano Dura Ace skewer locked down hella tight to prevent wheel slippage for the singlespeed. If it works, Hallelujah! If not, then Neil and I got to do some thinking. I want to be able to interchange my geared wheelsets with the Singlespeed, BC2. If I can't, well, it just won't be ideal and it will mean that BC2 won't have access to the 3 or 4 wheelset I plan to have with different tubular tires for next cyclocross season that have geared rear hubs. Instead, I would likely just build up on wheelset with a bolt-on hub. Not ideal. Or use the heavier Paul horizontal dropout with a set screw that will allow the use of whatever sort of hub I want. But like I said it is heavier. Porky even. The only porky thing on BC2 will be me if I have my way. And hopefully, this porker will be leaner than ever.

OBC has the Paul dropouts. It worked fine for the most part. Neil is also not a fan of it for a couple of other issues that are related to how it is more difficult to align and so forth when fabricating the frame. But as the consumer, that is more his problem than my problem. My problem is making sure that the wheel stays where I want it. With the set screws I was able to use a quick release skewer. Without it...? Well, we will see.

#2. We are cutting down the top of the head tube to see how it will feel with my planned geometry for BC2. I think that I will like have the bars a bit lower on BC2 than what I was able to do with OBC. So...tomorrow we take a hacksaw to the top 10mm of the headtube and then ream it. Then built it back up to try out a couple of times until BC2 is complete. Then OBC will likely be retired. Perhaps for good. Or perhaps she will be fixed up and reused in the future. It all depends on how bad the damage to it from the accident is once the paint is removed and the tubing looked at closely.

It is late and thus quite possible that none of this makes any sense to anyone. Therefore, I will shut my trap.

But before I go, I just have to say one thing about my other cross bike to race on this fall 2010, the Lapierre HM X-Lite. Di2.

One more time. Di2.

Can you say "Bitchin"? There, I knew you could.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Allergies and Riding

A good week for riding--if you are immune to all of nature's pollution. My allergies are killing me. Eyes are itchy. Nose is running. Arrgh! And it is worse the more time I spend outdoors. Yet with the weather so nice this week I had to get out there. I need to figure out some allergy treatments that don't include drugs. I get so sleepy sometimes when I am on that stuff.

Nevertheless, it has been a great week for riding. In the past 7 days I have ridden over 128 miles. Not too bad. Most of it was riding back and forth to work. But at 12.5 to 16 miles each way (sometimes I add on extra sections to mix it up a bit) each trip is a pretty good short ride. I am trying to ride for an hour or so each way so that I am on the bike for 2 hours per day, about 9 to 10 hours per week. That is what I did this week and hopefully this will continue. 125 miles per week would add up fast. Over the course of a year that would total around 6000 miles. Last year I rode about 3000. I would be very happy with an average of 90 miles per week when you figure that stuff happens and there will be down weeks. That would put me over 4000 miles for the year--a good improvement.

Here is my weekly stats:
128.65 miles ridden
7927 feet climbed

2010 Total:
564.92 miles ridden
33,107 feet climbed

In other news, it appears I am finally close to getting paid on the Cernitz bike that was damaged when I was rear ended travelling to the USGP back in December. It has been really really aggravating. USSA insurance decided that another insurance company was liable. And the other insurance company, which is actually Hertz Rent-a-car's insurance would not return my calls. They did after I threatened a lawsuit and had my insurance agent threaten them as well. Then they not only promptly called me back, but also sent someone to my insurance agent's office to see if they could help speed up the process. One week later the adjuster has been out taken lots of pictures, sent in his report and I should soon have a check on the way. Why couldn't this have been done sooner? Maybe it is a part of their tactics to hold on to their money for as long as possible hoping that I would go away out of frustration. I don't know, but I promise I will never use Hertz because of this if I can at all help it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2010 Thus Far

Year to date: 486.34 miles
January: 177.30 miles
February: 258.96 miles
March (as of today): 50.08

Total elevation gain in 2010: 28,166 feet

I love my Garmin.

Friday, February 26, 2010


My commuter bike, The Mule, is set up as a 1 x 9. Front ring is a 42 tooth and the rear cassette has a gearing range of 12/27. When I had this bike set up as a singlespeed, my front chainring was still the same 42, but the rear had a 16 tooth. That worked pretty well. It hurt a bit at the tail end of my commute back home when I have to climb up a few mean streets, but not too bad. Riding singlespeed consecutive days though starts to build lower back pain. The pain would go away again if I laid off of the bike for a day or two.

Anyway, recently I switched the bike to 1x9 and I have quite enjoyed it. With the 42 tooth on the front end(instead of the stock 39 tooth) I can usually get going pretty good when I am in the smallest rear cog, the 12 tooth. At a 90 cadence that equates to about 26 miles per hour. The 27 tooth honestly doesn't get used that much. I try not to. It is a silly pride issue that I stay out of the granny.

Last night riding home at about 8pm I starting feeling pretty good after the first couple of pretty flat miles. I was riding in my 42/12 combo, my fastest gear combo, and wondered how long I could stay in that gear before I had to shift into an easier combo.

About halfway home, I looked down at my average speed reading and I was averaging 16.4 mph without pushing it too much at all. Knowing that the last 1/4 of my ride is all up hill I decided to see if I could keep my average about 15mph. So now two goals, push the 42/12 as far as possible and stay above a 15mph average.

Also, to paint the picture a bit better I am riding with a big backpack on full of clothes and other things. It is not like I am riding on a full race bike either. The Mule is over 23 pounds heavy, compared to my road and cross bikes which are around 16 pounds.

Anyway, this was my ride home last night with the point where the legs and back went dead.

Not too bad really. There was one point coming up a section of Hall Blvd where I was really cooking and my legs were alternatively pushing and pulling the pedals trying to maintain momentum. My chest felt ready to burst near the top. In that sort of gear getting up hills is all about the big Mo. I struggled to make it home maintaining an average speed over 15mph. I did it, but just barely at 15.1 mph.

These sorts of stupid games I play with myself keep my ride home interesting. Otherwise it is just the same old thing time after time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Recent Rides

I haven't been maintaining my sidebar training log. That is because for the most part I have had everything logged on Garmin Connect, which is a nice little site that tracks everything that you do with one of their lovely Garmin GPS devices. I have the Garmin Edge 500 and I have quite enjoyed it.

Here is some snips of a couple of graphs from my last two rides. Yesterday's ride was a little over 34 miles. More than 4000 feet of total elevation gain. I rode from the house up to Skyline Drive and then went up and down some of the roads that connect to it. Skyline is a nice road to use for this. It is right at an elevation of 1000 feet or so. It meanders up and down a fair bit through its journey. Roads that head off to the east tend to go down to near sea level and are fairly steep at times. Roads on the west drop down to around 200+ feet to around 500 feet. They are still good climbs, but the hurt is not as bad. Germantown on the east side of Skyline has grades up near 17% at times. Those sections start to hurt after a bit, their cumulative effect becomes punishing about 2/3 the way up.

Today's ride:

When I plugged the TCX file from today's into a cool site at, that site said that Brianero and I climbed about 1335 feet of total elevation gained versus the raw data of about 1420. The distance was the same.

The elevation gain is really the only feature that I have some reservation about so far with the Edge 500. It relies on barometric readings as I understand it. However, I understand that through the use of elevation points I can strengthen the reliability of the data. I set an elevation point at the house tonight. I get variations on data here at the house when I first start up. Usually, when I leave the house it says that we are about 100 or so feet lower than we actually are. When I return I am usually reading pretty close to what it should be. I am not sure why but I read on the Garmin forum that this is often the case that initial readings are not as reliable as readings about 15 to 20 minutes later. Anyway, at least when I start at the house the readings should be pretty good from here on.

The rides over the past couple of days have been pretty good. Yesterday's ride was solo. It was nice to be out, just riding listening to some good music. Today's ride was with Brianero. He led us at a fairly brisk pace, with one really strong short climb. I was staying up with him as we went up it. I was surprised that this was the case. I should have known that he was saving himself for the end of the climb where it went from about a 10 to 12 percent grade to around 20% for a bit. Ouch.

Anyway, lunch time rides are great. Much better than my commuting rides which tend to be filled with more stops because of traffic and at a slower pace generally than when I am doing a ride like yesterday or a ride with others like today.

I hope to continue these midday rides as work allows. We will see...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Coolest Little Support Vehicle

Yesterday, Bridget and I bought ourselves a used Honda Odyssey in fantastic shape. We got a great deal on it too. We are super happy to not have to pack in our little Civic. We still have the Civic, but it now becomes my errand runner.

Neither of these are the cool support vehicle the title of this post refers to.

Neil of Cernitzbikes just picked up a Ford Transit. Check it:

You could basically stand up inside the vehicle. Or at least shorter guys could. Well, Neil probably could. But, still...this is the coolest, most sensible cycling vehicle I have ever seen. And it is cheap. The deluxe version with a second row of seats retails for about $24K. Neal paid quite a bit less. The stripped down version retails for about $21K or so.

Neil said that it drives very well and gets great gas mileage. It is reminds me of a Honda Element, but with more room and about the same price.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How to Talk to Non-Cyclists

I found this today while looking for something else on xtranormal

I Need a Mulligan

Today started off by me being awake. At midnight I was still wide awake despite having to get up at 6am to ride to work. At 1am I am still awake and stressing about not being able to sleep. At 3 am Colin, the 17 month old woke up and I patted him back to sleep. I stayed in his room and slept on the small couch that we have in there. At 4:30 I woke up to see if it was time to get ready to ride. At 5:10 I woke up again. At 5:30, again. And at 5:50 I called it a night and got up. I had a little alarm set so why I kept waking up is beyond me.

I was feeling nauseated from the lack of sleep, or at least any deep sleep. I got ready, grumpily and then headed off in the dark. At least it wasn't raining. I listened to music as I pedalled at a much slower than usual pace. I just wasn't feeling it. At noon I headed off to the post office to ship off something that I sold on Ebay. I really didn't feel like riding, but it was a short enough ride that I couldn't be too bugged.

On the way back I was debating where to eat. Should I do Subway or something better at the Sushi/Teriaki restaurant nearby. As I was thinking this I also started to think about death. Seriously. How would the family fair if I just suddenly kicked the bucket. The cause of this thinking was a truck that passed by a little too close for comfort. At first I was ticked off, and then the other thoughts come in. Anyway, while I am in this black revelry, I came near a set of train tracks with a bad reputation.

These particular tracks do not cross the road in a perpendicular fashion. Nope that come at about a 45 degree angle. They have a horrible transition that is very bumpy. The bike I am riding has the usual narrow road tires. Have I mentioned that the roads are wet today? Well, they were. This time of year it seems they are wet for about 4 months straight. I don't mind this, except for today.

This is what I think happened: I have slowed down somewhat--I was probably going about 12 to 15 mph. The front tire hits the deformed asphalt that parallels the track. At the speed I am going the tire pops up a bit and then lands on the rail. I believe it did not hit square and so because I am coming in at an angle because of the weird road to rail angle the front tire slides to the left. I immediately go down. In straight down. More like I am doing a cyclist bad imitation of Mr. Hustle, Pete Rose. My right side hits first. The bike slides a bit into traffic. Luckily no cars were beside me. I hop up to first check my pearl Izumi jacket. Yeah, it is a little screwed up and very dirty. Bike looks OK and I pick it up. It is fine. However, the right side of my legs is a little shredded. My right hip really hurts, as does my right arm. I get on the bike and ride back. No significant blood loss.

I sit for a bit after changing. I get up. Oh oh. Although I landed on my right side, my left side is messed up. I had, and still do, a hard time moving my left leg forward to walk. I am physically able to do it, but I have a sharp pain that shoots from my spine all the way through to the front side near my hip bone. Yeah, that's not going to do.

I called the wife. She is nice and clears her schedule a bit so that she can come and get me. I certainly feel like I need a do over today. I wonder if I had just gotten a little more sleep I would have probably have paid a bit more attention to the approaching railroad tracks. I would have approached them in a little more perpendicular fashion. And I would not be so flipping grumpy right now. Time for a nap.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Lunch Time Ride #2

Today's riders were Brianero, his brother Ward, Marcello (aka Speedy, as Jimbo calls him) and myself bringing up the rear.

Brian and his brother are both great riders. Brianero is a Master A cyclocross racer, and his brother is at least on the road his equal. Marcelo is the #1 ranked sprint distance triathlete in the Northwest. He is tall and lanky. He just seems to glide up hills. He seemed to be able to pick it up and put some distance on us at will. It was kind of amazing actually. I would be struggling to keep touch with the rest and it looked Marcelo looked effortless. sigh...

I brought along my Garmin 500. Near the end of the ride, Brian would ask what our elevation gain was. I would tell him, he would doubt the accurracy of both the elevation gain and the distance ridden. And then he would guide us to the nearest hill that he could torture us with to up the elevation total some more. Thankfully, it is a lunchtime ride and there is only about an hour that we can ride.

Here are some snips of the data from the Garmin:

These rides ought to make a difference come fall I think. They hurt.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Equipment Malfunctions

I wrote a couple of days ago about my FSA K Force crank failure. This failure has cause a host of other problems that nearly spiraled out of control.

Here is the string of events that the FSA failure has led to:

1. Upon braking my crank could not ride home. Missed 12.5 miles of riding.

2. On monday I didn't ride to work because I had to drive other pieces to make it possible for me to use The Mule, my commuter bike, while FSA figures out what to do with the broken crank. Missed miles, 25.

3. Tuesday, I rode my new Lapierre into work without any fenders because I figured that I could get The Mule ready to ride home that night. I had understood that rain was on the way. All I needed to do was install my old square taper Campy Record crankset and then the Forte shifters and derailleurs. I had been riding The Mule as a singlespeed. I have had this Forte 10 speed groupo since before Christmas. As an employee of Performance bike I get a swell deal on anything that says "Forte" on it. There were some initial positive review for this new product and I decided to give it a try. I took a long lunch and installed everything. It was not going on too smoothly though. In fact, I could not get the rear derailleur to shift well at all. I never even got to the left shifter. I rode home on the Lapierre after a 12 hour day at the shop, pissed. The Lapierre still had no fenders and it was raining.

4. While riding home, slowly I might add so that the water spray didn't shoot directly up into my face or that I might not become so soaked that my phone also got wet, I noticed that the shifting was not shifting to the smaller cogs on my cassette very well. I stopped a couple of times, in the rain still, to perform minor adjustments, thinking that cables must of stretched or that something else cable related had happenend. I didn't put too much thought into it. Then about 2/3 the way home the rear derailleur just stopped shifting at all. I checked a couple of things and discovered the the housing section at the rear of the bike had somehow gotten all boogered up and was not allowing the cable to pass through freely--or at all. I pedaled home even more pissed off. I was mad enough that I told Bridget not to talk to me until I had gotten some food in me. It was around 9:45 when I arrived home and I had not eaten any food since 1pm. When you include walking all over the place in the shop and then the ride home, that is just too long.

5. Today I get to work and with Neil help discover and affirm that it is true, the Forte shifters are total crap. In the rear, it shifts fine going up to larger cogs, but about halfway back down, it starts to lag in shifting. Sometimes it won't shift at all. We try different cassettes, but no dice. Plus the levers combined with the Avid BB7 road disc brakes feel ultra mushy. A very very poor feel at the lever, even though power was good. Basically that crap had to come off. More work to do.

6. Realizing last night that the Forte drivetrain might be crap, I rummaged though my old parts boxes. I had my fingers cross that I could find one particular piece of treasure...Finally, a bit of luck! For the first 2 or 3 years of cross racing I used a 9 speed dura ace barend shifter mounted to a Kelly TakeOff. If you don't know what this is, do a google search. Here is a pic from the Kelly website

I put the Kelly with the 9 speed shifter then a 9 speed ultegra cassette and then it immediately started to shift better....but not perfect. I let it sit for a bit and came back to it later to dial it in. Umm, no. wouldn't dial at all beyond an unsatisfactory point. Time to ditch the Forte derailleur and toss them along side the Forte Shifters. I put on a Shimano Ultegra and immediately--Perfect shifting.

7. I didn't get to ride into work or home today because I had to bring the original boxes and packaging of the Forte drivetrain as well as different cassettes, shifters. I wouldn't not have had room to bring them all. Plus I really didn't want to ride a Lapierre back to work with no fenders and no shifting capability. Nor did I want to ride a clean Specialized S-Works. Miles missed today, 25.

BUT...The Mule now works stellar. It is set up with a 42 tooth single chainring up front with a 12-27 cassette in the back. Wheels were swapped out from the White Bros. Eno and Velocity wheelset I had to a simple generic, but probably very durable, Shimano XT with Mavic rims. It looks good. It shifts good. It brakes good. It is still the perfect commuter. But man what a journey the past few days have been with it after breaking the crankset. None of the drivetrain swaps would have happened at this point were it not for the breakage. I was going to wait until the weather dried out. Oh least I know now not to recommend the Forte stuff to others.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A little riding here, a little riding there...and I broke another crankset

I talked briefly to Fish today. Fish and Dave (formerly DTP) are training for an Ironman in St. George, Utah. I am so glad that I am not forced to train right now. Basically, right now I ride if I want to, and if I don't...I don't. This is the first time in about 3 years that I have not had to train for something. I don't have much of anything on the horizon, and that suits me just fine.

And the bonus part is that I am not even gaining much weight. I was sitting at 192 this morning, a little over 4 pounds off my cyclocross season low. Meh. That feels good enough right now. I have more things to stress over than training for something or losing weight.

This is not to say that I haven't been riding. I didn't ride much the beginning of January, because of illness or schedule, but wound up doing about 140 miles the last half of January. I have been doing commuting and I went on a couple of rides with friends/teammates.

Last week I was invited by Brianero to go on a lunch time ride. I took my new Lapierre out with road tires instead of cyclocross rubber to just get the cables stretched. Riiight. Really what the deal was is that I really like riding it. The position on the bike feels great. I haven't spent much time off road on it yet, so no final review is close yet. Nevertheless, on the road it feels exceptional with regard to fit.

His teammate Craig was also on the ride. We rode around Lake Oswego and managed to find most of the steepest roads to climb. Why? They said something about wanting to know about the elevation gain on some of the roads. So away we went. For a ride that lasted about one hour and 15 minutes it was full of suffering. Within about 5 or 6 miles during the 15 mile ride we climbed about 1600 vertical feet. Much of that in stretches that had a grades between 13% to 20%. Ouch.

I thought we were finally done at one point as we were descending and near the bottom the jerks pulled a U-turn on me and headed right back up again. I was toasted by the time we got back up to the top.

On the way back there is one decent that is pretty much a straight shot down. I wanted to see how fast I could go. I hit 53.7 mph and that felt pretty good.

I hope that these rides can find a way to occur on a regular basis. They hurt, but that must mean that they are good for me. It is also good to note that I didn't get dropped too far back. All is well really at this point of the year.

FSA K Force crankset bites the dust

I broke my 4th crankset within the past 4 years. All of them have been carbon. 2 of them FSA. One was an older Ritchey WCS carbon with an ISIS bottom bracket interface. One was an Easton EC90 that had a manufacturing defect. On both of the FSA's, I broke the aluminum spline near where the pedal threads. On this break, I also cracked the carbon as well.

Frankly, not many things make me feel as manly or tough as breaking a crank. It makes me feel like I am Arnold Schwarzenegger or something. I just have too much POWER....or perhaps I am just too much of a fat ass. Regardless, it is cool to break crankarms.

FSA seems like it will be nice enough to warranty it. The new replacement for the K Force that they no longer make is a SLK Light crankset. I hope the third time if the charm. I may not even keep it though. FSA only has a 2 year warranty, while I believe that Easton has a limited lifetime warranty. Since I seem to only be able to make a carbon crankset last about 2 years it seems like going with a crankset with a better warranty might be a good idea. The Easton warranty is limited to the original purchaser--a good reason not to use Ebay in this instance.

Anyway, The Mule will be getting my trusty Campy Record carbon-armed square taper crankset regardless of FSA warrantying the broken one. The Campy arms seem to be bomb-proof after a year and a half of hard use. I know, I know, it hasn't hit the 2 year mark yet, but I think it will be fine. I am also going to put the Forte groupo on the Mule in short order. It will be interesting to see how the Forte group works. I am not expecting perfection, I just expect it to work. Either that or group is all going back to Circle P in short order.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I don't have a bunch to say here. I am currently waiting on my iPhone to see if doing a "restore" will restore the function of the sleep/power button at the top of the phone. There are only two buttons on the phone and if one of the two goes on the fritz that sort of becomes frustrating. At least it is the lesser important of the two buttons. I rarely turn my phone off, but would be a pain in the butt occassionally and I would probably take it in to get it fixed (if possible) at my earliest convienence. I also have about 2000+ songs and various applications so it will take awhile to complete the restoration.


I have been enjoying my Garmin Edge 500. I don't have the cadence/HR bundle, which is just fine. I like the GPS features, especially the elevation gain/loss info. Very cool. I have only used it on my commute, but the information in interesting and will be useful when I start to train more in earnest. One day last week I rode to work pissed. I mean I was just freaking steamed. I won't get into why, but I was pretty tired and really if someone looked at me sideways I would have bit their heads off. Without even thinking about it I was riding pretty hard into work on the Cernitz Mule, which is still set up singlespeed. Man I was just mashing those pedals. Sure enough I made it to work about 1 mph faster than I ever had on the Mule, which is about 10 trips to work so far. It is amazing what a little bit of anger will do. I should try and be a little pissed off at the start of a cross race. I wonder what would happen...When I got to work just about all of the frustration was gone. Cycling is great for venting. I was much more civil than I would have been otherwise.

I am pretty excited about the Lapierre. It seems like it will be a winner. It is odd how much it feels like a regular road bike though. I think that other than the bb being a bit higher and having more tire clearance it handles much like a road bike on the road. It is pretty nimble. Off road I think it will do fine. I am keeping the Curtlo frame, though I will probably sell the fork and so forth. I may have it repainted at some point this year. A custom made 3.6 lbs steel frame is hard to part with. I really wouldn't get the money out of it that it deserves. So, maybe with a fresh coat of paint, it will be resurrected at some point in the future. The fork has got to go. It is an old Alpha Q CX fork. $100--anyone interested? 1" steerer tube (I was using a Chris King DeEvolution headset which makes it possible to use a 1" steerer tube in a frame made for a 1 1/8" steerer tube) and lots of length...

Ahh, lets see here...the phone is still sync'ing...

I went to our Team ButterCup meeting today. It was good to finally all get together and discuss plans and so forth. A few things came out of the meeting. We extended 3 invitations to join the team from the masses of people that were clamouring for our attention. That gives us a total of 8 members if they do indeed join us. We have sponsors that have committed to give us cash, which is a huge blessing. After a bit of discussion we decided to use the money so that every member is given a jersey and bibs/shorts. Additional clothing will be paid for by the team members. The rest of the money will go toward banners and other things needed at races. At some point we would like to have a good size team tent, but we will probably just use the couple of 10'x10' units that a couple members have.

...hmmm sync is done but the sleep button still doesn't work. Looks like I should take it in and put the extended warranty I purchased to work.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lapierre HM X-Lite: First ride

With a great deal of help from Neil, the Lapierre got out in the mud today. I took a quick trip out to Cooks Butte. First impression is that the head angle is pretty steep. It is going to take a bit of getting used to how quick the steering is generally. The geometry is definitely different that what I am used to. I don't think it is bad, just different. The Lapierre, aka Frenchie, aka the White Witch, is quite a ride. It really is made for a rider that knows what he is doing. It has a pretty aggressive feel to it. It is not a lazy man's sort of bike. It just feels like it reacts very quickly to what I do, more quickly and more rapidly than what I am used to. I tend to like stable bikes. When taking sharp turns it sometimes felt hard to stay on top of without dabbing. I mean these turns were pretty tight, and they were uphill too, even on the Curtlo I had a real hard time making them. nevertheless, it will take some time getting used to it.

I also switched out some parts. A set of Chorus shifters were put on. There are a couple of drivetrain kinks that need to be worked out, but other than that it is all good. The rear derailleur rides on the 28t cog. When I backpedal the chain won't stay on that cog. It gets hung up because of the interferance. I am not sure quite what to do, but I have some ideas on how to fix it. Other than that it is all good so far.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Some guys go into withdrawls...

at the end of cyclocross season. I get the flu and get new bikes. Or bike. No pics yet. It would be done except I got a case of the flu that tanked me for quite sometime. I stripped down the Curtlo and that will go into mothballs for a bit. I won't sell it too soon. But many of the parts have found their way on to the new "A" geared bike for next year...the Lapierre HM X-Lite cyclocross frame. The geometry is a little different. I will see how it goes, but the frame is pretty darn light. I think it will fit fine, but I won't know for sure until I take a few spins on it.

Some stuff is new, other things are used.

The Build:

Easton EC90X fork
Easton EC90SLX wheels
Tufo Cubus tires (for now, these are going bye-bye)
Easton EC90 crankset
TRP EuroX Magnesium brakes
Thomson Masterpiece seatpost (on order, using a Forte one until mine comes in)
Ritchey WCS bar
Ritchey WSC stem
Selle San Marco Aspide Ti railed saddle
Campy Chorus 10spd shifters
Campy Chorus rear derailleur
Campy Centaur front derailleur
Crank Brothers Eggbeater SL pedals
stock headset

The weight set up 1x10 was 15.71 with everything hung on it. I am setting it up 2x10 during the off season so it will gain a bit more weight. Not sure if it will still be sub-16lbs or not now.

Pics soon, ride report in the weeks to follow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Last year's geared cyclocross ride:

This year's geared cyclocross ride:

Different frameset, different brakes, everything else the same between the two bikes.

More in the next day or so...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The White Witch is Coming

Her twin sister has already found a home at Brianero's home. Here is a picture of her:

The down and top tubes are shaped and frankly the frame is better looking that I expected.

Mine should arrive tomorrow.