Thursday, December 24, 2009

Riding with The Man

Today's shop ride was almost entirely Endomorph bikes. Uncle Rhino was the exception, and since he is a strange mutant who never complains and just churns along, it wasn't noticeable. However, the ride did include the current super star of winter riding, Jeff Oatley. While normally this would have included an ass kicking for all of us, Oatley took it easy on us. By easy I mean that he had already been out for a four hour ride, just eaten a turkey sandwich and was riding without a brake. All that effectively handicapped him down to our level and made the ride quite comfortable, if not entertaining.

I apparently need to learn the trail system better. I was actually out front at one point and then immediately moved to the back when I missed a turn. Luckily Christapoleon was close enough that I heard him yelling "LEFT!!!" over the blare of my iPood. I spent the last half of the ride sucking Uncle Rhino's wheel. Oatley missed one of the last turns and when I stopped to chat with him I stole his bike (I did leave him mine). I got to ride the out trail on a real race bike, which only almost killed me once (No Brakes!). Back at the shop I mooned him. It was completely appropriate at the time since we were having a discussion on the relative merits of bibs. Oatley doesn't believe in them since they make relieving yourself on the trail difficult. I explained that I can get out of them to drop trau easily, and of course had to demonstrate. I am not sure it convinced him enough that he'll be switching to bibs, but hey, I had to.

Have a good holiday weekend and stay safe.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Birth


I bring you a just born picture, Tubasti not yet dry, steer tube uncut, and cables unstretched. Tomorrow the doctor will give it a once over and bless it, until then it just sit in the dining room, shiny and new.

Friday, December 18, 2009

On Bike Sex

After my previous post, Coffee Joe asked the astute question, "Do you get to choose the sex of your bike?". I think have to say, the answer is no. My own thinking on the matter pretty much proved to me that I am a sexist pig, but I digress. My downhill bike I consider to be masculine. It is huge, beefy and heavy. It is designed to withstand horrible abuse and rough terrain and still perform like a champ. None of these are qualities I consider feminine. My Seven on the other hand, I have always seen as feminine. It's winter form (fully rigid with SnowCats) is designed to be efficient, graceful, light, and beautiful. I would say that most bikes designed to be light and efficient would strike me as feminine, and anything designed to withstand abuse I'd qualify as masculine. I am generalizing and there are bikes that fall between the lines (five inch travel cross country trail bikes, for instance) but basically that's my feeling.

The hotly debated result of this was today that all road (racing) bikes are female. At least that's my opinion. Zombie Jeff disagreed, which of course he's entitled to do, but he's still wrong. If it weighs in under eighteen pounds and is rolling tires with a c after it and not an in., it is a girl. Sorry. Jeff of course strongly agreed with my downhill bike assessment. His own seven inch plush machine is all pink, and we both know that's because it is just a comfortable with himself kind of guy, pretty much like Jeff.

I am mostly done with my newest friend, but I still am not sure yet what it's going to be. I suppose I'll know by the time I cut the excess from the steer tube. At least I hope so. The idea of cutting without knowing is kind of scary.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gestation

If you've ever built your own bike, you'll find it is a bit like a pregnancy prior to birth. There is some scrambling around trying to get your parts together. You spend time thinking about what it will be like when it grows up. And ultimately you realize that you can get it started in the right direction, but at some point it takes on a life of its own.

I think a second bike build is probably close to a second pregnancy. You are a little more relaxed, you can wait for it. I don’t want to get the bike together so much as I want to worry about the details and ask myself questions there are no answers to. Will I love it as much as I love my current bike? Will it be as good? Are these new Formula R1s so awesome that I’ll have to buy an additional pair to update my old Formulas on my old bike? (disclosure: I love Formula and they seem to like me back, but as of yet, they aren’t paying me or sending me free stuff to try out) All of these questions will be answered sometime in the near future, but I can’t help ponder them now a bit.

What I can do is continue to wish that the bike world will start to revolve around me and companies will call me and ask me what I need. Which I guess is sort of like wishing you were Lance Armstrong. Huh.

Monday, December 7, 2009

More on BikeJoring

Now that the base of snow we have is pretty well packed down, it’s time to get the dogs back in shape. Not that they are doing that bad, I am pretty convinced Harley could spend six months on the couch eating bacon and still out run me on the bike. Bubbie, however is a different story. Ganging them together (as in the above picture) results in Harley going full out and at some point dragging Quinn and me along. He seems to do better getting dragged by her, because he at least makes the effort to stay with her even if he isn’t going to pull.

This weekend however, I decided to take Joe for a ride on the slough since he just recently got his 29er together and I wanted him to explore additional options to getting his butt handed to him on the mushing trail shop rides by Pugsley wielding trail shredding bastards (I love you guys!). It should be noted that I am currently attempting to join their ranks. However, I am still “not there” yet and I was content to ride my very nice fat tire, but not that fat, bike. To keep things fair, I gave my “good” dog to Joe. She is much smarter about snow machines, a more consistent puller, and all around awesome except for her fear of ice crossings. Since Joe was rocking his studs, I figured this wouldn’t be a problem. It wasn’t, in fact the ride consisted of no problems (which makes the story kind of not entertaining). The only thing interesting was that unstrapped to Harley, Quinn decided at the turn around point that he was done pulling. There are many possible reasons for this, he could have been tired and out of shape, he may be smart enough to know that we were halfway and reasonably concluded that it should be my turn to pull him back (sadly our harness and line setup precluded this as an option, or I might have tried it), or perhaps in the blistering 30 degree weather he had simply overheated. Whatever the case, he trotted contentedly along beside me for the whole way back. I had to take up the slack in the line so it didn’t end up wrapped around my crankset. In the end I think Joe got a nice recovery ride (after we were all demolished on Friday’s shop ride) and into to BikeJoring, Harley got a workout, Quinn, got as much exercise as he was willing to handle, and I got a bit of a ride in as well.