Saturday, September 25, 2010

Late Start

Ready to roll and I position the bike for a tire pressup and was surprised to find I'd pushed the envelope a little too far on this tire. Not only could I see cords, the rubber was coming away from the casing. No way would this have made it through the ride today.

Now I always have an extra tire hanging in the garage. And my normal procedure is when the back tire shows cords, rotate the front tire to the back and put a new tire on the front; lots of reasons why this makes sense. But there really wasn't much life left in my front tire either. Very fortunately, earlier this week I received my order for two new tires so both front and rear wheels got new shoes and I still have one new one hanging in the garage. Wound up leaving home about a half hour late though.

Ahhhh, new rubber is always nice.

Product Review: Vittoria Open Corsa CX - best clinchers in the universe.
Half an hour late and I'm about a mile from home and I feel the tell-tale thumping, periodic with wheel rotation that says "pinched tube". Stopped to inspect and yup, little bead bulge on the front. Let out the air, massaged the tire, burned a CO2 cart, and was back on my way... now 45 minutes late.
Things started to look better near the dips.

Roadkill Report: rat at the bottom of the Bump.

Roadkill Report: baby rattlesnake. The bees were all over this poor guy - made me wonder if they had killed him. Not sure why bees like blood but there was another identical scene a couple miles up.

Rest of the ride was nice enough. Lots of people at the Junction but I didn't know any of them.
Product Review: Camelback Podium Bottle. The selling point of this thing is that there's no bite valve that you have to pull - just squeeze. Must be a new kind of plastic too because there wasn't any of that nasty new bottle rank. After 30 years of biting the valve though, the habit wouldn't go away and there's nothing there to bite - made it kind of tricky to sort of shift your hand from the "pulling it out of the cage" position to the squeeze position. It gets a lukewarm recommendation.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2010 WNR 17

Last weekend, I unsuccesfully attempted to install the Velo Orange fenders on my Masi fixed gear commute bike. The directions sucked and it didn't seem like they gave me enough mounting bits... so I took it to the friendly pro's at Encina Bikes. They didn't have an easy time either. Fender mounting is frequently one of those things that requires a lot of creativity and kludgery and I just didn't have it... I didn't think I'd need to though, because the bike has all the threaded bits you generally need for fenders. Problem was though, they didn't mount under the fork or to the brake bridge the way they were ostensibly supposed to. Anyway, Encina got the job done and the results are pretty good, but not quite as clean as I'd hoped for.

The Velo Orange struts are way more stout than any other fender I've used before.

And use a "daruma" instead of a clamp to grab the fender.

Needed zip ties at both brakes... the provided bits just didn't work.

And needed some spacers at the chainstay bridge attachment; these are rollers from an old chain - I love that kind of resoursefulness.

Nice touch bending the struts instead of just cutting them off - looks cool.

P and S means "port" and "starboard"... inside joke to myself. The cockpit is nice and tight on the wide Ritchey road bars, leaves plenty of working room for my hands.

So anyway, Encina closes at 7 and I had to cut my Diablo ride a little short to get there in time. I took a couple photos of the sunset but they were blurry and had some flares so I deleted them.

No ride next week... probably just one more 2010 WNR left.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Wildlife Encounter: two young deers below the Gate... wouldn't hold still for a good photo though.

Thick cool fog this morning, sort of like a locker room after many steamy showers but after it's cooled down and the condensation is on everything. Had to take off my sunglasses to see after a while.

Road was pretty wet too in the higher ups. Couple times I spun the rear wheel around a hairpin.

Wildlife Encounter: tarantula.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2010 WNR 16

Only a few more Wednesday night rides left this year.

Coming down there were several places where you're looking right into the sun and have to remember what the road does until you can see again.

Wildlife Encounter: TWO tarantulas.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Regulars on the Mountain today: Me, JB, JayK, PeterC, The Guy, Rick, and Dudley.

Started off a little cool, got warm real fast. Conversation topics: gas line explosion in San Bruno, Hawkeye football, Vuelta curfews, Quran burning, and mosque building.

JB turned around at Junction and I went to Juniper... very slowly.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Juniper Plus

Spare the Air please.

Three days of sub-optimal atmospheric conditions. Today was a little better but you could see a lot of smog along the freeway corridors.

JB caught me at mile 2, then we came across Peter coming down, then a couple other guys caught up to us and one of them was from New Zealand... he told us jokes about Australians and some personal insight on earthquakes in Kiwiland (there was a bad one there yesterday)... worst part according to him: NZ is now 12 inches closer to Australia.

Rick's plan was for a double Summit in prep for Alta Alpina which is an insane amount of climbing in a road race. He called me when I was at Chainbuster and I tried to answer the phone but the neuro receptors and fine motor control were stifled by lack of oxygen and I accidentally hung up on him.

JB and I went on to Juniper.

Then went on some more. I hung it up a little ways later and staged a Diablo Spy Cam:

Then Rick came by on Summit Run One and we talked for a while.

Got behind a train of slow drivers on the way down that were too arrogant to let cyclists pass them - three of us got around anyway and had a fun sprint on the dips - I suspect they didn't know where the line was though.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

2010 WNR 15


I hate when "spare the air" days are on Wednesday because that's usually the only day I drive to work.

Waiting at the red light.

Tarantulas are out, haven't seen one yet.
It wasn't the kind of killer heat that makes you not want to ride at all, it was the kind of heat that sucks out your energy and makes you kill yourself. I was really wiped when I got to the Junction.

Bagpipers probably have a hard time finding a place to practice their art... The Mountain provides.