Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Rough And Rugged

Oh rigid single speeding, how I’ve missed you.  Last night was my first ride on the new crabon Niner fork and I absolutely loved it.  I was getting a little too used to riding the squishy fork, so I’m glad it’s gone.  Coming from a cromoly rigid fork, I have to say that crabon is the bee’s knees.  Do bees even have knees?

Who knows.

Aside from the new rigid goodness, I also finally got a chance to break out my new shoes:

My old ones had split in half on the bottom, so new shoes were a top priority.  I went with white just so I’ll look faster.

Does that even work?

Anyway, we had a fun, social ride, and it really gave me a chance to test out the handling over roots, rocks, jumps, and small children.  Since I wasn’t hauling ass or anything, I got to really get in tune with the handling of my new crabon accessory.  I dig it.  I only had one issue (the headset came loose mid-ride), but that will be addressed tonight.

I am happy with the new ride.

Big thanks to all of you that steered me in the direction of crabon, and special thanks to Good Guy Greg for providing beer and moral support.  He’s such a good Drunk Cyclist.

Speaking of Drunk Cyclist, now you can get all kitted up while you show your love to drinking and bicycles.  In addition to those sweet-looking jerseys, now you can order bib shorts (or regular shorts if you’re so inclined.)  Wanna look all pro when you head out to the pub after a “training ride?”  Or you just want to show all those not so serious types that you can look all smooth and sexy while you ride too?  

With the “full kit” option, you can look fancy while you do what you do best:

Drink beer (or whatever adult beverage you like.)

Go buy yourself something pretty rad.

And right now (until Monday) you can use the discount code SAVEDC to knock 15% off the price.

You'll have money leftover to buy me a beer.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It’s All Good

Thanks to your input, I made the decision to get myself a crabon frok for my newest single speed.  As it turns out, making that difficult decision was the easy part.  When I called my local shop to get one, he tried his best but came up short.  He did offer one in white though, to which I politely said hell no.  I was ready to buy, but I couldn’t find what I needed.

That’s how lucky I am sometimes.

After searching high and low and calling in a few favors to some people that shall remain nameless, I was still coming up short.  Eventually I found one, and it was on its way to the B-43 Worldwide Headquarters.  I’m still deathly afraid of carbon bicycle parts though, so I wanted someone to help me with the install that had some experience.  I called upon Dicky, who offered his assistance when it arrived. 

Plans were made which involved a few people giving me assistance.  The frok was set to arrive sometime yesterday, so Lunchbox was waiting at the house to keep an eye out for it.  When it showed up in the afternoon, he brought the box in the house and notified me that it had arrived.  The next phase of the plan was to get it to me here in the city.  Little Miss Sunshine got off work early, and with a planned ride back this way she offered to deliver it to me after work.  While she was on the way, Dicky let me know that he was backing out to go shopping for a new skirt. 


No worries, since I had a backup plan.  I called Good Guy Greg, who, just like his name might suggest, is a good guy and always willing to help (and he has a carbon frok too.)  The only thing he really needed was a way to install my new crown race on my new frok.  

I told him I would head to the local home improvement store and see if I could find something that would work.  I managed to piece together some PVC parts that would do the trick, and I started to head his way.  That’s when I looked in my rear view mirror and realized that I’m a dumbass.

I had forgotten to bring my bike with me.

Since I knew that would be my only free night this week, I made the decision to rush back home, grab my new SS, and head back to the city.  I lost some valuable beer drinking time in the process, but at least I knew I would be riding a rigid bike again soon.  When I got to his house he was waiting, and I unboxed my new frok so we could behold its awesomeness.

And now it was time to get that squishy shit the hell off my bike.

Beers were poured, things were measured, and things were cut (only once, too.)  Once the new frok was installed, I was giddy like a little school girl.  My bike was super light now (yes, I’m a weight wiener I guess), and it was dead sexy.

On the very first try, I got the spacer height exactly how I wanted it.  No other adjustments  were needed, aside from the brake calipers.  With all the shit I went through to get the fork here and installed, it was nice to have the rest of it go so smoothly.

And now I get to test it.  Tonight’s ride is on one of the rootiest trails around, so my return to rigid will be a trial by fire.

Hell yeah.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Nothing Into Something

I found plenty of things to get into over the weekend, and I think it might be too much to talk about in one day.  So, I guess I can work backwards from yesterday.  It’s back to shitty weather around here again, and every local trail was closed.  I couldn’t go all the way to the mountains (I’m on call for work), and going another day without riding would have certainly make me go ape shit.

So I grabbed Darth Maul and we hit the road.

I’m only about a mile and a half from a local greenway, and since I wasn’t on a road bike that was my destination.  After doing a little urban action, I rode down a few paved hills and ended up near my local creek.

I was right around the corner from our private trail (RTS), so of course I had to hit that.  I headed that way, and I was surprised at how many people were out there riding (the greenway, I hadn’t made it to the trail yet.)  As I rolled down the last hill before the trail entrance, some fruity looking runner called out to me:

“Be careful, there’s a ssssssssnake!”

Yeah, he said it just like that.

The only thing I could think to say back to him was, “I’m gonna pick it up!”

Turns out he needed me to pick him up.  He was partially on the pavement, and in severe danger of having someone come around the blind corner too fast and squish him.  I gently picked him up and helped him into a nearby tree.

And he was so happy that he kept going to the top.

Now he can jump out of the tress and scare the shit outta that runner that was so worried about him.

Anyway, it was time to hit the trail.  Our little slice of heaven in the woods was bone dry despite all the rain we’ve had, and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

After a tough ride (that shit has a bunch of climbing), I hurried back home to get ready for a party.  That’s right, yesterday afternoon was the Grand Opening Extravaganza for Good Runnings, Charlotte’s soon to be famous bicycle delivery service.

It was your typical party in the park.

With your typical shenanigans:

But you know a party ain’t a party until Dicky shows up with a beer in his bib shorts.

And then there was the slip n slide:

Actually, it was a really fun time.  Beer, food, bikes, and fun people for sure.  It was a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon and I was glad to have something fun like that to do.  For once though, I didn’t close down the party.  I had to leave to go sell the last of my geared, squishy bikes, but I didn’t walk away from there empty-handed.

I got a cool cycling cap:

I’m not the cycling cap type at all (I prefer hats), but maybe I’ll try it on and see how I look.  Of course I’ll share that with you.

I share everything, don’t I?

Well, only the almost good stuff anyway.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I Almost Forgot

Last Saturday was a long, long day.  After finishing my race much earlier than I had anticipated, Lunchbox and I decided to head up to Beech Mountain to watch some rad downhillers in action. 

We sure as shit wouldn’t get a chance to go ice skating.

 Go home sign, you're drunk.

The Brews and Views was going on too, but I decided against trying to drink thirty bucks worth of beer after racing and driving all day.  You might be surprised, but I only had one.  I had a couple back in Old Fort, but that’s a different (and boring) story.  We watched people getting hammered, I talked to some good friends that were out there too, and most importantly we got to watch people shred the gnar.

And now I’ll just post photos so you don’t have to read anymore.

It was fun, but I was tired as hell when I got home later that night.  Anyway, this weekend doesn’t involve any kind of plan and that’s fine by me.  There are things going on for sure, but who knows what I’ll get myself into.

Maybe nothing, which is just fine too.

See y’all Monday

Thursday, July 25, 2013

More Good

Back when I built up my new single speed I had a little issue.  I never mentioned it because it wasn’t really important at the time.  Plus, I knew it would be resolved quickly. 

I had to use (gasp) another brand of headset.

I won’t mention the inferior brand here, but it was included with my new frame.  I already had a Cane Creek 110 that was halfway compatible, but since the new head tube was tapered I knew I needed a new bottom bearing.  Plus, I would be temporarily running a non-tapered fork so I would need that fancy reducer crown race thingy.  Before my frame showed up, I ordered a new bottom bearing, crown race, and pieced together with my “old” top assembly I had what I thought was the proper headset.

The bottom bearing was brand new from Cane Creek, and the top cap and bearing was a leftover from a past bike.  When I tried to install it, I just couldn’t get the preload right.  I was frustrated, until I realized (after searching on the Internets) that my new frame had a 42mm inside diameter, and the bearing I was trying to use was 41mm.

See, size does matter.

In my haste, I put the (included with the frame) headset (top part only) on and figured I would get on the horn with Cane Creek to get the necessary part I needed.  I sorta forgot about it, until I looked down at the headset with disgust during a ride last week.  The next morning, I picked up the phone and asked for help.  It seems that the website only listed headsets in the 42mm variety for the Forty Series, and I just had to have a 110.  I told them that I wouldn’t dare use that “other” brand of headset any longer, and I was reassured that I didn’t need to.

They shipped it out moments after I got off the phone, and after a quick trip by the Pony Express down from the hills I can finally get with the program.

 It’s so purdy.

And wouldn’t you know, it went on without any issues.

I guess that’s what happens when you put the right shit on there.

Anyway, other than bragging about putting fancy new shit on my fancy new bike, today’s post is mostly about customer service.  I didn’t do my homework before I built my new bike, but a quick call to a real live person (in my home state even) got my issue resolved lickety split.  Cane Creek 110 headsets are made right here in NC (I swear, I’ve seen them do it), and once again I get to buy local from one of the best companies in the whole wide world of cycling.

I promise they will give you the same level of customer service.  The best headset you can buy (with a 110 year warranty) that’s made right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. and they actually give a damn about the people that use their products.  Hell, I even got a follow up e-mail to tell me that they hope I enjoy my new bike.

That’s some damn fine service right there.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Good

With no bad this time.

 Photo cred:  Off TheRoad Photos 

Usually after I do a race report, I take time out to talk about all the things I could’ve done better.  Harder efforts, less recovery time, more nutrition, etc., but I’ll skip it this time around.  Instead, I’ll talk about something that made my race pretty awesome.

I get support from various cycling companies (ahem, look over there to the right), and their products serve me well.  One item in particular stood out this time, and honestly I’ve been slacking in the review department for it.  What is it, you ask?

My choice of socks.

That is the DeFeet Cyclismo.  I got them back in March right before I raced down in Charleston, and they’ve been my go to race sock ever since.  The cushion on the bottom keeps my feet comfortable when I’m clipped in, and damn it, they are sexy too.  It seems like a lot of the races (and rides) I’ve done lately have been in the rain, and these socks are the cat’s ass when it comes to foul weather.

In my latest adventure, the weather was nice, but crossing a creek got my feet a pretty wet.  Even then, the Cyclismo stayed comfortable while I hiked up a million switchbacks and then descended down the mountain.  It didn’t take long for them to dry, and when they did they felt as fresh as when I first put them on.

They didn’t look so fresh though.

Don’t worry, they clean up real nice.

Since I first started wearing these for racing, every single event I’ve done has been an endurance race (on a single speed too, but whatever.)  Being in the saddle for hours at a time can be uncomfortable, but having the DeFeet Cyclismo along for the ride keeps my feet feeling mighty fine.  You already know that Defeet socks are the best on the planet (made right here in North Carolina), so I guess that makes these socks the best of the best.

They make me feel like a rock star, but that’s probably because founder and CEO Shane Cooper is a rock star.

Go get some and you can feel like a rock star too.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Halfway There

This is part two...

As soon as I hit the trail after aid station number two, I knew I could finish the race.  A short climb over some railroad tracks and I was heading towards the steepest trail on the course.  After a creek crossing (which I almost fell in due to mishaps of the riders ahead of me), I saw a wall that signaled the start of Star Gap.  Rather than let that break my spirit and slow me down, I threw my bike over my shoulder and practically ran up the first climb.  After that I would have to climb up switchback after switchback, passing several more people on my way to the top.  You know what made it even more difficult? 

Trying to take a photo while I climbed.

Nearing the top, I slipped on a root and almost tumbled down the side of the mountain.  I decided that I was too tired to ride so I hopped off my bike to start walking.  I wasn’t that tired though, because there was no way in hell that I would stop moving forward.

Well, except to take a quick photo after I almost fell to my death.

Being a little familiar with the course now, I knew that I only had one more small climb to go after that.  I got back on the bike and mashed my way up to the top of Star Gap.  There is a clearing where the trail intersects with Heartbreak Ridge, and I saw a course marshal waiting there to point us in the right direction.  It was my man Mike P., and he wished me well as I prepared to collect my reward for all that silly climbing.

Still without a working rear brake and less than ideal rear tire pressure, I slid back off the saddle and took off.  I passed several people as I flew down the steep descent; navigating the tricky switchbacks much better than the last time I was out there (it was raining back then.)  I even managed to crack a smile from time to time, because I knew that the most difficult part of the race was behind me.

After blasting by one guy resting on the side of the trail (on a downhill for some reason), the trail opened up and I knew I was almost at the end.  It spit me out on Jarrett Creek Road pretty fast, and I suddenly had plenty of energy.  The fire road that is Jarrett Creek is really wide open and mostly downhill, but there are a few climbs in there.  Normally they wouldn’t be a big deal if I hadn’t just climbed Star Gap.

On the first climb I put my head down and mashed my way up.  I passed a few people once again and I was feeling good.  The downhills were tricky since my tire pressure was so low and I nearly washed out on a few high speed turns. 

“Oh shit”, I thought, “Don’t let me crash here and mess up everything I’ve done so far.”

On one particularly steep climb (relatively speaking of course), I had to stand up to make the last few feet.  That’s when the cramps finally hit me.  My left calf locked up, and I couldn't even move my foot.  I hopped off my bike and screamed out loud in pain, massaging my leg to make that shit go away.  I tried like hell to get my foot clipped back in, thinking that if I started pedaling again it would go away.  I finally got my cleat locked in, and although the pain was awful it eventually subsided enough for me to keep moving.  I rode downhill again and tried to massage it out, and for the most part I think it worked.  I just had to make sure I didn’t get off my bike again until the finish…

About nine miles away.

On the next climb, I settled in and make easy work of it.  I knew that if I kept up my momentum I would be okay, but I was afraid of a mishap that would force me off the bike.  Just as I started to crest the hill, I spotted my man Ritchie  on the side of the trail messing with his tire.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“Yeah”, he said, “I’m just losing air.”

“Do you need anything?" I asked (knowing damn well that I couldn’t stop to help.)

“I could use some CO2” he admitted.

While I was grunting up the last few feet of the climb, I reached into my pocket and grabbed two CO2 cartridges that I had taped together.  I tossed them back over my shoulder, hoping that they didn’t roll down the side of the mountain.  I apologized and told him that I couldn’t stop for fear of falling over, and he understood.  I hoped that he would be okay, but I had to shift my focus back on making up one more stupid climb.

When I got to the top, a familiar sight from the ride that TomTom and I had out there let me know that it was all downhill from there to Curtis Creek.  I took a couple of spins to get up to speed, tucked in, and flew down the hill.  Before I knew it I was at rest stop number three, which I politely blew by because I still had one full bottle.  I took off down Curtis Creek Road and headed for town, knowing that there was no way I would die out there in the hills.

I was relieved for sure, but I wasn’t really looking forward to the last few miles.

Once the road leveled off, I made a right turn and headed towards town.  That part was really flat, and my big, spinny 32X21 really sucked.  A couple of people with gears went by me, and I have to admit that it frustrated me a little bit.  If I had a geared bike, I would’ve been able to shift into the big ring and let it fly.

Screw that, I’m a single speeder now.  Run what you brung, as they say.

I found myself wishing for the road to go up so I could at least stop spinning so much.  Out on the open road, in the hot sun with no way to speed up made me feel like I was wandering across the desert dragging a dead horse.  After what seemed like forever I saw a police officer at an intersection to guide me towards the finish line.

My spirits lifted, I sped up and headed for the end.

 Photo cred:  Lunchbox

I did it.  Even though I don’t quit when I race, when I signed up I really didn’t think I would finish this one.  Instead of barely dragging my ass across the finish line, I rode through with my hands in the air, not feeling at all like I had just ridden a single speed in Pisgah for three hours and thirty seven minutes.  I wasn’t really that tired, which surprised the shit outta me.  

Another surprise came a little later when I saw the results:  4th place in the single speed class.  

Not bad when the best result I had hoped for was DFL. 

You know, if I even finished at all.

I ate a little food, drank a little beer, and cheered the rest of the racers coming across the line.  Some people did it in a little over two hours, and some took almost seven hours.  The only thing that mattered was that they were out there and they finished.  The “real” race would take place the next day, but for most of us at the Jerdon Mountain Challenge it was the most important event of the weekend.

I’m happy. 

ORAMM next year?


Monday, July 22, 2013

Call Me Crazy

I didn’t think I would survive the Jerdon Mountain Challenge.  That might sound kinda stupid, but for some reason I was really nervous.  I haven’t been nervous before a race in a long, long time, but right after I registered at the 11th hour I started to have second thoughts.  Although I had just ridden the course a month ago, Saturday would be the first time I would attempt it on a single speed.  There was no way I would chicken out (or waste the money I spent on registration), but all day at work on Friday I started thinking the worst.

Like I would die out there.

I know I was overreacting, but something just didn’t feel right.  I got home Friday night, made sure my bike was ready, and got some rest to prepare myself for a long day.  Lunchbox and I hit the road at the crack of dark, and during the two hour drive to Old Fort I calmed down a little.  Just before the race started I got my game face on.

 Photo cred:  Little Miss Sunshine

After the pre-race announcements, we rolled out through town.

Photo cred:  Lunchbox

I started out kinda up front, but that changed quickly.  Running a 32x21 had me spinning like crazy, and I couldn’t keep up with the geared people.  I resisted the urge to spin my ass off to keep up, and when we hit a couple of climbs on the road I passed a few people.  During the flat sections I got passed again, but I realized that maybe I might have a chance to keep up with such an easy gear as the race went on (and as the climbing increased.)  After a few miles the paved road ended, and we started climbing up Mill Creek Rd.

Photo cred:  Me.  I brought my phone along just in case.

During the long climb up the road, I noticed that the geared riders were spinning with the lowest of gears.  My gear ratio was perfect for that climb, and I started passing people left and right.   Every time I went by someone I heard, “You’re crazy for riding a single speed.”  I just smiled, said thanks, and kept on pushing.  My legs felt pretty damn awesome, so when I finally reached the top I decided to blow by the first rest stop.  Next up was Kitsuma, which after a series of switchback climbs turns into some of the raddest downhill out there.

I was ready, or so I thought.

On the first downhill I grabbed a little brake to scrub some speed and I noticed that I had nothing for a rear brake.  Zero.  Zilch.  What was supposed to be a fun section turned into “Oh shit, I hope I don’t die.”  I got my ass way off the back of my seat, and somehow managed to control my speed and not die (or worse) using only my front brake.  I also noticed that my rear tire pressure was really low for some reason, but I had just enough air to make me pucker up a little around the corners.  Towards the bottom of the trail I ran into a little traffic, and my first thought was to stop as soon as I could and shoot a little CO2 into my tire.

I guess I forgot, because as soon as I got out I gunned it.  Back on Mill Creek Road, I realized once again the disadvantage of my gear choice.  Spinning at only eleven miles per hour, I took my hands off the bars, grabbed my phone, and texted Lunchbox to let him know that I was approaching the halfway point.  As soon as I sent it, I rolled up to the geyser and saw a crowd of people cheering and taking photos.

 Photo cred:  Danielle S.

Lunchbox had hitched a ride there, while Little Miss Sunshine waited for her friend to roll through so they could ride Star Gap together.  I probably should’ve stopped to borrow an air pump (which I found out later they did indeed have), but I was making good time and didn’t want to ruin it.  Instead of turning up Mill Creek Road to climb again, we went straight through to aid station number two.

I had to stop this time, since both of my bottles were empty.  It was a quick stop though, since one of the very helpful volunteers filled them both for me.  Thirty seconds later I was back on the bike, headed for Star Gap.

The easy part was over.

And so is today’s post.

Friday, July 19, 2013

All In

Without any input whatsoever, I made a decision on my own.  Tomorrow morning, I’ll be lining up on the start line in Old Fort, NC for the Jerdon Mountain Challenge.  Sure, it’s not as big of a deal to some of you as ORAMM, but for me it is.  It will probably be the biggest race I’ve done so far on a single speed, and that pleases me.  I’ve been in kind of a funk lately, so a little time spent in the mountains suffering would probably do me some good.  Besides, it will be a good tune up for Single Speed USA.

Now the only question is, which gear do I run?  Well, I have lots of choices..

Do I run the super hill-friendly, pie plate-looking 25 tooth cog, the slightly harder, yet no less ridiculous-looking 23, or do I man up and run the 21?  The 21 might be the best choice for the road sections, because if I was running one of those bigger gears I might as well get off my bike and run.  I’m not crazy about spinning my ass off on the road between the end of Kitsuma and the start of Star Gap, so I’m leaning towards the 21.  I’ll make that decision tonight though.

Nothing says race-ready like working on your bike the night before an event, right?

If I survive, I will have completed over thirty miles with about four thousand feet of climbing.  It’s a pretty big deal for someone of my size I guess, and being on the single speed makes it even tougher.  Sure, I could put the gears back on and race in the Rhino class (200lbs +), but that would just be stupid.  Riding with gears in the big boy class might take the edge off the suffering a bit, but not enough for me to wuss out and do it.

I gots this little thing called pride, you know.  Plus, there’s no turning back from the Dark Side now.

If I don’t die or end up in the hospital for an extended period of time, I’ll be back here Monday with some kind of report.  Maybe it will be just a report of how many beers I consumed in the creek after the race, but at least you’ll have something to read.

It’s not like you’re out doing anything exciting this weekend, so keep your ass on the couch and drink a few for me.

See y’all next week.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Tribe Has Spoken

I put it out there yesterday and surprisingly I got a shitload of comments.  The advice for me to pick crabon over steel was overwhelming, with only two dissenters choosing the simplest of rigid forks.  First there was Dough, giving me sound advice no doubt gained from experience, the Space Cowboy, who just wants to see me suffer, and Captain Awesome, who probably also wants to see me suffer for taking him on a death march at RTS da udda day.  Although I’ve pretty much been afraid of crabon since it showed up in the bike scene, I think my decision was made well before I put my dilemma up on The Internets. 

I guess I just wanted to feel a little validated or some shit like that.

Steel is real, but I’m going with the crabon.  It will look better on my bike, save me a little weight so I can drink more beer (during rides even), and even if I don’t like it I can sell it pretty easily and get the steel fork.   So, as soon as I remember to get the ball rolling, a new crabon Niner fork will be on the way to the B-43 Worldwide Headquarters.  When it arrives, I’ll probably bribe Dicky with mass quantities of beer to “help” me install it.  That will give me days of blog fodder no doubt, and it will give us some time to bond.  I haven’t seen the little fella in a while, aside from his daily trips by my office on his way home.  He doesn't even wave at me anymore though.

Stay tuned for that shit show if or when it happens.

Do you want to help me make another decision? 

About a month ago, I pre-rode the course for the Jerdon Mountain Challenge with the intent to “race” it this weekend.  I’ve sorta changed my stance, mostly because I’m feeling a bit lazy.  I still kinda have the urge to do it for some reason, so once again I'll ask for help.

Do I go to the “other” Pisgah and suffer in the hills for a few hours just to “race”, or should I find something else to do?  Registration closes today at 5:00 p.m., and I haven’t committed yet.  A lot of people are doing ORAMM the day after, so there’s a chance I could hang out with some of the people that show up early when I’m done.  If I go, I’ll be riding a single speed (gearing yet to be determined) and suffering for sure.  I’m sure as hell not gonna ride a geared bike, because I’m all single speeder now.  

Shit, even my saw has only one gear.

The other option I have is also a trip to the mountains, but this one would be more for fun.  

Bikes, Brews, and Views is going on up at Beech Mountain this weekend, and since I went last year I thought maybe I should go again.  Even though the mostly DeFeet comprised band CroMoly won’t be playing this year, it would still be fun to go watch some other people race while I drink beer.  We could also hit up Rocky Knob on the way up, so I would at least have a little fun on the bike first.  Lunchbox will be by my side either way, but I can’t get him to commit to either one.

When I asked him, all he cared about was whether or not there would be plenty of food.

That boy can eat.

Damn, I hate making decisions.

I’ll guess you’ll find out tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Help Me Make A Choice

You read this shit every day.  I know you do.  I has stats that tells me so.  Most people that follow blogs are lazy (myself included), and they just read, look at pictures, and move on.  Once in a while I get comments (here and on the Facebooks), but most people don’t take the time to say anything.  Hopefully that will change today.

Back when I replaced my frame, I mentioned that I didn’t want to run my rigid fork because the color (white) would look stupid (fashion, never function.)  The plan was to paint it black to match the new frame, but now I’m having second thoughts.  Actually, I’ve completely changed my mind.

I’m just gonna buy a new fork.

Now here’s where I need your help.  I have two choices.  First, I could go with the steel fork:

The other choice (or course) is the crabon:

(Stupid autocorrect keeps trying to change crabon to carbon.)

I know, there is a big price difference in the two.  The steel is $179 and the crabon is $429.  Let’s just throw that out right now and pretend that the cost doesn’t matter.  I’m not taking that into consideration at all.  I have a reason, but you don’t get to hear that right now.  Also, I know there is a big difference in the weight (1100 grams for the steel and 565 grams for the crabon.) 

That’s over a pound of savings, but I don't think I should really care about that.  I’m about 230 pounds, so I’m not really sure if I should give two shits about a measly pound on my bike.  If I did give two shits, they would more than likely weigh more than a pound.  That's a much cheaper way to save weight.

So, I ask, which one should I choose?  Oh, and why should I? 

Should I base my decision soley on weight? 

Price? (I told you not to worry about the cost.) 

Ride characteristics?

Vibration dampning?

Sex appeal?

I’ve narrowed it down to these two forks, and I’m ready to get one as soon as possible (so I’ll have it ready for Single Speed USA in less than a month.)  I'm only asking about these two Niner forks, and that means I don't need you to complicate things further by recommending some other shitty shit.

So yeah, tell me what you think.  I may even buy you a beer or something.  Unless you're not local, in which case I might just send you something.  Remember those two shits I mentioned before?  Um, yeah.

Help me Obi Wan, you’re my only hope.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

We’re So Close

So I couldn’t resist.  I went back out to RTS to work yesterday, even though my goal for the day was to ride somewhere (or even there.)  I texted TomTom to see if he planned to go out there, and he replied by saying he was at the beach.  He’s a travelling man these days.

Since I was already out of the house, I stopped by the trail to get in a little work.  I only had an hour or so, so I made the most of it.  First, I had to find the flags.

Then I started roughing out some more trail.

I started high up on the hill, working my way back to where we left off the day before.  Roughing out trail is pretty quick work, and you can tell the difference between it and finished trail.

After about forty five minutes of digging in the dirt, I started thinking about getting out of there.  Just then, I heard a noise.  I looked up and saw this:

No, that wasn't Bigfoot on a bike.  It was just some guy that happened upon our little trail in the woods.  He was heading downhill, so I waited for a bit while he made the long, grinding climb back up to where I was working.  He stopped and talked to me for a bit, and I finally got some feedback from someone riding the trail that wasn’t out there working on it.  He said it was really tough, but fun as hell.  He decided to ride there after finding out that everything else local was closed.  He’d been there about a month before, and noticed that we’d put in a lot of work since then.  I thanked him for the feedback, and he thanked me for helping build a fun trail that can be ridden anytime.

I was glad to hear that.

There’s still more to do, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.

We’re doing a group ride there tonight, and there will be some people in attendance that haven’t ridden it before.  Hopefully they will like it too.  Maybe I can sucker them into doing a little work when we're done.