Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Should Celebrate

I guess this is some kind of milestone or some shit like that.  This is my one thousandth post, which means that I’ve been spewing this crap and nonsense for quite some time now.  It also probably means that only about ten percent of those have been anything worth reading, so I’m glad y’all continue to come back here every day to read it (or look at the pictures, whatever.) 

I didn’t really have any kind of plan for a celebratory post on this day, so I guess it’s just business as usual.  I could take the time to thank all those companies that have supported me over the years (most of which still do for some reason.)  Maybe I should take the time to list my newest supporter, The Cycle Path.

It shouldn’t be a surprise at all, since I’ve talked about them quite a bit lately.  The fellas there have been good to me over the years, and since I’ve made the full on jump to Niner they’ve been giving me tons of support.  It’s the kind of shop you can stop in after a ride and have a beer, providing you bring your own.  They like to share, so make sure you bring extra.  There are a lot of fine shops here in NC, but this is the one that gets my full support.  Maybe you should stop in and say hi if you’re in the area.

In other news, the big party is almost here.  We’ve finished the championship belt for the bike derby, and I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. 

Check it.

Not bad for an amateur welder and a guy that drinks way too much beer I guess.

Since it’s my one thousandth post today, I’m taking the easy way out and quitting while I’m behind.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more party talk and whatnot.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Holding Pattern

Even though I didn’t race as much this season as I have in previous years, I’m really worn out for some reason.  Of course my shoulder is still bugging me, but that’s not really the issue right now.  I feel like my legs are pretty much dead.  I have no power, and they get tired pretty easy on even the shortest of rides.  And a new issue has popped up…

Knee pain.

This is a new one, the likes of which I’ve never felt before.  It feels and sounds kinda like I have a bag of potato chips under my kneecap, but with a lot more pain.  On our social ride last night, I had to bail after only one three and a half mile lap while the rest of the group did another.  That sucked, but at least I got to enjoy some post ride grub and beer.

Photo cred: Des

So yeah, I’ll stop whining now.  As much as I probably should stay off the bike for a while, I can’t.  I have some new stuff to review.

Like these brand new grips that just came in the mail from Lizard Skins:

I got a chance to check these out at Interbike last month, and they’re finally available to those of you in the general public.  The new DSP (Durasoft Polymer) has an exceptional grip, and I know this because I’ve used their bar tape made from the same material.  Now it's available for off-road use, and I'm pleasantly pleased.   

They’re pretty light too, which is a plus for a weight wiener like me.

They just showed up last night, so I haven’t had a chance to test them out (or even put them on the bike.)  Don’t worry, I’ll risk further injury to myself to give them a proper review.  I’m pretty excited about them though, so it will be worth it methinks.

Also in the category of new shit I just got are some stickers.

My man D-Wayne (from my number one sponsor Dwayne Hunter Design Company) hooked me up with some new stickers with the logo he did for me a while back.  If you’ve been here a while, then you know how much I love stickers.  These are really high quality, and as a bonus he delivered them to me in person down here in Charlotte.  You can’t beat that kind of service with a wet noodle.  If you need some artwork done for you, check him out.  I hear he works for beer and doughnuts, but money works too.

Want one?  Make me laugh the next time you see me and I’ll hook you up.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Too Much Fun

The work week pretty much sucks constantly now, since I always try to have as much fun as possible on my two days off.  Sunday was extra awesome, since we got to bring a little DrunkCyclist cheer to one of our local events.  I see a lot more of that in my future, and a lot less “serious” racing.  I mean, even the critters out there at BYT are benefiting from our waffle tossing.

I ride for fun.  I’ve told you that many times.  Tonight is another installment of our Tuesday Social Ride, and while we won’t be out there chugging beers and tossing waffles, we’ll have a great time out on the trail.  I may however, open up a beer on Eastwood’s crotch again just to keep things interesting (if he shows up.)  The social rides are just that:  social.  We ride a little, shoot the shit a lot, and have plenty of good food and drink afterwards.  I always look forward to it.

You know what else I’m looking forward to?  Another party.  This weekend, we’ll be celebrating another successful year here in Charlotte with the Tarheel Trailblazers and the Dirt Divas.  We’re having our year-end party, and this one will be different from all the rest.  In the past, we’ve had group rides, raffles, and food.  I know that doesn’t sound much like a party, and that’s probably because it isn’t.  This year though, we’ve changed things up a bit.  We’re having some games, like a track stand contest, bike jousting, a Huffy toss, and the ever-popular bike derby.  We’ve even created a championship belt for the winner of the derby, kinda like they do at SSUSA.  The little lady has been hard at work welding some shit together.

I may or may not put up a photo of it soon.

If that isn’t enough, we’ve hired a band.  Not just any band though.  Cycling’s only rock band, CroMoly.

I’m busy getting everything together for this Sunday, and it’s gonna be a blast.  We pre-sold tickets to the event and the deadline has passed, but you can still get in if you want.  There just might not be enough food for you though, but it’s worth it to come out to play.  Games, rides, and a band?  Hell yeah.

Shit, I’m exhausted already.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Breakfast Is Important

And we made sure there would be plenty for the Backyard Experience yesterday.

TomTom and I spent the better part of Saturday night cooking waffles for the race, and when it was all said and done we ended up with 180 of them.  With a gallon of syrup and three cans of whipped cream, we rolled up to BikeSource here in Charlotte to check in. 

As usual Lunchbox was there, and he was getting into the spirit even though it was really early in the morning.

We met up with the rest of our crew, including the ever-growing Southern Drunk Cyclist posse.

We were ready to show these folks how to party while they raced.  We setup our waffle handup spot and waited for the first wave to come by.  First things first though, I had to crack open a beer.  It was not quite 10:00 in the morning, but who gives a shit.  I couldn’t find a bottle opener anywhere, so I had to borrow Eastwood’s crotch to get my beer open.

Don’t judge me.  It was worth to enjoy a beer so early in the morning.

Due to a snafu with the first stage, we missed most of the racers.  They made a wrong turn in the beginning, completely passing us by.  We moved onto the next stage, and got right to it, getting pretty aggressive with the waffle tossing cine we had a surplus.  We were pretty mobile, thanks in part to my kid towing the trailer around full of waffles.

He didn’t just haul our shit around though.  He was actively “feeding” the racers.

Take that, Chick-Fil-A cows.

It was kinda funny.  Some people out there were just having fun, some had never ridden our trails, and others were a little more on the serious side.  The more serious ones got an extra helping of breakfast, and even though some were a little annoyed we’d like to think they eventually came around.  Shit got worse though, when we decided to camp out on the “jump line.”  It’s a fast downhill with you guessed it, jumps. 

Taking a waffle full of whipped cream to the face at high speeds while trying to navigate some jumpy terrain might have been dangerous, but it was fun for us.  Some people took it a little better than others.

I don’t know if it was the dangerous terrain or the waffles, but after each stage the crowd got a little bit thinner.  Those that stayed in the race knew what they were in for, and they were prepared.  Knowing that they had to ride by us to start the next stage, they kept an eye on us.

And we kept an eye on Dicky’s beer.

We completely missed that stage because we didn’t see where they went, so we just sat around drinking whiskey until they returned.

Eventually they did, and it was like a big, happy family reunion.

We rode over to the start of the final stage, and the crowd was really down from the big group they had at the start.

Did I mention that our support crew was getting all Enduro?

When it was all said and done, we turned what could have been a serious race into a seriously good time.  Our crew kept it interesting all day, and I was a little sad to see it end.  When the group rolled back to the afterparty, we packed up our shit and met them over there for the podium presentations.  Just when I thought the waffle slinging was over, the Gentle Ginger asked me if I had anymore waffles.

“Sure”, I said.

While the victorious racers basked in their glory, we pelted them with even more breakfast treats.

See that?  Waffles everywhere.

Holy shit that was fun.  We’ll have to do that again soon.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Enduro™ Isn’t Dead Yet

Since I have an Enduro approved bike though, it soon will be.

The new ROS9 is done.  Wednesday night after work I went over to Casa de Dicky to drink beer, I mean convert my wheels to thru axle.  I got home and attempted to finish the build, but had an issue with the rear brake hose routing.  My never-cut hose wasn’t long enough, and after a couple more beers I just couldn’t get creative enough to find a solution (other than waiting for a new, longer hose to magically show up.)  So, I waited and picked up where I left off the next morning.

After Lunchbox headed off to school, I got back to work.  I came up with a sorta good idea to route the hose in a most unconventional way, until which time I can obtain a new, longer hose.  That particular part of the bike doesn’t look pretty, but it will work for now.

And it’s good enough to be Enduro.

You might notice some extra (previously unmentioned) shit on there.  That’s because Dicky was kind enough to let me test out a drooper post to be even more Enduro.  It’s the fancy Thompson one, which is probably way too fancy for me. 

Originally I wasn’t gonna build this bike with one, but after getting a chance to try one out for a while, it looks like a drooper post will remain a permanent part of this bike from now on.  I’ll get my own eventually.

Instead of taking my new bike up to the hills for a test ride, I decided to stay local.  I pissed away too much of the day to go out of town, and I needed to go by The Cycle Path anyway to order a new brake hose.  While I was there, all I heard was how big of a bike it is.  I always ride an extra large frame anyway, but this thing is huge.  The big 140mm fork and 780mm wide Niner bars probably have a lot to do with it I guess.  I’m not complaining at all, because it actually fits me quite well.

Just for poops and hahas we decided to throw it on the scale to see what it weighed.

Not bad for a big ass bike I suppose, but it’s almost ten pounds heavier than my rigid single speed.  Hopefully that means it can take some abuse.

Since I was on the north side of town, my first ride took place at Fisher Farm.  It’s not super tech and doesn’t have a lot of mileage, but I’m familiar enough with it to get in a proper test ride.  Plus, I rode the last demo ROS9 there and it was good enough. 

There are lots of fun things to play with out there, and it was enough to tell me that I just built a really fun bike.  Sure, it’s made for riding up in the hills, but I won’t hesitate to take it local and shred the gnar.  I know it’s way too much bike for around here, but I don’t really care about that.  I'm all about the fun these days.  

In other news, The Backyard Experience is this Sunday.

Are you registered?  Why the hell not?  Are you afraid to “race” out there?  You shouldn’t be.  But if you are, come out and join us while we politely toss waffles in the general direction of those that are racing.  It’s gonna be a hoot, and you won’t want to miss it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Almost There

Remember when I bought that new frame?  Well, I’m slowly getting it together.

While not quite ready to hit the trail just yet, my new ROS9 will be soon.  Ignore that stem and that horrible looking stack of headset spacers, by the way.  It was just something to hold the fork on until I start robbing parts from another bike.  I’m actually further along than the photo above shows you, but I can’t find the photo I took of that (I think I deleted it yesterday.)  Everything is pretty much ready to go, save for cutting the steerer tube on the fork to my liking.  There’s one thing that’s keeping me from doing that…

The wheels.

Since I’m going from standard quick release to thru axles front and rear, I had to order some parts from IndustryNine.  I told you this already, pay attention.  They finally showed up and I’m ready to convert my hubs.

I didn’t have any free time last night though.  We had our usual Tuesday social ride at the Whitewater Center again, and I stayed out too late riding and drinking to get it done.  I’m not doing it myself anyway because, as dumb as it sounds, I don’t know how to do it.  I’m deathly afraid of ruining my fancy hubs because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, so I asked local good Samaritan and famous Dirt Rag columnist Dicky to help me. 

I know what you’re thinking.  We’re not teaming up so we can have shit to blog about, because I’m sure he’s not that desperate (I am though.)  I know he’s down with I9 and knows all there is to know about them, so I couldn’t think of anyone else to ask.  Plus, he’ll do it for beer which is a plus. 

I like beer.

Once we’re done, I’ll head back to the house and install my wheels, tighten a few things here and there, and I should be ready to take my new Super Endurobike out for a test ride.  I have a few places in mind, and only one of them is local.  I usually like to take a new build somewhere local at first to get a feel for it, but in this case I’m ready to see what this thing can do. 

I won’t be here tomorrow, by the way, since I took the day off to ride my new bike.  I really should do that more often.

See y’all Friday.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I’m Making Waffles

This weekend is another “race”, but I’m not planning to enter it.  Instead, I’m planning to show up to heckle and provide “support.” 

What race am I talking about?

This one:

The Backyard Experience is a race at one of the finest trails here in town going down this Sunday.  Here’s the “official” description:

“The BYE will consist of 5 stage races.  They will vary from 2-8 miles of racing each.  Some will be point-to-point, others will be multiple laps.  The top 13 finishers at each stage will be rewarded between 1-13 points.  Riders with the most points at the end of the day will be declared the Kings and Queens of The Backyard!”

Sounds fun, right?  I didn’t see any mention of Enduro though.  I’m sure they’ll get all Enduro, so don't worry.

Now, where do I come in?  

I’m making waffles!


My pal Eastwood came up with a brilliant idea…waffle hand ups.  Not satisfied with that though, I tweaked it a little (or twerked, like the youngins say these days.)  We’ll hand you a syrupy waffle when you ride by our rolling “aid station”, but the likelihood of you being able to eat it is pretty slim.  Instead, you’ll probably be wearing it.  Our goal is to plaster each and every “racer” with waffles as they ride by us.  The more serious and racer boi you look, the more waffles you’ll get slung your way. 

Don’t like waffles?  Well stay the hell outta the Backyard that day.  If you are way too serious and don’t like food being thrown at you, this race probably isn’t for you anyway.  If you get pissed enough at us to get off your bike and come back to say something, then I win.  And trust me, you’ll lose.  Or win, because you’ll be covered in even more waffles.

We might have beer too, but I’ll probably be drinking it.  Some of you will be wearing that too.

So yeah, doesn’t this sound like a fun “race?”  If so, make sure you sign up.  It’s only twenty bucks, and it will benefit Trips for Kids.  Your fee goes towards the race (duh), plus beer and a meal (not waffles unless you want that for your meal.)  There are a limited number of spots though, so you had better hurry.  If they don’t sell out beforehand, race day registration will be thirty bucks.

So get over there and sign up.

Click on this:

Me and the rest of the waffle crew will be waiting for your candy ass.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Working For The Greater Good

Saturday I finally got back to trail work.  With my shoulder feeling good enough to swing tools around all day, Lunchbox and I headed out to Park Road Park here in Charlotte to make the big push to get those trails open.

We had quite a few crews working out there, and mine was the scruffiest.

Photo cred: Little Miss Sunshine

My big kid was one of the youngest workers out there, but he worked the hardest.

We took new trail…

And turned it into stuff that was smooth and fast.

There were some features out there, like this jump.

It’s a little difficult to see, but it looks pretty fun.

Even though this was a “green” loop, there was a cool-looking log ride towards the end.

All brought to you by our local club, the Tarheel Trailblazers.

While we were out on the trail, another crew even built a new kiosk at the trailhead.

It was a good day, and we even had a local news crew out there.  Hopefully I’ll have a video link up here in a few days.  We worked hard, and got a ton of shit done out there.  I was tired, but the kid and I decided to hit up the local cross race to hang out with Dicky and the rest of the Faster Mustache crew.

It was kinda entertaining I guess, if cross racing is your thing.

We spent most of our time near the sand pit, hoping we would see a crash.

We did, but I didn’t manage to get any photos of the carnage.

Once again I wore myself out on the weekend.  That’s sad, because I didn’t even ride my bike Saturday.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Getting Ready To Get Ready To Do Something

I test rode a bikeTwice.  And I liked it so much that I just had to have one.  So, when Niner Mike was in town for the last demo we got together with my local shop, The CyclePath and made sure I could get one. 

Well, just a couple of days ago this box showed up. 

See that?  It’s so excited to be here that it’s peeking out of the box.  It’s my new ROS9, in case this is your first time here or you’ve been living under a rock.

The bike building hasn’t commenced just yet, but I plan to use quite a few parts from my formerly geared, now single speed squishy bike, TK-421.  The 100mm travel fork won’t be enough for the new build, so I went with something a little more fun.

It’s a 140mm RockShox Revelation RCT3, which should be plenty comfortable when I ride up in the hills (or even around here sometimes.) 

I also got some new rubber straight from Maxxis

Before I can get started though, I’m waiting for a few parts to trickle in.  Most notably a couple of conversion kits for my hubs from IndustryNine.  The fork is a 15mm thru axle and the rear is 12X142, which means my standard quick release crap just won’t cut it.  Hopefully that stuff shows up today or tomorrow, because I can’t wait to build this thing and get it out in its natural habitat.

So, what am I gonna do until then (besides stare at a bare frame in the garage)?

Trail work.

Tomorrow there are a couple of work days at various local trails, and I picked the one that I’ve worked on the most.  We have a new trail in town that’s not quite open yet, and tomorrow is the big push to get everything done so the masses can start riding it. 

If I work really hard this weekend, maybe I can bring my new bike out there for a test lap. 

Or maybe I’ll just sit around staring at it all weekend.