Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wise Words on Bicycle Racing

Poached from the Surly blog:

"Remember kids, riding bikes is fun. No one ever anywhere has ever had any fun while racing their bike. They may say they had fun (or in bicycle parlance "podiumed") but they are lying their asses off. Racing hurts and you know it. Pain isn't fun for anyone but Army Rangers and people who wear cheese grater underwear. Slow it down and have a fun ride where you stop once in a while for a conversation or to knock back a cold one while looking out over fabulous vistas (or snaggly burnt-out slums). Enjoy yourself a little and stop trying to think you have to win all the time. Life is hard enough.



Monday, March 15, 2010

Tires on Dirt

I've been enjoying life lately. The weather has been decidedly spring like, the tulips are popping up and the riding has been good. So good in fact that I got out on dirt (not mud, not snow) for the first time this year. I got off work this afternoon and caught up with my brother in-law and his family out on a bike path ride on my commute home. I rode with them out to the end of the paved trail and then I rallied a quick dirt loop on my cross bike when they turned around and headed back to town. It felt really good to get some body english going navigating the rigid bike down the trail, definitely different than the lounge chair ride of my freeride bike.

Bro in-law was trying out a new trail-a-bike set up for his five year old, and from the looks of things she was loving it. They even cruised a short section of single track together.

Yesterday Mrs. bike wrider and I got out together on bikes for the first time in too long. At 8 1/2 months pregnant she is looking good and getting some good use out her rockin' maternity bike.

I failed to properly capture the highlight of my day on camera, but I'll try and paint the picture for you. I was stopped at a red light in my truck near the end of my work day and heard the buzz of a small motor.
If you look closely you can see the brilliant cigarette dangle

I looked over just in time to see this guy pass me on his gasoline powered bicycle, ponytail hanging down his back, flannel jacket flapping in the breeze and cigarette dangling from his lips. I was in awe, and I was even more impressed when he blew past all the stopped cars and ran the red light with zero hesitation. The man was a true class act. I did my best to catch up to him and capture his brilliance on film once the light turned green, but as soon as I took this picture he employed some evasive maneuvers and disappeared. I can only hope our paths will cross again sometime.
He twas not just a man, twas a goal.

-bike wrider

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wheel Number One

Wheel number one (front) for the Dummy is done.

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's Like Christmas

Stopped home in the middle of my work day and found a box of goodies waiting for me on the porch.

For you geeks here's what I got:
-Alex Rims 26" DM24
-Surly front New Hub disc
-Shimano XT disc rear hub
-DT Swiss 14 gauge spokes and brass nipples
-Cane Creek S3 Headset
-Park Tools WAG-4 (wheel dish gauge)
-Park Tools TM-1 (spoke tension meter)

I've always gotten a kick out of Surly's parts being packed in a brown paper bag.

Put some Beastie Boys on the stereo, sat down with Sheldon and Leonard and got down to business this evening. I got the front wheel laced. Tomorrow I'll throw it on the truing stand and try and get it dialed. First wheel build for me. Once I got the rhythm of it it was quite enjoyable.

Fun to turn a pile of parts into something that resembles a workable wheel.

-Bike wrider

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Living it up B.B. (Before Baby)

Had myself a good weekend. Mrs. bike wrider is great with child as they say, and I'm doing my best to live it up just a little bit before the little guy arrives.

I slept in until almost 11am yesterday, then checked the webcam and realized it was a blue bird day in the mountains. So I loaded up my skis and the dog and skied a few laps in the backcountry before the snow started getting mushy.

Today I got out for a nice 25mile ride on the crossbike. Had a 20mph or so head wind on the way out, I was in my granny gear going DOWN a few of the hills. The ride back was a kick in the pants, I would so much rather deal with a head wind or a hill in the first half of the ride and reap the rewards in the second half. I took my camera along, but only got to snap two photos before my battery was 'exhausted'.

Country roads

I think I'll be steering clear of Jack Daniel's Down Home Puch.

I'm getting eager to build up my new Big Dummy. I'm waiting on an order of wheel parts from Jenson. In the mean time I've had the frame faced and chased and added some protective varnish to the snapdeck.

Soon enough.

-Bike wrider

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another BaiKu for You

Image credit: G. Forsythe

Eschewing storage,
He pilots his metal steed
in sleet slush and snow


Not Getting My Hopes Up.

The ice is melting and spring is in the air. A couple of warm sunny days and people's mood are noticeably improved. I'm not getting my hopes up though. First of all I know better, second, I like winter and I am not ready for it to end.

I'm not inclined to complain about the weather, what's the point? It doesn't do a thing to change the weather. For today I'll just enjoy riding in just my bike shoes.

No neoprene shoe covers, no cozy wool boots, no 16" tall rubber boots, just a pair of socks and a pair of shoes.

-bike wrider

Monday, March 1, 2010

Feel The Rythm

We have been blessed with a string of warm spring like days, and I have been fortunate enough to get out and ride my bike in the sunshine. Life has been a little crazy lately. I laid an old dog friend to rest the beginning of last week, the Big Dummy frame has arrived, and then the in-laws blew into town for a whirlwind visit/baby shower. I indulged in a fantastic long nap Sunday afternoon to recover, and then was back to work today.

On sunny ride Saturday I noticed a very subtle, but persistent rhythm from the back of my cross bike. Told myself I should check it out, and then promptly forgot about it. I didn't it notice it yesterday on a brief ride, but then felt it again today on my commute to work. Didn't have time to diagnosis on my in to work, so I finally checked it out on my ride home. Figure out the rhythm was due to irregularity in the tread where my tire sloped from right to left. The sidewall had a pretty nasty tear in it and was barely holding together.
I was impressed that it was still holding air. I called my wife and asked for a ride at the next bike path-road junction. Probably could have made it home, but I figured I would rather catch a ride home with my lovely wife than destroy a perfectly good tube. No shame here.

The tire was a Ritchey Speedmax that came with the bike when I bought it. Had a spare WTB cross tire in my shop that I was able to throw on and keep things rolling.

Big Dummy hubs and rims have been ordered, and the frame has been Frame Saver-ed, faced and reamed. I'm really looking forward to the wheel build. More Dummy pics will be posted soon. Ride safe.

Put a few coats of varnish on the Snapdeck to give it little added protection.

-bike wrider


I received some bike wrider inspired haiku in my inbox this past week. Not sure this is the place to look to for artistic inspiration, regardless, here you go. Enjoy

Exploits--survived on two wheels--
A bikewrider writes