We make holes in teeth!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Don't Call It A Comeback

I been here for years. Or months at least.

I love that LL Cool J song. Perry Farrell used to listen to that before he went out to perform live. It's always been one of my favorite "pump me up" songs. That and The Day the Niggaz Took Over by Dr. Dre. Talk about a song that really gets the blood flowing. Alternately, talk about a song that really makes you want to go out and pump someone full of lead.

But since this is a bike oriented blog we'll say that these songs are good to listen to before you race XC. Another one would be Mountain Song by Jane's Addiction. The 1-2 punch of Summertime Rolls followed by Mountain Song is fantastic. No better song combination exists, IMO. Now there's a combo that makes you want to sit in a field with a bunch of beautiful souls, drinking in the warm sunshine, and simply be. Then when the second song comes on you can pump them all full of lead. Or, race your bike. Your choice.

By Friday afternoon I was really anxious to get on the bike. Sometime in the afternoon I realized I never took my last 2 doses of medicine and felt just peachy. It was then I decided to do the Four Bridges ride on Saturday and hope for the best to bang out the Califon loop Sunday. On the train ride home I listened to some Wilco (A Ghost is Born) and just really looked forward to the weekend. Good vibes going into it.

Well the day was beautiful but windy. I took it easy to start because I really had no idea what was in the tank. I'll give you 2 links to start. First the mtbnj assessment I did of Four Bridges for Jake. Then the standard motionbased ride link here.

Were there actually 4 bridges on the road? I can't say but I didn't remember 4. I remember maybe 2, at least 1. But then I was actually on North Four Bridges road for the climb. Nice area and I think all in all takes the second spot on my Hill Climb Project. Many more details in the mtbnj link.

A few other ride notes. My lungs were not ready for this. My legs felt pretty good though on the steepest climbs I had absolutely no top-top end at all. On the second half of the ride I was able to ride more aggressively and push the ride average from 15.2 to 16.6 but I don't know if that was the best idea since I had a headache for most of the rest of the day. We were at a neighbor's house and I hadn't taken any medicine when I first felt it coming on. By the time we got home it was a brutal headache and Advil did little to help at that point.

I do have minor allergies and last week was mostly a sinus thing so I think the combo triggered it all to come out again. Therefore I did the smart thing Sunday...and went for another ride. But I made it a long swamp loop, 23 miles, instead of the brutal Califon loop. Ride link here.

I raised my seat a hair (1/4 inch? 1/2 inch?) before Saturday's ride because last week it seemed maybe I was just a bit too low. It felt better but my left knee kept bugging me so I don't think that's the perfect height either. Feels pretty damn close though. I may have put the seat back a bit crooked because my left butt was hurting like hell by the end of Sunday's ride. The longer and harder you ride the more these minor details become apparent.

I also managed to finish up the old Rolf Vector wheels Sunday morning while the family slept. I didn't do any early morning riding either day because it's clear I'm not totally over being sick. This week is thus going to be my "hold" week to get back in the groove and so on. The benefit of that is that I get some guilt-free time to work on my bike in the basement, an area that's looking more and more like a bike shop every week.

The first thing I noticed about the Rolfs was before I even got on the bike. The bike shop had said years ago that my frame was bent, which explained why my tire was a mere millimeters from my chainstay. I took it at face value. Big mistake. When I put the rear Rolf in, it was dead fucking center. I had trued it as best I could. It still wobbled a hair and with a reduced spoke count it's harder to make the slightly bent rim completely true. Well much to my surprise it went in smoothly, dead center on the frame, and much better than the old wheel.

This is a different bike shop than I've gone to recently. So the question is, are any bike shops competent? When I put the wheel on the truing stand before work this morning, it was absurdly out of dish (uncentered). Wow, and wow. The fact of the matter is that you're never going to get the same attention to detail unless you do it yourself. And if you go to a high volume shop in the summer, chances are you're going to have a kid with no experience working on it.

Anyway, coming down the first hill on the new/old wheels I could immediately feel they had much less rolling resistance in the hub bearings. I'm going to repack the hubs I have but I tend to doubt they're going to be as high-quality as the Rolfs. Just as long as the Rolfs stay true after a few rides I'll probably keep them on there. We'll see but maybe I can find a nicer hub for the Mavic rims I have, which will be mandatory if the races are pitted out. Or maybe I'll look into a lighter/stronger spoke set. I'm sure the ones they put on are strong but heavy. But then if I'm going to take the wheel apart it begs the question if I should just build up a new wheel. OTOH if the Mavic rim is fine no sense tossing it since hubs and spokes are cheap. I could end up with 2 quality wheelsets for under $100. Can't beat that with a bat.

Tomorrow I'll tackle some of the comments which have been great. Long day at work today so I got to "sleep in" until 6:30. Might not get home until 8:00 tonight. Blah and blah.

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  • At 8:42 AM, Anonymous jake said…

    thanks for your take on north four bridges. i think there are two briges...but i won't figure that out 'til next week when i get up early and ride past your front door. :)

  • At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Rodrigo said…

    Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.


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