We make holes in teeth!

Monday, July 09, 2007


I guess if I was a big Nine Inch Nails fan I would have used the title Broken last week. I think naming these blog entries is a bit of a chore so don't read too much into them. Half the time it has nothing to do with whatever I'm talking about and the other half I have to stop myself from putting Pig Shit or some other inane expression as the title. It's just whatever comes to mind. Anywhere there's my nod to NIN. I saw them at the first Lollapalooza. Good show - especially Ice Tea, NIN, and Jane's - very vague recollection of it all. Now I go to Waterloo Village to park my car for the 24 hour race. It's the same field. Ironic how things change over time, huh?

So I think I'm better now. Not sure what did it but I had a good week of riding which was topped off by a great weekend. On Saturday I did a big 53 mile Califon loop with almost 4800 feet of climbing. Managed to keep a 16.5 for that which was a fantastic roll. Link here:

I'm really starting to see some of the high end stuff come out now. On the return home I was really pounding some of the short rollers. At one point I was going uphill doing 28 mph. Pretty wild stuff for a genetically limited fat white boy like myself. On Saturday I went to Lewis Morris with Woody on my old Trek full-rigid bike. Two things of note came from this:

1. That bike is a piece of shit. Let me qualify that by saying it really is old and needs some work. It's setup all wrong and feels awful. The bars are both too narrow and too low and possibly over-extended. The headset is beyond shot and the brake levers are positioned all wrong. Grip shift which I hate now. And of course cantilever brakes which squeak squeak squeak all the way down any hill and provide ample stopping power at the best of times. I'm really uncomfortable on that bike and can't descend well at all. I have no confidence on it either. It needs some work but...

2. It climbs like a bike possessed. Now I'm sure some of this has to do with my whole "high-end coming together" thing as well as the fact that I more than likely peaked last week. But jeez hills just aren't the same with this thing. At the end of the ride yesterday on the last climb I just threw it down to see what I could do and utterly lost Woody in no time.

I totally understand why people drop some nice coin on a light race bike with suspension. If I mixed the best qualities of the 2 bikes - the downhill ability of the squishy and the climbing of the rigid I don't think it's a stretch to say I'd be able to compete in the top of the sport class immediately. Well maybe it's a little stretch but probably not much. The more you ride the more stuff like this makes a difference. How much do you want to spend on a bike though?

In any event now I want to setup the old Trek properly which will be an offseason project. And of course I might eye up a lighter set of wheels for the full-squish for Christmas. Getting ahead of myself I know. This is what I do. We all do.

Here are my links from last week's rides:

Nothing from yesterday's ride at LM because it was computer free. Just to clarify, Steve asked:

"i was reading the update for the darkhorse gallop, and with the short course, it could potentially be as "physical" as kvsp, fwiw. what do you consider a "fair amount of climbing"?"

It would probably be more accurate to say a good amount or even a lot of climbing. For me a lot is an average of 100 feet per mile. That's sort of the Mendoza Line for "a lot" of climbing for me. The Hillier Than Thou century is 10k of climbing in 100 miles. Or something like 11k in 108 miles. Either way it's a lot so when I ride I always compare against that. My last 2 road rides were:

Wed: 34.74 miles, 2826 vertical, 17.1 average, 81.3 feet/mile
Sat: 53.33 miles, 4790 vertical, 16.5 average, 89.8 feet/mile

Pretty happy with those ride averages. It would probably be an interesting study to keep tabs on average inclines for my rides and how my speed correlates. On the other hand it's a PITA. I was hoping to be able to approach a 17 average Saturday but after the Bissel climb I knew that was out of my range. I started at 16.6 and by the end of the climb was at 15.5. So that was a killer hill to blow out the average that much.

I'm finding lately that it's just better training to ride as many hills as possible. Since most of the mountain biking in north and central Jersey is hilly it translates better. There's never a perfect correlation between the road and the trail but I think the best way to make it close is to ride hills, a lot. So I always keep an eye on the amount of vertical. Unfortunately there just aren't a lot of long climbs in the area.

So biking was good this week even if motivation was a little lacking at times. Felt better overall and I don't think it's far-fetched to say those 8 beers at Vinny's set me back tremendously. I just can't live up to my nickname anymore. That's OK because drinking is an expensive and unhealthy hobby.

I was so unthrilled with the Trek yesterday that I came home and worked on the bearings in the linkage for Julia's entire hour and 40 minutes nap and managed to get the old ones out, the new ones in, and put the bike back together. I would have given myself a 3% chance of doing all that during the nap so it was a major score on that front. Very excited about that.

I needed to partially rebuild the bearing I couldn't get out. As a unit the bearing presses out easily. But when it falls apart and nothing is left but the outer race, forget it. Nothing I did made a difference in trying to get it out. So I popped one of the others out, took it apart, carefully rebuilt the stuck race and popped it out like butter. Was able to press them all back in with the vice and a socket to seat them fully. Sweet!

So hoping to take tomorrow as that elusive vacation day I haven't been able to get. Looking to sleep in, hang out with the family a bit, then hit LM again with the squishy bike. The race at LM is this weekend and I want to run a few laps with the reassembled bike to see how it feels. I've only ridden a mountain bike twice in about 5 weeks so I may ride both Tuesday and Saturday, though not sure I can mentally handle 10 race laps in an 8 day span, so more than likely be on the road again Saturday. If I am off tomorrow the blog will be silent for a day as I never get time to sit down and write at home. Also need to get a haircut and mow the lawn so my off day is pretty busy before Monday even begins. Things just keep on growing around here. Weeds in the flower bed, my hair, the grass, the long list of bike repairs and upgrades, my gut...the list is really endless.

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  • At 5:24 PM, Blogger george said…

    Lollapalooza! 1993 I think...right?
    I was there too! That is too funny man.
    I remember Janes and Pearl Jam, and NIN. It was a great show on the main stage. Wow...that was a blast from the past Norm.


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