Monday, February 25, 2008

Fresh tracks...

Some of us don't get the joy of riding in snow! They get to do sunny road rides or dry mountain rides.

After the fresh snow we got on Friday there were still some trails that hadn't been hiked or ridden on. It was a lot of fun cutting fresh tracks through Salisbury.

The climbs were all pretty difficult, but mostly makeable if you stayed seated and just spun up them. The WTB Prowler's on the new 29'er proved to be a decent tire - no snow stuck to them at all with others on Maxxis tires were all packed up with snow.

Dan K. rocking the berms

Ian plowing the berms

Dan's just getting back at me for giving him the finger earlier.

We had a blast playing in the snow - it was like when you were a kid and had off school for a snow day. After the ride we headed to SMC for some warmth (espresso) and conversation with all the other locals either heading out for 4 hour road rides or coming back from the Derby. Looks like a great cycling day in the Lehigh Valley.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Stan's gunfire = ringing ears...

I'll tell you, ya haven't lived until you've blown up a tire while converting tubeless. I was converting a Kenda Small Block 8 for the rear of my new Caffeine 29'er - must've aired it up too much :) It was about 10:30ish tonight and sounded like gunfire in the garage. Oh I forgot to mention there was 2 ounces of Stan's juice in there - that was a mess.

The project wasn't a total bust as I finally did get it sealed. But I was left with a little ring in the ear and Stan's everywhere, on the rotor, cassette, wall, door, fleece jacket, and unfortunately my face. That stuff actually tastes kinda good (I feel like I just ate a superball) - although I don' t recommend downing a bottle.


Caffeine 29'er...

Well the new bike is here! It always tough to get a good pic of the bike on Cannondale's website - but I think the flames should match the Spoke's Bike Shop race jersey well. I haven't had a chance to ride it outside yet. I swapped some components onto it and put the other stuff aside to sell on ebay. The bike weighed in at 26.66 lbs. no pedals or reflectors. After swapping out the brakes for my favorites (Marta SL),shifters, derailleurs and bars - I got it down to 25.74 lbs. with pedals and two bottle cages.

I have to throw some tires on the Stan's wheelset to see what the final build weight will be but I'm guessing somewhere around 23 lbs. Should be pretty sweet all done.

Hopefully I should get out to ride it tomorrow at Salisbury. Ride report to follow.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ahh, dirt!!

I posted a Lehigh ride on a few local forums. Nobody posted, so I went solo - just me and and some tunes. It felt great to get some good mountain riding after the road stuff I've been doing. It was probably one of the best rides I've had at Lehigh. I only dabbed twice on the Superman climb, rolled through the Goat (rock garden) both ways, and probably my best run through the Witch (long technical rock garden).

Everything just seemed to click! I'm kinda glad nobody showed up - not to be unsocial. Although I do like riding with faster riders just to push me, however I pushed just enough for the night.

Ride Time: 1:44:06
Mileage: 10.57
Totl Ascent: 1818 ft


Lake winter boot repair...

I'd like to say thanks to Curt at Curt's Cyclery in Nazareth, PA. I'm on my second pair of Lake winter cycling boots, the first pair blew out a seam on the heel cup area. Well, the second pair did the same thing. I called Alana @ Lake Cycling and was told to have them fixed and send them the bill to be reimbursed.

Talking with Rob about this - he recommended Curt's after having his Lake's repaired there as well. Turns out not only does Curt sell bikes, but he used to be a shoe cobbler. He threw a double stitch on the seam and sealed the area with some sort of clear glue. Looks like they should hold up for years to come now!

Check these guys out for any of your cycling needs - a great shop. They also are an Orbea dealer, who makes some pretty sweet bikes - especially the carbon 29'er Alma.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Derby fun...

After being sick for the past couple days, I thought I'd try to see how a ride would go. I woke up early Sunday morning and headed to SMC to meet some folks to ride over to the Velodrome. There were 14 of us in total - the most I've seen leave from the shop. When we left the Velodrome there was a group of probably 50 or so, and we picked a bunch up along the way.

I felt great on the pre-ride to the Derby and I even felt good out to the "turn" I had the chance to talk to a few cool people along the way. I met up with a local fast guy in the M.A.S.S - John Eorio - and was picking his brain about training tips. Apparently he's riding from Quakertown, doing the Derby and riding home!! I thought my measly 3 hours or 53 miles was enough. Guess I'll have to start riding from home to get some more training hours.

At the turn was where it all fell apart for me, and others as well I'm sure. I tried to stay on with the group through for the first 2 climbs, after that I was done. I just cranked along as hard as I could to get back to the shop. I was pretty tired at the end - but I'm glad I got out just after being sick.

Mandatory ride details:

Ride Time: 2:59.30
Mileage: 52.77 miles
Totl Ascent: 2135 feetAvg
Speed: 17.6 mph
Avg HR: 156 bpm
Max HR: 191 bpm


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day...

I'm sitting here at home feeling like total crap, I'm out sick from work. I was checking my email and I received an email from Genesis Bicycles. This pic was enclosed, and I thought I would share it with those not on the email list. It also actually reminded me that today was in fact Valentines Day. I knew yesterday was the 13th, but for some reason I must have forgot that this morning. What a husband I am. Good thing I'm sick so I have an excuse.

Enjoy your time with your loved ones.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

wintry slop..

While others were out riding in the snow I was unfortunately stuck at work with no work to actually do - people don't usually car shop in shitty conditions. I had made plans with Dan to ride SM Emmaus, but he bailed on me to play with his kid - I can't blame him as the roads sucked and I'm sure the way the sleet/ice was coming down around 5pm the mountain would've sucked as well.

So I figured I'd chill with my wife and watch American Idol (unfortunately I've begun to somewhat enjoy the show - probably for the ridicule from Simon). After she headed to bed, I hit the basement for "some" roller time. It was all I could to squeak out 35 minutes.

As boring as riding indoors is, I'm starting to get pretty good on the rollers. I've tried no handed, which works for about 30-45 seconds, drinking, wiping sweat and changing songs on the ipod. I haven't exactly fallen off them YET. I'm sure the next time I ride them I'm bound to fall now, after saying that.

Everyone enjoy the shitty roads in the morning - should be a lot of slipping and sliding around southeastern PA. Some of us don't have to worry about this shitty weather, Pete is enjoying nice 60* weather all week in sunny California - bastard!


Sunday, February 10, 2008


I woke up to some crazy white stuff - damn snow squalls. As I was getting ready to meet a few of the SV Bikes crew at Lehigh for some riding - my wife was complaining about the fact that I didn't let the dogs out or feed them right away. Apparently Doug didn't think it was too cold - wearing shorts??

I met everyone up top and did about 7 or so miles with them before heading over to Salisbury to meet Ian "The Crazy Brit" and a few newer / non-technical but fit riders. Ian was trying out his new bike and brought along a friend of his that he sold his old bike to.

We started at Dodson St. and headed toward St Lukes, with lots of regrouping along the way (and a few mechanical issues). One guy had and open front wheel skewer and a loose rear skewer. We were passed by a local fast racer - Vegan Rob, who greeted everyone while chasing his dog Dakota. Everyone did very well, especially the guy who hadn't been on a bike in 5 years.

Once we got to Constitution St, I sent those guys up the road to avoid the switchback climb. Gennady and I headed up the Spanky to catch up to some French Creek riders that were also enjoying the great trails. We headed back to Dodson - through the boulder trail and suffered up the Three Bitches climb.

Back at the car I called Rob to see if he was going out for another loop, so he hightailed it back to drop off Dakota and we went back out. As soon as we started the wind really kicked up and started snowing again. It was funny how quickly the trails were covered with snow in some spots. As I chase Rob towards St Lukes and down the red trail - I imagined how the newer riders must have felt earlier in the day, although I did stop and wait for them every once in awhile (hint, hint, Rob).

I bailed at the Spanky bypass - I was really starting to cramp. I took the road back to the car and succeeded in getting in the time I wanted - at least 3 hours. Now I'm vegging out with some recovery food (if you can call it that) ------>

Ride Details.

Ride Time: 3:29:24
Mileage: 20.80 miles
Totl Ascent: 3239 feet
Avg Speed: 6.0 mph
Avg HR: 149 bpm
Max HR: 187 bpm (when I was sprinting away from Vegan Rob - yeah right)


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Friday trifecta...

Finally the weather broke yesterday!! I was able to get on the bike for the first time since last Sunday. Although, I didn't feel all that great on the bike - I think I'm starting to catch whatever cold/flu crap going on at work.

Hans, Heath and I met Brian at SMC for the "warm up" loop before the Rodale lunch ride. Apparently Brian's idea of warm up is to CLIMB. We left the shop and headed right up 5th street. Heath must have heard the gun go off the hill climb race, because he walked my Brian and I like we were stopped. Turns out, Heath love hills and has new bikeitis. We headed for some more hills - some steep ones that measured 28% grade on the Garmin 305. After all this hill hunting we headed back to meet the lunch group.

In addition to the earlier group there was Beth, Steve, Matt and Brad. We headed out toward Macungie for the Mountain Rd loop. I still don't know all the loops these guys have - but you can find a daily account of the ride on the Emmaus Cycling website. Five minutes into the ride Beth got a flat - so after about 5-10 minutes of who's got a tube, who's got c02, and Steve checking for any residual debris in the tire, we were off again. There were a few good sprints (none of which I was involved in for more than a few seconds)

We headed back to SMC to meet Christina for part 3 of the trifecta ride. We headed out for the Vera Cruz Backwards loop. Brian and I split off about half way through and climbed the backside of 2nd street. I forgot how long 2nd was that way!!

Mandatory geeky details.

Ride Time: 2:43.41
Mileage: 41.01 miles
Totl Ascent: 3556 feet
Avg Speed: 15.0 mph
Avg HR: 154 bpm
Max HR: 192 bpm (probably on Beverly Hills Rd)


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cannondale/Pacific purchase..

Well it's official Cannondale was purchased by Pacific Cycles. This is the same company that produces Schwinn, GT, and Mongoose. I think they have a lot of other low line bikes sold through Target, Walmart, and other chain stores. Here is a link for the full details.

I don't know what to think at this point as I have a Cannondale Caffiene 29'er 1 on the way. According to a "reliable" source - this will only make the company stronger. This remains to be seen. Hopefully nothing really changes - although I read somewhere they will be eventually moving production out of the states to some of there other asian facilities.

The wheels have arrived from Stan's - and they look sweet. Now all I need is for my Pacific/Cannondale ??? to get here. More details on the build when I actually have the bike in hand.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday's ride...

I was gonna do one of two things this morning, either the Derby or a ride Dan K. posted. A few days prior I had been harassing Mary about waking up early and riding to the Velodrome from SMC. I figured if Mary showed up I would ride to the Derby, otherwise I was riding with Frank Armetta and Dan K.

Bill Strickland, Christina, Mary, Tauss and myself left SMC at around 9:15am - it was about 28* It was a nice ride out with a few patches of ice along the way. We got to the Velodrome with plenty of time to make a quick bathroom stop and then spin around the parking lot.

Approximately 30 of us headed out on the Derby, that number quickly increased as we picked up a bunch of people along the ride. Total there were probably 40-45 riders. There were a few idiot drivers playing chicken with oncoming traffic then ducking quickly in front of the group. I guess they probably didn't expect to see a large group of cyclists in 30* weather.

We made the turn onto Fleetwood/Lyons Rd and I thought I was done for at that point. It seemed the pace didn't crank as fast as last week - although others said it was about the same. I was suprised to hang on to the group up the next couple hills. This was the first time I hung on this far, although I popped about 3/4 of the way up the last big climb.

We regrouped back at the Velodrome for the ride back to SMC. We took Pearson's route back which had us dodging some traffic on 222 and rt 100 before getting on some less traveled roads. Back at SMC everyone chilled for a bit, then we all went our own ways.

It was a great day to ride as it warmed up nicely in the late morning. Apparently there were quite a few people riding South Mountain Emmaus, and also a trail work day was scheduled.

Geeky "motivational" details.

Ride Time: 2:53.09
Mileage: 52.49 miles
Totl Ascent: 2135 feet
Avg Speed: 18.2 mph
Avg HR: 155 bpm (down from 161 last week on the same avg. mph)
Max HR: 193 bpm (same as last week)

One thing I've been working on is increasing my cadence, the average for this ride was 85.5 and 84.7 for last week. Not a big difference, however I'm sure there was an improvement from past road rides. I have noticed the backs of my knees hurting lately - and was told I should drop my seat a MM or 2. I'll give that a try and report back.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ingredient labels...

On Friday I was hanging at SMC for a bit while Bowman and Mike Yozell were scarfing down some cheeseburgers and fries fries from Five Guys Burgers & Fries. We were discussing some dietary issues - HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) vs. Sucrose (real sugar). Apparently HFCS is the downfall of the country per Mike. Then Mark's wife was there and told me how bad Aspartame is for you. From the way she explained Aspartame - it confuses your brain with zero calorie sweet tasting stuff, allowing you to overeat sugary stuff because your brain doesn't automatically tell you you're full.

Using this thought, as I drink a fair amount of Diet Pepsi, I though it could explain why my new favorite junk food choice is this;

Mike informed me I'm just weak! Clearly I am weak because as I'm writing this I'm drinking a Diet Pepsi and eating 4 Butterfinger minis (1 serving) only 180 calories. I guess I'll work it off tomorrow at the Derby.


Bike update...

A few more parts for my new bike build came in. SRAM was kind enough to give me a new X0 rear derailleur as a replacement for the one I had issues with on the PA Punk Bike Jim Thorpe ride.

SRAM has some nice way of boxing up their high end X0 stuff. Here is my new X0 gripshift which I have grown to really like the way gripshift works. I really like that you can trim the front derailleur to get rid of the chain rub on the cage.

This is the replacement cage I purchased to fix my rear derailleur, before SRAM agreed to just send a whole new derailleur. So now I have an extra cage - which I'm sure I'll have to use sometime.

The wheels should be in Monday or Tuesday at SMC. I guess now all I need is for the bike connection to come through with the bike, hopefully by next Friday.