Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lake Hope Continued

Though it has been dry for several days, I am still finding water. After moving the Monocog last night and finding the cranks nearly frozen, I removed the bottom bracket. Water ran out! Pulled the front fork and more water ran out. Going to strip the frame this weekend, take it outside and fog the inside of the tubes with a can of WD40.  Not sure of how many parts will need replaced.

Ran across a couple of photos.  Looks like I was having fun.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

OMBC #4 "Race to the Hills" at Lake Hope State Park

Woke up Sunday morning looking forward to hitting Lake Hope State Park for OMBC series race #4.  While I have not been on the trails a lot this year due to schedule and weather, I was feeling really good about the race.  Unfortunately, my body wasn't feeling as excited.  I did not sleep well with a lot of pain in my middle back and got up with an upset stomach.  Excusing it as pain from working at the house the day before and nervousness, I prepared for the day.  Turned on the local radar to see a giant yellow blob rolling onto us.  So much for an 80 degree with clouds race.  I was now having second thoughts to be honest, but Ethan was still ready to ride, so we ate breakfast, loaded the truck, dropped Michael at church, Brock at my brothers and off to the lake we drove.... in the rain.

By now it is raining pretty good, plus it is only about 61 degrees.  Cool and wet we registered and got the bikes out.  The kids race, much to the race organizers surprise, had 8 kids.  The course is a bit of gravel road and a section of Copperhead trail to the same finish as the adults.  Ethan looked miserable at the start, though he says afterwards it was more fun in the mud (just like a kid).  He placed 2nd in his age group, not too bad.

I get geared up for my race.  My stomach is hurting quite a bit by now, but still excusing it as nerves, it should go away.  The sport race is a mass start.  I quickly fall towards the back as most the guys crank it out the road.  I pedal out around 14mph, so I coast a couple of the hills on the road.  The rain is really pouring now, but despite my tires (hard pack tires: WTB Nano Raptor in the rear and an Exiwolf in the front) the bike is handling well and pedaling is easy.  I slowly started picking off riders, several of whom either were hitting the ground or having drive train problems. One problem with racing is managing my momentum, especially on a SS.  I try to carry as much into a climb as I can and then really crank it up the hill to maintain some cadence.  All these geared guys just drop to granny, sit and spin.  While this did affect me more than once, I was able to pass a lot of riders on the climbs. In fact, a polite request to pass was given each time this day.  I was having a difficult time drinking.  My stomach was just not cooperating, excusing it now for hard effort.  I was having fun though.  A side note, the front Crud Catcher worked perfectly.  My bike and back was plastered with mud, but my face was clean.

The race went down Copperhead, onto Bobcat, cross the road to Wildcat, to Copperhead at Grouse Point, back across the road and on to the campground connector.  Sometime around the second road crossing the rain had all but quit.  The trails changed drastically.  Traction was much harder to come by and effort level was much higher.  I ended up losing the front end and slamming a tree with my left shoulder.  With enough distance to the rider behind me though, I did not lose a position.  Ended up catching about three more riders in the last couple miles.  I was glad to see the finish line.  My Garmin said 1 hour, 44 minutes.

Jumped in the bike wash line and then cleaned myself up.  Two hours after my finish, they finally announced the class placings.  They ended up combining single speed with sport vet.  I was disappointed, not in how I rode, but that classes got combined.  I really am not there for the prize money, but I cannot compete with some of these sport vet racers.  Anyway, it is what it is.  I finished 9th in the combined field of 25 riders, and second in my class, just three minuets back from the leader.  My official time: 1:42:32.

Oh, and my stomach still hurt.  Turns out I had a bit of a virus that was shared around the family, finishing the day fighting chills followed by hot sweats.  Not sure what kind of damage the bike took.  It is all cleaned up now, but the bottom bracket turns rough.  Need to inspect the fork seals and brake pads, and clean and lube the chain too.

Thanks to the Athens Bicycle Club for clearing the trails and marshaling the race.  You all did a fantastic job.

Epic race.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Present

Shelly and Ethan surprised me with a framed photo for Father's Day.  Took some work for them too, as my bike hangs upside down from the ceiling in the basement.  Ladder and poster board was involved.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day update

Another father's day has come and gone. First one in a couple of years that my teenager acknowledged it (he actually told me happy father's day).  Family (or at least Shelly, E, and Brock) did the father's day thing for me on Saturday knowing Sunday would be busy and for our dad's.  Finished off the day with fried perch and a tomato, olive, and mozzarella salad, completed with a piece of peanut butter pie.  Yummm.  Sunday meant lunch with my dad and supper with the in-laws.  Both good times with a short ride in between.

Speaking of riding, I did manage a few of note this week.  VBS at church meant no rehearsal and a free Wednesday evening.   Joined Team Athens for their Worlds ride.  Good practice and a good workout (meaning: I got dropped).  Those kids can ride.  Saturday I shot out to Lake Hope.  The OMBC Race to the Hills is just a week away!  Ended up meeting and riding with 4 other guys (all on full suspension geared bikes and me on my 29er SS hardtail).  Got in about 18 miles before the thunderstorm hit.  In about 30 seconds the trails turned from hard packed dirt to streams of brown water.  Ended up hitting the ground pretty hard when the back tire spun on a wet rock.  I have not been that wet and muddy for long time (thankfully, no pictures...).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back to Back to Back

The weekend started a little early when I left work during the afternoon on Friday to be home with the kids as Shelly headed for Columbus.  Let Brock play in the basement while I installed the WB Magic 80 fork on the Monocog Flight.  Decided to go with the suspension fork for the Lake Hope race.  After dinner, Ethan and I threw the bikes and B.o.B. trailer in the truck and headed to the paved road to take Brock on his first bike ride. I think he enjoyed it, in fact, he started to fall asleep.  It was swamp like humid out.  Back to the house and Brock and Ethan took a dip in the pool to cool off.

Saturday started with the tractor.  The storms a few days earlier did a real number to the driveway.  The Kubota made quick work of it though and we soon had driveway without ditches in it.  Shelly and the two youngest boys headed to town around lunch, so I headed out on the bike.  Just a mile in, I came up on a helicopter trimming a power line right of way.  Fun to watch, not sure I would want to fly that chopper though.  Took the Masi out to Chicken Hill to get in some good climbing.  All in, just over 40 miles and about 3000 feet of climbing.

Sunday was the typical, out to church for sound checks at 8, Sunday school at 9:15, service at 10:30, to my folks for lunch at 1.  The weather had changed, for the better.  High temps in the upper 70's and low humidity.  Late in the afternoon I headed out to Lake Hope State Park with the Monocog for some single speed and single track.  With responsibilities at home , church, and work, compounded with the extra wet spring, this is only the second time in 2011 I have been on a trail.  The road miles have been good to my legs, but I forget sometimes how many upper body muscles I use on the trail.  Did my favorite loop.  In at Hope Furnace, up Bobcat to Wildcat to Copperhead and back out. 15+ miles with a couple thousand feet of climbing.

A note on elevation.  I use a Garmin Forerunner 305 to track all my rides and runs.  The GPS estimated elevation is terribly inaccurate.  All my elevation numbers come from SportTracks with the Elevation Correction Plugin.  All my data is smoothed over 3 seconds and only includes grades steeper than 2%.  Garmin Connect uses some unknown algorithm and always shows a significant difference.  I have also used sites like MapMyRide and RideWithGPS.  Each one is different.  For example: Saturday ride was 1056ft at MapMyRide, 2026ft at Garmin Connect, 3046 with SportTracks, and 3045 at RideWithGPS.  Sunday was 548ft at MapMyRide, 1264ft at Garmin Connect, 2136ft with SportTracks, and 3406 at RideWithGPS.  That is a huge variance.  I believe MapMyRide and Garmin Connect both do some heavy smoothing.  Around here though, the smoothing takes away from a lot of the hills.  I also suspect that RideWithGPS may do very little smoothing or includes grades that are less than 2%.  I seem to get the most consistent results with SportTracks, which is what I primarily use to log my rides.

Three days, three rides.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Washing dishes and other weekend fun

I ripped into the dishwasher first thing Saturday morning with the plan to get a seal kit and a new bearing and have the dishwasher back together all for less than $25. That plan was quickly crushed when I finally got the motor out. The rust and other crud buildup on the impeller shaft was the only thing keeping the water from leaking out.  The motor shaft was so far damaged that no seal would hold back the water.  Now the decision is whether to replace the entire motor assembly and impeller or just buy a new dishwasher.  Fun.

Put my tools away and hit the road for a couple hour ride.  Consistent with how the last few weeks have gone, the ride ended in a thunderstorm and a few miles of pouring rain.  36+ miles with about 2000' of climbing.  Rode past the Snowville Creamery farm where they were having an open house / farm tour.  It was good to see the place was packed.  Between that and it was the annual St. Rt. 143 yard sale made for a lot of traffic.  Still, it was great to ride.

Friday, June 3, 2011

When it rains

For the first time in a long time, it hasn't rained.  At least not in the literal sense.

We have been in our house 6 years last April.  Apparently there is a 6 year warranty.  Just having found termites, and then replacing our water heater, I now have a loud noise coming from the heat pump blower fan, and this morning, the dishwasher pump locked up.

We lost a chick yesterday.  Not sure if something grabbed it and pulled it through the fence overnight or grabbed it during the middle of the day when they were in the yard.  Left work early yesterday so I could run 3' high chicken wire fence around the bottom of the chain link.  I also had to run a heat lamp out to the coop last night with temps dropping into the low 50's.  Bonus for the chicks, they had all the bugs they could chase and eat last night.

Did get to ride the Masi though.  I have said it before, but I really am liking this bike.  Did the typical loop through Wilkesville.  Down Point Rock Rd to Salem School Lot Rd, to 124 into Wilkesville, then 689 back to Point Rock.  18.5 miles with about 1000 ft of climbing.  It felt good.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fixing up the 'cog

The WVMBA/OMBC XC race at Lake Hope is just a few weeks away.  Time to get the machine ready.  Planning to race the Sport SS class on the Redline Monocog Flight.  The headset was in darn sad shape so I found am un-used Cane Creek S3 in silver to install.  Was going to take it to Katsu, but thought what is the worst that can happen?  I used a piece of copper tubing to remove the old headset.  With just a few whacks with the rubber mallet it popped right out.  Put the new cups in the freezer, greased the headtube and they popped right in.  Nice and smooth now.  Been really digging the Fizik Antares saddle I put on the Masi, so I found a Gobi, the MTB equivalent, on eBay for $15.  Fantastic, light (261g) saddle. Now, I only really need a nice set of light weight 29er wheels.

With the temps now in the 90's during the day and 70's at night, seemed like time to move the chicks outside. A bucket of chicken anyone?