Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween

I lost some weight...

Omega says

"Happy Halloween everyone"

That is a 60lb Siberian Husky sitting next to our Great Pumpkin. Ginger almost had to break out the saw-zall to carve it but kitchen knives were sufficient.

Can't believe Halloween is here already. October disappeared before it even began. Work has gotten really busy lately which has left my weekends being spent catching up on chores around the house. I have found ways to keep my weekly Wednesday night mountain bike rides consistent though, which helps.

The other weekend we took my car for a drive in western CT. Stopped at Lime Rock and watched some Porsches and BMWs practicing on the track.

While on the way to Lime Rock, a professional photographer (Chaz Culver) snapped this shot of my car.

After another stressful week, I decided to sleep in today and missed all the group rides that went out this morning. We opted to take Omega for a hike and try out his new backpack we got him.

Almost ready to finish building my latest bike. The last piece of the puzzle is en-route to the house. Should be here this week and then I'll reveal a new way for me to ride around on the trails.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

lights, camera


That was actually my first Suicidal Tendencies album I bought. Their discography goes back to 1983. A lot of the punk and hardcore bands I listen to still play today and have been playing together since around the time I was born. Take Bad Religion for example. I first got into them when they came out with 'Recipe for Hate' in 1993. They've been playing since, officially, 1979. Shortly after getting into Bad Religion my friend James got me into the Descendents.

The best part about it is that both Greg Graffin from Bad Religion and Milo Aukerman from Descendents are college professors with Milo being a biochemist. Being a college professor was always something I wanted to do. The problem with that is I will most likely never get there. Organized school and I do not get along well. Kind of strange given I design some fairly complex pieces of rotating machinery for a living, huh? Well, I am not good in academia. I am more suited in applications where there are more structured channels to produce an outcome. Give me a problem and I will find a practical solution. Some say academia and myself being a professor would get along but I do not see that happening anytime soon. Perhaps in the distant future, a future where I can not see where my next step a few inches ahead of me will be.

Perhaps I need some light?

Yes, It is that time of the year again. Time to break out the lights. Since I plan on getting a new helmet later this winter to replace the new one I bought in June which, ultimately, did its job a few short weeks after taking receipt of it, I moved my light mount over to my existing Uvex helmet. A helmet I've been riding with for, gasp, three seasons next month.

Behold.. my masterpiece.

Why is the mount so far back on the helmet?

That, my friends, is an ingenious method that the Dougherty brothers informed me about years ago. The light is positioned further back to help keep your head balanced.


See, these HID headlights (yes, still rockin' the HID from 2001) are quite heavy and when they are mounted up on front of your helmet (intended mounting position). One uses more of your neck muscles to keep your head upright with such a heavy object hanging off the front of the helmet. Placing the light in the center of the helmet places it directly above your spine while both allowing you to ride in a more relaxed position as well as make things much more balanced so you hardly notice the light is up on-top of your helmet.

In order to get the light in the proper direction the mount had to be modified. Enter two V-brake pads.

What are V-brake pads?

Really? Did you just ask that question?

I used to love my Shimano XTR V-brakes. Best thing going even when Hayes has their HFX disc brakes out. If you have a mountain bike with rim brakes then run the XTR V-brakes. I think they even still manufacture them.

The V-Brake pads are zip-tied to the mount. The mount's straps are looped through the helmet but due to the hole positioning I needed to prevent the light from sliding forward and backward. Enter two more zip ties that loop through the hole in the top of the helmet. Bingo. The light isn't going anywhere now.

With the upcoming cool weather coming its also time to break out the woolies.

Tomorrow night we're riding. The superfly is back together so we'll refrain from shifting tomorrow.


Monday, October 11, 2010

autumn is upon us...

and I am not riding my bike much.


Yes, it is the best time to ride your bike and somehow I am not riding a lot. Boo.

When I have gone for a ride I have taken out my Cannondale 1x9 (only ridden three times since the VT50). Its nice and relaxing to ride multiple gears even though I only use one or two of them. I seem to be doing better than some people when I hop on a 29er mountain bike with multiple gears.

Sometime recently my Superfly developed a few cracks in the top tube / seat tube junction. Two cracks on the seat tube just under the top tube joint and one on the top tube just infront of the seattube joint. I am not sure if it happened while out in CO or what but Jim at High Gear called Trek and got a new one shipped out for me. Was I going to get a 2011 or a replacement 2010? The photos on Trek's website looks like they may have tweaked the non-driveside drop-out for 2011 by adding a tensioning screw on the outside. In an effort to prevent the non-driveside drop-out from sliding rearward when the wheel is under load (a common problem with the 2010 frame but I never had it happen on mine). It also looks like the driveside drop-out has an integrated washer that encompasses both bolts. Both drop-outs have new tensioning screws. Are they larger in diameter? I bent both of mine and I never put any torque on them.

2011 frameset

WHY do they still put an anti-chain suck guard on the downtube and chainstay? How are you going to 'suck' your chain when you only have one gear ratio?

Zoooomm In of the drop-outs. Check 'em.

At first I didn't like the 2011 graphics but they are starting to grow on me. Looks kind of evil in all black and dark gray however I really like what Jesse did on the 2010 graphics.

Alas, Trek happily sent me a 2010 frame. Meh. How long until I break this one in the same spot seeing as there are no design changes? Doesn't matter to me as long as it does not coincide with a race or interfere with any races next season. Trek will just get me another one if I break this one.

So, yeah. I haven't been riding much after the VT50. I am actually finally catching up on stuff around the house and getting ready for the winter. The fall chores so to speak.

I also have this parts car in my driveway that a friend gave me. The same exact year as my Audi but in a sedan (I own a wagon). I have sold quite a bit of parts off of it and have been removing all the electrical items to stock pile for the day that my car starts acting up. Those pieces are expensive and difficult to troubleshoot when they fail. I did just recently sell the all wheel drivetrain to a gentleman in Canada. No, not Peter, but another bicyclist I know. He is going to take the automatic transmission out of his car and put in the manual that I sold him. This will be the second auto to manual swap in a 2002-2004 Audi A4 I have consulted upon this year. I spent Saturday removing the drivetrain and a ton of other items from the car.

transmission, rear suspension and differential assembly anyone?

the whole she-bang (and more)

Today I had a furlough day from work. All the previous furlough days I had this year I went for a long bike ride. Today I went to get my new Superfly frame and to deliver the 1.8T engine out of my parts car I sold.

Fits nicely in the back of my car. Still don't know how I bear-hugged it and carried it across my driveway and into my car.

Got some more electrical stuff to get out of that car and then I can get the shell carted away and not think about it so I can concentrate on other, more important, stuff. Important stuff like my Vicious Cycles 29er re-incarnation....