Monday, May 21, 2012

concrete, amherst and 9spd?

Nothing like finishing a stressful week with a busy weekend.

Saturday was spent starting another house project instead of riding western CT with Charlie and company. Eight months have passed since we finished the kitchen and felt it was time to work on the next project. That project being complete re-landscaping of the front yard. The forsythia lining the insanely busy street I live on had to go. The snow we had in 2011 did some major damage to it. I also don't like them as they grow fast (aka: requires lots of trimming) and are only in bloom for a week or so a year.
Making the best of our 'tools'

Next up is the concrete walkway going from the house to the street. That is coming up and not getting replace. We will replace the walkway going from the fromt of the house to the driveway with a proper paver stone walkway.
The first piece really sucked but once that was out of the way I didn't need to use the jackhammer as the pry bar and 10lb sledge (should have had a 20lb'er) did well.
Six hours later we met our goals for the day and were off to enjoy the wonderful evening at a BBQ in eastern CT.

6:30am Sunday came too quickly as I slept on and off and was very achy from the concrete work.

Wolfing down an edge sandwich for breakfast and getting my bike stuff together. Next stop: Amherst Mass with Sean and the crew from Bethel Cycle. First time I rode here I broke my Vicious Cycles frame. No rest for the wicked in this place. My type of New England riding.

I opted to leave my singlespeed at home and actually really enjoyed riding Amherst with a rear derailleur on my bike. Shocking but I think it was just what the doctor ordered.
It was to be a hot sunny day so I focused more on staying hydrated and eating proper whilst riding than worrying how hard or easy I was riding. If I am to finish the Bearscat50 I need to eat and drink properly in the early June heat.

Sunday's ride was a success as I felt a relatively consistent level of energy throughout our four hour ride. We also had a lot of fun riding up things we've never been able to ride with a 52inch gear on our singlespeeds.
Afterwards it was some greasy fish & chips and good beer at the North Hampton Brewery. (that was the 2nd beer)

I've made some changes to the Cannondale. Added an off-the-shelf Stan's ZTR Arch EX rear wheel, Continental X-King 29x2.4 tires, XTR trail pedals and a Niner crabon handlebar. Front wheel was my Lefty/Stan's Flow wheel. Its been set up at a 1x9 for a while now. 36T chainring mated with a 11-34 9spd cassette. XTR shifter and XT derailleur with full length cable housing (heavy but it shifts so crisp every time).
I also had Mendon Cycle Smith rebuild my Lefty as its seen three seasons of use and no maintenance. I never could seem to get the fork dialed in correctly. It always felt like the rebound was too fast. I let some air out of the fork for Amherst (100psi currently) and turned the rebound pretty much to full 'slow' mode. Now I like the fork. It is now plush and lively as opposed to a pogo-stick.

The X-Kings rock. I think these are my Bearscat tires as opposed to the Bronsons I ran last year. They were unstoppable on the rocks and dry pine needlely terrain. The sidewalls seem very durable and relatively stiff yet you get the traction you need at the tread. I never heard rim which is a first as I've often gone by the mantra of if you hear rim once on a ride you have the proper air pressure. Anything lower than the pressure I ran would have made the cornering characteristics damn right scary. I had the front aired to about 20psi and the rear somewhere between 18 and 20psi.

The XTR trail pedals.. Meh.

I kept smacking the fronts of the pedals into rocks (see pic above). Think I am going to cut those tabs off the pedals and make them more like the XTR race.

Hopefully its not raining on Wednesday for our weekly ride. I envision more rides and more concrete work this coming Memorial Day weekend. It will be strange not heading to PA for the Transylvania Epic like the previous two years but I am cool with mixing things up this year and doing something different.


Post a Comment

<< Home