Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nice Rack (and a taco)

Blur of activity yesterday. Quick set of emails to the CITA mailing list resulted in the first Taco Ride of the year. Four of us (Jim, Jim, Sam and myself) left Rasmussen's at 5:30 PM for a solid 90 minutes of dirt riding on the Center Trails. They are MUCH faster without a foot of snow on them. Even after the rain last weekend they were in good shape. We picked up a few riders here and there on the trail, and ended the ride with five of us sitting at Griff's in Valley Junction drinking a couple of beers and eating a couple of tacos. My legs felt really good yesterday. It appears that the Denman's beatdowns that Cam and Pete gave me this winter have paid off. Every one else was ready t go for tacos, and I was ready for more riding since the weather was good and it was still light outside. I still need to work on my bike handling obstacle jumping skills a bit more. Tight turns on the 29er still feel a bit sluggish.

My Arkel pannier order arrived yesterday. I picked up a set of their GT-54 touring panniers, along with a small handlebar bag, and a Tailrider. I have had good luck with their (now discontinued) Samurai bags when I had my trike, so it was easy to go to them again for additional bags for the Long Haul Trucker. The quality and attention to detail on the bags is exceptional. If you need panniers, I highly recommend looking at their lineup. They are not the cheapest panniers available, but they are top notch and they come with a great warranty as well. To get the handlebar bag to fit, I think I'm going to need one of these. I wish it came in silver to match the rest of the bike hardware, but I'll deal with that when the time comes.

My Surly front Nice Rack arrived at Rassy's yesterday as well. Took a look at it and started the install after getting back home from the Taco ride. I quickly decided that I needed to wait until I was a bit less tired to keep working on it. It took a bit of time, and some reworking of my front fender mounts, but it's mounted, and not moving anywhere for the forseeable future. The rack comes with a dizzying array of mounting hardware. For my install, I used 4 offset brackets, some 3 mm and 2 mm spacers, and the appropriate bolts. I used two longer bolts to remount the brackets for the front fender stays since the rack used the same moubnts. I can definitely feel the extra 3 lbs of weight moving the bike around the garage. Once the back rack arrives, I can get it installed and then load up the panniers and take it out for a good test ride. I also took the time to make some more adjustments to my Brooks B17 saddle. Feels much better now that I'm not sliding down onto the horn so much.

Busy week ahead. Mayor's Annual Ride for Trails on Saturday morning. Fun Hater's Ride Saturday afternoon April's Dirty Century on Sunday. Fit session with DQ on Friday morning and then help with TransIowa through Sunday. Gonna need to keep the coffee pot well stocked this week.

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