Thursday, August 28, 2008

Midweek catchup

Taco ride last night. Rode down from the office with another coworker who wanted to get some seat time on her new Specialized Rockhopper 29er. We had a great turnout with 14 people showing up, including 4 new riders. As you can tell, it was a bit muddy. Wednesday AM rain made the river silt covering the trail in Denman's woods slick to ride on and sticky as well. Combine that with a number of wet areas and a ton of mosquitos and you have an interesting ride. That said, it was good to get out and ride in there again. The shade of the trees made the evening ride really enjoyable, even if I spent 20 out my 50 minutes of ride time clearing enough mud and grass away from my brakes and chainstays so my rear wheel would actually spin. We bailed early and went to Griffs to get an early start on tacos and beverages. Good times as always. Left Griff's around 8:30 and rode back to the office with my coworker and then cut through the road construction on 100th street so I could get home in a reasonable amount of time. Bike went into the workstand, where it stayed until I took it outside tonight and cleaned it all up. While I was at it, I caught up on some other deferred maintenance, cleaning and lubing the chain on the LHT, and putting a new rear tube in the Paramount. I have a flat to repair on my single speed and all of my bikes will be ridable again.

After a lot of debugging, including a new cassette, and a chain swap, my slippage issue boiled down to a worn out middle ring. Not sure how old it is, but I do about 95% of my riding on it, and it's had 1000+ miles on it since I bought the bike, so it's time for a new one. Hopefully that shows up at the shop tomorrow so I can throw it on this weekend. New wheels feel good on the Monkey. After last night's bit o' fun, I am really jonesing to get the disk brakes bought and installed.

Lots of stuff going on this weekend. Bicycle swap meet in Colfax. 24 hours of Seven Oaks in Boone. Possible morning road ride on Saturday, plus plenty of stuff that could be done around the house as well. If I can get some stuff out of the garage and into the shed, then I can get the bike stuff organized a bit better in the garage, and maybe park my truck inside as well. We'll see how things go.

Thinking some about my riding plans for 2009. May is looking brutal, with the possibility of having both TransIowa and Dirty Kanza occur within 30 days of each other. If I could finish TransIowa and beat this years time in the Dirty Kanza, I would count next year as being successful. It will take a solid effort and good training on my part, as well as a lack of mechanicals and some luck for that to happen. Goals, even if they are lofty, make the training that much more enjoyable. A cross bike would make both of those events different. I'm not sure about riding skinnier tires on the gravel yet, but I think I'll have to do it to go a lot faster. However, there are some people running 1.8" tires on their LHTs with fairly decent results. Not sure I want to do that as it would require removing the racks and fenders. Maybe a drop bar on the Monkey is worth looking into. Use some cable splitters like I see on bikes with S&S couplers.

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