May 092012

Mileage means nothing.  I’ve been pushing two things in my riding – overall mileage and the level of attack on climbs.  It’s been working well.  When the mechanic that works on my bike heard me say “Oh I’m all about climbing” he responded with “super – let’s do bear creek sunday.”  Starting out a little worn down I was in for a treat.

Sunday 5/6 was a soggy, soupy day.  Just the thought of a raised heart rate had my glasses fogging up.  Combine that with grueling hills and uber rocky terrain and I was a whiny little bitch.  I must admit that the climbs were not the tough part.  Technical at times, the climbs were largely gradual.  The downs were epic and technical.   When combined with foggy glasses, soupy, slippery climate and my generally exhausted state – I was in trouble.

So after maybe 5.6 miles at bear creek, I was wildly more worn out than doing the entire 18 mile wiss loop.   Officially mileage means nothing.  I’m just about back in the game and about to go for my next 100 mile month (April 2012 has me a bit over 500 miles for the 2012 so far).

Mileage means nothing.  Frankly I like it that way.  Sure I could just go run on my road bike on the SRT and tick off the miles.  Meh…  Right now I’m having way more fun in the dirt, under the trees, away from the benzine and black top.


May 032012

Booked out of work today eager for a ride.  Rushed home.  As I’m filling the camelback with water and heading out the door the phone buzzes.  Incoming Text : You still home?  Customer X is having odd issues w/ their network.  Now what I should have done was just dropped the camel back and helped out.  But no – I had to ride.

So I call Ron on the way to the trail head I call ron – call drops.  I call again, they just can’t hear me.  I call again – call drops.  About 2/3 of the way to the trail head – the return path from which is clogged with rush hour traffic heading into Phoenixville – I realize I’d not put my bike on my car!

A couple of F**K F**Ks, and a punch to the interior roof and a very frustrated uturn later and I’m on my way to get my bike.

20 minutes to go what takes 5 when it’s not rush our I’m home and getting the bike.  10 minutes later I’m on the trail.  Perfect.  I’ll get the O2 flowing and be feeling good.  2/3 of a mile in – bam.  Chain break!  I happened to be on a grassy levee and the thought did occur to me to throw my beloved trek to the floor below.  But no – I stopped, put on a quick link (my first one mind you!), and in the words of George Thorogood, off I went.

Not more than 1000 feet later – bam!.  WTF?  Another chain break.  I was sure I’d not put the quick link on correctly.  Turns out I had put it on correctly and my chain broke in another spot.  As luck would have it, I bought two quick links.  So I got my gear out to put this one on.  Everything is going well until I could not find one side of the quick link.  Probably dropped it in the grass on the levee.  Now I REALLY wanted to toss my bike down to the foor.  I got out my night light and tried to paw through the grass looking for the link.

I wound up walking back to the trail head.

So Ron, if you’re out there – next time I’ll just drop my shit and help you.   Clearly that’s the better karmic way to go.

I’ll be at Sly Fox here for quite a bit drowning my frustration.



Mar 152012

In pursuit of the right kit, I ordered a pump to toss into the back pack.  I ordered an Airstick 2Stage


from Blackburn.  It’s small and light.  It’s got settings for both high and low pressure.  The low pressure seems to push more air per pump stroke.  The end result is a very tiring experience.  I’ll carry it, but I’m glad I have the CO2 as well.  The advice given to me by experienced riders is pumps are great for topping off, but CO2 is what you want when repairing flats or doing a full inflation.

The unit seems well constructed, and is a welcome addition to my standard equipment.

I think I may try some tire changes just so I’ll have done it when the time finally comes that I need to do it on the trails.


Two good rides in the past few days.  Firstly, a short but agressive ride in French Creek yesterday.



The wind was crazy, even had a big tree fall while we were out riding.  A little unnerving.


Today hit Betz.



We hit some trails I’d not done at Betz before.  One of them was a super steep decent which while _walking_ the bike down I slipped.  The result is a broken shifter.  Luckily it was just the lever.  I was able to finish the ride.  I’ve ordered a new set of shifters and so I’ll be jumping into doing my own mechanical work.  I’m upgrading from SRAM X7 to X9 based on the recommendation of a riding buddy.  We’ll see how we make out.



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