Thursday, May 21, 2009

Anyone Get the License Plate?

I suppose that's a bad title in a somewhat bike centric blog. No specific run-ins with autos here. But man did my momentum get messed up hard. I've been doing the weekend warrior schedule, and it's time to man up and really put some daily miles in.

I've got me a 100 miles to nowhere kit from Twin6 and Fat Cyclist. I'm pretty happy about the goodness it's chocked full of.

I'm bummed I get to go to a wedding instead of fight childhood cancer with my 100km ride this year. So I'm taking my aggressions out on the 100 miles to nowhere ride. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy there are family marriages going on and all. I just like to do a little cash raising and ride in the name of something higher than "it's Saturday" once per year.

Spirit of Racine is looking to be about 2 months away. My heel is not going away, and I haven't been swimming. This ought to be interesting. On the other hand, my mountain biking has been on the upswing.

See you out on the road / dirt.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Wisconsin Weather

It is said here, "if you don't like the weather, wait 20 minutes."

In that vein, I went to bed last night with a radar full of green, yellow, and red indicating all kinds of rain and doom for mountain bike racing. Mind you, I'm not much the type of guy to drive a few hours in order to not ride his bike. I could not ride my bike right here.

In any case, I had explicitly asked for an update in the morning. I got a favorable one (or maybe it was an admonishing one). So, I meandered around getting the kids started, dogs fed and walked. I slowly but surely got my stuff in the car. I stopped for gas. And maybe by 9:30 or 10:00am I was headed North just past Green Bay. (the bay didn't look very green today).

At the StumpFarm race, I ran into most of the usual suspects. Coop, Anne, Rick, Liz, Tmont, and MK were all present and accounted for. I must say though, the parking lot did seem a bit light (minus the old city bus).

The course could not have been laid out better. Minus a few mud holes, even I was able to navigate it successfully. In later laps, I walked a few up hills in the interest of making it home.

A good time was had by all. The course seemed fast and packed. Impossible sections were at a minimum if not non-existent. If you showed up, you didn't regret it. For the rest of y'allz, what can I say?

Good pizza after.. Me without my camera.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Impromptu Gary Fisher Superfly Product Review

I rode a Gary Fisher Superfly today. The Trek factorydemo folks showed up at the trail while I was out riding my old steed. They were graciously sharing bikes with folks who wanted to try them out. I thought this was a great opportunity to get up on one of those 29ers and give it the beans.

Now, a bit of background. My current ride has been called "so utterly vile that your eyes instinctively look the other direction when he is on it, allowing him that ultra-kwik window to slip away behind you". It is an easily a 15+ year old Giant ATX 780, converted to single speed. Thanks to Rick, it got a sweet upgrade of V-brakes. Otherwise, it's your basic double butted steel frame with a high zoot RockShox Mag21 on the front.

Enter the Superfly. Which, in all honesty, we can't call this a fair review. There are too many variables. I've never ridden 29er wheels on a mountain bike. I've never ridden a carbon fiber bike. I've never ridden disc brakes. For that matter, it's been a good while (it seems) since I actually shifted gears on a trail.

The helpful staff handed me a size XL. It was quite a bit more roomy than my current setup. Making me think the bike I'm on might be on the small side. Initially I felt like I was driving a bus, but I quickly got over that.. or this was the lightest bus I've ever been near. The last time I rode a bike this size, it was chromoly and 40 lbs (or might as well have been).

It wasn't long before I was ripping over rocks and tree roots. Other than having to get used to shifting again, it was nearly ridiculous how easy it was to just tear over terrain that just one lap earlier I had to negotiate.

The shifting was very responsive. A few times I accidentally bumped it (recall I'm not used to having shifters) and ended up in a way wrong gearing. This thing is all pro. I could not find a problem.

Dare I suggest I could lay down MSRP and lop a good hour off my Fat Tire 40 time by just payin' the man for the new bike. That's not really me though.

While this is a review of the Superfly, it isn't. It's more of a reminder that the latest and greatest equipment can actually be significantly advanced from your older bike. I love to be the guy on the bike "so utterly vile your eye instinctively look the other direction" while bringing up the rear.

Then again, the 29er revolution is upon us. My comfort level at the local trails are increasing. And I anxiously await my new frame.

See you on the trails.