Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Around The Rock ITT

I can't seem to get this ride out of my brain so I am just going to have to do it once and for all. Mid June might be a perfect time to tackle this one if the snow on Grassy Lake Road has melted by then. New adventures in your own backyard are always fun!

The "Rock" refers to the Grand Teton

The Stats:
- 150 Miles
- 9,100' of Climbing
- 20% Dirt Roads
- Includes Grand Teton National Park Rd.
- Skirts the South boundary of Yellowstone on Grassy Lake Rd.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Solo Mini-Camp

GOAL: Squeeze in three quality rides on desert singletrack for my physical & mental well-being
RESULT: Mission accomplished

Hurricane Rim Trail

I spent a lot time driving between Friday and Sunday but the end result was totally worth it. I powered down to St. George and was able to ride Friday afternoon, Saturday, and early Sunday morning before blazing straight home again.

Friday’s ride in the sunshine blew out the cobwebs after a long time away from dry dirt and put a big smile on my face. I drove straight to the Cove Wash Trailhead and rode Barrel Roll + Rim Reaper/Rim Rock/Rim Runner. I LOVE those trails. However, the highlight of Friday was dinner with the new AZT 300 Champ, Lynda. It was great to hang out with Lynda and hear all about her incredible race first-hand. Check out Outside Magazine’s Blog about Lynda’s AZT 300.

The desert flowers are just a few days away from going off!

A few random thoughts from the weekend:
- Ergon GR2 grips ROCK on the singlespeed
- Crashes hurt less if you are listening to good tunes
- It wouldn’t be a trip to the desert for me without a little rain
- I am not sure I will ever clean the entire Barrel Cacti descent
- If you ride begin your ride at 6:20am on Easter Sunday in St. George, you will have the trails all to yourself.

Groovy Jem Trail singletrack

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This is gonna hurt a little

Being in my backyard, I am not sure why it took me this long to sign up but it's now official. I am in for the 100-mile version of Pierre's Hole!

This is going to be a gloriously hard and fun event in 2011! Targhee is such a great setting for a race and August is our best shot at good weather. You can sign up and/or keep and eye on the roster at

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The MVP Of My Closet

This is the time of year when the climate differences between cycling-centric communities becomes very apparent. While in Tucson they have been riding in 90+F temps, the CO Front Range has been on dry dirt for a long time, and Fruita & Moab are hitting 70F on a regular basis, we are still stuck in Spring + Winter = Sprinter. Not complaining (ok, a little) those are just the facts.

Taken out our back door Thursday afternoon. I predict May 25th for a total meltoff in our yard.

There really are no bad days to get outside for a ride…there are just poor clothing choices. Let’s take today in Victor, ID for example. At 9AM it was 37F and raining with some wind. This weather used to send me to the trainer every time but now I simply accept that a little extra bike cleaning may be necessary. One of the key elements to my arsenal over the past two years has been the vapor barrier vest. Think of it like a greenhouse for your body.

The RBH Designs LiteWorks Vest.

The RBH Designs LiteWorks Vest weighs so little and is so thin that I can wear it under anything. How many times have you been on a cold wet ride and the moment you stopped moving (ie, expending energy) you start shivering? This is how I know that the vapor barrier vest makes a difference. The moisture between the vest and your body warms up and stays warm and also prevents your insulating layers from wetting out. Originally, I bought the LiteWorks Vest to wear for very cold snow biking but I am finding that it works on cold road rides as well.

Our forecast for the next week is not super-sweet so I have a feeling that the MVP of my closet will see some more use this season.

Friday, April 8, 2011


...and Restart. It feels as if I am starting over from square one with my training this season. As I jokingly told Lynda on the phone, at least I won't have to worry about a mid-season burnout. Ha!

The timing of getting sick, as if there is ever a "good" time to get sick, was particularly bad for me because it came after a recovery period following Old Pueblo and just when I was about to ramp it up again, whammo, I got sick for nearly three weeks.

My first "training" ride in almost three weeks...Variable Cadence. Check out how my HR creeps up when my cadence goes up. Can you tell I am a masher and not a spinner?

A couple of significant changes to my routine will be the addition of regular Active Isolated Stretching sessions as well as Yoga. My experience with Yoga so far is worthy of its own post but for now I will simply say that Yoga is not easy for me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Quality Time in the Man Cave

Since I am still fighting this cold/sinus infection (don't get me started), I decided to crank up the propane heater and spend some quality time in the Man Cave working on a few bike projects.

Project #1 - 100mm Rims on the Fatback

The six largest cogs on the cassette are spaced way right, I added some longer limit screws that I found at the hardware store, and I added the Problem Solvers Universal Derailleur Hanger.

In order to gain a little more drivetrain clearance, I had to tweak a couple things on the FatBack. A 100mm rim is definitely pushing the envelope of the widest rim I can run on this frame with its 165mm spacing but I think the extra float is well worth it. I can live with six cogs in the rear since I have three chainrings in the front. The key piece to this puzzle was the Problem Solvers Universal Derailleur Hanger because it creates space between the frame and the derailleur and provides a tab for the B-Limit screw.

There is just a fuzz of chain run in my largest cog. The only option left to try is to go to a custom 150mm wide spindle Phil Wood BB.

Project #2 - Tear down, clean, and rebuild M's Tallboy

The True Grit race last weekend left M's Tallboy in bad shape. The parts that need replacement: Bottom Bracket, Brake Pads, Chain, Shift Cables & Housing. I guess it could have been worse. On a side note, I love DT Swiss hubs for the fact that it takes all of five minutes to pull the rear hub apart, clean, and re-grease it.

The St. George mud & grit managed to get into every crevice.

A simple wash wasn't going to cut it after this race. Even the derailleur pulleys needed to be taken apart and cleaned.

I have never seen brake pads look this bad.

Project #3 - M's new frame bag

Ok, this wasn't really a project but I wanted to take a couple of pics and give a huge thanks to Eric at Revelate Designs. I asked him to match the pink Dogwood Designs pogies and he procured the matching fabric and built Michelle a sweet frame bag. Thanks Eric!

The bent top tube of the FatBack take a unique frame bag.

Have I said how much I dig the Aluminum FatBacks?

Project #4 - Convert the Niner into "Combat" mode

With our wonderful Spring weather (said with a sarcastic tone), I prefer to ride the Niner with fenders when its cold & wet outside. I took the rigid fork from my singlespeed and stuck it on the Air 9, added two fenders, and then mounted up a pair of semi-slick WTB Vulpines. This will be my road & gravel training machine for the next couple of months.

Tech Tip: The Park DAG-2 is a tool you should own. The rear shifting on my SRAM XX has been a little janky and I finally pulled the rear derailleur off and used the DAG-2 to check the hanger. Doh! My hanger was bent outward and this was the cause of my less-than-sweet shifts. The DAG-2 allows you to perfectly straighten a bent rear derailleur and eliminate that variable when you are troubleshooting poor shifting.

Fenders are a key accessory this time of year.