A random collection of thoughts associated with the sport of cycling, as relayed by one hopelessly devoid of too many competing interests. It's a one track blog I'm afraid. But hey, if you like bikes you might enjoy it. So keep reading and the worst that'll happen is it might rot your brain..

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Buy my Damn bike, OK?

Since this is my little slice of Internet wonder bread and all I figure I ought to be able to post this without fear of feeling like a goon. Well, I still feel kinda like a boob but whatever. Buy my bike - $650 local sale. It's a good deal, please buy it so I can pay for the Kelly 'cross bike I sooooo desperately need to bang elbows with the bottom 1/3 of the C class 'cross racers this fall.

Here's the bike: '07 Surly in the medium size AKA: 18". Lime green with some PIMP matching rims. Roll like the breeze in Lou Feregino style.. I'm 6' tall and it fits me well. It rides like a MTB should. Nice and neutral and surprisingly forgiving for a 26" rigid woods bike.


Medium (18") 1x1 frame - all the geometronical details are on the Surly site.http://www.surlybikes.com/1X1.html

Wheelset: Hugi hubs (hayes branded) laced to Velocity rims. Rims were powdercoated to match the frame by the original owner. These hubs are friggin' sweet and will last a loooong time.

Tires: Maxxis Larsen 2.3s. Very nice SS tires, they roll fast and take the edge off.

Crankset: LX 170mm with a Spot bashguard and a 32t Surly Stainless ring

Cog: 20t Surly cog

Chain: Sram PC 58 8spd

Tensioner: Surly Tugnutt

Seatpost clamp: Surly Constrictor

Post: Thomson

Saddle: Bontrager Race


Stem: Race Face Prodigy 115

Bar: Ritchey Rizer SC

Grips: Oury ODI lock on

Levers: Avid Speed dial Ti

Cables - Avid Flak Jacket (I still need to install the front for whoever buys it).

Brakes: Avid BB5 up front, and a BB7 in the rear. Roundagon rotors.

Extras: The other BB7 brake caliper I have (never got around to swapping out the front) and an 18t Surly cog.

I've owned the bike since late December 2006. It has a total of 33 rides under me and one race. The rear hub was serviced (routine) last Spring by a kick ass mechanic. It has the normal scratches one would associate with MTB riding.

* There is some wear from my heel on the non drive side. I sanded off a little surface rust and touched it up with auto touch up (blue). I wrapped some black electrical tape over it. I also treated the frame with Frame saver when I got it.

More pics by request - or just swing by palatial Jenkins St. Estates to arrange a private viewing. I'll have Russell the guard buzz you in.

Thanks for looking - post a comment or email me at mtbdee at hotmail dot com.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Under the Hood

There was this sound coming from under the front end of my new ride. I wasn't really sure what was causing it until I pulled over yesterday and found this disc spinning around where the blinker fluid belongs. I removed it, popped it in the old CD player, and was pretty pschyed to hear some new/old music from The Cobramatics. Johnny "the Colonel" Maguire recently released this record on his own Original Recipe label. If you've never heard of the Cobramatics and you're wondering when the hell I'm going to get around to some bicycle related content just hold tight. It's coming, I swear it is..

So yeah, the disc. From what I can gather it's the only official release of all their songs. You may have heard the 'Gansett theme/ad song in the past, rest assured Matt Schulde it's on there. There's also plenty of other rockin' tunes like Jailbait, Jump onto my Rocket and a whole bunch more. If you like rockabilly/surfy/rootsy tunes go pick this up and support some local musicians. I'm in no way shape or form qualified to review music but I like it, so we'll leave it at that. You can contact Johnny on his MySpace page if you'd like a copy, and I'm betting he'll have some at Local 121 on Sunday evenings when he's doing his DJ thing. If I wasn't so old and lame I'd probably be hanging around at said establishment of drinky goodtimes past 10:00 PM on Sundays but well, I'm hopelessly dorky (as we all know) so it doesn't happen too often. Sleeping on the couch, uh, I mean "recovery time" takes over after 9:00pm most Sundays..

Bikes, - back to bikes right Adam? OK, well, uh, oh so there's this tune on the above mentioned record called Burrillville Bounce. It reminded me of a death march MTB race I reportedly participated in at Wallum Lake quite a few years back. I say reportedly because I can't recall much from that day (see below). The event was more of an exercise in self flagellation given the roughly 1000 degree heat and 90000% humidity. The race was held on seldom used trails that had the consistency of chocolate pudding and beach sand, all at the same time. There was also a 25 yard mud hole that required full on 'cross style running, and a WALL OF SAND right before the start/finish. Wheee. Anyway, I was on my way to winning the Sport race when some dread locked fakin' Jamaican dude I passed in the first two minutes of the race blazed by me. He then proceeded to run up the giant dirt mound like the Flash. This was demoralizing to say the least. So I wound up 2nd, OK with me any day, right? Sure. Except the heat stroke and the part where I passed out on the dashboard while Stacy drove my shelled ass home..

Friday, April 11, 2008

Burlingame Race Report and other goings on..

Thanks in large part to the Rip 9 I managed to shave 2 minutes off of last year's time at the King of Burlingame time trial. It turns out that was fast enough to get me the win in the 19-39 Sport race. I didn't find out until I got back from sweeping the last race and pulling down arrows. It was a nice surprise, as was the retro style Specialized Stumpjumper jersey I picked up for my effort. Adam St. Germaine won a sweet Hub wool jersey for his efforts in the Expert race. I think he might have been faster if he hadn't ridden to the race from Pawtucket but what do I know? I have a feeling that's like a lap of Blackstone Blvd. for a guy like him.

The course was in pretty good shape considering all the rain that had fallen on Friday, the wet spots were wet and muddy but there was nothing too crazy. The course is technical enough to give mountain bikers a chance while the road sections allow the road riders to make the most of their love of tarmac. The bonier parts of the course gave a lot people trouble, but luckily there were no injuries and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Thanks to Lennon and his crew for running another great event! If you are inclined to race next year be sure to register early as the spots are limited. The word on the street is that there will be a few more slots open for next year's event.

There hasn't been too much else going on these days. I managed to get out on the road for a few miles this week and then took Thursday off to do a two hour tour of F. Gilbert Hills in the 70 degree temps. Amazing weather for April 10th. I donned the new Stumpjumper jersey and quickly discovered that a "large" racer cut is apparently made for folks built like me, except with seriously skinny arms! Anyone who knows me knows full well I'm not in possession of two tickets to any gun show, (more like two tickets to the laser light show) but wearing this jersey makes me look kinda like Rowdy Roddy Piper. The sleeves cut my biceps off halfway down and the sleeves are so tight my arms turn purple.. I guess this makes me more look like Rowdy Roddy Barney. OK, that's totally false. It really just makes me look like I hang out at the gym talking about bench presses before I go shopping for preĀ - distressed jeans and tight shirts. And who doesn't do that sort of stuff? I could probably wear it to McFaddens if I paired it with some shiny shoes and Rock and Republic jeans. Wicked Awesome... I'm going to wear it anyway because it's cool jersey, never mind the fact that I secretly like looking like Bowser from Sha Na Na on the bike ;)

Today's ride at Lincoln Woods was completely uneventful thanks to the lousy weather. There was a decidedly low creep factor out there today. No dudes reading the upside down newspaper in their cars, etc.. All the gates are open out there now which means the pickle parks are in business. Complete weirdness will commence any day now so if you ride at LW be sure to keep your eyes peeled, and keep it moving if you see anything odd. Don't hesitate to phone the local authorities (State Police barracks are right around the corner) if you run across naked "bird watchers" or other such shenanigans. The more legitimate users are out there the less creepy stuff will go on, that's the idea anyway.

That said the RI NEMBA Lincoln Woods ride series starts next Friday at 6:00pm. We'll meet in the big parking lot on the Twin River Road side of the park. Enter the park off of Twin River Road, take a right and the lot is a little ways down on the left. If you make the turn down toward the beach you went too far. We'll have two led rides; one beginner ride and one faster ride. Keep in mind LW doesn't really offer much in the way of "easy" riding but there is a lot of good trail in there if you know where to look. One of the points of the rides is to get folks out in the woods, and to expose them to the loops that are out there. All you need to bring is a bike and your helmet. Hope to see you there!

For those wondering where I found out about the future viability of thumbshifters, well it was from the future. If you listen closely to the below you'll hear something about 7 speed shifters and superfast cycle exercising in the reverb...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Future Was Yesterday, Again.

The more I ride the glow in the dark gnar gnar machine that is the Rip 9 the more I realize that the best parts on it are the shifters. 7 speed XT thumb shifters to be exact. While the Niner does sport honest to goodness "new technology", it also happens to be paired with stellar shifters. Who cares about 4.5 inches of travel, CNC rocker arms, Pro Pedal and all that phooey? I'm here to talk about the 20 year old shifty bits, so listen up!

The best part about friction shifting is how, much like single speeding, it requires low brain power (this suits me well!). At the same time it's a whole lot easier than riding fixed. This fact alone makes these shifters the ultimate in must have technology that no one uses anymore. It fits all the basic bike dork criteria for coolness by being A. Old B. Functional and C. Fairly Rare. Best of all though the shifters can't kill you if you use them in a completely inappropriate manner. Like, say, riding a converted Jetter fixie brakeless down Cyprus with a 10 year old rusted chain. Yep, mark my words; thumbshifters are going to be hotter than drop bar 29ers, touring bikes, chain wallets, ball bearings and brooks saddles in two years time.

My amazing powers of prognostication tell me that soon all multispeed trail bikes will utilize this ancient technology. Of course, it'll be repackaged and spun as a new development that will immediately devalue that 9 speed SIS/SRAM clunker you ride now. I'm thinking the "new" name will be something like "Thumb Glide" or "Friction Force". Whatever it's called it will cost an exorbitant amount of money, and of course it will only be available to Pros at first (I hear Adam "Apple Cobbler" St Germain already has his).

This alone will generate enough buzz to cause throngs of cyclists to ditch their Swobo fixies, Long Haul Truckers and NJS approved track bikes on the side of the road in short order. They'll become so cool that people will start scouring yardsales, and garbage dumps, for "vintage" thumb shifters so they can tell everyone how much longer than you they've been at it.

I can't wait. Craig Mello can't either, he's got a box of these things he'd love to sell you...