Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

view from the top

Any ride with this cast is sure to entertain. The thick fog made it impossible to locate the real source of a problem.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

yea, yea, I know, an ounce of prevention.............

Ya'll not living in glass houses may particularly enjoy this.

Once again, I have a seatpost stuck in a steel frame. From the late 80s and my Bridgestone, I've had problems with the prevention part.

This time, I searched out a MORE thread from the last time this happened to my IF, in 2005, where Nick offered this advice:
" Take out the bottom bracket, turn the bike upside down, pour bunches of ammonia (yes, ammonia) into the seat tube and let sit overnight. It should pop right out in the morning. I've done this several times."

This advice was seconded by RickyD, referring to the late great Sheldon Brown. The great one says:
"Aluminum seatposts frequently become stuck by corrosion also, and penetrating oil is almost useless against aluminum oxide. Fortunately, aluminum oxide can be dissolved like magic by using ammonia"

I removed the saddle and poured about 1/3 bottle of ammonia down into the post and into the seattube. I don't have a weep hole on the bottom of my BB shell, and the shell only has a tiny opening to the seattube. The BB was still in the frame. So, the ammonia sat on the BB and backed up all the way into the seatpost and seattube. I also sponged lots of ammonia around the interface of the post and outside the frame. I let this sit overnight and waited for the magic to happen.

Put the saddle back on the next day and began twisting and wrestling with no luck. No movement at all. No magic. OK then, what now? Back to the WD-40 and penetrating oil, which have worked for me in the past even though they shouldn't have.

Repeated the same 8-hour soaking routines, first with WD-40, and then with penetrating oil. No movement, no magic again. Jody was helping me by this time, and looked for a way to get more leverage. We came up with an extra handlebar clamped into the seatpost clamp as tight as we could get it (it buggered up the handlebar - no great loss).

Still no movement. Started thinking of ways to freeze the post to contract it, thought of dry ice, but the dry ice store 4 blocks away didn't open until morning. So we stuffed ice cubes into the post/seattube until we started seeing condensation on the outside of the post. Then quickly clamped the handlebar leverage device back into the post and started wrestling again.

FINALLY, movement. Enough movement to get a bit more lube into the interface, and then it worked it's way out.

So, what really worked?? The ammonia? WD-40/penetrating oil? The ice? Or, the leverage bar? I don't really know, but I know what Nick said "...keepin' it greasy so it'll go down easy... "

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kent churns 'em out.
from GearshiftTV

Was cool to get to meet some of the other crew of the Single Speed Outlaw Team
from Tony

Especially when they roll like this
from Baler

I had a couple interesting moments on the course, one I was witness to, and the other was almost my own undoing. I think it was on my second lap, in a fast line of 3 ripping thru the pines near the end of the lap. I'm 3rd wheel, my City Bikes friend Mike Scardaville is 2nd wheel. I can tell Mike wants to pass and I was gonna try to pass along behind him. We hit a straightaway section, Mike stands up and moves out of the draft of the lead rider, gets his first power stroke started, and then immediately grabs all of his front brake when he sees the 12" pine tree right in front of him. He was able to make the bike endo enough to slow down his impact with the tree. But, heavy impact it was, broken helmet, head & shoulder impact etc. It looked like he was going into shock, he was hyperventilating and it took me a while to get him to slow down his breathing while I checked the back of his jersey for any bones sticking out or growing red spots. His bike was fine, his legs were fine, and eventually we discovered that his upper body was good enough too and I got him to stand up and finish the lap. I think he may have skipped a lap or two, but he was able to finish the race.

On my 3rd lap, I find myself surprisingly alone on the course as the crowd had already dispersed by then. So, I decided to play a little on some of the auxiliary rocks and alternate freeride lines that were built along the course, but not part of the course. I'd noticed this ladder-to-rock-to-ladder ramp on my other laps that looked interesting. I did not check the bottom on either of those laps. So, up I go onto the first ladder and onto the long flat rock, about 4' off the ground. Down the other ramp, and then I notice the bottom rung is broken. I can tell immediately that I can't just skip the last rung with some sort of wheely drop or other move. I also can't just ride off the side and bail since there's no safe zone around (is this IMBA approved?). I notice the stringer. The round fencepost stringer.

I also had the most interesting passing experience in my racing history. It's still daylight, I don't know what lap. I come up quickly on a guy in a pink well-known bike company jersey. When I reach his wheel, I coast, and my Chris King hub goes into it's attack whirrrrr sound. We pass a couple people at a campsite set up by itself in the middle of the course. I make a joke about them wanting wilderness and solitude. As I'm saying this, we hit a wide section and I creep up on his left, still talking. The following conversation ensued. Yes, you'll see that I could have ended it, but I couldn't resist, and kept feeding him:
He shouts: "I'll be the rider you're now passing"
he: "anything I can do to make your passing experience more enjoyable, let me know..."
me: "Dude, relax, I thought I let you know by talking and moving up slowly..." He then sees my class marking on my leg.
he: "Oh, you're in my class too, now I really hate you"
me: "Sorry man, go ahead, pass me back, I'm not racing you, or anybody"
he: "OK, sure, I forgive you. I'll forgive everybody...."
me: "..well, you pretty much have to forgive everybody, otherwise you're gonna be pissed off at everybody...."
Luckily then, I fall off the front and out of earshot.

I had another aggro pass made around me later on, by another member of the same jersey. Too funny.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Baker's Dozen

the Leesburg version of Shantytown.
SS Outlaw compound, with Quigley/Junkins and Pedalshop across the course, and the Bike Lane off to the right.

Props to Rob, Mike, and the Plum Grove shop for some fine singletrack and a good time. Curses and needles to the person who stole Rob's (yes, the promoter) Moots Moot-X YBB. He added his new personal bike to the demo fleet for any racer who wanted to try it. Someone is still trying it out.

Nice work Huber and Kent for the solo efforts.
Nick took another nasty facial, a concussion, and a trip to the ER.
Damn Barney! You go in hard!
Pictures at 11?

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Did the happy Cupcake ride today and worked real hard on what shouldn't really have been too hard of a loop. We followed most of the Sport loop, though we added in some fun stuff like Grave Ridge and Community Service. We also did "My Favorite", but I think that's actually part of the Sport loop?
I used Mr. Miller's pump before the start, and I surmise that his pump must be a helluva lot better than mine. 40psi on his gauge felt a whole lot stiffer than 40psi on my pump. It beat the snot outta me and I was bouncing all over the place and working extra hard to keep it under control. After a couple stops to let air out, I was finally feeling more normal, though of course I probably let too much out since I felt the rear rim twice. My handling came back though, but I felt quite blown by the beating, and struggled to hang onto the back of the pack for the rest of the day.

We did about 24-26 miles in 4 hours. No one suggested climbing up Dead Woman, Woodrow, or Jake's. Going down to Tobacco Patch, Red's Trail, or Hogs Head was not even a question. Doing those, means 3 more bottom-to-top climbs. We did one of those today, and it seemed like plenty.

Looking back to my posts a year go, finds a similar whiny peice about pre-riding the fiddy. Hopefully I'll get it together by race time again.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Half Moon

Have any of you folks, particularly GWNF fans seen this? Not surprised if you haven't since it doesn't seem too well promoted. I think it is a cross country race in the Fort Valley. I also think they are saying there's a pump track in Strasburg. I think they've made something bike-related out of the Waterlick Grocery? Anyone know anything??

I would love to race on those trails. Hope it happens.