Saturday, December 31, 2005

Last Lynn Ride

Conditions were exceptional. The last few days of rain cleared all of the snow and ice from the woods and then a deep freeze in the 20's solidified the mud for some super traction. Barry, Jeff and myself hit up Lynn early this morning for a great and final tour of Lynn Woods for 2005. I hope every rider gets their fill of the single track before it's too late...I have a feeling that mother nature will stop teasing us and put the smack down with layers of snow that will last till April.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Been running the past few days. Couple miles each morning, nothing big. I like to ease my body back into run mode. I have found out in the past what happens if I just go out and run five miles...Not pretty.
After I got home from work today my legs were a bit tight so Gus and I went to the basement and I got on the pain machine. (sorry Jeff, I stole your name for the bike trainer) In preparation I put a DVD on the tube. Watched the second half of Fight Club. Nothing quite like watching a twisted-psycho flick while standing up on the pedals for 45 minutes.
Finished up w a light upper body work out while Gus tried to wrestle with me. Dogs are great.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Technology for Christmas

It was a very pleasant Christmas for Lesli and myself. Started with a relaxed morning of caffeine and of coarse...Opening gifts! Santa did not disappoint this year. I gave Lesli a Tom-Tom GPS navigator for her Treo phone. Confused? So was I at first...The Tom-Tom consists of a wireless Blue Tooth GPS receiver and GPS street map software. Could come in handy in her line of work.
For me Lesli gave a Sirius satellite radio receiver. Very cool. After opening the receiver and skimming through the manual it became obvious that there were two ways of activating the radio - by phone or online. Lesli used her laptop and wireless connection to key in the SID and and of coarse, my credit card number...and in no more than two minutes we had Jimmy Buffet's Radio Margarita rockin the house.
In the afternoon we hit the road with our new gadgets over to my grandmother's house and then up to Kristen and Ross'. The Tom-Tom was great. Lesli programmed it with a voice named Ken, a dignified Australian male. With phrases like, "go straight on the motorway" and "take the second exit off the roundabout" he guided us to Barrington NH...Like we didn't already know how to get to my sister's house??
The treo was fully functional as a phone while running the street mapping program, it was also receiving the blue tooth frequency from the Tom-Tom that was at the same time receiving the satellite's microwaves! Freeky! That got me thinking exactly what frequencies all the gear on-board our truck was interacting with...Lets see. (total geek talk but cool) The sirius receiver was dealing with a similar freq from outer space and then converting it to 88.1 mhz and then the Toyota's radio was playing it for our listening pleasure. From time to time I was sending email from my phone to add to the saturation. If that weren't enough...Lesli's truck has sensors on the inside of the rims that send info to a receiver on the forerunner's axle then to the truck's computer to display the airpressure on the dash. Blows my mind how many airwaves were buzzing around us as we rolled up rt.95.

Friday, December 23, 2005

After Party

Great to see the Family last night. We all live so close but never seem to cross paths often enough. Funny seeing Michele and John's kids running around the house like we did just a few short decades ago.
After shaking off the hang-over I drove Justin and MK to Logan for their departure to Ohio to visit Lilly Ell for the first time. Congrats Kirstie and Steve on the birth of your first Hazelbaker.

After getting all of the responsible duties out of the way, including cleaning up the empties and taking out 6 bags of trash I got out on the bike to test pilot a Rohloff 14 speed internal hub. Big props to out to Dana S for letting me try out this magic component. My rational behind the Rohloff hub stems from the 5 xt derailers and three drive-trains that I trashed last year.
I spun from my house to the woods with the mp3 player rocking. I could still hear the rough scraping noise of the carbide studs contacting the asphalt. Nokian Hakka 300 are the shit! After a twenty minute warm up on the road I entered the woods and was happy to see bare spots of trail with not too much snow. I shut off the music so I could hear any strange noises coming from the Rohloff. While cruising at slow speed the hub let out vibrations that alarmed me at first. Thought about all that was going on inside the hub and wondered if it was going to self destruct but it did not. Acually it performed flawlessly. Hammering up snow covered hills the hub stuck in gear and never skipped a beat.
After spending an hour on ancient line I took old Manchester Road to rt 22. I spun the VT up to road speed (which is a whooping 15-18 mph!) and took the long way home through Essex and Ipswich. Funny, when the juices inside the hub warmed up shifting got better and there was less rolling resistance.
So the verdict, I don't think I'll buy the hub. I think the Rohloff is better suited for a commuting bike than a xc mountain bike...Unfortunately. If I worked close enough to home and biked to work I would not hesitate to snag it. so, for now I guess I am stuck with the conventional cogs and pulleys. ugh.