Monday, August 28, 2006

Tipping the scales

Lesli and I spent some time at my parent's camp this weekend. Relaxing time around the camp fire, knocked a couple cold beers back with my Dad. Good times, glad we got up north to visit and check out what we'd been missing.
We hung out till the afternoon on Sunday, walked off breakfast and hit the highway for a rainy drive south.
The two hour cruise gave me time to think about bike set-up for sm100, which tires and wheels to run, and then remembered that my bike is in complete disrepair...
I picked through my junk pile of drivetrain parts and came up with two badly glazed discs. I guess I took them off cause they squealed more than they stopped. Don't know if this will work but I'll give it a try...better than spending $50 on new ones.Freshly honed thanks to my Ryobe Dual action sander. No more shiny rings..

On to tire/wheel set-up... I have been running Mavic XL with tubeless tires but had an awful ride the other day in the Fells with the skinny UST 1.95 Karmas. Conditions were slippery and these narrow Kenda's are better on dry hardpack. I am thinking the sm100 will be wet...or maybe that's just images from the 2003 SM100 movie that are stuck in my head.

So, how much lighter are my 717 / DT Hugi 240s wheels with tires mounted? Where I could come up with a cheap and accurate scale to weigh out some parts?...but then again, do I want to spend $$ on a scale?
Answer...make my own.

A 30 inch long piece of scrap trim with a hole in the middle...perfect! Ok, so what we have here is better than a digi metric scale. On the left is my 717/Hugi 240s wheel with Hutchinson Bulldog 2.1 ,with tube. On the right is the tubeless XL with 1.95 Karma. The difference in weight comes down to exactly an extra disk and two bolts... or about 125 grams. Tell me I had some time on my hands last night, you'd be correct! In the middle of my experiment the lights went out and I continued to conduct trails with help from my myo 3.

The rear wheel yielded similar results:

Weight Weenie didn't have info on how much half a Sram 980 cassette weighed but this is how the rear wheels measured up... I'd say at least 150 grams. Might stick with the tubeless setup for the rear because of the advantages of running lower air pressure.

Lights came back on and Lesli was almost done making her famous vegetarian chilly..enough bike geekiness for tonight.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pebble Beach dive

Feeling a bit burned out on the bike this week. Commuted a couple times to work and an early morning single track session or two thrown in to mix things up. Undecided weather to ride in today, looks like rain says "watch for wet turf" - not like I'm golfing?

Met Peter Ernst at dusk for an amazing dive last night at Pebble beach, Rockport Ma. Entry was tricky because of the "ankle breakers" (fist-size smooth stones) that cover the beach. Walking on the thick layer of stones with 100 pounds of gear strapped to your back takes patience.
Air temps at 72 and water temp at 64 - perfect new england diving. I like diving in a wet suit (as opposed to a dry suit) out of simplicity and hope to dive once a week through December.
Peter lived in Thailand for 5 years and dove multiple times a week (lucky bastard) so he makes a great dive buddy.
We surface swam 30 yards and submerged at about 7:30. Spent some time on the first reef terrorizing lobsters..not hurting 'em just capture and release. I still don't have a lobster license but should, didn't take any of coarse. Tonight would have been the perfect night to collect some bugs. I caught and released about 10-12 keepers as did Peter.
We swam to the second and larger reef and slowly inspected under every rock and in every gap. This reef was teeming with life. Saw what I thought was a pipe fish but turned out to be a rock gunnel. We followed a sea raven , but saw no lumpfish this time out.
We turned at the second reef with 1500 psi and slowly headed back. When we finally reached the beach I looked at the dive data on my computer... 71 minutes of bottom time! This was originally to be 25 out and 25 minutes back but we got delayed looking at the second reef. Thats a long dive. Was a comfortable one. My 7mm Henderson along with the chicken vest kept me toasty.
Gotta schedule a dive with Barry soon...the three of us would have a great time.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Deadline ride

Jeff managed to drag Thom P. out of bed super early (for Thom's standards) for an absolute Rip yesterday. The two steel wielding riders arrived at my house at 8:15 and we were off and pedaling by 8:35. A mellow 10 mile spin on the road for 45 minutes through Wenham, Essex and up into Manchester to Mill st and we entered the woods and hit up some techy single track.
Three riders is the perfect number when you need to keep it rolling. We had a One O'clock dead line that we had to meet or a certain Mrs. Whittingham was going to be leaving for a birthday party solo..and that wouldn't have been a good thing.
We flew through Mill st single track and up the back side of B+T's for a tour of Bruce and Tom's on hardtails. Not the appropriate weapon of choice for the free-ride Mecca of the north shore but we made due...and glad we did, it has been a long time since riding some of these challenges.
After making the most in B+T's we hit the road and re-entered the woods at Red Rock. Rounded Haskell Pond and made the climb to Pipeline. Having Tom behind me on these short but challenging climbs was nerve rattling. I'd hear the single speeder revving up his turbine to gain speed in order to crush a climb and didn't want to be in his path. Having gears, Jeff and I pick our way up a steep technical climb but Thom's SS approach involves massive amounts of Mo-Mo-Momentum.
Now, 11:30 and running short on time we agree that stopping to rest is no longer in the game plan. Doubtfull that we can make it home by the 1:00 deadline we rocket down pipeline. At the end it was decision time, Jeff and I look at each other while standing on School st...Ancient line or the road slog home...? Ancient line!
The three of us tear down the low lieing single track section of rock strewn swamp known as Ancient Line faster than a speeding locomotive. Full-on race pace near the end of the trail, a wipe out would have been fugly, thankfully everyone kept their shite together.
12:42 ! We still had time to hit up shiftlever hill and out through Gordon College. Back at my house at 1:02...hows that for timing!
31.5 miles, 3:20 rolling, 1:10 stopped (eating PB+J and playing on stunts in B+T's), 31.6 max speed, 9.4 overall average with 6.3 rolling average. Thanks for a great ride boys.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


How can this be? A few of us rode an epic a month ago, stashed some PB+J's, bananas, water and other goodies in the woods 'bout the half way mark. After the epic I scooted around and collected our refuse, empty water gallons, cooler, and half-eaten bag of Fritos .
Today, after having a RIP of a commute home, stepped in the door and I proceeded to eat anything in my kitchen...but there was slim to no pick'ins :(
So, I reluctantly reach for the half bag of Fritos that I should have thrown out after that rain soaked ride...but I didn't. I put them on top of the frig and there they sat, for a month..till today.
The ingredients say, "Whole corn, Corn oil, salt. No Preservatives"
That's cause I guess they don't need any - cause the chips were as fresh as the day they rolled out'a the factory! If I die tomorrow you'll know why.

on more impressive news..the ditty bops are a couple of extremely complicated, very talented, severely twisted and adventurous girls touring the country via bike and playing their folk music. you go girls! Nice adventure.

Talk about adventure... Give it up for Roz! But did you have to go to Pakistan to race your bike?

I'll share this story from an email with Roz after Delta Airlines lost her bike and luggage while connecting through JFK..."Oh my god, I came close to smacking someone. They didn't end up delivering my luggage when they were supposed to, so I got in at 1am last night (before I am to go riding in the AM) to find that my luggage still had not arrived. I flipped. I called China Airlines, and tried to be pushy, but they could barely understand me. So, I stooped low. I went and got one of the Thai prostitutes in the lobby to speak to me in English (while she was waiting for her fat white old male client) and translate it into Thai for the front desk guy (whose english was not so great). He then helped me get my bags delivered at 4am. It was great. Those girls really will do anything, I guess. I didn't pay her, though, I thought that would really lack class on my part :)."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Daren's FC101 on Ebay

For the guy that owns everything...why not get him a Vintage English Military Vehicle? You won't get stuck going to the next xc race, or anywhere else for that matter... no bike rack needed, just throw your rig in the back and hose it out after. Or you could pick up where Daren left off and open your own lift-assist mountain bike service!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

What a pain in the...


Went for a dive Sunday with a guy from work. We've been forever talking about diving together and finally did it. Old garden beach in Rockport...Was the first time there and I'll definitely go back. But next time with a lobster license! Lots and Lots of "bugs" - that's Maine speak for lobst'a !
Also, won't make this mistake again...My BCD w/ weights and tank must weigh 'round 90 freekin pounds. So what did I do? (no, didn't drop it on my toe) picked it up and slung it over my shoulder macho man style like it was a camel back and totally screwed up my neck. Didn't notice till this morning but cannot look to the far right or left w/o sharp pains that feel like someone is stabbing me with an icepick. Lesson learned...Put the equipment on in the water!

The water was a balmy 68 degrees at the surface and 66 at 30 feet and with a 7mm wet suit and chicken vest feels like diving in 85 degree water. Not a deep dive, great visibility at 15-20 feet (good for new england) fun looking in the rocks for Lobsters, crabs, pipe fish, huge moon snails, and anything that was swimming around.
The last dive I had in Rockport (two weeks ago) the water was an uncomfortable 52 degrees and I only lasted 32 minutes and couldn't wait to get out! Dry suits are too much $$ for me to bother with..would much rather another bike in my stable.

That's us diving with the dive society from Undersea divers from Beverly, Ma.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Savoring summer

A couple weeks ago I made a deal with myself to commute to work via bike (as much as the weather would allow) for the months of August and September. This week has Rocked! Sunny and warm and dry and the seven day forecast looks balmy! The round trip is 46 miles a day...sweet way to pick up 230 miles a week and save some $$ on gas. I'll certainly look back to this particular week sometime around Christmas when it's 33 degrees + raining and let out a big sigh.

The days are already getting shorter, summer is passing by. Why can't it be August all year 'round? Got to make every day count!

It's official...I signed up for my next race. Going to be weird racing with out my main partner in crime - also known as the Ride Junkie. Gonna miss you on this trip Jeff but you'll have your hands full by Sept 3rd.

When I got to work today I was greeted by quite a scene. News vans with satellite dishes pointed skyward. News anchors reporting live from the airport parking's how I overheard the newest terrorist plan to blow-up planes with liquid bombs? WTF?
Like air travel wasn't hard enough up till now.

Now for a bit of humor- Out law in spandex is some funny stuff. - thanks to Lesli for sharing.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Time to reflect

What a week! warm, dry and sunny. I snapped this shot of Wenham lake while passing on my commute home yesterday.

Oh wait...

that's better.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Grounds for Divorce?

and now, the rest of the story...