October 27, 2009

Is it Spring yet?

It's snowing. Dammit.

But what does it matter? Most of my outdoor projects are completed and there will still be enough time to finish things up.

Plus, my back is out as I type, so I am not much good to anyone right now. I could probably ride, probably swim but not run really well because I can't stand up straight.

All this comes on the eve of the Double Cross Halloween Weekend. Races at Wheeler Farm on Saturday and Sunday. They are iffy now, at best.

On the bright side of things, I think my backyard tubeless cross wheel setup is working. I did a short ride the other night and had no issues with leaks or rolling tires at 45 psi. I did smack a rock hard enough to think I might have broke my front wheel, and nearly send me over the handle bar, and just kept right on going. It would have pinch flatted a tube for sure.

On a sadder note, my Dad's (and my) Jack Russell Terrier died last week. He had a severe infection from advanced diabetes and Pop decided it was better to have him put down. Roscoe was a great little dog and tough as nails. He'd fight most any dog and I saw him win against larger dogs more than once. He was a lover, too. He didn't like to be held, but that was alright because he felt like a sack of sticks when you did.

My sis gave him to me several years before she died. Then, when I married Wifey, Pa wanted to keep Roscoe at the house. He said it was to make my new apartment life easier. But I think he liked the dog which was why I never asked to have him back.

Roscoe went pretty much everywhere with Dad, so it is a kick in the gut to him. It's tough when your best buddy suddenly isn't there anymore, following you into the bathroom and stuff. I know. I gave him up once. But now, like so many other people and things I've cared for, he only lives in my memories.

October 14, 2009

'Cross Race #2

Two races. Two flats. Cyclocross race #2 was uneventful in the sense that my race lasted all of 5 minutes when I pulled out with yet another flat. Not sure how this happened. After fixing the first flat, not once, but twice, I put in a new tube. Problem solved, right? Wrong. The tire held air all week, until race day. Dig this.

I air up the tires to 50 psi in the back of the truck because, you know, I don't want to risk a flat. Next, I carry the bike across the parking lot to the course. Then, I set the bike down on the starting line and throw a leg over the top tube and the tire is almost flat.


Now before you think I am a dumbass for not checking the tire for thorns, I did. Multiple times. The tube had a very small failure where the valve stem is glued to the tube. Just bad luck. Not the first or last bad luck I had on Saturday, either. In fact, Saturday pretty much was the shittiest day I've had in about the last 6 months. I digress...

So I rode most of a single lap before pulling out. Again. At least last week I got to do most of the race. And I now have a backyard tubeless setup in place that I am trying out.

- Stan's rim tape to seal the spoke holes
- 4 rubber rim strips to build up the rim bed, 26" size for a tighter fit
- UST valve stems
- Stan's tire sealant

I am hoping to get out to the fairgrounds race course soon to test the tubeless out. I need to make sure the tires don't roll off the rim unexpectedly causing me to die. But so far, so good! I am looking forward to a pinch flat free 45 psi and excellent protection from flats. Crossing fingers.

October 7, 2009


Cyclocross is hard. More so when I race with the fast guys because the start time better fits in with my life. Even then 'cross is fun in a strange, hurt yourself kinda way.

Race #1 was of the Utah Series Utah Series was last Saturday and, since it was a local Ogden race, I went. And got beaten soundly. It was my own fault.

I am a slacker, and I didn't get out of bed quite as early as I should have, plus I didn't really pay attention to the classes. And I forgot just how old I am. Or blocked it. Anyhoo, I showed up to race the Men's B group because the 1:00 start time meshed with my lazy ass better than the 9:30 Men's C start time. Little did I realize that I could easily have raced the Masters B 35+ at 10:30 and probably gotten beat just as badly. But maybe not quite as badly because there might have actually been some guys my age racing against me instead of a group of 20-somethings without wives, kids, real jobs and mortgages that do nothing except spend every dime they have on carbon 50mmm tubular wheels and two bikes set up identically. I would much rather be beaten by guys in the same boat as I am in, and with more dedication than I have. I like an even playing field.

In spite of once again having the realization that I am no longer a bike racer ground into my face, the race was fun. Nothing eventful happened, except when I got to throw some elbows with a dude that races Pro-class mountain bike when he was passing me. But that is part of the game. Oh, and I flatted with a lap and a half to go. Which was a bummer.

Thanks to my sister in law, Shaylee, for the pics and watching Smarty Pants while I goofed off. You'll notice in the second pic, I am off the back right at the start.

The real bitch here, is that I have tried twice now to repair the damn tube and my tire keeps going flat and I can't find a reason why. Maybe it is time to go tubeless?

And here is a teaser... the Schwinn Racer project is nearly done! Assembly is completed and I should have pedals this week. With luck, I'll be riding it this weekend. If I survive 'cross race #2, you can stop by at 10:30 and watch me compete in the Masters class.