Monday, December 22, 2008

HEY!

Hey! We're going to ride tonight (Monday). Of course it kind of looks like it's going to snow, but we're going either way. Come to the shop before close (6pm) for a pre-ride IPA, or meet us up at the Elena Gallegos trailhead (top of Montgomery) at about 6:45 ish.
Dang.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Every Monday it Snows

Well, since I invented the "Monday Night Bikeworks Shop Ride" it has snowed 100% of the time during our scheduled ride.
Last Monday Tony and I toughed it out, as it wasn't a legitimate snowfall.
But today was as legitimate a snowfall as we see in Albuquerque, except of course the storm that rolled through on Dec 29th two years ago, when it dumped over a foot all over town, which also happened to be my wedding day, which made things interesting.
So basically when I plan things, it snows. Lucky for us I'm not big into planning things, or we'd never get to ride our bikes.
Anyway, we elected to opt-out of the ride tonight. I'm assuming/hoping that those who had expressed interest also bailed as well, because it didn't seem like a good night to be up in the hills.

Not surprisingly on such a stormy day, things were slow at the shop. I had a chance to build a couple of bikes, such as the long awaited Rocky Mountain Hammer, a 29er singlespeed made of Reynolds 725 tubing, and very very good looking.


It looks better in person than this stock photo does. I didn't expect to like the baby blue / orange paint scheme as much as I do, but now I'm trying to come up with an excuse to own two steel singlespeed twentyniners.
This bike goes for $1600, is well spec'd and trail worthy out of the box, and a great way to get into 29er, or singlespeeding, or best yet, singlespeeding on 29ers, which I've recently learned is oh so fun.

We also got in a Giant TCX 01, that I ordered impulsively and which may or may not be my size.


We've been hearing rumors of a second 'Cross series being organized in Abq. If this does happen, and this beauty of a bike is still in the shop, I'm afraid I might just have to take it out and show it a good time. You know, because I really need another bike.
Much like the Rocky, this bike is better looking in person than this photo makes it seem. The tubing is impressively shaped throughout the bike, and the paint job and color scheme just do it for me. Also, with a 105 drivetrain, weighing just over 20lbs out of the box, and at $1400 retail, this bike is a screaming deal.

Bueno bye.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Riding

After last weeks whine-fest about how I've not been riding, I've been doing quite a bit better this week.
Sunday was a north and south foothills singlespeed day with Marc. As usual when riding with Marc, it was fast and painful, and probably the first of many such rides to come as we try to develop some fitness before Old Pueblo.
The highlight of the ride was having simultaneous double quad cramps, leaving me lock-legged, straddling the bike in the middle of the trail, whimpering for mercy from my traitorous muscles. Appearently, I need to hydrate better, and beer doesn't count. Then in the middle of my agony, an lovely lady informed me that I was in the trail, as she easily rode around me since the trail was very wide and actually took a couple of routes at that spot. Just one of three interactions I had on that Sunday that made me dislike other people. It was a beautiful day though, I couldn't believe how warm it got.

Then on Monday we had our innagural Monday night shop ride. After spending the day watching it rain from inside the shop, with the mountains totally socked in clouds, it was promising. I had to nearly pull Tony's teeth to get him to go, as it was looking pretty grim weather wise at 6 when we left the shop. But as we drove east, the weather just kept getting better and better.
We had a few different people say they might meet us, but I think the rain scared them all away. So it was just Tony and I for this one. We parked at the gate to the Embudito trailhead, and did the standard (to me at least) north foothills loop that does a big counter clockwise circle, leaving off the last out and back that takes you to the water tower. We forgot to charge Tony's light until about 4pm, which we found out wasn't enough time. So very quickly his light got so dim that he opted just to ride without. Fortunately it was kind of a bright night, and between that and Tony's mad skillz, it didn't slow him down that much. It was fun for me, as I savored what will likely be the one and only time that I kicked Tony's ass on a downhill. It wasn't close to being a fair fight, but I'll take my shots any way I can get them.
We'll be doing it again next week, 6 at the shop of 6:30 at Embudito trial head (top of Montgomery). Hopefully it won't be raining and a few of you will come out to join. If you don't like driving, I will have a few spaces in the battle wagon to drive people up with us. Then I'll be driving home after, I live near the shop so I can drop off any where around there, or maybe just back at the shop.

Last night was my big riding adventure, as I finally made it out to the BMX track for practice night. Danny made it to. As promised, it was a good time. Most of the people there were really just practicing their gate starts, and I quickly learned why. It is really hard to track stand on a little twitchy BMX bike up against one of those gates, while trying to watch the timing light. About half the time I would loose my balance right before the light turned green, and I'd have a foot on the ground when the gate dropped. This isn't the way to get the hole shot.
The track itself was nice because you can roll everything, which I did. Had there been any mandatory doubles to jump on the track, I probably wouldn't have shown up at all.
I was, however, starting to flirt with the idea of jumping one of the easier tables. I'm pretty sure I have the skill, as usual for me it's just a matter of sacking up and going for it.
I did several laps on Tony's 4x bike (26" mtn bike with gears), a Formula Cruiser (thanks Vince) and a Formula 20". After a couple of laps with the 20", I actually liked it the best, much to my surprise. Despite being much twitchier, I liked the acceleration of the small wheels, and the shorter wheelbase made it easier to keep the bike on the ground through the rollers and rhythm section, which was good since I was quite intent on staying on the ground.
The track is reportedly getting torn down next week and rebuilt, for I believe the first time since it was built. This will be cool to see. I'm glad I made it out on the old one before it was gone. Definitely planning on making it out again. As usual, I was nervous to try something new, and then once I got there, had a blast. If anybody feels like joining, practice is usually on wednesday nights at 6pm, and they have loaner bikes and helmets at the track. Just show up wearing long pants and long sleeves. The track will be closed for the next couple of weeks for construction though.

So I'm doing a little better at actaully riding bikes this week. I'm spending the weekend up in Santa Fe with my family, and I'll get some sort of a ride in there, depending on trail conditions. So if anybody wants to pedal around Santa Fe on Sunday morning (hopefully in the dirt) let me know.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Redefining "standard"

So it used to be that bikes had 68mm or 73mm wide bottom bracket shells. I know there were other standard before that, and Italian threaded bb's rear their ugly head from time to time, but for the most part, there were two "standard" sizes.
In the past couple years though, things have gotten a little stupid. With the proprietorizing of components that the big manufacturers seem so fond of these days, us lucky wrenches get to deal with the following ridiculousness soon:

Here is a quick guide to a number of these new standards:


BB30, or 30 X 68 and 30 X 73mm bottom brackets, come in either 68mm or 73mm shell widths for road or mountain bikes. The spindle diameter is 30mm, and the 41mm-diameter bearings press straight into the BB shell and are held in place by snaprings. In addition to Cannondale (who named the system) and Specialized (which doesn’t call its system BB30), FSA and SRAM (TruVativ) make BB30 cranksets; Shimano does not, and Campagnolo makes press-in adaptor cups to fit its Ultra-Torque (and Fulcrum Racing-Torq) cranks to a BB30 shell.

Scott and Shimano came up with BB83/BB86, often called the “Shimano system,” but not by Shimano. It accepts a standard 24 X 90mm road or 24 X 95mm MTB crank spindle. The shell is 86.5mm wide with a 41mm ID. The bearing has a 37mm OD and is pressed into a nylon insert with a 41mm OD that presses into the frame . Each insert’s shoulder is 1.75mm wide, creating the 90mm width and hence the BB90 name. Shimano, FSA and SRAM offer BBs to fit this shell; Campagnolo makes press-in adaptor cups to fit its Ultra-Torque (and Fulcrum Racing-Torq) cranks to BB83/BB86 shells.

BB92 is the MTB version of the BB83/BB86 with a 91.5mm wide shell for MTB triple cranks. Again, the 3.5mm of the two shoulders add width to 95mm.

BB90 is Trek’s Campy- (and Shimano-, SRAM-, FSA-) compatible Madone system. The BB shell is 90mm wide by 37mm ID. The 37mm OD bearings (the same bearings as inside an external-bearing cup) insert directly into the carbon frame and accept integrated-spindle cranks.

BB95 is the MTB version of BB90 with a 95mm wide shell on the new Trek Top Fuel and Fuel EX carbon.


Wilier’s new system has a 94mm wide BB into which a Campagnolo Ultra-Torque (or Fulcrum Racing-Torq) crankset fits directly without cups or retaining clip.


Lifted entirely from Velonews, courtesy of Lennard Zinn. Isn't that nice and straight forward for you. Odd of any old shop having the bearings/bb you need for the proprietary setup on your new Madone when you are on a road trip? Probably not too good.
I came across this just now, and hadn't realized how ridiculous this had gotten. How many of these new systems do you think will be around in ten years? Gonna be easy to replace that crank?
I better be careful, I'm going to start approaching "crusty old bike mechanic" status.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bikeworks Shop Ride

After extensive market research and some heavy duty polling of the public, we've made the decision to try out Monday night for our weekly shop ride.
So, for this Monday, lets go with 6:30 at the top of Montgomery (Embudito Trailhead) or if you're like us and enjoy a pre-ride beer, before 6:00 at the shop.
Here's my question; is the actual trail head parking lot closed after dark? If so, shall we park at the shopping center at Montgomery and Tramway?

We decided against Tuesday nights for a reason I can't currently remember. We decided Wednesdays were out because that's gate practice night at the BMX track, so that would have excluded a handful of guys who would otherwise join in, and that way I can continue my empty threats to "make it out there one of these nights and see what this BMX track is all about." Then starting in January is the Thursday night trainer class at Concrete Systems, which we are planning on attending again this year since it is the best training you're likely to get done in Janruary, and it's free. So that got us to Friday night, which had votes against it and quite honestly is the night I can see myself flaking out on the easiest.
So Monday it is. It can be your recovery ride from Sunday if your one of the many who get their biggest miles in on Sunday. Or it can make up for not riding on Sunday, if your one of the many who makes awesome plans for rides your going to do on Sunday and then end up going to Home Depot and then to a 2 year olds b-day party and then cleaning house instead and never touch the bike but thats okay because your wife doesn't hate you anymore. And it can be a nice little distraction during work on Monday.

So come on out. I think for this week we will just do the standard issue counter-clockwise north foothills loop out to the tram-tower and back. We'll keep it mellow, this isn't training or a chance to show off how fast you are, but mostly a way to help make sure we get out on the bike at least one evening a week.

Hope to see you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bikeworks Weekly Group Ride

So we've been talking for a little while now about starting up a weekly open invite mountain group ride, to take place in the evening as quickly as we can close up shop and get to the trail head.
Obviously through the winter the foothills will be the regular spot, perhaps with an occasional White Mesa or Bosque ride thrown in. Then when things thaw again, we'll head out to the East Mountains more regularly.
I'm thinking a pretty casual ride, not a training ride, because we don't train.
We have been unable to decide which day of the week is best. So if you have any inclination to ever join us, and have an opinion about which evening is best (other standing weekly group rides? you don't ride Friday nights because you actually have a social life? can't possibly be out on whatever night of the week Next Top Model comes on?) leave a comment and let us know.
I'd like to get it started next week, on whichever night we choose. I think 6:30 is a good time for us to start. Obviously that means that you're going to need a light to join, and if you need a light, come on by and we will get you styled out at an awesome discount just because we're so flattered that you want to come ride with us.
Awesome, hope somebody want to come ride with us.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I don't ride enough.

I don't ride enough. The past couple of weeks have been particularly bad. Starting last Monday, I learned what it means to "throw your back out." That just isn't fun at all, no wonder people complain about it. I personally think I'm too young to be experiencing thrown out backs, but I am also incredibly inflexible, so that might have something to do with.
Then after a nice couple days off for Turkey consumption, I come down with the crud that seems to be going around. Not too sick, just enough to keep me off the bike, right about the time my back is coming around.
Of course, those are simply excuses. If I'd been 100% the past couple weeks, I still wouldn't have ridden my bike nearly enough.
It has been far far too long since I've worn out a pair of mtn. tires. Tires on my bike go for a year at least before I'm even close to being justified in replacing them, and even then many guys would keep running them, I'm just picky.
It occurred to me last night that I don't want to give up the few hours a day I spend with my wife and baby in order to ride more, so the only logical solution is to work less, and spend those hours not working on a bike. Fortunately it's the winter, so that might actually be possible. I'll get all nice and fit through the winter, so that I'm in top shape come spring when the racing starts and I get too busy to ride again.
I've been thinking about riding the SS into the shop (my new Spot 29er SS, which I haven't put nearly enough miles on yet), then at the end of the day ride it down to Montgomery and hop on a bus. Take the bus up to tramway, hop out and then do a north foothills loop, ride south and do a south loop, then ride down Constitution back home. It would be a nice big SS night ride that wouldn't require driving my car or riding the SS up to the foothills, which I find quite boring. So somebody should decide they want to join me, then we'll make plans, then I'll actually do it because somebody is planning on meeting me, otherwise I'll just keep talking and never actually ride.
Danny is talking about doing around the mountain on Sunday, almost certainly the last one of the year. Thinking I might be able to join, it would be a good way to break in my new Giant TCR Composite which I've had for three weeks now and have yet to go ride.
Danny and I signed up for duo team at the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo, which is part of my anxiety to ride more. I put in some good lap times last year, but if memory serves, I was riding more last winter.
Thats it, I'm just whining because I'm lazy and I don't ride enough, and I spend my days fixing bikes of those who actually do ride. I'm also killing a few minutes waiting to be picked up because it's cold out and I don't want to ride home because I'm a wimp and I have the sniffles, and you know that 2 mile ride home would just be terrible when you have the sniffles.