Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Paying attention pays off

The highlight of my day comes early when I clip in at the top of the driveway and glance back to see my 3-year-old in the bay window waving.
He says something, but I can't hear it through the glass.
I debate just waving and going, but decide that whatever he's saying is important to him.
So I push up close to the glass and ask "what'd you say, buddy?"
"Be careful out there, daddy!"
"Oh, thanks buddy.  I will.  Have a good day."
"You too daddy."

I plan two hard intervals and so I wake the legs up with a tempo cruise down to Gray's beach.
Then backtrack onto 6A and wind it up for a hard effort to Barnstable Village.
Love 6A this early, before the traffic sets in.
Hard and fast into the village and then recover with a light pedal down to Millway beach.
Catch up to my breath and heartbeat and then go left onto 6A for another hard effort eastbound/workbound.

Around the curve before Mary Dunn Rd a car just HAS to pass.
Car coming the other direction.
No room.
Edge of road is sketchy at best.
I decide to bail.
Hop over a pothole and land in the sand and skid to a stop.

Car that forced me to bail whips a right at Mary Dunn, literally 30 meters up the road.
Had I not bailed, he probably would have right-hooked me.
"Be careful out there daddy."
Thanks for the reminder, buddy.
Helped more than you know.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I am mountain biker

I caught some attitude in the woods the other day and thought this up on the ride home:

I am mountain biker.

I am flat pedals, sneakers, white socks
clipped in, stiff sole, ratchet strap
baggy pants, body armor, full face helmet
skin-tight racing kit plastered with business ads

I am 26" HT, 26" FS, 
29er HT, 29er FS, 
29er rigid 
steel, aluminum, carbon

I am bouncing through teeth-chattering rock gardens
sewing the mountainside's switchbacks 
riding off boulders with names like "separator" and "frame twister"
leaping logs, pumping bumps, carving corners

I am base rides to nowhere and back
intervals until i see spots
begging my legs for one final kick
races won and Dead Fucking Last

I am kicking up midsummer dust
plowing into babyheads covered with leaves
crunching fresh powder with wide tread
covered in springtime caterpillar silk

I am all these things.
So if you see me in the woods and I look different from you,
Know that whoever you think you are, I am that too.
I am been-there-done-that and have the scars to prove it.

I am mountain biker.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Frankenbike and maiden voyage report

I have tons of extra bike parts loitering in my garage so I decided to put them to use on a single speed roadbike.  Some of the parts and their origins:

> Nameless steel riser bars from my first mt bike, a Giant Boulder SE.  I have track bars but they give no leverage and since I need to climb on this puppy, I needed something wider.
> Ergon grips off the Niner One9 I bought off ebay. I hate these grips.
> Forte cable rear rim-brake from...crap, I don't even remember where or why I got it.  Two fingers pulling at full force barely creates enough drag to slow the wheel.
> Quill stem an original part on the Puch Cavette. <3

> I opted for the single speed flop rather than the fixed flip after a scary moment on the Alpenrose track when we were visiting Portland a few years back (I learned that when you're going full speed on a track bike on a track and forget to pedal, your bike can actually jump off the ground unexpectedly...not fun, though I managed the save).
> Note the huge (in road bike terms) rear tire.  I think it's a 38. Bought that for a barter 'bike work for computer fix' deal but it didn't fit on the bike.  Fits on mine :-)

> The pedals are off my main road bike (Trek Pilot) and go oh-so-awfully with Le Cavette.  But that's the idea.
> Note: the seatpost is rusted in place.  Of course. And the seat's a bit too low, but not so low that it's uncomfy.

Maiden voyage report:
I did an intervals-while-commuting ride on this mal garcon the other day down to Barnstable Village and back and then to work.  There's nothing special about it, but nothing horribly wrong either.  It's a stiffer ride than I expected for a steel frame. The workout was good and I always love riding on 6A before it gets busy for the day.  The gearing is pretty perfect - didn't have to get out of the seat too much and never totally spun out.  A longer stem and a flat bar with more sweep would make it quite a bit faster, but that would cost me a bit of cash and the point was not to spend any cash.  
So it is what it is, but then what isn't?