Thursday, March 25, 2010

Little tandem time

So this week has seen me to Tranquility 3 times. Once on the CX bike, once on the SS, and this evening on the tandem.
Woah. Great fun of Stumpy and Big Al!
First I will preface this by say that I like to ride to Tranquility from Waterloo. its about 12 miles each way and only 5 of those miles are in heavy traffic on Fort st. Kind of dicey.
But anyway, we rolled into tranq and proceeded to cruise about. It is not often that we have had the Opportunity to ride the tandem on singletrack so this was a pretty exciting experience. Tranq is a pretty tight course with some pretty sharp switchbacks. Some things I gleaned
  • Gear down prior to making the sharp turns (unless you want to here your stoker screech "GGEEE-EEAAHHH" while turning the cranks at about 12 RPM's)
  • trackstanding a tandem is possible, but you both look really dumb doing it.
  • when navigating the sweeping corners the captain steers and the Stoker initiates the leans, its pretty had for the stoker to over lean unless to do not have enough momentum (then you just fall over).
  • Which brings me to my next point, since you can't really lean when your are in uphill turns you have to work the very outside edges of the trail with your front tire. This is why I run the biggest nastiest DH tire on the front (2.6 Maxxis Ardent.....they do not make this size anymore:-(
  • Communication is of paramount importance.
I am finally getting the faulty compression dampener replaced on my newer reba. The lockout has never really worked, and shutting down the flood gate to compensate just resulted in a sucking sound (I looked at the fork and was like, "you are doing it wrong")
Also have some new surprises that should arrive next week.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Sun also Shines

Well hump, although it is snowing right now, 24 hours ago it was 63 degrees and sunny. 48 hours ago it was sunny and 58 degrees.
What do these two events have in common?
There was a lot of bike riding to be had in that time period. To be real honest I have been getting sick of getting up at 05:30 to get a trot in every morning so I could get some exercise, and was stoked to have enough daylight and warm temps to actually ride in jersey.
Wed evening Ali and I went tandem cruising up towards Arlington on gravel.

This section of road off of 216 is one of my favorites. Lined with oaks and hedge for like a mile. Its like the old country.

Looking over the field where the first manned airplane flight in NE occurred way back in the day.

B-nasty got to frolic in the waning hours of sunlight.
Then Yesterday I got the text from Rafal alerting me that things were dry at Tranq.
Sweet action! lets go mountainous cycling.
All of the below pics are from Paul's (aptly named) marchgladness picasa album

Rafal leading us up the climb on the south side of the park.

I have to tip my hat to whomever laid out these trails, as they have used all the terrain and incorporated a lot to extended climbing and descending. I also loved the flow. One of the things that I noticed in KS was the lack of consistent flow in many of the trail systems, but this trail just let you rail through the corners and open it up on the descents. So much fun.

The first lap was some fun paceline riding watching the lines that others took. The 2nd lap consisted of giving chase to EB (who rode away from me on a ungodly monstrous SS gearing).
Word on the street is that every Monday there is a ride here! Its 12 miles from my house so I think if I ride straight from work I will have plenty of time to get there. There is also a bike shop right next door.
I am really looking forward to this spring!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sorry about the previous post

It was just too good not to share with the world.
Lots of good intentions went out the window this weekend, but some good deeds got done. Was planning the head down to the PCL soiree with Rafal, but the swampy roads meant that it was gonna be road endeavor. Please do not misinterpret this next statement.

I care little for road riding. Ok you can interpret that anyway you want.
So rather than kill a whole saturday I decided to stay close to home which worked out well. Friday night I got a call from a college friend that bought a house in west omaha so I spent sat morning moving him and his wife about 2 kilometers down the road. Good deed...done.

Saturday afternoon I went on a long ride.
Now some people gauge rides very differently. some rides are measured by the fun factor, fitness gained, watt output, the number of farm dogs that gave chase, etc, etc.
I tend to gauge rides by 2 things (which I will delve deeper into later this week)
  1. How long it takes me to acquire debilitating leg cramps (and it has nothing to do with my level of hydration).
  2. How much character is built during the ride.
After 5 hours of fear and loathing in the loess (pronounced 'Luss') hills I had garnered enough character to make a sandwich out of and some pretty screaming cramps too.
I tried to stick to paved county roads, but ended up on about 30 miles of wet nasty gravel and 50 on pavement when it was all said and done. Thankfully I limped home with the wind at my back.

I am not saying it was a dumb idea......


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Like the Jolly Roger

This past weekend saw the arrival of two ton Tanner and lil 'meener for the weekend. I actually went out of my way to take lots of pictures of our shenaigans, but accidentally reformatted my SD card in my work laptop (fail).
Tanner has been flexing his Solid Works muscles and took a jpeg version of the goat on our kits, and put it into SW, and then used the SW file to make CNC vinyl cut outs.

Like the Jolly Roger, but more badass.

He made frame sized decals and a full sized (4*6ish?) Very high quality. 3 cheers for two ton!

I did manage to salvage one image.....lil meener chilling with the primates.
Heading to Lincoln for some dirt road this weekend. Hitting the PCL on Saturday and then the Panama Enduro on Sunday. looks to be good times.
On the other end of the spectrum looks like I am going to be selling a bike.......namely the IRO that I "dirt road" to a DK 200 SS win in 2008. lemme know if you are interested.

It might not look like much, but its got it where it counts.
Slack angles
american classic hubs laced to Stans ZTR 355 with DT aerolite bladed spokes
Truvativ Carbon Roleur Cranks
Salsa Bell Lap bars (double wrapped)

Friday, March 5, 2010

big iron and diesel fuel

Contrary to some of your previous suppositions, that is all that matters.......

We got our new 6 row Kinze planter delivered.

It is a Hydraulic ground drive (meaning I do not have to fool with drive chains if I have to road the equipment somewhere) just raise it up and take off!

The other thing that we retrofitted was hyd. spin out motor. This way when we get to the end of the plot area and I still have seed left in the bins I can clean it out with the flip of a switch.

One of the nice things about the new Kinze equipment is that they have very user friendly monitor interface.

Just because I know my readership loves a little bit of tractor porn I will include some green paint for your viewing pleasure plus the the smallest cab tractor in the world (which ironically I am not heavy enough to operate......due to a faulty sensor in the seat).

Things are looking up! warmer weather has seen our temps get into the 40's.
Two ton Tanner and lil Meener are rollin into the 'Loo tonite. Its her al-ness's birfday and we are gonna get all kinds of crazy. Gonna go to the Zoo (to see John Wallers people) then some old town sauntering, dinner, and then I intend to make the sickest brunch on sunday......seriously if your in this time zone and you are not on Big Al's poop list (you hear me John Waller!) you should be there (shrimps and grits, banana mocha muffins, fruit salad, eggs Benedict, mimosa's, coffee.)
On the other food fronts I have recently been trying to get the roaring gap Macaroon perfected. Macaroons mean a lot of different things to different people (al thinks it is a coconut and chocolate abomination), but if you have ever been to jupiter island or roaring gap you would have had one of Chucks macaroons and you life will have been forever changed. These macaroons are mostly almond based.......still figuring out the details but I will get it right. stand by for awesomeness.