Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
If you have any constructive comments/concerns about sections of the trails you ride regularly go ahead and email Nadia. Hopefully she'll send out the poison oak patrol. Maybe they can cut some of the vegetation down in the sweepers at Walnut so you can see oncoming traffic before you're kissing a stranger...
“The City of Austin Public Works Department, Neighborhood Connectivity Division would like your input on specific urban trails and/or trail segments that need maintenance. With Urban Trails under our division, PW management is investigating support the department could provide, during the slower winter road maintanance period, in urban trail maintenance. This could be, but is not limited to, issues with the surface condition/erosion, vegetation overgrowth, limb trimming, trash/debris removal, sight distance and American Disability Act concerns.
The scope of your comments should be limited to trails which serve both a transportation and recreational function.”
E-mail your concerns to Nadia Barrera at firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight Wednesday, Aug. 25.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Tubeless systems are pretty commonplace now. You don't need UST rims or special tires. You can just get a special rim strip with a valve included from Stans.
Tubeless is great cause you can run lower tire pressure without fear of pinch flats. It is potentially a little lighter than a tube system (unless you're running those really light conti tubes) and the goo totally fills up small holes and tears.
The "Burp". If you are running a lower tire pressure, (which is the best reason for this system), you can actually pop the tire off the bead if you do a fancy maneuver that puts a lot of pressure on the tire perpendicular to normal travel. This is the "Burp". It's usually cool because the tire re-beads almost immediately and you only loose a tiny bit of pressure. It can be decidedly uncool if you Burp in a technical section and that new lower pressure causes you to loose some traction or flip or tank your rim. This past weekend I Burped on a ledgy downhill in the Greenbelt. The result was a graceful endo and a big missing chunk of skin from my finger. Gross.
Stan's Stalagmites. This is a rare occurrence but does happen. The Stan's will become it's own sentient organism and party hard in your tire until you set it free. This is pretty fun and it's good practice for being a dad, but at speed that 3 oz critter plastered against the inside of your tire makes it feel like you've been drinking...
The phenomena wherein impermeable substances become permeable and then, inexplicably, become impermeable again. OK - not really but this Stan's stuff is pretty volatile and subject to an almost unbelievable level of evaporation - it'll evaporate inside your tire (!!). Every few months you'll need to reapply the 2 cups of goo. Where did it go? Lookie here, Stans Schmeg...
Beading a tire without an air-compressor. This is the sux part of this system. You must have some way to quickly put air into the tire. Bike shops are all set with their compressors, but regular schmucks like me have to blow 3 bucks a pop on threaded CO2 cartridges? Nope - get a superflate or something similar that uses the Crossman 12oz bbgun cartrigeds. .50 a pop, and if you have the right device you can bead 2 tires with one.
These may seem like a real P.I.T.A. but seriously, I've only put air in my tires for the last 3 months. A little endo and a strange little boogerish friend are a pretty fine trade for all the tubes I haven't bought or changed...
Friday, August 20, 2010
- When your riding a backwards lap or you're new - scan ahead as far as you can. If you can't see around a sweeper or something, call out "RIDER!"
- When you pass someone going the opposite direction:
*Break RIGHT, just like a car
*Call back to the other riders in your group "RIDER UP!"
*Tell the oncoming rider how many you have back. E.G. - "3 back or clear back"
- When you're being overtaken by a faster rider break right UNLESS he calls "ON YOUR RIGHT", then break left.
- When you're overtaking someone, first and foremost, don't be a douchebag. Overtaking riders tend to be viewed as dicks anyway, so be extra-cognizant of this fact and be super-cool. Call out "RIDER BACK!" early enough so the slower rider has time to break. If you want the right side call it. If you can tell the person is a novice (plastic pedals, shiny new bike, helmet tipped back, seat too low, white knuckles on the flats, no bike shorts) be extra-super-duper-cool. They are probably a bit scared so you MUST call your side - "RIDER BACK, ON YOUR LEFT". As you pass, thank them and tell them to have a great ride.
- If you pass someone who is broken down (flat,etc.) ask them "You have what you need?". 99% of the time, they'll say yes and you've just earned 1 karma point. If they say no, and you end up fixing a flat for some dude, you'll earn like 50 karma points. I always ask, and I've yet to have to fix someone's flat.
- At some point, if you're overtaking and the guy won't move (stubborn, iPod turned up to eleven, jerk) you'll have to pounce. You'll be annoyed but keep that to yourself. He obviously has enough social problems as it is, and your righteous indignation isn't gonna do anything but f'up your heart rate.