Thursday, August 26, 2010

FML

Tuesday, about mile 16 I blew up. Not just bonked, I was weeping by the side of the trail. Feverish, sore, couldn't breathe. Doctor had my chest X-Rayed to see if I collapsed a lung. At the X-Ray place they asked me if I had any injuries or any trauma. I said "nope". They asked what happened, I said "The Doc said I was just 'Goin too hard'.

Now my wife won't let me live that down. She is calling me GTH at this point.

I wonder, is this included in the till death do us part bit? Cause I don't remember subscribing to spousal nicknames, the ones my buddies give me are enough - now I gotta come home to one too?

FML (F*** My Lung)

**** Chest XRays are normal! YAY. What's next, you may ask? Well, I'm gonna go to Rocky Hill Ranch in Smithville and try to pop a lung! Something like 900 feet of climbing a lap outta do it :)*******

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can you please stop the itching? How about deadly sweeper collisions?

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 nadia.barera@ci.austin.tx.us by midnight Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tubless. IMO

Opinions are like aholes - everyone has one. Here's mine. Why post it you ask? Cause I have awesome multimedia accouterment including a new life form. Click on the pics for larger versions in all their glory (or horror).

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.

Here are some things you may not know about them.

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.
The big hint (read this bit) to bead is the get the tire evenly centered between the rim edges, forming an "as tight as you can make it" seal between the narrowest part of the rim (red arrows) and the bead of the tire (green arrows). Following this super accurate image, you'd want to try to make the green and red arrows touch ALL THE WAY AROUND THE RIM The easiest way I've found is to hold the wheel by the hub or spokes and gently manipulate the tire with your other hand. I've had the greatest success beading a tire by keeping it suspended vertically. This will allow the compressed air to expand the tire in all directions all at once with minimal air escaping.

FYI - the mental block I have with this technique is that if you already have one side beaded (you're patching a sidewall or adding more Stans due to evaporation) you have to un-bead it. It seems like 2 steps back, but it is necessary. Also, a pertinent note is that once you've done this, the second, third, etc time become easier and easier. And, if you are careful when un-beading to not damage the Stan's Schmeg on the bead itself you may have great luck just re-beading with a pump.

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

Trail FU

http://www.trailfu.com/default.aspx

Maps and such whatnots. There is an iPhone app too.

FLASHBACK - WARNING


To quote our own dear Johnny boy.

"This photo was in a magazine in Europe in the early 90’s talking about the Texas BMX scene and how it was exploding. Man, now that I look at it, that was like 12 feet of air, no helmet or anything….."

Bigotry Detection Accessory

Just got this for the Ibis. It's gonna piss any bigots off when I fly by them riding it and I'm hoping will cause them to face-plow a sticker bush.

Rant - etiquette or I KEEEL you!

I don't mind one bit people going backwards on the trail or going slowly as long as they follow etiquette. It exists for safety not for propriety's sake. I'm not talking about using the correct fork for your farkin salad, I'm talking about NOT spearing my kneecap with your QR skewer.

Calls:
RIDER BACK - If you're being overtaken this call is to the people in front of you. If you're overtaking someone, this is notice they'll need to break off trail

RIDER UP - This call is back to your group notifying them about an oncoming rider. If you see oncoming that doesn't see you, this is your call

ON YOUR LEFT/RIGHT - The faster rider's call, so those you are overtaking know which side you're gonna pass on.

# BACK or CLEAR BACK - Call to oncoming riders informing them if you're solo or if not, how many are behind you. Don't count yourself, dork, he knows you're there...

Examples:

  1. 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!"
  2. 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"
  3. When you're being overtaken by a faster rider break right UNLESS he calls "ON YOUR RIGHT", then break left.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Night Ride Thursday?

Looks like 11pm Thursday, looking towards Pflug will be quite a show but Friday night will be ~50% as awesome. Any takers?



http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/99304684.html