Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fix It! 2

To test the disc cog, I bolted it on the Surly/Mavic 717 wheel and set everything up. I took the bike, now with front brake only, outside the garage and planned to give it a try. At first I couldn't get it started, because I was so much used to coasting. Once I figured it out I rode around the community a couple loops. The ride felt different but it was definitely interesting. I'm going to ride on the pavement a little more before venturing into the wildness.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fix It!

Ti, 17t, 19 g.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Weekend Mini Epic Ride

Schaeffer is open again. The trail was littered with leaves, twigs, branches, and down trees from the whole winter, but nonetheless it was dry and fast - if my leg power was up to the challenge. Anyway, Chris and I did 10 miles in Schaeffer, came out and then finished the HMC and BH. I wanted to add a little more miles so I did another loop in Schaeffer. In the end I logged in 37 miles total. A few points to be considered for the upcoming race:

1. I need a new saddle. The Fizik Arione looks great and weighs nothing, but 5 hours on that was definitely a form of punishment. I'll probably get another WTB Rocket.

2. The rear tire pressure was probably set too high (36 psi, non-tubeless). I was bounced left and right, fighting the roots all the time.

3. My palms started to feel uncomfortable. The gloves (Fox Sidewinder) didn't help much.

4. I need to get used to the BB7 brakes. At one point I pulled the lever but didn't get much braking power, pulled a little more and it almost threw me off the bike.

Ran into Mr. Natural's, Paul, Bones, and Squirrel girl.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

FC Social Aid and Pleasure Club

Just signed up for the Leesburg Bakers Dozen 13 hours race in a 2-man team. The FC Social Aid and Pleasure Club is in full swing now. There is a little less than a month time for me to get into shape so I can at least finish the race. Bye-bye fat, hello muscles :)
(photo credit: denisvtt)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Frederick Watershed

Well, it was a beautiful afternoon for riding and hiking in the shed, and Denis had a little bit flavors of both.

We did the same route as last Saturday. Half way down the Lawnmower I heard Denis calling. When I asked "are you OK?" the answer I got was "no". So I turned around and found Denis standing there, one hand on handlebar and one on frame, but the two pieces were no longer held together. It turned out, the Manitou fork steering tube snapped, sending Denis to the ground briefly. It looked like an EOTR (end of the ride) situation, but I still asked Denis if he packed a spare fork just to be sure. Anyway, we did some trailside emergency care - to the bike - so at least Denis can walk with the bike. Nicolas and I then rode on and finished the ride, while Denis enjoyed the walk in the spring woods, sunshine, breeze, birds singing, dogs barking, all those kinds of things.

ps, nobody broke a chain today.

pps, a rock jumped up and hugged the derailleur hanger on my Moment, warranted a side trip to Avalon Cycles in Germantown.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lake Delivered

A little package arrived today from Lake. Inside was a little two-pin BOA tool, a set of reel, a lace, and an instruction sheet. Opened up the loose reel using the BOA tool, I found the problem it had was obvious (see the picture ) - all four plastic lock pins were broken off. So I just replaced the outer dial, problem solved. It's simple solution with right kind of tool.

In my book, Lake's customer service has an A right next to its name. I think my next pair of Winter boots will be Lake as well.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Two More Clips From Yesterday

Punga flying through the rockgarden.
video
Punga drop.
video

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday @ Watershed

A little over 10 miles riding covered both north and south of Hamburg. We stopped frequently to play on TTF. Video and camera shots were taken to document the fun. Great ride!

Does this look familiar to any of you guys? :) Well, the fault might be at the XTR rear derailleur. The B-screw was misaligned and didn't push against the hanger, thus no tension was put on the upper pivot spring, so the upper pulley got too close to the big cogs.

A short video for today.
video

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shed/Gambrill Weekday Ride

We started from the Hamburg lot as usual, heading down south to Gambrill. The weather was nice with temperature at upper 50s. I felt the pace was quicker especially after we arrived at Gambrill. Mark and Jack was pressing ahead strong. I managed to drag myself along and stayed with the crew. Soon we got down to the lower lot via the trail by the tea room. From there, it was a big climb up. After cleared the step-up by the tree towards the end of the climb, I was exhausted and my legs refused to pedal hard. On the way back, I hanged on in the back, stopped a few times to take video/photo shots of the guys riding TTF.

On the last climb in Gambrill to the cell tower, I was feeling tired and really pushing myself to keep pedaling. Interestingly my legs were never cramped. Back to the parking lot, 13+ miles were logged in and I actually liked the ride, though the second half was in a way suffering.

Mark playing on TTF.
video

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lake Winter Boots BOA

My Lake MXZ301 boots served me well for nearly two seasons. During the Greenbrier ride last Sunday, the BOA lace on the right shoe got loose and wouldn't lock. I got Lake's US distributor's number off its website today and called the customer service. The lady over the phone was very nice and helpful. She claimed the issue might be corrected by a simple repair using a special tool. She took my information and said she would send me the tool and instruction for the repair. That was probably the best solution I had expected. So here I'm waiting patiently.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Greenbrier

Greenbrier has mostly double trails with maps at intersections. Some long climbs and some nice descent. A few sections are rocky but less technical comparing to Gambrill. XC bikes are more appropriate here than long travel bikes. It is doable on a full rigid singlespeed.


Local weather station

Greenbrier 3/9/08 Recap

Other than very few spots at lower sections, the trails were perfect after the storm yesterday. Brian, Denis, Marty and I, the four of us covered ~10 miles of trails in about two and half hours. There were still a lot leaves on the ground, which made climb the yellow and gray more interesting/frustrating.

A few moments were captured on my camera - Marty washed his feet at the beginning of the ride; Brian played on a couple big logs. All in all it was a great ride. By the way, Denis broke his chain...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hamburg Road Parking Lot - Frederick Watershed

Frederick Watershed

A little bit Hamburg south, a glimpse on the VW, and back to the parking lot, take right trail down Hamburg north, through the Tim's trail (or Enchanted Forest), speed down Fishing Creek Road, climb up Blue trail, down Crystal Clear...


Local weather station

Frederick Watershed and Gambrill Yellow

Hamburg South to Gambrill cell tower, follow the yellow loop, back to the Shed via cell tower, take lawnmower down, through the rock garden, ride by the pond, and back to the parking lot.


Local weather station

Schaeffer/HMC/BH Mini Epic

11 miles loop in Schaeffer, 5 miles loop in Black Hill, and 14 miles out and back on Hoyles Mill Connector. Solid 30 miles and 3+ hours riding.


Local weather station

Patapsco

Fast and smooth single track with some roots, stream crossing, and short climbing. Word is the trails get pretty soupy after rain.

Montgomery County Loop

Schaeffer Farm, Hoyles Mill Connector, Black Hill Regional Park, Little Bennett Regional Park, Damascus Recreational Park, Lower Magruder Branch Park, Great Seneca Park (Seneca Greenway), Seneca Creek State Park (Clopper Lake). 40+ miles, mostly on natural surface single or double trails. Some climbing in Little Bennett.

Race Face Outboard Bearing Swap

Enduro Bottom Bracket Bearing Replacing Tool
1. Bearing Guide; 2. Collet; 3. Collet Expander; 4. Cup Holder; 5. Support; 6. 8mm Bolt.

Step-by-step

Pop in the collet


Push the collet expander all the way in


Place into the cup holder


Thread on the 8mm bolt.


Tight the bolt until the bearing pops out.


Unthread the bolt to remove the bearing cup.


Clean the cup.


The $12/pair Enduro bearings.


Put the bearing guide into the cup holder, the right side facing up.


Put in the bearing, which should fit nicely.


Place the bearing cup on top.


And the support.


Thread on the 8mm bolt. Tight the bolt until the bearing is fully seated.


Cup with new bearing.


And a good tightly-fit seal.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday in the Watershed

We started from Sandflats (thanks for the link, Chris) and headed towards the Salamander Rock. The trail was sloppy so we had to bail at the stone house. We took the road back to the Sandflats and continued heading southeast on the trail. We lost Brian at Sandflats and soon Jim.

This side the trail condition was much better. We went down the Crystal Clear (and encountered someone who accused us not giving her the uphill right of way - as we were all standing still and let her pass). Anyway, we then crossed the road, skipped the FR trail, and tried to climb up to Hamburg via the waterbar-infested trail. But somehow we missed a turn and ended up on the Fishing Creek road (guess who was the navigator - that's why I don't want to lead LB night ride). When we got up to the Hamburg lot, we saw over two dozen cars, but the bikers probably all went south, I mean the trails south of Hamburg.

video

We then rode down the left side trail to the enchanted forest. Chris rolled down the rocky drop on his Turner like walking in the park.

The rest of the ride was pretty much eventless. We took Fishing Creek up and blue trail to Sandflats. Aaron was pushing strong on his full rigid 29er, leaving us panting and dragging behind.

video

14 miles of great ride!