Friday, December 15, 2006

Someone stole Jun's bike

They cut his lock and took all the pieces with them in approx a 15min window while I was at Longs on Mission.

  • 19" Green "Buzz" frame (Novara, but you can hardly see that with the "One Less Car" and "Velonerds" stickers on the downtubes and "Big Brother is Watching You" George W portrait sticker for a headbadge (BB serial number = F-44/0203/0116)
  • 700c Alex rims laced to Formula hubs with all black spokes and Avid mechanical disc brakes
  • Rockshox seatpost and SDG saddle
  • Salsa "short and shallow" drop bars with Ultegra STI levers and black wrap tape
  • XTR rear deraileur
  • TruVativ Elita cranks (48/36) with Shimano 636 SPD/platform pedals

Sunday, December 03, 2006

R.I.P. One Eyed Willy

My first mountain bike was a really heavy Raleigh Mirage - Reynolds 531 tubing helped, but it was an only LX 300 group set with Biopace chain rings (I still have them, you know they'll be worth a fortune one day!) and no suspension. This was back in the days when no bikes had suspension. It was purple all over; purple frame, bars, stem; the whole thing. Scott AT 4 bars with purple bar tape. It was affectionately called the purple people eater.
I rode it seriously off road one time in the Lake District, over 2500ft mountain passes, knee deep in snow, I carried that damn 40lb bike over every mountain pass; savoring the wheels spinning on the icy roads down, No panniers I used a backpack it was heavy and uncomfortable. I couldn't have been more miserable and happy at the same time. I didn't mountain bike again for around 6 years.

I rode it around town (Edinburgh/Manchester) a lot. A 20 mile round trip to my girlfriend's was a 4 times a week event and wresting for road space with the big double decker buses a constant nightmare, not to mention the idiot lemming pedestrians that seem to swarm into tourist towns like Edinburgh. I got the coolest Bell for mike bike. You could always tell when I was about to run you over. It had wobbly eyes like cookie monster that jiggled as you went over cobble stones and I loved it.

After making sure a friend had the best birthday he'd ever had, we poured out of the local pub only to notice that my bike (and my friend's bike) were both missing. We were too drunk to really grasp the entire situation, but the next day I realized what had happened, bummer. I got such a sweet deal on the insurance and bought my Diamond Back (I still use it today, well actually only the stem and cranks remain of that bike, the frame having long been warrantied for an aluminum one) the only thing I was really bummed about was I lost that cool bell. I used to wonder where it was and who was ringing it now. Was that my bell, whenever someone was about to run me over?

That was about 10 years ago. I'd been looking for a replacement bell as cool as my googley eyed monster ever since . Those big bird squeezy things are cool, even Gaggi's little dinosaur, but none as cool as my purple wobbly eye dude. Every bike store I went in I'd always check the bells, see what they had, if they rang loud enough and looked cool enough. None satisfied my high standards...

That was until 6 years ago. In an attempt to avoid Wheelwonks at all costs I had called every bike shop in my neighborhood (well there's two and one's Wheelwonks) looking for a star (spangled?) nut for my sweet new fork and they had one, So I blasted down to Park Sales & Service on Somerville Avenue. It's a small, more traditional Local bike Store, goodies stuck to each and every surface available, not too much of your high end goodies, but enough to get you back on the road for sure. Of course I checked out their (rather extensive for such a small shop) bicycle bell department and there it was! My Purple dude! my mojo (or one just like it, and that's good enough for me!) So I bought all they had. I got two purple dude's a yellow bee and a red tomato, all with googley eyes.

Another 6 years passed, and the bell's took some abuse. Red Tomato, on the Full Suspension Mongoose, took one for the team in Lynn Woods after a spectacular crash (over the bars) on the super slick rock that's there. He's now zip tied to my courier bag so that I still have him with me. Yellow Bee lived a short life zipping (buzzing?) around on my Merlin XLM. One crash at about the only race I ever really entered (apart from the 24 hr races) and he was gone, I thought I was racing, so I didn't even stop to see if anything was missing, sadly, Bee was. That leaves 2 purple dude's one on my commuter bike which is what's left of the original diamond back and a whole lot more new stuff (and a rigid fork and slick tires now). The other is on my Blur, my regular mountain bike which I ride all the time (1000 miles off road this year, baby!). He's taken quite the beating over the years and at first he lost a pupil to a cracked retina and then he lost his whole eye!


This morning I snapped off my one eyed willy. As with most spectacular accidents this one happened in the parking lot before we even set out for a ride. I've had him for pretty much as long as I can remember and it was always comforting to know he was there. When we came across people on the trail I'd reach for him instinctively. His ding-a-ling would let people know we were coming and perhaps get out of the way if we were climbing particularly well. The best thing about him was that he never dinged unless I wanted him to. He let out one last ding as my bike fell over and then he was laying prone on the ground, his one good eye looking up at me, never to ring-a-ding again.

R.I.P. good friend, I'll miss you.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Big Basin road(ish) ride

Jun and I kind of went on a road ride, we rode up to Big Basin and through the park on Gazos Creek trail and then down hwy 1 back into Santa Cruz.

It was 69 miles with about 6K ascent/descent. My first ever metric century.

The temperatures were very varied, it was especially cold in some of the valley descents but very pleasant riding along hwy 1.

We got a little lost over by lockheed looking for Little Basin Rd which shows on the syndicated google maps (like gmap-pedometer uses) but not on the official google maps. Either way it doesn't exist so we had to backtrack a little down Jamison Creek Rd and ride all the way back up around to big basin. At least the men in black didn't show up and there were no black helicopters (they must be invisible helicopters now).

When we got to the park there were 3 very, very lonely rangers there, all sat around the fire with no one to 'range'. While I was waiting for Jun, he was inside with his shoes off toasting his socks on the fire talking to the rangers. We rode down Gazos Creek trail which was a really nice fire road. We were both on our commuter bikes so this suited us just fine. We had our GPS' which we had loaded with track logs so we really only needed to follow the little dots on the screen.

The ride down hwy 1 was a lot longer than expected and even though we
were going south, which everyone knows is ALWAYS downhill, it wasn't as downhill as it's southerly direction indicated. At least there wasn't a headwind too. I only started bonking hard just after davenport with 4 miles to go, 2 fruit leathers and a cliff bar later and some water and I managed to trundle to the car and some slices at
pleasure pizza.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Race Face isis turbine lp cranks

So what's wrong with this picture....

Not content with laughing as Carlos' crank fell off on our last cursed ride I decided to one-up him and just snap the bloody thing off.

So there I was innocently Just Riding Along minding my own business up a slightly steep but not awful hill (on a trail which is to now be forever called 'poop chute' what an awesome name for a trail, thanks Nicole!). Blam-o it felt like my foot slipped out of my pedal but when I went to clip back in my foot felt a little heavier and my pedal wasn't where it was supposed to be (well I guess it was since I was still clipped into it).

Let's wait and see how Race Face are on this warranty issue, I've had bad luck with them in the past. They refused to warranty a next lp crank that broke in a similar fashion, although the carbon fibres held that to the crank arm, but they did give me a crash replacement on it. They also failed to warranty a XY seat post that snapped as well :(

I'll admit I kinda crank hard on them since I never use my granny gear, but that's likely not the cause and I can't even think of a time when I've bashed them good enough to do any damage.
I really hope they have spares, since none of their new cranks take 5 bolt rings.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

How long is yours?

I've been pondering ride lengths recently and what makes a ride an epic and what makes a ride a long ride. Here's the definitions I think I using right now
  • a spin - less than 10 miles - 1.5 hrs
  • a ride - more than 10 miles - 2 hrs
  • a medium ride - up to 20 miles - 2.5 hrs
  • a long ride - up to 30 miles - 3 hrs
  • an epic - over 30 miles - 4 hrs plus
What do you think of that definition? Some rides slip up and down a step depending on terrain so you can count on either the distances or time. As long as you're riding hard seems like the names hold up to me.

Monday, May 15, 2006

2006 24hoa results

The results are in, I think that's the quickest they've ever been in.

We came 9th in our category with 23 laps (we really should have gone out for one more, but it was nice to see it wouldn't have made a difference in the standings). Here's our lap times.

Carlos 1:01
Carlos 0:58
Alex 0:56
Alex 1:00
Jun 0:52
Jewel 1:11
Jewel 1:13
Steve 0:59
Steve 1:04
Jun 0:50
Carlos 0:56
Carlos 1:01
Alex 0:56
Alex 0:59
Jun 0:55
Jewel 1:23
Jewel 1:37
Steve 1:10
Steve 1:11
Jun 0:50
Carlos 0:52
Alex 0:58
Jun 0:52

Total Race Time: 23:54:39

Great work everyone!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

24 hours of adrenaline

I'm not going to post here every time there's a new post over on the Team Blog, but since we have so little content right now, you should go check it out to see what we did this weekend!

Team Velonerd represents at the 24 hours of adrenaline Laguna Seca!

Team Velonerd had a great 24hrs of Adrenaline at Laguna Seca, CA this weekend (Click on the team picture above for a gallery of photos). We tried a slightly new format with double laps for the first two rotations and then single laps after that. This gave us nice long breaks between laps and the ability to do our 2nd lap already warmed up. It didn't seem to affect our lap times adversely and I'm sure there'll be lively discussion on the team list about what we're going to do next time. I found the new format much better and had great double laps. My night time riding continues to not be affected by the lack of being able to see where I'm going (As Keanu said in 'Point Break' "Vision is highly over rated") and I turned in my fastest ever lap time on my first night lap. Riding up the fire road by the light from the full moon was awesome. My Dark..Ends light system didn't let me down after over 7 years of great service, although I was impressed with everyone else's HID ($$ CHA CHING $$) systems. Jun wins the fastest lap time with an amazing 50 minute lap! Steve kicked butt racing the whole race on his 29" singlespeed niner and Jewel put in steady laptimes the whole race through. We had a new team member this year and Carlos did great, from an awesome run, to I think his fastest team lap time on his 5th lap and he made brownies and cookies too, what team spirit!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Get Ready for Team Velo Nerd

Team Velo Nerd will be at the 2006 24hrs of Adrenaline at Laguna Seca.