Wednesday, November 25, 2009

VDO MC1.0 Wired Bike Computer

I've had my VDO MC 1.0 for over a year now and I can without reservation heartily recommend it. It has worked flawlessly throughout the year. I'm still on my original battery and it's worked through rain and shine.

I got the wired 1.0 rather than the wireless 1.0+ because of the horrible experience I had with the sigma wireless. This wired unit turns on right away when the wheel turns and I don't think I've missed a single mile the whole time I've had it.

I like that it always shows the temperature, I wished it always showed the clock too, but it's not hard to get to the clock anyway. The altimeter seems to work great, agreeing with the total ascent on several of the large rides I've been on and also being consistent from day to day. The buttons to get to and set functions are very intuitive and I find it really easy to use. I like that the mount has the ability to mount on the stem or the bars and spare mounts are cheap (I have three). Be careful when ordering a mount, if you want a stem mounted one you have to make sure to get that spare mount. They also sell a spare mount that only mounts on the bars. Sadly the only place online I found that sold them was pretty lax about shipping all the parts when I ordered a mount.

Even though I love it, there are of course a few things I would change. First of all, I'd add a backlight, it's a glaring omission in a computer of this price and I miss it on my night rides (I ride with bar mounted lights). I would also change the odometer menu so that it went clock, odo1, odo2, navigator, because I never use the navigator, but if you want, make the navigator come after clock, not before it. The numbers are pretty small, like I said I'd like to show the time all the time, but once you get used to the font and the display reading the numbers isn't that hard, even on a bumpy mountain bike trail. I'm also a bit bummed that I can set the odometer readings but I can't set the total altitude settings for each bike (It has settings for 2 bikes). I've run this over the altimeter counter's max twice now, when it goes over 200,000ft it ends up showing 10's of feet so it will display 250.34 when it means 250,340ft. hitting the all reset button on the back and programming in your wheel sizes, time, home altitude and odometer settings gets you back up and running. It's bit of an inconvenience but you only have to do it once or twice a year if you care.

The sensor wasn't quite large enough to mount on the disk side of my mtb fork, and the magnet that came with it was kind of lame, luckily I had an old sigma one left around to use :)

Cambria is currently selling the VDO MC 1.0  for $100, if it was a bit cheaper I'd buy another one just so I have a spare. Or you could get it direct from the manufacturer for the same price.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Trail Maintenance Tools

Winter storms leave lots of detritus on the trails. Here's something you could easily carry along in your camelbak to quikly open up any trails that have small to medium trees blocking them. I like to only clear out trees that stop cyclists riding through the trail. If the log is low just pile more logs next to it to make a nice trail feature. If it's high enough to duck under and keep riding then why not leave it there for extra trail riding fun.

Obviously I would never advise cutting down tress or doing any trail maintenance where that is not allowed.

Corona 10 inch folding saw. I've been carrying a Corona saw around on the trails for years now. This latest one is the best by far. The 10" length lets me cut through some sizable trees and the curved blade really cuts through the wood efficiently.

When the log is too big for that saw above, or too many cuts would be required to affect the ride too much, I usually just end up leaving it, usually within a week, someone with more fortitude has come along and fixed things. Occasionally a log remains on a favorite lesser used trail for longer and then it's up to you to fix it. That's where a sawzall comes in handy. I've found this battery powered ryobi unit fits perfectly in a camelbak hawg with two batteries and an obscenely long blade. I put in some cardboard too so that there weren't any lumps sticking into my back, it works surprisingly well. Here's a picture gallery of how it al fits in.

These are the blades I want to have, super long and come in a 5 pack for a pretty reasonable sum.

These are the blades I have. They work well and they also have The Ugly written on them.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Social Ineptitude?

Ruh Roh, perhaps we should have been the Velo Geeks instead?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

3" PVC pipe makes a great bottle holder drink a lot of water after a ride and my car doesn't have enough cup holders for them all. I've been keeping my bottles in the pocket behind the drivers seat but they fall over and end up dripping back there and it's a mess. I got 1ft of 3" PVC pipe and cut it into three 4" sections and hot glued them together, this stuck into the seat pocket holds water bottles perfectly. There's more pictures of this in the gallery. Also check out my Camelbak opener.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Second Ever: Santa Cruz Off-Road Metric Century second ever Santa Cruz Off-Road Metric Century was a huge success! Nicole, Alex, Bob and Dave started off around 8:10AM and 10 miles later we had already spit Nicole out of the back. She broke her 7 year old frame with a clean break on the seat tube. Luckily it had a lifetime warranty, sadly the new front triangle they're putting on will need a new shock :(
The rest of the ride was frickin' sweet. crashed on the trail that everyone seems to crash on. Bob's been on some night rides with us in the past and ridden Cream Puff and Leadville 100 and all sorts of stuff so this ride was cake for him. He was patient waiting for me on some of the climbs and as I walked up the fire road towards twin oaks. It's worth noting that after the crash he kept on riding and didn't cry or anything! Great to have you with us Bob! Jun had just crashed on the same trail 2 days before and so was unable to do the ride with us. Quite a few others were also unable to come because they were off being awesome at the Downieville Classic.

We lost David in Wilder but found him again when we headed out for loop 3 and in a heroic effort he turned around and came with us to ride over to Bear Mountain. the end by 9PM we did 72 miles and almost 10,000ft climbing. That's over 115Km for those keeping count which means, again, we got 15% extra free on our Metric Century! Having Jun and Char's as a base was as awesome as last year and they were great hosts with a nice spread of food and beer and sausages afterwords! Erin met us after an awesome hike and showed off her impressive blister (should'a ridden bikes!).

A highlight for me was bumping into Karen on one of the back trails at 5:30PM around mile 55, she yelled at us, "I thought you only rode at 7:40AM", I yelled back, "I've been riding SINCE 7:40AM!"

After the ride we all hung out, ate BBQ and since Jun and Char were moving, they had a lot of junk to get rid of, so that instantly became our traditional post ride raffle!

More pictures in the Photo Gallery.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Camelbak opening tool

I've had a tough time opening my camelbak ever since I got a new one with a supposedly easier to open bladder. I tried putting mineral oil on the threads and that helped for about a week. Today I finally solved the problem. I present to you the camelbak opening doohicky.

It's just two screws in a piece of 2x1. Works awesome!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Boggs IV

The Velonerds were at Boggs IV this year and had a blast.

Bob, Nicole and I all drove up and had a great day's racing. Nicole came in 1st in women's Sport and says this is the last time she's racing sport, she's moving up to expert for the next race! Bob came in 5th in EXPERT (only 5 mins from the podium)! kicking ass and breaking 3 bones in his back in the process. I still had flu but didn't come in dfl. Jessica, Dan and Birdsong were also there ripping it up and lots of our friends from Sac. and around.

Bob's back? I hear you ask!? Here's how he describes it:
I hit a tree or two after overcooking a downhill turn just after cresting the last climb. I only had about 2 miles of downhill & rolling trails to finish my last lap. I was so jacked up on adrenaline, endorphins and my final bottle full of flat Pepsi that I had no idea what was going on. I'll go see a doc around here this week to see how soon I can get back on the bike. I would really like to hold onto my fitness.

Here's the list of injuries
  • 3 fractured spinal transverse processes (bones that come of of the vertebrae) When my muscles contracted hard to protect other parts they ended up fracturing the bone.
  • Sprained and bruised shoulder - rotator cuff
  • Rib contusion
  • Chest contusion with pulmonary contusion
  • Bruised ego

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2009 Races/Rides

Here's some of the races we're planning on attending this year. Make sure to look out for us in our shirts and ties with propellers on our helmets!

Sat March 28th 2009
Boggs 8 hr (registration is full)
Sat May 2nd 2009
Coolest 8/24
Sat May 16th 2009
100 miles around lake Sonoma
Sat June 6th 2009
24 hours of adrenaline (we're not racing this one)
Sat June 20th 2009
Coolest II Boggs 8/24
Sat July 25th
Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge (WARNING: ROAD RIDE)
Sat Oct 3rd 2009
Whiskeytown 9 to 5, Whiskeytown Lake

Other races that aren't scheduled yet:
The Santa Cruz Off-Road Metric Century (April,July?)

Other races we might do (mostly TeamBigFoot):
12 Hours of Weaverville, Weaverville
12 Hours of Humboldt, Arcata
Clikapudi Six to Midnight, Shasta Lake
24 Hours of Whiskeytown , Whiskeytown Lake