Tag Archives: single speed

Fail Moab

16 Nov

I missed Fail Moab Fall Moab this year for no good reason.  I so wanted to get back to the desert and ride with the team but I’m old, kids are busy, dug, Rick and Rick bailed.  Not to mention a Chicrosscup double header weekend for crying out loud. Wait, those are all good reasons.

Oh, and the debut of the CR skinsuit, front row!

Day 1 was awesome because the family came out to heckle and take pictures.  Kendra captured my favorite moment of the entire series – Cassidy running along side me heckling, “You suck, is that how you ride a bike? Can’t you pass me?”  The daughter heckle rules!

Day 2 was awesome because I finally got to zip on a superhero suit, I left it on all day – ask Tasha.  Thanks for the pic Duane!

Maybe it was the new superhero suit, maybe not.  All I know is I was riding out of my head, hanging with dudes I have no right to be hanging with. Finished 6th on the day, tying my best finish at a Chicrosscup.

Zero Carbon Footprint

21 Oct

Not a single strand of carbon fiber.  If  Jon at Sabrosa or Tony at Pereira were mass producing bikes in Taiwan I imagine they’d look something like the All-City Nature Boy.

Internal cable routing, integrated seat post collar and sexy drop-outs will now be mandatory features on all my future bikes.  The lugged fork  and head tube badge are unexpected bonus details.

 

You get a lot of cool stuff for about as much coin as a fancy carbon crankset.  And, most importantly, I find myself looking for any excuse to take it out for a ride.

The only niggle to all the swag: it’s heavy.  I don’t really want to know how much it weighs.  Admittedly, I only notice the weight when hefting it up and down 3 flights of stairs every time I go for a ride, which, seems like several times a day now.

Available at your NBS (Neighborhood Bike Shop) in my case, the awesome crew at Roscoe Village Bicycles.

No More Magic

13 Oct

The magic ratio worked well for 3 races.  Even starting with new hardware, by race #4 the chain started falling off .  The magic ratio is supposed to let you run a single speed on a bike with vertical dropouts and no tensioning device.  It works. Briefly.  Here’s my temporary solution for last weekends race:


While it worked OK, it’s ugly, really ugly.  I don’t do ugly, it must go.

New solution:

Zero magic and 100% purty!

Chicago Cyclocross Cup #9 and 10

16 Nov

Mondays are hard enough by themselves but following a weekend of cyclocross in Chicago makes them almost unbearable.  A weekend of CX is like a caffeinated sugar infused adrenalin rush that can’t possible be sustained, poor Monday doesn’t stand a chance.

I don’t know how they do it but it every weekend Chicrosscup is more fun and crazy than the week before.  People are lining up for the rush, just between the 4A’s and 4B’s there were 200 racers!

Speaking of lining up, spectating at CX never disappoints.  Supergirl via Velogrrl:

After having my absolute worst result of the year last week (16th) on the geared bike I was hell-bent on kicking some ass Saturday at day 1 of a 2 day weekend of cross racing.

I did everything right during the week; nutrition was in check, rest days observed, sleep was priority #1.   I lived and breathed my training to a “T” (what does “T” mean anyway?) There was no stopping me.  I lined up Saturday knowing I was going to get a top 5 for sure.  Tasha and girls even came out to cheer me on, nothing motivates like family hootin’ and hollerin’ for you.

The conditions for a stellar race couldn’t have been better, yet, I sucked worse than I could have imagined. I got 23rd which, barring a Leadville placing, may be the worst placing I’ve ever had.  I seriously thought about bailing on the rest of the series.

But I don’t always listen to reason which was shouting at me to “rest, take a race off, a week off.  It’s been a long season Mr. B, You should be sucking.”  I lined up and did it again on Sunday but brought the single speed.  Same course, same competition, same, same everything but the bike.  Oh, and zero expectations.

It’s good to be home, moved from 23rd the day before up to 13th even with a flat tire on the last lap.  Results so far:

7th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 11th, 8th, 16th, 23rd, 13th (bold italics for geared races)

I’m all over the place on the geared bike, I know it’s only 3 races (I actually did 5 races with gears 2 of which were “B” races on the same day and placing in the high teens ) but I’m throwing out the geared bike in favor of the SS.  The consistency of results with the SS would be reason alone but the #1 reason I’m staying with the single speed, It’s more fun.

Gears Are Stupid

11 Nov

Or maybe I’m just stupid.  After extolling the virtues of gears last week I had my worst race of the year Sunday on the geared bike completely negating my positive experience with gears the previous week.  This supports my original hypothesis that it just doesn’t matter, you’ll do how you do based on your ability and fitness and not on your bike.  I mean, I already knew this from mountain biking having equal if not better results on a SS. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, gears might make a difference in cyclocross.  Nope.

I was kinda pissed about it too.  After pre-riding the course at Woodstock I was sure I would clean up.  It was very mountain bikey with lots of dirt and climbs and rough sections, for sure I was going to be at an advantage.  Ended up 16th with nothing left over for the 30+ race that I had signed up for.  I whimpered away with my tail between my legs.

Was it the gears?  Am I not training hard enough?  Am I training too hard?  No warm-up?  Too many encased meat products consumed?  I can go on.

I’m not throwing in the towel just yet on gears, I’ll give them 1 more chance. This weekend is double cross weekend at Chicago Cyclocross Cup and I plan on riding the geared bike for both days.   Of course if I really stink it up on Saturday I’ll have no problem turning my back on the geared bike on Sunday, maybe forever.

7th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 11th, 8th, 16th (italics for geared races)

Single Speeds Are Stupid

2 Nov

I could be jumping to conclusions here but after 7 consecutive cross races this season on my SS and just 2 races with gears (both yesterday) I’ve decided that single speeds are stupid.  To be more specific, single speeds are stupid for cyclocross.

On the SS just when you get wound up to speed you lose it all in a tight corner, chicanes or an uphill.  A constant battle of winding up to only be unwound again moments later.  The thing is, I had no idea this is what was happening until I jumped on a geared bike.

It was a revelation.  I didn’t feel like I was battling the bike, the bike felt great, I felt great.  Traction was better not having to stand and mash on the pedals constantly.  I could stay seated through the slow stuff keeping the rear tire digging. I had my 2nd best finish of the year, moving up a few spots from the last couple races.

In keeping my geared experiment as scientific as possible here are the results so far:

7th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 11th, 8th (italics for geared races)

I realize its only one race into my experiment but I’m sold. To all you SS’ers out there, join the hoi polloi and give it a go.

I Got In, Did You?

29 Jan

No, silly, not Leadville but the Single Speed World Championships in Durango in September.

img_2304

Never been to Durango nor to the SSWC but it looks like a lot of fun.  A very special thanks to Kendra (my 13 year old) for the winning artwork.

Just In Time For Halloween

22 Oct

A brand new orange Jabberwocky.

I’m thinking it needs a white stem, seatpost, cranks, wheels and fork.

It’s Just what my therapist ordered. I can’t wait to bash it at Fall Moab.

Thanks, Misty, Chris, James and crew at Vassago! You guys rock.

White Rim In One Day

15 Apr

I never tire of this ride. It’s always a blast and it always hurts. I think I’ve done it a couple times a year for the last 10 years or so.

Recently, as in the last few weeks, I’ve become obsessed with how fast I could do the whole loop in one day. Chris Plesko just posted a 7:59 which seems really fast to me so that’s gonna be my benchmark.

I don’t care about any rim to rim times.  I’m only interested with the time to complete the entire loop. I’ve heard talk in the past about fast times only to then hear it was rim to rim and not the whole loop. If you’ve got a fast time I want to hear about it.

While I’m doing the loop this month I won’t be time trialing but just having a good time as part of the annual RAWROD event. Of course, there will be competitions like who can ride Murphy’s, Hard Scrabble and Horse Thief without dabbing and who can eat the most brats the night before.

I’m pretty sure whoever wins the brat contest won’t be a contender for the other contests. I could be wrong.

So, how fast has the White Rim been done and in which direction?

69’d Dork Bike Review

8 Mar

I got out for 2.5 hours on the newly 69’d dork bike this morning. I rode to and from corner canyon which is about an hours worth of pavement and got in a about an hour and a half of dirt and mud and snow. Enough ride time and varied conditions to notice a few things.

Backing up a little; I have been riding the dork bike with a Surly 1×1 fork with a 26 inch wheel which made for a really steep front end. I got used to it and it never bothered me. After switching out the stock 1×1 fork for the custom 1×1 and the 29 inch wheel the front end now sits noticeably higher but I think the geometry is right where it would be if I had a suspension fork. It felt a little weird at first but by the end of the ride I didn’t notice the higher front end too much.

The climb up corner canyon hurt. I’m not sure if it was the hard gear I was pushing or the 69’d dork bike or that my legs are fatigued after multiple days in a row on the bike but I suffered. During the climb I blamed the big front wheel. So, I need more climbing time before I can say if it’s a climb worthy setup. Initial reaction is that it’s not ideal.

dsc02035-1.jpg

BTW, you can ride the corner canyon road all the way to the big switch backs near the top. I ended up doing it twice for good measure.

Pointing the dork bike downhill was a totally different story. It rolled downhill faster than anything I’ve been on in recent memory. I was shocked at how fast and smooth the bike felt on the downhill. It didn’t matter which line I picked or what I rolled over, the bike motored. However, it’s been a while since I’ve ridden my dedicated 29er WaltWorks so it could just be the big wheel out front that I’m not used to. Either way, I loved downhilling on it.

I just need to tweak the angle of the seat a bit and maybe flip the stem over to help compensate for the higher front end, that may make the difference on the climbs. If those tweaks help on the climbs this just may be the perfect setup. I’m excited to race it next month at the Cholla Challenge.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.