Saturday, January 19, 2019

2019 SMR 02

Sloppy today, lots of mud and puddles; but it wasn't cold and it wasn't windy.  The creeks were also full of running water and green bits everywhere.  January may be my favorite time of year on The Mountain (but ask me again next month).

I think my tires are going to be worn out just about the time of L'Eroica.  That should work out perfectly... new tires for my epic ride.  Got them aging in my garage right now, and plenty of glue in the tool box.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

2019 SMR 01

The news said today would be the good weather day in a string of bad weather days on either side.  That's pretty optimistic but it was totally true.  I was a little worried I should've brought warmer gloves but my fingers were only cold for the first half hour or so.

Got passed by a guy on an e-bike before Junction, he looked like e nheeded an e-bike, and it looked like he was really enjoying himself - I don't begrudge guys like that at all. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Make-Up Junction

I was pretty bummed out missing the first Saturday Morning Ride of 2019 due to weather.  Today I took the opportunity to sneak in an afternoon ride to Junction... thoroughly enjoyable, will look for future opportunities to repeat.

Get on the BIKE MIKE!

Mike... who used to have a Colnago and two lungs.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

2019 NYD Junction

It has been really windy the last few days.  MDSP has even posted high wind warnings on their Facebook page.  So I was pleasantly surprised to find it rather calm on my pre-ride dog walk.

My ambition of reaching the Summit by 0930 was quelled though when I got to The Gate and it was CLOSED!  Not sure what this meant, but I opted not to defy the sign.  JB came by and went right around, then another guy went around.  By 0815, I'd been waiting for almost 30 minutes, cars and bikes were getting impatient and somebody called the Ranger phone and was told it was just a mistake and the bikes could start up and someone would be there soon to open The Gate for the cars.

So it was a quiet ride but the wind was now vicious.  I had promised Diablo Wife I would be safe and I realized I couldn't keep that promise if I kept going.  So I resigned to quit at Junction.  I hung around for quite a while as riders trickled in, most of them having made the decision to quit there too.  Everyone was in a great mood and we all just enjoyed being around the kind of people who ride bikes on Diablo.

I got to meet the famous Joe Shami who is now at 550 consecutive weeks of riding to The Summit, and Linda Kwong, another Diablo celebrity.  

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 SMR 48

Started off cold, then got less cold.  Pretty quiet though, people must be saving their climbing legs for NYD.

Old tire with the Stan's Sealant held up well.  Since it was so quiet, I could really hear the sew-ups sing.

It's been really windy all week - but not so much today.  

Strava logs say I did 34 Summits in 2018... not sure why but that seems low.  A few sick days, a few bail-outs at Junction.  I think it should be in the 40's... but data are data.

Wildlife Encounter:  single deer just below Junction.

JB has noticed that guys with yellow booties are faster than us.  

Saturday, December 22, 2018

2018 SMR 47

Winter Solstice was yesterday.  Full moon was last night.  Good opportunity to ride The Mountain.
First - my latest creative endeavor - short and click-worthy.

Also, a jingle bell jingle for all my readers.

Me and JB started off with all our warmest gear, and gradually stripped it off as we got higher.  Interestingly, JB forgot a water bottle, and I had two but only went through one.

Wildlife Encounter:  single deer above The Bump

Seemed to be a pretty quiet day; not many other riders, but Strava logged 50 FlyBys.  Just a little windy at elevation... just about perfect.

Then on the way home, it happened... rear tire went flat outside The Gate near the horse ranch.  This is the pretty much used up tire that I punctured before and I patched with Stan's Sealant a couple weeks ago.  So I got a few more rides out of it - got my money's worth but didn't really get a good return on my labor - I'm putting a fresh tire on before next week.  Also, I am REALLY good at gluing on my tubulars.  I've always said the perfect glue job makes it damned hard to get off, but not damned near impossible.  This one's been on for a year I think, and it took some serious muscle to remove  Win.


Product Review: Stan's No Tubes Tire Sealant

I'm not a tubeless guy... maybe someday, but I just don't see it.  I do love having good tubulars on my vintage steel bike though.  Usually I'm happy if I can get a full life from a good sew-up before I get a flat.  Currently though, I've got a ~3-year old tire on the rear and it's almost down to the threads and I got a pin hole leak... didn't even notice any issue when I got home Saturday but it was flat before I put it away.  So I decided to try some of this sealant stuff that the tubeless guys all rave about.

After doing a little research, I decided on Stan's... work is it works well on latex tubes and tubular tires.  And it comes in little bottles that are supposed to be easy to use.  The tubeless guys put this stuff in to stop the flats as they happen, but I'm trying to fix a flat... I'm not sure how much difference that makes or if I'll use it in my tires before I get flats to prevent them.

I also got a little tool to remove the valve core, so $8.50 for the tool and $3.25 for the sealant.  Seems like not too risky of a gamble considering my tire's *almost* worn out anyway.  If I get another three bucks worth of use out of it I'll be happy and I will have learned a new skill for the future.

I put my wheel in the truing stand for this application.  The little valve tool was really easy to use - slip it on and screw it out.  The sealant bottle had instructions to shake vigorously and squirt it in while inverted.  It looks like milk... I know this because I spilled some... but didn't cry about it and it wiped up pretty easy.  I got almost all the goop in the tire.  Then I pumped it up to 100 psig and spun it around, imagining the milky substance to be seeking out the puncture.  Since the pinhole leak was so small, I didn't see any of the stuff squirting out of the puncture the way some of the other reviewers of this stuff have noted.

After 4-hours I decided the test was successful and used my second bottle on another tire I had been saving for a possible TireAlert re-tubing... that's a lot more expensive so only for tires that have a lot of life left in the tread.  I think this second tire was used about three years ago for one season.Second tire (Tire X) was also a success.  So for $7 (plus the tool) I got new life out of two tires.  

Here's how to think about the cost:  Divide the sealant cost by the cost of a new tire to determine how much value you're getting. Analysis - if a new tire is $80, a bottle of Stan's is $3.25, that represents 4% of the cost of replacement.  If you hope for 3,000 miles from a new tire, and you might get 120 miles out of the sealant-repair, you broke even.  That's a pretty good gamble; if it doesn't work, you only lost $3.25.  If you don't have at least 120 miles of tread left in your flat tubular, then it doesn't make sense.  120 miles is like three Saturday Morning Summits for me.  My advice - "give it a try".

Update:  both tires passed the overnight test also!  Stuff works. 
Update 2:  rear didn't hold.  Stuff works kinda.