Saturday, October 25, 2008

Another Quickie JuncRun

School fundraiser this morning so no time for any adders.

Other than commuting this week, haven't ridden since Foxy's. The Quantum Pro had quite a few shifting problems there and today it was even worse. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what's going on. The chain skips and tries to change gears with annoying frequency and especially under high torque (sprints, climbing). It happens less in the big ring and at the outside edges of the cassette but today I could scarcely keep it in any gear anywhere. Putting on a new chain and cassette a month ago didn't seem to help at all and I have futzed with the cable adjusters to no success either. So while I'm hobbling up the mountain I come up with another couple possibilities I could check out when I get home - my new chain might be a link too long (doubtful but I'm desperate) or my B-screw might let me get my jockey pulley a little closer to the cogs; the other options were a crack in the derailleur, bent axle, or tweaked alignment on the hanger.

So I caressed the crippled cruiser to the cross-roads and cursed. Time to get serious about this issue.

Could have kicked some poser booty on the Dips but I was afraid I'd pass him and then have to slow down again with a chain problem so I held back.

Back at home I set up the workstand and inspected all the suspect bits and played with the B-screw but I wasn't finding the AHA problem. Until I noticed a slight chainskip that looked at first like a stiff link but upon closer investigation turned out to be a chain pin that was sticking out. That was the first thing that made me think I might have it - the pin would be causing the pickup ramps on the smaller cogwheel to snag and initiate an upshift.
So I pushed it in and the chain works well at least in the workstand but those Shimano chains are kind of fragile in the plate holes so I hope it all stays together, otherwise this'll be a short-lived chain.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Foxy's Fall Century 2008

OK today started out kind of scary. Dear wife has been sick with strep all week but I have avoided being infected... until yesterday when I started to get that pre-sick feeling; chills, headaches, scratchy throat, you know. I absolutely willed myself not to succomb and this morning I got up at 4am to prepare. I was a little achy but not nearly bad enough to cancel the ride. I figured worst case I could do the 100km route and suffer through it. Dropped some vitamins and ibuprofen and electrolites and started to feel not too bad.

Foxy's won't let anybody start until 7:30 and that was pretty smart because it was dark until about 7:25. Davis Bike Club has enough organizational savvy to pull off registration and everything else with ease.

Start time 7:30 am

Miles 0 - 10: Warm up, 18mph. Getting out of town it didn't seem to make sense to pass every little group of riders in front of us that was slowing us down.

Miles 10 - 25: Hammer to Rest Stop 1, 20-24 mph. Feels great just to not be sick.

Miles 25 - 35: Hammer until the terrain starts to get hilly. Legs start to hurt.

Miles 35 - 62: Rolling hills to Rest Stop 2. Speed drops; I was really struggling in here - I think my reserves were kind of low from the pending illness. Didn't feel bad, just not very strong. Legs and neck hurt.

Miles 62 - 84: Steeper and longer climbs. Speed drops even more. Legs, neck, and butt hurt.

Miles 84 - 106: Hammer back to Davis, 19 - 22mph. Legs, neck, butt and feet hurt.

Finish time 3:00 pm

Please enjoy my multimedia presentation in my Vimeo album:

Rick passes along his ride data.

Me with a mouth full of banana bread.

The lunch stop had pillows and packing blankets to sit on - why has no one else thought of this?

Some guy broke his fork just before lunch - incredible he wasn't hurt.

Rick compares Ride to Kaiser notes with another guy who earned the jersey.

No scenery to detract attention from the ride. Lots of farm equipment kicking up dust though. Quite a few vegetation burns as well.

Another DBC original; the Rapid Bottle Filler. Note the drinking water quality hoses you other clubs!

Load up now because later you won't want to eat.

Got a little windy but far less than normal for this ride.

Broadband comes to DiabloScott's PC. Everything's faster, no promises on quality improvements for the reader.

Update: Scanned in the Route Map and created my own elevation profile with y-axis chosen to make it look more brutal.

Foxy's Fall Century Elevation Profile

Foxy's Fall Century Route Map

Foxy's Fall Century Directions

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Calaveras Road - Foxy's Tune-Up Ride

JB and I drove to Rick's house and started from there. Calaveras Road is part of the Primavera Century and was also part of the Tour of California last year. It's such a fun ride with tight turns and rolling hills and great views.

After working our way through downtown Pleasanton and the outskirts of urbanization, we rode past the biggest tree nursery I've ever seen.

Wildlife Encounter: Turkeys in two places. I gobbled at them and they gobbled back; I thought that meant I did a pretty good turkey imitation but Rick thought they were laughing at me.

So this was an out and back course and when we got to about 22 miles we just turned around and made it about 45 for the day. There was a good stiff headwind most of the way so Rick and I got in some excellent Foxy's type training for next week.

Please check out this week's ride video at my Vimeo page: HERE. I'll add a link to my border bar too. I don't think I'll be doing this for every ride but it was a fun little project - leave me a comment over there after you watch it.

Vimeo is sort of like Picasa or Flicker for videos - perfect for sharing little movies like this with friends and blog readers without taking up space from my Blogger memory alotment.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

2008 WNR 23

Last Wednesday Night Ride of the year. Rode up with Ed who needed to stop a couple times to rest.

No wildlife, hardly any other riders, and my camera batteries went dead.

So here's a photo of the Summit in 1939 as they were beginning construction on the building.

Ten days to Foxy's Fall Century!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Diablo Challenge Volunteer

Last night there was a portentous cumulonimbus lingering over the Mountain, but the rain was over and all signs were for great weather today.

Diablo Daughter sneaks in for a cameo at lower right.

Took my dog for a walk around the neighborhood at 5am and the sky was perfectly clear with no wind and great star gazing to be had.

This is the second year I've volunteered for this epic event. I showed up at the Athenian School at 6:45 and took a parking space ahead of the start line; there were only a few hard cores there warming up already. My job was to haul the riders' warm clothes and backpacks up to the Summit. Last year this was a bit of a fiasco but this year there were additonal volunteers and vehicles so it went pretty smoothly.

I talked to Jim of the Wheel Peddler while he did some (free) last minute bike maintenance for the riders. I would totally trust him to do a headset replacement or crank swap for me when that becomes necessary. He's also a good option if you buy something on-line but don't want to install it yourself. He said he doesn't carry much inventory beyond repair parts but he can get anybody up and running really quick. His dog is also very friendly but maybe not too smart (eats bark). Tell him DiabloScott sent you... maybe you'll get a discount; HA!

Dude, your FD is FUBAR.
So we warmie drivers started up about 8:20 and the riders were right behind us. With the sunlight came some heat and it looked like perfect PB conditions for everybody.
Last call for backpacks!
It was a nice drive up to the Summit but I had my windows closed and stereo up loud so I didn't notice the subtle changes in microclimate. When I de-trucked in the Lower Parking Lot I was blown away (almost literally). It was COLD and blustery and I think I saw Piglet clinging to a branch down near the radio towers. I thought the riders would not be ready for this and it would certainly not be a record-setting kind of day although there appeared to be a tailwind up the Summit Wall.

They probably laughed at him when he packed his goose-down sleeping bag.
I walked over to the bottom of the Summit Wall for some spectacular spectating. Pegasus sleeping bag guy and Ryan from Sports Basement joined me in the revelry.
Whoa, look at the guads on THAT guy!

This year's winner is Nathan English, a young phenom from Berkeley who's been destroying all the local hill climb races and smashed the course record with a time of 43m33s. Last year's winner (above) came in third today.

Rick came in at a couple minutes past his goal and vowed to earn the T-shirte Verde next year. Then I walked around and scored some schwagg and snapshots and entered some raffles. They (I) really could have used a Peet's booth up there though.
Klein Krown award for sweetest bike goes to this Q-Pro Carbon. But dat dork disk gotta kumoff.

The also rodes.

How'd I do? How'd I DO?

I'll stop riding this Mountain until they pry my bike from my cold dead butt.

Can we PLEEEEEEEEEASE go back down now?
Unfortunately there were a couple of serious accidents on the way down. I saw one ambulance putting a rider on a backboard and a little below that there was a larger pileup with paramedics involved. I heard broken hip, and maybe one medivac but I'm not sure. They escort the riders down in big groups and I think they'd be better off letting them go down individually. There's an even bigger disparity in descending skills than climbing skills and when you have huge packs of riders with mixed skills in tight formations you're just asking for trouble; but the staff is too stubborn to understand that (in this bloggers humble opinion).
Bravo SMD for another awesome event.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

2008 WNR 22

The sun was getting low before we even started today.

Diablo Cyclist group and bunches of others were coming down even before we got to the Bump.

Wildlife Encounter: two tarantulas.

JB was on fire and dropped me hard before the Upper Washout.

I passed a couple guys and did some half-hearted interval kind of stuff. One guy was in a reddish orange jersey and then he started to catch back up to me so I increased my interval intensity but he caught me anyway... except it wasn't him it was some other guy with a similar jersey; egobruise avoided.

New cassette and chain worked flawlessly today; nice tuneup Scotty!

I have made the call: next Wednesday, October 8, will be the last WNR of 2008. Unless it's terrible weather or something in which case tonight's was the last. We'll probably do pizza and beer next week either way.