Saturday, January 28, 2012

2012 SMR 05

NGR SGR Blackhawk Tassajara

Everything started out fine; dressed, prepped, and pumped up my tires as usual.  Left in plenty of time.  Got two blocks from home though and my rear tire was totally flat.  So I limped back home and changed it... looks like I tore the tube near the valve when I was pumping.

So I was gonna be late, called JB and he said he'd meet me at Junction.  Wow it was cold this morning but the sun was out and it would warm up quickly.

Wildlife Encounter:  I heard a bunch of coyotes that were really excited about something, but didn't actually see them.

Any ideas how I can keep my lens from getting fogged up?

I passed two guys on NGR but didn't see anybody else... then when I got to Junction there were quite a few people there just hanging out.  JB and I decided to go down to Blackhawk and that was a fun extension.

Saturday Regulars:  Keith, Dudley.

Saw quite a few signs like this near the South Side... I joked that the real reason the residents didn't want the development was that SummerHill wanted to repave the road.  I went to the website and it says the cluster homes being proposed were 4000sf houses on 8000sf lots... that's a lot of density I guess, but I don't have an official position.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 SMR 04

It was a dark and stormy night.

Prognostications are for 15% of our annual rainfall in just the next few days.  But a window of ride-ability opened up for an 8 at the Gate iteration.

Wildlife Encounter:  big ol' flock of turkeys near the horse boarding place.

No cars, no joggers, only saw one other guy at the Gate waiting for someone.

Took me several attempts to get this angle with the tree branches coming out of my head.

Lots of rock slides creating a hazard. 

Roadkill Report:  frog 

Some of the hiking trails were closed due to the little rivers that were formed.

Dudley Driveby

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 SMR 03: Hump d'Hump

JB and I arrived at the Gate at about the same time.  He was dressed warmer than I was, but it looked like the cold wasn't going to last long.

Not really that many riders out today... maybe folks are out of town or something.  Little early for Death Ride Training.

Dudes at Turtle Creek Ranch were burning wood on a spare the air day... nasty.

JB stopped to take off his jacket so I attacked and beat him to Junction.

We both went down Southgate and he kept going but I turned around to do a double humper.

Nine guys went up while I was pulled over at the turn around spot.

Caught the Shaversport guy and his buddy pretty quick.  1 and 2 of 9.

Can you believe this is January?  Beautiful weather, but we could use some rain.

 Then I started to catch Castelli guy and Capo guy, 3 and 4 of 9.

Castelli guy recognized me, so we exchanged pleasantries.

The Easy Side is a much different experience than Northgate Road.

Aha - 5,6,7, and 8 of 9... in the bag just before returning to Junction.  Never did catch #9 in blue just ahead though.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

2012 SMR 02

The health club got new spin bikes with USB data savers, so now I can make graphs just like the cool guys.

If I could just hold on to that 800 watt figure for more than a few nanoseconds,
I could set a new PB.

The HMI of the Free Motion S11

GPS on my phone ... I was curious how well it would portray Diablo.

Solo ride today.  Pretty nice and very clear until I got past Junction; then it got really windy.

Wind sucked all the motivation out of me, and I quit at the Speed Trap.

Swung through Heather Farm on the way home.

I was dinking with my camera and noticed there were video settings for 15 frames per second or 30 frames per second, so I made a little test video to see the difference.

So the quality of the image isn't any better or worse, but the 30 fps version is a little easier on the eyes, so that'll be my default from now on.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Product Review: Giro Atmos

Got this for Christmas - thanks Mom and Dad!

Giro Atmos
The Giro Atmos gets a 10 out of 10 on the DiabloScott Helmet Form and Fashion Rating Scale.  

I bought my first helmet in 1984; a Bell V1-Pro (also a gift from Mom!).  I think this new one is at least my 10th helmet in 27 years so this is a review with some righteous cred.

First, the three tell-tale signs that you need a new helmet:
  1. Crumbly or brittle foam bits.
  2. Cracked plastic shell bits.
  3. Frayed straps.
Now my helmet replacement procedure is that I have a good helmet for my serious riding, and an older helmet for commuting.  The commuting helmet gets banged around a lot, thrown into lockers, dropped at the bike rack, etc.  So when it's time to get rid of the commuting helmet, I rotate my good helmet down to commuting use, and get a new good helmet.  Usually I don't have any trouble convincing myself to get a slightly better model than I had before, and I've never had trouble paying more than the last one cost.

My last 5 or 6 helmets have all been Giros.  The conventional wisdom says that some people have a Giro head and other helmets will never fit them as well, and I'm one of those guys.  I quit even trying on Bell or Specialized; Giros are stylish and available everywhere so I'm good with that.

OK, here's a close-up on my old commute helmet - a Giro Eclipse - note crack, and frayed straps.

My previous good helmet and now my commute helmet is a Giro Monza.

Here's the lineup: Eclipse (purple with stickers and crack), Monza (blue with white stripes), and Atmos (white).

This ID sticker seems like a good idea, until you realize there 
is literally no surface on the helmet big enough to stick it on. 

I was a little surprised at the weight-vs-cost relationship.  The most expensive one is 21g more than the least expensive one... at least according to the tags.

Even though the Atmos is presumably a little heavier, it feels less bulky... it sits nicely on my head and is comfortable... so maybe the design is more important than the weight, or maybe I just have new helmet bias.  Anyway, 21g isn't enough to worry about... and I don't think I could tell in a blind weight test... and the cheap one really wasn't that bulky either.

This is kind of a new adjustment - the straps actually 
go through the  doo-dads that used to control the adjustment, 
and now we have a little knob... BRILLIANT!

Extra pads... seems like a good idea.  
Estimate how long your helmet will last, divide by two, 
and that's the time to put them in.  
Tip:  you can use fabric glue to keep these things together 
when the sweat breaks down the pads.  Bonus:  another sticker!