Saturday, April 27, 2013

Adventure Time

Ok so Saturday was game time for a ride, but oh where to ride. Well a few weeks ago I downloaded Strava app. Let me just say I am not a fan of Strava, I think there are better things in the mountain biking world than competing. I get it, some people that's their thing but for me it's just riding trail on the bike plain and simple not trying to get some mountain bike KOM hard on. So let me start off by saying I downloaded it strictly to spy on my fellow riders that use the crap out of it, I use their GPS tracks and locate new riding spots and trails. Which led me to this Saturdays ride in far north CT. I have ridden Shenipsit forest a few times and never was crazy about the place but that has changed since visiting the northern section. I began off the road and quickly hit some good climbing single track and then tried to follow and find as much single track I could find. I glanced from time to time at a strava mapped ride and tried to use it while looking at my everytrail app current track to make them look the same. This was tricky but allowed me to have somewhat of an idea what to do. After riding a nice single track section I was on torn up double track looking for for narrow trail. Soon I was at a 4 way intersection and chose straight, bad idea for grade friendly riding trail but good idea for an adventure. Climbed a good size hill on loose torn up ATV trail and rode moto single track down. Nopt what I wanted to do but I then got my bearings straight as I headed for bald mountain climb. Pretty solid climb up double track until I found single track. This was when it got fantastic, nice grade and just felt good to finally be climbing a mountain and not all these puny hills we have all over CT. I got to the top and was a little let down to not have a clear view, only what I could see through the trees which were two obvious hills nearby which all three I climbed this morning. I guess the top of Bald Mountain is wimpy 1121ft but still cool by CT standards. I found more single track which was a short loop around the top and then took a mega fun steep descent into a neighborhood and then back into the park where I found more single track and had not enough time to get it all but I now have a good layout of the park and can put together a more organized future ride. Despite a phone gps in hand it was still a really fun ride exploring somewhere brand new and searching for trail. I hiked a bike quite a bit when I got lost but it was still a blast. The blue blazed trail know as Shenipsit trail runs 40 miles north to south through CT. That trail was inviting the entire ride to be ridden by my bike but like a responsible rider I stayed off it since it is hiker only. Kind of seems like a waste since it was obvious hikers were not using it today and likely never. I never saw another soul today, was my 5th ride this week and I still want morrreeeeeee! I will be back to this place soon!

Dank loop north snip

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday hale

good stuff, legs felt better than the last 3 days riding which is kind of train is getting loose ordered ring and chain. blackspire mono veloce chain ring non ramped with 32 teef sram PC-870 8 spd chain

Warm spring hale

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

1st rip of 2013 at Grayville

Looks like I signed myself up for another morning ride, schooling is in full force for LuAnn right now so morning rides keep getting cranked out and probably will for the short time before and after her summer classes. I knew Wednesday was calling to be really nice with sun and temperatures, none of that was present last night fishing with the scouts as I grumbled about the weather. With hope to see a glorious sun rise when I woke up I did not, no big deal I still trucked on and drove to Grayville. Had an familiar loop in mind and might investigate some other routes. I felt like crap, legs had no steam, 32x21 had me crawling up hills as my legs turned in slow motion. It was not my best morning by any means but I continued on for obvious reasons. I found a new trail to me across the stream, it turned out to be a cool little section with rollers. I was hoping for it to be long but it was really short, no big deal. More riding I had more choices to make, as many times I have ridden here I still don't know how all the trails work, there are more than there needs to be really and always confuses me on the far end. It was a quick ride to the other side since I know that route well. By the end things felt better but who knows what tomorrow night ride will bring, maybe gears?

1st @ grayville 2013

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hale of the tuesday

Another fine morning ride, well good ride with mehh weather. Colin was ready to meet at 6:30 so I got out at 6 and snuck in a few miles before the ride since I was awake and ready. A little chilly this morning but like I always say mid 30's is where I like it, pretty overcast with a light mist but it was on. Raleigh was in working order and feeling normal again since riding it yesterday. Rode the goods in a pretty big mix of bouncing around trails, not really much else happened. Tomorrow morning should be the next ride, and then Thursday night if all goes well, hope I can keep this schedule up, so far I have not rode a Saturday in a long while but I take whatever I can get! I got 4 days in last week which was faaaaaaantastic!

Overcasted hale

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Line St with new

This was a mighty good one, but the again every ride is so fricken good. I got cranking by 6:50am with a plan to ride some of the new trails and old out to Ribbon trail in Gay City Park. The route there was being made up as I went along, I tried to take the fastest since I was on a 3 hour ride time. I might have done things differently with more time but at the end of the ride I realized I would not have chose another way cause it was good and different. Temperature was nice and cool when i got started at like 35 degrees which is perfect in my eyes and the sun rose it warmed me nicely. Single speed was brutal on me, all that geared riding last week made things look easy I guess. The new fork felt great, definitely more stiff, muchy more comfy while sitting down but noticeably twitchier while off the saddle climbing but no big deal, the best was no pedal strikes!!!!!!!!!!! When I hit Ribbon the ride really perked up and man it felt good to be on that trail I really like it. Low on time I had some decisions to make and opted for Tinti and new trails back to double track and then quick shot to the car. Ride time was 2.06 hours and 14.08 miles! That was a speedy ride for sure, while I felt slow as molasses but I love putting miles on and the more the merrier.

Line st w new to ribbon w more new

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rid of the rusty wench

Looks like Raleigh is back in working order, a ride Monday morning is in plans so hopefully it will ride as expected. I am pretty excited to have raised the front end up just a little with the new fork, the bike has always felt a little funny with a long reach so hopefully this cheers me up with a more comfortable riding position. Finally my bike is less of an eye soar now that that old fork is gone. Also I guess this should raise the bottom bracket a little which isw welcomed as well since pedal strikes are excessive on this bike. Really got to get some new pedals for my bikes soon, I hope to get forte converts on all my bikes one day, lightweight skinny sticky pedals at $65 a piece they rival $100 pedals. Hmmm Case mountain, Hale, Crandalls.......where to go

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday Rip

Got an invite to go to Case, I took it since I am getting tired of Hale since I rode it twice this week so why not ride somewhere I have not yet this week. When I got to the lot it was Derek and Miles, two very quick riders. When no one else showed up I knew I was going to have to step up my game. We were off at 6pm and climbing hard but I was keeping up for the most part despite being the fourth day on my legs. We pin balled through the middle trails between blue and yellow in and out until we ended up on a new trail. I forget how rocky Case is, I don't know anywhere else as rock, lots of boulders lots of rocks on the trail, it is hard to believe there are lines weaving through them. The new trail had a few turn offs but none of them made any sense so I will have to work out those kinks on the next ride. Trail was pretty good, nice and twisty and not boring and hey anything new is welcomed. Back on familiar territory we soon took a turn on another trail that was brand new, this one was super smooth and a fun pedal, really good trail that I am excited to get back to. When it was done it connected double track and then shortly onto another newish trail that I have rode. I was cranking so hard to keep up with these guys and I had the tanuki helping me every step of the way. Yea they got a little ahead sometimes but nothing as bad as they can normally. Took another brand new trail which is a property line re route on behalf of the land owner and it was a quirky little trail and liked it. Really great ride last night, I performed beyond my expectations and enjoyed the crap out of it. Mabe a ride today or tomorrow trails are so goooood

New stuff @ case

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

you just never know

you just never know what can happen out on the trail, thank goodness he knew what he was doing. Sorry if it's gross


Spring is here and rides are getting better by the day. I hate to say it but it's kind of a good thing when we have a harsh winter and it destroys riding cause it always makes it that much sweeter when things clear up and ride locations feel renewed. The Tanuki feels mighty good, I love both aspects of rigid SS vs full suspension, but there is nothing like tearing down a descent launching off anything you can find! Even if you land on dog dodoo from a lazy pet owner. Sucked smelling that the whole ride. I met up with my good riding homie Colin at 7pm at Crandalls park, we got cranking and things were nice and toasty. Legs are on their third day and feel as good as any other ride, I noticed my fitness is really good right now, I am sure someone could crush it on me but I am happy where it is at, I find myself hammering on the Tanuki it seems to just go smooth and fast. I love that bike, all I hear riding is crunching of dirt and leaves, its so new and soft I hope I can keep it this way since I don't plan to buy another full suspension for a few years. If I put as much miles on my beater bikes I can hopefully use the new ones sparingly which might be the opposite thing to do but I don't know, I always had this problem with shoes, shirts etc.... wow off topic, good ride today, Colin is good company, we did just under two hours of riding. The sun came out and it was so nice out! I am going to try to keep riding as I can with my wifes school schedule, so far rides are plentiful despite being stay at home dad and working from home. Life is good!

Loop winner crandalls

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Any you guys tell me why end of my sentences show up next to my first picture...........No matter what space I make the photos from my post it always finds it's way in there.........

Misty Morning Enjoyment

5:30 eyes pop open, looks like I beat my 5:40 alarm clock. Roll out and relax until my 6am go time. My lady has to be at school by 9:30 so I have to be back to the house by 8. That's two hours to shred, I stepped outside and the weather was a little foggy and dreary but I was hoping it would burn out quick when the sun comes up. By the time I hit Al's trail things shaped up a little and sign of a glowing sun appeared on the horizon. I love watching the sun come up on a ride, helps the mind realize every day is a gift. Back on the tanuki things were rolling good and I was set on a route to do exactly what I did the day before but in reverse. It took all the guess work out of choices and plus it's a good route. Two hours of solid moderate pace riding with gears and I filled my riding glass full for the day. This Monday Tuesday riding habit is fantastic so far, works for the family, works for me! See what the fiture has in store weather is shifty the rest of the week. Feels good to be back riding on the regular, I can't wait until I am an old bag when it is all I will ever be doing!

Replicated reverse

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Farewell Rusty Wench

Got my bike all locked and loaded for Monday morning ride at Case, got to the pond lot a little before 7 and as I put the front wheel in I spotted a massive crack in the fork. I was pretty happy I noticed it before I got riding and it crumpled on my face. I went out last night just for 20 minutes to clear a log and maybe that's when it happened I don't know. I drove back home and decided to ride Hale to save a trip, I hopped on the Tanuki and rode for it's first ride of the season! It definitely felt funky at first with little wheels and suspension but after 30 minutes I got back into the swing of things. I was feeling pretty lame about riding, my heart was not in the right place so I rode as much of non hilly hale I could and it worked out great as my spirits lifted. Back was killing me by the end of the ride, it's a larger frame than I would typically ride which feels good and normal to me but maybe that is where this back ache came from. Pumped getting out there to ride, plan to do the same thing tomorrow morning. How convenient I bought a fork just last week for this summers new bike build. I dropped off the new fork at EMS since I need my SS up and running. I wanted to do this repair myself, but as usual I have no bike tools to pull the race off the fork, insert star nut, cut steerer tube to length so screw it let them charge me at the bike shop. Looks like it is farewell to the rusty wench fork.........

Good mix

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Non ride related

Got my very first part for my upcoming belltown build, a nothing too fancy salsa cro moto grande fork, I did some research and this one fell in my price category so I pulled the trigger. I was looking at carbon forks and I just am not worried about weight enough to buy one and cost is an issue so maybe down the road when I come across a cheap used carbon fork I might take the plunge but for now steel is reel! Felt good buying the very first part, I have only a few parts I have to buy such as crank ring, cog, and pedals. The rest will be ordered through by Bob the frame builder. I plan to finally purchase a good set of wheels for a bike, Stans Arch wheelset! I hope I can feel the difference in performance from my stock wheelsets on my current rides. I got three bike rides in this week, pretty pumped about that. Was tinkering with the Raleigh and found the rear cog locking nut loose, that explains a lot, I straightened out the chain line and things should be smoother now, and finally it is time to buy a new chain ring since it is mighty worn. I still have a strange problem with the frame/fork for some reason both dropouts are widening, it makes it a real bugger to tighten the skewers since the hub axles don't fit snug in the dropouts.......It also skews the wheel off to one side as you can see. I have no idea how this has happened but it has drove me nuts the last two years. I tried my 26er rear wheel and it does not fit snug in the dropout either. Wheels and skewers work but it just seems silly every time I remove a wheel which is often! Ride on playasssssss

Thursday group

Normal 6pm ride at Hale, nice quick pre ride before meeting up with 6 others. Started off quite different with wiggle to scoliosis to new trail then over to Al's. This ride was a little lower intensity than the last few I am guessing since GI and Pat were missing in action. A good ride was had, I was looking for more riding by the end but it was dark and I am not one for solo night riding. Everytrail gps failed me again, I guess it is time to reload the app............

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Leg Burner

Went on a ride tuesday morning, the legs were feeling worn from last week and mondays ride, none the less I was leading with Colin at 6:30am on a mission for dirt. I took a different approach and my oh my did it have some climbing, it was really warm and had got a little rain that night so it was humid too. I was feeling pretty good on SS but still setting foot down more than I wanted to but oh well. Toward the end of the ride the sun was brightening through the low level clouds and lit up the trail and looked fricken awesome. Looking back at the valley the weather was changing as well, another great thing about morning rides, it's almost like being out on a pow day as the sun emerges as the snow crystals glimmer, it's just fricken fantastic.

Spring arrives

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Rip @ Case

Got the party started at 6:30am, man it felt good out there, weather was just right and a good day to be riding. Got rolling on blue and forgot just how rocky it was without suspension. It was nice being back at my old local spot, I picked each trail and made a nice yummy loop. Sun was behind some clouds but came out after an hour and was a great sight, made me warm and fuzzy. I found a funky new trail I guess you could call it free ride, one good feature the rest was funky. I miss case, as wide and braided it is sometimes, there are still some great trails and fun descents. Just under two hours of pedaling and 13 miles which is double what I can get at Hale I was still ready for more, but had to get home and help out with the boy.

1st 2013 rip @ Case

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Made a bike rack

I have been meaning to do this for a long time, I found the rack I liked the best and built mine accordingly. Extremely easy and cheap, it took me a while with my hacksaw but it got the job done. I have not gotten back to depot yet to get more equipment so I can add in two more slots so it will hold all five bikes. Pretty happy with the finished product so far, I have not glued the entire unite yet and don't know if I plan to. Directions were found here I scored a free bike trailer last week too, it should do the trick, I know it is suppose to be mounted to chainstay but it did not fit my square tubing so it got test fitted on the seat stay.

Saturdday Monin

Looks like my schedule did over load me friday but no big deal, it was on for saturday morning. I planned a first season ride at Crandalls down the road and got cranking at 7:30. Perfect morning, mid 30's which sounds cold but for me that is just about where I like it. I forgot my gloves and wondered how crappy they might feel but luckily some moderate climbs heated them up no problem. Singlespeed was the weapon of choice and rolling quite well, I got in shape really quick, climbs and endurance was easy, but having the extra power on softer spring steeps was tough work. I am at the easiest side of the spectrum with 32x21 gearing but still I find myself wanting easier climbing gear. I love this place, it is a great place to ride, only one slight complaint is that it is kind of on the small side of riding spots. It packs a good punch and trails are great, I made a 90 minute loop that was just perfect!

Crandall 5th

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Kick Ass

Thursday groupy ride was on for 6pm as usual. Took off from the house on the second day on the SS and headed for a pre ride. Rain into my group on a pre ride and followed them to the parking lot. Which worked in my favor because when we did get there everyone was surprisingly ready to go. Set off to Al's trail which was a surprise cause these rides have become pretty predictable trail choices. Big wheels and little gear had me tapped out on a few quick tech ups, pretty frustrating but welcome to SS, the Belltown bike will have easier pedaling. We avoided a section due to conditions, which sent us into a open section of what used to be a forest, it looked like a bomb went off. There were millions of shards of wood, I have no idea what kind of machine causes this amount of devastation but damn! we pedaled through it and found our single track again. I noticed up ahead bikes were pointing at the punisher, the name says it all, extremely tight, hilly technical trail that eats me alive every encounter. This went pretty well actually, it was pretty soft but I did pretty well, even the geared homies made me look good on a few sections. Rode some more trails and finished it up. Another good mix of ride and good company, I hope to ride today but I have a feeling I can't make it happen. Gps brain farted on the ride home, weird.

Thurs group rip

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Me boy, he is 5 months old now and while at times can be a handful he is an absolute joy in my life and am so grateful to see his smile every morning when I go in to clean him and feed him. He is slowly getting more involved with life every day and becoming more adventurous and investigating. What a cool dude I can't for him to get to know me better.