Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tales of woe

They say that bad things come in 3's. I really hope that is true, I have had 30 days of the worst cycling luck of my young and eventful career.

First I broke a spoke on the front tyre of my road machine. 10 miles from home I sat dejected on the side of the road until my bride could find me.  It's still not fixed, Easton Wheels are hard to deal with. The company and not the product.

Then last week I got a flat on my mountain bike. I have tubeless tyres but I had not kept up on the maintenance and they were dry, totally my fault. I whipped out a tube to throw it in thinking that it had been over a year since I had caught flat. I used my CO2 to pump it up and prepared to move on but the tyre was not holding air.  The tube had been in my seatbag for so long that it had worn a hole in the side from the friction. Out of CO2 and tubes I ended up walking 6 looong miles back to the truck.

The coup de grace was yesterday. I was ex filtrating out of the Rim Runner trail system huffing my way up a particularly steep pitch, when with a loud snapping noise I was thrown unceremoniously to the ground. Stunned, I looked for the reason of my graceless dismount.

I found this.

I had stripped the bolts on my chain ring, breaking it and folding it like a giro sandwich. I could have felt just a smidgen of pride thinking that I was laying down enough power to break this.

The first thing I did? I calmly sent these pictures via email to the manufacturer. This ring had 3 rides on it. I did not expect much but I got an email back straight away saying that though they denied the problem was theirs they would replace it. Winning!

Secondly, I determined that it was 10+ miles back to the truck. Or... 3 miles mostly downhill to Santa Clara where my lovely, patient, helpful, vivacious, smart, resourceful, and understanding wife could again pick me up, yet again.

Lets all say a little prayer that these ignoble events are behind me and the rest of the summer will be clear sailing.

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's a rental

I am going to be walking the fine edge of sacrilege for some of my readers in this post. So if the words "carbon  fiber"  offend you, you may want to log off now. (I am talking to you JRuss and Steve G.)

I was bumping around the newest bike shop in town, Bike Fix over in Washington. Ian, the owner is also a SS guy and his personal sled is a Niner Air 9 Carbon. As I was admiring the bike, I jokingly asked if I could borrow it for a day. To my surprise he said yes, I must have a trustworthy visage.

This bike is Carbon Fiber everything, stem, bars, wheelset, frame, seat post, fork, everything, and it weighs a mind blowing 18lbs.
I took it out to Navajo for a run up Rattlesnake and down Stucki.

I wanted to, and was prepared to hate this bike.  I could not.  Uphill this ma'sheen is an absolute rocket and comfy to boot. Niner's geometry is spot on and it soaked up the bumps like a champ while remaining stiff under power.
I had done 42 road miles the day before and was a little toasted but that did not stop me from laying down my fastest time form the TH to the top of Rattlesnake and I didn't feel like I was pushing it.

While the climbing was a dream the descent was a horse of a different color. The ride quality suffered when I went north of 15 mph, and through the chop it was like riding a jack hammer. The bike is so light that it was difficult to hold a line, I was tossed around and felt like I had to fight the bugger through all the chunk. If I had more time with the bike I think you could get used to it's trail manners but my hands were achy by the bottom. With a squishy fork this bike could be the cats pajamas. 

But will I be spending my hard earned cash on the  Did I have fun and wanted to keep it another day.......yes.