Sunday, October 30, 2011

When Evil Derailleurs Fail

At the start of this cyclocross season (by-the-way cyclocross or simply CX is the funnest bike sport on the planet), I had decided to do something that was so not a geared bike in one of two CX races I planned on doing each race day. Most people know that I have a preference one gear (aka a single speed or SS) for nearly every kind of biking (mountain, commuter, road, CX...etc). Well I was determined that gears would make me faster, which on certain courses I believe they did. Hmmm...yes, I said did. It seems that my geared CX bike (my only geared bike for that matter) has been morphed into a SS. Why? Well from the start that evil rear derailleur caused me problems...let's see, first it decided to spontaneously embrace a big weed, which sucked the whole works into the spokes of a newly built wheel (good thing I build strong wheels) and proceeded to rip the derailleur hanger off the bike (not good!). Next after a new hanger was installed and everything realigned, the derailleur took a little tap during a spectacular race crash. I finished the race just fine on the bike, and later found that I had bent the new hanger, grrr!!!. Well I realigned everything again (good thing I have the specialty tool for that purpose), and again the derailleur decided to give a loving hug to a piece of trail-side brush, which this time bent the derailleur it self and snapped the shift cable...RATS!!! It was at this point I realized that my evil rear derailleur was self destructive and need some counseling off the bike. I was fed up with the time and money it was taking just to do an event on a geared bike. So off the bike it went...RIP! I put a Forward Components eccentric bottom bracket on to complete the SS morph.

Initial thrash testing showed it was not only an huge improvement in fun factor, since SS always provides much more giggle factor than (yawn) gears, but my race results against the geared guys was awesome!!! At this time I anticipate finishing the CX season on SS only.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cyclocross - Try It!!!

OK...It's been way too long since I've posted here, but I have the normal excuses. Like I've been busy with moving to a new home plus the normal busy maintenance items that go with a new home, plus getting in firewood for winter heat, plus getting in hay for the get the picture I hope. I will be posting some of my new home pics in the future (when I get time to download them that is). For now all I can say is that I live in an awesome spot with great views, coyotes howling at night, and clear starry nights.

Well bike training (riding) has been limited to my commute mostly, which by the way is now about 15-miles one-way with nearly 2000-feet of climbing to get home...WHOOOHOOO!!! I love the commute so far.

Beyond that cyclocross (CX) season has started and I'm racing into better shape by doing 2-4 CX races every weekend. I'm having to use these races as training since I have not had time for real training for the last several months.

If you have not participated in or attended a cyclocross race, then you are really missing out on some serious fun. I love these go-all-out-painful-mind-twisted-suffer-fests. I'm never sure why I like the pain these events can do to your muscles, but I sure feel good afterwards. That's it for now...need to sleep sometime, here are a few pics for your view pleasure: