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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A simple solution to a seemingly complex problem

A few posts ago I was contemplating how I wanted to set my Niner One 9 up for the 2009 MTB race season. I struggled with the whole rigid vs front suspension issue. Now I have a solution in the form of the trusty ol' Gary Fisher Rig (aka The Purple People Eater).

I took some time tonight and set it up for this Thursday's 1st ride of the new year. White Bros carbon fork, Nanoraptors and 36x20.

This will be the rigid, lightweight arrow in my quill for non-technical races, the Niner One 9 will serve as the weapon of choice for courses with a bit more in the way of rocks and roots.

I can also swap the Bontrager Mustang/Surly wheels out for CX wheels, change the gear to 36x17, and viola! - a commuter bike is born.

That rocks like Betty Crocker.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm so confused!

In a few days the 2009 training season will begin for me. Mile after mile after mile after mile. Road and mountain. Several days a week. I can't wait!

I'm once again pondering how I want my bikes set up for racing and riding, which are usually two different animals.

The road bike side of the equation is easy...the Trek Madone 5.5 remains unchanged from 2008. Mountain biking is another story...I want light and fast, but still fairly comfortable. I know, I can't have everything!

Some thoughts:

  • My Niner One 9 will be my primary off-road bike.

  • In 2008 I rode it 75% of the time fully rigid and 25% with a Rock Shox REBA up front.

  • The bike definitely climbs faster with the niner steel fork, but descends better with the REBA (well duh.)

  • BUT...my best race results were with the rigid fork.

  • HOWEVER...none of those races were technical.

I can see myself climbing well at Dragon's Back or Douthat with the bike fully rigid, but can I survive the rocks and downhills? I'm leaning toward yes...

The big question is: IS LIGHTER BETTER?

HELP!!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa's surprise

When Christmas morning arrived, Pookie found this fancy new 2009 Gary Fisher Rig under the tree. Well, more like beside the tree because it's a 29er and wouldn't really fit under the tree...you know what I meant.

I'm such a good husband.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Funny the things you remember...

When I was growing up in Pennsylvania, I hunted quite a bit with my Dad and with friends. I especially liked hunting small game. It was a bit more of a challenge and it involved a lot more walking and actually "hunting". Pheasant and rabbit didn't come to you, you had to go to them. I became enamoured with the stories and pictorials in Field and Stream magazine about grouse and pheasant hunting in the mid west. In many of the pictures, the hunters would be wearing bright red and black checkered wool jackets. So one year for Christmas I asked for one of my own. A Woolrich jacket.
When my folks got me one, I put it on and didn't take it off until spring. Ah, that thing was awesome. I may have buy a new one just for nostalgia sake.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

This is me. Food, more food, more food, drink, food, more drink. Sleeeeeeep. Hibernate. Yep, it's almost Christmas. Time to eat, drink and be merry - and I have. But, that's the plan. Rest, relax, reload. In a couple weeks, the 2009 season officially begins and these rather boring posts will be replaced by more adventures on two wheels. Until then, I still have a fridge full of beer and chocolate cake.

BTW...What's Santa bringin' ya?




Friday, December 19, 2008

Stocked

Guess what we'll be doing this weekend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Adventures in Yoga

It started innocently enough...a sun salutation and some slow, methodical movements. A few more downward and upward dog poses to get the body warm. Then some slightly more difficult moves. The burn in my legs in a long series of Warrior poses drove my temperature up quickly to the verge of a cardio-type sweat.

Repeat. Repeat again. I thought the power poses would never end. My legs twinged, my muscles begged for mercy. I was sweating profusely and breathing hard.

Finally, relief came in a series of balance moves demanding more concentration, but less brawn. I was on the verge of cooling down when a series of 7 abdominal-torching poses buried me. Finally, almost one hour and 15 minutes later, we were finished.

I feel more elastic. I feel more relaxed. I feel more alive. This is very new to me. The off-season without pounding out endless, mindless reps in the gym is rather nice.

Namasté

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Charlie Brown and a glass of brandy

Remember when you were a kid and it was getting close to Christmas, like it is now? I sure do. And when A Charlie Brown Christmas comes on TV I really get nostalgic. I feel like I'm watching it for the first time, every time. It's the best Christmas special ever.

Sure, I love It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story, but I didn't really get into those until I was getting a bit older. For me the big 3 have always been Charlie Brown, Rudolf and A Year Without a Santa Claus.

As a kid I remember sitting three feet in front of our 400 pound console TV so I wouldn't miss a thing. I can remember everything - the smell of my Mom's Christmas cookies, the coal furnace making it too hot to breathe (until about 3 am when the coal burned out and it dropped to 25 degrees in the house)...Ah, the glorious days of youth.

In one of the first Charlie Brown scenes is something I miss terribly: Ice skating! In PA we could actually skate outside on our farm pond, just like Snoopy! It was incredible! I miss those days alot...especially this time of year. But with each passing Christmas, Pookie and I make new memories that we'll cherish through many more Christmas seasons. Wow, I'm getting a bit sentimental here...



Oh, the glass of brandy part....just a little something to snap me back to reality after regressing into childhood.

Cheers!



Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy bidding

Mosey on over to my auction on ebay here to bid on my 2008 Lemond Poprad frame, fork and goodies. Makes a great gift!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Now what?

Is it:

1. Fighting off an invisible attacker?

2. Imaginary Wii?

3. Matrix roleplaying?

4. Boredom?

5. Just what you'd expect from the two of us?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Who wants to be a gabazillionaire?

Yea, I bought a ticket. Just one. $170 million. That's ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY MILLION DOLLARS.
Don't you love those people who say "If I hit the lottery, I'd keep working. I just don't know what I'd do with my time if I didn't work". Well these people obviously don't own bicycles. I know what I would do. I wouldn't run out to buy a Ferrari, or a big house, or a big "W" made out of diamonds...

...Nope. I'd go for a ride. A long ride. And on that ride I'd think about where I was going to ride tomorrow, and the next day, and the next...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Is beer a sports drink?

I have been doing some testing. The phase where I drink lots of beer in order to get my body acclimated to carbo-loading is in full swing. The Thanksgiving weekend was the power phase of this experiment - large quantities were consumed. I have yet to start the actual physical activity part of my testing. I must first find the beer that is the most fulfilling and tasteful before moving onto the next phase. This will take at least three more weeks. I'm working hard to bring you the truth about beer as a performance enhancer. Stay tuned!