Tuesday, August 31, 2004

comments available to all

sorry, it took me a bit to get the comments fixed so all can post comments without registering. Now all can get into the heated discussion between Chris and Steve on the merits of technology and biking... I must admit Steve made a strong point recently... and the whole business is going to get even more complicated, if not messy when I have to scan Chris' bile soaked napkin posts...

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

new blog look

wanted to try a new look. unless there are streams of disapproving comment...
the cost has been the loss of the old comments in favour of using the new built in blogger system.


recent upgrades

After a month or so of frustrations with my ailing ride I decided to make an improvement. It was going to be a new chain. It ended up to be new wheels/hubs, new cogs, new cranks/chain rings and bottom bracket, and derailers front and back.

After much staring and studing it was decided that I should enlist in some help to get the cranks off. Jonny G came by, crank puller in hand, and the fight was on. You may wonder what does your bike require of you to recplace your cranks. My bike required 2 beers, a friend, hammer, 2x4 wood stud, torch, and 2 more beers. It took about 2 hours, after much heat and hammering Jonny got on the bike and jumped on it. the crankes were ready and yes the came off..... eventually.

The bottom bracket only took a 8 foot braker bar, another friend's tool and some patience (by ones wife--who just delivered her fourth child).

Jonny came by the other day and pronounced the improvement good

I would love the opportunity for a group ride


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Falcon Lake Race Report and Fall Ride at Tinker Creek

Another race, another dose of shitty weather. Left Altona at 7am so I could get to Falcon in time to do a little warm-up. At sign-in, I'm told the race starts at 12 noon, not 11 am as previously announced. Classic MCA organization. At least there was a fire in the chalet fireplace to keep us warm. They ran the course backwards this time, starting with the usual climb but then sending us into the trees, down the boardwalk, and backwards through the outer limits, with a few new sections thrown in to keep it interesting. At the start I was able to stay with the lead group for the first 2 km. This is an improvement, as I usually find myself chasing after get dropped right at the start. But after losing my chain in the first technical section they were quickly out of sight. Time to ride my own pace. I knew I was still 3rd or 4th so my efforts turned less to gaining ground than to avoid losing more. It wasn't raining during the race, but the course was muddy and wet. For me that meant running over the more technical sections. Ended up catching another rider, then getting passed again, and riding with him in sight for the next half a lap, waiting for the right moment to try and make a move. He was a better technical rider, I was better on the hills. Unfortunately, Falcon is more technical than hilly. In any case, about halfway through the 3rd lap all the riding at Tinker Creek the day before came back to haunt me. Just didn't have the legs to catch up. Ended up finishing 4th, just off the podium.

Sounds like there's talk of a possible fall FGBC ride out at Tinker Creek. Had a good group of TCC riders out there on Saturday to ride the Tinker trails and the Trans-Canada Trail. The Trans-Canada was much better than I expected. Fast, rolling singletrack--sure to be a hit with the FGBC. Hal and James did some serious negotiating during the post-ride BBQ, so he may have more to report. Let's hope we can work something out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Falcon Lake

Johnny G, Unger, and myself got in 3 quality hours of riding at Falcon Lake last Friday. Did a couple of laps of the race course, paid a brief visit to the Top of the World, and spent time working at a few of the more technical sections. I'm happy to say I was finally able to nail that rocky climb that comes just after the boardwalks. Won't way how many tries it took. I'm just happy that the practice paid itself off with some tangible results. I have found that this is not always the case--e.g., the little Buffalo Jump loop kept messing with me no matter how many times we did it. We'll see how things go at the race this Sunday. My legs are feeling a bit achy right now, perhaps from refusing to admit just how much ground can be lost by two weeks off the bike, but it feels like the lungs are starting to come around a bit. Still a long way to go, but there's a few good months of riding left--not to mention the upcoming FGBC fall race series. So no need to give up on the season just yet.

Speaking of the FGBC race series, it seems we have identified at least three venues that would be worthy of a short race: Birds Hill Park (the Wednesday night course), Whittier Park, and Garbage Hill. More can be added if there is evidence of interest. With all the singlespeeds popping up (by my count Hal, Unger, Marls and myself are already equipped, with Johnny G to join us soon), we may have to include some sort of ss race in the schedule as well. Or perhaps we could just give some bonus points in the FGBC Cup standings to those who compete on ss. Will work at scheduling over the next little while, starting sometime after the Ultimate season comes to a close. Get it on the radar screen.

Should also mention that we came up with a new event to keep us amused at future Bike Club outings. Pick a relatively technical section of trail (e.g., Top of the World, portions of Ingolf, etc). Everyone starts with a case of beer in the bank (I take it Johnny G will work something out with our sponsors on this point). Every time you put your foot down, you lose one beer. If you end up with negative numbers, that will go towards the beer fund for future events. Always looking for ways to improve riding skills.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Ride on Friday

I'm back in town and feeling generally out of shape. Bukit Kiara was a blast, but one ride in two weeks is not enough. Rode Whittier on Sunday and am feeling a bit sore, which is not a good sign. So I will be riding at Falcon Lake on Friday. Unger and Johnny G will possibly be riding as well. Anyone else is more than welcome to join us. Meet at the chalet. Time: TBD (call one of us).

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Bukit Kiara

Greetings from Kuala Lumpur. Thanks to a series of extremely fortunate events, I was able to get a bit of a taste of the local culture here--mtbike wise. Rode for 2.5 hours at a place called Bukit Kiara. My guide was a very fine fellow named Pat, who just happens to hail from Saskatchewan. Has the singltrack of Birch combined with the roots of Thunderhill. Vegetation wise, kind of like riding in that stinky place at the zoo. Except the weather was hotter and more humid, by far. I don't think I've ever sweated that much in my life. Saw a few monkey like creatures, which was cool.

Will write more later, perhaps. Must go for now. Save some stickers for me, Mark. I'm back on Saturday and am looking forward to it. Felt pretty out of shape riding, so will have to kick up the training a notch or two for the last few Cup races.