Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wolf River Cycling

Went out today to pre-ride the Blue trail down on the Wolf River. The lower part of the red trail was an absolute slog fest...... Sucked big time and managed to get my feet extremely wet.

After getting past the red trail and back up onto the white and the blue, things moved really fast. The high sections are smooth and roll fast. I was on the SSCX bike, so having fast sections I could roll on through was definitely an advantage!

This is really what a cyclocross bike oughtta look like!

Green Timber Mallard Shooting

Dad and I managed to get out to Stuttgart for 3 days of green timber hunting.

First day was hampered by some pretty serious equipment problems. The Mojo decoy broke, Dad's gun jammed and the boat was missing the trim setting pin. Not having the pin was a pain in the butt and made it so we could not raise the motor while running in shallow water. I drug that WarEagle through approximately 3/4 of a mile of flooded forest....... At least it was a good workout.

Second day, Dad's gun was fixed and we figured out how to get back a bit deeper in the woods. That was the ticket too. Doing so got us away from the other skybusting hunters and into a really good spot. We had shot our limits by 10am and had a great hunt. After leaving the woods, we headed back to Stuttgart and the boat shop there. The pin we needed cost a whopping $10 but it sure made life easier.

The third day with all gear problems resolved, we really hit it well. We were into the woods faster than before and got to the honeyhole quickly. Very few groups were near us as well. Maybe thats because the holiday was over, or maybe it was because we could drive further back than the others. We limited out on greenheads by 7:00am!!!!!!!! Towards the end of the shooting, we were working them to the water and picking the largest ducks from the groups. It was simply an awesome hunt!

Jesse did great on the trip as well. He's out of practice, but figured things out again pretty quickly.
After getting home, I managed to get out to Herb's for a lap around the lake on the SSCX bike... : )

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Ya'll!

Today was a good reminder of some of the more important things about the holidays......

I spent the whole day with my family. Like everyone else in the world, I spend all my time running around like a chicken with his head cut off. Too much to do, too little time.

Today, I spent time with my little girl and just 'played'. We plinked on her new guitar, she showed me around her dollhouse. Thats the kind of stuff that good times are really made of....

When my daughter and my wife took a nap, I snuck out and got in 15 miles on the road bike. That was nice as well. I even cruised up the toughest hill in my area on the roadbike in the 4th cog. Normally I'd ride half way in Granny and walk nearly the rest. Today was different though. I guess all that SingleSpeed time is paying off.....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cycling goodies for birthday and Christmas!

This year for the gift giving holidays, I added a bunch of cycling stuff to my 'list' for my family. My parents still love to give gifts to myself and my sister (as well as our respective spouses) and I always have to give them a good list.

So what is new on the bikes?

For the Ritchey and the Labadie/Zeus, I got a set of Eggbeater SL's (set for each bike). I've mounted them and unfortunately, I'm sick, so I've not yet ridden them. Good news is they seem very nice compared to the old Onza's I've ridden for 10+ yrs. They aso took another 2 ozs off each bike.

Next up, for the Quattro Assi roadbike, I got a new saddle. The old Spesh.. Alias just was not cutting it. It was not comfortable and had stitching at seemingly the wrong places. I replaced it with a Toupe Team with ti rails. That saddle took over 5 ozs off the bike!!!! I think with some new tires, I should have the thing sub 15lbs. ;)

Finally, for all around, I got some new cold weather gear. For my legs and arms, I got leg/arm warmers that pull on and tuck under the sleeve/legs. They are very warm and should make a big difference while riding in the cold weather around here.....

I also snagged a new LeZyne multi tool for the seatbag. That thing is really high quality!!!

I was hoping to hit the Martin Luther Cyclocross here in Memphis, but we were on the interstate that whole day. Maybe next year......

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Better braking with Cantis......

Managed to get my hands on a set of Avid Tri-dangles for my SSCX bike. This coupled with XTR cantis and Ritchey pads makes a pretty awesome setup overall. I've set cantis up for years, but I found this link to be a pretty good read on the subject. When it all comes down to it, power here is all about geometry.

Tour de Wolf

I managed to sneak away from work yesterday for enough time to do 2 laps of the Tour de Wolf trail. It rained here hard this week, so I ended up getting the bike pretty muddy (thats what a cross bike is for right?)

I'm finding that every time I go out on it, I feel stronger and more capable with the singlespeed. It takes a different kind of momentum conservation on a SS vs a geared bike and I think you simply have to learn what that optimum balance is.

Unfortunately, While TDW is dry enough to ride, I'm guessing Stanky and Herbs are absolute slop fests.....

I got some better quality cable hangers for the bike, so I'll install them this weekend and hopefully get a little better braking.....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Herbs on a Cyclocross bike!

I managed to get out this weekend and get one measly lap around Herb Parsons this weekend. On a positive note, I dressed warmer (maybe too warm) and managed to keep my feet warm as a result. I've definitely gotta get some bib tights to wear out there on the trail though. My regular tights just won't stay up......

I rode the trail on my singlespeed cross bike. The bike handles very well. Its a good bike on the trail for sure. I gotta say however, I still hate riding drop bars offroad. The brake levers don't fall at all near where they feel like they should, and my hands cramp from all of the time spent trying to get a grip. The gear was just about right, as I spun out over the dam, but was still able to climb every climb.

As for my goal of getting to 180, I lost another pound last week. Currently 209. Long way to go, but at least I'm progressing.