Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cordova Cross 2011

Well, this was likely my last cross race for the 2011-12 season due to the impending birth of my first son (second child).

I went out Friday night to help Anthony get the course right. I spent a couple hours with him trying to get the course right and get it marked right. In the end, it was an effort well spent because the course got a lot of good comments. FWIW, I had to leave after a couple hours. Dylan and Anthony then worked until 11pm finishing the course.

Anthony did a good job with the race. It was well promoted and had 27 entrants. The course design was good as well. I think next year, some more work on the 'administration' of the race will make it run more smoothly.

As for me, I sucked wind pitifully. I could tell I laid on my back during most of the month of November. I was pretty pitiful. The course was killer because of the mud, the soft boggy areas we had to slog through and all the elevation changes.

All told, it was the kind of course that kills me and that was just fine. It was fun and hard work!

Monday, November 28, 2011

More Downtime.....

Well, Cyclocross season is slipping away from me. The tonsillectomy surgery I had has definitely affected me more than I would have thought.....

The good news is that I've lost 10 lbs since the surgery 1 month ago.

The bad news is that I've lost a lot of fitness.

I've now had a handful of rides back on the bike thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday. A MTB ride at Herbs, a CX ride on the WRT and then a road ride. None were stellar rides though!

I hope I can get back on the fitness wagon soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Winter Weather Riding

Well, sad to say, but winter is here. Ok, technically its still fall, but the weather is now cold enough to warrant getting set up correctly for winter. The temp is now dropping regularly below 60 degrees, and that is plenty cold enough for most.

I decided a couple years ago however to not stop riding when it got cold. Simliar to when I was a kid, I did not want to stop just because it was freezing outside. Indoor trainers just don't get me going like I would like either.

So what to do?

First off, you must be dressed for success. First layers need to be insulating layers which do a good job of wicking. For that, I use some Nike Cold Gear that my brother-in-law got me for Christmas. I follow that up with a set of insulated Sugoi tights (again a Christmas present, this time from my father). Over the top of all of that is a Nimblewear wind jacket. The jacket fits well and cuts the wind back very effectively. I really like the Nimblewear stuff!

To cap all that off, I like to wear a cycling cap under my helmet, as well as some Sugoi full-finger gloves and some Woolie Boolie merino wool socks under my shoes.

Next in line is getting the bike right. A lot of people would just hop on and go. Thats really not the way to go though. So, first off, I go with good tires for winter. Wide tires. More comfort. No issues. Next up, I don't ride my steel bike during winter. Why chance rusting out a vintage Colnago and all those beautiful components. I stick with my carbon bike for winter. Finally, I use only components with sealed bearings. Why leave any of that to chance.

One other great little thing I added to the bike a couple years ago was a fender set. I use the Crud RoadRacer fenders. Still relatively new, but very effective. Light and easy to install. I can't say enough great things about these fenders. I will likely put a little more reflective tape on them at the ends to give some more visibility.

Last thing on the bike is a blinky light. It is inevitable that you will get stuck out after dark on a winter ride. Why chance getting hit because they can't see you?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cyclocross Magazine - Pre Race Inspection Article.

I wrote this up for the folks at Cyclocross Magazine.

Nothing earth shattering or anything terribly new, but this is always good advice.

Give it a read!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Well, this is not the time that I wanted downtime, but this is the time I got it.

I'd been having troubles with coughing, constant nasal drip and some large growths sticking out of my tonsils into my airway/throat. Not a lot of fun. The doctor said the tonsils had to come out.

I'd heard all the stories about how this was 'much worse for adults' and how much longer it would take me to heal.

Everything I heard so far has been true and then some.

I've now depleted the vanilla ice cream population in my town, and unfortunately, I've not been on a bike in a couple weeks.

The good news is that I'm now 191 lbs. Lighter than I've been in a very long time! Now if I can keep the weight off and keep my strength up, I'll be OK. Unfortunately, I cannot manage to do anything at all stressful. You'd never believe how much strain it puts on your throat to do stressful things!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spooky Cross 2011

For me, this is one of my 'home races'. I live 5 mins from the course and ride out there regularly. The event is also put on by a bunch of friends and attended by most of my friends, so it makes for a great event!

The course this year was similar to last year's excepting the run-up the stairs in the ampitheatre. They had some renaissance festival going on in there supposedly so we could not use it....

Day one had a very large CX4 field (large for Memphis standards) with over 2 dozen riders. They also ran the SS'ers with us to make the group bigger.. I got to the line late so lined up mid-pack. The start involved a straight that eventually dove into some pretty tight singletrack. I knew getting into the woods would be crucial and edged up a bit from mid-pack to hit the woods in the first 1/3 of the group. I came out of the woods in pretty good position, but quickly started going backwards..... By the end of the race, I managed to beat a couple of racers I knew I wanted to be in front of, but was pretty much behind everyone else....

Day two had half the field of the previous day. They also reversed the course and moved some of the barriers to reposition them on run-ups. I felt better on the start even though I did not hit the woods in the best position. After a while, I started going back and forth with a couple non-locals and we had a race going. I'd beat them in the barriers and woods, they'd pull me back and pass on the flats and on the paved sections. In the end, I was able to make a large dig and make it stick. Unfortunately, I was still back of the pack at the finish.

I did not get completely skunked however - they had a 'bike handling' competition right before the awards ceremony. They did the 'circle drill' where all the riders are put in a circle and then the circle is gradually tightened up. Dab and out. I made it to the end and won. The prize was something my results say I definitely need - one month full service coaching from a USAC certified pro coach.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cyclocrunk 2011 #3

So because of a 84 hour work week last week, I missed Cyclocrunk #2 - and I got sick.

None of that bode well for getting out there during Cyclocrunk #3....

Again, since the race was sanctioned and required a license, all of the 'freds' stayed home. That basically meant that there was no one for me to race against for the most part.

My buddy Bobby showed up. He is an incredibly strong runner and was my partner during the Wolfman Duathlon this year (we took 2nd in Men's team). I took him around the course to show him how it ran, and gave him some of the lowdown on how 'cross goes. With that, we were ready to ride.

I guess I was sorta ready to ride. I was absolutely whooped still from the previous week. With that, I was racing with the 'start slow and taper off' strategy.

The course was fast and dry, and because of a kickball league that infiltrated the park during the race, they cut the race to 30 mins. On the last lap, I saw my buddy Bobby ahead of me by about 200-300 yards and I decided to catch him. Amazingly enough, I caught him half way through the lap and extended it to the finish. Of that, I was kinda proud.

Hopefully, I'll feel healthier and have more legs and lungs for this weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2011

6 Hours of Herb Parsons 2011

This weekend, I hit my favorite MTB race of the year. I started racing MTB back in 1991 or so at Herb Parsons, so it was good to be racing there. I love the trail. I love seeing all my friends and I love the way the race is run.

So fast forward to a few days before the race, I kicked in a registration for a solo ride. I knew this would not yield me a potential placing, but that was Ok. This would not provide any chance for a place on the podium because at this race, they run age groups only. With that, I was racing against the likes of Hart Robinson and all the other fast guys in the area.

Based on my lap times from last year, I planned on running somewhere around 50 minute laps for the duration of the race. Good plan.

For pitting, I had my pit area set up with my cooler at one corner with water, gels and PB&J to eat on each lap. Turned out to be a pretty good plan as well.

After the LeMans start, it was all I could do to not latch on to the fast guy's wheels and hang with them. I know I can hang for 1 lap with some of them, but not for 6, so I stayed as patient  as possible and hung back. Eventually, I settled in on my Bill G's wheel and started rolling along well. That first lap was 47 minutes, which was a bit faster than I planned, so I slowed a bit for the second and hit a 50.

For my third, cramps started setting in so I downed some GuBrew in the pits and went back at it. Legs were feeling better pretty quickly.

Eventually, during lap 5, I must have burped a tire and ended up having to stop to pump it back up. That lap time was quite a bit slower than the previous as I had to stop for a while as I pumped up with that slow little pump.

Finally, a few miles from the finish, I heard Dennis G's cow bell ringing on his camelback and we rode in together to the finish.

6 laps
58 miles
4 PB&J's
2 flasks of Gu
Whole lotta fun!!!!!!!

Oh yeah.... I finished 11th out of 20 in my group. I also finished 1 place behind my buddy and sponsor, Chad (who I beat last year, so 2012 will have to be a matchup)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cyclocrunk 2011 #1

After waiting for too long, cyclocross season is finally here. The first race of the year for me was Cyclocrunk. This is a USAC training race put on by some local friends. Its grown pretty big through the years and so this year it even had sanctioning (never did previously).

This race promised to be a fast one as it had not rained in a month. The ground was dry and hot. We expected some serious fast racing on what was esentially the previous course with a few modifications.

However, Mother Nature showed her hand about 2 hours before the race and dropped a downpour on us. Perfect for a cyclocross race!!!! The rain really hit us hard and the result was a lot of mucky areas, along with standing water everywhere and lots of peanut buttery mud to slip around on.

I managed to get an OK start and was in the first 10 or so into the first barrier. Unfortunately, I must have been racing with the 'Start slow and taper off' strategy. I managed to stay on the lead lap for approx 3 laps and then the Cat 2's came around hard and fast. That being said, I did lap a few people myself and held with a couple racers for a pretty good period before they finally pulled away on a straight.

As usual, I made up time on the barriers and lost time on the bike. Seems wierd to me as I'm a terrible runner. I guess I get on and off faster.

Now if I can just get some legs back for the rest of the season!

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Wheels For Kurt

My buddy Kurt has been increasing his skills, and rewarded himself for that with a nice set of wheels. Unfortunately, while the King hubs are tough as nails, the Mavic rims that were on the wheels are less than tough, and were not up to his abuse.....

So, he decided to have them rebuilt. The rebuild job came to my garage for lacing.

I started by tearing down the old wheelset and polishing up the hubs. Getting the cassette off was pretty tough as it was a lower end SRAM and had cut into the alu freehub body. Judicious tapping in the right direction with a brass hammer dislodged it and allowed me to wiggle it off. He'll be replacing it with a higher end cassette that has an alu spider.

The new hoops are Stans and really look good. He picked DTSwiss double butted black spokes along with black annodized nipples. I used spoke lube from Alchemy bicycle works on the threads and laced them up. Lacing went fine, and tensioning up and truing was quick as well. Overall, a very good wheelbuild.

They look to me like they will hold up really well and their tubeless capability will take some weight off his bike.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cyclcross Practice and Feeling Out The Bike

So last night, my buddy Billy hollered and wanted to see if I wanted to go do some cyclocross practice drills. I headed over to his place and we took off down the road. We warmed up with a 4 or so mile warmup down the road to a local park which looked like it was built to be a 'cross course.

When we got there, we tooled around the paths for a minute looking for a good place to do some drills. We found some fallen branches and set up a makeshift barrier. After that, we started doing dismount/remount drills going both uphill and downhill.

Next, we tried some runups and around a big stump followed by an immediate downhill. That was interesting.

After a few drills, we stopped for a bit and watched each other to give each other some suggestions on how to make improvements. I won't say either of us came away with any changes, but it was interesting to hear someone critique my technique, as well as interesting to watch someone elses.

Time to get ready to race (still 2 wks away)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Painting the CX Bike - Part 8 Completed

Well, she's done. I'm pretty pleased with the result. I know several mistakes I made, but also how to fix them, as well as how to not make those mistakes next time. The end result is pretty doggone good, and most people will never know of, realize or see the mistakes either.

I need to finish assembly so I can get to practicing the dismounts/remounts, but should be able to do that tomorrow.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Painting the CX Bike - Part 7 - Final Clear

So last night, I checked the weather to see what time would be the magic time to put the final clear on the frame. By the weather, it looked like 10am would be the magic time.

I hit the garage this morning at 8:30 and sanded down the frame with some 600 grit and fresh soapy water. I knocked down the rough spots, and the edges of the decals. Everything was nice and smooth.

Then I mixed up a cup of clear and started spraying it. It laid down nicely and the gloss was looking really good. Then, lo and behold, it started to rain!!!!!! Only a few drops hit the frame, but they make a wierd little blemish that has to be buffed out.

I waited 15 mins and hit it with the final really wet coat. This time, the frame really shined. I'm happy with the way it turned out in total.

I'll sand down some of the blems tomorrow and hit it with the buffing compound. That will really make the bike look good.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Painting the CX Bike - Part 6 - Decals and Clear

With the color on the frame, I checked over everything and it looked pretty good. I pulled out the extra decal set that came with the frame when I bought it. I then trimmed the edges of the decals to get rid of some fuzz they picked up and pulled out the measurements I had done of the frame before I stripped it.

I took my time installing the decals and they still came out a little crooked. Measure twice and stick once is the rule here!

Stickers in place, its time to mix up some clear and shoot it. As you can see from the pics, I shot the bike outside. Clear is dangerous nasty stuff. I did not want the fumes anywhere near myself or my family. I shot one misty coat and followed it shortly with a wet coat. I followed that with a wet coat 15 mins later.

The results are pretty doggone good. The clear laid down well and the finish is nice.

There a few too many places with an eggshell look to them, so I'll wetsand this down with 1000 grit paper to knock off the highspots and then spray it with 2 more wet coats. The results of that will be a glassy finish.

Painting the CX Bike - Part 5 - Color

After all that prep work, it was time for some color. This is when the paint job starts to look like a paint job!

I shot the white of the main tubes first. I used the touchup gun to lay the color and it went on very well with 40psi and approx 10% reducer.

Masking for the blue was the next task. Intially, I masked with standard green masking tape and used an Exacto to cut the shorelines. The result was terrible. I was beyond dissappointed with my results......

So I started over. This time I used 1/8" blue polyurethane 3M masking tape. This tape pulls and stretches around the shorelines very well. I then put the green tape around the ends of the tubes and cut the tape back from the blue tape. This gave a nice masked line. Finally, I sprayed a line of white AutoAir around the blue tape to seal its edges. This ensures the next color does not bleed under the tape.

Finally, I sprayed blue on the frame to finish the color. I used the touch up gun for the main body of work, and followed up with the airbrush for the shoreline areas.

Painting the CX Bike - Part 4 - Preparation

One of the things my uncle taught me was that a paint job is 95% prep work, and 5% spraying the paint.

So I started sanding down the frame. I started with 220 grit wet/dry paper. A tub of hot water with a little Dawn dishwashing soap to wet the paper in kept the paper from gumming up and becoming useless.

I hit the entire frame and spent extra time on all the problem areas. Wherever there was rust, I went all the way to bare metal.

This is a lot of work, especially on a bicycle frame. Cars are much easier in this respect.

The goal of this process is the level the surface and fix any chips or rusty spots.

After smoothing the frame and taking it down to a leveled surface, I shot a coat of primer.

At this point, I found a ton of flaws that had not been addressed the first time. So I sanded it down again to level and smooth those flaws. Then I primed again. Three more times this process flowed until I had a nice smooth surface to lay color on.

The final step of this section of the process was to lay the Auto Air Sealer. This is part of the Auto Air product and makes sure that the color base coat will adhere correctly to the frame. It comes in different shades, so I stuck with white to match the white coat of paint.

Painting the CX Bike - Part 3 Picking Paint

The next detail I had to deal with was/is that I needed to pick some paint for the bike. Specifically, I needed to pick a brand and type to shoot.

I painted bicycles, motorcycles and cars when I was younger. I was lucky enough to learn to paint from my uncles. They are farmers and have made money painting cars, motorcycles and farm equipment for people during the winter after harvest. I was lucky enough to learn the process from them.

Things have changed since then though. When I learned, we used single stage paint. That is, you shot it, it was shiny and had the color. When it hardened, you polished it and it was shinier. Good stuff, but not great. These days, people shoot bicycles with urethane 2 stage paints. Paint a base coat of color and then lay down a shiny clear on top of it. The beauty of this is that the clear will seal down the stickers on the frame! The clear is also tough.

As I looked for products, my problem quite literally was volume. Paint vendors sell qty's to paint cars. Bicycles use very small volumes. Eventually I found TCP global. They sell small volumes to motorcycle customizers. Next up, I found Auto Air. This is a waterbased urethane airbrush paint that can be used for higher volume applications like motorcycle tanks and bicycle frames. Finally, I found their Kustom Klear. Shoots easily and mixes well in small volumes.

I decided to shoot the paint in a touch-up gun, and to use my trusty double action airbrush for touch up work. I've shot a lot with the airbrush and it works well. I've also shot a lot with large siphon automotive guns, but they don't do small volumes well, so I went with a gravity fed touch-up gun.

So there ya go. There is my paint and my equipment. I ended up using a standard primer, sanding papers as well as typical tapes of different types to mask the bike when ready.

My repair stand was also invaluble during the process.

Painting the CX Bike, Part 2

So I posted below what the final product should look like When completed in the prevous post.

Here is what the bike looked like to start.

The bike did not look terrible before, but there were some issues with the original paint.

1. There were several rust spots on the frame where the paint had been rubbed away or chipped and rust had started to form. Not good on a CX bike, and something that is hard to stop once started.
2. The transfers on the frame were all coming off and looked pretty worn. 80's stickers were not the best quality.
3. I did not love the color of the frame, and it had a pearl clear coat on it which was peeling off in sheets in different places. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Paint For the Cyclocross Bike

Well, I decided a couple years ago that I wanted to re-paint my cyclocross bike. I'm now well into the process, but I thought I'd show some of the process here....

To start, I had to decide what I wanted the bike to look like. I pulled up BikeCad and had a go at putting together the paint scheme.

Here is the result......

Next up, I'll show some detail of the actual work......

Monday, September 12, 2011

177 Miles On A Vintage Bike

This past weekend was the annual Rock N Roll MS150 bicycle ride. The event goes from the Memphis, TN area to the Tunica MS casinos via a nice winding route. This was my 10th year participating in the event, and I've been lucky to be part of the ride committee for the past two years (not much participation on that team this year though).

My company sponsors our team, and even pays for jerseys for us to ride in. Pretty sweet deal! I also enjoy getting out and just riding for a whole weekend. Not training, Not racing, just riding.

So the weather for the weekend could not have been better. The temperature was perfect, the clouds were just enough to keep us from getting burnt, and the wind was pretty nice to us most of the time.

For this year, I elected to ride the Colnago Super I built this summer. At the beginning of the ride, I got a lot of looks from folks on carbon bikes. Their eyes said 'what is he doing out here with that old thing?'. Later in the ride, I started getting all sorts of comments from folks who really appreciated seeing a well maintained vintage bike. Over and over again, I told the story of finding it and the build. People were amazed that I had no trouble keeping up on a bike that was older than them.

The best compliment came when I pulled up along one of the LBS shop owners. As I rode up, he eyed the bike for a few hundred yards and said 'now that is a bike with class and character'. That made me feel real good.

One other fun detail of the weekend was day 1. On day one, they had an option for riding a century. I've never ridden a century in all my years riding (20+). Countless metric centuries, but never a regular Century. The weather was so good, I just had to go do it. I finished with a comfortable (not fast) time and headed to the banquet hall for some good food.

Day 2 was just as nice, but we only had a 75 mile option.

In the end, I rode 177 miles in two days. Definitely a personal record and one I'd like to duplicate next year.

Monday, September 5, 2011

CX Magazine

Well, I've written pieces for other hobbies I've been part of. I like to pass on what I've learned over time and through experience. It can be really fun to pass these things on.

To that end, I got an opportunity to write for CX Magazine. Fun gig. I've had several small snippets published, and just had my first longer piece published.

Give it a read. I hope you like it!

Click here -->CX Magazine Ridley Article

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Legend of Stanky Creek 2011

So going into this one, I had high hopes. In 2010, I got on the podium, and my fitness this year is significantly better. I hoped that things would go well and I might get on the podium again.

Like last year, my plan was to get into the woods first and hold that until the woods tightened up and made it much harder to pass. To that end, I succeeded. I did end up letting Kiran (teammate) past about 1/2mile into the woods, He was just jumping behind me to pass and I know he's a lot stronger, so I let him by.

I stayed there in third for another 5 mins. Then I hit the same damn root which bit me last year. I hit the root and went down between two trees. Instantly 2-3 guys jumped past me in the woods and I never saw them again.

After getting back up and getting under way again, I hit it hard and rocked the big ring. I was doing well until about mile 7. I was going through some gravity cavities and trying not to catch air coming out the backside. Unfortunately, I misjudged one badly and overcooked the far side. I came out in the air and had not planned to. Needless to say, the landing was terrible. 3 more guys got past me as I caught my wind and straightened out the bike.

At that point, I remembered the admonishment my better half had given me "We're going on vacation next week, don't you dare go out there and get hurt!!!!". I figured I was now in 11th place and just rode the rest of the way in. I still passed several people from other categories, but was 11th in my cat.

The time sheet was interesting - I was 5 minutes faster than last year and could have been as much as 8 mins faster if I had not hit the dirt!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


So I was looking at the Colnago and trying to figure out the gearing.... Every time I rode with my group, I was repeatedtly asking them to check what kind of speed we were holding. From their answers and what I could tell my cadence was, I knew something was not quite right.

I checked the cassette, which I thought was a 11-23 7sp and found it was actually a 13-23 7sp. If you plug those numbers into a gear calculator, the difference is quite large. Also the 13-52 that I was running when spun out is quite a bit short of the 11-50 I was spinning out on my plastic fantastic.

So I started digging in my stash of parts and managed to find a new SRAM 11-23 9sp cassette. This gave me the 11 I was looking for, and gives me a tighter range between ratios. Since I'm putting this on a 8-9-10 cassette body, it fits fine. The shifter just barely has enough cable pull to make it through the entire cassette, but it works.

This thing really needs a 9sp chain, so I'll be trying to lay my hands on one this week and hopefully it will work fine.

So I now have Campagnolo crank, rings, derailleurs and brakes running with Shimano hubs and chain and a SRAM cassette... ShimSramNolo!

Bare Legs.......

I finally did it...... I started riding in '91. I started riding road about that time. That makes for around 20 years of riding the road, but.......... I've never shaved my legs. Until now.

Finally, this weekend, I broke down and did it. I got out the electric razor and buzzed off the majority. I then hit the shower and got out the razor and like that. It was done.

Feels wierd. Definitely not anything I'm used to.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Great Riding Bike!!!

Well, last week, I took the Colnago to my usual group ride out in Collierville. The usual suspects were there and they were ready to roll out hard. This group has been steadily getting up to about 20 to 21 mph and that pace is pretty hard for me....

The new bike definitely attracted attention. People were pretty impressed with its condition, and also with the fact I was going to ride it on the group ride.

We took off and I had no issues keeping up. My buddy Paul had warned me (from on board his Cervelo) that the downtube shifters would be an issue. They weren't. Frankly, I never once had an issue with shifting. I got 'the feel' of it quickly and had no issues whatsoever.

In the end, the thing that caused me the most trouble was the single bottle cage and its location. Its much lower than my other ride, so while reaching for my bottle, I managed to drop a bottle a mile from the finish and that kept me from finishing with the group.

Who says vintage bikes can't keep up with modern equipment!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Colnago Saronni completed!

I finished up the ride this weekend. I finally received the NOS 3ttt handlebars and promptly installed them. Of course mating the 3ttt stem to the bars of the same vintage meant that it all went together really well. I elected for modern Deda bar wrap instead of going with something like Benotto cellotape, but I'm glad I did as its pretty comfortable.

Setting up the brakes did not take much work as they were pretty much ready to go, and setting up the levers went well as well.

I'm a lifelong weight weenie, so I had to put it on the scale. Complete weight, ready to ride is 20.5lbs exactly. Not at all bad for a piece of vintage iron! And this is significantly lighter than any of the downtube shifter bikes I rode back in the day.

As soon as the bike was finished, a friend stopped by and we went out for a ride. The ride was initially cut short as I had not tightened the rear quick release enough and the wheel shifted on a short climb while under power. 1/2 mile later, the drive side BB cup started backing out, so we headed back to the shop to re-tighten that and locktite the cup in place. I knew better and should have done that during the initial build...

After correcting those minor problems we took off again on a quick 30 mile ride. The ride is everything I expected. Stiffer than the bikes that I rode when I was younger, but still much more comfort than the alu and carbon bikes I've ridden for the past 10 years. It climbs well and the gearing is fine for our local roads. I purposely made the cockpit 1cm shorter than my modern bike and that is plenty comfortable.

This is my first Campag equipped bike and I really do love it. Everything is so solid and smooth. I've not ridden a downtube shifter equipped bike since the mid-90's, but I adapted very quickly and had no problems with the shifts.

The only two negatives involve the brakes.... I expected the brakes would have very little power, and I definitely got what I expected. I'm going to order some modern blocks to fit the holders and keep enjoying it. The other issue is the hoods and non-aero levers. I'll get used to them, but the cable housings definitely throw me off....

No doubt, she's a keeper!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Colnago Saronni Super

Closer to done now.

This weekend, I finished all the component polishing and detailing. For every part, I've completely disassembled the part, cleaned it completely, polished it with mag polish and then rebuilt with appropriate grease.

The result is very nice. I strung up the bike and got the shifters working nicely. Everything shifts beautifully, and I really can't wait to ride it. All I lack now is a set of handlebars. I managed to snag a set of NOS 3TTT bars for the bike to go with the 3TTT stem I have already on the bike. With some white tape, I think it will look pretty good.

One other interesting detail is that this really is a replica bike. Colnago built this as a replica of Giuseppe Saronni's winning bike. He was a two time Giro winner, as well as winner of the World Championships.

A friend on sent me this link with pictures of Saronni's actual bike.....


I've been in cycling a long time. 20 yrs of serious riding this year. I started on a lugged steel mtb with no suspension fork and suntour topmount index shifters.... My first time around, I got to be a pretty good mtb racer, and a reasonably good time trialist on the road.

I loved the sport and then walked away. Married life, new job, etc all got in the way. Many of us have gone through that.

When I got back on the bike seriously again 4 years ago, I went back to the group ride at my old shop. When I left the ride, I was leading the A group. When I came back, I could barely ride half the distance the A group rode, and at half the speed.......

This year, I've finally begun finishing with the A group again. Not every time, but many times. And last night, I hit a milestone of sorts in finishing the ride at 20.8mph average. I know that won't even get me through a cat5 race, but it was a great feeling. I hung with the fast guys on our group ride and felt great afterward. In spite of being dropped on a climb or two, I managed to ride myself back on to the group each time.

Last night was a great ride!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bottom Brackets and the Wonders of the Internet......

So, the only part missing from my group on my Super Record group was the bottom bracket. I've been watching Ebay to see what pops up, but the prices for a Super Record BB are pretty high.

I remembered that I grew up working with the local Campag dealer when I was a shop mechanic. He had closed his shop by then, but during the 80's and the Lemond era, he was the go to guy in my town for anything Italian. I called him to see if he had a BB, and after looking in his parts bin, he found one. He provided 3/16 bearings in the original Campag grease for the set as well. Perfect!

Well, not quite perfect. I installed the BB and there was absolutely no way it was going to be adjusted correctly. When the BB was tightened appropriately, it looked like it would fit a 64mm BB shell instead of the 70 that any Italian threaded bike would.

Enter What do I find there, but the different BB's Campag sold over time, plus the bearing size used by each. Turns out many of them used 1/4" bearings instead of 3/16. That made for quite an easy fix. Now I just have to go find some 1/4 bearings.....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Vintage Colnago Work.... and Quality

This Saronni Colnago is my first true Italian bike. I owned a Bianchi as my first road bike, but that little beauty was actually built in Taiwan....... My new/old Colnago was definitely built by someone name like Giacomo or Giuseppe and it looks like it was. The brazing is perfect. The lugs are thin at the edges, but the edges are square and sharp.

The same thoughts apply to the Campagnolo Super Record Grouppo. I've owned Suntour, Shimano and Sram. All good products, but truly nothing compares to the quality of these Campagnolo parts. Everything is easy do disassemble, but strong and solid while assembled. The quality of the castings is absolutely flawless. There is also something about the design that portrays more art than engineering. The curves are not only functional, but beautiful at the same time.

To say I'm impressed with this bike so far is a pretty gross understatement.

As for progress on the bike, I have gotten some touchup paint which is a pretty close match to the red. I used it to touch up every nick in the frame. More to keep rust at bay than to make it look perfect. I also did the same with the frame transfers. I also pulled out some House Of Kolor paint and began painting in the cutouts in the fork crown. With those details cleaned up, it looks really nice.

I'll do the same tomorrow with cutouts in the frame lugs.

As for componentry, I pulled apart the front brake completely. After disassembly, I polished every part of chrome and alu and reassembled with fresh grease (very light film). The rebuilt caliper is definitely a thing of beauty!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Vintage Colnago Super

Months ago, I noticed a lonely red bike in a friends bike shop. I quickly recognized it as a mid-eighties Colnago but my friend was not selling. Unfortunately, his shop was not long lived, and he later moved on to work in another shop.

Sunday we met for a mtb ride at the local trail and I saw the frame in the back of his station wagon. I made a ridiculous(low) offer and amazingly he accepted.

Later that evening, I got a txt from him that he had a '74 Super Record group he was willing to sell. Another offer and he accepted again. The group is only missing the bottom bracket, freewheel and the top nut for the headset.

Searching the net and this forum for the past few days appears to say that the bike is an early/mid eighties Colnago Super. Pantographed chainstays, spool chainstay bridge, clover in the bottom bracket. Chainstays are chromed, but the headtube lugs are not.

Paint and decals are in good enough shape that I'm not going to paint it for now.

I have a few appropriate cockpit parts like a SanMarco saddle, campag post and proper 3ttt stem.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Cyclocross Race Of 2011

So today, I raced in the Tour De Cross Race 1 2011.

It was a really fun race, and a big improvement over their races last year. More entrants, and a significantly better course. While the course was/is not my kind of course, it was an excellent 'cross course. They extended it to .9miles and reduced the number of barriers a bit.

I was still in the back half of the field, but we had a good time. More of my Journeymen team showed up as well as a few other clubs.

The other cool thing about the race is that it was the first race for my ridin' buddy Jacob. He's been riding MTB with us for a couple years now and has improved significantly in that time. He's wanted to do a race all that time, and this was his first. As the winner, Brad, stated 'he picked a damn tough race as his first bicycle race. Good job Jacob!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My 2010 Season Summary

So 3 years ago, I wanted to get back on the bike for some fitness. I needed to lose 60lbs+ and did all of that.

Then I decided to hit a race or two last year.... Oh boy....

So here is the rundown:

Tour de Cross 1 - Third
Tour de Cross 2 - Third
Tour de Cross 3 - Fourth
Tour de Cross 4 - Fourth
Tour De Wolf - Bottom half of 150 people.....
Syllamo's Revenge - Cut at the halfway point (25 of 50miles)
Legend of Stanky Creek - 2nd in Age Group, Top 5 in Beginner
6 Hours of Herb Parsons - 8th in Team (great partner, Ken Graham)
Cyclocrunk 1 - Middle of 80 or so riders
Cyclocrunk 2 - DNF
Cyclocrunk 3 - Middle of 80 or so riders
SpookyCross 1 - 4th from last
SpookyCross 2 - 6th from last
OutDoors Inc CX Champs - 2nd in age group, 5th in Masters
Cross The Way - 5th from last

Looking back on these, there is a pattern for me. Faster smoother courses are definitely more my forte. The OICX race and Herbs were probably my best performances of the year, (along with Stanky). Those courses are generally faster and smoother though still technical. They also did not have much in the way of hills.

The courses I did really poorly on had either significant hills or a lot of extreme speed changes....

So for the MTB this year, I'm going with Disc brakes, and I've got a goal of losing more weight to help with the climbs. Those two things should be good.

2010 was an agressive year for me. Much more agressive than I anticipated, but it was fun!

15 races in 2010 - How many in 2011