Sunday, February 28, 2010

Epic--I was trying to earn a Darwin award.

I have to admit that I was really looking forward to today's ride as it has been a while since I have ridden with anyone else and I really needed a break from the trainer and the long cold solo missions. Given the recent weather, I was not sure it would happen. This morning's walk home left me even more doubtful because the roads were pretty much covered with slush. I got home and went to bed and vaguely remember Chris leaving a message on the machine saying it was on for 2:30. I love riding with Chris--he's a great guy, super fit and we always seem to push a little harder when we ride together. Chris is somewhat sick--he is training for the Furnace Creek 508 which he plans to do on a fixie. 508 miles on a geared bike is just wrong, let alone a fixed gear.
We got out by 2:30 and it was surprisingly pleasant out, although it felt a touch colder than the 42 degrees our defunct thermometer was reading. I usually wait and see what Chris wants to do, given that he is riding the fixed gear, it's only fair that he choices the route. He almost always comes up with something I have not done before which is always cool. Today we headed up Middlefield Center Road which is about 10 miles of very subtle climbing and down into the village of Cherry Valley where I found a nice little coffee shop which, of course, was closed.

Quite nice heading out Middlefield Center Road.

From Cherry Valley, we headed over a longer climb on one of the back roads which brought us into Sharon Springs. This was all good and new territory for me so I was excited--time was passing by quickly and today's required 2.5 hrs was going to be a breeze.

A few flurries heading into Sharon Springs.

We briefly stopped in Sharon Springs to decide which way to get back home when we realized it was 4:30 and we had at best 1.5 hours of daylight and no matter which way we went, we would need every bit of 1.5 hours to get home.

Chris blasting away on the one cog--he sick!

We decided to go south on Rt. 10 for about 5 miles, then turn west on 165. Rt. 165 is a rolling 10 miles with one hill which is a steady 13% grade for maybe half a mile, dumping us out on Rt 166 where we turned south again for 7 miles before we turn right onto Murphy Hill for the final 3.5 miles to home.

The sun was starting to set as we came across the valley--still 10 miles from home.

The calm before the storm.

Here it comes.

Great, except 5 miles before we were to turn up Murphy Hill, it started snowing like crazy, which was bad enough, but add in the fact that it was 6 pm and getting really dark, things got really sketchy. In 10 minutes the road was covered with snow, making it super slick--luckily we were only passed by enough cars to scare the shit out of us. I could just see a car being surprised by the 2 idiots on bikes, slamming on the brakes and sliding smack into us.
Great--2 doctors earn a Darwin Award for riding in a snow storm at night without lights, not so surprising that they got run over. We finally called it quits as we turned onto Murphy Hill, we could barely get enough traction to ride the wheels and were spinning out with every other turn of the cranks. I finally got through to Cora who, as always, was kind enough to come bail us out.

I can't see!

Now it's epic--getting scary!

Now it was just crazy--we pulled the plug here as we started up Murphy Hill.
All in all, 3.5 hours--good times.

I'm looking forward to my rest week--maybe I can get some painting done around the house--we'll see. I'm off to bed now--busy day ahead--wish us luck--tomorrow is the Iceman registration and the practice ride sign up for both Mt. Washington/Newton's Revenge.

CIRREM Results

Well I got her all cleaned up again...with a toothbrush. Then I went and hit the CIRREM ride. A 100 kilometer leg burner in Iowa. There are a ton of small climbs that just sap you. It was 18 degrees at the start with sustained winds around 10-15 miles per hour. I wore pretty much every piece of CWG that I own. I was more comfortable than last year mostly because of my booties and two pairs of wool socks. There was only one point where I thought I might cool down by unzipping my wind breaker, after about 5 minutes I changed my mind and kept zipped for the entire race. My time was a few minutes slower than last year...I added about 4 miles to the race near the end when I went right instead of left...bummer. I ended up 43 out of 65. The road conditions totally favored the road bikers and "super brutal" cyclocross dudes. They had rock hard roads. Sadly, I got beat by a guy on a Pugsly so my whole "I'm slow because my tires are fat" argument gets pretty screwed.

Mileage looks pretty good for the day. As always the boys taunt me with their pedal damn it.

A quick shot of the carnage.
If you notice the crud between the wheel and the fork...hard as cement.
Here are a few pounds of frozen mud and sand...front der became totally useless after about 30 miles.I had to get off the bike and run warm water on it from my bag hose. What bag hose? Wouldn't you like to know. Anyway the front der is going to get extra soap.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

2010 Kit

Finalized the new kit today--clean and simple--old school.
I ordered the new bike--can't wait. I'm thinking we may be sub-13 pounds.
Signed up for Newton's Revenge--the season is finalized, only need to get into Iceman--wish me luck--registration opens Monday.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Lot of Snow.

Something like 22 inches fell--4.5 hours of shoveling almost got things cleaned up--so much for a real rest day cause I'm spent.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm bored and dreaming again.

If you have not heard, we here in the Northeast are getting dumped on. It's been snowing pretty much all day. When I walked to work tonight, the snow was just about knee-deep--it's really pretty out. Why am I so bored? Well, lots of snow means poor roads and that means the good ole' folks around here do not get sick and have no need for our services until the weather clears a bit--funny how that works. Either way, I'm more than happy to take what I can get.

I can't stop thinking about Mt. Washington--I'm so psyched to do it. I think I'm going to sign up for Newton's Revenge as it's half price for those already signed up for Mt. Washington. With both races having a free practice ride, I should be able to get 4 trips up the hill--good practice and time to dial in the gear.

As I have mentioned, I want to get a hill climbing bike and to make it worthwhile, it needs to be significantly lighter than the Ottrott--I'm aiming to trim 5 lbs of bike weight and for what it's worth 4 more pounds of my weight--9 lbs is pretty significant, if you ask me.

So here is what I (actually Ian at Fitwerx) came up with--should be in the 13 pound range.

Parlee Z5--approx 900 grms for the frameset

Different frame showing off the nude carbon finish--stealth!

Edge road taper fork 340 grms
The new Keo Carbon Blade--258 grms with cleats and mounting hardware.

easton EC90 post--168 grms
Selle Italis SLR Flite Team Edition--150 grms

REVL carbon road brake--115 grms per wheel

SRAM Red front derailleur--72 grms

SRAM Red shift/brake levers--318 grms

SRAM XX rear derailleur--180 grms

SRAM XX rear cassette--186 grms

Zipp VumaQuad crankset 50/34 with ceramic bottom bracket--590 grms

Zipp SL145 stem--135 grms

Zipp SLC2 handlebars--192 grms

Zipp 202 tubulars--1095 grms for the front and back
with Tufo elite jet tires--160 grms each.

Pretty straight-forward build right out of the weight weenies playbook. Although the primary goal is light weight none of these components are giving up performance for weight--it's all pretty much as good as it gets. This all adds up to 4.7 kgs which does not include bar tape, cables, wheel tape and a chain--it gonna be light, know what I is saying!
The gearing is going to give me a 34x36 which should be more than enough for any hill and still remain some what functional on non-hill climb rides--if that gets to be a problem, i.e. not enough gear I'm going to put the SRAM red rear derailleur and cog on when it's not "hill climb season." So hopefully I can get her ordered up in the next week or so.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

A little bit faster.

The weather was beautiful today-I was so psyched to get outside for a ride after 10 straight days of riding indoors. I headed over to Westford and then back over the hill into Cooperstown and around the lake. I was really feeling upbeat, as spring feels like it's around the corner. Unfortunately, I know that feeling will be short-lived, as I heard that it's supposed to snow for the next 5 days. Anyhow, I'll make the best of it. I was riding outside full-time last year in March. Three more weeks--tick tock-tick tock.

The valley is always a nice ride.

Looking up from the head of the lake--you can't see the crazy bastards out ice fishing.

I always like riding by these old tractors--for some reason, they always remind me of multiple bikes all lined up. I imagine this guy to be as psyched as I am getting a new bike when he got the second tractor.

So amongst all the random things I think about while riding, I got to thinking about where I was thirty years ago today. I remember it clear as crystal--I was eleven years old and after watching the USA beat the former Soviet Union in Lake Placid, I was determined to be a professional hockey player. After the game, I went outside and rallied the kids on the street for a game. Big Dave got suited up in a variety of equipment taken from other sports, padded up nicely and making a fine goalie. The only problem with my great plan was that I lived in South Florida and organized hockey was really hard to come by. The largest piece of ice around was the ice cube in my neighbor's gin and tonic, so my dreams died about a week later.

Thirty years later, I'm 41 and am determined to get a little bit faster on my bike. My quest for speed took me out for 3.5 hours today which included some pretty brutal intervals (first of the year) and some sprint--all in all I'm pretty cooked.

This is what I really ride for--the recovery meal.

Cora made these "barbars" for me--they are out of this world and I can't stop eating them.

Happy 30th!

Thirty years ago today--happy anniversary.

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The dirty girl is back

Alright, she is a pretty girl I will admit. But really when I first saw her I thought she was out of my league. Now a little back story. Originally when I was still a 26'er fan and just beginning to research these new beasts I thought I wanted a Felt. They cost a shitload, but really how many of those do you see around these days. Niner isn't just a bike that a lot of people have because they are considered cool...they are durable, well made, and you guessed it sexy. Now back to my girl...she is an EMD which stands for Eat My Dust. In reality not many people are eating any part of her dust, truth be told that is my fault not hers. Any good rider could take my 25 lb chick and thrash almost any trail. She smokes single track even though she is a long legged drink of water. She climbs descent and descends like a bullet train in Japan with a tailwind. When you think about it somebody is nailing the hot ones so why shouldn't it be me. I tried to live by that credo with the real women in my life and for the most part it worked out pretty well. Some funny notes about that: for all you tiny bike weenies out there its true bigger is better. The two nine is the only way to go period. Even the pretty ones get real dirty you just have to steer them that way. Maybe the EMD isn't the top of the line Niner, you might think "what the hell Bigdave you could roll the Air 9 Carbon then I would understand." And of course I would say "yes she IS hot, but...and this is a big one...I would split her wide open and then how great would she be?" Nope the EMD is perfect for Bigdave.

I mean come on what the hell has she been up to? This is a sweet POV of the undercarriage. Very dirty. Jeezus clean yourself already.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Red Stripe Mon?

The red stripe version?

Vertical or horizontal stripes on the gloves?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dirty Edge Clean Niner. Black Baby Black.

All the cut off times are sill on the carbon for me to stare at until next time!

It took some doing, but all the crud is now off the front der.

Rear der all clean...Chris King all clean.

All clean. Now for the Edge.

Well, after the unmentionable debacle I thought I wouldn't wash my baby until I returned to try again. It seemed like a noble idea at the time. Then a little Belgian mud from North O mixed with ice and sand and viola nothing works anymore. I was forced to clean with soap no less. She has such beautiful legs I really ought to clean her more often. I took a little 360 video and a few nudes of her to make people in the know all jealous of my set up and super tight hoops. If there was such a thing as a Brazilian for a bike I'm pretty sure my Niner would sport it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Final Uniform

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hill Climber

I've been day-dreaming again. I made the mistake of asking Ian at Fitwerx what he would recommend for a hill-climbing bike. He gave me a couple of choices--the Cervelo RS, Felt Z4/Z2, Serotta's HSG and the Parlee Z5. I'm not a big fan of Felt, so that's out, and as much as I love Serotta, it does not make a lot of sense to get an HSG in that it's the most expensive of the bunch and there is not a significant weight savings from the Ottrott. That leaves the Cervelo, which I like, it's relatively inexpensive, i.e., 2500$ for the frameset and weighs in at just about 1050 grms.

Lastly, the Parlee Z5 which, I must confess, I did not know much about. I spent about two hours browsing the web, reading various reviews and nobody had a bad thing to say, in fact everybody is raving about the Z5. The Z5 is the latest addition to the Parlee line. The Z5, unlike the full custom frames from Parlee which are made in Peabody Mass., is made in China to "exact" Parlee specifications. This concerns me a bit, as I'm digging full custom and made in the good old U.S of A. The upside of this is that it's "relatively" inexpensive compared to the full custom platforms. I'm intrigued--time for some more research and some test rides and just maybe I'll bring one home.

So, yes, I really like the Z5

Tyler Hamilton rode a Parlee up Mt Washington--shouldn't Dr Matt? Check this out.

Monday, February 15, 2010

More of the inside riding. Oh it's not so bad.

I had planned on going over to Cambridge, New York to ride all (or at least some) of the Battenkill course, as I needed to get 4 hours in today and the weather looked to be promising. As things go, when I woke up, it was still snowing and windy. It was probably rideable, but not really worth the 2-hour drive to Battenkill. So I came to terms with more inside riding. I managed to watch Breaking Away again and got through the first season of Entourage. All in all, a pretty good work out which left me exhausted. With Cora kindly rubbing my legs, I was asleep within half an hour of getting off the bike. I vaguely remember talking on the phone to Big Dave about Floyd's latest troubles, which led to some pretty kooky dreams all night long.

How's this for a recovery meal? I got this from the Racing Weight book--not so bad, huh? And if this is on the menu, I may just do my three hours today indoors as well. Snow or french toast?