27 September 2010

Walnut Valley Metric

Unless we are friends or you have permission, IT IS NEVER OK TO SUCK MY WHEEL WHEN I'M CLIMBING INTO THE WIND! This is not only poor etiquette but as you can see it really pisses me off. Enough, forward.

Yesterday was my 3rd Walnut Valley Metric (WVM), an event held the last Sunday in September. Proceeds go toward the Prarie Travelers, a Wichita based rails to trails organization.

I have never had a good ride in this event. I seem to have always done something so I could not be as successful as desired. Yesterday was different, I rode like a selfish bastard with two goals in mind: No cramping and finishing within 4 hours. I met both yesterday, the latter by just 43 seconds but none the less I met the goal. I hydrated well, I ate like I should have. I did all the right things well. The ride certainly could have been faster but it was actually cold compared to the last two. The wind was hellishly blowing out of the North, it was overcast and we barely saw the sun the whole time.

There were two riders who stuck out in my mind and therefore the coolest people there. The first was a high school aged girl riding some kind of late 70's road bike. She had a cotton tee, bike shorts and the coolest black/red camouflage knee highs I had ever seen. She was super nervous but had that determined look on her face that she wouldn't be denied. The second coolest was the guy who showed up on a motorcycle towing his bike on a home made trailer!

Some advice for group rides, unload your shit for god's sake. You do not need your pannier racks, your rack packs, your backpacks, your insanely huge bento box, or any of the other accouterments of your existence. This is a ride that provides you with food and beverage at measured frequent intervals. All that crap is just weighing you down and not doing you a damn bit of good.

25 September 2010

South Airport Loop

Had a great 40 miler on gravel this am with #3. Got to watch the sun come up, great way to start the day. 1st ride in a long time that it was cool enough that I had to worry about what to wear. I will let the pictures do the talking.

17 September 2010

Surly Update

Well it appears the Surly is just fine. Big thanks go out to JK for helping get me fixed up. The mud it turns out was not mud at all but heavily infused with clay. The clay chunks in between my sprockets were the direct contributor to the catastrophic chain suck. Have to replace the rear deraileur but everything else is a-ok!

Trek Sucks & paint on Specialized bike.

More stuff from Eurobike. From RoadBikeAction.com:

As for the other big talking points, one was the continued love affair between Trek and Specialized...

Now it's no secret of course that America's (the worlds?) two most important bike brands have suffered from a hyper-competitive relationship over the years. Despite owners Mike Sinyard and John Burke always being able to put on a happy face when they're together in public, each company has the other as the bulls eye of their lunch room dart board.

This year's fisticuffs began when Specialized showed-off a graffiti bike with the words "Trek Sucks" written on the top tube. Now I didn't see it myself, but apparently there was photographic proof on a Trekster's cell phone (that was reportedly used to challenge a Specialized art director). Soon enough two Trek engineers told me that when they saw it someone had tried to manipulate the text (over the clear coat) to not be so offending to their friends in Wisconsin.
Wait - this just in.....

Which brings us to the poster mounted over at the Trek booth celebrating the very big news that they are now the bike of choice for the newly formed Luxembourg team backing the Schleck brothers. By all accounts the poster was about as passive as possible, and yet, they day after it went up, it came down. Word in the aisles was that Specialized was miffed and threatened legal action.

Ladies and gentlemen, from all this I can only say, the 2011 race season - and Tour de France in particular - will once again be thrilling to watch as the two American bike companies take their fight out onto the roads of Europe.

link: http://roadbikeaction.com/Related-Stories/content/67/3605/EuroBike-Report,-Part-3.html

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god

It's a concept track bike that will never see production.....but WOW!


16 September 2010

Mudder Fudger

Wednesday went out on a familiar 35 miler, the Douglass Graveler. I wanted to add a bit of length so I had a 19 mile loop that I added. Things went pretty well until I had to stop for 20 minutes under a tree due to a rain shower. Accompanied with the rain was a change in temperature, and a change in wind. Things were damp but didn't seem to mushy as I rode along. At the intersection of 150th and Grant just a bit up Grant was a spectacular view of the hills shrouded in mist and clouds. I continued on until just before I turned North on Ellis. 130th was really spongy and soon I began throwing up huge chunks of mud all over the place. I slowed down but it was too late. Great amounts of mud had gotten in to the deraileur and the chain sucked. This damaged both my hangar and the deraileur itself. I was really sunk but before I could get really depressed, a car came over the road.

Turns out she was a Westar rural meter reader. She offered me a lift to Leon, but I had to run her route with her. The next hour I went through fields, down driveways I didn't know existed, and for the icing on the cake a 1/2 mile hike down a hill/across a creek to a pole in the middle of a pasture. I have a new great appreciation for these people. Those meters are everywhere! Just before she dropped me off in Leon she parted with these words: "You are so lucky, we only run this route once a month!" Yikes! That would have been no fun for me.

The Cross Check is dead right now. The derailuer was bent and the hangar threads are stripped. I've got a e-mail in to Surly right now. Should they decide not to do anything I suppose I could heli-coil it. On the upside of things though, moving the cleat to the proper position I rode without discomfort in my knee for the first time!

Lucy Park


Cat 6

I wish I had thought of this.....awesome!


14 September 2010

Wichita Falls Cycling

A couple of things about riding here.

1. There is no grid system. Once you commit to a road, it might be 15 miles until the next blacktop.

2. It isn't "paved" in the Kansas sense. It is more of a paved-gravel. They put down gravel and tar and then smush it. Not smooth at all.

3. Storms pop up just like here. I was riding in 85 degree heat and then in a 15 second period, the temp dropped to 70. no shit. Then the rain hit. It was clear when I left.

4. Stop lights are even more poorly timed then here.


13 September 2010

I want.

Here is what Brent is buying me for my birthday.

Oliver, with a couple of twists

Well my fellow cyclists, I did some driving this weekend. Simple scouting trip to help get some easy, no thought involved, mileage. This mileage is also all pavement! Pretty low traffic count especially after Highway 160. I also have some distances to water stops along the way but take note these forays are on highways. My advice water up at belle plaine and then head south!

Starting on 119th south and Oliver St. Go South and you will run in to Belle Plaine in 5 miles. They call this road Logan in town. Take a right and an immediate left. You are now on Logan/Oliver. Ahead is a (mostly) straight shot of 23 or so miles of pavement. You only have to stop twice, at the intersections of the two highways. Sumner county has a real sense of humor when it comes to patching roads so take note. The patches get more and more frequent the further south you go. As Sumner county pavement goes it is all in pretty good shape. So go forth and ride. I give you some rough mileage before we talk going off the Oliver path.

From 119th south and Oliver it is 5.77 to Belle Plaine.
At around mile 13.87 you should be stopping at Highway 160
Further on and the end of the pavement is the intersection at Highway 166 at mile 28.98

Pretty cool huh? 30 miles paved on low traffic non highway road!

Looking for a bit more adventure? Maybe wanting to extend the ride? So there are two highways along the 30 miles of road. Take note 160 and 166 have a posted 65mph speed limit. 160 seems busier than 166. 166 has no real shoulder to speak of while 160 has a very tiny piece of pavement between the white line and the dirt. I'm not saying you should or should not ride either of these roads just covering my ass. Got it?

Start with Highway 160, you are at the first stop sign and ponder where does this go? The answer is pretty damn far. I'll just give you the most immediate locations, ok? Taking a right, going west, you will run into Wellington 7 miles from there. Plenty of provisions for you. Going toward the east, turning left, will get you to Oxford in 6 miles. Push farther and you will hit Winfield in another 9 miles.

Wrapping things up we stop at the intersection of Oliver and Highway 166. Same question where does this go? The answer is very and not very depending on left or right. Taking a right, going west will take you to Haven in 4 miles and THE END of Highway 166. There is a Gas Station before you get close to Haven. Taking a left, going east, will get you to Arkansas City in 16 miles.

Best wishes and keep on Pedaling! Click Here: 53 to 166 map

11 September 2010

Foot Fault

Last night sitting in my chair and checking the ratchets, buckles, and wear of my shoes. Yes obsessing as my wife puts it. Spinning the shoe so that it was bottom up I made a horrific discovery, my cleat was completely misaligned! Cleat position was only the first wave of shock, I put it like that over a year ago! Fixed it and rode in this morning.

Look out world here I come.

10 September 2010


Maybe I was too quick to praise my gearing combo. My 29er HT is set up in a 32/16, which is a 2:1 gearing and I chose it based upon reading some articles. But me, the math nerd, failed to take into consideration a 29" instead of a 26" wheel. I noticed some difficulty getting up to speed at Miller's yesterday. Apparently sore legs sapped my strenght. I read this article: http://www.surlybikes.com/blog/spew/11_-_singel-speed_gearing_101/ and decided I might try a 32/18 as a new starting point. More to follow.


09 September 2010


The photo taken last week made the photo of the day at BikeRumor.com. We were also added to the link of cycling websites!

Area weather has more rain today. I had planned a single speed MTB ride, but it might turn into a run on the trail if the area retains water. We have been so dry lately that I think the trail might not be wet and should be safe to ride. Marty did some trail work last week and the singletrack was fast and sweet.

I'll be headed out to Wichita Falls TX for two weeks of USAF training. The road riding is ok (the road surfaces suck!) and there is a sweet singletrack trail running along the river downtown that is wonderful and should be the envy of any city. At times you cannot tell you are only 1/4 mile from a freeway.


08 September 2010

SS Debut

The new SJ conversion to a SS debuted today at Miller's Meadow. I couldn't have asked for a better day to ride. It was overcast and cool, with a nice breeze blowing into the trees. The gearing was perfect for the trail.

07 September 2010

Miller's Trail Run

After 3 days off the bike, I still didn't feel like running. I drove out the Miller's and had a refreshing run on the 5 mile trails. Marty has done an outstanding job of work and the trail is clear, clean, and dry.

06 September 2010

Rosalia gravel loop

Good views the whole way.
#3 after the "best descent ever". We only tried to wreck a few times.

At least this water crossing didn't have water over the road.

I also saw a lot of #3 ahead of me on the climbs. 42 mile loop with 3600 feet of climbing according to Garmin. Would have been a great ride without the 25+ mph headwind from the south. Very scenic route though.

Friday's Ride

Did an 80 miler on Friday. The highlight of the ride was soft steak tacos at Taco Bell in Newton. Burned over 2,500 calories. Unlike the 90 miler two weeks ago, I didn't lose 5 pounds this time. I neglected sun screen, so my head resembled a Michigan Wolverine football helmet when I was done.

02 September 2010

Map My Ride is a dog

I am in the process of adding to the "routes" tab on our site. My experience with Mapmyride is that it lags terribly. Right now the maps are screwed up and each 'click' of my mouse results in 20 seconds of waiting. I may need to dump and start over. Please be patient.