18 February 2011

Medicine Park, OK

Last weekend my wife and I went, sans kids, to Medicine Park, Oklahoma. We had no plans except to get away and relax, so I was allowed to bring my Steelman road bike and the Vaya. I ended up getting in 2 runs and 2 rides. The first ride I took the Vaya and rode the Mt Scott bike and hike trail. It is an unimproved doubletrack trail that runs almost 6 miles around Mt Scott. It was very muddy and slick, so I had to walk more than I wanted to, and scrape mud off my tires and frame just so I could push the bike.
Mt Scott hike and bike trail
snowy patch on the trail
After getting back to pavement, I enjoyed the actual riding time instead of pushing time. As I rode past the base of Mt Scott they were just unlocking the gate, it had been closed due to snow. So I was able to ride up with no cars.
The next day I decided to ride the road so I didn't have to fight the mud. I rode up Mt Scott again. It went faster but was not as comfortable as the Vaya.

After I got back, I had to find my wife because she had walked downtown(about a block away). She got a picture of me riding across the walkway bridge. If anyone is looking for a getaway with great places to ride I would suggest Medicine Park. It is also right next to Ft Sill where they hold the Hills of Hell MTB race.

17 February 2011

Review: Pearl PRO Therma Fleee Knickers

I have riding indoors or running on a treadmill. This presents a problem it that as I have lost weight and also grown older, I am less tolerant of the cold winters here in Kansas. I have a rather large assorment of winter gear. My favorite pieces have been my Gore Bike Wear Phantom Jacket, SmartWool Skull Cap, Specialized DeFroster Shoes, and now my Pearl Knickers.

I must say there first time I saw a cyclist in knickers was when Brent shows up wearing some leg warmers that ended 5" short of his shoes. I laughted but he explained that the bare ankle allows some welcome cooling when overheating during a ride on a brisk morning.

But what I like best is the fleece lining on the shorts. On some rides I would notice that leg warmers (mine are fleece lined Pearls) would keep my legs nice and toasty, but my butt would be cold due to regualar non-fleece lined shorts. Sounds silly, but there you go.

Also, the bib eliminates any exposed skin. There have been times when I would wear tights and jackets and have exposed skin on my back due to being in the drops in a stiff head wind. Bibs eliminate that.

The bibs are fleece lined just to the waist line. The fit is true and for colder rides a pair of AMFIB tights pull over them just nicely. They are now my #1 option for cool weater riding.


16 February 2011

Back in the Saddle

It's been several weeks since I last posted. Ok, maybe like 2 months. The weather has been shitty for riding. For 3 weeks in a row we endured 6" + of snow. Fun when it snows, but crappy riding in the slush. This week temps were to hit the 70s, so I found all my riding gear and headed out.

The first issue I had was the stem on my Merkx.

It's a Murex, quill, 26.0 clamp for a 1" headset. The face plate has been giving me issues for the last few years: the 2 mount bolt seems to loosen up. Finally I found I could not longer tighen it. Thus the Merckx is hanging until I can locate another quality stem. I am having difficuly finding a 90mm length.

The next issue was worn cleats on the Single Speed. The Ultegra pedals on the Gunnar are more finikey with cleats than the DuraAce on the Merckx. After a quick change I was good to go.

I ordered a set of BarMitts and they work great. Now the weather is too warm to use them, but I am not complaining. I loook forward to more rides now that I can keep my girly hands warmer.

I am excited about this. Seems I may have found a fool-proof way to tension my chain finally.