Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bike run down for Odin's Revenge.

Yipsan 650b
First we'll start with the bike.  Renold Yip built this frame a few years back.  He graciously lent it to me.  I've been a huge fan of his work for a few years now.  I've been riding it for a few months now.  It's a great ride. Can't wait to start racing it.

Fox Seat bag
Revelate Design Bags
I decided to go with Revelate Design Bags.  I was really impressed with there quality and how well thought out there features were.  There also a sponsor of my upcoming gravel grinder, Odin's Revenge.  The frame bag is holding two liters of water, cell phone and rain jacket.  The Fox seat bag has always worked really well for me so I added it.  It's carrying a spare tube, pump, tire lever, co2 inflater, and chain links.

Cheapy feed bags
Double barrel feed bags

I like the look and idea of feedbags for a bike.  I think they will make good food storage, extra water bottle holder, trash, etc.  I'm not sure if I'll run both during the race or just one.  Cabela's had these in there water bottle section as holders for liter Nalgene bottles.  Super cheap and they seem like they will work great.  Time will tell if they hold up.

Cygolite Turbo
Garmin Edge 705

 The rest of the cockpit looks like this.  Luxy Ragley dirt drop bars.  Got a great deal on them.  Neon green Salsa Bar tape.  Soft and cooshy for my sensitive hands.  Chinese bar end blinkers.  Nothing like standing out in the dark.  Garmin Edge 705 for navigation.  One of the best investments I've made.  Great for planing routes and tracking workouts.  Retroshift Shifters doing the shifting and braking.  I've always loved thumbie shifters so these were right up my ally.  My new Cygolite Turbo 330 lighting up the dark.  I have a set of older Cygolite headlights and there great.  Just heavy and really outdated.  This one's probably 1/8th of the weight of the old light with twice the power.

Maxxis Crossmark tires

SLX triple ring cranks

After doing a lot of looking for the best gravel tire for a 650b bike I ended up with the Maxxis Crossmarks.  I got the 2.1 versions but they feel much wider then that.  More like 2.3's.  Nice center tread to keep things rolling on the dirt.  I removed the single chain ring cranks that the bike came with and added a few more options for gearing.  Might have been a mistake.  Only time will tell.

Brooks Saddle
Side load Bottle holder

I recently added the Brooks saddle to the bike.  I really like it.  I'm on the fence about using it on such a long race but the thing is really comfortable.  My youngest son had the multi-mount bottle holder in his tool box.  I borrowed it.  It'll hold my Camelbak water bottle with Skratch mix in it.  

Ready to Race
Well here's Yipsan 650b 1.0.  I'm sure there will be some changes between now and Gravel Worlds.  We'll see how we do at Odin's and take little baby steps from there.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Father's day at Hall Ranch

For my Father's Day wish I wanted to go mountain biking.  Surprise huh?  I haven't ridden Hall Ranch in awhile so that was the decided destination.  We met Simon in Lyon's where a plan was devised to shuttle Hall.  That way we'd still have to do a bit of climbing but not up rock gardens.  It was a great plan and worked awesome.  We rode the whole system.

I can't wait to get back up and doe Nelson Loop again.  Very fun.  Plus the rock sections in Bitterbrush are great also.  Had a blast with everyone.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Breaking in a Brooks

Well I rode my new Brooks B17 Saddle to work for the first time today.  Start the odometer on the break in period.  So far I like it.  I can tell it's flexing a bit on some bumps which is nice but I can also tell my sit bones will take a little getting use to it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

KC in a flash

A couple of my friends had already done the leg work and found common ground for all of us.  A meeting place that had each of us suffering the same drive to a place unknown.  As we are spread out over four states(Colorado, Nebraska, Illinois and Texas) this wasn't a easy task.  James and Simon had made the trip once and promised great riding and good beer.  It was to be a whirlwind trip.  Drive down Friday after work.  Get up early, have breakfast then ride.  Rest a bit that evening and then Sunday sprint home.  My friends at work all said I was nuts.  My girlfriend just rolled here eyes and shook her head when I mentioned the trip.  All that driving to see three friends for a day and a half and ride bikes in a place that isn't exactly known for it's great mountain biking.  Meh...I had been promised great beer also so I was in.  Really would have liked to dragged Jake and Joab along.  Get a little riding experience other then what there use to.  However I was told it was a men only weekend.  No kids, No SO's. 

Simon and I both worked a full day then he picked me up from home.  Joab came over and introduced Simon to his dog Princess.  We quickly loaded the bikes and waved goodbye. The drive down didn't seem to take that long.  Anticipation always skews time it's favor.  We stayed up for a bit talking and having a night cap that consisted of local craft beers.  Finally nodding off around 1pm.

After a restful night with very little snoring coming from the other three occupants in the room we headed to a little diner in downtown KC.  I wowed the crowd and ordered up the chicken fried steak and eggs.  I ate slowly as I listened to every one tell me how they looked forward to seeing my breakfast later on while we were riding.  Even after I had finished a lady from another table commented to me how good the chicken fried steak looked.  I told her she should have spoken up earlier.  I would have gladly split it with her.
We headed for the Landahl trails.  A trail system that James and Simon had ridden earlier in the year.  Since we were only riding one day we wanted to be sure we would get in some good trails.  We were lucky and the trails had dried out very nicely.  Still a couple small wet spots, nothing serious.  I haven't ridden trails like these in sometime.  There were a number of differences.  First, these trails were still tacky, almost muddy.  The trails I ride back home are almost always dry as a bone.  Second, when you want your tire to stick you can't count on a rock.  Back home if you didn't want slippage you aimed for a nice rock.  In Curt Gowdy the amount it takes to get a wheel to slip on there granite is staggering.  Not so much in KC.  You slip and slide all over.  Last time I rode trails like this were in Canada.  Many moons ago.  It was nice to have to adapt to another type of terrain.  It made me want to travel more and explore more types of trails.  The trails were a good mix of fast flowing with some techy rock bits thrown in.  I loved it.  Was a great ride.  Too soon we were back in the parking lot packing up the bikes to get some grub. 

Lunch was full of stir fry and a list of beers that goes on and on.  After we hit a little bike store, again in downtown KC.  River Market Cyclery is right next to or breakfast spot.  We had some great conversations with the staff about old bikes and there 40% off rack.  Lots of memories on that rack. Back at the hotel that night we drank more then our share of different beers.  One in particular tasted like it could have taken the paint off of airplane wings or would double as chain degreaser.  I mean I like a good IPA but damn.  Next morning we hit the diner again for some farewell food.  Hugs all around and it was time to go.  The trip home was relatively uneventful with the exception of missing one turn and ending up in the middle of a road bike race. 

Bike and body performed as I expected.  I had a great time and now have a want to return and show the trails to my kids.  I think I'll plan on more then one day however.